Block fees

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)’s block fee program pays panel criminal lawyers fixed fees or rates (rather than hourly tariff payments) for providing services that lead to guilty plea or stay/withdrawal outcomes on a number of common criminal charges.

  • Benefits for lawyers: not having to submit dockets, less administrative red tape, more financial certainty
  • Benefits for clients: faster resolution of appropriate cases, less time spent at court appearances
  • Benefits for the criminal justice system: more efficient use of judicial resources, fewer court appearances

If a block fee-eligible matter is set down for trial, LAO pays the account according to the hours allocated by the regular criminal tariff and the lawyer’s tier rate.