LAO Newsroom

Update on expenses eligible as disbursements on certificate accounts

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lawyers acting on a legal aid certificate who incur the following expenses can now bill them as disbursements.

Gladue reports

While we have committed funding to Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto and to Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporate to provide Gladue report writing services to their clients, some locations do not have a publicly-funded Gladue report service.

In locations where a publicly-funded Gladue report service is not available, Gladue panel members may request disbursement authorization for a report by a private organization. We've updated the Disbursement Handbook to reflect the processes to request pre-approval for a Gladue report and the policies that will be applied to requests.

A request can be made by submitting the Request for an Expert/Other Service Provider form, found on Legal Aid Online, to Lawyer Services and Payments. Your request must include the following information:

  • Written confirmation that a funded Gladue report program is not located in your geographical area of Ontario
  • The Gladue report writer's information and qualifications
  • A summary of the charges
  • The disposition sought by the Crown
  • Services provided by the Gladue report writer
  • Estimate of the number of hours to write the report
  • Other expenses, such a travel and accommodation

We will normally approve 30 hours at a rate of $50.00 per hour. Lawyers will now be approved for up to 40 hours for complex reports for which there are serious consequences to the client.

Other disbursements

Secure electronic document exchange (family & CFSA)

Web-based services for secure document exchange in family and CFSA matters are now available for lawyers in Ontario. Lawyers interested in, or are already using this service for private clients, will soon be able to use it with their legal aid clients.

The web-based service provides a mechanism to electronically provide disclosure and serve documents on other parties and has been confirmed as valid notice of service by the courts. The service provides electronic confirmation that the document has been delivered and provides a permanent record of all entries, and may also include production of the Affidavit of Service.

To support lawyers who are interested in using this service, a new regular disbursement will be available based on rates that have been provided to us from service providers.

  • The regular rate is $20 per year up to $60 to reflect the average life of a certificate.
  • If additional amounts are required, requests may be submitted to Lawyer Services and Payments for approval.
  • Invoices are to be submitted with the online account.

New disbursement for printing Crown disclosure

Lawyers acting on tariff and block fee certificates are now able to bill for printing up to 250 pages of Crown disclosure from disc without requiring approval from us.


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