B3: Better Billing Bulletin

Vol. 18
May. 2009

Legal Aid Ontario's Lawyer Services & Payments Department (LSP) is happy to bring you this monthly Better Billing Bulletin. It's meant to provide you and your staff with information regarding tariff and billing practices. We hope you'll find it useful.

B3 Big Case Management (BCM)

In efforts to serve you better, BCM now has dedicated staff to assist lawyers with processing their BCM budgets and accounts. Please contact the following for BCM matters related to:

  • Budget setting - Kristy Laverty, BCM Admin: 416-979-2352 ex 6459.
  • Status of BCM accounts or expedite requests - Mary Troicuk: 416 979 2352 ex 6430, or Liza Ricafort: 416-979-2352 ex 6279.

The BCM Program requires that counsel attach dockets and invoices to their Online accounts. Where this is not possible, please fax BCM account details and disbursement invoices directly to the BCM Department: Fax # 416-204-4713

Late billed accounts must first be approved for consideration for payment by the Lawyer Services and Payments (LSP) Department prior to being transferred to the BCM Department for settlement. Inquiries with respect to late billed BCM accounts should be directed to Christine Carter, Special Advisor: 416-979-2352 ex 6465.

B3 Criminal & Civil Discretion Accounts Backlog

Lawyer Services & Payments is experiencing a backlog with respect to the payment of criminal and civil discretion accounts. Internal staffing changes together with the volume of accounts have contributed to this situation.

To maintain our commitment of timely payments to the Bar, we are implementing a discretion accounts reduction initiative which will eliminate the backlog by July 15th.

In extraordinary circumstances such as financial hardship, we will consider written requests for expedited discretion account payments. Please direct your requests to Michael Bury, Manager, Lawyer Services & Payments. We thank you for your patience and regret the inconvenience.

B3 Annual Billing Limit - HARD CAP

LAO's Senior Management recently approved an Annual Billing Limit Policy Framework. The Framework supports a stricter application of the annual billing limit. Please review the Framework and raise any questions you have with your Area Director. Exemptions from hard cap will be rarely granted. In addition, LAO will no longer "put on hold" processing of submitted accounts for payment until the following fiscal year. Submitted accounts that exceed the hard cap limit in a fiscal year will not be paid. If you are close to your annual billing limit, you should refrain from submitting accounts. And finally, any accounts that you hold back and submit in a new fiscal year in order not to exceed your hardcap will be subject to our late billing rule.

Panel members can keep track of billing limits in the following ways:

  1. Login to Legal Aid Online where your hardcap allocation is posted
  2. Review hardcap correspondence from the Lawyer Services and Payments Department - Notices are sent to lawyers who reach 50%, 75%, 90% and 100% of the annual billing limit.
  3. Call the Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934

B3 Tariff & Billing Handbook

Consult our Handbook regularly for billing information.

Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the
Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934