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.
Delays in Payment
Lawyer Payments continues to reduce delays. During August, we automated a process which resulted in payment of more than a thousand accounts in exception, paying solicitors over $1.1 million. See Payment Delays
Lawyer Service Centre HOTLINE - (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934
We have set up a HOTLINE through the Lawyer Service Centre. Lawyers can contact the Hotline to inquire as to the status of their account and, if experiencing financial hardship due to the delay in payments, request an “expedite” of accounts more than 60 days old.
For an “expedite”, we require a written request briefly outlining your financial hardship and the account you would like expedited. Thank you for your patience.
For more information on payment delays, see Better Billing Bulletin Vol.31 Special Edition
Block Fee Amended Charge List
LAO is amending the list of charges within the criminal block fee pilot based on feedback received from the criminal bar. Eliminating these charges will refocus the pilot on the least complex charges:
- LAO will remove 18 of the most serious and complex charges from the block fee pilot and will pay them according to the regular criminal tariff.
- LAO will establish a new block fee for two charges that remain within the pilot: assault resist arrest and assault police.
The charges that have been removed were typically the most expensive cases within the pilot. As a result, LAO has had to recalculate the block fees for the charges that remain eligible for block fees. LAO has also calculated the new block fees payable on assault resist arrest and assault police matters in accordance with the block fee financial model.
LAO expects these changes to be implemented by mid-September.
A summary of these changes is available here:
BF Charge List -- Revised Sept 15 2010.pdf
LAO’s letter to the Criminal Lawyers’ Association explaining these changes in more detail is available here:
We understand that some of you are experiencing difficulties attaching documents with macros to your Online accounts. We are working on a solution and will be communicating it shortly. We apologize for this inconvenience.
There is a new icon, LAOiFax, now available on your Online billing Solicitor Home Page. LAOiFax allows you to create a fax cover sheet for submissions to Legal Aid Ontario. The cover sheet pre-populates your vendor information, allows you to select one of three document types (disbursement authorization request, reviews of settled accounts request, or general correspondence) you wish to fax and allows you to select the certificate number to which the matter relates.
Using LAOiFax will enable us to process your requests related to disbursements and reviews quicker. Please review the linked Training Aid or contact the Lawyer Service Centre for help using this simple tool.
Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the