Enhanced Expert Rates
An enhanced rate may be considered appropriate for a Big Case (including Complex Case Rate certificates) where counsel demonstrates that the expert is necessary given the nature of the defence.
LAO will use the criteria below to determine the market rate for services and the reasonableness of the cost:
- necessity in assisting the trier of fact
- the absence of any exclusionary rule
- a properly qualified expert
In addition LAO will also consider the following:
- expert’s experience and reputation
- local availability
- unique area of expertise
- new/emerging science
Note: Cost will be only one factor LAO will consider when determining whether an expert would be authorized in a particular case.
The approved lump‑sum payment for an expert will include all of the expert’s services, including preparing the report, consulting with the lawyer and others, and travel time.
Reimbursement for attending court and special disbursements will be in addition to the lump-sum payment. An estimate should be provided at the time the bid is submitted.
Counsel is responsible to monitor the expert’s progress. Counsel is responsible for determining, as soon as possible, whether or not the expert’s report will support the defence. Reimbursement for the expert will be pro‑rated if a block fee has been authorized and the expert cannot support the theory of defence.
If an expert is approved for an enhanced rate, counsel is required to complete the rating sheet upon conclusion of the expert’s services.
To make an application for an enhanced expert rate, counsel must complete the Enhanced Expert Rate Application which includes providing three quotes and the required supporting documentation for the proposed expert(s). Please fax your application to:
In order to assist lawyers with finding experts, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) will develop a vendor of record list of experts in a variety of fields that are commonly used in criminal defence. Criteria for evaluating vendor of record candidates Professional experience A high level of…