Vendor of record

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 professional achievement
  • Advanced knowledge of forensic science
  • A demonstrated commitment to continuing education & publication
  • Advising lawyers of new developments in area of practice
  • Demonstrated ability to provide high quality expert opinions in a cost‑effective manner by exhibiting the following skills:
    • Focusing in on relevant disclosure
    • Effectively and efficiently assisting in preparing points to be explored in the cross-examination of witnesses
    • Advising the lawyer at the earliest possible moment if there is no real prospect of success
    • Provide reports in a timely fashion to enable solicitor to meet timelines and negotiate with the crown.
  • Exemplary record of providing evidence leading to
    • Acquittals
    • Conviction on a lesser charge
    • Imposed sentence reflects submissions of the defence


  • Politeness and consideration for others
  • Punctuality and good regular work habits
  • Compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct of your professional association
  • Reputation for integrity, fairness, courtesy and candour
  • Demonstrating the highest ethical standards in the following ways, including but not limited to:
    • Reliability and preparedness
    • Communicate and explain findings to lawyer
    • Provide candid advice to the lawyer based on sufficient knowledge of the facts, and probable result at the earliest opportunity
    • Recognizing limitations in one’s ability to be qualified as an expert
  • Demonstrating the highest ethical standards by not acting in the following ways, including but not limited to:
    • Proceeding with an assessment/test that will not advance the defence not withstanding the instructions of the lawyer or client
    • Not involved in serious, unresolved professional complaints/claims

Relationship with LAO (If applicable)

  • Demonstrating the effective and efficient use of public funds
  • Acknowledgement of LAO’s policies and procedures, in particular, the requirement to provide a detailed account.
  • Courteous and respectful to LAO staff, clients and panel lawyers
  • Compliance with general LAO policies and procedures including, but not limited to:
    • Not the subject of any serious, unresolved investigation/compliant
    • Responsive to LAO inquiries
    • Commitment to providing information requested by LAO, to the lawyer in a timely way
  • Appreciation of LAO’s limited budget including, but not limited to:
    • Providing a realistic estimate of cost
    • Advising the lawyer if there is a risk that the expert services will cost more than the allotted authorization
    • Advising the lawyer of your prejudices that may interfere with your completing your report
    • Ensuring that a meaningful and useable work product is transferred to another expert in the event you are unable to complete your retainer
  • Recognition of Big Case Management billing requirements including but not limited to:
    • Accurate and detailed accounts
    • Regular submitting of accounts

Legal Aid Ontario does not endorse any expert on the list. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to ensure that he/she retains the appropriate expert. Each expert is responsible for keeping LAO informed of changes to their contact information, qualifications and areas of expertise.

LAO invites experts to complete the vendor of record application form, and forward to the attention of:

Disbursements Analyst
Fax: 416‑204‑4710