What does a Form 47 cost?

In 1998 the Law Society sent a questionnaire to 551 randomly selected law firms to find out what they paid for preparation and filing of their Form 47 accountant’s report. On average, firms paid $1,678 (median: $1,190).

According to the survey, although the number of pooled trust accounts had some effect on cost, the total cost was influenced more by the number of lawyers in the firm.

Respondents were asked to rate the cost and the inconvenience of preparing and filing the Form 47 and to gauge that cost against the Law Society’s intended objective of preventing the misuse of trust funds in the profession. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they paid "too much" for their Form 47; the remaining third found the cost "about right" or less than expected. About 25% of respondents found the Form 47 caused "a lot" of inconvenience, 57% said it created "some" and 18% said it caused "none."

The Benchers have asked the Special Compensation Fund Committee to study alternatives to the current accountant’s report: see page 1.

If you have questions about the survey, contact Adam Whitcombe, Director of Development & Statistics, at the Law Society office (see page 2) or by email at awhitcombe@lsbc.org.