From the Law Foundation of BC
Law Foundation thanks Law Society Trust Assurance department
The Law Foundation started working with the Law Society’s Trust Assurance team in 2008, around the time of the first cycle of compliance audits. Since then, the Foundation has met with Felicia Ciolfitto, the Society’s manager of trust regulation, and her team of auditors, at least once a year.
As the profession knows, lawyers and law firms are no longer generally required to submit an accountant’s report to the Law Society but, instead, file an annual trust report electronically. This change created an opportunity for the Foundation to work together with the Law Society to ensure that lawyers’ pooled trust accounts were set up properly and that interest on those accounts was being remitted to the Law Foundation.
This collaboration, and the diligence of the Trust Assurance auditors in checking to ensure that interest is being paid as it should, has resulted in significant benefits to the public of British Columbia. Since the Society and Foundation started working together in 2008, the Law Foundation has received over $1.1 million in additional trust revenues on accounts that had not been set up properly by the financial institutions.
The Law Foundation, pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, receives the interest on lawyers pooled trust accounts and uses it to fund legal aid, legal education, legal research, law reform and law libraries. This additional money has funded a variety of programs and projects that enhance access to justice in British Columbia.
Over the past couple of years, the Law Foundation has been successful in accomplishing another positive change – getting all of the major financial institutions to report their pooled trust account information electronically.
The Law Foundation of BC thanks the Law Society and the Trust Assurance auditors in particular, for their assistance in ensuring that financial institutions are remitting the correct amount of interest to the Law Foundation. This contribution is especially appreciated during these challenging economic times.