Law Society fees and low income clients

A new Task Force is seeking input on whether the Law Society’s Special Compensation Fund fee and Trust Administration Fee have an effect on the ability of BC lawyers to provide services to low-income clients.

The Law Society Fees and Low Income Client Task Force was established in response to a resolution at the September 2006 annual general meeting by Dugald Christie and Bruce Fraser, QC. They submitted that the two fees cause undue hardship for lawyers who have little or no trust account activity and that these ­lawyers tend to be the ones who most often represent low income clients. Prior to the AGM, the resolution was withdrawn and the Benchers agreed to examine the issues raised by it.

The Task Force, chaired by Cariboo County Bencher William Jackson, is now seeking information from BC lawyers about the impact of the two fees. In particular, the Task Force would like to know if the Special Compensation Fund fee and Trust Administration Fee are causing undue hardship for lawyers who represent low income clients. The Task Force would also like to know whether lawyers who represent low income clients have little or no trust account activity.

In order to gather information about the extent and scope of these issues, the Task Force has prepared a consultation paper (PDF: 299 KB).

The Task Force also invites submissions from any interested party. Submissions should be filed before April 30, 2007 and sent to:

Law Society Fees and Low Income Client Task Force
The Law Society of British Columbia
8th Floor
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver BC V6B 4Z9
Attention: Adam Whitcombe