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Home News Application Now Available: 2021 Annual Fee COVID-19 Deferral Option

Application Now Available: 2021 Annual Fee COVID-19 Deferral Option

January 29, 2021

Circumstances arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as physical distancing requirements, and significantly limited court and tribunal hearings and appearances, have made it very difficult for some licensees to practise or provide legal services and/or earn income.

Lawyers and paralegals have been affected in various ways. Some licensees continue to experience notable declines in income or may be more financially vulnerable, while others were only temporarily impacted or generally unaffected.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Law Society responded quickly with a variety of decisions to enable remote work. Further, the Law Society supported its licensees by delaying the withdrawal of monthly payments for those enrolled in the Pre-authorized Payment Plan until late summer. Administrative suspensions, Annual Fee late fees and Annual Report Filing late fees were also delayed until the latter part of the year to allow time for licensees to adjust to the pandemic and the impact on their regular business.

In its efforts to continue to support licensees during this challenging time, Convocation in November approved a plan that allows eligible licensees who were impacted by the pandemic to apply for a deferral of the payment of their 2021 Annual Fee to 2022.

The guiding principles for the 2021 Annual Fee COVID-19 Deferral Option are to assist practising lawyers and paralegals who are in sole practices or in small firms (with two to five licensees) who may have had their practice interrupted due to the pandemic and who have seen a significant reduction in year over year revenue and to assist newly licensed licensees to move into private practice in support of access to legal services.

Eligibility requirements, application and details about the process are available online.

Those applying must attest to meeting the eligibility criteria. There is no requirement for the submission of supporting documentation. The application deadline is March 31, 2021.

Licensees not meeting the criteria, but seeking some form of assistance, may opt for the monthly Pre-authorized Payment plan to spread the payment of annual fees over the year. 

Please review the information online. If you have any questions, please contact lawsociety@lso.ca, 416-947-3315 or 1-800-668-7380, ext. 3315.

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