New Referral Fee Supports and Resources for Lawyers
This is a June 2017 e-bulletin from the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Convocation approved amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) and By-Law 9 with respect to referral fees on April 27, 2017. Detailed information about the amendments is available in the Professional Regulation Committee Report to Convocation, April 27, 2017. For a brief summary of the requirements, see the Referral Fees landing page.
New Resources for Lawyers
To support lawyers in understanding and complying with the new referral fee requirements, the Law Society has developed:
The FAQs about Referral Fees answers questions such as:
- When making a referral, how many lawyers or paralegals must be recommended to the client?
- Is there an example of how the maximum permitted referral fee would be calculated?
- What must be explained to a client who is being referred to another lawyer or paralegal for a referral fee about the Law Society’s referral fee requirements?
- Is the lawyer or paralegal who received the referral required to show the referral fee on the statement of account?
- What are the record keeping obligations with respect to referral fees?
The Referral Fee Checklist provides lawyers with a framework for complying with the referral fee requirements and documenting their compliance. The Checklist may be used for referrals made on or after April 28, 2017 and to referrals made before or on April 27, 2017 where there was no enforceable agreement for the payment of a referral fee as of that date. Unlike the Law Society’s mandatory form of referral agreement and its accompanying information sheet, lawyers and paralegals are not required to use the Checklist.
Law Society’s Referral Fee Agreement Now Available in Word and Fillable PDF
The Law Society’s mandatory Referral Fee Agreement is now available in Word and fillable PDF. The required referral fee information sheet for clients, Law Society Referral Fee Requirements – What Clients Need to Know, is available in PDF. These documents may be downloaded from the Advertising and Fee Arrangement Issues Working Group’s webpage.
More Questions about Referral Fees?
For assistance interpreting the Rules or understanding other practice management obligations, please contact the Practice Management Helpline at 416-947-3315 or 1-800-668-7380, ext 3315.