LAO Newsroom

Improving the discretion request process: We want your feedback

Posted on: Monday, April 30, 2012

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is seeking lawyer feedback on its proposed guidelines to improve the process for discretion requests.

Discretion is a compensation tool that allows LAO to approve, under exceptional circumstances, lawyers’ written requests for additional compensation above the hourly tariff rate. Lawyers who represent vulnerable clients, manage complex cases, or achieve extraordinary outcomes can apply to LAO in writing for discretion pay.

In May 2012, LAO will consult with criminal, family and refugee lawyers in communities across the province. LAO wants to hear their views on the discretion criteria. If you are interested in taking part in these consultations, please join our mailing list. We will also make online sessions, and the opportunity to provide feedback, available for those unable to attend in person.

Our goal in improving discretion is to streamline payments and reduce administration, enable LAO staff to provide quick, consistent decisions on requests, ensure that approved discretion requests comply with the Legal Aid Services Act, and help ensure fair and effective stewardship of public funds in providing legal services to legal aid clients.

Discretion Consultation


Jawad Kassab
Director, Corporate Services Planning & Strategic Initiatives
Phone: 416-979-2352 ext. 4705