For criminal lawyers

Information for criminal lawyers on Legal Aid Ontario panels or working on legal aid cases.


  • Merit test for bail review guidelines
    Certificates issued after July 7 will no longer be automatically approved for a bail review. Certificates issued before July 7, where authorization has been given, will not be affected. If the authorization is added on an existing certificate after July 7, then the new merit rules and rates apply.
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  • Private retainer for bail practice memo
    In response to LAO's decision to remove bail hearing, bail variation and second bail hearing from authorizations on Block Fee Certificates, a question has arisen as to whether you may charge a client a private retainer for bail prior to acknowledging a legal aid certificate. LAO has been asked whether we can provide some additional guidance on how issues of eligibility or set off may be applied in the event that you have been privately retained for bail.
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Research and resources

  • LAO Law, Legal Aid Ontario’s research department. You must be a registered panel lawyer to use this service.
  • DC Thinktank (for staff duty counsel lawyers only)