As of the time of writing, the online petition has garnered over 1,100 of 1,500 signatures
“We’ve been heard,” said Ontario-based lawyer Caryma Sa'd in an update to the Change.org petition she initiated to call for the suspension of the obligation to pay fees to the Law Society of Ontario and to the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO).
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts across Ontario have announced that they will be restricting operations and suspending proceedings, save for cases involving urgent matters. Because of these closures, lawyers may expect a large dip in earnings, which may be especially impactful on sole practitioners and small and medium-sized firms.
On Mar. 17, the LSO said that the late payment fee normally imposed on those who have not yet paid their annual fees for 2020 would not be applied before Apr. 6. The LSO also said that, for those who have not yet paid their annual fees or who have not yet complied with the 2019 CPD requirement, the LSO would not be processing administrative suspensions before Apr. 6. The LSO added that it would be continuously keeping an eye on the situation until such date.
“There is strength and power in community,” said Sa'd in the update, which thanked the supporters. “We will continue to monitor the situation and advocate on behalf of licensees, with a view towards promoting access to justice and the public interest.”
As of the time of this writing, the online petition has garnered over 1,100 signatures, of its goal of 1,500 signatures.