The Advisory: Volume 9, Issue 3, December 2011

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Business Plan and Budget Keeps Fees at Current Levels

By Kevin Feth, QC, Bencher and Chair, Finance Committee, Law Society of Alberta

Pract ice fees and the Assurance Fund levy for the 2012 fiscal year will remain at current levels as determined by the Benchers in approving the 2012 Business Plan and Budget at their Fall business meeting.

The Practice Fee will remain at $1700, while the Assurance Fund Levy will stay at $570.

The development of the 2012 Business Plan and Budget addressed these premises:

  1. The Law Society needs to be adequately funded to properly carry out the day-to-day obligations of the Law Society, including its core regulatory obligations and the multiyear policy strategies and initiatives endorsed by the Benchers to serve the public interest.
  2. The Law Society needs to ensure that business planning and budgeting reflect responsible financial stewardship.

Much of the Finance Committee’s work focused on the General Fund budget and the Assurance Fund budget.

General Fund Budget Covers Operating Costs

The General Fund covers the general operating costs of the regulatory, governance, policy and access to justice initiatives of the Law Society. Approximately 73 per cent of the Law Society’s budgeted resources are allocated to its regulatory functions, 15 per cent to governance, seven per cent to policy and five percent to Access to Justice. The vast majority of the Law Society’s operating expenditures are dedicated to the performance of its core statutory mandate.

Last year, the Practice Fee was increased from $1475 to $1700, restoring the accumulated surplus in the General Fund.

Assurance Fund Budget

The Assurance Fund Budget covers a significant portion of the Trust Safety program, custodianships and claims against the Assurance Fund.

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