New policies on annual fee payments and annual report filings

The Law Society has implemented a late fee policy and reduced the default period for annual fee payments and annual report filings.

Lawyers and paralegals who fail to pay their annual fee or fail to file their annual report on time are now subject to a late fee of $100, as well as potential administrative suspension.

Lawyers and paralegals who change their status or fee category will receive an adjusted fee invoice. Failure to pay the adjusted fee invoice by the due date will incur a $100.00 late fee charge and could result in administrative suspension.

The default period during which lawyers and paralegals may pay their annual fee or file their annual report without penalty is now 60 days.

Questions and Answers

What are the policies?

The Law Society has implemented a $100 late fee to be charged to lawyers and paralegals who fail to pay their annual fee or file their annual report on time.

Lawyers and paralegals who change their status or fee category will receive an adjusted fee invoice. Failure to pay the adjusted fee invoice by the due date will incur a $100.00 late fee charge and could result in administrative suspension.

The Law Society has also reduced the default period for both annual fee payment and annual report filing to 60 days in 2014 from 90 days in 2013.

In 2014, lawyers and paralegals will have 60 days from January 1 to pay their annual fee and 60 days from March 31 to file their annual report.

When do I have to pay my 2014 annual fee to avoid the late fee?

The Law Society must receive full payment on March 2, 2014.

Please note that payments made through telephone or Internet banking will not be received by the Law Society on the date that they are made. The payment will not be considered received until the Law Society actually receives the funds from the licensee's financial institution.

When do I have to file my 2013 annual report to avoid the late fee?

You must file by May 30, 2014.

Why did the Law Society introduce these policies?

The Law Society adopted the policies to save administrative costs by reducing the number of late payments and filings. See the Audit and Finance Committee Reports to September 2012 Convocation and October 2012 Convocation for more information.

Why was the default period reduced from 90 days?

The default period was reduced to better align the Law Society's policies with normal business practices. 

If I'm charged the late fee, am I still subject to administrative suspension?

Yes. All lawyers and paralegals who fail to pay their annual fee or file their annual report by the end of the default period will be charged the $100 late fee and be referred for administrative suspension.

You will be required to pay the late fee as well as fulfil the other requirements during the suspension process, if you are to avoid suspension.

If you are suspended, you will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements including paying the late fee and the reinstatement fee, if applicable, in order to have your licence reinstated. 

Will I be subject to administrative suspension if I don't pay a late fee?

Yes. You will be subject to administrative suspension for failure to pay a late fee.

How did the Law Society decide on the amount of $100 for the fee?

To determine the amount of the late fee, the Law Society examined administrative costs associated with late payments and filings as well as comparable fees imposed by other regulators.

Do other Law Societies have similar policies?

Yes. The Law Society of British Columbia charges a fee of $100 for late annual fee payment. The fee is due on November 30. Lawyers who do not pay their annual fee by December 31 are charged the late fee.