Society newsAnnual fees for 2017-2018
At its meeting on April 28, Council approved the Society’s Operating and Capital Budgets for 2017-2018, and set the fees necessary for the membership year beginning July 1, 2017.
Invoices and notices of Preauthorized Payment amounts will be sent to lawyers and firms in early May. The 2017-18 SCHEDULE A: Society Fees and Assessments, with full details for 2017-2018, is now available on the website.
The Society is introducing a new credit card option this year, available for payment of the full Practising Fee by June 30 as per regulation 4.7.9. See payment options below for details.
The Practising Fees required to balance the Society’s operating budget would be $2,627.00, but a fee credit of $220.00 (paid from Lawyers’ Fund for Client Compensation [LFCC] reserves) will be applied, bringing the net Practising Fee to $2,407.00 plus HST.
There is a significant unbudgeted operating deficit for the year ending April 30, 2017. This results in the Society’s operating reserves dropping more than $300,000 below the minimum threshold set by Council. To address this shortfall, Council has approved a $200.00 plus HST special assessment payable by all practising lawyers by June 30, 2017 and by any person who becomes a practising lawyer after June 30, 2017.
Thus, the total Practising Fee payable by June 30 is $2,607.00 plus HST. This is $567.00 higher than in 2016/17 ($2,040.00 plus HST). Please note, if a practising lawyer changes category or leaves during the 2017-18 year, the $200.00 special assessment is non-refundable.
The expenses that have caused the deficit are the result of unprecedented costs relating to formal discipline hearings.
Non-Practising Fees for 2017-18:
- Non-practising members: $300.00 + HST (no change from 2016-17)
- Retired members: $50.00 + HST (no change from 2016-17)
The budget for 2017-18 reflects the Society’s continued focus on meeting the Regulatory Objectives and a “Triple-P” (proactive, principled and proportionate) approach to regulation. Budgeting work included an initial review of proposed program configurations, staffing needs and process changes required as the Society continues to advance the Legal Services Regulation initiative, including the rebranding of current work as Legal Services Support.
As part of its budget process, the Society has also created a one-page summary to provide a snapshot of fee history over the past few years.
For the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia (LIANS), the full cost of insurance would be $2,119.00 but a credit of $244.00 reduces the net amount to $1,875.00 for lawyers in private practice, $937.50 for lawyers practising with the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission and Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, and $350.00 for lawyers employed in the civil service of the Province of Nova Scotia.
New for 2017-2018 – Credit card payments
Practising lawyers will now be able to pay the full amount of the Practising Fee by June 30 by credit card, provided they pay an administrative fee of $80.00 plus HST ($60.00 to NSBS; $20.00 to LIANS). The Society has purchased a new module for the membership software program to allow for credit card processing. The administrative fee, like the preauthorized payment administrative fee, will be applied towards the costs of this software and administrative costs to administer the payment process.
Reminder: Monthly payment plan option
For those who choose the Preauthorized Payment (PAP) Plan option for fees, the first draw on June 20, 2017 will be for two months and includes the special assessment and administrative charge ($1,142.72), but subsequent draws (on the 20th of each month) will be for the monthly amount ($410.36).
If you have any questions, please contact Sean Walker, Director, Finance & Administration, at 902 422 1491 or firstname.lastname@example.org.