For lawyers & paralegals

Licensees and The Law Foundation of Ontario: what you need to know

Lawyers and paralegals have a special relationship with The Law Foundation of Ontario. We are connected through legal obligations and our shared mandates of improving access to justice.

Legal duty

Legal duty to report and direct mixed trust account

Lawyers and paralegals have a legal obligation to report mixed trust accounts. This helps ensure that The Law Foundation of Ontario receives the interest on these accounts, which it uses to advance access to justice.When opening a mixed trust account, lawyers and paralegals must direct their financial institution to pay the interest to The Law Foundation of Ontario.

Lawyers and paralegals must report on each mixed trust account held at any time during the licensee’s reporting year in their Lawyer Annual Report or the Paralegal Annual Report filing through the Law Society of Ontario Portal.

Established by statute in 1974, The Law Foundation of Ontario is the sole foundation in Ontario with the mandate of increasing access to justice. The Foundation’s main source of revenue is interest received from lawyers’ and paralegals’ mixed trust accounts. This revenue goes to The Law Foundation of Ontario to make grants that advance access to justice and to Legal Aid Ontario. The higher the interest rate a bank provides, the more dollars are available for the Foundation to make grants.

Learn more on our Report a mixed trust account webpage.

How the interest is used
Access to justice partners

Report a mixed trust account

Lawyers and paralegals must report annually on each mixed trust account. It is important to direct the financial institution to forward all interest earned from a mixed trust account to The Law Foundation of Ontario.

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Direct a cy-près award

Many courts have approved the Foundation as a fitting and accountable recipient of cy-près awards. The Access to Justice Fund is a permanent fund available to receive such awards.

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Class Proceedings Fund

The Class Proceedings Fund provides financial support to approved class action plaintiffs for legal disbursements and indemnifies plaintiffs for costs that may be awarded against them in funded proceedings.

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What's new

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News

COVID-19 related updates

March 31, 2020

COVID-19: Regular updates on our response to COVID-19, including how to contact us and application deadline extensions.

Helen Tewolde
News

Helen Tewolde named Action Canada Fellow

June 4, 2020

Helen Tewolde, the Foundation’s Director of Policy and Programs, has been named a 2020/2021 Action Canada Fellow by Action Canada and the Public Policy Forum.

A laptop computer with the word 'Information' on the screen
News

COVID-19 related resources for nonprofit and justice sectors

May 28, 2020

Several organizations have created or compiled COVID-19 related resources for the nonprofit and the justice sectors. Here are a few we believe may be helpful.