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Changes To the Way Lawyers Advertise Fees

The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) has changed the Rules concerning the way Lawyers advertise Fees for Residential Real Estate Transactions.

In order to advertise fees for Residential Real Estate transactions, Lawyers are now required to advertise Fees inclusive of overhead costs, staff costs, photocopy costs, facsimile costs, telephone and long-distance costs, Delivery costs, Travel costs, Courier costs, Bank fees, other search and closing costs, Third party charges, etc.

Although, this has the appearance of an “All Inclusive Price”, it is really not, as the client is still responsible for a clear majority of the Disbursements associated with a Real Estate Transaction including the additional costs of Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), Land Transfer Tax, Registration Fees, Fees charged by Government, Teranet Fees, Cost of Condominium Status Certificate, Payment for letters from creditor’s lawyers regarding similar name executions, Title Insurance Premium. In our opinion, this can only result in more confusion for the consumer-client.

We also believe that providing an “All-Inclusive” price as now required by the Law Society may be unfair to some, if not most of our clients, as it averages costs between clients rather than charging each respective client for what it actually costs them.  Costs between clients can be very different.  For example, some transactions will need multiple courier deliveries most will require none but all clients will end up paying.

Since 1995, our office has always maintained complete transparency and congruence between the fees we advertise and our final account to the client. It is with deep regret, we have chosen, after 22 years, not to advertise our “Fees” on our website.

If you require more information or a Quote in connection with your particular Real Estate Transaction, please call or email our office. My Staff and I would be most happy to help you in this regard.


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