In this seventh report to Convocation, the Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group (“Working Group”) reports its recommendations to date to enhance the operation of contingency fees in Ontario.
The Working Group recommendations in the motion below (at paragraph 13) are rooted in the Law Society’s statutory duties, including its duties to act to “facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario”, “maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law” and act in a manner that protects the public interest.
Until 2002, the law in Ontario prohibited contingency fees. This changed with the decision of the Court of Appeal in McIntyre Estate which was followed by amendments to the Solicitors Act.
The Court of Appeal in McIntyre Estate made clear that the reason for the change permitting contingency fees was the need for access to justice. As the Court said at para. 55, “many individuals with meritorious claims are simply not able to pay for legal representation unless they are successful in the litigation.”