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Increasing tariff for legal aid lawyers

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Alberta’s government is increasing the tariff rate for legal aid lawyers from $100 per hour to $125 per hour. This change is effective from January 1, 2023.

April 2022, Alberta’s minister of justice and attorney general instructed Legal Aid Alberta to conduct a modernization review of the legal aid system. They submitted their recommendations to the minister in October. The review will benefit the roster by simplifying certificate management and administration, simplifying billing under the tariff and ensuring adequate compensation for substantive work required on a file.

Also in October, an in-year increase within the existing budget envelope was made possible due to increased federal funding, allowing Alberta’s government to increase the tariff, financial eligibility guidelines and block billing by 8.225 percent. The hourly tariff rate of $92.40 for roster lawyers was increased to $100 per hour, making Alberta’s hourly tariff rate the fourth highest among provinces.

With modernization work on its way to being implemented, Alberta’s government has approved a further 25 per cent increase to the tariff rate and block billing for legal aid lawyers to $125 per hour from $100 per hour.

Legal Aid Alberta will update internal systems and prepare to implement the modernization recommendations in spring 2023. The tariff rate is how much roster lawyers are paid to do legal aid work. Financial eligibility guidelines is a calculation used to determine eligibility to receive representation through legal aid.

The Alberta Law Foundation, the Government of Alberta and the federal government fund legal aid.

 

This in-year increase within the existing budget envelope was made possible due to increased federal funding that recently became available.

The Legal Aid, Alberta tariff modernization project is on track to be delivered on schedule to the government.

As part of a comprehensive review of legal aid, the modernization aims to ensure that the tariff reflects current court processes and legal practices to ensure remuneration and lawyer efforts are properly matched.

 

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