Lso Referral Fee Agreement
LSO Referral Fee Agreements: Everything You Need to Know
As a lawyer, you can earn a steady stream of income by referring clients to other attorneys or law firms. In Ontario, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has specific rules that need to be followed when entering into referral fee agreements. In this article, we will explore what an LSO referral fee agreement is, who can enter into such an agreement, and the important terms to include in the agreement.
What is an LSO Referral Fee Agreement?
An LSO referral fee agreement is a written agreement between two lawyers or law firms that outlines the details of the referral of a client and the amount of the referral fee to be paid. Referral fees are fees paid by one lawyer to another for referring a client to them. These fees are typically a percentage of the fees charged to the referred client.
Who Can Enter into an LSO Referral Fee Agreement?
Only a lawyer who is licensed and in good standing with the LSO can enter into a referral fee agreement. Additionally, both lawyers must agree to the terms of the agreement in writing. The agreement must also be disclosed to the client, and the client must give written consent for the referral fee to be paid.
What are the Important Terms to Include in an LSO Referral Fee Agreement?
An LSO referral fee agreement should include specific terms to ensure that it complies with the rules of the LSO. These terms include:
1. The amount of the referral fee: The referral fee should be a specific percentage of the fees charged to the referred client.
2. The scope of the agreement: The agreement should specify the type of work that will be referred and the duration of the agreement.
3. The duties of the referring lawyer: The referring lawyer must ensure that the referred lawyer is competent to handle the matter, that the client is informed of the referral fee, and that the client consents to the payment of the referral fee.
4. The duties of the referred lawyer: The referred lawyer must ensure that they are competent to handle the matter and that the client is informed of the referral fee.
5. The method of payment: The payment of the referral fee should be made directly to the referring lawyer, either by cheque or by wire transfer.
An LSO referral fee agreement can be a beneficial way for lawyers to earn additional income by referring clients to other lawyers or law firms. However, it is essential to ensure that the agreement complies with the rules of the LSO. By including the appropriate terms in the agreement, both lawyers can be confident that the agreement is legally valid and enforceable.