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Transaction Levy Filings – Civil Litigation

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Our civil litigation transaction levy chart lists scenarios in which the levy does and does not apply.

When do I pay a civil litigation transaction levy on a new file?

A levy is owing by counsel for the party seeking relief when judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings are commenced.

Counsel for a defending or third party must pay a separate levy when first responding to civil litigation proceedings that have commenced.

Providing legal advice, preparing demand letters, negotiating resolutions before proceedings are commenced, or preparing “unbundled” forms or materials that will be filed by an unrepresented client do not trigger a levy.

Do I have to pay more than one levy when commencing or responding to related proceedings or counterclaims?

Only one levy is owing if related proceedings are commenced or responded to at the same time. If related proceedings are commenced or responded to at different times, such as the filing of a new counterclaim, additional levies are owing on each new proceeding.

Do I have to pay a new levy when filing an appeal or seeking leave to appeal?

A new levy is not required if counsel arguing the appeal already paid a transaction levy on the same matter in the court below. A new levy is owing if new counsel argue an appeal when that counsel did not also handle the matter in the court below.

A levy owing on an appeal matter should be paid when the appeal is heard, not when a notice of appeal or application for leave to appeal is filed.

Do I need to pay a levy if I am appearing before administrative tribunals or boards

Generally, a civil litigation transaction levy should be paid when the tribunal’s process provides an independent decision maker and allows for submissions by opposing parties.

Do I need to pay a levy when commencing arbitration proceedings, private mediations, Small Claims Court proceedings, or Residential Landlord and Tenant matters?

No transaction levies are owing when arbitration proceedings, private mediations, Small Claims Court proceedings, or Residential Landlord and Tenant matters are commenced. However, a levy may be owing when and if those matters are appealed to a higher court or if judicial review is sought.

Do I need to pay a levy when seeking relief that is not disputed by another party, such as in an estate, probate, or bankruptcy matter?

Generally, a levy is owing on matters such as estate, probate, or bankruptcy only when they are contested by another party.

Do I need to pay a levy when proceedings are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, or the Office of the Official Public Guardian and Trustee?Do I need to pay a levy when proceedings are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, or the Office of the Official Public Guardian and Trustee?

No levy is owing when proceedings are funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, or the Office of the Official Public Guardian and Trustee.

Do I need to pay a levy when commencing refugee proceedings?

No Levy is owing on refugee proceedings. However, a levy is owing on other immigration matters if and when a hearing or appeal takes place.

How is the civil litigation transaction levy calculated?

The civil litigation transaction levy surcharge is $100 per transaction inclusive of PST (it is not subject to HST or GST). For these transactions, the civil litigation transaction levy surcharge is calculated as follows:

Surcharge 92.59
PST $7.41
Total $100.00

Can the civil litigation transaction levy be billed to clients?

If you are required to pay a transaction levy you may charge the transaction levy surcharge to your client as a disbursement.

Are family law cases considered civil litigation for the purpose of transaction levies?

No. LAWPRO analysis of claims trends has shown that, from a professional indemnity perspective, family law litigation is significantly less risky than other kinds of litigation. In response to this observation, lawyers who initiate family law proceedings are not required to pay civil litigation transaction levies.

About the 2018 transaction levy changes

If I opened a civil litigation transaction file in 2017 and no proceeding was commenced until 2018, what transaction levy amount would apply?

The 2017 program POLICY (LAWPRO policy no. 2017-001) would apply, since the file was opened in that year. In accordance with Endorsement No. 3 of that POLICY, a transaction levy amount of $50 would apply.

If I opened a civil litigation transaction file in 2018 and no proceeding has yet been commenced, is a transaction levy payable in respect of the file?

No. Although the 2018 program POLICY would apply (since the transaction levy file was opened in 2018), no “civil litigation transaction” has yet occurred, so no civil litigation transaction levy is yet payable in respect of the file.

In 2018, I opened a civil litigation transaction file and commenced proceedings pertaining entirely to family law issues, is a transaction levy payable in respect of the file?

No. Although the 2018 program POLICY would apply (since the transaction levy file was opened in 2018) and a “civil litigation transaction” has occurred, no civil litigation transaction levy would be payable since the transaction relates to proceedings that entirely pertain to family law issues so Exclusion C(iv) would apply.


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