Law Society Tribunal moves to new home
In a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 28th, the Law Society Tribunal formally opened its new facilities on the fourth floor of 375 University Avenue.
David A. Wright, independent Chair of the Law Society Tribunal, was accompanied by Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur and Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Janet E. Minor in welcoming lawyers, paralegals, and members of the public to view the Tribunal’s new facilities.
“I am delighted to celebrate the opening of the new home for the Law Society Tribunal,” said Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur. “I commend the Law Society for its dedication to the people of Ontario and their commitment to providing dispute resolution that is efficient, independent and impartial. Thanks to the Law Society’s leadership, our legal community is strong and vibrant — and growing more so every day.”
The Law Society Tribunal’s relocation is the latest in a series of changes stemming from the recommendations to Convocation in 2012 of the Law Society of Upper Canada Tribunals Committee Hearings Process Report. These recommendations, in turn, became the basis of the reforms instituted through implementation of the Modernizing Regulation of the Legal Profession Act, 2013.
The new Law Society Tribunal premises offer several enhancements over the space the Tribunal formerly occupied in Osgoode Hall. There are now three full-size dedicated hearing rooms (instead of one), conference rooms for representatives and duty counsel to meet with licensees, witnesses or clients, and a boardroom that contains closed circuit technology to accommodate members of the public and media if there is not enough seating in the hearing room. The hearing rooms are equipped with integrated technology to permit video and web conferencing. The premises are fully accessible and include hearing-assisted listening devices.
“We have had many positive reviews of our new premises,” said David A. Wright, “from defence counsel, lawyers and paralegals alike. Establishing ourselves in separate premises designed specifically for the Tribunal’s needs enhances our independent role as adjudicators and builds credibility and trust among members of the professions and the public.”
Law Society Treasurer Janet Minor was similarly supportive of the new premises. “A new home for the Law Society Tribunal reinforces the continuing reforms recommended by the Law Society and supported by the government, and enhances the Tribunal’s ability to protect the public of Ontario. The Law Society Tribunal Model, and this particular physical move, provide tangible evidence of the continuing improvements to independence, professionalism, quality and transparency. The professions and the public are all better served. I commend all of those who have had a part in these initiatives.”