Reporting Mixed Trust Accounts
Effective January 1, 2016, to simplify reporting, Form 1: Annual Report to the Law Foundation of Ontario; Form 2: Report on Opening a Mixed Trust Account; and Form 3: Report on Closing a Mixed Trust Account are discontinued. Instead, lawyers and paralegals report their mixed trust accounts on the Lawyer Annual Report and Paralegal Annual Report. The Law Society of Ontario will share this information with The Law Foundation of Ontario.
Under section 57 of the Law Society Act, The Law Foundation of Ontario receives the interest on lawyers’ and paralegals’ mixed trust accounts. The collection of this information enables The Law Foundation of Ontario to be confident that it receives the interest generated on all lawyers’ and paralegals’ mixed trust accounts. This revenue goes to The Law Foundation of Ontario to make grants that advance access to justice and to Legal Aid Ontario.
When opening a mixed trust account, lawyers and paralegals must direct their financial institution to pay the interest to The Law Foundation of Ontario. This could be in the form of the Sample Letter of Direction. A copy of the direction should be kept by the lawyers and paralegals and also should be sent to The Law Foundation of Ontario to assist in ensuring that the interest is remitted.
Lawyers and paralegals must report annually on each mixed trust account held at any time during the licensee’s reporting year in their Lawyer Annual Report or the Paralegal Annual Report filing through the Law Society of Ontario Portal.
As well, the date that the mixed trust account was opened or closed (if applicable) in the reporting year must be reported.
The Law Foundation of Ontario has agreements with most approved financial institutions about the rates of interest to be paid and the procedure to be followed when remitting interest on mixed trust accounts. The Foundation will negotiate such interest agreements with any approved financial institution as the need arises.