Who We Are

The Law Foundation of Ontario has a unique mandate to improve access to justice for the people of Ontario.

Mark J. Sandler, LFO Chair

Mark J. Sandler, LFO Chair

We provide funding that enables a wide range of organizations to:

  • Help people to understand the law and the justice system.
  • Help people to use the law to improve their lives.
  • Foster excellence in the work of lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals.

A priority for the LFO is improving access to justice for disadvantaged groups.

The LFO achieves its objectives through a variety of grants, fellowships, scholarships, and awards in addition to annual payments to Legal Aid Ontario.

The LFO also administers the Class Proceedings Fund to support the independent Class Proceedings Committee. That Fund provides financial assistance to parties involved in class action lawsuits in the public interest.

Features:

  • The LFO is a non-profit organization, created by statute in 1974.
  • A five-person volunteer board of trustees governs the LFO, supported by a staff team.
  • The Law Society appoints three trustees. The Attorney General of Ontario appoints the other two. Trustees are independent from the bodies that appoint them.
  • The LFO’s main source of revenue is interest from lawyers’ and paralegals’ mixed trust accounts.
    • By law, the LFO gives 75% of this revenue after operating expenses to Legal Aid Ontario.
    • The LFO uses the remaining 25% for innovative grants to improve access to justice.
    • The LFO also receives funds from the proceeds of class action lawsuits where the court has made a cy-près award in its favour. The LFO uses these funds to make grants across the country through the Access to Justice Fund.

The LFO is the only Ontario foundation with a primary focus on access to justice.