Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, Regulatory Services, Professional Regulation

June 23 2022
Industries Legal
Categories Administrative, Public, Regulatory, Govt., IP, Patents, Trademarks, Legal, Paralegal
Toronto, ON

JOB PURPOSE:

Under the direction of the Director, Regulatory Services, the Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services supervises a team of Trustee Services staff, and together with the Manager, Trustee Services, assists in the management of the day-to-day operations of the Trustee Services department. The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, provides substantive legal expertise, support as legal counsel, and mentoring for department staff in the provision of expert guidance and support and/or active intervention to ensure the orderly wind-up of professional businesses. Trustee Services involvement arises when a licensee dies, disappears, becomes incapacitated, abandons their professional business, or has had their license suspended or revoked, and inadequate provisions have been made to protect client property and the public interest. Trustee Services may also become involved where a licensee is under investigation for conduct that creates a risk to client property or the public interest. In addition, Trustee Services provides support and assistance to licensees in the area of succession and contingency planning.

The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, oversees the Trusteeship function in Trustee Services, involving matters where the Law Society has been appointed by the court as trustee of the professional businesses of licensees, as well as matters where the Law Society has obtained a freeze order over bank accounts associated with the professional businesses of licensees.

The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, may also be responsible for taking a leadership role in special projects, working groups and committees related to the work in the Trustee Services department and the Professional Regulation Division.

The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, may be called upon to assume the duties of Manager, Trustee Services, in the Manager’s absence.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

  • An LL. B or J.D. plus a Class L1 license with the Law Society of Ontario and the entitlement to practice law in Ontario*.
  • The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services is expected to work independently in court conducting a variety of proceedings. This requires a minimum of 10 years of legal experience as an advocate, preferably working within a professional regulatory body, or alternatively, in a legal environment with an extensive civil litigation practice.
  • Working knowledge of a broad spectrum of practice areas is required.
  • Experience gained as a sole practitioner or in a small firm environment, and experience in Estates Court, would be assets.
  • Superior analytical skills to reason through and develop complex spoken and written information.

  • Concise, well organized, superior writing skills in the preparation of a full range of Trustee Services and court documents, memoranda and evidentiary materials.

  • Superior advocacy skills, including knowledge of court practice and procedure, rules of evidence, preparation of court materials, and presentation of oral argument.

  • Expressive and persuasive in both spoken and written language in facilitating assessment, administration and disposition of trusteeships.

  • Working knowledge of several areas of practice, including Wills & Estates, real estate law, family law, corporate law and criminal law.

  • Accounting skills, including understanding of law office accounting requirements and related software, and the ability to analyze books and records and allocate funds.

  • In-depth understanding of the Law Society’s mandate, services, legislation and policies, or willingness to learn.

  • Knowledge of current trends and developments in the legal profession, including practice management, accounting and bookkeeping.

  • Knowledge of a variety of dispute resolution techniques and their appropriate application.

  • A valid driver’s license and the ability to drive a small van are required in order to carry out some of the duties of this position.

  • Computer literacy, including word processing software, advanced spreadsheet functions, accounting system software and case management software.

  • Broad understanding of the application to technology preferably in a regulatory / legal environment.

  • A solid understanding of law office accounting requirements and practices and related software is required.

*By submitting your application for employment, you agree to a clearance check of your regulatory history with the Law Society, and to the use of this information in assessing suitability for employment at the Law Society.

Client/Customer Service Planning

  • In consultation with the Director, Regulatory Services, and the Manager, Trustee Services, has direct involvement in the development of policies, procedures and operating goals related to Trustee Services and Professional Regulation.
  • This includes policies, procedures and operating goals that have significant external impact, such as strategic frameworks for the use of precedents and language in Court materials, risk criteria applied to determine the initiation of formal Court action, and the timing, nature and extent of intervention into licensees’ professional businesses, guidelines for the execution of Court orders in places of business and private residences, and rules directing the storage, destruction or distribution of property belonging to clients of licensees.
  • Operationalizes procedural and quality standards, in accordance with Law Society objectives and Convocation requirements.

Client/Customer Service Delivery

  • The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, represents the Law Society, leads a professional team of staff, and is accountable for decisions regarding the orderly wind up of professional businesses. This includes:

Counsel Services & Representation of the Law Society

  • With respect to complaints or evidence referred to Trustee Services from within the Law Society or outside stakeholders (clients, financial institutions, landlords, storage facilities, etc.) of potential risk to client property, the Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services will, inter alia: Develop case strategy, assess evidence and risk to the clients, the public and the Law Society.
  • Prepare materials for and obtain trusteeship orders, freeze orders, relief on motions for directions, variation of orders, interim reports on the administration of trusteeships, passing of accounts and discharges of trusteeships, or other orders in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, pursuant to relevant sections of the Law Society Act, and the Trustee Act.
  • The relief obtained in these matters is of an extraordinary and often injunctive nature, may be obtained on an ex parte basis, can have a serious impact on the licensee’s interests and livelihood, and on the interests and property of clients, and creates liability on the Law Society as trustee.
  • Intervene in other formal proceedings where the interests of clients or the Law Society is at risk.
  • Negotiate and obtain custodianship agreements and undertakings with licensees or their representatives.

Practice Recovery & Response

  • Pursuant to the terms of a court order or agreement, will supervise the recovery of professional businesses and client property, including attending at offices, residences and other locations, and coordinating with police, landlords, locksmiths, etc. where required.
  • Supervise the handling, security and inventory of client property.
  • Conduct file review and risk assessment to determine urgency and action required on client matters.
  • Determine the proper disposition of client files and documents, including notifications to clients, delivery of materials to clients or successor counsel, enlisting the assistance of local licensees, reporting of potential negligence claims to LawPRO, referral of clients to the Law Society’s Compensation Fund, etc.
  • Intervene/communicate with the Courts and other agencies and administrative bodies or opposing counsel where necessary to protect the interests of clients.
  • Respond to inquiries from the public and the profession related to trusteeships and custodianships, and in particular, the location of client files, records and trust assets.

Administration of Trust Monies

  • With respect to analysis and disposition of client trust monies, will supervise the recovery of trust monies from financial institutions and others.
  • Engage in analyses of books, records and other accounting data to assist in the reconciliation of trust accounts, determination of trust entitlement, and the proper disposition of trust funds.
  • Provide accounting of trust funds to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and make recommendations concerning the appropriate distribution of funds.
  • Provide information to clients who are victims of licensee dishonesty about possible claims to the Compensation Fund.

Divisional Activities

  • Participates in committees and conferences to coordinate case strategies with other departments.
  • Provides evidence before Hearing Panels of possible misconduct.
  • The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, also has carriage of a personal caseload. This includes the representation of the Law Society in proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice related to freeze orders and trusteeships pursuant to ss. 49.44 to 49.52 of the Law Society Act and relevant sections of the Trustee Act, as well as the negotiation of custodianship arrangements with licensees or their representatives.
  • The Senior Counsel & Team Manager, Trustee Services, is responsible for supervising the administration of their assigned trusteeships and custodianships, including on-site practice recoveries, the review and triage of client files, identifying active and urgent matters, the analysis of books, records and accounting data to determine entitlement to trust funds, and the proper distribution of funds recovered from professional businesses.

People Leadership

  • In conjunction with the Director, Regulatory Services, and the Manager, Trustee Services, contributes to decisions regarding hiring, training, development and performance evaluations with respect to professional and support staff, in accordance with the policies of the organization and best human resources practices.
  • Supervises direct reports and, as delegated by the Director, Regulatory Services or Manager, Trustee Services, in their absence, other Trustee Services staff.
  • Contributes to career development of Associate Counsel, Regulatory Services, and Counsel, Officers, Law Clerks and Students in Trustee Services by coaching, training and mentoring in areas such as preparation of Court materials, Court attendances, execution of Court orders, allocation and distribution of trust funds, practice recoveries and the storage, destruction and distribution of client property.
  • Under the direction of the Director, Regulatory Services, and in conjunction with the Manager, Trustee Services, assists in the day-to-day operations of the department in accordance with best business practices, including monitoring of workflow, case load and resource requirements, and resolving issues regarding same.
  • Fosters a positive working environment by clarifying goals, building the commitment of individuals, strengthening the team’s collective skills and encouraging creativity and problem solving.

Performance Goals, Targets and Standards

  • Works with the Director, Regulatory Services, the Manager, Trustee Services, and other team members to develop, implement, and continuously improve processes, team and individual performance targets within the strategic and operational goals of the Regulatory Services, and contributes to Trustee Services’ case management strategic planning to establish goals and objectives.
  • Acts as expert resource, educator and advocate in promoting Trustee Services with lawyer and paralegal licensees, and with directors, managers and staff, and with staff throughout the Law Society (e.g. Intake and Resolution, Investigations Services, Litigation Services, By-law Administration, etc.).
  • Communicates program goals to licensees and members of the public, promoting confidence and good will toward the Law Society in its mandate to protect the public interest.

Financial Responsibility

  • Collaborates with Trustee Services staff regarding the appropriate disposition of client property including trust monies, and when required prepares materials and argues motions in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for directions regarding the disbursement of funds.

  • Acts as signatory for Trustee Services mixed trust accounts, makes decisions concerning the investment of funds recovered from professional businesses, and, in conjunction with the Director, Regulatory Services, and Manager, Trustee Services, is responsible for maintenance of Trustee Services mixed trust accounts and investment accounts, and financial records in accordance with Law Society By-law 9 and internal audit controls.

  • Together with the Director, Regulatory Services, and Manager, Trustee Services, is responsible for the maintenance of the Trustee Services budget, including the management and approval staff expenditures.

  • Makes large cost financial expenditure decisions with minimal oversight, including substantial cost expenditures related to practice recovery operations throughout Ontario, and the storage and destruction of client property.

Policy Development

  • In conjunction with the Director, Regulatory Services, Manager, Trustee Services and other Professional Regulation staff, identifies issues requiring policy change or development.
  • Undertakes policy research in identified areas of priority, and contributes to work process improvement initiatives.

Team Membership

  • Works closely with the Director, Regulatory Services, Manager, Trustee Services, staff in the Professional Regulation division, and representatives of other Law Society departments to ensure prompt and seamless service delivery.
  • Provides analysis and support to the Director, Regulatory Services, Executive Director, Professional Regulation, and others within and outside Trustee Services.

The Law Society has introduced a Distributed Workforce Model to leverage flexibility and agility, and to maximize employee productivity and engagement. Work arrangements will be determined by role and departmental requirements. The working arrangement for this position has been classified as hybrid, where the employee will regularly flex their work location between home and office. The specific application of this will be communicated to applicants contacted during the recruitment process.

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