How Much Will it Cost?
We appreciate our clients’ desire to keep legal fees to a minimum. Our goal is to assist our clients in finding a cost-effective resolution to their legal issues that will have the least amount of financial impact on their family as possible.
The amount of the legal fees incurred will be tied to how well the parties are able to cooperate in reaching a resolution of their disputed issues and how complicated the issues in dispute are. The more time it takes to resolve an issue, the higher the cost. Our lawyers encourage our clients to consider alternatives to an expensive litigation process and strive to find amicable solutions to the issues in dispute. We actively engage our clients in a “cost/benefit” analysis not only to ensure that their money is spent wisely but also to achieve less stressful and less time consuming resolution.
Clients are billed for the time that it takes to complete work on their file. This includes, but is not limited to, time spent in client meetings, telephone communication with the client or the other lawyer, the drafting and review of documents, the review and response to letters, emails and voice mails, the preparation for and conduct of questioning and other litigation processes, preparation time, research, appearances in Court and attendance at settlement meetings, mediations and arbitrations. We issue our accounts once per month and provide our clients with very detailed descriptions of the work completed on their files. We are always available to discuss any questions that may arise with respect to our accounts.
Our lawyers will each have different hourly rates based on their experience and range of expertise. When possible, our more senior lawyers will have a junior lawyer complete certain work on a client’s file to reduce the client’s fees.
Method of Payment
Our firm accepts payments by credit card (Mastercard and Visa), Debit Card, Certified Cheque or Bank Draft, Cash and email transfer. Please arrange with your lawyer the method of payment best suited to your needs. Please note our firm will not accept third party cheques as payment for retainers, outstanding fees, or disbursements.
Retainer and Retainer Agreement
When you hire a lawyer at our firm you will be asked to carefully review and sign a Retainer Agreement which will confirm our relationship with you and outline the extent of the legal services you have asked us to provide to you as well as the terms of payment for such services.
When you sign your Retainer Agreement we will also request that you provide our office with a Retainer Payment in the sum indicated in the Retainer Agreement as you will have discussed with the lawyer who has conduct of your file. The Retainer Payment is held in our firm’s trust account and will used to pay for your outstanding account for services that have been rendered on your behalf. If we have completed our work on your file and there are funds remaining in trust on your account, those funds will be returned to you. If there is work still remaining on your file, you will be asked to “top up” the amount in your trust account before any additional work is completed.
Unbundled Services/Limited Retainer
There are circumstances where a client may only want limited assistance on certain matters concerning their dispute. In these cases, our firm is able to provide unbundled legal services which may include but are not limited to:
- providing Independent Legal Advice on Agreements or Consent Orders;
- providing a second opinion with regard to your legal matter;
- providing legal advice and information on a specific issue;
- research and preparation of opinion on specific issue;
- the drafting or review of court or other documents related to the dispute;
- appearances at Court or at Arbitration;
- attendance at settlement meetings or at mediation; and
- coaching and consultation with regard to specific or general issues regarding their divorce or separation;
In these cases, we will ask our client to carefully review and sign a Limited Retainer Agreement which will outline the specific service our firm will provide and which will further confirm that our firm is otherwise retained to assist you with any other matters.
It is important to note that if we are retained on a limited basis to appear on a client’s behalf in a court proceeding or at an arbitration proceeding, we are obligated to inform the court or the arbitrator of the limited nature of our representation.