How much will this cost?
This is an important question, and one we will answer as best we can early on.
For a summary of how our legal feels work, download our guide available in English and French.
At your initial meeting, your lawyer will talk to you about the anticipated costs involved in resolving your issue. It can sometimes be difficult to predict, but your lawyer should be able to give you a fairly good idea of what to expect. If circumstances change at any time, then our staff will make sure you are aware of the situation, and will explain the cost implications going forward.
As every legal problem is unique, the costs can vary. To get you started, below are our frequently asked questions regarding fees. Once work begins on your file, there are two elements that make up your expenses: legal services and disbursements.
Our policy is to charge an hourly rate for the time we spend providing you with the legal services you require. This work is mostly conducted by your lawyer, but other legal professionals - such as law clerks and articling students - may also work on your file. Each professional has an hourly billing rate, dependent on their experience and expertise. Your lawyer’s assistant will tell you ahead of time what the hourly rates are for all the lawyers and law clerks likely to be working on your file. We record all work we do on your file, and this information is available to you at any time.
As your file progresses, we will incur disbursements (out-of-pocket expenses) on your behalf. These can include registration or filing fees, fees for experts’ reports, photocopying charges, special postage or courier fees, parking, and transportation costs. Other types of disbursements include travel and accommodation fees, should your lawyer be required to travel for your case.
These disbursements form part of your total fee. In most cases, your first contact with our firm will be over the phone with a member of our intake team. They can answer most of your questions about being a client with our firm, our fees, and the practical details you need to know. Note, however, that they are not able to provide legal advice. There is no charge for this initial contact with our intake team and legal assistants.
After discussing your issue, they will schedule an in-person meeting or a phone conversation with the lawyer best suited to your needs. At the end of this meeting, if you decide you want to proceed then we will ask you to pay a retainer (see below). If not, then you will only pay for the lawyer’s time spent at this meeting.
Your lawyer will be able to explain if this is an option for you. For some cases, we work on what’s called a contingency fee arrangement.
This is similar to “no win, no fee”, and is often used in civil litigation cases where the fees are contingent on the result. Simply put, if nothing is recovered, you will not have to pay any legal fees. If you are successful, our fees will be paid as a percentage of the amount recovered.
Your lawyer will be able to explain if this is an option for you.
Some smaller firms may offer lower fees, but they may not offer the same support team, or breadth of expertise. Having access to a large team means that we have the right person for each step of your case. This also ensures that you are always paying the right rate for the work done.
Having access to broad expertise allows us to assess your case from all angles from the beginning, and also means we can deal with potential changes efficiently and effectively as your case evolves.
One of the best ways to manage costs is for you to ensure your lawyer has everything they need. As part of our intake process, we will make sure you know what information to pull together, and what questions we will need you to answer. You will always be included in the process.
Once you become our client, then we usually send out statements monthly, so you are always informed of the extent of your legal fees and expenses. If you decide you want to proceed with our firm, you will be asked to pay a retainer.
Retainers are very common. They are a form of deposit that is placed into our trust account in your name and used as a credit that, in most cases, is applied to your final account.
The amount of the retainer depends on the specifics of your situation. The more complicated the case, particularly if it is likely to head to the courtroom, the larger the retainer will be.
Your lawyer will explain this to you in more detail during your initial meeting. We have an intake team that is equipped to answer your questions about our firm, our practice areas and any other questions you may have about our fees.
We will not provide you with legal advice during this first contact with you, but will ask you some questions to better assess what member of our legal team best suits the needs of your individual case.
In some cases, your initial consultation with the lawyer is free. Please contact us to find out if this is an option for you. Yes, in some cases.
For routine work that we are able to estimate accurately how much time will be involved, we will quote you a block fee in advance.
For example: residential real estate transactions, routine wills, incorporations, uncontested divorces and other similar matters.
If you have any questions about the information above, you can contact a member of our intake team. There is no charge for this initial contact with our intake team and legal assistants.
Give us a call at 613-238-8080
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org