LEARN HOW WE’RE DIFFERENT
There are 2 main ways to work with us:
Consultation services are usually less time-intensive than full representation. A consultation sometimes leads to full representation but not always. In fact, many consults are performed over the telephone where either we are unable to assist the client or the client does not wish to discuss their situation in any more detail.
A consultation service can graduate to a face-to-face meeting between client and lawyer where both parties see value in meeting and a much more detailed account of client’s situation is required.
Consultation services are frequently sought by individuals who believe that police will be contacting them shortly or they have received a phone call from a police officer asking them to attend the police station. Oftentimes it is unclear whether the client is a suspect or a witness. Consultation services are offered to both kinds of client.
Further, consultation services are sought from witnesses and individuals who have a loved one who has been charged. Either the client has been the victim of some type of offence (or has lead police to believe they have been a victim) or the client is potentially wanting to be a surety for an accused person. In either case, the client is often completely unaware of their role and how best to proceed.
Consultation services are more cost-effective for the client because work is almost always client-initiated. That means the client is not charged for work happening behind the scenes because the scope of the service is limited to educating the client on their legal circumstances.
Full representation differs from consultation because the lawyer-client relationship is expected to last longer than one or two meetings. Full representation also includes work that the firm must perform on the client’s behalf that is usually implied. Full representation is most often sought by clients who have been officially charged with criminal offences. A person who has been charged will require frequent, ongoing service throughout the life of the charge.
Full representation requires the client to provide a retainer (pre-payment of money held in trust) to ensure the firm can continue to work on the client’s file. Periodically, an invoice will be produced to the client for the work the firm has performed. Payment is taken from money in trust. Once money has been depleted, the client is asked to provide further funding (if required).
Full representation sees the firm’s role change from purely advisory services (consultation) to also include advocacy services (championing the client’s cause with the prosecutor and the court).
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We offer payment plans to permit you to spread out the costs of your defence!
How we structure our fees
Unlike some law firms, by law we cannot operate on a pay-only-if-you-win basis (contingency fees). That means we need to be paid regardless of the actual outcome of the case.
We bill you for all services at our hourly rate that is locked in at the time of contract signing. We keep track of our time to the nearest 0.1 of an hour or six (6) minutes (one hour = 60 mins divided by 10).
As is standard practice within the industry, we require pre-payment of money called a “retainer”. This money is held in our trust account until we perform work for you and then provide an invoice for those services. We take payment for the invoice from the retainer money.
Sometimes there are no services anticipated beyond an initial meeting. In these cases, it is impossible to offer lengthy, complimentary meetings. It is expected the client would pay for these consultations at the time of the consultation.
After initial retainer is expended
Unfortunately, most cases require payments beyond the initial retainer. Certainly, if a trial is to be conducted, anticipated fees can be significant and many clients require flexibility to complete the retainer.
This flexibility usually requires some negotiation as to timing of payments. In most cases, it is possible to spread the payments out over many months but BEFORE the trial is held.
There are often instances where clients carry a small balance after services are performed. This is expected and common. Unfortunately, we require a significant portion of total expected fees to be contributed in advance of work performed.
We accept the following forms of payment: cash, personal cheque (in many situations), certified cheque, bank draft, e-transfer, credit card, and debit transactions
Please speak to an associate to inquire about other forms of payment (such as Apple pay or bitcoin)
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