What is a retainer?
There are two parts to a retainer.
The first part is known as a legal services agreement. It is in letter form and details the work I will do for you and what the costs will be. This is provided shortly after your first consultation appointment where we will also discuss an up-front deposit. It will also identify the key issues to be dealt with in your case. Effectively, it is a type of contract between you and your lawyer.
The second part of a retainer is the fee you pay to your lawyer to start working on your behalf. The money is held in trust until it is earned and billed to you. Once that happens the lawyer is permitted to use the retainer funds held in trust to pay your account. Once services end, if there are retainer funds left, then those funds are returned to you.
The amount of retainer will depend on what type of service you require. However, I am willing to discuss the retainer amount depending on the circumstances of your case and the work that will be required. Payment plans are a possibility in some cases.
How do you bill
Detailed bills are rendered listing the dates of service, the amount of time spent and a detailed description of the legal work performed, along with the details of disbursements incurred on your behalf. Bills are usually rendered at the end of every month. However, if your matter is more time intensive then bills can be rendered on both the 15th and the last day of every month. You may request account updates at any time.
Do I get copies?
Copies of important documents for your legal matter, including your Legal Services Agreement, bills, correspondence and Court documents will be forwarded to you upon request to keep you informed about developments in your case. Ordinarily these types of documents are contained in your file.
Will I receive progress reports?
I believe in working together and making sure that you are actively involved and kept up to date about the progress of your case. I work with you to resolve your case in a reasonable, timely and cost-effective manner. Reports will be provided which will keep you informed about the progress on your case. Informational letters will be sent to notify you and prepare you for upcoming steps in your case.
Do you do any legal aid work?
Sometimes, but only for family law and criminal law matters. If you have a certificate from Legal Aid Ontario, please give me a call or email me to set up an appointment. Even if you do have a certificate from LAO, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will take you on as a client for sure. But I might depending on my work load.
Do you take Visa or Mastercard?
Yes, I do.
Who do I communicate with?
I pride myself on being accessible to clients. When you call my office, if I am not available because I am in Court or elsewhere, then you will be able to leave a message with the receptionist and I will get back to your promptly.
Why should I choose you and not another lawyer?
This is a fair question and you should not feel bad for asking it. The answer is that I like to spend a lot of time on my client files. Some of the time I spend on client files I don’t even bill for. That’s because I pride myself on the quality of my work and the documents I create.
What sometimes happens with busy law practices is that they get so busy, the lawyer can only spend so much time on a client file before having to deal with other files. That doesn’t happen at my law practice. In fact, I will turn away a potential client if I don’t feel I can devote sufficient time to his or her file.
In addition to this I offer competitive rates, and I’m willing to meet with clients after hours if that’s more convenient. I also have access to an excellent law library where some of the best legal resources are located. Every edge helps.
Lastly, I believe in approaching your matter with compassion and common sense because my job is to protect your legal rights and help you move forward in your life. I understand the emotional concerns, the financial pressures, and the legal issues. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact me on (519) 804-9521 or send an email.