Let’s talk about Legal Fees

Someone recently told me that they really like how open our firm is when it comes to setting out legal fees associated for certain matters.  That really is not something you expect to hear, you know, because clients buy lawyers their cottages, boats and Mercedes. 

This could not be far from the truth.  It amazes me that people think that what the lawyer charges gets put right into their pocket.  What about all the overhead charges, like rent, leases of copier equipment, phones, amazing staff and computers?  People are quick to make those lawyers jokes without actually looking at the big picture.

But let’s get back to the legal fees.  We provide a wide variety of services that are offered on a flat fee basis.  For example, small claims court matters are billed based on a percentage of the claim.  On the business side of things, basic incorporations, various business agreements and estate planning are all offered on a flat fee basis.  This is all set out up front and easy to see on our invoices to the clients.

What about that those matters that are not on a flat fee basis but on an hourly rate, for example, superior court litigation?  Our lawyers will, during the litigation, advise clients to put forth an offer to settle that will assist in getting a favourable cost award at Trial.  For instance, if you serve the other side with an offer to settle for an amount that is less than what was awarded to you at Trial, you are entitled to substantial indemnity costs from the date the offer was made onwards.  For this reason, getting that offer out early is key, and the lawyers will tell you when that time is. 

In addition to this, the lawyers will utilize the others in the firm that have a lower hourly rate to assist to keep those costs low, but still providing the same level of service. 

So, before you think that you are supporting a lawyer’s extravagant life, just remember that our firm does what we can to help keep legal fees at a minimum, and they do their best to assist in getting legal fees awarded back to you.    

Christine Allan, Sr. Law Clerk