How We Calculate Our Fees

The reality is that legal fees are unplanned costs that come during a difficult time in your life. The choices you make now will have a huge impact on your life going forward, and the cost-benefit of doing it right is crucial. What I mean is that investing in legal assistance is an investment in your future. We see time and again where people try to do it themselves and oversee crucial things which later requires them to get a lawyer, and ultimately unnecessarily extending time and expense for the individual and courts. Find a way to afford legal help. Many clients often use family/friends, borrow from retirement, or use a line of credit. We offer many choices of services, so that you can get the help you need and can afford.

Our mission is to provide you with tailored family law solutions that get the best results for you and your family. We can never guarantee how much it is going to cost because every case and family is different. But what we can guarantee is that you will always know what is going on – you will be apart of every decision and will be in control as much as humanely possible.

First Step

Your first step is to book a consultation with one of our lawyers. Just call our Intake Team and they will have a conversation with you to learn about your circumstances. Their role is to match you with the right lawyer for your particular case. The cost of a consultation with the lawyer is $300.00 including HST. You will have about one hour with your lawyer where you can tell them your story and concerns and the lawyer can provide you with tailored advise and recommendations.

Some lawyers offer “complimentary consultations”, but you get what you pay for. Our consultations are not a “sales job”. We listen carefully to your story, answer questions, offer advice and suggest a roadmap to resolution going forward. You will feel relieved after your consultation because so much of the uncertainty will be resolved. There is no obligation to retain your lawyer after the consultation but usually, clients do enter into an agreement for further services. The choice is yours. We certainly will not push you into retaining us. We just want to help when you are ready.

Retainers

Retainers are deposits toward future legal fees. You give us a deposit of money which we put into our trust account. When we do work on your case, we render a bill that is paid from your trust account. You are then required to top up the retainer so that we always have money in trust for your case.

Standard retainer amounts to be provided and maintained are:

Trial Management Conference $10,000.00
Settlement Conference $5,000.00
Case Conference $5,000.00
Urgent matters $5,000.00
Separation agreement/ Negotiations $3,500.00  (75% of cases)
Limited scope matters $1,500.00

When your file is active, you will receive a weekly or monthly invoice from us, so you are always aware of the services received and your costs to that point. In some cases, if your fees are accumulating quickly, we will send you invoices more frequently. We do not want you to have any surprises about legal fees, so we do our best to keep you informed every step of the way.

Hourly Fees

Normally, law firms bill on an hourly basis. That means that we bill you in increments of 6 minutes based on the hourly rate for each person for all work conducted on your case.

The hourly rates are set based on the experience of the lawyer. They range from $385 per hour to $649 per hour plus HST. We charge for our law clerks that work on your case at the rates from $215 to $270 per hour plus HST. The hourly rates are changed annually.

Unbundled Legal Services

Some clients do not want to fully retain us to help them throughout their separation or divorce, but they need a helping hand. We offer coaching or document preparation for those who want to do most of the work on their own. You can discuss this option with your lawyer during a consultation. Of course, it is better to retain our law firm to help you with all aspects of your case, but if you cannot afford to do so, then hire us for coaching or documentation preparation. It is better to get some help than no help at all. If your case becomes too complicated, you can always retain us to fully represent you at any time. We will provide you with the level of services you need and can afford.

Getting Started

To learn about your options, rights and obligations, your first step is to book a consultation with one of our lawyers. Do not be shy during this meeting. We are happy to answer any questions you have, including questions about fees. Be prepared for your meeting. Read some of the many articles on this website so you are familiar with how family law works and bring with you a list of questions. We want to help relieve you of some of the uncertainty and give you a clear direction forward. The more prepared you are for your consultation, the better value for you.