WHAT IS "VALUE BILLING" FOR LEGAL FEES
We understand that lawyers are useless if no one can afford them. We focus on Value Billing, not endless billable hours which encourage inefficiency. We offer block fixed fees whenever possible to give clients budget predictability, and to permit them to weigh whether using a lawyer is worth it as compared to the personal importance of a matter.
The goal of Value Billing is to achieve an optimal result for every client, at an affordable price that is consistent with the amount of real effort required to achieve that result. We welcome client enquiries about projected legal costs for any matter, and will discuss fees with you during or soon after your first without obligation contact with the firm.
WHAT ARE BLOCK LEGAL FEES
Block fees are usually possible for most solicitor non-court matters like real estate, wills & estates, corporate-commercial files, and even for some barrister court matters like criminal defence cases, administrative tribunal hearings, and appeals or judicial reviews. Only disbursements are payable on top of the block fee you will be quoted and guaranteed in writing.
Block fees will usually include any travel costs, making it possible to compare our firm to local counsel regardless of where your legal matter arises. You may find our fees highly competitive because of our not being hampered by big city downtown overheads, so that more of your dollars go directly towards providing you with the legal services you need.
WHEN ARE HOURLY LEGAL FEES BETTER VALUE
Hourly fees may represent the best value for clients when the amount of work is unknown at the start of a case, like for business or family disputes which might be resolvable without litigation. Just as with block fees, our hourly fees can be much more competitive than urban downtown lawyers because of our lower overhead whose savings we can pass onto clients.
When shopping for legal counsel you should focus on the overall value and related "extra" costs of legal services you're considering, rather than solely on whether one lawyer is $25 an hour (or even $100 an hour) cheaper than another lawyer. If that cheaper lawyer bills 50% more time for the same end work product, then there hasn't been any client value achieved in going with the lower hourly rate.
HOW WE MINIMIZE DISBURSEMENT COSTS
We minimize or eliminate travel costs by adopting leading legal information communication technology and staying in constant contact with clients. We make the travel that does happen as efficient as possible due to our familiarity with the legal landscape throughout Ontario and Canada since we've worked in every province and territory except for the Yukon.
We minimize out of pocket disbursement expenses for clients to the greatest degree possible, and only charge back to clients what disbursements are directly costing the firm without any markup. The most common disbursements are likely property title searches, government registration fees, process servers, court filing fees, couriers, court transcripts, and expert witnesses.
HOW WE AVOID SURPRISES IN YOUR LEGAL ACCOUNT
We use written retainer agreements or engagement letters to avoid any later misunderstandings between lawyer and client concerning the work to be undertaken for the quoted fees. We regularly keep in touch with clients about the status of legal fee accounts so that no one receives an unanticipated significant statement of account. We pride ourselves on fee transparency.