How do I start the process?
If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers, the first step is to book an initial legal consultation by submitting our online form, calling our office at (905) 366-0202 or scheduling a consultation here.
What is the initial legal consultation?
It is a private and confidential meeting between you and one of our lawyers or articling students over the phone. The meeting is mandatory for anyone looking to retain our firm. During this meeting, you can expect to get legal advice, information and answers to your specific situation. Our goal is to provide all the information you need to help make an informed decision regarding next steps.
Is there a fee for the legal consultation?
Here at Tailor Law, we offer at 20-minute FREE phone consultation, where you can speak to a lawyer or articling student about your matter. We also provide a 30-minute in-person consultation free of charge.
Do you accept legal aid certificates?
Legal Aid Ontario provides legal services for financially-eligible, low-income Ontarians in the following areas: domestic violence, family law, immigration and refugee law and criminal law. At Tailor Law, we accept Legal Aid certificates for Family Law matter and matters in-front of the Consent and Capacity Board.
How do I retain your firm?
Once you’ve completed the initial legal consultation, and you are ready to proceed with your matter, you will need to sign a retainer agreement with our firm and provide an initial deposit. The finds are held in our Trust account; the applied towards future invoices related to your matter. The amount and frequency of future deposits depend on the complexity and length of your matter.
Difference between Trust Account and Operating Account?
A Trust Account is a bank account where your lawyer will hold your money, and you can ask for it back at any time. As your lawyer incurs expenses and provides you services to you, they will send you a bill from time to time. If you already have money in your trust account, then that money will be used to pay your legal bill. The money in your trust account is transferred directly to the lawyer’s Operating Account, and you are not required to do anything during that transaction. When you first hire your lawyer, you will be asked to pay something called a “Retainer Fee,” and that money will go straight into the trust account.
How does the invoicing work?
Our staff logs their time into our time-tracking software. All billable activities and disbursements are itemized In detail on each invoice, which is sent to the client once per month. The client’s retainer is then used to pay the invoice.
What are Disbursements?
Disbursements are expenses that the lawyer incurs on behalf of the client during the case. Common disbursement includes court filing fees, process server/courier fees, long distance calls, postage expenses, fees charged by third parties for letters or reports, photocopying/printing, and binding materials. If the lawyer is required to travel to do a client’s work, they may also bill the client for travel expenses, including mileage and parking. Your lawyer must pay for these expenses out of their pocket, and then your lawyer will require you to reimburse them for those expenses.
What is the hourly rate?
An hourly rate is where the lawyer charges the client a set hourly rate for tie spent working on the file. At Tailor Law, our lawyer’s bill at an hourly rate of $350.00 per hour. This model allows a fair and transparent method between the lawyer and the client. The lawyer is only compensated for the actual work done for the client. Each hour is broken down into tenths and is billed in six-minute increments as follows:
|Billable Time||Actual Time|
|0.1||0 – 6 minutes|
|0.2||7 – 12 minutes|
|0.3||13 – 18 minutes|
|0.4||19 – 24 minutes|
|0.5||25 – 30 minutes|
|0.6||31 – 36 minutes|
|0.8||43 – 48 minutes|
|0.9||49 – 54 minutes|
|1.0||55 – 60 minutes|
Tailor Law only bills for all time spent on a client’s matter, including drafting documents, doing research, corresponding with the client and third parties, attending meetings and court appearances, etc. At Tailor Law, we find that the billable hour is the fairest way to bill for our services. Litigation is complex, unpredictable and often driven by the contract of the parties.
What is a Contingency Fee?
The final method for legal fees is a contingency fee agreement. In this model, the lawyer will collect a fixed percentage of the overall winnings or settlement of the matter. In such agreements, the lawyer is paid an agreed upon percentage of the amount received at the end of the matter or the billable hourly rate of the lawyer, whichever is greater. Many people prefer to pay their lawyers in this way because it is a more affordable option. However, the type of case that you have will often determine whether or not a particular lawyer will accept a Contingency Fee. As a general rule, contingency fees are only appropriate in only certain types of cases, and the vast majority, especially family law, will not be charged in this way.
Similar to other business Tailor Law is required to both collect HST for their services and to pay HST for expenses, for this reason, HST is charged on all fees.
What methods of payments for you accept?
We accept all forms of payment, including Interac e-Transfers, bank/wire transfers, cash, cheques, and credit (Visa, Mastercard, Discover). Payments can be made in person or by phone, but the easiest and fastest way to make a payment is by using the payment links above to process your credit card.
What are costs?
Costs are money which the losing party must pay to the winning party as compensation for the expense of bringing the lawsuit. This will include an amount for legal fees and an amount for disbursements. The amount awarded for costs is over and above the amount awarded for damage. At Tailor Law, the Costs are placed in our Trust account and are used to the outstanding account of the client. The remainder of the costs is then returned to the client at the end of the matter.
Tips for Minimizing your Legal Bill
Organization and Efficiency – each time a lawyer or law clerk touches your file, whether it is to read an email, answer a phone call or to review documents, the billable clock starts. The more efficient you are in providing information and communicating with Tailor Law, the less time we will bill. Likewise, we strive to be organized and efficient by streamlining our processes.
Reasonableness – your lawyer has an obligation, to be honest with you about your matter and to provide you with the best legal advice based on their knowledge of the law and your circumstance. What you do with that legal advice is up to you. However, clients who choose not to follow their lawyer’s advice, take unreasonable positions or take positions that are not supported by the law and their circumstances typically end up paying higher legal fees due to the additional time spent trying to achieve their desired outcome.