Standard Billing Policies Last Updated June 2016
Flat Rates, Quotes or Estimates
With few exceptions, Clifton Kok LLP does not provide quotes or flat rates for legal services. Such exceptions include common residential real estate transactions, uncomplicated wills and powers of attorney, "group agreements" under section 98 of the Condominium Act, 1998, some condominium lien matters, and certain aspects of condominium development transactions. Please see below on this page for further details. For all other matters, we would be pleased, instead, to provide any client or potential client with an estimate of legal fees based on our knowledge and experience. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.
Billing Rates & Practices
At Clifton Kok LLP we bill for our work as exactly as possible – in increments as low as 1/100th of an hour. This means that our bills reflect, as closely as our timers will allow, the precise time it has actually taken to get the work done. We are a busy office, and we try not to take any more time on any task than is necessary to get it done right.
Our fees are based on hourly rates, with each member of the firm having assigned rates that are adjusted based on the experience or abilities of the individual in question. As of the date this page was last updated, usual fees for work by lawyers in our firm range from $175 per hour to $325 per hour (with most work billed at rates between $200 and $300 per hour), and, for work by our law clerks and legal assistants, from $60 per hour to $175 per hour, plus HST. Fee increases, if any, are typically considered and implemented around the New Year period, though changes may occur at other times. Our fees do not necessarily increase annually.
We do not charge additional fees for staff working overtime on evenings or weekends in order to meet deadlines. Also, where possible, we strive to have the person who is capable of providing the required service at the lowest rate do the work.
Clients are responsible for reimbursing the firm for costs incurred on their behalf. Such charges may include long distance phone calls, faxes, postage, delivery charges, mileage, photocopying, printing, government filing and search charges, and the fees of agents who conduct investigations, searches, registrations or do other services for us on behalf of our clients, along with other reasonable out of pocket expenses and office charges. These are referred to as “disbursements” on our invoices.
We recognize that our office is located in a place (the VIllage of Ayr) that is close to, but not quite within, several major municipalities where a great many of our clients and potential clients are located. Therfore, when we are required to travel to a client’s location for meetings within a substantial radius around the location of our office, there is no charge of fees for the time taken to travel, but a mileage disbursement may be incurred. For most travel in and around the Waterloo Region, mileage is also not charged.
We strive to keep our disbursement charges reasonable and, where possible (such as for printing, faxes, photocopying and mileage), keep them below what we are aware of as typical charges by comparable businesses and organizations.
We provide our clients with detailed, monthly bills. The entries set out the type and amount of work done on each particular task. This gives our clients the opportunity to review the progress of projects and other work done in a timely manner. We welcome any questions our clients have regarding their bills and otherwise expect payment within 30 days. If we receive no such inquiry within thirty (30) days of delivery of our account, we will assume there is no issue. To further reduce costs and add convenience, invoices are sent to many clients via e-mail, unless alternative delivery is requested or more prctical in the circumstances.
Payment of our invices is due immediately upon receipt. Should any account not be paid within thirty (30) days, interest may be charged at our discretion on the outstanding balance at the rate permitted by the Law Society of Ontario from one month following delivery until paid. If any invoice remains unpaid for more than forty-five (45) days, we reserve the right to discontinue any work on your file with notice to you until all outstanding accounts are paid.
Payment may be made by personal cheque or equivalent (payable to Clifton Kok LLP), e-Transfer, or by credit card (VISA or Mastercard). Amounts less than $1000 may also be paid by cash, if wanted.
Though it is generally preferred, we do not always require retainer amounts to be paid in advance by our clients. A retainer may be requested if the task in question is likely to involve significant costs (particularly if the same arise near the start of the work), or if the processes are complex or the time for completion is distanct. Any retainer amount paid to the firm is placed in our firm trust account and serves as a source of payment for our accounts (in whole or in part) when rendered in relation to such task. A client may be asked to replenish the retainer from time to time as appears appropriate to us based on the progress and anticipated costs of the work. Any unused portion of any retainer paid by a client are returned to the client upon the completion of the task or termination of our services.