When you retain Gibsons LLP’s services, you are contracting for our time, experience, and breadth of professional expertise. Our general policy is to charge for the time we spend providing you with the legal services you require. We will respond to your needs promptly and efficiently.
We review our billing policies with all of our potential clients during or prior to the first appointment. We encourage clients to bring up any questions about fees, invoices, or expenses, at any time.
If you wish to discuss an alternative billing arrangement we are willing to discuss alternatives according to the situation and the client’s needs.
Retainers & Disbursements
In most cases, we require a financial retainer for each new matter. A retainer is a form of deposit which is placed in our trust account, and used as a credit that, in most cases, is used to satisfy your account with us as invoices are rendered. We may require replenishment of this retainer from time to time depending on how the matter proceeds.
As your file progresses, we incur disbursements (out-of-pocket expenses) on your behalf. These can include registration or filing fees, fees for experts' reports, photocopying charges, long-distance telephone charges, special postage or courier fees, parking, and transportation costs.
If we are required to travel out of town on your behalf, you will also be charged travelling and accommodation costs.
For larger matters, budgets can be prepared to help manage your legal costs and to ensure that your legal costs are predictable, to the greatest extent possible.
Our firm offers hourly rate, block fees and contingency arrangements. We normally bill at an hourly rate, but depending on the type of file/matter block fees or contingency arrangements may be applied.
What is an hourly rate?
Hourly rates are the most common type of fee arrangement in our firm. The lawyers, planner and paralegals keeps detailed records of the time spent on a case. At the end of each month, the total hours by each person who worked on the file at their hourly rate is billed to the file and reviewed for accuracy prior to rendering the statement of account.
What is a block fee?
A block fee is a set fee agreed to before the work is performed. All disbursements incurred and HST on the fees and disbursements is payable over and above the block fee quoted. Block fees are most commonly used for a standard will and real estate matters, provided there are no unexpected problems.
What is a contingency fee?
Contingency fee arrangements are used sometimes in a civil litigation cases. In a contingency fee arrangement the percentage charged depends on a number of variables: the type of claim, the risk of whether there will be success, the potential recovery available and when recovery might occur. In the event we feel your case is an appropriate one for a contingency fee arrangement, your lawyer will discuss the terms with you.
The following are some important points to note about our fees:
We are obliged by law to charge HST on our fees and on many of our expenses
If it is convenient for you to pay by credit card, we can make arrangements to do so
Our firm policy is to send out statements monthly, and for larger matters a legal budget can be prepared, so you are always informed of the extent of your legal fees and expenses with the exception of contingency arrangements
Additionally, our accounts are due on receipt of your invoice, and interest will accrue on the unpaid balance after 30 days