Blogs » Law and Legal Services » Deutshmann Personal Injury & Disability Law - PERSONAL INJURY & DISABILITY LAW BLOG


Deutshmann Personal Injury & Disability Law - PERSONAL INJURY & DISABILITY LAW BLOG
Lawyer Fees
Return to Blog 

There’s been a lot of news about lawyer’s fees. This may be a good opportunity to review how lawyers bill clients in Ontario. In Ontario, there are essentially three ways that a lawyer can bill a client. They can charge a flat fee for specific services, an hourly rate for the time they spend working on your file, or a contingency fee which a percentage rate of the settlement that is the outcome of the case.

The first way they calculate fees is a flat fee. Lawyers may charge a flat fee for simple services like notarizing a document, or performing very straightforward similar services. Generally, the amount of time required to perform a flat fee service is very predictable and therefore it is easy to set a flat fee for them.

The second type of fee structure involves an hourly rate for their services. This method of billing is most often used when the amount of time to handle a case is not easily predicted. Examples would be for law suits or criminal cases. The lawyers will have a set fee and they will track how much time they spend and bill you when the work is done. There is often a retainer required when you hire a lawyer on an hourly basis. The retainer ensures that there is money available to the lawyer to make disbursements required in your case, and to pay his or her staff as the work progresses. The total bill should show your retainer fee as a credit. Billing to the minute is not uncommon.

There is no ‘standard’ lawyer rates, as a lawyer is a business. Their overhead varies with the size of their practice, how many staff they have, where they are located, and the nature of the work they do.

The third method of billing is a contingency based. This means that the lawyer will examine your case, and if it is likely that the case is winnable they will agree to take it on for a percentage of the settlement at the end. This is advantageous for the client as they do not have to pay anything up front for legal representation, however, unscrupulous lawyers have taken advantage of clients using this billing method.

Ontario allows certain kinds of litigation to be pursued with a contingency fee structure. The structure is laid out in the Solicitors Act. The contingency fee rules state that there must be an agreement between the lawyer and the client that is in writing. It must state:

  • the percentage that the lawyer will receive from any amount recovered, and that it excludes any amount received as costs or disbursements
  • the conditions under which the fee is to be paid
  • allows the client to collect full payment for an award of costs, even if it exceeds the amount payable under a contingency fee agreement, if the award is used to pay the client’s solicitor
  • a statement that the client has the right to make all critical decisions regarding the conduct of the matter
  • if the client is a plaintiff the lawyer shall not be paid more in fees that is recovered in damages from the lawsuit
  • a sample of how the fees will be calculated
  • a description of what the disbursements are, and whether the client is responsible for the payment of them (or are they included in the fee) and whether the client or lawyer is responsible for the taxes.


The Act allows the court to review contingency fee agreements, and clients may ask for a review under certain conditions. Contingency fees can range from 10-45% depending on the nature of the case and the lawyers involved. It is up to the client to determine if the proposition is a fair one.

As the client, you are responsible to hire and pay the lawyer for the services performed. You are responsible to understand how you are billed, what extra costs are, and that you discuss all the billing details before you sign anything. You should also stay on top of the costs accrued throughout your file. You should be comfortable with the lawyer you select, particularly in personal injury, family law, or criminal law cases where their may be significant time involved settling the case. You should have initial meetings with a few lawyers to determine what the range of fees is, how much experience a lawyer has, and whether you believe that they will be a good fit for your needs. You can also try to negotiate the fees your lawyer proposes.


Posted on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 - 08:03:00 AM EST
 Comments  (0) Post a Comment 
   By Deutschmann Personal Injury & Disability Law - Visit Our Business Directory Listing  |   Return to Blog 

Blogs Home   |   Start a Blog   |   Subscribe To Blog
News   |   Announcements   |   Events Calendar
Contact The News Editor   |   News FAQs

    <<     July  2022     
S M Tu W Th F S
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Jump to:

Article Categories
Disability Law
Car Insurance
Law Enforcement
Personal Injury Law

Recent Articles
Smartwatches are a bigger distraction than phones now
Old Grey Mayors Episode 33 - Revisiting the 1989’s Elmira Uniroyal Aquifer Contamination with Gerry
We're Proud Supporters of Public Art in the Region
One Quarter of Children with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Suffer Post-Concussion Symptoms
Episode 30: Bob Williams
Self Driving Cars Tackling Complex Roads in Canada
Bike Lanes and Pedestrians Don’t Mix
Playground Safety
Has Long Covid Prompted Research On Other Chronic Illness?
How Do Brain Injury and Personality Change Go Hand in Hand?
America Enacts Safety Standards for Autonomous Vehicles and Automated Vehicles
Brain Injury Can Result in Depression
Automaker Ford will use autnomous vehicles to deliver groceries to seniors in need
“Hacking” the Immune System May Prevent Long Term Disability After Brain Injury
New Research Finds that Concussion Monitoring Could Occur using Urine Samples
Vision Zero’s commitment to continuously and preemptively improve safety on the roads
High Purity Prescription CBD Oil May Be An Effective COVID Therapy
Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) – What is it?
Long COVID and Disability Benefits
Why do art and music therapy help with brain disorders?

Articles by Month of Posting
May 2022
March 2022
February 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2018
January 2017
January 2016
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
August 2012
July 2012
May 2012
April 2012