Legal fees are billed in three different ways:
- Hourly billing. Generally, lawyers bill based on hourly rates which depend on the lawyer’s experience. Fees are charged on an hourly basis on litigation and commercial files when it is not possible to estimate the amount of time and effort which will be involved with sufficient certainty to quote an exact fee. These rates are subject to annual review and adjustment.
- A pre-quoted amount – i.e. Tariff Work. This type of fee applies to real estate transactions, incorporation of companies, uncontested divorces and other similar areas of work where the lawyer is able to predict how much time and effort will be involved.
- Contingency fees. In limited types of work, lawyers may accept your case on the understanding that they will receive, as a fee, a percentage of the amount recovered. Disbursements are charged in addition to the fee, and are payable regardless of the outcome of your case.
When acting on behalf of a client, we are often required to spend money to purchase services from third parties. Examples include the cost of municipal tax certificates, fees to physicians for medical reports, fees charged by the Courts, long distance telephone calls, photocopies and fax transmissions. An archiving/scanning fee may also be charged. Disbursements are recorded and charged to you separately.
Retainers are deposits requested by lawyers to be applied to accounts for fees and/or disbursements. Retainers are required as a matter of firm policy.
Bills for tariff work are due and payable when the work is completed (on the closing of the purchase of a house, for example). Contingency fees are deducted from the damage award or settlement when received, and before the balance is forwarded to the client.
In files which involve ongoing work, we usually invoice monthly. A regular monthly account assists you in keeping track of the services and the costs to date.
Our invoices are payable upon receipt. Interest is charged on outstanding accounts at the rate that is shown on the invoice.
You can pay your legal invoices safely and conveniently using our online payment portal.
*Payment arrangements may be made with our Credit Manager. As a convenience to clients, we accept payment by VISA, Master Card and debit card through Interac and On Line through most Chartered Banks (except TD Bank). (*Current rate is 12% – Subject to review.)
Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
Nova Scotia Harmonized Sales Tax is payable on legal fees and most disbursements. The amount of the tax, along with our Registration number, will be shown on your invoice.
If you have a question on an invoice, do not hesitate to contact your lawyer, or our Credit Manager at [email protected], who will be pleased to explain the invoice to you and to answer any inquiries you may have.
BOYNECLARKE LLP wishes to provide you with the very best legal services at reasonable cost. It is our experience that this can best occur through a full and frank discussion at the outset and throughout our association. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We invite your suggestions and comments.