The term “Legal Fees” is a general definition that encompasses the total bill a Client pays a lawyer for the work on a case or file. Legal fees are composed of the actual fee, disbursements and taxes.
The Fee is the amount due to the Lawyer for the work he has done on your behalf on the file.
Disbursements are the costs and expenses a Lawyer incurs and pays while working on the file on behalf of the Client which are billed to the Client.
Taxes are GST and, in the case of British Columbia, Provincial Sales Tax (PST) as well. Most of the legal work offered at Stewart Law Group is based upon an hourly rate or a quoted fee, however, for certain matters, contingency or percentage fees can be considered.
Four Types of Legal Fees
Hourly Rate – is a dollar amount per hour for the time a lawyer spends on your file. If the hourly rate is $300 per hour and the Lawyer spends four hours on your file, you will be billed $1,200 for fees.
Quoted Fixed Fee – is a set Fee for the work on the file. For instance, most real estate conveyancing files are done on a fixed fee basic; such as $700 for Fees for acting for a Seller. Another example of a fixed fee matter is Incorporations.
Percentage – is used on certain files where the Lawyer will receive a certain percentage of what the Lawyer obtains for the Client. So, if the fee arrangement is that the Lawyer would receive 25% of what the Lawyer recovered, the Lawyer would receive $25,000 for a Fee if he were to recover $100,000 for the Client.
Contingency – is usually an all or nothing type fee arrangement that is contingent on the Lawyer obtaining a certain result. So, if a lawyer has an agreement with a Client that the firm is to receive a fee of $25,000 upon a Development Appeal Board approving a subdivision, the lawyer would only collect the fee if the subdivision were approved. If the subdivision is not approved, the lawyer may receive nothing or perhaps be paid an hourly rate if that were part of arrangement.