Our clients want to know what their lawyer will do for them and when, how much services are estimated to cost, and when payment is expected.
At Morelli Chertkow, your lawyer will explain to you the necessary steps in the legal process and the reason for each step. Throughout the process there are factors both you and your lawyer are in control of and some factors that will depend on third parties. Challenges may arise, however your lawyer will explain how those challenges are likely to be overcome. You will be provided regular status updates and our lawyers and support staff endeavour to respond to your questions within a business day whenever possible.
All matters handled by lawyers and support staff of Morelli Chertkow are confidential. Non-lawyer employees of Morelli Chertkow cannot render legal advice.
Any real or perceived conflicts of interest must be disclosed immediately. Morelli Chertkow will decline to provide services where a conflict of interest exists.
No legal advice shall be given until all conflict of interest searches with all potential adverse parties have been completed, and the lawyer knows the proper legal jurisdiction of their client’s issue to ensure they do not violate any legal profession regulations.
Accounts are generally issued once per month. Sometimes they are issued at the completion of a specific step in the process. Invoices describe the legal work performed and any charges and disbursements incurred.
Lawyers’ hourly billing rates range from $175 to $375 and are based on years of experience.
Payment of your account is due upon receipt. Amounts not paid within 30 days of the billing date will incur interest charges of 1% per month (12% per annum). Payment may be made by cheque, debit, or credit card. Credit card payments may be made over the phone.
For most matters, clients are asked to sign a retainer agreement before legal services are undertaken. Some exceptions include services such as notarizations, conveyances, and wills and a fixed fee is generally charged for these services.
Retainer agreements describe the basis on which the client will be charged for the services the firm provides, such as on an hourly rate or a contingency. They also describe the other components that make up our accounts, such as disbursements and taxes. Retainer agreements outline billing policies and practices.
A retainer is a deposit toward a client’s legal costs. For most services, a client will be required to provide a retainer before legal services will be undertaken. The amount of the retainer will depend on the nature of the matter and the extent of the services required. The retainer will be used to pay the client’s accounts when the invoices are issued. When the retainer is used up, the client will be asked to replenish it.
Clients should first speak directly to their lawyer to resolve any issues that arise.
If a client does not wish to speak directly with their lawyer, they should speak with the Managing Partner or, in their absence, another Partner.
If a client is dissatisfied with the services provided by their lawyer or the client/lawyer relationship is hindering the matter, the Firm may:
Every effort will be made to satisfy a client’s needs before terminating services.