Legal Fees are the main reason why many people avoid seeing a lawyer. For employment matters, most individuals are comfortable starting out by discreetly conducting their own research online. A few people will go a step further and call the Labour Board for advice. Almost everyone seeks out a lawyer as a last resort. The issue? Legal fees.
Unlike many employment law firms in Toronto, Lecker & Associates exclusively represents employees. This has been our specialty for over 35 years. We regularly publish blogs about matters that impact employees. In many cases, this information will help you understand your rights. But awareness alone will not help you resolve your concerns directly and effectively with your employer. In some cases, you will require experienced legal representation.
We are happy to have a frank and open discussion about our legal fees.
Usually, lawyers charge their clients an hourly fee for their services. The fee depends on the “vintage” of the person you see. A seasoned lawyer with many years of practice and expertise will charge a higher fee than a junior intern.
If you have never retained a lawyer before, then you will be unfamiliar with the value of these legal fees. You will likely be terrified to pay a large deposit at the beginning of the process. As your case proceeds through the courts, you might get frustrated with not knowing how high the fees will climb and the sticker shock that comes at the end can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, even if the legal outcome is a positive one.
That is why we avoid this approach as much as possible.
A Fair Approach to Legal Fees
At Lecker & Associates, we believe that legal consumers should have full disclosure of the value of the services we provide. If you require a legal opinion about your employment contract or severance package, contact us for an appointment. It usually takes an hour and you may ask us about our fees when you call to book the time.
If you believe you require legal representation, we normally do not charge for an initial assessment of your case. This begins with a no-charge telephone interview which is conducted by a trained staff member. If you have a case, we will invite you to meet with one of our employment lawyers for legal advice and next steps. You may inquire about the applicable fees before we book the appointment.
For a vast majority of our cases, we do not require an up-front retainer. Examples include include wrongful dismissal cases, negotiating severance packages or settling a disability claim. We can work on a contingency fee basis by charging you a percentage of the settlement we secure for your case.
Once you engage our services, our relationship will begin with a Service Commitment Letter. It will outline all the services we will provide, along with the corresponding fee.
Revenue Canada allows you to deduct legal fees incurred for an employment matter when you file your income taxes. At the conclusion of your case, we will provide you with a detailed statement for this purpose.
The Fast Track
Our experienced lawyers will review your case to expedite it as efficiently as possible. Some fast track lend themselves well for resolution through a procedure called Summary Judgement.
Decades ago, we spearheaded this procedure, paving the way for systemic reforms and efficiencies. We are now old hands at it and can advise if your case is suited for fast tracking in this way.
If so, this offers a swift and cost-effective method for seeking resolution. Employees should no longer fear their employers’ vast resources to endure expensive legal battles. In fact, the very mention of summary judgement will spur some employers to settle cases faster.
Ontario Human Rights Commission &
Ministry of Labour
You can file a claim with the OHRC or Ministry of Labour for free. The administrative procedures are straightforward and retaining a lawyer is not compulsory. However, before you decide on self-representation, know that your employer will likely hire professional legal counsel to defend themselves. We strongly recommend you proceed with equal representation yourself, especially if your case is complex, to improve your chances of success.
Furthermore, both the OHRC and Labour Board have limitations. The Human Rights Code only addresses matters of discrimination. Accordingly, they will not award amounts for lost wages, severance pay, bonuses etc. Similarly, a Labour Board ruling will only allow you to collect the minimums stipulated by law. They do not consider extra compensation you might rightfully qualify to receive under Common Law.
We only take on your case if we believe we can get you more than what the Labour Board and OHRC might award.
What Our Clients Say
Jamie Kearns: “Matthew Fisher and his team did an amazing job! Their communication and strategy was clear and concise. Matthew was always available and made me feel comfortable through a difficult process. Eslita, Dora and Ashley were always accommodating and very professional with my matter. I would highly recommend them! I can honestly say that the staff at Lecker & Associates were professional and attentive to my case. From explaining everything clearly to getting me my final results it was a great experience and I would highly recommend the firm!”
Jeff Freedman: “I would like to thank Jordan and the team at Lecker & Associates for their professional and proactive efforts on my behalf. I came to Lecker on the recommendation of a colleague and was not disappointed. From the initial free consultation Jordan clearly laid out the process and expectations. Throughout, the team was quick to respond to any questions I had and always kept me updated on the progress and next steps. Jordan was engaged and determined to get me the best results and fully met my expectations. A special thanks to Dora who was helpful and supportive on the business side. I would highly recommend Lecker & Associates to anyone needing the services of an experienced and professional employment law firm.”
Elizabeth Tarkhanian: “After losing my job unexpectedly and unfairly, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. I found this law firm online and was amazed at their reviews. I met with Kimberley Sebag and she surpassed my expectations on every level. I was educated by her about all my options and informed of every single detail and update throughout the case. I thought this will take at least a year to settle. I was WRONG. Kimberley worked so hard and supported me through it all. This law firm turned my unpleasant experience into a pleasant one. Very knowledgeable and just simply the best. I highly recommend them to anyone looking at these reviews. Thank you all for everything and thank you Kimberley!”
M&B : “We sought out Lecker and Associates for their experience in employment matters. Maria Esmatyar and team were very empathic and knowledgeable. Maria quickly put things into perspective. She was always professional yet easy to talk to. She was up front and advised on expectations and timelines and was supportive and dependable on all counts. Thank you Maria, Jass, Dora & Team for your patience and tenacity which turned a stressful and disheartening time into an experience with a positive outcome. We would highly recommend.”
Teresa DiMarco: “I was very pleased with the excellent service I received from Ian Hurley and Tina Yaghoubi. They were very efficient, knowledgeable, thorough and supportive and kept me well informed throughout the process. They made me feel confident that I was in good hands and in the end the results were better than I expected. I highly recommend Lecker & Associates. Thank you Ian and Tina.”
Thomas Ferguson: “In May of last year I lost my job. My family and myself were put in a dark place. I struggled emotionally as I had worked there for nearly 7 years and invested myself heavily in my work. I didn’t know what to do or if I could even do anything. I decided to call Lecker and Associates. I met with Jared Lecker, and he gave me his full attention. As I left the meeting, I felt a sense of clarity and hope for the first time. I had learned a lot and the questions that were bothering me had finally been answered. Going through the process there were times of emotional difficulty as I had to go through some bad memories but Jared was amazing and was able to calm me down and assure me that things were going in a positive direction. The team at Lecker was always on top of things, I was always kept up to date with everything and I felt very involved. My questions were always answered in a timely manner. We were able to settle and I consider it a win not just for me, but for the team at Lecker. I highly recommend Lecker & Associates. It started as a professional matter, but it ended with new friendships.”
Legal fees should be one of several factors to consider when selecting your team of employment lawyers. Vet them for their years of experience, efficiencies, chances of success, area of specialty as well as communication style.
Contact us if you wish to discuss the matter of our legal fees further.