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 update our website regularly with useful and pertinent information related to employment law in Ontario. In many cases, this information will assist you in understanding the issues. 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, therefore, 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 by 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 we can.
A Fair Approach to Legal Fees
At Lecker & Associates, we believe that legal consumers should have full disclosure of the value of the services that are being provided to them.
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.
For legal representation to resolve a matter with your employer, we usually do not charge for an initial assessment of your case. The process 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 the vast majority of the cases we take on, we do not require an up-front retainer. Instead, we charge a percentage of the settlement we obtain for you.
When you engage us to work for you, our relationship will begin with a Service Commitment Letter. It will outline all the services we will provide along with the corresponding fee.
Fast-Tracking Your Case
Our experienced lawyers will review your case and expedite it in the most efficient means possible. For example, many wrongful dismissal cases lend themselves well for resolution through the Summary Judgement process. It is fast, cost-effective and has levelled the playing field for employees. You should not feel threatened by the vast resources your employer has to endure long and expensive legal battles. In fact, the very mention of summary judgement can spur some employers to settle cases faster, after they size up the economy of their own legal costs against the risk of losing the case.
We are old hands at the summary judgement procedure and helped pave sytemic reforms that brought efficiencies to the process. We will advise if your case is suited for fast tracking in this way.
Legal Fees and Income Tax
Revenue Canada allows you to deduct most 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.
Legal fees should never deter you from obtaining your lawful entitlements. This is especially true for matters that affect you daily, such as your employment. In fact, 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 communciation style. Here are 5 tips for selecting an employment lawyer.
Please contact our office if you wish to discuss the matter of our legal fees further.
Good news for employees working under a collective agreement as part of a union. For employment related disputes, your legal fees are covered through your union dues. Before you contact us however, call your union’s business agent for next steps. The provisions of the Labour Relations Act prevent us from representing you without expressed consent from your union.
The exception: We can interject if your union has failed to represent you properly for claims against an insurance provider regarding your company sponsored Long-Term Disability Claim.