Please review the Retainer Agreement below so we may proceed with your will.
Re: Legal Services – Drafting of Will(/s) (the “Will”) Our File No.
1. Description of services
You have asked us, and we have agreed, to act for you in the matter described below. On May 8, 2018 we corresponded to discuss the scope of our firm’s intended representation. We covered this subject in some detail and considered the nature of our fee arrangement. The purpose of this letter is to summarize and confirm the terms of your engagement of us.
You have requested to retain us to represent you in connection with the drafting of the Will(s). We anticipate that our representation will involve taking the following steps on your behalf:
Legal Service Fee Arrangement: *All pricing is subject to confirmation by our law firm after review of your Wills Intake
To draft your Will(/s) in accordance with your instructions
For Single Simple Will:
Fixed-Fee (not including disbursements) $650 – 20% off + taxes = $582.40
For Mirror Simple Wills:
Fixed-Fee (not including disbursements) $750 – 20% off + taxes = $672.00
For Complex Single/Mirror Will(s): To be confirmed and agreed upon in writing
Your desired outcome and time frame for resolution of this matter will be on a first come first basis, as in first people to return our wills intake package will be scheduled in priority to ones later.
We will work with you towards your desired outcome. However, all legal actions are subject to many possible variables such as the demeanour and recollection of witnesses, the availability of substantiating documents and other evidence, and the evidence marshalled by the other side—all of which affect the decision of a judge or jury. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee that your desired result will in fact be achieved. For us to work towards your desired outcome, it will be necessary for you to abide by the terms described in this letter.
Your work will be performed or supervised by lawyer(/s) in this firm who will be assisted by associates, articled students, and/or legal support staff in this firm. Should you have a special preference on which of our firm members you wish to lead your case, we will endeavour to assign such person to your case; however, we reserve the right to assign other lawyers in our firm to perform legal services if in our judgment that becomes necessary or desirable. Legal fees will be divided between members of our law firm in proportion to the work done and the responsibilities assumed, including any contractors we retain for your case.
Our firm’s fees are based on value-based billing. This means that a value-based price is determined based on the value, perceived or estimated, to you rather than on the cost of our service based on historical prices, as well as the amount of work your matter required and the result achieved. We estimate that our fee, excluding disbursements and other charges, will be approximately the above-mentioned fee arrangement applicable to you. We are not guaranteeing that we can accomplish the work for that sum, but are representing to you that in our judgment that amount appears reasonable under the circumstances. However, we reserve the right to charge more in appropriate cases, such as pressing circumstances, the requirement for work outside normal business hours, exceptionally successful or efficient representation, or any special demands or circumstances. Should your case change from the date of signing this retainer, our fees may have to be adjusted. Three (3) methods that help us to determine how we charge for our services are as follows:
a. Fixed Fee Per Stage:
The legal fee charged by this firm for a particular item of work is fixed at an agreed amount per stage, regardless of the time spent. The fee part is fixed: taxes and disbursements are charged in addition. Upon completion of each stage, we will invoice for the work completed up to such stage. Stages of work depend on the legal tasks required and are at the lawyers’ discretion.
As an example, if the firm agrees to charge a fixed fee of $500 to prepare and file a Notice of Claim, the legal fee is fixed at $500. As well as $500 the client will pay PST and GST or other tax on that amount plus the fee for filing, the court fee, any copying charges and any taxes payable on those further amounts.
The fixed fee may be higher than an hourly rate bill or it may be lower than an hourly rate bill.
Typically a fixed fee will be offered where the work required can be easily ascertained, such as the preparation of a particular document or attendance for a fixed amount of time at a Court hearing. A fixed fee will not be appropriate for a more complex matter where the amount of work required cannot be determined at the outset.
b. Time Based Fee
Although it is one of our law firm’s goals to no longer use hourly rates for charging, in special circumstances, we may require using an hourly rate, in which case our fee will be based principally on the time spent by us on your behalf. In such a circumstance, records of time will be kept and accounts will then be prepared and sent to you periodically.
Our hourly rates range from $125 for legal assistants, $200 for paralegals and articled students, $250 for junior lawyers and $300 – $400 for senior lawyers.
c. Contingency/Bonus Fee
Finally, an important consideration is that while we expect that our fee will be calculated on the basis of our preliminary estimate of value and for time spent on your case, we may determine that your case should be based on contingency and/or bonus fee. Where appropriate, we will discuss with you the amount of any contingency/bonus fee to be charged so that the amount or percentage of such fee will be agreed in advance.
You will also be responsible for reimbursing us for expenses (also called disbursements) we incur on your behalf and that must be paid to third parties. These disbursements are not included in our legal fees that we quote, unless specifically stated and agreed upon. These include long distance calls, postage, deliveries, travel expenses, in office and out of office photocopying / printing and faxes, government filing and search charges and the fees of agents who conduct investigations, searches and registrations and all other reasonable out of pocket expenses.
Payment is due on all of our accounts when rendered. If any account is not paid within 30 days, interest will be charged on the outstanding balance at a rate of 8% per annum from the date of the account, until paid.
6. Client identification and verification
Lawyers are required to follow client identification and verification procedures when retained by a client to provide legal services. Accordingly, before we begin work on your behalf, we will require information from you concerning your identity. In addition, for some transactional work, we will require information to verify your identity (to confirm who you are) before the transaction occurs.
Before we begin work on your behalf, we require a retainer in the amount of the above-mentioned fee arrangement applicable to you. If you are retaining our services of drafting a Single Simple Will or a Mirror Simple Wills we will charge your credit card information provided below upon the return of this retainer agreement. By providing your signature or returning a copy of this retainer via email, you consent and authorize for Winright Law Corporation to charge your credit information provided below in order to obtain a retainer to proceed with your file.
The retainer will be placed in our trust account and will serve as a source of payment for all or part of our account or accounts when rendered. You will be asked to replenish the retainer from time to time. Any unused portion will be returned to you upon the completion or termination of our services. Alternatively, if you have other files with our law firm for different matters, you authorize us to transfer any remaining unused portions to be applied to accounts of other files with our law firm that remain unpaid. We will do so only upon providing sufficient notice to you.
8. No Cash in Excess of $7000
Please note that we do not accept any funds in cash in excess of $7000 including our retainer. As protecting your legal interest may require paying funds within certain time limits, we recommend that you discuss with us any necessary arrangements in advance to provide payment to us by way of certified cheque, money order, bank draft, or electronic transfer.
9. Office Arrangement
Winright Law Corporation is a law firm of staffed lawyers as well as an association of independent lawyers.
The other lawyers at Winright Law have agreed not to act for clients who are adverse in interest to each other’s clients. Accordingly, we confirm we have received your express consent to conduct a conflicts search through our systems.
Our office arrangement includes sharing legal assistants, receptionists, and services such as photocopying and fax machines with the other lawyers at Winright Law. We may discuss aspects of your matter with the other lawyers at Winright Law if we believe it would be in your interest to do so.
10. Cloud Computing
Winright Law uses cloud computing. We backup our Canadian local server with cloud computing servers located in the United States, specifically Dropbox. Being a tech-savvy law firm, our law firm and our clients must accept the fact that there are inherent risks that cannot be avoided, particularly the jurisdiction in which our data is being stored.
Unfortunately, data that may be secure in one jurisdiction may not be secure in another. Although it is unlikely that your data will be exposed, you agree that there are risks that are involved with cloud computing and consent to our continued usage of cloud computing servers in other jurisdictions.
11. Acting for more than one client (Refer to the Law Society precedent letters ‘Joint Retainers’)
12. Termination of legal services
You have the right to terminate our services to you upon written notice to us.
Subject to our obligations to you to maintain proper standards of professional conduct, we reserve the right to terminate our services to you for good reasons which include, but are not limited to:
a. if you fail to cooperate with us in any reasonable request;
b. if there is a serious loss of confidence between us and you;
c. if our continuing to act would be unethical or impractical;
d. if we fail to be able to get a hold of you when necessary within one (1) week;
e. if our retainer has not been paid; or
f. if you fail to pay our accounts when rendered.
If you terminate our services or we withdraw, you would only have to pay our fees, disbursements, other charges, and the applicable taxes incurred up until the time we stopped acting for you. Should you terminate our services or we withdraw in a fixed fee per stage retainer agreement, or a contingency/bonus agreement, you will be charged the fees and disbursements, and applicable taxes incurred up until the stage of work and the time we stopped acting for you; such determination of that stage will be at our discretion but within reason.
We will hold a Notice of Intention to Act in Person signed by you on file. We reserve the right to file and serve this Notice in the event that our fees are unpaid or requests for further payment of a retainer are ignored.
In the event your case is set for trial we will require a payment of $3,000.00 for each day the trial is scheduled, such payment to be received not less than 8 weeks before the first day of trial. In the event the payment is not made, we reserve the right to file the Notice of Intention to Act in Person.
If an offer to settle your case is received which we recommend you should accept, but you refuse to accept that offer, we reserve the right to terminate this retainer on the ground that the solicitor/client relationship has broken down irretrievably and to file the Notice of Intention to Act in Person.
14. No Guarantee of Success
We will try our best in acting for you and give you our best legal advice. However, you understand that we cannot guarantee the successful outcome of your lawsuit. Remember that all lawsuits involve risks and uncertainties in the law, the facts, and the evidence.
15. Personal Guarantee
When applicable, in order to induce Winright Law Corporation (the “Firm”) to enter into this Agreement with a corporate client (the “Company”), and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the authorized signatory of the Company signing this Agreement (herein the “Guarantor”) hereby, jointly and severally in the case of multiple guarantors, personally and unconditionally guarantees the prompt, full, and complete performance of any and all covenants and agreements between the Company and the Firm and the payment of any and all indebtedness, damages, costs, and expenses owed to or which may become due to the Firm from the Company.
This personal guarantee outlined above shall remain in full force and effect until the termination of the Agreement, provided, however, that the Guarantor shall not be released from his/her obligations hereunder so long as any claim of the Firm against the Company which arises out of, or relates to, directly or indirectly, this Agreement, is not settled to the satisfaction of the Firm or discharged in full.
16. Proper Law
This Agreement will be construed and enforced in accordance with, and the rights of the parties shall be governed by, the law of British Columbia.
This Agreement may be signed in counterparts, and this Agreement or a counterpart may be delivered by e-mail. Each such counterpart, if any, will constitute an original document and such counterparts, taken together, will constitute one and the same instrument.
This document contains the whole agreement between us. It will not be changed unless you and we both agree and sign any changes. It will legally bind anyone such as heirs or legal representatives who replace either you or us, but it does not legally bind other lawyers who might act for you if you decide to end our relationship. If there is anything you do not agree with, or if there is anything you would like to discuss before signing, please let us know.
We always recommend to our clients that they are at liberty to have this agreement reviewed by another lawyer.
If you want us to proceed on the basis described above, please sign and date both copies and return one of them to us, keeping the other one for your records. If you decide that you do not want us to proceed on your behalf in this matter, please inform us promptly.
WINRIGHT LAW CORPORATION