UNDERSTANDING YOUR BILL
OUR APPROACH TO BILLING
One of our main goals is to ensure that our clients fully understand our approach to billing before we provide any legal services. In order to set expectations and to provide transparency, we have prepared this short reference guide to answer common questions you may regarding our billing.
For more information on our billing practices, we suggest that you review the terms and conditions of our Legal Services Agreement sent to your email upon your completion of our client intake form.
Our firm takes a slightly different approach to a “traditional” law firm retainer. Rather than asking you for money up front that is then immediately applied toward your first bill, the funds you provide our firm remain in our trust account until the end of your matter.
Upon completion of your matter, your trust deposit will be applied toward your final bill. Any unused portion will be returned to you by cheque.
Unless otherwise noted in writing, the trust deposit amount is not an estimate, flat fee or a cap for the legal fees and other charges that may be owing. You will still be responsible for payment of any amounts that are not covered by the deposit.
We bill our time at minimum increments of 0.1 with each increment representing six (6) minutes of our time. For instance, if a lawyer’s hourly rate is $300, and the lawyer spends 10 minutes reading and responding to an email, the cost will be $60 in legal fees to the client (0.2 x $300/hr).
While litigation is often unpredictable, we do our best to establish your expectations from the start by providing you with a rough estimate during our Strategy Session to avoid any surprising bills later on.
You can generally expect to receive a bill from on a monthly basis, depending on how much work has been performed during each billing cycle, which should help you keep track of costs.
All of our “Starter Packages” are all offered on a fixed-fee basis to provide you with full cost certainty upon starting your client experience with our firm. There is no obligation to continue with our services after the starter package, should you decide that the advice given to you is sufficient.
Having completed the services described in a starter package, depending on matter type, our further services may be eligible for fixed-fee billing. Typically, we use the Strategy Session to discuss what further steps may be required for your matter and advise you if such services are eligible for fixed-fee billing. If your matter is eligible for fixed-fee billing, you will still have the option of opting for our hourly rates instead.
Please keep in mind that any fixed-fee quotes provided to you will contain service exclusions. In short, any service items not listed as a fixed-fee are billed at our hourly rates. For fixed-fee matters, we render a bill upon completion of each item.
Other than legal fees, you will be responsible for covering matter expenses that are incurred by our firm on your behalf. They include items such as long distance calls, postage, deliveries, travel expenses, out-of-office photocopying and printing, government filing and search charges and the fees of agents who conduct investigations, searches and registrations and all other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.
Any quotes or estimates we provide you for our legal services generally do not include matter expenses and applicable sales taxes (GST & PST), both of which you will be responsible to pay in addition to our legal fees.
Our clients benefit from various payment options for services that have been rendered. You may pay your bill as follows:
- Sending an Interac e-Transfer to email@example.com (no password required).
- By clicking the blue “Pay Online Now” button in the email attaching a copy of the bill and entering your credit card details.
- Mailing us a cheque or bank draft, payable to “Refresh Law” and sent to our office address.
Please note that we DO NOT accept cash payments.
If you have any issues regarding your bill, please speak with us as soon as possible so that we may address your concerns in a timely manner.
If you do not pay a bill within thirty (30) days of the date appearing on the bill, we have the right to suspend our services. You will be responsible for payment of all services rendered up to that point as well as any applicable interest.
Our invoices are designed with transparency and clarity in mind. Each entry (whether time-based or a flat fee) contains an associated date, description and billing rate.
If you would like to preview how your bill will look like, please CLICK HERE to see a copy of a sample bill in PDF format.
Please keep in mind that the amounts appearing on this sample bill are for illustrative purposes only to provide you with an idea of how our invoices are formatted rather than how much our services may cost for your matter.
While the exact cost of legal services is often difficult to estimate (particularly with litigation matters), our Starter Packages are designed to provide you with an initial assessment of your matter and to give you a better idea of the potential costs going forward either by way of an estimate or a fixed-fee quote (depending on whether your matter is eligible for fixed-fee billing). This approach allows you to set a budget and discuss with our firm whether a full-service approach or a limited-scope approach may make the most sense for your situation.
After your starter plan and assuming a full-service approach by our firm, a standard residential tenancy matter resolved through the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) will range roughly between $4,000-7,000 in legal fees (exclusive of taxes and matter expenses) while a standard strata property matter resolved through the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) will range roughly between $6,000-9,000 in legal fees (exclusive of taxes and matter expenses). Matters before the BC Supreme Court will often exceed $10,000 in legal fees (exclusive of taxes and matter expenses) depending on the type of matter. These price ranges are provided to give you a general idea of legal costs in standard matters but do NOT serve as a quote or estimate of the legal fees for your matter for which the fees may be far more or less than for standard matters.
OUR CURRENT HOURLY RATES
|Provider||Hourly Rate||Available Team Member(s)|
|Lawyer (Level I)||$250||Aneet Grewal|
|Lawyer (Level II)||$280||Jennifer Lebbert|
|Lawyer (Level III)||$300||Milan Milenkovic|
|Lawyer (Level IV)||$330||Benjamin Meadow|
|Lawyer (Level V)||$350||Oscar Miklos|
* Lawyer-level is determined by year of call. Last rate update on January 1, 2023