There is no standard fee schedule for legal services. The Law Society does not set lawyers’ fees.
Before you retain a lawyer, ask the lawyer for an explanation of their fees, and how often they will be sending you bills. This should be discussed at the first meeting you have with a lawyer.
Your lawyer may require that you sign a retainer agreement. This agreement should specify the fees that you are going to be charged, and how often you will be required to pay your lawyer. This agreement may also set out what will happen if you do not pay your lawyer when requested.
Some common forms that a lawyer’s fee structure may take are:
Your lawyer should provide you with invoices detailing the legal work completed and the disbursements made, for which they are charging you. When and how often you receive invoices, and what level of detail will be included in the invoice, will depend, to a certain degree, on what you agreed to with the lawyer when you hired them, as well as on the fee structure agreed to.
Lawyers most often charge by the hour. To help keep your costs down, be organized and ready when you meet with your lawyer, whether in person or by telephone. Lawyers will charge regular hourly rates for responding to telephone calls, emails, etc., so keeping your communications minimal and efficient will help to keep costs down
Be sure that when you make a decision about how you want your lawyer to proceed, you have thought it through carefully. Changing your instructions to your lawyer after they have already begun work on your file can also mean that your lawyer’s account will be higher. Also, consider carefully your lawyer’s advice about what you can realistically expect to achieve, as opposed to what your legal costs may be. You probably do not want to spend $2000 to recover $500.