The number one reason employees across Canada decide not to speak to an employment lawyer comes down to cost. If you’re like most people looking for an employment lawyer, you have just lost your job, or worry you might lose your job soon. You might not have money to spend on a lawyer, let alone money to put food on your table.
The employment lawyers at Share Lawyers understand that most people cannot afford to pay up front for an employment lawyer at the time they most need one. That is why we offer free consultations and contingency fee agreements, meaning you do not have to pay us a dime until your matter has concluded. Your legal fees are calculated as a percentage of whatever money we help you to recover from your employer. The bottom line? We don’t charge you anything unless you win your case. This is not common across the employment law industry in Canada.
That said, there are many ways you can pay for an employment lawyer, each coming with its own benefits. Here are some questions you should consider when thinking about how much an employment lawyer will cost you.
Contingency vs. hourly vs. flat fee
Not all law firms offer contingency fee agreements like Share Lawyers does. There are three main ways that lawyers bill for legal services: contingency fees, hourly fees, and flat fees. The below chart describes some of the general differences between these billing structures:
Type of Fee
Calculation of fee
Payment upfront or after case concludes?
The fee reflects:
Percentage of result.
30-40%, plus tax
Payment after the case concludes
The results achieved (regardless of how they were achieved, or the time spent)
Lawyer’s recorded hours multiplied by hourly rate
$300-$600+ per hour, plus tax.
Usually, payment upfront
The time your lawyer spent working on your case (regardless of results)
Agreed rate to perform specific tasks
Varies depending on service
Usually, payment upfront
Tasks completed by your lawyer (regardless of results)
Will I end up in a better position than where I started?
When it comes to contingency fees, the percentage does not tell the whole story; you need to consider what amount that percentage is based on. For instance, a 20% contingency fee might sound like a good deal, until you realize that the fee is 20% of every dollar you receive - including money that is already on the table. This could mean that most or all the hard work improving your employer’s offer could go towards paying your lawyer’s fees.
At Share Lawyers, our contingency fee is based only on the improvement we achieve upon your employer’s existing offer. This means that if we offer you a contingency retainer agreement, our bet is that we will be able to leave you in a better position than when you first contacted us. In short, a win for you will be a win for us.
Who covers disbursements and who is responsible for paying them?
Disbursements are expenses that arise during a legal case, and can include things like printing, court filing fees, courier and process server fees, mediator fees, and court reporter fees. Depending on the type, complexity, and length of your case, disbursements can add up significantly.
At Share Lawyers, we cover the upfront cost of disbursements so as not to cause a financial burden to you. The cost of your disbursements are then deducted from your settlement funds. We do not charge a contingency fee on settlement monies which are used to pay off disbursements at the end of your file.
If you are dealing with an employment issue such as wrongful dismissal, unfair severance, or workplace harassment in Vancouver,contact the employment lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our 35+ years of experience in long term disability (LTD) law and team of experienced employment lawyers can help you win your case against your employer. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless you win your case. Join us on Facebook and become a Top Fan for a chance to win each month.