Our Terms of Engagement

The firm’s goal is to provide you with high quality legal services on a timely basis tailored to meet your specific requirements in a professional and cost effective manner and to develop a close and long lasting relationship with you.

This document describes the terms on which we accept instructions and how we charge for our services.

Person Responsible for Your Work
We will inform you of the lawyer responsible for your matter, including their full contact particulars. Most matters are handled personally by Binavince or Smutylo. However, certain matters may be handled by a law clerk or specialist in a particular area such as tax, labour or personal injury litigation.

The level of fees will be fair and reasonable and will depend upon and reflect such factors as: the time and effort required and spent; the difficulty and importance of the matter; whether special skill or service has been required and provided; the amount involved or the value of the subject matter; the results obtained; the number and length of documents and the urgency and place of performance. Quoted hourly rates are subject to revision when we revise rates generally. At your specific request we will inform you when fees have reached an agreed figure. Wherever possible, we will work with your budget.

Billing and Payment
Our practice is to bill matters quarterly on account or on their earlier completion. You will be billed for time spent and disbursements incurred on your behalf. All bills are for payment due upon receipt. In some instances we may require a retainer in advance with respect to fees and disbursements. We will place any such payment into a Client Trust Account and apply it, together with interest earned, against future billings.

Data Storage and Back-up
We have embraced the “paperless office” mantra. Generally, all non-litigation files are stored only in electronic format and we will not keep originals. Original documents are sent to our clients for their safe keeping. We do make exceptions, including for litigation matters.

Our electronic documents are stored on-site at our offices and backed up off-site. Our storage protocols are designed to maintain the security and confidentiality of our clients’ information. Electronic documents stored on-site and off-site are encrypted.

Withdrawal of Services
Once instructed, we will normally continue to act for you in the matter until its conclusion. Should circumstances arise where it is necessary for either of us to terminate the arrangement, you will be responsible for fees and disbursements up to the date of termination and any fees and disbursements associated with our ceasing to act or the transfer of the work to the successor lawyer.

Confidentiality of Information
Information concerning your business and affairs acquired in the course of the professional relationship will be held in strict confidence and will not be divulged unless expressly authorized by you or as required by law. If on your authority we are working in conjunction with other professional advisers we will assume that we may disclose any relevant aspect of your affairs to them.

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