Canadian Lawyer

May 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 19 of 59

18 LEGAL FEES SURVEY FEATURES the best results for our client every time." In the survey, when it came to blended fee structures, 16.22 per cent of survey respon- dents said they didn't offer them. Almost 10 per cent said they offered flat fees and 17.3 per cent said they offered contingency fees. For commercial matters, retainers with large clients are common and, although clients inquire about retainers, Hallsor says his firm doesn't use them. Retainers are not always manageable for the clients' budget as they typically have numerous exceptions, with a monthly fee for a certain amount of work that's non-variable, he says. Crease Harman does flat fee arrangements for commercial lending, more straightforward wills and estates and real estate conveyancing. Less complex wills and estates work can generally lend itself to flat fee arrangements, but there are always exceptions, Hallsor says. "There will be some estate planning files where a flat rate is just not appropriate. And there will be some probate files where flat rate isn't appropriate because it's hard to predict how much time you're going to put into it. Some estates are much more complicated than others. So, we still tend to go to the hourly rate," he says. Lawyer billing involves managing expec- NATIONAL Business law Securing financing agreement $2,140 Simple, small business incorporation $1,035 Simple prospectus $14,083 Civil litigation Civil action up to and not including trial (two days) $18,805 Civil action up to and not including trial (five days) $37,930 Civil action up to and not including trial (seven days) $48,431 Civil action — appeal only $17,079 ADR, including mediation (up to three days) $13,391 Criminal law Summary criminal offence (one-day trial) $5,400 Bail hearing $2,111 Criminal offence (one-day trial) $5,291 Family law Uncontested divorce $2,149 Contested divorce $9,618 Separation agreement $2,519 Child custody and support agreement $2,443 Trial up to two days $15,276 Trial up to five days $27,195 Marriage/co-habitation agreement $2,167 Spousal support agreement $2,526 Division of property/assets agreements $2,851 "I think clients like the billable hour. I know there's lots of people out there who think it's old fashioned, but I think . . . it gives the client a lot of accountability." Bruce Hallsor, Crease Harman LLP

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