How do I arrange to meet with a lawyer at Williams Family Lawyers?
If you would like to meet with one of our lawyers, please contact our Consultation Coordinator. She/he will ask you a series of questions which are designed to ensure that your particular issues fit with our area of legal expertise and also to help the lawyer you meet with to prepare for the consultation. This information is always kept confidential.
Our Consultation Coordinator will always ask you the name of your spouse/partner/fiancé; this is to ensure that we can avoid any conflict of interest in the event this person might have already contacted us or does so in the future.
Our Consultation Coordinator will also ask you to provide some very basic background as to the nature of the issue for which you are seeking legal advice. If you are already involved in a court proceeding, you should advise of any upcoming court dates.
Once our Consultation Coordinator has confirmed that your issue is likely something we can assist you with, she/he will arrange for a one hour appointment with one of our lawyers.
What if I have already been referred to a specific lawyer at Williams Family Lawyers?
If you have been referred to a specific lawyer at Williams Family Lawyers, we will do our best to ensure that you meet with that lawyer. If the lawyer who you were referred to is not taking on new clients at a particular time, you will usually be given the opportunity to meet with another of our lawyers or to book an appointment with your original choice at a later date.
All of the lawyers at the firm are working together because we have a similar practice style.
What you should expect
The Consultation is designed for you to provide us with preliminary information regarding your issues and therefore, it will be necessary for us to collect some personal and detailed information from you. Our Consultation Coordinator will provide you with our Intake Form when you contact our office and would ask that you complete and return the form to us via fax or email. The Intake Form is a WORD document and can be completed online. Please ensure that you complete the Form as thoroughly and accurately as possible. By answering all of the questions, your time with the lawyer will be utilized more productively and we will be able to address your specific legal inquiries. If you are completing the Form in pen, please be sure to write neatly, using all upper case. You may also bring the Form with you at the consultation if you do not have access to a fax or scanner. If this is the case, we ask that you arrive for the consultation at least 15 minutes early so that the lawyer can familiarize herself/himself with your matter prior to meeting with you.
Preparing for the initial consultation
Please arrive on time for the appointment. If you think you are going to be late, please contact our office as soon as possible. We understand that this can be a very stressful and confusing time for you. Preparing a list of your concerns prior to the appointment may help eliminate some of the stress and will help you to focus on the primary issues.
Do you provide a free initial consultation?
Williams Family Lawyers does not offer free legal consultation nor do we accept legal aid cases. However, we do charge a flat rate that is substantially lower than our usual hourly billing rate. You will receive a one-hour consultation with one of our lawyers to review the facts of your matter and to help guide and inform you with respect to your rights and obligations. The idea is that we can devote an hour of our time to discussing your issue(s) so you can get a sense of who we are and how we practice and we can both make a determination as to whether we would be a good lawyer/client/fit.
The flat fee for the consultation is inclusive of taxes and is dependent on the lawyer with whom you meet. Any additional time required to complete the Consultation will be charged at the lawyer's usual hourly rate. Our Consultation Coordinator will advise you of the current consultation rate when you contact him/her. We ask that you pay this fee at the end of the Consultation.
Once you have met with the lawyer on an initial consultation, we ask that you arrange to formally retain Williams Family Lawyers if you would like to consult with us further.
Can I bring my spouse/partner/fiancé to the initial consultation?
Williams Family Lawyers cannot act for both parties to a matter including marriage contracts or cohabitation agreements.
We would ask that you attend meetings with the lawyer including the initial Consultation without your spouse, partner or fiancé if that person is involved in the legal issues. Feel free to bring another friend or relative as a support person if you would like. However, you should be aware that there are no rules for confidentiality regarding third parties.
How am I charged for legal services?
The lawyers at Williams Family Lawyers bill our clients according to typical industry practice, by the hour. The lawyers have a range of experience and associated billing rates. Each of our lawyers' hourly rates is set out in our retainer agreement. We keep detailed records of all of the time spent on your matter.
The lawyers of Williams Family Lawyers are assisted by law clerks who have specialized education in this field. We charge you for our law clerks time at a rate that is significantly lower than that of the lawyer.
We typically expect you to provide us with a retainer which is like a pre-payment for services. We hold this money in our trust account and when we have billed you for services rendered, we transfer this money to pay the outstanding account. We expect you to replenish your retainer to maintain a balance. Any unused retainer funds are returned to you at the end of your matter.
Our goal is to try to ensure that you resolve your legal disputes in the most cost effective manner possible.
How much will my matter cost?
This is one of the most difficult questions for lawyers to answer. Much of the expense of legal proceedings, depends not only on you and your lawyer but on the 'other side' and his/her lawyer.
We do not typically quote flat fees but we will try to give you our best estimate of the cost of various stages of the legal process so that you can factor that in to your instructions to us.
We will also try to match you with one of our lawyers based on the complexity of your matter as well as your budget.