Oziel Law (“Oziel Law”, “we”, “us” and terms of similar meaning) will provide legal services to you subject to these terms of engagement (“Terms”). By accepting these Terms, you agree and confirm that you have engaged Oziel Law to serve as your legal counsel.
- Scope of Representation
The scope of our engagement is strictly limited to the services that have been confirmed by e-mail or otherwise by Oziel Law and you. Subsequently, we may carry out other projects that you request. For each matter, we will provide you with a quote outlining the range of fees or fixed fee, as agreed upon.
- Acting for Companies or Multiple Person Parties
When asked to act for a company or multiple person parties, our duty is to the company or the collective group, and not to any individual stakeholder. No information received from or on behalf of any person in connection with the company or group can be treated as confidential so far as the other stakeholders are concerned. If any person seeks for us not to disclose any specific information that relates to the company or group to a particular stakeholder, he or she must advise us in writing in advance of disclosure, and we will determine whether or not we are able to honour that particular request. In the event a dispute arises between two signatories to this Agreement, we may have to withdraw.
- Who Will Work On Your Matter?
The originating lawyer at Oziel Law will be responsible for your matter(s). From time to time, it may make sense to involve other lawyers or law clerks at Oziel Law or other law firms who might have more experience in the areas of law in which you require our advice.
- Fees and Disbursements
Where possible, Oziel Law tries to quote legal work on semi-fixed fee structures. We may quote on the basis of a “flat rate for delivery of first drafts”. In these situations, the quoted fixed fee will include all work leading up to the delivery of the first draft. Any amendments or discussions related to the draft will be charged in accordance with the hourly rate.
Our lawyers will advise you where we are unable to quote a fixed fee and when the hourly rate must be charged. When we bill on the basis of the hourly rate, we docket our time in 10ths of an hour (which is the minimum time that can be recorded for any time spent on service). We then multiply this time by the hourly rate of the person who worked on the matter.
We will advise you in advance of the current hourly rate for each of our lawyers and staff. We regard the hourly rate as a benchmark only and is not the sole determination of the value of services for billing purposes. We may also take into account the type of service involved, the scope, complexity, time limitation, skill labour, the responsibility involved, results obtained, and other material circumstances, such as work outside of normal business hours, exceptionally successful or exceptionally efficient representation. HST is applied by law to all legal fees.
The fees for initial services will be billed as confirmed by e-mail with you.
In addition to our fees, we will seek reimbursement of any out-of-pocket expenses (disbursements) incurred on your behalf, including, but not limited to travel, postage, litigation, messenger, courier, filing and search fees. These are on a charged dollar for dollar basis, including any HST paid, with no markup. In addition, we may charge for long-distance phone calls, printing, and photocopying if large blocks are required. For matters that are billed on a flat-fee basis, you will not need to reimburse us for expenditures included within the scope of the quoted flat-fee.
- Financial Retainer and Invoicing
It is our policy to request retainers in advance of completing work. The size of the retainer will be appropriate to the size and scope of the matter. We will confirm the requested retainer to you by e-mail or otherwise.
In all cases, the retainer amounts to a pre-payment subject to a refund and not a commitment that the anticipated fees and disbursements for the work requested will not exceed such an amount. Any retainer held in trust will not bear any interest unless otherwise expressly agreed.
For long-standing clients, we may permit the client to forego the payment of an advance retainer. We will invoice these clients regularly. Our accounts are due and owing upon receipt. Payment should be made to Oziel Law through one of the various methods we make available to you.
We reserve the right to charge interest for accounts not paid within thirty (30) days at the rate set out in the invoice.
- Referral Fees
We may pay referral fees, as legally permitted, to the referrer of your matter. The referral fee will not change the amount that you will be charged.
- Information Management and Confidentiality
To enable us to meet your expectations and objectives, it is essential that you provide us with all factual information that is relevant and material to the subject matter of my representation. As you become aware of new or updated information, we ask that you share that new information with us.
All information provided concerning your business and affairs acquired in the course of our professional relationship with you shall be held in strict confidence unless you expressly or implicitly authorize its disclosure. Note that our ethical rules define a limited number of circumstances in which we may be obligated to disclose information that may be confidential. In such circumstances, we will not disclose more information than is required. We take the duty imposed on lawyers and our staff to preserve the confidences and secrets of a client with the utmost seriousness.
In addition to our communications being confidential, most, if not all of our communications with you will likely be protected by the use of the solicitor-client privilege. The privilege only arrives when you as a client reveal information in confidence to obtain legal advice or services. Please let us know if you have any questions about information management confidentiality or the ambit of solicitor-client privilege.
- Data Security
To provide you with the most efficient legal service, we utilize high grade hosting services and security technologies that we believe will provide you with a secure and safe experience. However, no system is perfectly secure or reliable. The internet is an inherently insecure medium, and the reliability of hosting services, internet intermediaries, your internet service provider, and other service providers cannot be assured. When you use our Services, you accept these risks and the responsibility for choosing to use technologies that cannot guarantee complete security and reliability.
- Privacy and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation
The Personal Information Protection Act and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) creates an enforceable right to privacy with respect to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by private sector organizations. By your execution of this letter, you will be consenting to the use by Oziel Law of personal information of those employees, agents, consultants and others with whom we may deal in connection with the provision of legal advice and services, the administration of time and billing databases, direct marketing activities by Oziel Law to you, and the disclosure by Oziel Law of such personal information to third parties where such disclosure is required by law or in connection with the provision of legal advice and services
With respect to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (commonly referred to as CASL), by signing this letter, you hereby expressly consent to receiving, during and after our business relationship, electronic messages from Oziel Law, including via emails and through social media, providing information to you and your business including newsletters, updates, alerts, other publications, invitations to programs, events and webinars, news and communications, including dealing with legal matters, other information of interest to you and/or information on our services. You understand that you can withdraw this consent or modify your preferences as to the types of electronic messages which you wish to receive from us, at any time, simply by notifying us or by using the unsubscribe mechanism on any of our electronic messages.
- Termination of Services
We look forward to a long lasting relationship with you. Nevertheless, you are free to terminate our representation at any time. Subject to any applicable rule of court or code of conduct, we may terminate our engagement upon reasonable notice to you.
In the event of termination of this engagement, you remain liable to pay all fees, disbursements and other charges incurred up to the date of termination. Upon completion of the matter, to which this engagement letter applies, or the earlier termination of the representation, our solicitor/client relationship will end unless we expressly agree to continue the representation on other matters. In such case, we shall have no continuing obligation to advise you on any matter unless we otherwise expressly agree in writing.