Clients can expect to be charged for a wide
range of disbursements during litigation, from
court filing fees to photocopies to travel time. The
retainer agreement should address which expenses
will be reimbursed and the rate of reimbursement.
It should go without saying that the client won’t
pick up the tab for personal expenses.
Less obvious is which expenses should be regarded as the law firm’s overhead and absorbed
in the hourly billable rate and which expenses
should be billed to the client on top of legal fees
for services rendered. Toothman argues that clients should not be charged for anything that the
law firm pays a flat fee for such as long distance
phone calls and access to legal research databas-es, since these services are generally covered in
monthly or annual plans.
“If a firm pays a flat fee for something it should
not be divided up and charged to each client, it
should be included in the hourly rate” Toothman
says. In addition he argues that law firms should
not be marking up and making a profit off disbursements such as photocopies and faxes.
“There are law firms that make thousands on
photocopying charging a quarter per copy when
the actual cost is a nickel,” Toothman says. He has
also seen firms charge clients “a dollar per page per
fax when it hasn’t cost that much to send a fax for
Travel time is another tricky area for retainer
agreements to address.
Ross muses, “I reviewed one legal bill in which a
lawyer under the heading ‘ground transportation’
charged a client for a new pair of running shoes.” END
A white shoe New York
City law firm drew
flack years ago from
for coffee and
Appointed Managing Partner
Hull & Hull LLP
Hull & Hull LLP is pleased to announce
Suzana Popovic-Montag’s appointment as Managing
Partner of the ;rm.
Suzana practices exclusively in the areas of estates,
trusts, capacity and ;duciary litigation and recently
completed her term as Chair of the Trusts and Estates
Section Executive of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA).
As Managing Partner, Suzana is responsible for
overseeing the management of a ;rm widely recognized
as a regional and national leader in trust and estate
litigation, mediation and estate planning.
Hull & Hull LLP
Trust Experience ™
141 Adelaide St. West, Suite 1700
Toronto, Ontario M5H 3L5
228 Lakeshore Rd. E.
P.O. Box 249, Stn. Main
Oakville, Ontario L6J 5A2