Yes, but only for certain areas of law. We offer free consultations for the following types of situations:
- Real estate closings: This includes a home purchase, sale, refinance, transfer of title, or ILA
- Criminal defence: You have been arrested or charged with a crime.
- Wrongful dismissal: You have been fired from your job without sufficient payment.
- Personal injury: You have been involved a car accident, had a slip & fall, or been bitten by a dog, or you have been sexually assaulted. We do not represent clients in medical malpractice cases, or injuries caused by the police.
- Legal Aid: You have received a legal aid certificate from Legal Aid Ontario. Click here to learn more about that.
- Paralegal Services: Your case involves the small claims court, or a traffic ticket, or the human rights tribunal, or the landlord & tenant board (residential only), or any other matter that a paralegal is legally permitted to represent clients.
A consultation fee applies to all other areas of law. If you call us regarding more than one issue, a consultation fee will apply if any of the issues do not appear in the above list.
Sometimes, particular lawyers will have a temporary promotion where their consultation fee is waived. This is impossible to predict, but you are welcome to ask the front desk if any of the lawyers are having a promotion.
Yes, we also offer consultations over Zoom if you request it.
Consultations may also be conducted in person after Ontario lifts the COVID stay-at-home order.
However, please note that we do not provide consultations via email.
Use our easy online matching form to find the right lawyer at KPA for you.
Yes, but only for specific types of cases. Your case must meet all of the following five criteria in order to be considered for a contingency fee:
- You have either been involved in a car accident, or you had a slip & fall, or you were bitten by someone else’s dog, or you were sexually assaulted, or you are collecting a secured debt, or you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job;
- The size of the claim is sufficiently large enough to justify our financial investment and our time;
- There is evidence available to establish a strong likelihood of winning your case at trial;
- The defendant has sufficient funds to be able to pay for amounts indicated in the eventual court order or settlement; and
- You are willing to sign a Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement and agree to all the relevant terms and conditions.
Keep in mind that the above factors may change as your case unfolds. The evidence may shift entirely, such as unfavourable results from an expert medical report, or the defendant may become unable to pay for the claim. In the event of shifting circumstances, we reserve the right to discontinue the contingency fee arrangement, or discontinue the case altogether.
In circumstances where a client and a lawyer disagree about whether one of the above criteria has been met, the lawyer’s professional judgement will determine if or how we will provide the relevant services.
Yes, but only for family law and criminal defence cases. You must apply directly to legal aid for a certificate. Learn more about legal aid by clicking here.
Also, if you are interested in family law services through legal aid, your certificate from legal aid must have a minimum of 24 hours of a lawyer’s time. We do not accept family law legal aid certificates that pay for less than 24 billable hours of a lawyer’s time.
There is no minimum requirements for criminal defence legal aid cases.
Yes, in most circumstances, you can.
When you hire a lawyer to take care of a certain aspect of your case, but not for your entire case, this is called a “limited scope retainer”. You’ll also see these services called “unbundled” legal services.
For some clients, such services may be more appealing because limited scope retainers are usually (but not always) charged at a low flat fee. Some limited scope services are charged on an hourly basis, but the number of hours required are quite a bit less than if the lawyer was committed to handle your entire case.
Here are some examples of limited scope services, but this is not a complete list, meaning there could be other situations that we have not listed here:
- A family law client wants their lawyer to only help with ensuring that their financial information is lawfully disclosed to their spouse during a divorce. However, the client does not want to hire the lawyer for the entire divorce case.
- A civil litigation client has been sued in Superior Court and served with a Statement of Claim. The client needs a “Statement of Defence” delivered to the Plaintiff’s lawyer, and filed in court. If the client misses the deadline, the court will order the client to pay the Plaintiff. However, the client also does not want to pay for continued defence services after the Statement of Defence is filed. The client can hire a civil litigation lawyer on a limited scope basis to create a Statement of Defence in a manner that indicates to the court that the client will be representing themselves.
- A client wants to represent themselves in Small Claims Court, but needs help with some of the forms and court documents. The client hires a licensed paralegal at KPA to provide legal advice and assistance with the documents; however, the paralegal does not appear in court nor does the paralegal discuss the case with the person on the other side of the lawsuit.
During your consultation, you can ask about limited scope retainers, and how that might affect the relevant legal fees. Obviously, clients who can afford to hire lawyers on a comprehensive and traditional model receive the benefit of the lawyer’s involvement in every step of their case, but this is not always practical for clients of varying income levels.
We accept the following methods of payment:
- Credit card, including Visa, MasterCard and Amex
- Interac eTransfer
- Certified cheque or bank draft
- Cash up to $7,500 per client
Call us toll free at 1 877 301 7613.
Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
However, if you are calling outside of usual business hours or on a holiday, you will reach our after-hours call answering service, staffed by local customer service professionals based in Ontario. They will be happy to take a message and relay it to our lawyers.
Generally, if you call between 9am and 5pm on any weekday, except holidays, then you will reach our front desk where our own receptionists will be happy to assist you.
Generally speaking, we serve the entire Province of Ontario.
Depending on the services you require, we can represent clients who are located anywhere in the world, but most of our services are focused in Ontario.
Any Canadian resident anywhere in Canada can contact us to discuss registered a business, not-for-profit corporation, or registering a charity.
Also, if you have a foreign court judgment against a person who resides in Ontario, you can contact us to enforce your court order in Ontario.
No. Every lawyer at KPA is a full-time, permanent employee of the corporation.
There are many so-called “law firms” in Ontario that are actually groups of sole practitioners simply sharing office space. When lawyers do that, they sometimes refer to themselves as “practicing in association”, but operate under a combined name. This gives the illusion of a traditional law firm, but is confusing for clients. That is not how we operate at KPA.
KPA Lawyers is very much a traditionally structured law firm equipped with a team of non-lawyer support staff who are also employed by the coporation.
The short answer is no. KPA purchases goods and services from many vendors; however, we do not consider unsolicited sales calls or emails.
Yes, however, sometimes particular lawyers may temporarily stop accepting new clients due to a large volume of cases. You’re welcome to request specific lawyers when you contact us if you wish, and our team will let you know if that lawyer is accepting new files, and if any consultation fees apply for specific lawyers.
When you use our online matching form, our system will ensure you receive the soonest possible appointment with a lawyer that practices in the area of law that you requested.
After you have completed a consultation with the lawyer that you were matched with, you might decide to proceed with that lawyer, or request a different lawyer, or proceed at a different law firm altogether. Regardless of your choice, our employees are expected not to put any undue pressure on clients regarding their choice of lawyer.
Lawyers come and go from their jobs at hundreds of firms across the country every day.
This can be for a variety of reasons, ranging from a change in the type of law they practice, family obligations, leaving the practice of law altogether, a desire to live in another city, or several other ordinary reasons.
Depending on the reason for the lawyer’s exit, clients will have varying options. There may be circumstances where the lawyer is able to continue working with their clients at their new place of employment, and there may be circumstances where the lawyer is not able to continue representing their clients.
Please note that neither KPA nor the lawyer will put pressure or exert undue influence on clients when a lawyer leaves a law firm. Whether a client ultimately continues with their lawyer or stays with KPA and is assigned another lawyer will depend on the following factors:
- The client’s personal preferences;
- Whether any cancellation fees must be paid to KPA prior to terminating a client’s relationship with our firm, as described in the retainer agreement that the client signed;
- Whether the lawyer will be continuing to provide legal services to the public in the next chapter of their career;
As a company, we take great care to provide very competitive compensation plans, and a fantastic firm culture, so as to encourage lawyers to have long and satisfying careers on our team. However, there will always be some level of turnover in any organization, and it is our commitment that any such occurrences are dealt with as smoothly and conveniently as possible for our clients.
Although we’re confident that you will love all of our lawyers, if there is anything that you’d like to discuss about your lawyer, feel free to email us at email@example.com about it. A member of our management team will be happy to explore ways to resolve your concerns and help make things right.
Clients have a right to end their relationships with their lawyers. You can do this by emailing your lawyer directly, or by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to terminate the solicitor-client relationship, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
First, if your lawyer is on “on record” with the court as your legal representative, then this will need to be changed. Most of the time, you’ll need to sign a form called a “Notice of Intention to Act in Person”. If you have a new lawyer at another firm, then your new lawyer can file something called a “Notice of Change of Solicitors”. If you do not cooperate with that process, KPA will need to bring a motion in court to be removed from the record as your lawyers, and you could be responsible for legal fees associated with that motion.
Second, if you have unpaid bills, we will work with you to arrive at a reasonable arrangement for payment. However, bills that remain unpaid for an unreasonable amount of time may be sent to a collections agency, or collected by filing a lawsuit against you. These events can affect your credit score, or result in your personal property being seized. Collections agencies and lawsuits are typically a last resort, and we are committed to exploring all other practical solutions prior to escalating to court proceedings.
Third, if you were receiving services on the basis of a contingency fee, then KPA will likely either (1) require you to pay for any hours that we worked at our usual hourly rates, along with reimbursement for any expenses and HST are incurred, or (2) we might obtain a “charging order” in court entitling us to a portion of the winnings even if your case is ultimately concluded by another law firm, or (3) we may pursue both.
Fourth, after settling up all accounts, if there remains unused money in your trust account, then you will need to make arrangements for that trust money to either be returned to you or sent to your new lawyer. Trust funds may be returned by credit card refund or by cheque. However, only credit card transactions that occurred in the last 6 months can be refunded. This is a restriction imposed by our credit card processing company, and is not in our control. If trust funds are being returned to you by cheque, then you can pick up your cheque at the front desk, or alternatively confirm to us in writing the complete mailing address where you would like the cheque to be sent. Postage costs will be deducted from the amount being returned to you.