Contingency Fees are a saving grace for many personal injury clients in Ontario, as they allow the victim to receive access to justice without having to pay legal fees until a settlement (or trial) determines the amount of damages awarded.
The problem with contingency fees though, has been explaining them to clients.
“The previous regime has been generally confusing and needlessly complicated,” says personal injury lawyer Brian A. Horowitz. “Incorporating all of the legal requirements into the agreements have made them incredibly long and difficult to understand.”
Now, as of July 1, 2021, that all changes. A much-welcomed new regime will see Ontario lawyers adhering to new contingency fee reforms brought into effect by the Law Society of Ontario. For clients, the changes will be beneficial in a number of ways:
- The new standard form agreement is shorter and the language is clearer and simpler.
- The fee calculation is more straightforward.
- The new standard form will eradicate any uncertainties for the client as to what they are signing up for.
- It will facilitate access to justice, by allowing more deserving claims to go to trial.
“The new standard form agreements, the amendments to the Solicitor’s Act and the Rules of Professional Conduct have simplified these agreements and have made them less complicated and more understandable to the public,” says Mr. Horowitz.
Contingency Fees Consumer Guide
Lawyers are now required to provide the Consumer Guide to any potential clients; This is a guide from the Law Society of Ontario, entitled Contingency Fees: What You Need to Know. The guide helps users:
- Understand their rights
- Understand the different types of contingency fee arrangements
- Compare the offerings of different lawyers
- Learn what questions to ask
“The new amendments and the requirement to provide the Consumer Guide to our clients is a welcome change,” says Mr. Horowitz. “The new agreements and requirements promote transparency, are easier to understand, and most importantly, will serve the best interests of the public.”
If you have a serious personal injury case and are in need of more information about your rights with regards to contingency fees, or the new regulations that go into effect on July 1st, contact Horowitz Injury Law today. With over 35 years of experience handling the most difficult personal injury cases, their trained and experienced staff is there to help you at any time. Call 416-925-4100.