Frequently asked questions
How can I make an appointment to see a lawyer?
There are several ways you can contact us. You can reach us by phone (604-266-7006) or email ([email protected]) or, if you prefer, you can complete our online consultation form. Once we hear from you, someone from our office will follow up with you by phone or email to discuss your concerns briefly and to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers.
What if I don’t live in Vancouver?
We represent clients throughout British Columbia, Alberta, the NWT, Yukon, and Nunavut. If you are unable to attend at our offices to meet with one of our lawyers, we can easily arrange a telephone or Zoom meeting for you.
Can I choose which lawyer I meet with?
Certainly. Feel free to take a look at our profiles section to get a sense of who we are and the type of work we do. You can also ask that we recommend a particular lawyer at the firm for you to speak with – we are happy to do so.
How soon can I speak to a lawyer?
Typically, we will be able to offer you an appointment by the next business day, if not sooner.
What will happen at my first meeting with a lawyer?
Our initial consultation will last about an hour. These meetings are an opportunity for you to tell us your story and to see if our firm is a good “fit” for you. By the end of that hour, we will be able to advise you of your legal rights and options, and to recommend a course of action to deal with your situation. Depending on the outcome of our meeting, you may wish to hire us to do additional legal work for you. If so, we can also discuss the scope and cost of that work at that time.
How do I prepare for this meeting?
We would ask that you provide any written material you think may be relevant to your situation. For example, if you are seeking our advice following termination of your employment, it would be helpful for us to see a copy of your employment contract (if you have one), any written information about your benefits or bonus entitlements, any email or other correspondence from your employer you think might be important, your termination letter, and any severance offer from your ex-employer. Or, if you are an employer seeking our assistance regarding one of your employees, you may wish to bring relevant excerpts from his or her HR file. And in all cases, your own notes regarding your workplace experience can provide useful background for us.
Beyond that, it is our job to help you tell us your story. If there is particular information we need from you, we will ask for it, and if you are unsure of the answer, we can help you find it. We know that it can be daunting to meet with a lawyer for the first time, and to discuss what were often upsetting and stressful events, and it is our goal to make your initial meeting as trouble-free as possible.
How much will it cost to speak to a lawyer – do you offer a free initial consultation?
We charge a flat fee ($300 + applicable taxes) for your first meeting with one of our lawyers. We do this because our knowledge of employment law and our many years of experience allow us to quickly assess and analyze our clients’ issues such that, in that first hour with you, we are able to provide you with comprehensive and valuable advice. In terms of any services we provide beyond that first meeting, we will bill you for these on an hourly basis. We think you will find our lawyers’ rates to be competitive and we invite you to contact us if you wish more detailed information regarding our fees.
What if I can’t afford to pay right now – will you take my case on contingency?
We will occasionally work for clients on a contingency fee basis – that is, agree that you will only pay us for our services if your case is successful. This is something you can discuss with the lawyer during your initial consultation.
What happens after our first meeting?
At our first meeting, and throughout our relationship with you, we will work with you to develop a plan that suits your employment situation and that is designed to achieve whatever your objective is in retaining our services. A frequent first step is to help you communicate your position to the party you are in dispute with, for example, by writing a letter on your behalf, or by coaching you before an upcoming in-person meeting.
Can you get me a settlement so that I can avoid going to court?
Many clients are hopeful that they will be able to settle their dispute without having to go to court, and in such cases, we will endeavour to make this happen. We are often able to help clients resolve their employment law issues in a few months (sometimes even weeks) without having to resort to formal litigation. At the risk of stating the obvious, however, the likelihood of a settlement often hinges on the willingness of the parties involved to negotiate. Having said that, in our many years of experience, it is only a small minority of our clients’ cases that actually end up in court. In any case where we believe a settlement to be a viable and desirable option for our client, we will work actively with you and the other party to make this happen.
A new model for workplace relationships
Enable a workplace culture that is transparent, cooperative, and respectful, and that allows both employer and employee to succeed and find meaning in their work, on an ongoing basis.