Contingency Fee Arrangement
Depending upon your case, you may be given this option as an alternative to the hourly rate fee arrangement.
The contingency fee arrangement is where the lawyer takes a percentage of the settlement. The benefit for the client is that the client only pays the lawyer if money is obtained for the client. As such, the client does not have to pay for the lawyer’s services until the file is completed and only if a monetary settlement is obtained for the client.
The maximum percentage I charge for my services under the contingency fee arrangement is 25 percent of the settlement above what you have been offered, if the matter is resolved prior to commencing legal proceedings, ie. commencing legal proceedings is issuing a Statement of Claim at Court or filing an application with the Human Rights tribunal, etc.
Once legal proceedings have been commenced, ie. the Statement of Claim is issued at Court or the application is filed with Human Rights Tribunal, etc., the maximum percentage I charge for my services is 35 percent of the settlement above what you have been offered.
The Law Society of Ontario, which is the regulatory body governing lawyers in Ontario, has a detailed article posted on its website: Contingency fees: What you need to know (a guide from the Law Society of Ontario).
An hourly rate fee arrangement is when the lawyer is paid for their services based on their actual time spent on the file at their hourly rate.