Fees & Expenses
As a mediator, arbitrator, or parenting coordinator it is essential to maintain neutrality. We do not represent any one party in a conflict. It is therefore important when contacting us to focus on the facts, what the conflict is about rather than your what your perspective on the conflict is. This will avoid the perception that the first party contacting our office has any advantage over the other party. An example of a simple factual inquiry is:
My name is Jane Doe and I am involved in a dispute [or legal conflict] regarding the following issues, parenting / property / elder / business issues with John Smith. We do or do not have a lawyer. I can be contacted at ______________. When could you mediate/arbitrate our case.
It is reasonable to assume that the other party may ask what details or documents have been shared with our office. Our general practice is to be transparent and share any initial information or documentation provided to us with all parties.
We represent parties that have lawyers, as well as parties that are representing themselves. If you have legal counsel, it can be beneficial to have your lawyers contact us directly to hire us. While there is no problem with lawyers contacting our office individually, the same rules apply to them respecting neutrality. Just convey the basic information and facts about the dispute and not information about their client’s perspective on the dispute. Also, lawyers should copy the other lawyer, or the other party if they are not represented on all communication.
Fees & Expenses
The hourly rate of your ADR professional will include the time spent at meetings or hearings, on telephone or video calls, on reading and responding to correspondence, reviewing documentation, and drafting engagement agreements, mediation agreements, awards, and any other required documentation.
Clients are also responsible for expenses incurred related to your matter. General expenses include board room booking fees, photocopying when copy large documents / disclosure, assistant and supply fees when compiling document binders, and expert’s fees when appropriate. If your ADR professional must travel for your case then we will charge a per diem rate or actual travel costs as agreed with the clients.
Parties may agree to split their fees equally, in proportion to their incomes or take all the fees from joint property.
The general rate for Sharon J. Crooks K.C. is $500.00 an hour plus GST.
The general rate for Katherine McKinnon-Forgeron is $350.00 an hour plus GST.
Assistant fees are $75.00 an hour plus GST.
We accept the following methods of payment:
- Cash, electronic money transfer [EMT], certified cheques, bank drafts or money orders.
- We can also accept payment by credit card, but a 2% surcharge will apply
We cannot accept cryptocurrencies
* I would note that we prefer EMTs and that we are prepared to receive the deposit in installments as daily transfers and banking limits may apply to some clients.
The parties are each responsible for paying our fees and expenses. Lawyers call this “joint and several liability.”
We ask for a deposit in advance of commencing a file which is based on a rough estimate of the anticipated fees. The deposit is security for the ADR professionals’ fees and any unused funds from a deposit will be returned to the parties in the proportions they contributed to the deposit.
A deposit is not a guarantee of what the final bill will be. There are many factors that will affect the final bill, but all our bills have an itemized listing of the fees and expenses. Once the deposit fees have been used up a second deposit may be requested depending where in the process your file is.
Mediation / Arbitration
In the case of mediation, any outstanding fees and disbursements are payable when the mediation has ended, whether or not an agreement has been reached on all or some of the issues brought to mediation.
In the case of mediation / arbitration, any outstanding fees and disbursements are payable when the final award has been prepared and must be paid before the final award will be released.
Our accounts are payable when they are sent and will be paid from the funds on deposit. Any outstanding accounts will be charged interest at the rate of 18%
The parents are jointly and severally liable for payment of the fees and any expenses incurred. We will ask that an initial deposit be paid in advance, to be determined based on each individual file. Periodic accounts will be rendered, generally every month or so and will be delivered by email.
Once the initial deposit has been used up a second deposit will be requested.
The deposit is held in reserve against the possibility that a parent may try to avoid a decision on an issue by allowing our funds to be exhausted and then refusing to replenish it.
Our accounts are payable when they are sent and will be paid from the parents’ deposits.