Legal Fees

Although it is very difficult to estimate what a Family Law dispute will cost, at Soby Boyden Lenz we are mindful of how quickly costs can accumulate during the resolution of a Family Law issue. To assist you in maintaining control over the legal fees you incur:

  • we have lawyers with a wide range of experience and varying hourly rates
  • costs are kept in mind when assisting you in choosing which dispute resolution method(s) is best for you based on your individual circumstances and specific legal issues
  • detailed accounts are normally rendered on a monthly basis

How Legal Fees are Charged

The starting point for determining the amount of your legal fees is the amount of time spent on your file. As a result, your specific lawyer’s hourly rate has a direct impact on the total fees that you will incur during the resolution of your issue. The hourly rates of the lawyers at Soby Boyden Lenz depend on the amount of experience each lawyer has, which is determined according to the number of years each lawyer has been called to the Bar.

Records of time and services rendered are detailed in the monthly accounts sent to clients. Chargeable time is incurred for all of the lawyer’s time spent on your issue. For example, billable time may include:

  • interviews
  • telephone calls
  • voicemails
  • e-mails (receipt and response)
  • meetings
  • questioning
  • preparation time
  • sending and receiving correspondence
  • drafting documents
  • reviewing documents
  • ordering and review of expert reports
  • legal research
  • court appearances
  • reviewing file

Your final account may be adjusted in accordance with our retainer agreement.


Disbursements are out-of-pocket expenses and other costs necessarily incurred by the firm on behalf of the client. Disbursements are billed in addition to legal fees. Examples of disbursements are as follows:

  • filing costs
  • long distance charges for telephone calls
  • fax transmissions
  • transcripts of questioning
  • courier charges
  • travel expenses
  • Land Titles registration and search fees
  • photocopies & printing
  • process server


In the practice of law, when a client hires a lawyer, the client is said to have ‘retained’ the lawyer. This act of employment is called ‘the retainer’. The retainer agreement between the client and the lawyer sets forth the nature of services to be performed, costs, expenses and related matters. A retainer fee is provided to counsel upon engaging services.

It is our firm’s policy to require a retainer fee to be paid before rendering services to a client. The amount of the retainer fee varies from lawyer to lawyer and is based on the complexity of the issues to be resolved. How the retainer fee is used during the course of a file varies from lawyer to lawyer.

Some lawyers hold the retainer fee on the file until the matter is resolved, in which case you are expected to keep your monthly accounts up to date.

Others use the retainer fee to cover the monthly account but require the retainer to be replenished from time to time until the matter has been resolved.

In either case, any retainer fee that remains in our trust account at the conclusion of a file is returned to the client in full, provided that there are no outstanding charges.

Method of Payment

We accept payment by cash, debit card, cheque, Electric Funds Transfer or Online via your financial institution, Visa and MasterCard. It is possible to make payments over the phone when paying by credit card.