Can I change / switch lawyers?
Confidence in your lawyer is important.
If you are no longer confident that your lawyer is providing effective representation, you have the right to seek alternative representation. It’s not the lawyer’s file, it’s your file. The lawyer is just helping you with your file.
Relationships between lawyers and clients are founded on trust, particularly in personal injury cases where you are required to divulge sensitive confidential information. While we encourage you to communicate your concerns to your lawyer before seeking other legal representation, we understand that sometimes it is difficult for you and your lawyer to continue to work together.
While you are not prevented from terminating your relationship with your lawyer, it is important to understand that your current lawyer is entitled to be compensated for time already spent on your case. Depending on the terms of the retainer or contingency fee agreement you executed with your lawyer, you may be required to pay your lawyer’s hourly rate, plus any costs and expenses (or disbursements), to date. Disbursements may include agent’s fees, the cost of obtaining hospital records, medical and physiotherapy reports, diagnostic reports (such as MRI reports), health care statements, outside legal opinions, actuarial reports, interpreter fees, court reporter’s charges, litigation support database associated charges, witness fees, process server charges, the cost of any investigation or research work, as well as charges for photocopies, telecopies, and laser printing. Depending on the stage of prosecution your claim is at, the amount of disbursements incurred may be substantial.
As a part of the process, Kantor LLP will first pay your previous lawyer’s disbursements, to obtain the file, then at the time of settlement, directly deal with your former counsel as to fees. In any event, there is no cost to you to switch legal counsel.
If you feel that your relationship with your current lawyer cannot be repaired, or you have questions as to your rights to transfer your file to another lawyer, we encourage you to call Kantor LLP today.