All litigation contains risks and rewards. There is no guarantee of success or failure, and litigants must plan for both. Onyx Law Group recognizes that the decision to litigate is often a difficult one, based on financial and emotional reasons. To better serve client’s needs, the firm offers the following payment options:

Hourly Rate

The lawyer bills the client based on an hourly rate, and invoices the client regularly for work done, along with disbursements (out-of-pocket costs such as court filing fees, photocopies, couriers, etc.). In order to ensure payment, a retainer (money paid up front) is requested to pay for the costs of litigation, where the client is asked to top up the retainer when the retainer balance is running low, during the course of the litigation. A standard opening file retainer is $5,000. This option is high in risk and high in reward for the client because the client must pay for the lawyer’s fees regardless of the outcome of the litigation, which can be substantial. For example, a 5-day trial typically costs $50,000 in legal fees. However, the ultimate settlement or trial award is kept entirely by the client.

Contingency Basis

The lawyer does not receive payment for their services until the action has been resolved either by way of settlement or trial. At the resolution of the file, the lawyer takes a percentage from the final award. The lawyer bills the client from time to time for the payment of disbursements (out-of-pocket costs) throughout the litigation process. This option is low risk and lower in reward. The client bears little risk in this scenario because the lawyer does not get paid unless there is a settlement or trial award. However, the client takes less from the award at the resolution of the action as a cost to assuming so little risk throughout the litigation process. (This payment option is for estate litigation files only) *Please note that all family files are on an hourly rate basis, whereas both hourly rate and contingency options are possible for estate litigation cases at the lawyer’s discretion.


When commencing an estate litigation action, Plaintiffs’ counsel must be careful to leverage every possible legal advantage in their clients’ favour because it is always an uphill battle....Read More...