The process of changing lawyers in Ontario is quite simple. In Ontario, lawyers are like any other service. Irrespective of what you have been told, if you are unhappy with your lawyer, you can change lawyers at any time. The retainer agreement which you have entered into with your lawyer will govern what transpires following his or her termination, and more specifically, how much your personal injury lawyer should be paid for the work that he or she has already done. Most law firms, when they take over your file, will undertake to pay your previous lawyer out of the proceeds of settlement or judgment. However, some lawyers will not agree to do so and as such, the lawyer you fire may obtain a charging order or lien against your file. This may prevent you from obtaining a competent lawyer as your new lawyer may not want to work on your case if he or she must give up a large fee to your previous lawyer. In most cases, you do not have to pay a lawyer twice as the lawyer taking over the file will generally, although not always, agree to pay out of his or her fees the amount that is owed to the previous lawyer. This is the primary reason why it is so important to select the right lawyer from the beginning.
Reasons for Changing Representation
At Preszler Law, we are contacted regularly by people who are dissatisfied with their current lawyers. Often, the reason why people contact us is due to a lack of communication with their current lawyer. Obviously, it is important for you to feel confident in your lawyer and if you’re unable to speak your lawyer, then that could be a cause for concern. More often than not, a simple meeting with your current lawyer can resolve any issue and we encourage all parties to reach out to their current lawyer in an attempt to smooth out any issues. In the event that the relationship cannot be salvaged, we would be pleased to review your file and advise as to how we can assist you.
Determining the reason why you are unhappy with your lawyer is an important first step. At Preszler Law, we hear from many people who are dissatisfied with their current legal representation. The reasons given are as follows:
- Unhappy with the settlement offer
- Unhappy with the speed at which the claim is being prosecuted
- Conflicting personalities
- Non-responsiveness on the part of the lawyer
- Inability to speak or meet an actual lawyer
- Differing opinions on the value of a claim
- Loss of faith and/or trust
How to Switch
If you feel that your relationship with your current lawyer cannot be repaired, you should proceed to terminate your lawyer in writing or seek out a new lawyer who will terminate the relationship for you.
Feel free to contact Preszler Law at any time. We would be pleased to discuss your options with you.