Client Bill of Rights

There are a lot of rules and regulations in the world of law. Most are intended to protect the concept we call The Rule of Law. Canada is a great country because we all adhere to a similar range of values, outlined and enshrined in the laws and legal traditions of our country. These laws, rules, and social norms help make Canada the wonderful country it is. In fact, Canada is famous for our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

​These reasons are why I came to Canada, went to law school, worked as a government lawyer, and then established and grew Shirtliff Hinds Law into a full service law firm in Newmarket, serving:  Aurora, Beeton, East Glillimbury, Georgina, Holland Landing, Kettleby, King City, Markham, Mt. Albert, Newmarket, New Tecumseh, North York, Richmond Hill, Schomberg, Thornhill, Tottenham, and Uxbridge.

For those of you who are curious, here is the story of how I came to Canada and the reason I started Shirtliff Hinds Law. 

Rules and regulations are formal. Attitudes and everyday behaviours are less formal, but just as important. Our Client Bill of Rights deals with three important areas:  1) Timely Client Communication;  2) Confidentiality and Privacy;  and 3) Rates, Fees, and Disbursements.

​At Shirtliff Hinds Law we recognize the importance of our clients, and we pledge to treat you with dignity and respect. We know that for many people, dealing with a lawyer is an emotional and financial strain.  Always feel free to ask us what is going on, what we are doing for you, and why.

  1. Right to Timely Client Communication about Your Case

    Our clients deserve:

    • To understand which Shirtliff Hinds Law lawyer is primarily responsible for your case.

    • To understand if, when, and who, another Shirtliff Hinds Law lawyer or legal professional will be involved.

    • To understand how Shirtliff Hinds Law operates.

    • To understand, to the degree agreed to by client and lawyer, the law surrounding your case.

    • To receive a timeline that will be revised during the resolution of their matter, showing when various actions will take place and fees and disbursements will be due.

    • To establish an agreement with your main lawyer regarding how detailed and extensive communication will be, bearing in mind that the more communication there is, the higher fees will be.

    • To know, to the degree agreed to between client and lawyer, what is happening to the progress of your case.

    • To receive prompt responses to questions asked in person, in letters, or electronically. We aim to respond to client queries in one business day.

  2. Right to Client Confidentiality and Client Privacy

    ​Our clients deserve:

    • To know what client confidentiality and personal privacy really mean.

    • To understand the concept of lawyer-client confidentiality (also known as solicitor-client privilege) and to be confident that Shirtliff Hinds Law lawyers will maintain this confidentiality.

    • To know when confidentiality cannot be offered or guaranteed because of Canada’s open court and public justice system. For instance, family law paperwork can often be obtained from the court by reporters, business competitors, nosy neighbours, or complete strangers.

    • To not have Shirtliff Hinds Law lawyers act for a competitor, without the prior approval of both clients and an agreement on the scope of the project.

    • To have the opportunity to contribute their time and expertise to do additional research and perform tasks that do not require specific legal expertise, but would serve to lower legal fees. The client must understand that the lawyer cannot accept instructions from the client to “twist” the legal process in any way.

  3. Right to Clear Rates, Fees, and Disbursements

    Our clients deserve:

    • To know which Shirtliff Hinds Law lawyers and staff will charge you for time spent and services rendered.

    • To know what project charges or hourly rates apply to each of these lawyers and staff.

    • To know what activities, actions, and services are chargeable.

    • To know if internal conversations between a lawyer and an assistant are charged to you.

    • To know how a retainer works in your specific case.

    • To know what happens when a retainer is depleted.

    • To know if travel time is charged back to you.

    • To be aware if evening and weekend fees are priced at a premium.

    • To be able to easily understand your account’s current financial position.

Sincerely Yours,
Carol Shirtliff-Hinds

Founder and Managing Partner