The Role of Contingency Agreements in Helping Individuals Access Justice

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  • In Ontario, one of the goals of our justice system is to allow people who have been wronged to seek compensation from whoever is responsible, be it for an injury, property damage, or any other kind of loss giving rise to a legal claim.

    Unfortunately, the average person will usually face significant barriers preventing them from getting the compensation they’re entitled to. If you are looking to begin a claim for damages, you will have to pay lawyer’s fees, court filing fees, and other disbursements such as hiring experts. Legal fees and disbursements will often amount to thousands of dollars, making it nearly impossible for individuals to protect their legal rights in many cases.

    This is especially true in the context of personal injury claims. Claims seeking compensation for physical injuries – which are often the most serious losses – are very complex and expensive, and usually require highly specialized medical experts. This makes personal injury litigation particularly difficult to afford for an injured person.

    Fortunately, the problem of affordability can be avoided by entering into a contingency fee retainer agreement (“contingency retainer”) with your lawyer. A contingency retainer is a contract between you and your lawyer stating that the lawyer will be paid a percentage of what you win in your litigation – either by settlement or by winning at trial. The agreement is ‘contingent’ because the legal fees will depend on the amount you recover through the litigation: if you do not recover money, your lawyer will not get paid; but if you recover a sum, your lawyer will be paid whatever percentage you and your lawyer agreed to in advance.

    In addition, a contingency retainer will usually stipulate that your filing fees and other disbursements will ultimately be covered by your successful claim as well. In the meantime, your lawyer or law firm will carry the burden of paying disbursements until they can be recovered.

    In short, if you are considering a legal claim to recover from a personal injury, the contingency retainer will help you access the justice system by allowing you to pay for your litigation later, and only to the extent that your lawyers are able to recover money for you.

    At Jasmine Daya & Co., we work on a contingency fee basis, and we will not be paid until your case has been resolved. If you or your loved ones have suffered a personal injury, call the team at Jasmine Daya & Co. at 289-216-1162, or contact us online at to schedule a free consultation.