Legal Mandate


Legal Mandate and Fee Agreement

The following is an example of the legal mandate which I have drafted and use, which should answer most questions about what is expected of you when I am engaged to act as your lawyer in a litigious matter:


  • (name)
  • (address)

By signing the present agreement you agree to retain Me Andrew H. Heft as your attorney for the following purposes:

- divorce proceedings against                     to final judgment in record number

 1. Legal Fees

It is agreed and understood that you will be billed for the legal services that Me Andrew H. Heft and/or his associates will render on your behalf in the execution of this present mandate on an hourly basis at the rate of $             .

The legal fees that you will be charged will thus depend on the amount of time that is spent on your case.

2. The time spent on your case may include:

  • making and receiving telephone calls from yourself and/or third parties
  • issuing correspondence
  • studying correspondence and/or proceedings received
  • drafting proceedings and agreements
  • attending meetings
  • participating in settlement negotiations
  • preparing for court – including review of the file, briefing depositions, identifying the legal issues, researching questions of law, preparing questions for direct and cross-examination, preparation of legal arguments
  • attendance at court whether for depositions, pre-trial motions, conferences, and hearings
  • preparation required in order to respond to issues that come to light during trial, done in the morning before court, during lunch hour, or in the afternoon after court.

3. Telephone calls

Telephone calls made or received in relation to your file will be billed at two-tenths [.2] of an hour, whether such calls are from or to you or others.

4. Disbursements

In addition to the rates described above, you will also pay disbursements or out-of-pocket costs incurred in your case.

Such costs include: photocopies @ 25 cents per page and faxes @ $1 cents per page, long-distance charges for telephone calls and faxes, computer research time, bailiffs fees (process servers), court filing fees, stenography fees, witness fees, taxis, parking charges, out-of-town travel expenses, experts fees and investigators fees.

Experts or investigators will be hired only with your prior agreement to do so and with the understanding that you will pay directly for their services.

Me Heft will, in the exercise of the discretion accorded to him, determine whether an examination on discovery of the adverse party is necessary, and if so you will pay the stenographer’s fees associated therewith.

5. Retainers / Advances

You will pay an initial sum at start of your case of $              as an advance.

The advance will be deposited in trust and will be used to pay amounts billed to you on account of fees and disbursements.

You will be billed on a monthly basis for all work done or disbursements incurred in the previous month, if any.

Any and all invoiced amounts shall first be paid from monies remaining and held on your behalf in trust.

When the retainer in trust has been depleted you will be asked to provide additional advances. The amount will depend on the additional work which is anticipated to complete the next phase of your case.

At the conclusion of your case and the payment of your final bill, any monies remaining in trust to your credit will be refunded to you.

6. Interest

All bills are to be paid on receipt and bear a one percent (1%) monthly late charge (which equals 12% per year) on all amounts unpaid after 30 days from the date of the bill. 

7. No guarantees of outcome

You acknowledge that there can be no guarantee of the outcome of your case or about issues that may be decided by the court prior to a final ruling.

Statements made regarding the likely outcome or the range of possible outcomes are only opinions and not to be understood or interpreted as a guarantees of results.

Montreal, this                  , 20


Me Andrew H. Heft