Heidner Law Firm, P.C (the “Firm”) takes a number of factors into account in billing for its services rendered. The principal factor is the flat fee stated in our Engagement Letter of which this terms and conditions are integral part thereto. When a flat fee is not provided in the Engagement Letter or the client has contacted the Firm for any other matter, we reserve the right to charge according to our schedule of hourly rates. Even when a flat fee is agreed upon, additional time may be spent with meetings, phone or video calls to discuss the client’s matter as well as arising issues and questions. In this case, the client agrees to pay for the time spent according to our schedule of hourly rates for the attorneys and legal assistants who did the work. The client will be billed for all time spent on its behalf, including without limitation conferences, telephone calls, drafting, research. Our schedule of hourly rates for attorneys and other members of the professional staff is based on years of experience, specialization in training and practice, level of professional attainment, and overhead costs. Currently, our hourly rates range from US$250 for legal assistants to US$650 for our most senior partners. We reconsider our schedule of hourly rates at the start of each year and may revise them at that time to reflect changes in our cost structure and market conditions. If we change our rates, the new rates will go into effect immediately without special notice to the client and will be reflected in our next bill. Upon request at any time, we will provide a client with the rates of those professional staff working on an engagement.
It may be necessary for us to incur, as agent for our clients, expenses for items such as filing fees, registered agents, accountants toll telephone calls, photocopying, facsimiles (“fax”), and courier services. In order to allocate these expenses fairly among our clients and to keep our hourly rates as low as possible, these items are usually separately itemized on our invoices as “third party”, “costs advanced” or “disbursements.”. We regularly seek to negotiate special rates with outside service providers based on volume.
Whenever possible, fees and expenses stated in our Engagement Letter will be billed in advance or a Retainer (deposit) will be required. Payment is due upon presentation and our services will be initiated once the payment is received. Additional invoices regarding eventual additional hours spent with meetings, phone or video calls to discuss your matter as well as arising issues and questions will be billed monthly or at the conclusion of our services.
To avoid burdening those clients who pay their statements promptly with higher fees reflecting the added costs we incur as a result of clients who are delinquent, we reserve the right to impose an interest/service charge of one percent per month for late payments. In no event will the service charge be greater than permitted by applicable law.
Failure to pay any statement rendered when due will constitute a default. In the event that the client deliberately disregards the client’s obligation to pay our fees or expenses, in our discretion we may immediately cease all legal services on the client’s behalf and/or withdraw as counsel in any pending representation. In the unlikely event that we are required to institute legal proceedings to collect fees and costs owed by the client, the prevailing party will be entitled to reimbursement of its reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs of collection. If the Firm decides to represent itself and is the prevailing party, we shall be entitled to recover based on our normal rates and time expended.
We encourage the Client to use e-mail to contact and communicate with the attorneys and other staff. The attorney may have other work commitments, so it is unreasonable to expect an immediate response to e-mails or any other types of messages. Appointments should be organized by e-mail or by calling the office’s main phone line, not scheduled by WhatsApp directly with the attorney. If you already established a connection through WhatsApp with an attorney, please be considerate and refrain from texting on weekends or US holidays and outside of business hours.
The client has the right to terminate our representation by written notice at any time. In that case, the client is not relieved of the obligation to pay for all services rendered and costs incurred on its behalf prior to receipt of such notice. We have the same right to terminate our engagement for any reason, consistent with the applicable rules of professional responsibility, including (a) non-payment of fees or expenses, (b) if the client insists upon taking action that we consider illegal or with which we have a fundamental disagreement, or (c) any other conduct that we deem to be inconsistent with the rules of professional conduct or any other law. Unless previously terminated, the Firm representation of a client will terminate upon delivery of our final statement (so marked) for services rendered on the engagement, notwithstanding that we may be listed as your agent to receive any kind of notice or that we may retain possession of certain of your files relating to this engagement.
The laws of the State of New York will govern the interpretation of this agreement and our attorney-client relationship.
Sometimes another party to a transaction agrees to pay our client’s legal fees. Any amounts received from others will be credited to the client’s account. This will not make the payor a client of the Firm.
Should a dispute arise concerning our legal fees or costs in a matter in which a material portion of our services was rendered in New York, which dispute cannot be amicably resolved, the client may have the right to arbitration of the dispute pursuant to Part 137 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts of the State of New York. Upon request, a copy of those rules will be provided to the client. Any other dispute relating to this engagement shall be decided exclusively by a state or federal court sitting in New York County without a jury. Both Firm and our client consent to the jurisdiction of those courts and waive any right to a trial by a jury.
Our policy is to keep each client’s legal records for a reasonable time after an engagement has ended, after which we may destroy those records according to our retention schedule. We will use reasonable efforts to give the client at least 30 days-notice before we destroy its records. The client is responsible to notify us about any change in its name or address so that we may provide such notice. If a client wants to make any special arrangements, the client should raise them with us at or prior to conclusion of the engagement.