Umar Sheikh Personal Law CorporationBox 24062, Broadmead PO | Victoria | BC | V8X 0B2T: (250) 507-7599 E: email@example.com W: sheikhlegal.com
Part 1: Our Services
(the “Society”) has retained Umar Sheikh Personal Law Corporation (the “Firm”) to represent the Society in relation to labour relations and other advice, and to advise on various complaints by the members and others (Affiliated Persons) about the treatment they have received in the workplace at the hands of the government, their employers or their unions. Many of those complaints are associated with harsh and unreasonable mandates applied on a blanket basis without considering the needs and situations of individuals and without balancing the need for a proper and thorough scientific justification when compromising the rights of an individual while denying individual consideration. A significant portion of the work to be done or being done is reviewing the evidence of complaints put forward by the members and others for the purposes of advising the Society (and not the individual members) on the viability and tactical advantage of any particular claims to secure the greatest advantage for all. The complaints may consist of or include unconstitutional actions, human rights violations, breaches of employment contracts and failures to meet the duty of Fair Representation, among others.
The Society and the Firm note the circumstances giving rise to this agreement, including several suicide deaths connected to the mission of the Society, a crisis of hope, and a lack of support, sometimes from those very institutions responsible to provide support to individuals. Many individuals are at or near bankruptcy. Many of those who could be helped have fallen into despair, suffering a lack of hope and having no support.
The Society hereby gives a non-binding but honor-based commitment to give assistance to its members and including to those whose claims are advanced and to provide some of those supports which others have failed to provide. These might include taking care of members and their families and assisting them in obtaining counseling or providing emotional and financial support in some cases for basic living costs and essentials such as rent and groceries.
So long as those priorities are being met and considered, the Society agrees to retain the Firm and the Firm agrees to act to advise and assist in relation to any potential claims or evidence of claims and then after review and approval to consider taking on those claims chosen by the Society and on which the Firm does not have a conflict, on the terms set out herein.
In the course of reviewing those potential claims, the Society will remain the client and the individuals putting forward evidence, although they may become clients at some future date, should the Society so wish and should the Firm agree in writing with them, will not be clients of the Firm. If and when the Society determines that one or more of the claims of the individuals is worthy of advancement to meet the goals of the Society, then the Society may instruct the Firm to enter into an arrangement with the individual or individuals to advance such claims.
If and when the Firm receives instructions to advance a claim for one or more individuals the Firm shall attempt to elicit a conflict waiver and retainer agreement from those individuals to ensure that the Firm will continue to be able to advise and advance the interests of the Society in priority to the interests of any individual. In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest arising which cannot be resolved, the Firm must endeavour to retain the right to cease acting for the individuals and continue acting for the Society, to the extent possible.
Authority to Act
The Society authorizes the Firm to advise it on the above noted matters. In the course of our work for the Society, the Firm may use other lawyers, paralegals and secretarial staff who may be employees, associates or independent contractors of the Firm, all acting under the supervision of the Firm.
Direction of Affiliated Persons’ Actions
The Society agrees to be the instructing party for any action or defence of any Affiliated Person, subject to any agreement between the Firm and that Affiliated Person.
Loyalty and Withdrawal from Representation
The Firm may and will generally choose to prefer the Society, as a continuing client regularly represented by the Firm, over an individual litigant (Affiliated Person) when a conflict arises. The Firm will seek to limit its duties to the Affiliated Persons to be able to continue to serve the interests of the Society for the greater good. However, the Firm could decide that an instruction from the Society to withdraw from acting for one or more litigants or to take some other step in the Affiliated Person’s proceedings after action was approved by the Society and commenced would be unethical or unfair to the Affiliated Person and in that event the Firm could be obligated to refuse the instruction, or to withdraw from representing the Society, if the Society could not be persuaded to alter its instructions.
The Society may, from time to time, be entrusted with sensitive information relevant to an Affiliated Person’s legal matter. The Society agrees to treat all such information as confidential and potentially subject to solicitor-client privilege to be disclosed only to the Firm and to only those members of the Society necessary to evaluate the claims and to reasonably monitor the accounts in relation to the evaluation or advancement of those claims and to no one else, as the information is gathered in contemplation of possible litigation and to assist in the instruction of counsel, even for those matters where eventually no litigation does proceed. The Society agrees to make the claim of solicitor client privilege whether the information has been initially gathered by the Firm or whether the Society has assisted in gathering the information itself. While in some cases the methodology may jeopardize the ability to claim privilege, a failure to assert the privilege might well ensure failure in that battle and may be a violation of the rights of the individual who may have provided the information in hope or expectation of obtaining legal assistance.
Fees and Disbursements
The Firm’s fees are charged on an hourly basis subject to certain adjustments for various factors as set out below. The Firm charges $650.00 per hour for Mr. Sheikh’s time. The hourly rates for other lawyers, paralegals and secretaries may vary depending on experience. These rates are subject to periodic increases. Thirty (30) days notice will be given prior to any increase in fees.
The Firm must collect and remit GST and PST, currently at 5% and 7%, respectively, on any fees charged as required by law.
The Firm also charges for travel time and disbursements, which include but are not limited to any costs incurred in filing court documents, courier costs, fees, travel and accommodation expenses, and any other out of pocket expenses and reserves the right to charge a fee for photocopying, printing, or scanning, though does not usually do so except on very high volume jobs as the chargeable staff time involved on small jobs adequately recoups the cost and the cost of tracking small jobs is wasteful. Some disbursements will be subject to both GST and PST, while others may be subject to GST only or be non-taxable disbursements.
Fees and Disbursements of Affiliated Persons
The Society agrees to pay all fees and disbursements for any Affiliated Person that the Firm is instructed to represent.
Review of Accounts
If the Society disagrees with an account rendered to the Society by the Firm, the Society may have that account reviewed before a court Registrar for fairness.
The Society may pay a retainer amount to the Firm to be held in trust for the above noted legal matters and for the matters of each Affiliated Person as described above. The Retainer shall remain in trust as security for unbilled work and work in progress.
Please note that the Firm will not accept funds in cash, including for the retainer. The Firm accepts all forms of cheques, as well as major credit cards, money orders, bank drafts, and Interac electronic email money transfers.
The Firm reserves the right to request an increase in the retainer amount at any time in the future, including where the Firm expects a period of increased legal work for the Society or an Affiliated Person or a commitment is sought to a longer or more difficult cause of action.
The Firm’s practice is to deliver accounts by email on a monthly basis. The Society agrees to accept delivery of documents containing these accounts by email and to check its email account inbox frequently.
The Society shall pay each account within 30 days after issuance if it has funds available. The Firm, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to withdraw from representation for bills that are not paid within 60 days, pay the outstanding amount from trust, and refund any unused balance.
If the Firm has an unused balance in trust at the conclusion of its legal representation of the Society, the Firm shall refund the unused amount to the Society.
Discounts and Hardship
The Firm does not agree to represent or continue to represent the Society or any Affiliated Person on a pro bono basis. However, the Firm may, at its sole discretion, take into account the Society’s ability to pay and any other factor in deciding whether to give any discount on fees billed. The Firm acknowledges the difficult circumstances giving rise to this retainer agreement and pledges to take this into consideration when rendering accounts.
No Personal Responsibility for Accounts
The Firm agrees that no officer signing for the Society nor any member shall be personally liable for any unpaid accounts rendered solely to the Society or shown on their face as rendered to the Society and the Firm agrees not to pursue any such accounts by legal action other than by payment from retainer or funds received. Any amounts owing, which cannot be paid, shall be written off.
If the Society or an Affiliated Person is unsuccessful in a court or tribunal proceeding, the court or tribunal may order costs against the unsuccessful party. The Society agrees to exercise best efforts to fundraise to pay any costs award against any Affiliated Person.
If costs are awarded in favour of the Society or an Affiliated Person, the Society agrees that the Firm may secure agreement with the Affilated Person to apply those amounts to any outstanding accounts and pay the remainder to the Society. Please note that costs are not guaranteed and will only be a partial reimbursement of legal fees. Costs do not represent anything close to full indemnity.
Trust Administration Fee
If the Firm is required to use trust funds for anything other than legal fees and disbursements, the Law Society requires the Firm to charge the Society a Trust Administration Fee, which is currently $15.00 plus GST on each matter for which funds are handled for other than fees.
The Society agrees that the Firm may and will store and transmit electronic files which are generally unencrypted for cost effectiveness, and use many state of the art cloud services and softwares, including business, accounting, backup, document signing, file transfer systems, email, Microsoft products, Adobe products and litigation support systems, and others, many of which have servers outside of British Columbia or outside of Canada, and many of which are owned or controlled by leading technology companies subject to the laws of foreign jurisdictions. This may expose the Society and its data to other jurisdictions and risks of data loss and surveillance. Encrypted services and local servers can be arranged at extra cost, but running Microsoft operating systems and servers and Adobe products introduces a foreign presence into the core of our operations which is impractical to avoid.
This agreement supersedes and replaces any prior retainer agreement with the Society in relation to the services and whether with the Firm or the Firm’s principal or any predecessor firm.
Umar Sheikh Personal Law Corporationper:
Terms hereof agreed to:
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Signed by Umar Sheikh
Signed On: May 25, 2023
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Document Name: Retainer Agreement
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