Q
What does an initial consultation with your law office entail, and how long does it take?
A

We try to address the legal concerns of each and every person who visits or contacts our law office. To do this efficiently and effectively, we follow a protocol.

Typically, the initial consultation between a potential client who contacts us is done over the phone. This initial consultation enables us to have a general idea of your current legal situation. During this phase, we will gather basic and necessary facts from you, and provide you a list of documents that we may need to examine. This initial consultation, which is free, may last for about 10 to 30 minutes depending on the potential client’s situation. For walk-in potential clients, the initial consultation will be done personally.

After the initial consultation, we will review the facts and the legal issues, and undertake a conflicts check. We will contact you usually within 24 to 48 hours to further discuss the facts, review the documents you will provide, and provide you a proposal for legal services. If we cannot advise or represent you because of a conflict of interest with another client, or if the legal matter you conferred with us is not within the scope of our practice, we will inform you via phone call or e-mail that we will be unable to provide representation. We may refer you to another lawyer.

Q
Is the free communication confidential?
A

You may be worried that our consultations may be divulged to concerned parties or third persons. We can assure you we will not disclose all matters discussed during the consultations. Our duty of confidentiality extends not only to the attorney but also the staff. This applies to all consultations, including initial consultations with potential clients. The duty of confidentiality applies even if you decide not to engage us, or we inform you that we cannot accept your referral. If during our initial consultation, we realize that your legal concerns involve another client of ours, we will immediately inform you. We will not inform our other client that you have consulted with us.

Q
Can I get immediate legal advice during the free consultation?
A

We realize that some of our potential  clients may need immediate legal assistance or seek immediate legal advice. During the initial consultation, we take time to listen to your story and gather information from you. Afterwards, we will most likely provide you a general overview of the legal processes that may be involved, the applicable law and the legal issues. These do not constitute legal advice, but are meant only to give you an idea of what to expect. Unfortunately, we usually do not provide immediate legal advice on a potential client’s current situation, but it is not because we do not want to help you.

Most situations are complex and require some fact verification and legal research before an attorney can provide effective legal advice. For this reason, we gather as much information from you during the initial consultation, focusing on the highlights of your current situation. We may also need additional documents or information that may not be currently available during the initial consultation. Since there is no way to cover every little detail during the initial consultation, we cannot provide you immediate legal advice during that phase.

Q
What if I cannot talk during office hours?
A

We understand that many potential clients try to schedule consultations with us outside of office hours. While our office is open from 8:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. we can schedule a phone consultation outside of office hours upon request. Please fill out our contact form , and we will contact you via email or by phone to schedule a mutually convenient time.

Q
Your office is far from my current location and I would like to meet with you personally to discuss my current situation. Can we meet at a more convenient location?
A

We understand that the Manila traffic situation is currently horrendous. Given this, we make an effort to make meetings as convenient as possible for our clients. However, in order to maximize our resources, we suggest an initial consultation by phone or by email at a mutually convenient time. After the initial consultation, we will inform you if we can advise or represent you. Moving forward with our engagement, we can meet with you personally at a location convenient to you.

Q
If I decide to engage you as my counsel, how much will your legal services cost?
A

The cost of our legal services depend on the particular circumstances and your legal requirements. After deciding to accept your referred legal matter, we will provide you a proposal for legal services, which sets forth the terms and scope of our engagement.

This agreement will give you an idea of how much our legal services will cost, as well as the out-of-pocket expenses and taxes that you may have to shoulder in connection with our engagement.

In some instances, we may take on cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only get compensated for our legal services when the opposing party settles or we win the case. In these types of engagements, we will only request you to make a reasonable deposit for out-of-pocket expenses, replenishable when the deposit goes below a certain amount. The contingency percentages we charge will vary depending on the particular circumstances, case, client, etc., but always within the range usually charged by other solo practices.

In most instances, we will charge a reasonable acceptance fee and deposit for out-of-pocket expenses (also replenishable), and charge a flat rate for court appearances and filings. For commercial or corporate law matters, the rates are payable monthly or on milestone basis. As a matter of policy, we do not charge on an hourly basis.

We also offer legal retainer packages that are payable monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

In all instances, our goal is to provide high quality legal advice and representation that are worth our clients’ money.

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