Is Charles and Associates the Law Firm for me?

We understand that the choice of which lawyer or Law Firm you retain can impact your case and more so, your life, in countless ways. Most clients have indicated to us that their matter can potentially change the course of their life and with so much riding on it, it is essential that you choose a firm that is the best fit for you, personally, financially and strategically. Our Firm is a small boutique Law Firm practicing in Trinidad and Tobago and St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis. Therefore, we are a right fit for you and your matter if you require representation in Trinidad and Tobago or St. Kitts and Nevis. Also, if you want to be represented by a Firm whose size allows for easy contact with the Attorneys. A firm which has its clients’ interest at heart, is fully automated including e-payment solutions, allots time and resources to proper management of client matters, allow clients to exchange information by way of a secure client portal, explains matters by meeting clients at their level of operation and employs a wide range of non-conventional methods to bring about the resolution of matters.

What are the countries in which the Law Office of Charles and Associates practice?

The Law Office of Charles and Associates practices in St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.

What practice areas or types of cases does your Firm handle?

For both Trinidad and Tobago and St. Kitts and Nevis, we practice in the areas of bankruptcy (debt relief, debtor and creditor matters, foreclosure), business law (banking and finance, business registration), contracts, insurance matters, mergers and acquisitions, motor vehicular accidents, traffic offences, divorce, custody and access to children, child and spousal support, family law (adoption), employment matters (discrimination and sexual harassment, wrongful and unfair termination, workmen’s compensation, estate planning (Wills and Probate), Letters of Administration, citizenship and immigration, intellectual property, litigation, mediation and arbitration, medical malpractice (birth injury/negligence), personal injury, defamation, workplace injury, construction law, landlord and tenant matters, real estate matters. We currently offer notarial services at our St. Kitts office and we shall soon offer in our Trinidad office. Citizenship by Investment, Trust and Offshore Companies enquiries are only done out of the St. Kitts office.

We do not undertake criminal matters (save and except for domestic violence, protection order applications, expungement of records and bail applications)

How long have the Attorneys at the Firm been practicing?

Since 2012.

Do I need to come into your office and meet you in person to retain you, or to receive legal services?

No. Our Firm has become fully automated which allows for initial consultations and meetings to be conducted virtually (via Zoom). Clients may choose to have the consultation recorded, for the purposes of reviewing and accessing later. We have minimized in-person consultations and encourage client communications and matter advancement, that are free from physical interaction. Our Firm’s Practice Management system and cloud-based storage allows for work to be done remotely, from any location, at any time. Our office would provide you with the link to the Intake Form for completion, Zoom Consultation and Retainer/Fee Agreement for electronic signing. You can retain our firm and advance your matter, without the need for in-person meetings.

 

How are legal fees calculated?

There basis of our Firm’s billing, in both St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago are the Scale of Fees in the respective countries. The Scale of Fees sets the minimum fees chargeable by our Firm for various matters. The fees would then by based on the expertise and experience required, the complexity of the matter, the skills needed, the number of Attorneys from the Firm required to work on the matter, the importance of the matter and the time required to prepare for the matter and provide representation in the matter. Attorneys for various matters.

In general, how much does the Firm charge per hour?

In general the Firm charges USD$300 or TTD$2,038.00 or EC$810 an hour.

Are fees charged other than legal fees?

Yes, they are referred to as ‘disbursements”. Disbursements are the other part of legal fees that are charged. They are the expenses which the Firm pays on behalf of the client’s behalf, which it would recover from the client. These include the costs of stamps for filing, fees paid for electronic court filings, payments for medical experts or reports, survey plans, payment to the Land Registry, Inland Revenue Department or any institution to enable the Firm to render the legal service to the client. At the commencement of your matter, we usually try to provide clients with best estimates as to the amount of out-of-pocket expenses. We would also inform you when reimbursement would be required, for expenditure made on behalf of the client in furtherance of their legal matter.

How does the Firm keep me updated about my matter?

Attendance notes are usually issued to clients no later than 5 days after a Court hearing or a Zoom meeting. Updates are also issued to clients from the Clients’ Administrator via electronic mail or calls or by way of updates from our Practice Management system. We have come to understand and appreciate the value of constant and timely communication with our clients, in their respective matters.

If I have a question, how can I contact the office?

The office prides itself on being easily contactable, utilizing such means as whatsapp (Trinidad and Tobago – 1.868.762.1008 orSt. Kitts and Nevis -1.869.667.7162). Clients can also send an email to info@charlesandassociateslaw.com.

What happens if the Firm cannot represent me?

Once the Intake Form is completed and submitted, the Firm’s Practice Management system runs a Conflict check to ensure that there are no conflicts with former or existing clients. In the event the report comes back and our Firm is unable to represent you, we would immediately disclose and provide you with a list of Attorneys practicing in the specific practice area, which you can consider retaining. If we have already created an e-file or a physical file for you, we would await your instructions concerning the transfer of your file, to the attorney of your choice.

What happens to funds held “in trust” against a retainer?

Our Firm provides clients with a Retainer/Fee Agreement, for signing. Payment is made to the Firm and deposited to the Firm’s Trust Account, pursuant to the Retainer/Fee Agreement. The Firm would only draw down on the funds in the Trust Account when the respective work has been completed and the payment has been earned.

What are the Firm’s business hours?

Our business hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. However, please feel free to call or email us after hours. We are committed to returning our client’s and potential client’s calls and emails within 72 hours or less.

Does the Firm allow for after hours or weekend consultations?

Yes, subject to a request, the Firm facilitates after hours or weekend consultations. The rate for such consultations is charged at time and a half.

 
What is the statute of limitation matters?

In Trinidad and Tobago the Limitation of Certain Actions Act Chap 7:09, sets out the limitation periods for different types of claims.

Contract: 4 years

Tort: 4 years

Recovery of money stated in an Act: 4 years

Damages for negligence, nuisance orbreach of duty and personal injuries: 4 years

Enforcing a judgment: 12 years

Judicial review: 3 months

Workmen’s compensation: 1 year

In St. Kitts and Nevis, the Limitation Act Chap 5.09, sets out the limitation periods for different types of claims.

Simple contract: 6 years

Tort: 6 years

Action to recover a sum: 6 years

Enforcing a Judgement: 12 years

What information and documents do I need to provide for a personal injury matter or motor vehicular claim?

You would be required to complete a Claim Form and provide:
• Photographs of the accident location
• Photographs of your injuries
• Photographs of property damage
• Any written reports from where the accident took place or if the police attended (police report)
• Accident reconstruction report
• Medical reports or specialist’s reports
• Vehicle service history
• Evidence of past violations or safety concerns
• Insurance certificate and certificate for other parties (and any communication from insurance companies)
• Estimate for repairs
• Receipts for all medication and out of pocket expenses (visits to the doctor, medical bills etc)
• Repair invoices
• Documentation you have from any witnesses (witness or victim statements)

I am considering getting a Divorce, what documents/information do I need?

You need the original Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate(s) of any children, statement of arrangement for the child(ren), Consent Agreement (if any), bank statements, joint account statements, Deeds, Mortgage documents, credit card statements, property appraisals, list of property owned by each spouse prior to marriage, list of property acquired after marriage, loan documents, spousal income, household expenditure. Provide filing fee to file the documents.

What are the documents I need to provide to apply for a Grant of Probate?

The original will and any codicils (additions to a will) and an original copy of the Death Certificate of the deceased.

Will I have to go to Court?

Depending on the type of matter, you may have to attend Court. At this time, High Court matters are being convened virtually. Magisterial matters are still being held in person. If it is a non-contentious matter, Court attendance may not be required. We would try to settle matters before they advance to trial, in cases whether matters are able to be settled. In the event the matter is not able to be settled prior to trial, we would support you, by preparing for court and actively representing you during your Court hearings and at trial.

How long will the matter take?

The length of time that a legal proceeding can take would vary based on the type of matter. It is critical for clients to recognize that many factors are not within the control of the Firm and as such, the determination of a matter may appear protracted but the Firm is subject to third party institutions such as the Court schedule, the Registry, the Inland Revenue Department etc. Our Firm tries to set reasonable deadlines to allow clients to properly plan around deliverables and should factors arise that extend or speed up the completion of a matter, the Firm would be sure to inform the client.

 
How do I get started?

Call the office / whatsapp the office’s mobile phone and provide your full name, number and email address. The office would send you a link to an Intake Form which is specific to the practicing area related to your potential matter. Once you click this link, you can complete it easily using a smart phone or a computer. Once completed, you can submit back to the Firm and a copy would be sent to you, for your records. The Firm would then review the completed form and schedule a (Zoom) consultation with you, to discuss the matter in detail. Consultations are typically between 30 to 45 minutes.

Does the Firm have a website?

Yes…www.charlesandassociates.com