Why contracts are so important

George Lee, founder and principal lawyer at George Lee Law Corporation, understands that his Asian clients find legal contracts to be something of a foreign concept.

“It’s not the way things get done in Asia,” he explains. “Many of my clients have lent millions of dollars to a friend, or a friend of a friend, on a handshake and trust. There is no legal contract and no security.”

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Relationship, George points out, is what counts in Asia. People deal with friends or people referred to them by friends. They see no need for a written contract.

“Naturally, when they come to Canada, they bring that habit with them,” George says. “They don’t understand the need for a written contract – until something goes wrong, of course.”

While encouraging his Asian clients to conform to the North American tradition of dealing in legally binding contracts, George also lends his expertise to explaining to Canadians the Asian reluctance to engage in written contracts.

“Most of the difficulties that arise for my Asian clients arise out of construction related issues,” he says. “Construction, renovation, buying and selling property – in Canada we take it for granted that a contract is involved. Not so with immigrants from Asia.”

The majority of civil litigation cases that George Lee Law Corporation deals with stem from real estate related transactions. In each case, George and his team sit down with clients to assess the situation and give legal advice—and usually a few options.

“I explain all the legal options and their consequences,” George states. “Most of the time we set a fee for each stage of the litigation. This gives our clients certainty, rather than a vague hourly rate.”

George is passionate about equal access to justice, and he feels that a flat fee allows clients to easily calculate whether litigation is in their best interests.

“If they win a judgment for $5,000 and then discover that the legal fees are actually higher than the total judgment they’ve been awarded they can’t help wondering ‘Where is the justice in that?’ We give them certainty and confidence in the Canadian legal system so they never have to ask that question.”

For more information on George Lee Law Corporation and their civil litigation services, check out their website at www.gleelaw.com, call 604-681-1611, email info@gleelaw.com, find them on Facebook or visit their offices (Burnaby office: 608-4538 Kingsway, Burnaby / Richmond office: 1025-4000 No. 3 Road, Richmond). 

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