We know that the affordability of legal costs is important to you. Our responsibility is to ensure that there are no surprises in relation to the cost of our services and our terms for payment of our fees. We encourage you to raise costs with us upfront.
For matters where it is likely that our professional fees will be more than $750.00, we are obliged to set out an estimate of our costs together with an explanation as to how our costs are calculated in a document called a Costs Agreement. The document is not intended to overwhelm you, but to give you comfort or knowledge about how our fees will be charged. Legal fees can be calculated in different ways, usually by reference to a set scale, on the basis of time spent working on a file or by fixed fee.
Our preference where we can is to fix the fee which gives you certainty about the costs involved. It also means that if we spend longer doing your work than we anticipated that’s our cost, not yours. However it is not always possible to fix the fee, and it is sometimes not appropriate, particularly if there are too many variables in your matter to predict.
GST is payable in addition to our fees, as are ‘disbursements’ – the costs that we incur on your behalf in managing your legal issue, such as searches, registration fees and duties. We do not offer legal aid services. All our services are by private retainer only.
Funds in Trust
We often ask clients to deposit funds in our trust account in anticipation of work to be completed. If we ask you, don’t be offended. Having funds in trust gives us confidence to proceed and simplifies administration at our end, helping us to keep your costs down.