Legal practitioners costing methods can be complex, and need explanation!
Quite often a client will want to know what the legal costs are likely to be before engaging a Legal Practitioner.
However because there are so many variables in legal work and circumstances may arise which give a different aspect or direction to the situation the best a Legal Practitioner can do is give a estimate from time to time unless he/she is certain that’s the clients legal situation or is prepared to take a risk.
To give a detailed outline of the methods of the legal practitioners costing, is outside the scope on this short narrative but Senia Lawyers are happy to discuss costs in detail. It is sufficient to say for now, that if legal costs (net of disbursements and GST) are likely to reach over $750.00 the Legal Practitioner gives to the client (as soon practicable) a written costs agreement and disclosure statement.
There are various different cost agreements including Litigious and non-Litigious Conditional and Fixed.
Usually an hourly rate is determined for each member of staff that is likely to handle the client’s legal matter and out of pocket expenses. You can negotiate a costs agreement with a Practitioner, and provided it is done right it could be beneficial to both yourself and Practitioner.
The Practitioner may ask for funds up front to cover costs and Disbursement.
Fixed price legal services– know what your costs will be.
Fixed price costing is advantageous when the legal work involved is clear and certain. It is advantageous to the client because the client already knows the cost of the services and it is advantageous to the legal practice for budgeting purposes. It could turn out to be a win/win situation but if the legal work is not estimated properly or if there is a change in circumstances that has not been allowed for, either or both the parties may lose out.
It is always best to clearly define what work is to be done by the legal practitioner for what price and as usual, good communication goes a long way to avoiding any misunderstanding.