Our charges will largely depend on the matter involved and the terms upon which you decide to ask us to act for you.
Matters are either fixed fee matters or non-fixed fee matters.
Fixed fee matters
Fixed fee matters are matters such as:
- Powers of attorney
- Conveyancing (sale and purchase of land or business)
- Standard commercial agreements
- Divorce Applications
With fixed fee matters we can provide you with a quote of our fees up front which we guarantee (subject to any variations in the instructions you may give us).
For more information about our charges in relation to fixed fee matters, please read our Schedule of Fees 2019.
Non-fixed fee matters
Non-fixed fee matters are matters such as:
- Commercial disputes and litigation
- Family law disputes
- Contested estates
- Probate and Letters of Administration
In non-fixed fee matters:
- We generally charge by $400.00 an hour for our services plus GST, which is marginally more than the Supreme Court Scale, being the minimum standard lawyers in South Australia charge. For a guide as to how we charge by time for common tasks we undertake, please read our Time Costing Scale 2019.
- As required by our professional conduct rules, we try as best as possible to give you a reasonably accurate estimate of the fees before we commence work on your behalf.
- We are also required under our professional conduct rules to update you as to your legal costs and provide you with an ongoing costs disclosure.
- In some matters, for example disputes and litigation, we may be unable to predict what may happen (whether the matter will settle early or go to trial), but where we can provide you with a very reasonable estimate of our fees, which we may then re-assess from time to time as the matter progresses.
- For our usual terms and conditions in non-fixed fee matters, please read our Retainer Agreement 2019.
Your right to know your legal costs
We believe you have a fundamental right to know up front how you may be charged for legal services which is why we adhere strictly to our professional conduct rules.
For more information on your right to know all about your legal costs, read this information sheet: Legal Costs – Your Right to Know
For more information on your right to challenge your legal costs, read this information sheet: Legal Costs – Your Right to Challenge Legal Costs
Are we any different to other firms in terms of how you charge?
Yes, we think we are.
Our fees are very competitive but we have no difficulty in you “shopping around” for the best possible fee arrangement.
Where we believe we are different is that we will discuss the issue of legal costs with you before, during and at the end of your matter as part of an ongoing cost-benefit analysis relative to the outcome that is anticipated or expected.
We bill monthly so you know exactly how much you are being charged as the matter progresses and we can discuss with you whether you feel you are getting true value for our services compared to the likely or expected result.
We have a value-based, results-oriented approach to servicing our clients.
We consider our legal advice and assistance to be an investment made by you in your matter, not an expense you could have well done without.
Our goal is to deliver premium legal services and the best possible outcomes which our clients cannot help but see value in and appreciate as and when they pay their legal fees.
What are your payment terms?
We believe we provide South Australia’s most flexible payment terms in relation to legal fees.
How we are paid largely depends on the matter involved and the terms upon which you decide to ask us to act for you. We discuss this with you up front and an ongoing basis until the matter is finalised.
In fixed fee matters. we render our fees on completion of the matter and payment is expected within 14 days.
We accept payment in all forms: cash, cheque, money order, direct debit, BPay, Visa Card, Mastercard and American Express (although a 3% surcharge applies).
In non-fixed fee matters, we render invoices on a monthly basis and payment is expected within 14 days.
However we do offer deferred payments in most family law property settlement matters, estate matters and other matters where a settlement is likely to be achieved from which we can expect to be paid (ask about our conditions).
We can help you with budgeting for the payment of our legal fees by arranging Direct Debit payments through Ezi-Debit.
If you do not have access to funds to pay our fees, and deferred payment is not available (for example, in cases where it is not certain that you will receive a settlement at the end of the matter), we can arrange litigation funding through Quick Fee (ask about our conditions).
Do you offer the first interview free?
No, we do not. But before you make an appointment with us, we allow you the opportunity of first discussing the matter on the telephone with the solicitor you are due to see, to determine whether the matter is worth pursuing and whether we can assist.
In most cases, we will be able to inform you of the merits of your matter during an initial telephone consultation of up to 15 minutes duration, which we offer for free and on a no obligation basis.
We value our time and the services we provide as much as we value your time and the importance you attach to your legal issue.
Once you have had the opportunity of having a free first telephone consultation with us, we think you will see value in what we can do for you and be more than willing to pay us for our services.
Do you do “no win, no fee” cases?
No, we do not. We have a value-based billing philosophy. We believe we provide valuable services at reasonable and very competitive prices such that you will have no real difficulty in investing in your own matter.
In most “no win, no fee” cases, law firms charge a “mark up” on their fees and disbursements (charging their clients up to two times the total amount) in the event of a settlement, any settlement, whether the client perceives the services to be valuable or the outcome what they wanted or expected.
We do not believe in such gimmicks and tricks.
Excellence without exorbitance
We believe in providing real value to our clients: excellence without exorbitance. We try to make sure that our clients see real value in the services we provide and that such value is at least equal to or exceeds the price that they pay.
As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”