The fees for legal advice varies depending on a number of factors such as the type of problem you have and the experience of the lawyer that you use.
During our initial consultation we will give you an estimate of our fees so that there are no surprises.
We handle all size and manner of disputes. Certain disputes which exceed $100,000 may be heard and determined in the County Court or the Supreme Court of Victoria. Small claims can be litigated in the Magistrates’ Court or VCAT, depending on the matter. Small claims (up to $10,000) can be litigated in the Magistrates Court by way of arbitration. We try to take a commercial and pragmatic approach to all cases, no matter the magnitude of the dispute, and to deliver a value driven end result to our clients.
How legal fees are calculated
Depending on your circumstances our fees may be calculated in any of the following ways:
– A fixed amount
– An hourly rate
– An hourly rate with a ceiling on the maximum amount
– No win, no pay
– A method of charging as negotiated to suit the circumstances
Why solicitors legal fees vary
Solicitors fees vary due to differences in:
– Expertise – solicitors with expertise in a certain area often charge more
– Seniority – work carried on by a senior practitioner will often mean higher hourly rates
– Location – fees in metropolitan areas are often higher than in rural or regional areas
– Urgency – special fees may apply for urgent work
As with most other services, the lowest fees are not always the best value.
What are disbursements?
Our legal fees are made up of fees for our professional services and for disbursements. Disbursements are fees that we pay on your behalf, such as court fees when filing documents or to pay a barrister. We may request that fees be paid to us in advance of us incurring them on your behalf.
If I win my case
If you win your case or it is settled you may be entitled to legal costs on a standard basis or indemnity basis depending on your matter.
In the Supreme Court of Victoria, solicitors time on a standard basis is claimed in 6 minute units at the rate of $360 plus GST per hour. The maximum allowed for a barrister is $5000 per day for a junior and $7000 plus GST for queens counsel.
Are legal fees tax deductible?
Some legal fees are tax deductible, including some legal fees for employment related matters and business disputes. As a general rule, whether an expense incurred by an employee is tax deductible is decided by reference to section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA). This section provides that you can deduct from your assessable income any “loss or outgoing” to the extent that it is incurred in gaining or producing your assessable income or it is necessarily incurred in carrying on a business for the purpose of producing assessable income.
However, you cannot deduct a loss or outgoing to the extent that
– It is of capital, or a capital nature, or
– It is of a private or domestic nature.
The area relating to deductibility of legal expenses is complex and evolving and we recommend that you obtain professional advice from your account about the tax treatment of legal costs incurred in relation to your matter.
We will not charge you for
– Preparing a costs agreement
– Making disclosure to you or
– Preparing your bill
– An initial no obligation telephone call
When will I be provided with a written legal fee disclosure?
If the fees are likely to be above $750 we will give you a written estimate of the total bill and how the fees will be calculated. We will not incur costs without informing you first.