It is common to think of lawyers as being expensive. However, receiving the right help for a crucial matter can make a huge difference to the final result of your case. Legal advice is definitely beneficial no matter the problem you are dealing with, as being informed about the different options you have can help.
It is important to understand how lawyers in Sydney charge fees according to the different services they may be providing. This can be sub-categorised into two:
- Professional costs → this includes, the lawyers time, effort and expertise
- Disbursements → this includes, barrister’s fees, court documents, reports and other external services
Some lawyers in Sydney charge an hourly rate which can range anywhere from $200 to $400 per/hour. If you are dealing with a lawyer who is charging hourly, it is advised that you request an itemised bill of the costs underlying the description of each task carried out at specific times and the corresponding cost. If you are involved in a case which requires that the bill is at an hourly rate, an upfront payment known as a ‘retainer’ is usually required.
Considerations when determining fees
There are a number of factors which a lawyer will take into account when deciding on the fees for the case. Some of these factors include:
- Amount of time taken to meet with witnesses and other conferences involved
- Analysation of materials such as security, interviews/other evidence obtained, and the time taken
- Time spent guiding investigations and undertaking case conferences
- How much time is spent while communicating with courts and professionals
- Court filing fees
- Time spent representing in court
Usually less complicated cases agree on fixed fee which can pose many advantages. Having a fixed fee allows you to have a heads up on how much it is going to cost right from the start, without having any unexpected costs popping up or increasing due to time requirements. This will usually occur when you have a more straightforward case such as will and divorce agreements.
How do you know how much you’re being charged?
There is no shame in asking your lawyer about any fees and unexpected costs that can arise during the process of the case. You may also ask for a quote/agreement in writing which can help give you an idea of the cost. How much you may pay for a lawyer in Sydney will depend on the type of issue you are facing and amount of time it takes to solve the case. To help you decide which law firms in Sydney are going to be most appropriate for you, research and recommendations from peers are recommended.