Our Fees

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High quality legal services on accessible and reasonable terms.

No win, No fee

We act on a no win, no fee basis in the following matters:

  • all mesothelioma, asbestos, silica and dust disease claims;
  • all personal injury claims;
  • when we act for a person challenging a will;
  • in institutional and sexual abuse matters.

If we act for you on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis  we will only recover our costs in the event of a successful claim.  Unlike most firms we will pay all disbursements incurred in the preparation and litigation of your matter.

We will also generally act on a part no win no fee basis (where you pay some, but not all of your costs) in unfair dismissal, adverse action and discrimination matters.

In other types of matters we act on a variety of basis, including payment at the conclusion of the claim, or on a partial no win, no fee basis. Information about out fee policies for different types of work is set out below.

We invite all clients and prospective clients to have a straightforward, and honest conversation with us about legal fees.  Before doing work on your matter we will issue you a costs disclosure which contains clear detail on the terms on which we act.

Reasonable terms

While no win, no fee arrangements assist in making legal services accessible, many firms charge exorbitant amounts on the conclusion of the matter.  Only some of these costs are ever covered by the defendant (known as party-party costs).

In all matters, be they conducted on a no win, no fee basis, or some other arrangement we are committed to ensuring our costs are reasonable.  Where appropriate we offer fixed fee arrangements.

We do not have the overheads of big firm with large offices, lots of staff and marketing expenses.

In our experience the fees we charge are significantly less than other firms, where the work is generally performed by more junior lawyers.  This is shown by the fact that in matters where we recover costs from the defendant, we generally recover 70-80% of our total fees.  Many other firms recover less than 60%.

Fee Policy by area of practice

Mesothelioma & dust diseases

Mesothelioma claims

We act on a “no win-no fee basis” in all mesothelioma claims. Unless you receive compensation you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim. you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Asbestosis and other dust disease claims

We act on a “no win-no fee basis” in all claims related to asbestosis and asbestos exposure. Unless you receive compensation you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Silicosis and other silica disease claims

We act on a “no win-no fee basis” in all silicosis and other silica claims. Unless you receive compensation you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Other dust diseases

We act on a “no win-no fee basis” in all dust diseases proceedings. Unless you receive compensation you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Estate disputes

Contesting a will where you have been left out, or not fairly provided for

We normally act on a “no win-no fee” basis when acting for claimants contesting a will.

Unless you receive an outcome in your favour you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements.

We do not take on all matters.  We will provide an initial assessment of the claim, including as whether we are willing to act.  Prior to commencing proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Challenging a will on grounds of capacity, undue influence or duress

We normally act on a “no win-no fee” basis when acting for claimants challenging a will on grounds that the deceased did not have capacity, or was subject to undue influence or duress.

Unless you receive an outcome in your favour you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements.

We do not take on all matters.  We will provide an initial assessment of the claim, including as whether we are willing to act.  Prior to commencing proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Defending a will

We act on a fee paying basis in defending family provisions claims or challenges to the validity of a will.

However, if you are an executor defending a family provisions claim or a validity challenge, you are entitled to be indemnified by the estate in relation to the costs of the claim.

Probate and letters of administration

We act on a fee paying basis in obtaining probate and letters of administration.

However, if you are an executor or next of kin, you are entitled to be indemnified by the estate in relation to the costs of the application.

Estate planning

We act on a fee paying basis in relation to the drafting of wills and related documents.

Employment & industrial law

Recovering money owed

In most employment law matters, including seeking recovery of money owed by employers, we act on a fee paying basis. We are however willing to discuss alternative arrangements depending on the circumstances and merits of your claim.

We are willing to offer terms based on an hourly rate, or a fixed fee.   In either case, our fees are determined by the amount of work needed or done on your matter.

In most employment law matters, unless a party behaves unreasonably, there is no scope to have costs paid by the other side even if you are successful in your claim.

Prior to commencing action on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed costs disclosure setting out our estimate of the likely costs at each stage of the process.

Workplace behaviours

In most employment law matters we act on a fee paying basis. We are however willing to discuss alternative arrangements depending on the circumstances and merits of your claim.

We are willing to offer terms based on an hourly rate, or a fixed fee.   In either case, our fees are determined by the amount of work needed or done on your matter.

In most employment law matters, unless a party behaves unreasonably, there is no scope to have costs paid by the other side even if you are successful in your claim.

Prior to commencing action on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed costs disclosure setting out our estimate of the likely costs at each stage of the process.

Employment contract matters

In most employment law matters, including claims for breach of contract, we act on a fee paying basis. We are however willing to discuss alternative arrangements depending on the circumstances and merits of your claim.

We are willing to offer terms based on an hourly rate, or a fixed fee.   In either case, our fees are determined by the amount of work needed or done on your matter.

Unlike many other kinds of employment law matter, claims for breach of contract are generally conducted on the basis that the losing party will make a contribution to the successful party’s costs.

Prior to commencing action on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed costs disclosure setting out our estimate of the likely costs at each stage of the process.

Professional registration

We act on a fee paying basis in professional registration and compliance matters.

In most professional registration matters there is very limited scope to have costs paid by the other side even if you are successful in your claim.

Prior to commencing action on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed costs disclosure setting out our estimate of the likely costs at each stage of the process.

Unfair Dismissal

While we generally only act on a fee paying basis in employment matters, we are generally willing to act on partial no win, no fee basis when acting for applicants in unfair dismissal claims.  In such an arrangement while you will make a contribution to your legal costs, a significant part of your costs are payable only in the event of a successful resolution.

Please contact us for more information.

Prior to commencing action on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed costs disclosure setting out our estimate of the likely costs at each stage of the process.

Small business and independent contractors

We act on a fee paying basis in matters for small business and independent contractors. We are however willing to discuss alternative arrangements depending on the circumstances and merits of your claim.

Our fees are based on the time spent on your matter. In general, our fees until the completion of conciliation are $2,500 to $3,000 with further costs payable to conduct a matter to final hearing.

In most employment law matters, unless a party behaves unreasonably, there is no scope to have costs paid by the other side even if you are successful in your claim.

Prior to commencing action on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed costs disclosure setting out our estimate of the likely costs at each stage of the process.

Injury, abuse and insurance disputes

Workplace injury and workers' compensation

We act on a “no win-no fee” basis in workers’ compensation and work injury damages claims. Unless you receive compensation you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements but you will likely be ordered to pay the defendant’s costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Insurance and superannuation matters

We act on a “no win-no fee” basis in insurance and superannuation claims. Unless you receive an outcome favourable to you, you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements but you will likely be ordered to pay the other party’s costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Royal Commissions and other Commissions of Inquiry

We act on a fee paying basis for appearances and advice at Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry however, if you are entitled to legal aid, we will make an application on your behalf and we will not charge you more than you recover from Legal Aid.

Institutional abuse claims

We act on a “no win-no fee basis” in all institutional abuse claims. Unless you receive compensation you will not be charged for our legal work or any disbursements incurred on your behalf. We will recover our costs at the completion of your claim.

If you are successful in your claim, the defendant will pay your costs on a party/party basis which generally covers between 70-80% of your costs.

If you are not successful in your claim, you will not be charged for our costs and disbursements but you will likely be ordered to pay the defendant’s costs and disbursements.

Prior to obtaining your instructions to commence proceedings on your behalf we will provide clear advice as to the merits of your claim.

Common Questions

What are party/party costs?

The normal arrangement where a party is ordered to pay the other sides costs, or agrees to pay the other sides costs as part of a settlement, is for payment of “party/party costs”.

Party/party costs are distinct from solicitor/client costs which is the amount a client is liable to pay to their lawyer for legal services.  Party/party costs are usually only a portion of solicitor client costs.  By way of analogy, party/party costs are similar to the amount paid by Medicare, while solicitor/client costs are the amount charged by the doctor.

In our matters, party/party costs generally cover 70-80% of the solicitor/client costs.  In some firms this figure is only 60-70%.  This difference is significant as client’s pay this gap from their compensation. The bigger the gap, the less the amount of compensation they ultimately receive.

Arrangements like no win, no fee are important to ensure that legal services are accessible.  It also follows though that the services should be reasonably priced, so that as much of the compensation obtained as possible is received by the client.

Can I be made to pay the other side's legal costs?

The general rule is that party/party costs of an unsuccessful party are paid by the successful party (except in few classes of matters, including employment and family provision  where the situation is a bit different).  This means that if you are unsuccessful in your claim it is likely that you will be ordered to pay a portion of the defendant’s costs (known as an adverse costs order).

However, the likelihood of this happening is very small.  Costs orders are usually only made at the conclusion of the matter, and in most cases there are numerous opportunities for the matter to resolve on a compromise basis before that occurs.  This means that where an adverse costs order is made, it is likely that that the plaintiff or applicant was aware of this possibility and elected to proceed to judgement.

 

Will my costs be a percentage of how much I get?

No.  Your costs will not be set as a percentage of your settlement.

Arrangements where you pay a percentage are not lawful in any Australian state.  Under Australian law your costs must be determined by reference to how much work is performed on your matter, and must be fair and reasonable.

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