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Our Fee Policy

High quality legal services on accessible and reasonable terms.

Our Fee Policy

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.

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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

Common Questions

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.
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.
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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