Client Cost Agreement

A fee agreement with a law firm may also meet additional obligations under the Uniform Law of the Legal Professions (the “Single Law”). As with most agreements, it is important to identify who has the obligations arising from the cost agreement to pay a fee for the services provided, and the identity of the client and other parties to the agreement is therefore essential. You cannot charge your customer if they have not accepted your cost agreement. Some cost agreements may be accepted either in writing or by other means, making it clear that they accept them. If you propose a “conditional cost agreement” (e.g.B. No Win No Fee), this can only be accepted in writing. An agent of a trust, a liquidator or a legal representative, such as.B. an executor, probably do not want to be held personally liable for lawyers` fees. Such persons may, in their limited capacity, enter into an agreement in order to avoid personal liability.

Liability may be limited to the trust to which they are entitled to be compensated by the trust. In your cost agreement, you can set a condition that you only get paid for your work if you get a successful result. A “No Win No Fee” agreement is an example of this. The single law defines a client as “a person for whom legal services are provided or provided”. There is also a single term in the act for a person who is a “third-party payer.” These persons are not the client, but are required to bear all or part of the legal costs of the legal services to the client. With respect to customer identification and payment of fees, a “related third-party payer” is a person who is required to pay the fee on behalf of the customer. An example is a guarantor. Such a person must have disclosed his legal rights and obligations, as if he were the customer, because he must understand what he guarantees if the customer does not pay and how much he will be responsible. If it is indeed established that the person has an intellectual disability, it may be necessary to appoint a replacement.

Consideration could be given to submitting a request for a replacement decision for the customer. These applications need to be carefully considered, as they can themselves raise several legal and ethical issues for practitioners. You cannot have a conditional agreement on costs in a criminal or family case. These “contingency cost agreements” must be in writing and in plain language. You must include all conditions that you define as a successful outcome, and they must be accepted in writing or cannot be enforced. It is advisable to conduct a search for ASIC corporate clients in order to determine the financial status of the company, whether the company is under external administration and to confirm that those who give you instructions, i.e. the directors, are the ones for whom they claim and are entitled to engage it in an agreement. There may be good reasons why your lawyer has not disclosed the fees. For example, costs may be covered by the cost publication threshold, or you may be part of a category of customers to whom no disclosure is required. If your lawyer has failed to inform you if necessary, you will not have to pay the fee until the invoice has been assessed by a cost expert.

See: Your right to dispute legal fees. At Pattison Hardman, we often encounter questions about who the customer is. As a result, individuals were found to be non-paying if the law firm felt that they had been properly hired and that the agreement on the cost of legal practices had no value. In summary, we recommend taking into account, depending on the questions, the customer and other factors: your customer has the right to negotiate how you will charge him the fees; and you can make them a written offer as part of the cost agreement….