Fixed Fees

Lawyers By The Bay Fixed Fees 

While it’s not always possible to offer fixed fees due to complexity or uncertainty, the peace of mind that comes from knowing the cost you’re about to incur can make dealing with the law less stressful.

Where it’s not possible to give a fixed fee for an entire legal matter, we’ll try to break it down into stages that can be priced in advance so you can move forward with as much certainty as possible.

Any fixed fees we agree will be set out in writing in a Costs Agreement that outlines the contract between us and shows what has to be paid and when.

The Cost Agreement will also show any part of the work we can’t cost in advance, but this might change as we work through the issues. Where this occurs we’ll give you the option of fixing costs where we believe it reasonable to do so.        

​Generally, fixed fees involve us doing work up to a particular stage then being paid an agreed fee for that work. Where possible, the stages agreed should start and end at points where future decisions need to be made.

For example, you might need some preliminary work done before you can be sure whether to commit to litigation, or you might want to try a negotiated resolution before risking the costs of going to court. Fixed fees let you do this within a budget, then reconsider your next step in light of better information.  

Fixed Fees Can Work For You

Lawyers that don’t work on fixed fees usually work on an hourly rate.
As a guide, the hourly rates charged by many lawyers tend to vary between $400 and $650 per hour. What’s more, the time spent on your matter is most often recorded and billed in 6 minute blocks. That means every time you call for an update you could be charged 12 minutes in fees for a 7 minute call. It all adds up.

A 7 minute telephone call could cost you 12 minutes, a 13 minute email might cost you 18 minutes and a 20 minute letter may cost you 24 minutes. The result is that 40 minutes of work could cost you 55 minutes of time. Imagine how that can add up in even moderately complex matters!

Fixed fees aim to reduce the waste and uncertainty by putting the onus on us to do the work quickly and efficiently. Of course some things can’t be predicted in advance, like copying, process server fees, property valuations and barrister fees but it’s often possible to provide an estimate of what these might be in the next stage once we complete earlier stages.

We’re also happy to discuss an alternative payment plan where acceptable and appropriate. ​

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