In your cost agreement, you can impose a condition so that you only get paid for your work if you achieve a successful result. A “No win no-fee” agreement is an example. For any legal matter, regardless of value, you must have a cost agreement with your client. Although the deal is likely to be less than $750 and you will not have to provide a full cost statement, you still need to have a cost agreement. Cost Information and Cost Agreement – NSW Law Society Presentation Lawyers` Rules contain a number of other disclosure obligations when a lawyer is asked to work “work that is not a lawyer`s job”: r 78 and 79; or if the lawyer is detained directly by a client who is not a lawyer: r 80. Your client has the right to negotiate how you charge the fees; and you can make them a written offer as part of the cost agreement. The concept of disclosure developed from the widely held perception that many clients were not aware of the likely costs of a case until they received an invoice from their lawyer. The argument is that the profession often sees clients in immediate difficulty seeking services without thinking about costs or other implications. In these circumstances, the argument is that it is preferable to make the client understand the costs and other implications at the beginning of a case rather than being involved in litigation when attempting to impose a fee for those services.
This argument was supported by a study of claims against Law Cover, which showed numerous claims caused by miscommunication during the retainer. There are strict rules on how to deal with cost agreements. If you do not comply with these rules, the agreement may be cancelled, even if your client has accepted it. For the work related to the case, you can only charge fair and reasonable costs. Their costs must also be reasonable and proportionate to related work. If you think your client has a good chance of succeeding, you can also include a condition for paying a “buoyancy fee.” This is an additional payment for a successful result, which must not exceed 25% of the procedural costs (excluding disbursements). Your cost agreement must be clear about how the fee is charged, what you expect from the fee, and what factors can change the final calculation of fees. If the actual amount of costs is not disclosed, the practitioner must provide the client with an estimate of the projected costs: s 177 (1). The practitioner must also reveal any significant increase in this estimate: s 177 (3). This last revelation should be made as soon as possible, as soon as the practitioner becomes aware of the likely increase: s 178 (4). The definition of “significant increase” may receive some attention from evaluators and the courts.