Hopefully, by now, some of you have seen our Brochure setting out what we do for clients at their initial conferences. Of course, we are always happy to talk to respective new clients initially on the phone to ascertain whether we can help them and whether their matter is suitable for our expertise.
Often clients and referrers ask us about how much it costs and what happens initially and a typical answer used to be, “we just don’t know and can’t tell until your matter progresses”.
With this in mind and the need to provide greater certainty to clients and their referrers, we say to clients that an initial diagnosis and preliminary advice costs $440.00 (inclusive of GST).
In other words, at an initial conference with a new client (for up to one hour), we provide a general overview and advice about their matter and relevant advice about the Law. At the conclusion of that conference, we are in a better position to inform the client about what needs to be done to resolve their matter.
The initial costs of $440.00, also includes a short written advice and diagnosis, together with a tactical plan that is then sent to the client immediately after the conference concludes.
In that document, we set out, for the client, an estimate of costs for the initial stages as to what has to take place and why.
We have found that the above is fairer for the client and it provides them with greater certainty once we are aware (in more detail) as to what their matter entails.
In some respects, fixed fees can be unfair in family law. The matter can be very complex, but because of the high degree of cooperation between the parties and the easy exchange of information and documents, a settlement could be structured in a way that is cheaper than a non-complex matter because of other difficulties that may exist between the clients and/or their advisors.