Fee arrangements and Terms of Acting

At Scales + Partners we don’t think that “one size fits all”. Different types of matters involve different considerations as to the appropriate manner of charging and the terms and conditions which apply.

That may involve different methods of how we charge for our services. This includes the question as to whether the matter should be ‘Pay-As-You-Go’, ‘No Win, No Fee’ or involve deferred billing. We strive to agree to terms that will work for both parties, having regard to your individual circumstances.

Some particular matters to note are:

Initial telephone advice

In all matters we are happy to speak to clients by telephone in the first instance. We are often able to give general advice about the matter and advise if, and how, we can assist, and at what cost.

Free first interview

In litigious matters where you may be able to bring a claim for a payment of damages (such as a Personal Injury damages claim) or payment from a fund of money (such as in a Family Law property settlement matter or a Will Dispute), we offer a free first interview so that you can meet us, get some initial advice, and decide if you wish to take the matter any further.

Deferred billing

There are some cases in which a client may be unable to pay as the matter proceeds but where it is clear that, at the end of the matter, they will receive payment from another party, or from a fund of money. We may be prepared to defer billing until the end of the matter where the chances of receiving funds at the end of the matter are strong. Typical cases in which this applies are Family Law Property Disputes, Wills Disputes, Work Related Claims and Claims for Damages for Personal Injury.

No Win/No Fee

We offer a “No Win – No Fee” arrangement in a number of areas such as:

  • Personal Injury Claims (including Motor Vehicle Accident Claims)
  • Work Related Claims
  • Insurance and Superannuation Claims
  • Disputes regarding Wills
  • Medical Negligence

Many people have potential claims in these types of matters which have reasonable, but by no means certain, prospects of success but would be unable to enter into a ‘Pay As You Go’ arrangement. A simple deferred billing arrangement might also not be appropriate because of the risks involved. In these circumstances, we are prepared to consider entering into an agreement wherein we are only paid our fees if your matter succeeds.

Conditions apply to these arrangements including:

  • The arrangement is limited to our fees. Disbursements (out of pocket expenses for things like filing fees, experts’ reports etc.) will have to be paid by yourself;
  • Our fees are subject to an increase on our normal rate of up to 25% to cover the risk we take in relation to the matter. (So, if our usual fees for a matter were $4,000, your increased bill for our fees would be $5,000.) However, no such increase will apply to WorkCover/RTWSA disputes conducted in the South Australian Employment Tribunal.
Scales and Partners Lawyers Terms of advice

Written retainer letter

In some matters, we are required by our professional conduct rules to provide you with a written retainer agreement setting out the terms and conditions of our appointment.

Usually we do this by providing two separate documents, being:

  • A retainer letter which sets out, among other things our charges, our estimate of costs and the timing of our invoices; and
  • A comparatively standard Terms of Engagement document for your matter which sets out in more detail various matters relating to the agreement, some of which will be of less immediate importance to you.

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