Peter May, Commercial Lawyer


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Costs Disclosure

Legal Costs

Costs Disclosure



Basis of charging professional fees


Professional fees are calculated on the complexity and nature of the matter in accordance with the relevant costs determination, including upon a time spent basis. The minimum unit of charge for time spent is one tenth of an hour, or 6 minutes and this applies where the attendance is of 6 minutes or less, so that attendances of less than 6 minutes are recorded at this minimum of 6 minutes. Subsequent units of time spent on the file are calculated in the same way. All time recorded on the file is in units of 6 minutes, or part thereof.

The current applicable rate per hour is $465 per hour exclusive of GST. Certain types of transactions, such as settlements for the purchase or sale of real estate or businesses, may be charged at a lower rate being the rate from time to time prescribed for settlement agents for such transactions. If the settlement rate applies to your transaction you will be provided with a letter from us confirming that, and specifying the settlement rate, which is exclusive of disbursements. Settlement fees which are eligible for this discount will apply only relate to the conveyancing matter only, and not in respect of additional advice provided such as for contract preparation and advice, contract negotiation, lease advice, and the like. These other attendances and advice are charged on a time spent basis namely by reference to the time spent on those matters with the minimum unit of charge being one tenth of an hour, or six minutes. The time charges are in accordance with the current Solicitors Costs Determination.


Disbursements


Disbursements will be charged on the following basis (note that the amounts stated below are exclusive of GST and that GST will where applicable be charged in addition):

(a) search fees (including Titles Office search fees, business name search fees, ASIC search fees and all other search fees) will be charged to you at the same cost as the search is to us;

(b) facsimile transmissions to or from us will be charged at the rate of $2.00 per page for the first page and thereafter $1.00 per page for each subsequent page after the first page.

(c) photocopying undertaken by us will be charged at the rate of $0.80 per page.

(d) titles office lodgment fees.

(e) fees of counsel, barristers and others briefed on your behalf including consultants, expert witnesses and the like will be charged to you at the cost to us.

(f) correspondence and documents received by email or other electronic transmission will be charged at the cost of $1.00 per page for the printing thereof.

(g) bank fees and charges incurred in respect of funds paid into or out of our trust account on your files or on your behalf will be charged to you as a disbursement, at the cost to us as charged by our bank.

(h) courier fees will be charged to you at the cost to us of engaging a courier to deliver or collect documents, goods or correspondence on your behalf, when requested or required by you or when we reasonably believe that it is in your best interests for a courier to be engaged.

(i) duty charged pursuant to the Duties Act 2008 will be charged to you at the cost to us of endorsing the documents on your behalf, at the rate from time to time prescribed by that Act.

(j) court filing fees such as those for filing documents at the State Administrative Tribunal or the Supreme Court Probate Office.

(k) postages and petty expenses will be charged to your file to cover the costs of establishing your file, as well as the cost of telephone and mail postage, as well as incidental expenditure of a minor nature. The postage and petty expense cost of establishing your file will be a minimum of $20.


In respect of disbursements generally we reserve the right to require that you provide us with funds to be held in trust on account of those disbursements before they are incurred. Disbursements incurred on your behalf may be the subject of a separate disbursement invoice to you in respect of those disbursements, and disbursement invoices may be sent to you at any time or from time to time. Disbursement charge rates are subject to alteration from time to time as the cost to us increases.


Frequency of Billings


Except where you receive a letter, fax or email from us indicating that you will only be billed upon the completion of your matter, such as for certain real estate or business settlements, you will be billed periodically as we deem appropriate (usually monthly). Our invoices are payable within 14 days of the issue of the tax invoice for our bill of costs.

You have the right to -

  • negotiate a costs agreement with us
  • receive a bill of costs from us
  • request an itemised bill of costs after you receive a lump sum bill from us
  • request written reports about the progress of your matter and the costs incurred in your matter (at no cost to you)
  • apply for costs to be assessed within 12 months if you are unhappy with our costs
  • apply for the costs agreement to be set aside
  • accept or reject any offer we make for an interstate costs law to apply to your matter
  • notify us that you require an interstate costs law to apply to your matter


For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet title Legal Costs - Your Right to Know. You can ask for a copy, or obtain it from the Legal Practice Board (or download it from the website of the Legal Practice Board or the Law Society of Western Australia or by clicking here).

Our obligation to provide the disclosure of the total costs, if known, or an estimate of the costs, or a range of estimates, will not apply where you are a public company or its subsidiary, or a foreign company or its subsidiary, or a registered Australian body (within the meaning of the Corporations Act). Nor shall it apply if you are a government department or a public authority.

Clients who are regular clients, or for whom a previous disclosure has already been made within the previous 12 months and who give us a written instruction not to provide the further disclosure, will not necessarily receive a further disclosure but all further instructions which you provide to the firm after receiving this disclosure will be taken to be made by you on the basis of this disclosure, and if accepted by us will be accepted on the same basis.

Please note that you may signify your acceptance of the terms hereof either by providing written notification to that effect or by your conduct.





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(c) Peter May 2006 | reception@petermay.com.au

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