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Terms and Conditions

Terms of Engagement

Offer by Law Practice to enter into Costs Agreement
Part 3 - Terms and Conditions

1. Legal Services
The Law practice will provide legal services to you subject to these terms and conditions. The law practice must act in your best interests, but the law practice is not required to do anything which is unethical or unlawful.

2. Instructions
You must give adequate and prompt instructions to the law practice whenever requested by the law practice.

3. Bills
You must pay for the law practice's services in accordance with all bills sent by the law practice even though all of the legal services referred to in Part 2 of this Agreement have not been performed.

4. Money in advance
You must pay money in advance on account of the law practice's costs and disbursements whenever reasonably requested by the law practice.

5. Non-payment
If you do not pay, within 30 days, a bill sent to you by the law practice or comply with a request for payment in advance within 14 days the request is made, the law practice may immediately stop acting for you. If litigation has begun, the law practice may inform eh court that the law practice is no longer representing you.

6. Interest for delay in payment
The law practice may charge you interest on the amount of any bill which is unpaid for longer than 30 days. The rate of interest will not exceed the rate specified in paragraph 10 of Part 2 of this Agreement.

7. Request of itemised accounts
If the law practice gives you a lump sum bill you are entitled to request the law practice to provide you with an itemised account. You must make any request to the law practice to provide an itemised account within 30 days of receiving the lump sum bill. The law practice must comply with your request within 21 days after the date on which you request is made. The law practice cannot charge you for the preparation of the itemised account.

8. Costs assessment
You may apply to a taxing officer for an assessment of the whole or any part of a bill for legal costs even if the legal costs have been wholly or partly paid. Your application for assessment must be made within 12 months after the bill was rendered to you.

9. Request for information regarding costs
If you ask, the law practice must provide you with details of the legal costs and disbursements incurred by you so far and the law practice's estimate of the costs payable by you to complete the matter (including the other party's legal costs and disbursements if you lose).

10. Changes in circumstances/effect on estimates
The law practice must provide you with details of changed circumstances affecting the extent and nature of the legal services to be provided under this Agreement and the effect of these changes on the estimates of costs provided to you.

11. Costs recovery
In terms of this Agreement, you agree that from any money held in trust on your behalf the law practice may paid unpaid bills which the law practice has rendered to you.
The law practice may receive on your behalf any payment for costs (including disbursements) awarded to you and use the money received to pay any of the unpaid bills rendered to you.

12. Trust account
Within 14 days of applying the monies held for you on trust in the law practice's trust account, the law practice must account to you showing how the monies were applied.

13. Law practice is your agent
The law practice is your agent and may incur expenses (such as fees charged by an independent barrister) on your behalf. You are responsible for any expenses the law practice incurs on your behalf and you agree to the law practice charging those expenses to you and if you do not pay them, recovering them from you. So far as reasonably possible, the law practice must first obtain your consent before incurring unusual expenses on your behalf.

14. Termination by you
You may terminate this Agreement at any time by writing to the law practice. You remain responsible for all costs which the law practice may properly charge up to the time of receipt by the law practice of the notice of termination.

15. Termination by the law practice
The law practice may terminate this Agreement by writing to you and stop acting for you if:
(1) You do not comply with this Agreement; or
(2) The law practice forms the opinion, on reasonable grounds, that mutual confidence and trust do not exist between you and the law practice; or
(3) The law practice considers on reasonable grounds that by continuing to act for you the law practice may breach professional conduct rules.

16. Lien
The law practice is entitled to retain all files, documents and personal property relating to your matter(s) until all bills rendered to you by the law practice are paid in full or a court otherwise orders.

17. Variation of this Agreement
This Agreement is binding on you and the law practice. It may not be varied except in writing.

18. Magistrates Court jurisdiction
This Agreement applies even if the amount which you succeed in claiming is within the monetary jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court.

19. Reasonable Care
The law practice must take reasonable care in providing legal services to you. If you suffer injury, loss or damage partly as a result of the negligence of the law practice in providing those services and partly as a result of your own negligence, any claim you make against the law practice for breach of contract will be reduced, as if the claim were based in negligence, to the extend that it is just and equitable having regard to your share in the responsibility for injury, loss or damage.

20. Copyright
You acknowledge the law practice's copyright in all documents prepared by the law practice and that they must not be reproduced without prior written permission of the law practice.

21. Storage and Destruction of files
(1) In the event that the law practice agrees to store or hold documents on your behalf then you agree that the following shall apply in respect to that storage:
(a) the law practice may charge, and you must pay, a reasonable storage fee charged by the law practice for such storage and retrieval,
(b) the law practice may in its absolute discretion outsource the storage of all or any of your documents and shall not be responsible for the loss, damage or destruction of those documents under any circumstances,
(c) you must pay upon demand (and if so required by the law practice, in advance) the reasonable costs of storage, retrieval and related costs so incurred,
(d) the law practice may at any time and from time to time terminate the storage of all or any of your documents, and you shall be responsible for the collection or removal of such documents subject to the payment to the law practice of its storage and retrieval fees for the period during which documents were stored on your behalf.
(2) The law practice is entitled to destroy the file(s) created upon your instructions and/or which are held by the law practice on your behalf, 7 years after completion of your matter. File(s) may be destroyed earlier upon the law practice giving you written notice and obtaining your consent.

22. Setting aside of this Agreement
You may apply to the Supreme Court to have the Costs Agreement reviewed, and if the court forms the view that the Agreement is not fair or reasonable the costs payable to you may be reduced or this Agreement set aside.

23. Definitions
The Act means the Legal Profession Act 2008.

24. Interpretation
A reference to "this Agreement" is a reference to the Offer by Law Practice to Enter into Costs Agreement constituted by Part 2 (Schedule) and Part 3 (Terms and Conditions).

25. Changes to hourly rates
The hourly rates stated in this Agreement are subject to change. Where the law practice proposes to change the hourly rates that apply, the law practice will notify you in writing of the proposed revised hourly rates that will apply and the date from which they are to apply. You may accept the amended hourly rates in writing or by your conduct by continuing to instruct the law practice. If reject the amended hourly rates within 21 days of notification by the law practice, the law practice may cease acting for you.

26. Use of Technology and Cloud Computing
In order to optimise the manner in which the law practice is conducted and to meet the changing demands of clients in the technological age, the law practice utilises the internet, emails, and cloud computing. Such technologies may be susceptible to hacking or other breaches and in order to minimise the risks associated with that the law practice utilises up to date software and firewall protection. By instructing the law practice to undertake work on your behalf you are agreeing to the use of these technologies notwithstanding the risks associated with cloud computing.

The Special Conditions which also form a part of this agreement are here.

For further information on this Agreement, it is recommended that you read the Law Society's Explanatory Notes for Clients.

COPYRIGHT: The copyright of the Law Society of Western Australia (inc.) Offer by Law Practice to Enter into Costs Agreement is the property of the Law Society of Western Australia (Inc.) and neither the content or form or any part of it may be changed, used or reproduced by any method whatsoever or incorporated by reference or in any manner whatsoever in any other document without the consent of the Law Society.

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