Choose the certainty of fixed fees
We strive for efficiency. In law, as in all things, time is money. By fixing our fees we ensure that our sole focus becomes achieving your goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
By choosing our fixed fee service you always know what our charges will be at every stage, keeping you in control of costs and ensuring there will be no surprises along the way.
The majority of our services are fixed fee. Where your circumstances are more complex such as where there are substantial assets or the case involves uncertain legal issues or if you and your ex-partner are involved in a dispute with high levels of conflict, we may need to agree to work for you on an hourly basis. However, these cases will be the exception and not the rule.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS
Meet with your Family Lawyer
At your Initial Appointment we will listen to your needs, provide options for moving forward and discuss all likely costs.
Client Services Agreement prepared
Every fee we charge will be confirmed to you in writing before you engage us to start work on your matter.
we start work
sign & return agreement & make deposit into our trust account
Fixed fee pricing delivers:
GREATER CERTAINTY AND PEACE OF MINDGiving you the ability to control your costs from the outset, we work with you to provide certainty over our legal fees.
BETTER COMMUNICATIONYou will not be charged each time you have a question or need to discuss a matter. Fixed fee pricing includes time spent on phone calls and emails and all office expenses.
GREATER EFFICIENCYOur focus is delivering client outcomes.
WHAT IS A FIXED FEE?
A fixed fee is simply that - a fee that is fixed.
In the majority of cases Parker Family Law are able to provide family law services on a fixed professional fee basis. This means that after discussing your legal issues, we estimate the amount of work required at each stage and provide you with an upfront quote of costs for the immediate stage (step 1) and for each subsequent stage (possible future steps). It is a personal choice as to whether or not the next stage is progressed giving you ultimate control over costs.
The fixed professional fee forms part of a Client Cost Agreement which is the contract between client and Law firm. No work is undertaken by the lawyer until the fee proposal has been agreed upon and accepted by you, the client. Commencement of work will commence on your matter when you have signed and returned the client contract and have placed the agreed fixed professional fee for step 1 into our trust account. Our solicitor then gets to work on resolving your matter.
We have the experience to appreciate that not every case is suitable for a fixed fee, but our philosophy is that fixed fees should be the norm and not the exception. Our clients agree.
HOW DO FIXED FEES WORK?
- We agree on the the fixed fee that each stage of your legal matter will cost.
- A Client Services Agreement is prepared for approval. You sign, date and return the agreement & trust account authority.
- You deposit the fixed fee into our trust account.
- All work on that stage is carried out.
- When that stage is completed, the money is paid from the trust account to us.
- The fee for the next stage is then deposited into our trust account.
- If issues arise outside of the scope of the Work we will contact you to discuss any additional Fees and give you an additional fixed price or estimate of fees.
WHAT IS IN THE AGREEMENT?
Scope of "Work": We discuss your matter with you to assess whether it is suitable for fixed fee pricing and, if so, develop a plan with you. Usually the plan covers the immediate stage (step 1) and if applicable, each subsequent stage (possible future steps).
Cost: Our legal team sets a fair price for the work contemplated in the Client Cost Agreement and we provide you with an upfront quote. You may prefer paying our fees at an agreed hourly rate. This option is always available.
Value to You: You assess the value to you of our quote. We invite you to seek independent advice about it.
The Agreement: You retain us by signing a Legal Costs Agreement covering the work.
Terms of Payment: If you choose a fixed fee option, you pay the agreed fee into our Trust Account . At the completion of the work we bill you and transfer the fee from our Trust Account to our General Account. In exceptional cases where a client is unable to pay a fee up front and is unable to obtain finance, we consider working on a deferred fee basis.
Next Steps: If, at the end of a stage, there is more to be done we will consult with you about a fee plan for the next stage.
WHAT IS / IS NOT INCLUDED?
Our Fixed Fees normally include all legal and administrative work that is necessary to complete the particular Stage for which the fee was quoted.
All Office Costs are included - such as photocopying, telephone charges, faxes and e-mails - within the fixed fee.
The costs that we incur on your behalf in the conduct of your matter (known as ‘disbursements’) are not included in the fixed fee, although we will try to give you an estimate of what disbursements are anticipated in your case. Examples of these disbursements may be: Court filing fees, search fees, agents fees, valuation fees barristers fees, parking fees or process server fees.
In special circumstances, there may also be specific exclusions which we would discuss with you and would be included in the Client Cost Agreement.
What is not included?
ARE FIXED FEES ALWAYS AVAILABLE?
Fixed fees are not suitable in every case. Some disputes involve such difficult and uncertain legal issues or such high levels of conflict that it is not realistic, or fair, to quote a fee. It's a bit like asking a taxi driver to to quote a fare without knowing your destination.
But we are often able to break down a matter into stages and submit a quote at the beginning of each.
Remember, you always have a choice of paying the old way, that is, for hours spent and documents produced.
Regardless of whether a fixed fee is agreed, we will always provide our clients with a detailed costs agreement, setting out information about the various stages of the family law matter, and providing an estimate of fees for every stage of that matter.
For a better understanding of how the law applies to you and the different pathways of resolution in your matter, contact us now to book an initial appointment.