From 1 July 2015, in New South Wales and Victoria, important changes will be implemented to the way in which solicitors will have to disclose legal costs to you.
Where a solicitor proposes to charge $750.00 or less, excluding GST and disbursements, for the completion of legal work, then there is no requirement for the solicitor to make any type of formal costs disclosure.
Where the costs for the legal work are expected to be between $750.00 and $3,000.00, again, excluding GST and disbursements, then the solicitor must make written disclosure of the costs by providing the client with a Uniform Standard Disclosure Form. A Uniform Standard Disclosure Form is a short form of disclosure, generally one to two pages, which sets out the costs to be charged for the legal work.
In the event that the costs for the legal work are likely to exceed $3,000.00, then the solicitor must make full disclosure to their client in writing, including an estimate of legal costs and the basis upon which they are charged. Generally, the full disclosure consists of several pages of various terms and conditions.
If you have any questions regarding solicitors’ costs disclosure obligations, or if you require legal advice in respect to any other matter, you should contact the experienced solicitors at Burt & Hanke Legal, servicing Albury, Wodonga and surrounding areas.