Costs can be a problematic and complicated aspect of running a legal practice. Lawyers must ensure that they comply with the various provisions of the Legal Profession Act and the Legal Profession Regulations, which detail the rights of clients and responsibilities of practitioners.
Clients may negotiate a costs agreement, request an itemised bill, or ask for written reports about the progress of their matter. It is important from both a legal and ethical standpoint that clients are well informed about these rights and practitioners remain mindful of their duties.
Law Society Costs Kits
The Law Society of Western Australia has developed two cost kits to assist legal practices:
- The Law Society of Western Australia Standard Costs Kit
- The Law Society of Western Australia Family Law Costs Kit
Both kits contain:
- Offer by Law Practice to enter into Costs Agreement
- Explanatory Notes for Clients
- Explanatory Notes for Law Practices – Disclosure and Costs Agreements
- Sample Engagement Letter
Members can access cost kits for free through your member’s dashboard.
Non-members may purchase cost kits through the Law Society online shop.
Legal Profession Regulations 2009 – Forms and Fact Sheets
Forms 2 and 3
Regulations 80(1) and 82(1) of the Legal Profession Regulations 2009 refer to the following forms in Schedule 1:
Form 2: Legal Costs – Your Right to Know
Form 3: Form of Notification of Client’s Rights
The forms state that for more information about their rights, clients should read the following fact sheets:
- Legal Costs – Your Right to Know (Regulation 80(1)); and
- Your Right to Challenge Legal Costs (Regulations 82(1)).
Relevant Brief articles
The Legal Costs Committee reviews scales of legal costs (Determinations) in areas of legal practice.