When charging legal costs and entering into costs agreements, law practices must follow and apply the requirements in Part 4.3 of the Uniform Law.
The Board and Commissioner have produced a fact sheet covering common questions asked about costs disclosure: FAQs – Costs disclosure (317KB PDF).
Legal costs generally
The Uniform Law imposes a specific requirement that legal costs must be fair and reasonable in all the circumstances.
Fair and reasonable costs
The Uniform Law provides that you must not charge more than fair and reasonable amounts for legal costs. Section 172(2) sets out factors that can be considered in determining whether what is charged is fair and reasonable, and in particular are proportionate and reasonably incurred and proportionate and reasonable in amount. Section 200 of the Uniform Law sets out further the factors which are to be taken into account in a costs assessment in considering whether legal costs for legal work are fair and reasonable.
Avoidance of increased legal costs
Section 173 also imposes an obligation on law practices to avoid acting in a way that unnecessarily results in increased legal costs payable by a client. In particular, the practice must act reasonably to avoid unnecessary delay resulting in increased legal costs.
For more information about legal costs, please see the following pages: