Some hints on how to keep your legal fees down

We want to get the best result for you - net of legal costs.  Taking a pragmatic approach can minimise your costs.  Here are a few hints aimed at getting better value, working together.

  1. If you are providing us with documents, copy or print the documents yourself. Otherwise you will incur charges for copying and/or printing the documents. If you collate the documents into order and include an index if possible, it will save your lawyer's time and your money.
  2. Try to avoid sending voluminous amounts of documents attached to emails. You will incur charges for us printing the documents. You will save money by printing the documents yourself and sending them by mail to our office, or bringing them in when you next visit.
  3. Each attendance by our professional staff is charged in 6 minute units. If you want to discuss something, make a list of what you want to discuss, rather than contacting us every time you think of something. One attendance, rather than numerous attendances is less expensive for you.
  4. The more time you spend with our lawyers the more your costs will be. If you can prepare for meetings and be concise it will be less expensive for you.
  5. Keep a diary, particularly for parenting cases, it is helpful to document important events as they occur. For example, the days and times the children are spending time with you, or any changes in their care arrangements.
  6. Don't be afraid to issue in court. Often it is less expensive to progress your matter this way rather than going back and forth to the other side without much compromise. If the other side is not cooperative the Court will require them to do things by certain dates. The court will require compulsory mediation in most cases.
  7. Ethically we must respond to a reasonable request made by the other side. We cannot ignore their communication. We are ethically required to at least acknowledge their communication and confirm we shall seek your instructions.
  8. Most costs are incurred in the last three months or so before a final hearing. Before that step is reached, we will do whatever we reasonably can to settle your matter. Most matters settle well before the final hearing.
  9. If the other party is uncooperative or obstructive, this can increase your costs. If the other party is reasonable we can usually settle your matter efficiently and cost effectively.
  10. Some law firms can be difficult to deal with. They can be combative, unreasonable or their firm's culture is to "fight every point". If your spouse engages one of these firms, your costs may be higher.
  11. If your spouse acts for themselves, your costs may be higher.