When you engage a solicitor you will be expected to pay for their experience and skill, the resources and time spent, and the expected result.
The Society has prepared factsheets to fully explain your rights and obligations when instructing a solicitor.
A solicitor may ask you to pay into the solicitor’s trust account to cover the anticipated amount of the solicitor’s costs. Your solicitor must account to you for these monies by advising you how the money has been applied.
The Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act) came into force on 1 July 2007. It requires your solicitor to offer you a Costs Agreement together with a Disclosure Statement.
Your solicitor must disclose to you certain information regarding costs, as set out in s.308 of the Act. The disclosure may be made by using Form 1 Your right to know, or in some other document, or documents, that give the information that is provided in Form 1 and the factsheet.
Your solicitor must also, pursuant to s. 331 of the Act, notify you of your rights in the event of a dispute about the solicitor’s costs. The notification may be made by using Form 2 with Your right to challenge legal costs, or in some other document, or documents, that give the information that is provided in form 2 and the factsheet.
The options available to you to challenge the amount of the solicitor’s costs are set out in Your right to challenge legal costs. One option is to apply to the Court for the appointment of a cost assessor.
The Court having the relevant jurisdiction to appoint a cost assessor will be determined as follows:
- if your bill does not exceed $150,000 – Magistrates Court
- if your bill exceeds $150,000 and does not exceed $750,000 – District Court
- if your bill exceeds $750,000 – Supreme Court
A register of approved cost assessors is maintained by the Queensland Courts.
Form 60 Application for costs assessment and Form 46 Affidavit in support of Application for costs assessment are to be used to make an application to the Court for the appointment of a costs assessor.