How our fees work
How our fees are charged
We charge for our legal work at our usual hourly rates for our senior and junior practitioners as follows:
Kylie Mildwaters $440 per hour plus GST
Joel Byrth $360 per hour plus GST
Legal fees are traditionally charged in 6 minute units which for our senior and junior practitioners are as follows:
Kylie Mildwaters $44 per 6 minutes plus GST
Joel Byrth $36 per 6 minutes plus GST
Lawyers usually charge the full 6 minute rate for each individual job, even if they only spend 1 minute doing a particular job such as sending an email. At Mildwaters Lawyers, we keep our costs as fair and reasonable as possible by having some quick rates for jobs that take 3 minutes or less. Our quick rates are as follows for these estimates of time taken on a job:
Less than 90 seconds $11 plus GST
Less than 3 minutes but more than 90 seconds $22 plus GST
How we keep our fees down
We take various measures to keep our fees as fair and reasonable as possible. These measures include:
- Running electronic files rather than paper ones as this reduces the time that we have to spend on your file because less paper means less typing, less checking and less work
- Each lawyer or conveyancer runs their own electronic files and have proficient keyboard skills which keep our overheads down as we don’t need as many administrative staff
- We email when we can instead of posting so postage costs are kept to a minimum
- Each lawyer or conveyancer is directly accessible through our phone system so we don’t need as many staff to manage communications which converts to reduced costs to clients
- We keep our knowledge up to date so that we can deal with your matter efficiently
- We only print documents when we have to which minimises the use and cost of paper and printer ink
- We reuse scrap paper so that we use as little paper as possible
Integrity without compromise
We are very careful to keep our fees as reasonable as possible and practising with integrity for us means giving you value for money at all times. For this reason, prior to issuing our accounts, we conduct a review of the time spent on a matter and the costs to the client to ensure that our account is fair.
How do you know how much your legal fees will be?
We have fixed fees on standard matters for which we can reasonably predict the amount of legal work required. Those fixed fee matters are listed below.
For matters that aren’t standard, we can sometimes give a fixed quote once we have details about the matter and what legal work is required. If you would like a fixed quote for our fees, then please contact us so that we can obtain some details about your matter for the purposes of providing a quote.
There are some matters that we cannot quote because we are unable to determine how much work will be involved. For these matters, we will give you at least an estimate of what our fees will be.
All other costs information
For all matters where our fees will be $1,000 or more, we provide a document called our “Terms of Engagement” which set out all relevant information about our costs and the other terms of us working with you.
Fixed fee matters
Standard Wills, Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives
Single Standard Will $396
Single Power of Attorney or Advance Care Directive $187
Single Standard Will package – including Standard Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directive $594
Couple Standard Wills $770
Couple Powers of Attorney or Advance Care Directives $330
Couple Standard Wills, Powers of Attorney and/ or Advance Care Directives $990
Standard commercial shop lease $450 (per party plus GST)
Standard farming lease $450 (per party plus GST)
Standard property conveyancing $660
Private contract and form 1 $770
Divorce – where there are children under 18 $1,100
Divorce – where there is no child under 18 $990
Where there are children under 18, then the parties to the marriage must go to the Court hearing, or they must have a legal representative appear in Court for them. If our client requests that we engage a legal representative to appear in Court for them at the divorce hearing, then there will be additional legal fees payable of between $220 and $385.
Non-Fixed fee matters
For all non-fixed fee matters, we will provide you with our best estimate of what our fees will be. The actual amount of our fees will be charged in accordance with the actual amount of work done on your matter.
Your rights in relation to legal costs
If you are not happy with an account from us then you can:
- Request an itemised bill (if it is not itemised already)
- Discuss your concerns with us
- Have our costs adjudicated
- Apply to set aside our costs agreement
- Make a complaint to the Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner (if you believe there has been overcharging)
For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet titled Your Right to Challenge Legal Costs that is available at www.lawsocietysa.asn.au/PDF/EP_YourRights.pdf.