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How we assess if your bill is fair and reasonable

You can usually talk to your lawyer first about any concerns you have about your bill. They can explain their fees and charges in more detail, or they may offer you a remedy.

If you are not satisfied with your lawyer’s response after speaking to them, you can contact us for assistance.

We will let you know if we can help you or explain other options that may be available to you. This could include working with you and your lawyer to agree an outcome.

Our service is free, and we don’t take sides.

When dealing with a complaint about a lawyer’s bill, we sometimes need to look at the lawyer’s work and costs in more detail.

Watch the video below to see how we decide if your lawyer’s bill is fair and reasonable:

Step 1

The first thing we need to consider is if your lawyer provided you with cost disclosure.

Cost disclosure includes a written estimate of the total amount you are likely to pay, including expenses (known as disbursements) and GST.

Cost disclosure is required for legal services valued over $750 (excluding GST and disbursements).

Step 2

If you and your lawyer cannot resolve your concerns informally, we may conduct a review to decide if your lawyer’s bill is fair and reasonable.

We consider a range of factors in our review.

This includes, but is not limited to:

Skills and experience

Does the skill level, seniority or knowledge of the lawyers involved match the cost of their services?


How challenging was the work? Does this support the costs that have been charged?


How urgent was the work? Could the urgency explain the costs charged?


Was the work of a poor standard? Did it create delays or result in an increase to costs?

These are the most common things we will consider when assessing what is fair and reasonable.

Step 3

Our team will keep both you and your lawyer up to date throughout the process.

We will explain what steps you can take if your concerns are not resolved.

This may include taking your complaint to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Costs Court where applicable.

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