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Six questions to ask about legal costs

When you are looking for a lawyer it’s important to find someone who’s right for you and your situation. You can use our register to search for a registered lawyer. The Law Institute of Victoria also offers consumers a legal referral service.

Make a list of lawyers you are interested in. Call their office for an introductory meeting. It helps to know how much a lawyer will charge you for their professional services before you hire them.

Here is a list of 6 questions you should ask the lawyer.

This list will soon be available in Easy English or you can use our translate button on the top right hand corner of this page for different languages.

Before the consultation

  1. Will I be charged for a consultation?

During the consultation

  1. How much will you charge in total?
  2. How are your fees calculated? For example, hourly rate, fixed fee, no win no fee.
  3. Are there any extra costs?
  4. Could my costs change? How will you let me know if they do?
  5. When will I be billed and how much time will I have to pay? Do you offer payment options?

    

This meeting and the answers to your questions will help you to decide if you want to hire the lawyer.

Don’t be afraid to ask the lawyer for their costs in writing. Legally, they must do this if their fees are likely to cost more than $750. You also have the right to negotiate a costs agreement or how you prefer to be billed. 

Some other things to consider include: how well you and your lawyer can communicate together, your lawyer's reputation, qualifications and experience. How will they inform you of any updates? If you are not sure if they are the right lawyer to take your case, take the time to shop around.

You can find more information on how to prepare for your first meeting with your lawyer here.

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