We have made a major strategic decision this year to give clients a fixed fee for the majority of our services. In the past we have given clients an estimate but this still gives us the right to increase the fee if we feel it is appropriate to cover additional time spent on the file for various reasons.
Lawyers as a profession are generally not good at discussing costs up front, during or at the end of a matter and hence the “dreaded” invoice which can often be a bolt out of the blue for the client. It is also one of the most common causes of complaints against lawyers.
We’ve thought long and hard about this and in the end decided that price uncertainty for clients had to be minimised. You don’t build a new house without knowing how much it is going to cost you so why should legal fees be any different? We’ve also been in this business long enough to know how long something is going to take us to do so why the hesitation?
Hesitate no more….we’ve gone and done it. Just a word of caution though, there are a small number of files – particularly litigation and some commercial files – where we will not be able to provide a fixed fee. In these cases we may be able to fix the fee for each major stage of the file or if that is too difficult, we will revert back to an estimate. We expect these types of files to be in the minority.
So if you are an existing client or thinking about using us, expect a fixed fee…at last a legal firm at that is putting the risk back on themselves and not the client!