|1||Parties||The Firm – Bradshaw Pattison Lawyers ABN 14 630 896 338
The Client – The entity or person attending upon us or seeking our advice – ‘You’.
|2||Offer||Where requested to undertake work on your behalf, the Firm offers to undertake such work on behalf of the Client to provide the legal services as agreed between us.
Where the value of the work shall exceed $1,500 (excluding GST), formal cost disclosure shall also take place, but these terms shall continue to apply to any work undertaken until superseded by any terms provided in the formal cost disclosure.
|3||Acceptance||The Client may accept this agreement instructing us to do work on your behalf in which case these terms will apply as and from the date you initially provided your instructions to us.|
|4||Persons who will perform the work
|The Firm does not promise that any specific member of the firm will perform your work. The Firm may allocate any appropriately qualified staff member to complete work on your behalf. The Firm does not warrant that your matter will be conducted by one member of staff throughout your matter, but where possible, the Firm recognises that continuity is the preference for both the Firm and the Client.
From time to time the Firm may update the its Rate Card.
|Our Professional fees are calculated and charged by reference to the time spent on your matter or by an agreed fixed fee.
Where our fees are to be calculated by reference to time, the rates payable are set out in the Rate Card. We charge in 2 minute units.
This includes additional work not included in your retainer or additional selected items which you request that we undertake unless we agree a fixed fee with you in writing.
|All disbursements and outlays we incur on your behalf and for which you may be liable as set out in the Engagement Details, will be shown in our bills and at the rates set out in our Schedule of Fees and other charges. We will provide you, on request, with invoices or other proof of disbursement and outlays we make on your behalf. Where you are liable for payment of other charges and we pay taxes, fees or charges on your behalf, you will reimburse us for those payments.|
|7||Amendments to Professional Fees||The Schedule of Fees and our Rate Card are reviewed in June each year and may change during the course of a matter. In lengthy matters, this may impact upon our cost estimates which may be revised accordingly. Where applicable the Client will be given an updated Costs Estimate. The Client has the right to be notified of any substantial change in any matters disclosed under s308 LPA.
The Client may contact Matthew Bradshaw to discuss their legal costs – s308(h) LPA.
|8||Disbursements||The Firm is authorised by the Client to incur any and all necessary expenditure on the Client’s behalf. Such expenditure may include: barrister’s fee, search fees, courier fees, the cost of expert consultants, medical reports, filing and lodgement fees, banking charges, government revenue charges, process servers’ fees, investigators’ fees, agent’s fees including interstate lawyers, external consultants, travel and accommodation, witness fees, transcript fees.
The Firm will be entitled to recover from the Client all costs incurred in exercising this authority.
In addition, the Firm will be entitled to charge to the Client all sundries properly incurred by the Firm for services the Firm (or an associated entity) uses or supplies on the Client’s behalf as set out in the Rate Card.
Sundries are a fee which may be charged at a rate which is above the firm’s actual expenditure in providing such supplies and services, and the rate is to compensate the firm in respect of the staffing and administration costs associated with the supplies and services.
|9||GST||Unless otherwise states, the fees, other charges and disbursements are stated on a GST inclusive basis. We will treat you as the recipient of the supplies that we make. We will determine the GST payable on our supply of services to you based on the legal status and the nature of the work, and will add an amount to our bills on about of that GST. You agree that you will pay us an additional amount on account of any GST that we are liable to pay as a result of any supply we make to you.|
|10||Tax Invoices||All invoices submitted by the Firm to the Client will be issued at the commencement of a retainer, at weekly or monthly intervals, at the conclusion of the matter, or at other times as agreed in writing between the parties.
Where fees are charged on a time costed basis, we will invoice the Client weekly, monthly, and at the conclusion of each stage, and the conclusion of your matter.
Invoices must be paid within 14 days of their issue.
|11||Billing Arrangements and Tax Invoices||Work carried out on an hourly rate will be billed weekly or monthly and on completion of the matter.
If you terminate our retainer without cause, or if we terminate your retainer for failing to take our advice, we will cease work except to prepare a final advice to you enclosing a final invoice.
If our fees are to be costed to determine whether they are reasonable, the hourly rates current at the time the work was conducted will apply.
|12||Applications for Consent Orders||Applications for Consent Orders will be invoiced in 2 stages:
a) An initial fee of 2/3 of the fixed fee upon commencement of the matter; and
b) A further fee of 1/3 of the fixed fee immediately prior to filing.
If the Other Party withdraws their consent prior to filing, only the Initial instalment will be payable.
The following payments will be invoiced with the initial instalment – Disclosure and Super Splitting.
Transfers of interests will be invoiced after Orders have been made.
The fee for Consent Orders does not include any negotiations to reach agreement.
|13||Overdue payments||If the Client fails to pay the Firm’s Invoice in full in accordance with these terms the Firm may:
a) cease work in respect of this matter or any other matter for which the Firm acts on the Client’s behalf until all accounts are paid in full; and
b) exercise a Lien over the Client’s papers, documents or files until all accounts are paid in full.
The Client must pay the Firm’s Invoice regardless of whether or not it has a right of indemnity or recovery from a third party or a costs assessment is sought by any third party.
|14||Interest Charges||Interest at the maximum rate prescribed in section 321 LPA (being the Cash Rate Target set by the Reserve Bank of Australia plus 6%) will be charged on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 30 days after a tax invoice is given to you.|
|15||Lien||Without affecting any lien to which we are otherwise entitled at law over funds, papers and other property of your in our possession:
(a) We shall be entitled to retain by way of lien any funds, property or papers of your, which are from time to time in our possession or control, until all costs, disbursements, interest and other moneys due to the Firm have been paid, and
(b) Our lien will continue notwithstanding that we cease to act for you.
We specifically alert you that we will contact the solicitor for the other party, or any other lawyer you retain to act for you after us in the same matter that we retain a lien.
|16||Funds in Trust||The Firm may from time to time require the Client to pay into the Firm’s Trust Account an amount in anticipation of outlays, or to provide security for fees and disbursements.
In the event that the Client fails to provide such funds when requested by the Firm the Firm is entitled to:
The Firm will not be liable for failing to take steps or incur any outlay should the Client fail to provide funds as requested.
The Client hereby provides to the Firm an irrevocable authority and direction to accept into its trust fund any monies due to the client of and incidental to the matter.
|17||Destruction of File||The Firm will destroy its files 7 years after a matter is completed. The Client authorises the Firm to destroy any of its papers documents or things not retrieved during that period.
Prior to destruction, physical files will be stored in off-site archive and if a client requests the retrieval of their file, fees will be incurred by them at cost to the Firm. No fees will apply for providing access to electronically held documents.
The Firm may destroy hard copies of its file earlier but will retain a full electronic copy of its file for the entire 7 years. At the end of your matter, you should request any original documents you have provided to us that you wish to retain.
|18||Electronic Communications||The Firm may communicate with the Client electronically. Electronically transmitted information cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error free and it can be adversely affected or unsafe to use.
The Firm is not liable to the Client in respect of any loss, damage, error or omission arising from or in connection with the electronic communication of information to or from the Client.
The Client must advise the Firm in writing (but not electronically) if it does not want the Firm to communicate electronically with it.
If the Firm is instructed not to communicate electronically with the Client, the Firm is entitled to recover the cost of ordinary postage between the Firm and the Client at its cost.
|19||Limit of Liability||To the extent permitted by law, the Client agrees that the Firm’s liability (and that of the Firm’s officers and employees) including, but not limited to, liability for negligence, to the Client in respect of all causes of action arising in connection with the Client’s matter is limited to a total of $1.5 million. The Client agrees to release the Firm (and its officers and employees) from all claims arising in connection with the Client’s matter to the extent the Firm’s (and its officers’ and employees’) liability in respect of those claims would exceed a total of $1.5 million. To the extent permitted by law, the Client agrees that to the extent that any loss or damage suffered by the Client is attributable to fault, negligence, or lack of care on the Client’s part or on the part of any person for whom the Client is responsible, the Firm (and its officers and employees) are not liable (in tort, contract or otherwise) for the loss or damage.|
|20||Storing and Proving Material Electronically||We use cloud computing services to safely story emails, documents and information that we send to and receive from you.
We are able to send electronic mail to you and receive electronic mail from you. However, as such mail is not secure, it may be copied, recorded, read or interfered with by third parties while in transit. If you ask us to provide or transmit any document or information electronically, by email or other online or electronic system for sharing or storing document, you release us from any claim you may have as a result of any unauthorised copying, recording, reading or interference with that document or information after transmission, for any delay or non-delivery of any document or information and for any damage caused to your system or any files by a transfer.
|21||Severance||If any provision (or part of it) of these Terms is held to be unenforceable or invalid, then it will be interpreted as narrowly as necessary to allow it to be enforceable or valid. If a provision (or part of it) of these Terms cannot be interpreted as narrowly as necessary to allow it to be enforceable or valid, then the provision (or part of it) must be severed from these Terms and the remaining provisions (and remaining part of the provision) of these Terms are valid and enforceable.|
|22||Jurisdiction||The law in force in Queensland applies to legal fees and costs in relation to this matter – s 308(k) LPA.
If the Firm’s legal services in this matter are or will be provided wholly or primarily in another Australian state or territory (jurisdiction), or this matter has a substantial connection with another jurisdiction then the Client has the right either:
|23||Caveatable Interest||Where the matter is conducted on a deferred fee basis the Client charges all their estate title and interest in all land and other property which they may now have or at any time during the term of this agreement acquire and consent to the Firm registering a caveat over any land or other property as security for the payment of monies due under this agreement.|
|24||Director’s indemnity||Where the Client is a corporation, the director/s of the Client, by executing the letter of retainer, agree to personally guarantee and indemnify the Firm in respect of any non-payment by the Client.|
|25||Termination||The Client may terminate this Agreement and withdraw instructions at any time and for any reason.
The Firm may terminate this Agreement and cease to act for the Client for lawful cause or if the Client:
1. breaches the Agreement;
2. requires the Firm to act unlawfully or unethically;
3. fails to give the Firm adequate and/or truthful instructions;
4. indicates that the Client has lost confidence in the Firm;
5. fails to pay for any Invoice pursuant to Clause 10 or to provide money to be paid into trust as may be required by Clause 12;
6. fails to act on the advice provided to them, especially where the advice is that the claim has little or no merit or prospects of success.
7. loses legal capacity; or
8. fails to notify the Firm of current contact details.
If this Agreement is terminated by the Firm or by the Client, the Firm is entitled to all outstanding fees and costs up to the termination and will be entitled to retain possession of the Client’s file until payment of those fees and costs.
If either the Client or the Firm terminates this agreement, the Firm’s obligations to perform the matters in it come to an end immediately. All other terms of this agreement remain in force.
|26||Confidentiality||(a) At all times we seek to maintain the confidentiality of your confidential information.
(b) We may, on a confidential basis, provide your information to third parties where we consider it appropriate for the proper conduct of your matter. This may include to other employees or contractors of the Firm, to agents of the Firm who are conducting work for you on our behalf.
(c) We may disclose your information where permitted or required by law to do so, or where such information is no longer confidential.
(d) You must keep the terms of our engagement confidential, including our rates and fees, which have been specifically generated based on your individual circumstances and which may not the same as other clients with different circumstances.
(e) We will not sell or otherwise provide your details, specifically your contact details, to any other entity unless it is to another law firm taking over the business of the Firm in part or in whole due to the Firm ceasing to provide legal services in part of in whole.
|27||Variables which may impact on costs estimates||Some of the variables which may impact upon any cost estimate provided are:
(a) The length of time it takes for you, or the other party to respond to our correspondence
(b) The number of telephone calls and attendances you seek in addition to the allocated attendances in your retainer
(c) Delay in providing documents, or providing documents to us in multiple batches
(d) Requesting us to send correspondence by registered or express post
(e) Whether your instructions are varied
(f) Whether additional court dates are required due to the failure of yourself or the other party to comply with their obligations, the court rules, or court orders
(g) You or the other party commencing contested proceedings
(h) Whether documents have to be revised in light of varied instructions, or due to additional information provided to us during the course of the proceedings
(i) The lawyer or other persons with whom we deal and the level of co-operation of the lawyer’s clients and other persons involved;
(j) Changes in the law; and
(k) The complexity or uncertainty concerning legal issues affecting your matter.
|28||Limit of instructions||The Firm does not provide financial advice or financial services. The Client agrees that advice provided by the Firm will not be construed as financial advice and will not be relied upon in respect of financial matters.
The Firm does not provide advice in relation to Personal Injuries law, Migration or Immigration law, Criminal law, Taxation law, or matters of non-Australian law.
|29||Advice||Unless the Firm notifies the Client otherwise, advice provided pursuant to this agreement is for the benefit of the Client alone and is not to be relied upon by any third party or used for any purpose outside of the context of the instructions given. We do not provide shadow advice.|
|30||Trust Money and Authorisation to Withdraw Trust Money||From time to time, the Firm may require the Client to pay into the Firm’s Trust Account an amount in anticipation of outlays, or to provide security for fees and disbursements.
If the Client fails to provide such funds when requested by the Firm, the Firm is entitled to:
(a) case work in respect of your matter;
(b) remove ourselves from the court record of any contested litigation;
(c) advise any mediator that we no longer act on your behalf and will not be attending mediation;
(d) Terminate this agreement.
The Firm will not be liable for failing to take steps or incur any outlay if the Client fails to provide funds as requested.
The Client provides the Firm with an irrevocable authority and direction to accept into its trust fund any monies due to the client of and incidental to the matter.
We will provide you with a receipt upon receiving your payment into trust (Trust Money). You authorise us to withdraw the Trust Money:
(e) when the Scope of Work is complete in accordance with our Payment Advice to you;
(f) in accordance with instruction that have been received by us and that authorise the withdrawal; or
(g) if the Trust Money is owed to us by way of reimbursement of money already paid by the practice on behalf of the person; and
(h) in satisfaction of any invoice addressed to the Client, immediately upon the client having been provided a copy of that invoice.
|31||Copyright, retention and copying of documents||You acknowledge and agree that copyright in our legal advices and documents belongs to the Firm and that the Firm makes these documents and advices available to you under licence from us as set out in these terms. You are permitted to use the Documents for your personal or business use.
You are not permitted to reuse the documents for another use, nor to provide the documents to third parties for their reuse or for them to benefit from (or attempt to benefit from) in a commercial fashion, including that you are not permitted to re-sell, copy reproduce, transmit electronically or otherwise use the documents in whole or in part, in any manner whether in original form or amended in any way, unless you have requested and received prior written permission to use the documents in that other way.
|32||Legal costs — your right to know
Form 1 – Legal Profession Act 2007 (s 308(5))
|The client has the right to:
· negotiate a costs agreement with us
· receive a bill of costs from us
· request an itemised bill of costs after you receive a lump sum bill from us
· request written reports about the progress of your matter and the costs incurred in your matter
· apply for costs to be assessed within 12 months if you are unhappy with our costs
· apply for the costs agreement to be set aside
· accept or reject any offer we make for an interstate costs law to apply to your matter
· notify us that you require an interstate costs law to apply to your matter.
For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet titled Legal Costs — your right to know. You can ask us for a copy, or obtain it from your local law society or law institute (or download it from their website).