The traditional law firm model rewards inefficiency - the longer it takes the more they get paid. How does that work for the client?
Not at all.
How does it work on larger matters?
For larger matters we break the work down into stages to provide a more accurate description of the scope of work in each stage. Depending on the matter, the initial stages may be fixed fees with subsequent stages having an estimate of fees, which can be fixed as the matter progresses and when the scope can be better defined based on the conduct and direction of the matter.
Our fixed fees are for our professional fees and do not include disbursements, such as search costs, or court filing fees. These are disbursements we incur as your agent to enable us to complete your instructions and we invoice these to you for reimbursement. We do not put any mark up on these disbursements.
At Anderssen Lawyers we strive to be the most efficient, digital law firm offering clients upfront fixed pricing in all areas of law. We are nearly there.
hire only senior legal experts who can solve issues expertly and quickly
are passionate about high quality legal product produced via smart workflows and intelligent technology
are a paperless law firm with electronic search, research and drafting tools to manage our clients' material
invest heavily in training our team
offer flexible work arrangements for our lawyers to 'tap in and tap out' so our workforce matches client demand rather than just 'filling in time'
How does it work?
What are the benefits?
It encourages open communication without fear of 'the clock is ticking' - removing the feeling that each phone call and email you send to us incurs an additional charge typical under a time billable cost agreement.
It encourages improved information sharing which ultimately assists us in achieving your desired outcome.
It creates certainty for you by removing the anxiety of spiralling costs.
It helps us and you focus on value rather than on billable hours and should remove cost tensions from our relationship.
What if the Scope changes?
If the scope of work changes during the course of the matter or does not proceed in accordance with the listed steps we will notify you and provide you with a Variation Agreement (a Revised Disclosure Statement), which will provide an alternative, varied or additional scope of work and corresponding fixed fee proposal for that work.
What can cause the scope of work to change?
A few things. Mainly unforeseen events not identified at the beginning of your matter and/or that are outside both of our control. Such as, in litigation, if the other side serves a counter claim that no one saw coming. What started as an amicable settlement turns into a hotly contested dispute.
Or a contract settlement is extended and additional work is required for example due to the client not being aware or attending to security releases on previously financed assets.
If such things occur to change the scope of work we will discuss this with you. If you are not satisfied with any proposed variation we offer, then you always have the option to cease the retainer.
What can I do to save money and avoid additional legal fees?
We have a degree of risk associated with fixing our fees, so it is important to ensure we define the scope of work as accurately as we can. In doing that we make numerous assumptions based on our experience with similar matters and about you, such as:
You operate efficiently and value the client-lawyer relationship.
You appreciate that the law firm and the client must work as a team to get the best outcomes and that just dumping the problem on us will not work.
You have a clear and direct method of providing us instructions.
You provide information, documents and instructions in a timely manner without having to be chased for it.
You pay funds into trust promptly when requested to enable us to progress the matter in an efficient manner. Delays cost time and money, ie delays in providing funds in trust before we instruct barristers results in slowing the progress of your matter.
You pay our accounts promptly to avoid additional charges for us to chase you for payment.
If at any stage we feel your conduct is outside what we initially envisaged we will raise this with you and if necessary, vary the scope of work and fees accordingly. This will mean an increase in costs to you. If that is not acceptable to either party then either can decide to terminate the retainer and we cease to act.
We do not want your matter to cost you any more than is necessary or take any longer than necessary. These are some suggestions we can make that will help keep your costs down, some of which can be achieved at our end, some of which can be achieved at your end. If we work together it can help us to keep your costs down.