Cost Agreement - Contract Review
This document is an offer to enter into a costs agreement with you.
The work we have been instructed to do is act for you in relation to the purchase of the above property, including but not limited to reviewing the contract and providing advice on the contract, negotiating any changes to the contract prior to exchange, conducting all proper searches and enquiries, issuing requisitions on title and checking replies, overseeing payment of stamp duty, where applicable liaising with your mortgagee and broker in relation to the loan advance and preparation for settlement, submitting draft settlement figures to the vendor’s solicitor and attending to and finalising settlement.
Acceptance of offer
If you accept this offer you will be regarded as having entered into a costs agreement. This means you will be bound by the terms and conditions set out in this document, including being billed in accordance with it. Acceptance may be by any one of the following ways:
- Signing and returning a copy of this document.
- Giving us instructions after receiving this document.
- Oral acceptance.
Failure to accept our offer within 7 days of dispatch of this document can result in the immediate withdrawal of our offer to act on your behalf.
Termination of agreement
We will not continue to do the work if:
- you fail to pay our bills;
- you fail to provide us with adequate instructions within a reasonable time;
- you give instructions that are deliberately false or intentionally misleading;
- you fail to accept an offer of settlement which we think is reasonable;
- you fail to accept advice we (or counsel) give you;
- you engage another law practice to advice you on this matter without our consent;
- we, on reasonable grounds, believe that we may have a conflict of interest, or if you indicate to us that we have lost your confidence; or
- for any other just cause.
We will give you at least fourteen (14) days’ notice of our intention to terminate our agreement, and of the grounds on which the notice is based.
You may terminate this agreement at any time.
If the agreement is terminated either by you or us, you will be required to pay our professional fees and charges for work done, and for expenses and disbursements incurred, up to the date of termination.
On termination, we are entitled to retain possession of your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses, unless and until security is provided for our costs.
Retention of your documents
We will, on completion of the Work, retain any papers to which you are entitled, but leave in our possession (except documents deposited in safe custody) for no more than seven (7) years, and on the undertaking that we have your authority to destroy the file seven years after the date of the final bill rendered by us in this matter.
Personal information about you, provided by you and other sources, is protected under the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000. Disclosure of such information may be compelled by law (e.g. under the Social Security Act). You also authorise us to disclose such information where necessary to others in furtherance of your matter (e.g. within the law practice, the other party or parties to the transaction, to any financial institution involved in the transaction etc.).
Money in advance
We may require you to provide us with an amount of money before we undertake work or incur disbursements for you. Where we do so, we will hold those funds in our trust account until we have issued an invoice to you for our costs and/or disbursements. You authorise us to use any money held in trust by us on your behalf to pay such invoices.
Authorisation to transfer money from trust account
You authorise us to receive directly into our trust account any money received from any source in furtherance of your work, and to pay ourselves our costs, disbursements and expenses in accordance with the provisions of regulation 42 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015.
Law Corporation Pty Ltd
This document and the Form attached disclose information about the costs of our legal services, and your rights, as required by the Legal Profession Uniform Law NSW (the Act).
All rates, charges, expenses etc. in this document are GST exclusive unless otherwise stated. Where the service provided is subject to GST, GST of 10% will be added and charged to you.
2. Calculation of Costs
We estimate our professional costs and disbursements as follows:
Professional Costs of $1500.00 plus GST for the Conveyance of [property]
Disbursements of $600 plus GST.
Any work requested beyond the scope of works set out in our offer to you to enter into a costs agreement will be charged in accordance with clause 2.1 herein.
2.1 Professional Fees
We will charge you professional fees for the work we do at the following hourly rates:
$500.00 per hour plus GST for a senior solicitor / practice director
$400.00 per hour plus GST for an associate solicitor
These rates will be proportionately charged for work involving shorter periods less than an hour. Our charges are structured in 6 minutes units. For example, the time charged for an attendance of up to 6 minutes will be 1 unit and the time charged for an attendance between 6 and 12 minutes will be 2 units.
2.2 Expenses and disbursements
We will incur expenses and disbursements (being money which we pay or are liable to pay) to others on your behalf. These include
- Property search fees
- Conveyancing document fees
- Legal agents’ fees
3. Billing Arrangements
We will send you a bill of costs containing information of our professional fees and charges, disbursements and expenses, including GST, either after completion of the work, or monthly, or at other times as agreed with you, when the work is in progress.
4. Interest on unpaid costs
If our costs are not paid within 30 days of giving you our bill of costs, we may charge you interest on the unpaid amount at or under the maximum rate prescribed in Regulation 75, of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015. The current rate is 4.00% per annum, but may vary at the time the Bill of Costs is issued.
5. Dispute as to legal costs
In addition to the rights set out in the accompanying Form you also have the right to have the costs mediated if the dispute is less than $10,000 (referral for mediation must be made before an application for assessment is accepted by the Manager, Costs Assessment).
6. Persons responsible for your matter and legal costs
[insert] will be responsible for your matter. You may contact Dorian regarding your matter and your legal costs. Other persons may assist the above-named solicitor from time to time with the conduct of your matter.
7. Substantial changes to disclosure
You will be informed, as soon as is reasonably practicable, of any substantial changes to anything contained in this disclosure document.
8. Applicable Law
The law of NSW applies to legal costs regarding this matter. However, see your rights in the accompanying Form.
- You have the right to:
- Negotiate a costs agreement
- Negotiate the billing method (eg timing or task)
- Request a written progress report of costs incurred
- Receive a written bill for work done
- Request an itemised bill
- Contact your local regulatory authority.