The Central Coast's choice for Criminal and Family Law Services
Because we value our clients, Intercept Law provides an initial phone consultation (15 minutes) with the solicitor who will be looking after your matter free-of-charge. This lets you decide whether you want to retain our services before you incur any charges for legal services.
How much will you have to pay for Legal Services?
At Intercept Law, we will explain legal costs to you in detail before we start work on your behalf, as we understand that many people can find the issue of legal costs quite complex. Our policy is to ensure that you are provided with clear and complete information about likely legal costs before you commit to taking any action.
There are two types of costs you can incur:
- Costs – the fees we charge for our professional work
- Disbursements – the other expenses that we may incur on your behalf in running the case
Before we start work on your behalf we will explain:
- How we calculate our fees
- The likely costs involved to prepare and run your case
- Any additional costs (called disbursements) that may be incurred
- Any costs that may be recoverable from or payable by you to the other party in your case
It can be difficult to predict the exact amount of costs at the outset of a dispute because of the unpredictable nature of many legal proceedings, especially those involving litigation, and because there are so many variables.
For example, we may be able to settle some cases early while some will proceed to a court hearing, and some court hearings can be short while others can be lengthy.
How will your legal costs be calculated?
There are several different ways to calculate legal fees and how they will be calculated in your case will depend on the type of matter you have. Fees may be decided using an agreed hourly rate (usually for criminal and civil litigation matters) or a statutory prescribed scale (for un-contentious debt recovery and probate matters), or you may be given a firm quote.
Other expenses or ‘disbursements’
You will usually have to contribute towards the additional out-of-pocket expenses, called disbursements, which are incurred on your behalf. Examples of such disbursements include fees for expert or medical reports, subpoena’s and expert witnesses, fees for getting documents served on the other party, search fees, photocopying, barrister’s fees and the court filing fees that must me paid for commencing an action.
However, you can rest easy with the knowledge that you will be informed of any necessary expenditure for external disbursements before the expenditure is incurred.
Can any Legal costs be recovered?
The general rule in civil matters is that the party who is successful in the litigation is awarded costs. This means that in many successful civil cases a high percentage (although usually not all) of your legal costs can often be recovered from the other party.
Family law is different. In Family law, the general rule is that each party bears their own costs, although there are exceptions to this – see below.
Moreover, the rule that costs are awarded to the successful party applies to civil proceedings only; it does not apply to criminal proceedings. Only in exceptional cases can costs be recovered from the prosecution or police in criminal matters.
Will I have to pay costs to the other party if my court case is not successful?
Costs are not payable to the other party in criminal proceedings.
However, the general rule in civil litigation is that the loser pays the winner’s costs. There is consequently the risk in litigation that, if unsuccessful, you may be ordered by the court to pay the costs of the other party. The cost of losing a court case can therefore be very high. This risk occurs in all litigation.
The rules which determine who pays whose costs may therefore play an important role in determining whether litigation is, or is likely to be, worthwhile. We will discuss this with you at the outset after analysing your case, and you can be confident that your case will be continually assessed to ensure you are not exposed to an unreasonable risk of a costs order against you.
As stated above, although the general rule in Family law matters is that each party bears their own costs, occasional exceptions can be made if the court considers that the conduct of one party (such as delaying or protracting the proceedings) warrants the penalty of a costs order.