I am bound by the New Zealand Law Society Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 which is designed partly to clarify how lawyers can charge for providing legal services to clients.
I have two ways of charging. First, I have set estimated charges for repeat routine work such as residential conveyancing (buying, selling or refinancing property). These will change over time so you cannot guarantee you will be charged the same as any previous time you used my services. Also, if an unexpected problem occurs for some reason then additional time and attendances are charged at a prescribed hourly rate as specified in the client engagement letter. This is relatively rare and usually the flat estimated fee will apply.
The second method of charging is used when it is impossible to accurately estimate how much time and effort will be required to complete a particular matter. For example, a dispute over relationship property is a classic example. In that case an estimated fee for the provision of legal services is unlikely and a client can be expected to be charged on a “time and attendance basis”. That means the client engagement letter will state the hourly rate being charged and an itemised record of the time and attendances spent on a matter will be recorded and charged at that agreed hourly rate.
I charge a fair price for good work.
I do not currently offer legal aid services as I am not an accredited legal aid lawyer.