Legal fees and charges – how we keep legal fees low


piggy-bank-red-borderWe understand that the costs of managing a family law matter are a key factor in your decision to choose a particular law firm. We will do whatever we can to help you manage your legal fees and charges. We do this by making sure the appropriate people work on your matter, by giving you the opportunity to undertake some work yourself, and by keeping meetings to a minimum.

We use the latest legal support software to help make sure we are efficient, and we can hold meetings by phone or Skype which can reduce meeting time and keep your costs down.

The legal fees for a lawyer will generally depend on their experience and qualifications. Our family lawyers charge between $330 and $550 per hour plus GST. As you make your inquiries you will find other family lawyers in Canberra will normally charge between $375 and $850 per hour plus GST, depending on seniority. Our paralegal charge is $180 per hour plus GST. Other family law firm paralegals are charged at between $220 and $350 per hour.

We suggest that you ask for details of the experience and qualifications of the lawyers and paralegals proposed to work on your matter, and for details of the support that less experienced lawyers will receive from more senior staff when working on your matter. Our firm is happy to provide you with this information.

It’s not just the hourly rate that affects the cost but also the efficiency of your lawyer.  Our aim is to be cost efficient in all our activities. We run a largely paperless office which means lower overheads and less time spent on filing, printing and dictating. We won’t allocate lawyers to your job to keep them busy, and we don’t ask you to sign forms at our first meeting which many frms do. We don’t have formalised cross referrals, and you won’t get a call from a financial planner after meeting us because we don’t do deals to share your contact details.

One of our innovations to keep legel fees to a minimum is to give our clients access to a client portal. This can be used to complete some court forms, to edit letters and affidavits, and generally to stay in touch and communicate. We also use separate portals for external experts and witnesses (eg accountants, barristers etc) to download and upload evidence in a streamlined manner. We also minimise cost to clients by ensuring that non-legal information (not advice) is sent by our administration staff, paralegals or by our systems so that you receive information where appropriate at a reduced price or in the case of system generated material at no additional cost. 

How do you know which lawyer to use?

If your matter is complex, there is a significant asset pool, your spouse exhibits challenging behaviour, or there are mental health or domestic violence issues, we recommend that you engage our Accredited Specialist in family law. Specialists are trained to manage complex matters and to provide strategic advice early on, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.

We comply fully with the ACT Law Society  requirements for disclosure of costs.

What are your options for payment?

Alliance Family Law can provide you with a range of services and options, including:

  • Up-front secure trust account fee management
  • Pay-as-you-go options:
    • Direct bank fund transfer
    • Credit card (2% bank surcharge)
    • PayPal
  • Putting you in touch with a litigation lender
  • End-of-matter payment with security (interest is charged)

Fixed fees

We offer fixed fee for divorce:

  • Simple joint divorce without court appearance $695 plus court filing fees and other disbursements.
  • Sole application $1,195 plus court filing fees and other disbursements.

We offer a fixed fee for Enduring Power of Attorney

  • EPOA – $350
  • Call us for an estimate of costs for your will

Ask us about other fixed fee services.

Indicative costs for other services are:

  • Drafting of binding financial agreement starting at $3,000 (please note these costs can be significantly more in complex agreements).
  • Statutory advice on binding financial agreement starting at $2,500.
  • Draft consent orders and Application for Consent Orders Form (including parenting Annexures where relevant) where parties are in agreement starting at $3,000.

We can provide detailed fixed cost estimates for many services, based on your individual circumstances.

Please call us: 02 6233 2400 or email us on the CONTACT FORM and we will get back to you with 1 working day.

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