Precedent Costs Agreement Only for the Law Society s Pro Bono Scheme Civil Matters (excluding Family Law Act Matters)

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1 Precedent Costs Agreement Only for the Law Society s Pro Bono Scheme Civil Matters (excluding Family Law Act Matters) DATE: TO: ADDRESS: 1. This document (and the accompanying form) discloses information about the costs of our legal services, and your rights, as required by the Legal Profession Act 2004 NSW (the Act). It is also an offer to enter into a costs agreement with you. 2. The services provided to you will be on a free or substantially reduced basis (state which). However, if (a) an order for costs is made in your favour; or (b) a settlement is reached which includes payment of your costs; we are entitled to recover from you the full amount of fees and disbursements that another party is required to pay under this order or agreement. We will accept this amount in full and final settlement of your costs. 3. Independent Legal Advice You have the right to obtain independent legal advice before entering into this costs agreement. 4. The Work The work we have been instructed to do is: 5. Basis of retainer (successful outcome of the matter) 5.1 We confirm that we will be retained in this matter on a pro bono basis and our right to payment of fees will arise upon a successful outcome. Successful outcome means: obtaining a verdict, award or settlement in your favour inclusive or exclusive of costs as the case may be. 5.2 Our right to payment of fees will be calculated on one of these bases set out in clause 6 and in accordance with the estimates set out in clause 7. (Delete whichever is inapplicable)

2 6. Costs: how calculated for the purposes of clause Professional Fees We will charge you professional fees for the work I/we do either: (a) the lump sum of: $ (b) GST $ (c) TOTAL $ (a) an hourly rate of $ (plus 10% GST) for a partner. (b) an hourly rate of $ (plus 10% GST) for an employed solicitor. (c) an hourly rate of $ (plus 10%GST) for a paralegal. This rate will be proportionately charged for work involving shorter periods of less than an hour. Our time charging is structured in 6 minute units. For example, the time charged for an attendance of up to 6 minutes will be 6 minutes. The time charged for an attendance between 6 minutes and 12 minutes will be 12 minutes. 6.2 Charges We will charge you for services we use or supply. Our rates are: (a) photocopying: $ per page (plus 10% GST) (b) faxes: $ per page (plus 10% GST) (c) etc: $ (plus 10% GST) These charges will be payable only if they are not approved for payment by the Trustees of the Pro Bono Disbursement Fund as expenses or disbursements under clause 6.3 below. 6.3 Expenses & Disbursements We will incur expenses and disbursements (being money which we pay or are liable to pay) to others on your behalf. These may include: Court filing fees, medical reports, registration and subpoena fees, translation fees, searches, transcript fees and agency fees. The expenses and disbursements repayable to the Law Society s Pro Bono Trust Fund are payable separately by you to the Trust Fund.

3 7. Costs-estimates The following estimate is based on the information available to us to date. It is an estimate, not a quotation and subject to change. (Delete whichever alternative is inapplicable.) Either: 7.1 We estimate the cost of the work to be: Professional fees: $ Charges: $ Expenses & Disbursements subject to GST: $ SUBTOTAL $ GST: $ GST free Expenses & Disbursements $ TOTAL $ 7.2 It is not possible at this time to provide an accurate estimate of the total costs. Instead a range of estimates is provided. Stage 1: Instructions and investigation of the matter : $ Stage 2: $ Stage 3: $ These estimates are made on the information available to us at this time. These estimates, may, and probably will, change when more information is available to us. The major factors which will affect the estimates are: Billing arrangements You are not liable for any of our costs if the outcome of the matter is not successful as set out in clause 5.1 Upon the successful outcome your costs, charges, expenses and disbursements will be recovered from the other party (or other source).

4 Where a verdict, award or settlement in your favour is inclusive of costs, we will provide you with a bill of costs/tax invoice (based on clause 6). These costs will be based on us on the fair and reasonable costs usually allowed by costs assessors on assessment of costs between parties in litigation matters. Where a barrister is retained, the barrister may enter into a similar arrangement with you. You have the right to assessment of our costs if you are not satisfied with our bill of costs or that of the barrister. In the event that you obtain a verdict award or settlement exclusive of costs, we will accept a sum of money equivalent to the amount recovered from the other party (or other source) as payment of your costs in full and final settlement of our costs. Where a barrister is retained, the barrister may enter into a similar arrangement with you. 9. Costs in court proceedings 9.1 If court proceedings are taken on your behalf, the court may order the other party to pay your costs of the proceedings. It is possible that the court may make an order that you pay the other party s costs (if, for instance, you lose the case). These costs are payable by you to the other party. 9.2 If you are successful (as per clause 5.1) in the litigation the following is the range of costs that may be recovered from the other party. The sums given below are merely estimates and are not firm quotations prior to hearing: $ up to and including single day s hearing: $ up to and including three days hearing: $ $ 9.3 If you are unsuccessful in the litigation you may be ordered to pay the other party s costs. In this case you will not have to pay our costs. The following is a range of costs that may be payable by you to the other party. The sums given below are merely estimates, based on our estimate of what the other party s law practice may charge prior to hearing: $ up to and including a single day s hearing: $ up to and including three days hearing: $ $ 9.4 If settlement if your claim is being negotiated, we will provide you before settlement with: a reasonable estimate of our costs and a reasonable estimate of the costs you may obtain from the other party if the settlement if favourable to you;

5 9.4.2 a reasonable estimate of the costs you may have to pay the other party (e.g. your case is weak, etc). In this case you will not have to pay our costs. 10. Persons responsible for the Work Mr/Mrs will be responsible for the work described in Clause 4 under the supervision of Mr/Mrs You may contact either one of them regarding your matter and your legal costs. You may contact us regarding your matter and your legal costs. 11. Engagement of a Barrister It may be necessary for you to engage, on your behalf, the services of a barrister to provide specialist advice or services, including advocacy services. We will inform you if it is necessary to do so. You should then contact the Bar Association s Legal Assistance Referral Scheme to retain the services of a barrister. The barrister engaged may enter into a similar costs agreement with you to recover counsel s fees recoverable from the other party (or other source). 12. Substantial changes to disclosure You will be informed of any substantial changes to anything contained in this disclosure document. 13. Authorisation to Transfer Money from Trust Account You authorise us to receive directly into our trust account any judgment or settlement money, or money received from any source in furtherance of your work, upon the successful outcome of the matter as set out in clause 5.1, and to pay ourselves our costs and/or the Pro Bono Disbursement Trust Fund s expenses and disbursements; and the costs of any barrister engaged by you as set out in clause Acceptance of Offer If you accept this offer, you must sign and return this document to us. We will not do any work on this matter until this is done. If you do so, you have entered into a conditional costs agreement with us. This means that you will be bound by the terms and conditions in this agreement, including being billed in accordance with it. Failure to accept our offer within seven (7) days of dispatch of this document can result in the immediate withdrawal of our offer to act on your behalf. 15. Cooling Off Period If you wish to terminate this agreement, you may do so within five (5) clear working days of signing the conditional costs agreement. The cooling off period ends at 5pm on the fifth business day after the day on which this agreement was signed by you. If you do so, we will only charge you the costs incurred for work done up to termination that were performed on your instructions and with your knowledge. 16. Termination of Agreement 16.1 We will not continue to do the work: If you fail to accept the advice we give you or the Barrister gives you; If you engage another law practice (including a Barrister) to advise you on this matter without our consent;

6 If you fail to provide us with adequate instructions within a reasonable time; If you give instructions that are deliberately false or intentionally misleading; If you fail to accept an offer of settlement which we think is reasonable; If we have a conflict of interest; If you indicate to us that we have lost your confidence; or For any other just cause. We will give you at least seven (7) days notice of our intention to terminate this agreement, and of the grounds on which the notice is based If we terminate this agreement for any of the reasons set out under clause 16.1 or you terminate the agreement at any time after the cooling off period under clause 15, and if you proceed with your action, upon a successful outcome of the matter you agree to pay my/our costs incurred up to the time of termination. These costs will only be payable on the ultimate outcome of the matter and to the extent negotiated with the party (or other source) liable to pay such costs. 17. Retention of your documents I/We will, on completion of the work, retain any papers to which you are entitled, but leave in my/our possession (except documents deposited in safe custody) for no more than seven (7) years, and on the undertaking that I/we have your authority to destroy the file seven (7) years after the date of the final bill rendered by me/us in this matter. 18. Applicable law The law of NSW applies to legal costs regarding this matter. The accompanying Form sets out your rights law. 19. Privacy Protection Personal information about you, provided by you and other sources is protected under the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act Disclosure of such information may be compelled by law (e.g. under the Social Security Act). You also authorise me/us to disclose such information where necessary to others in furtherance of your claim/matter (e.g. within the firm, to the Court, the other party or parties to litigation, to valuers, experts, barristers etc). 20. I have read, understood and agree to be bound by this agreement Signed: Client Date Solicitor Date

7 Form of disclosure of costs to clients (part of conditional costs agreement) (Clause 109A Legal Profession Regulation Form 2) Legal costs: your right to know You have the right to: Negotiate a costs agreement with us Receive a bill of costs from us Request an itemised bill of costs after you receive a lump sum bill from us Request written reports about the progress of your matter and the costs incurred in your matter Apply for costs to be assessed within 12 months if you are unhappy with our costs Apply for the costs agreement to be set aside Accept or reject any offer we make for an interstate costs law to apply to your matter Notify us that you require an interstate costs law to apply to your matter. For more information about your rights, please read the fact sheet titled Legal Costs your right to know. You can ask us for a copy, or obtain it from your local law society or law institute (or downloaded it from their website).

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