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20CSTW

Fees and Fee-Charging Practices

NZ $40.00
Paul Collins  
Paul Collins
Shortland Chambers
Auckland
 

Author: Paul Collins
Published: 12 September 2019
Pages: 27

Introduction

The regulatory framework for billing in the legal profession, chiefly found in Chapter 9 of the Conduct and Client Care Rules (see Appendix One), is neither pro-lawyer nor pro-client. The over-arching rule, r 9, establishes an objective standard by referring to fees that are fair and reasonable for the services provided having regard to the interests of both client and lawyer and having regard also to the factors set in r 9.1. The problem faced by a system of regulation in this area is the inherent difficulty in placing monetary value on the services lawyers provide to their clients. Those services span an infinitely variable range of subject-matter and client interests and the system of regulation must be structured, principled, fair and sustainable. The rules attempt to achieve those objectives by establishing a method for measuring fees based on standards of reasonableness and fairness, informed by the 13 fee factors in r 9.1.

The object of this presentation is to provide a resource to help lawyers achieve successful billing outcomes for themselves and for their clients. It is not intended to give guidance about achieving absolute maximum billing at the client’s expense, nor is it intended to diminish the entitlement of lawyers to be well-remunerated for the competent provision of legal services to their clients. The principles and concepts discussed in this presentation are intended to achieve the balance reflected in rr 9 and 9.1.

Content outline

  • The Important First Step: knowing your client
  • Trends in Billing and Billing Practices
  • Structuring Fees
  • Bad Fee-Charging Practices: what not to do
  • Complaints and Professional Discipline for Overcharging
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