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HowTo discuss costs with a New Zealand Lawyer

Do not be embarrassed by this subject - it is far better to discuss this at the start than after a dispute over costs has arisen.

Always discuss the costs (including disbursements) and billing options.

Lawyers tend to specialise in a number of legal categories. Additionally the partners, associate & solicitor lawyers within a practice may have different charge out rates.

Billing options are either upon task completion, interim billing or through an advance payment.

  • A fixed price for the completion of a task is probably the best option, but it is not always available.
  • Work completed to a set cost level is the best option where it is not reasonable to estimate a final cost. Once the set cost limit is reached, the obligation is with the lawyer to contact you and seek your instructions.
  • A quoted hourly rate is the more difficult for you, the client. The lawyer will have their own hourly rates, as will their staff. These rates may vary.

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