How much does it cost?
Matthew Love Family Lawyers offers a number different pricing and payment strategies which will suit just about every situation.
$99 Initial Consultation
Our $99 initial consultations are half hour long and $149 for an hour, no obligation and are completely confidential. This is the first meeting with your solicitor and it is extremely useful as it gives you the opportunity to interview the law firm and decide whether you would like to work together with this particular solicitor. This consultation can also very quickly help to determine whether you will need to proceed further in the matter, or whether you will need to take any further action at all.
Fixed fee pricing is where we fix the fee for a certain item of work. This type of pricing is about absolute certainty for the client. You know how much it is going to cost from the outset. Like our $99 initial consultation, you know what you are going to pay, and unlike other firms, there are no nasty “add ons” to take you by surprise.
We can offer fixed fee services only where we can identify the exact work required upfront with clarity, and this makes fixed fees suitable for largely procedural applications such as divorce applications, applications for consent orders and some of the less complex Binding Financial Agreements. Fixed fees are also suitable for preparation of specific documents such as Wills and Powers of Attorney.
However we can’t give a fixed fee when the nature, duration and complexity of the work can’t be easily identified. For example negotiations can be protracted or short, depending on the needs of the parties, and contested court proceedings are always highly unpredictable, so other forms of pricing are then necessary.
Hourly rates are, obviously, a time based form of charging. The more time your lawyer spends on your case the more it costs.
As with most other firms, Matthew Love Family Lawyers charge by 6 minute intervals or “units”. You get charged for each unit used or part thereof. Therefore a short phone call of say a minute, will be 1 unit, even though less than the full six minutes was used. Traditionally the six minute interval was generated because generally that’s the minimum time that it takes to take a phone call/respond to an email.
The hourly rate varies depending on the level of expertise of the person doing the work. In theory, the less experienced the practitioner is, the longer it will take them to do the same job.
Matthew Love Family Lawyers aims to be a mid-priced law firm.
You will find lawyers with cheaper hourly rates than us, but if they lack the experience of our staff, you may still end up paying more. You will certainly find plenty of law firms that charge higher hourly rates than us.
At the time of writing our hourly rates are (including GST):-
Legal Practitioner Director: $550
Senior Solicitor: $440
Junior Solicitor: $330
These rates may change without notice so please speak to us directly for the current hourly rates.
Deferred fees are fees charged at an hourly rate, but payment is deferred until the conclusion of the matter. This arrangement is ideally suited to family law property matters where the parties might have some assets but no available cash; and also useful where one party to the relationship controls all the assets and is excluding the other party.
Generally, at the settlement of the matter, funds become available through settlement payments or the sale of assets, which can then be used to pay the deferred fee.
In deceased estate matters a deferred fee is often used as the executor and beneficiaries under the will might not have the funds to pay as they go. The legal fees are be paid when the estate is finalised, or in the event that estate assets are converted to cash.
The downside of the deferred fee arrangement is that a higher hourly rate is charged, as the firm ordinarily has to wait months, if not years, to get paid for the work that it is doing.
Security for payment is ordinarily required, which may be in the form of a right to caveat over property, or by way of a mortgage secured over a party’s share in the real estate.
If you are on a deferred fee retainer you might still be required to pay any of the upfront costs such as Court filing fees and property valuation fees.
Litigation financing or funding is where a third party financial institution loans money to you to pay the legal bills. Depending on the type of matter and the amounts required, arrangements can be put in place though our firm which allow you to pay your invoice over a six to twelve month period.
You need to meet the financial requirements for this type of funding, however as the arrangement is guaranteed by our firm the eligibility threshold is not as high as it would otherwise be. You can sometimes fund your litigation through a personal loan or credit card if you are in a position to do so.
Interim Property Distribution/Hogan order
It is not uncommon for one party to the marriage or de facto relationship to hold the majority of the assets or have most of the income, leaving the other in the unfair position of struggling to find the funds to protect their rights.
If you find yourself in such a situation it is possible to apply to the Court for an order that:-
• The other party to the litigation provide the money to meet your legal fees; or
• That property of the marriage or de facto relationship be sold or monies released to you to meet payment of your legal fees.
This type of application is ordinarily brought early in the matter to obtain the funds necessary to litigate the matter to a conclusion. You would need to demonstrate to the Court that the other party has the capacity to meet that payment, as well as meeting any other necessary requirements in the circumstances, as it is not possible for the Court to order a party to produce funds out of thin air.
There are a number of different legal mechanisms which would allow the Court to make such an order and the requirements vary depending on the power used. Such application are technical and can be complex, so legal representation for the application is highly desirable. Until such time as the application for funding is heard you would ordinarily us some other funding model, such as deferred fees.
At the time of writing our Mediation rates are (including GST):-
Inviting other party to attend, intake interviews and section 60I certificate: $440.00
Inviting other party to attend and issuing section 60I Certificate: $440.00
Half-day mediation: $2,200.00
Full day mediation: $3,300.00
Additional charges: $440.00 per hour
7 days prior: $440.00
48 hours prior: 50% mediation fees
Room Hire* (parties to pay) at Qld Law Society:-
Half Day: $74.25
Full Day: $148.50
* Room hire is 1 small room (3 to 4 people) and 1 medium room (up to 8 people)
Court Fees (Family Law)
For information on Filing Fees and Court Event Fees please click here to go to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.