- write out the relevant history of the relationship
- Fill out your own court forms (we probably will need to prepare the Orders sought and prepare Affidavits). We will check your work and use it whenever possible.
- You can sort out your own documents before you give them to us.
- You can organize bulk photocopying
- We can give you the level of service that you want. That is:-
- We are happy to do the lot
- We are happy to do most of it
- We are happy to assist you to do most of it
Please remember we sell our time. We charge you for what we do. If you ring us seventeen times in one day then we will charge you for seventeen phone calls. If you are anxious, then consider whether you should be speaking to your solicitor or not – would it be better if you spoke to a friend or counsellor about your distress? Perhaps you could write down your questions and make one or two calls rather than seventeen? Write down your questions before you come into the office so that you can make the best use of your time while you are with us.
We are happy for you to have a support person with you during your consultations with us; however there are certain consultations where we may ask that person to wait in reception while we speak with you directly. We prefer that you ask the questions, not your support person – after all, you are the client. We cannot under any circumstances take instructions on your behalf from your support person/s or other family members unless you specifically authorise us in writing to take instructions from them. If we feel your support person is hindering your communication or our ability to speak to you then we may ask your support person to leave the room.
Some court events, eg Children’s Court or domestic violence matters take place in a closed Court. Only the parties and their legal representatives may be present. Your support person must wait outside. For other matters, you may have a support person present in the Court. They will be required to sit in the public gallery and must not interfere in the Court proceedings. If they do they may be asked to leave the Court. We discourage you from having a “cheer squad”, ie a group of people, to support you during any Court events. The Court will be watching not only your conduct in Court but also the conduct of your supporters. It can be counter-productive to your matter if there are too many people in the court room. During your trial, any person that will be called as a witness will not be able to be present in the Court until that person has given their evidence and has been cross-examined. We also discourage bringing children to court. There are no child minding facilities at Court and it will be necessary for you to make alternative arrangements. Your children cannot come into the Courtroom.
The law in Queensland and Australia provides that when a file is costed, an allowance can be made for general care and consideration. Care and consideration is an amount allowed in addition to set fees, which compensates for work done, for which the scale doesn’t adequately provide given the nature or complexity of a matter. It compensates, for example:
- For multiple drafts of complex documents/letters;
- For re reading your file before a conference with you or before court;
- For inter office conferences where a number of solicitors meet to discuss the way forward on your file.
Family law is not a straightforward area of law. It is a complex and specialised area. The knowledge and experience gained by our family lawyers enables them to apply their skill and knowledge to unique matters. As a guide, the court has considered an allocation of 15% to 35% is fair and reasonable fee for care and consideration.
Care and consideration at Power Legal
As a matter of course, at Power Legal, unless your matter is particularly complex, we charge 10% for care and consideration. Care and consideration would not be appropriate for routine tasks requiring basic skills expected of a lawyer and those that could be performed by a paralegal or clerk.
At Power Legal we engage Queensland Independent Costing Services (QICS) to cost our files. It is fair to us and fair to our clients. Care and consideration is not automatic, it is discretionary and if there is a dispute, the decision as to whether or not it is allowed rests upon the cost assessor. If QICS need to make a decision regarding what to charge you, QICS will always favour you, the client, rather than us.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our solicitors, please contact us.