How to avoid jaw dropping legal bills

A business commentator recently gave five tips on “How to avoid jaw dropping legal bills”, and similar concerns were also noted in a New Zealand newspaper’s business pages. Those five tips, in summary, were as follows: Get Estimates for the scope of representation Try to negotiate a flat-fee agreement Check in every week and month on the bill Prep documents before sending them off Get an experienced specialty lawyer Here at BvonD we are very aware of the costs of legal work, and have for many years aimed to avoid clients receiving unexpected shocks when receiving our invoices.  How do we seek to avoid our clients getting “jaw dropping legal bills”?: 1.   Get Estimates for the scope of representation: When we commence work on a new matter we provide our client with either an estimate of our expected fees or a quote, together with a letter of engagement.  If further work is required beyond what is initially anticipated we provide a further estimate. 2.   Try to negotiate a flat-fee agreement: Where the work we are asked to do involves transactional or other work where we know what time is involved we can give “flat-fee” quotations.  This applies to most sale and purchase work for houses, farms and businesses, mortgage preparation, leases, and Wills.  Even in those areas of work unexpected problems can arise and we advise if the quoted fee may be exceeded in such circumstances. Much of our work (especially Court work) is subject to so many unknown factors when we start work on a file that we simply cannot give more than a well-educated estimate of likely fees.  Because...