Legal fees have the potential to create conflict between a lawyer and their client, if both lawyer and client are “not on the same page”.
If you want to keep your legal fees to a minimum, you first need to understand how your lawyer charges for their work.
Most lawyers charge on an hourly basis, at a particular rate. For example, the hourly rate may be $400/hour (plus GST). Let’s use this hourly rate to show in practical terms how lawyers charge.
Each hour is divided into 10 units, which means that 1 unit comprises 6 minutes. Your lawyer will therefore be charging you $40.00 for every 6 minutes (or part thereof) they spend working on your file ($40.00 x 10 units = $400.00).
This means that if you phone your lawyer and spend 4 minutes on the phone with him/her, you will be charged $40.00 for the phone call. If you phone your lawyer and spend 15 minutes on the phone with him/her, you will be charged $120.00 for the phone call (being 3 units x $40.00 each unit).
Clients also need to remember that your lawyer will charge you for all their time, including but not limited to:
Source: Katrina Oner - Oner Family Law