The Victorian Law Foundation of Australia publishes report exploring costs in legal services

The Victorian Law Foundation conducted research commissioned by The Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner (VLSB+C) examining factors influencing the pricing of legal services, practitioner-client communication regarding anticipated costs, and the impact of service costs on the lawyer-client relationship. Findings indicate that time is a central measure for price-setting, even for fixed-fee services, with practitioners reserving fixed fees for predictable matters. Limited negotiation opportunities on price were noted. Client auditioning and price-shopping were relatively uncommon, as clients often lacked the capacity to assess service value and cost. The study suggests that the Legal Profession Uniform Law Act’s requirement for a ‘single figure’ cost estimate may not enhance transparency as intended.

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