Myths About Legal Documents - If you
You can get value for money legal services - and its very costly to DIY legal obviously... JUST ASK US FOR AN UP FRONT FEE QUOTE
Myths about Legal Services
There are a number of myths and misunderstandings about lawyers, legal services and what service is provided for a legal fee.
MYTH 1: "You Can't Get Value for Money Legal Services"
Unfortunately, the legal profession is different to any other profession, in that there is often not a specific physical thing that is necessarily produced or created at the end of a matter.
It may simply be the case that a dispute is resolved or that a settlement or purchase has been completed. Sometimes documents are created which may be partly standardised or partly custom written in response to the specific circumstances.
However, there is often no clear physical representation that indicates the amount of work that was undertaken by the lawyer in achieving the final result for the client, other than our work papers, notes and professional file.
At Ascendia Lawyers we do provide the opportunity to use our fixed price invoicing im many matters, this invoicing is based on the value that the client obtains from the service - whether it is a large saving in liability or large reduction in risk etc.
Unfortunately some solicitors do not provide the same type of invoicing or clarity or discussion regarding the amount of the invoice prior to the service provided.
A poor service or unexpected level of fee that a client has experienced in the past from another legal service provider can result in an aversion to using legal services at all... This is a particularly troubling phenomena - that of some business persons who prefer to have no legal services at all - or to do it themselves! Unfortunately, this sometimes results in faulty documents or information being used, which result in much greater expense in rectifying the error, when paying for the upfront advice may have in the end been the cheaper and less stressful alternative.
MYTH 2: Lawyers only work on my file in meetings.
Before each and every meeting, a good lawyer will review your file and refresh their memory on your circumstances. There may be research that needs to be undertaken on your particular circumstances to ensure that the Lawyer is providing you with accurate and updated advice in the meeting. Thelaw in Australia is vast. There is no competent lawyer in Australia who doesn't need to do research when dealing with a client matter. You have to pay for the research even with highly experienced lawyers, because no two circumsances are ever exactly alike.
Further, your lawyer will be working on your file in the background on a regular basis, interfacing with your other professional advisors and interested parties, such as your accountant, financier and any other parties to your matter to ensure that your matter is progressing and all required steps are being undertaken in the correct timeframes.
MYTH 3: It doesn’t take that much time to prepare the documents.
While It may seem like a one page or three page document to you and appear to be very simple, there may be a lot of guidelines and legislation surrounding your particular issue, which means that the exact wording on your document needs to be carefully considered by your Lawyer and researched to ensure that you have no adverse circumstances from the work undertaken.
MYTH 4: I can get the same document online for a much cheaper price.
You may be able to source a document which is titled with a similar term on the internet for a cheaper price, but this may not be a document which suitable for your use.
When you use a document off the internet, you are assuming all responsibility to make sure that the document is appropriate for your circumstances. You therefore need to have the knowledge of the legislation behind the document, the recent cases regarding that area of law.
There are simple issues that you may not know to review, such as whether the document is governed by the same law (i.e. it could be an American document referring to the wrong law, therefore useless) or the document may be the wrong one for your particular circumstances and therefore also useless.
MYTH 5: Lawyers only use precedent documents and they overcharge for their use.
Lawyers do have some template documents and these may be used more than once for a particular client.
However, for each individual document that a Lawyer is engaged to produce, the lawyer accepts responsibility to ensure that particular document is correct for its use and appropriate in the circumstances.
While you may perceive that only some minor items on the document have been amended, great consideration has been undertaken by the Lawyer as to it’s use for the circumstances and the risk is borne by the lawyer for any errors.
This is why lawyers have and pay large premiums for professional indemnity insurance. The complexity and risks you are protected from bny using a lawyer are the reasons why the Legal Services Commission and the laws in Australia require only qualifierd lawyers are able to provide legal services (any level of legal services).
Further, the lawyer has undertaken a large amount of time to prepare even the base template and this also comprises part of the fee for each document.
A lawyer does not sell you the rights to any part of the template, rather they sell you their application of knowledge to prepare a document or suite of documents, with each document particularized to your circumstances.
If you have any concerns regarding the provision of legal services, please feel free to contact our Legal Practitioner Director, Natalie Grima or Managing Director Sherman Jenner.