I’m giving a seminar on Wednesday: see http://bit.ly/npDJVY. I’m talking about Misconduct and Costs. The Supreme Court of Victoria’s Costs Judge, Associate Justice Jamie Wood, is talking about best practice in taxations of costs, and Liz Harris, the founder of Harris Costs Lawyers, is talking about costs agreements and risk management. I think it’s going to be a really good seminar. Now, I have an offer and a request. I have two free tickets to give away. If you would like one, let me know.
As to the request: foolishly, I have promised to tell those attending the answers to the following questions:
- Is it charging by the hour that stinks or the abuse of charging by the hour?
- Will fixed fees be any less problematic?
- For what activities is it permissible to charge time-based fees?
- Can you charge two clients for one piece of work?
- When does overcharging become gross overcharging?
There is no clear answer to the third question, except perhaps in the heads of taxing officers, and little commentary that I can find. If you have any experiences of what is allowed and disallowed in taxations between solicitor and own client (as opposed to taxations between parties on a solicitor-client basis) which are conducted by reference to a costs agreement specifying charges at an hourly rate, I would be interested to hear them.
Similarly any experiences of costs disputes involving fixed fees.