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NSW Lawyer Fees - Paralegal Work Charged at Lawyer Rates?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Jim C, 25 November 2015.

  1. Jim C

    Jim C Active Member

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    If a lawyer's memorandum of costs indicates a unit price for lawyer work and a unit price for paralegal work, how can I know the lawyer won't decide to charge out all work at his/her lawyer fees?
     
  2. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    Paralegals do at time draft legal work at a Paralegal rate and then have a Lawyer settle the work. It makes it cheaper for the client as the Lawyer does not have to charge their exorbitant rate for work a Paralegal can do.
     
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Because enough firms have got into trouble for it over the years that it almost never happens, and because the Law Society is very hard core about it when it does.

    There will always be a lawyer (at least one) who will look over anything the paralegal does - because the lawyer is ultimately responsible for the work.
    And I agree with what @JS79 said above - it makes more sense to have layman-suitable work done by a clerk or a paralegal, and then looked over ("settled") by a lawyer.

    And if your bill is itemised to tell the difference, then I suggest that's a transparency which should give a certain you comfort.
     
    Jim C likes this.
  4. Jim C

    Jim C Active Member

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    The current bill just has a brief few word summary of activities done with single total count of units (eg. 500). There is no indication as to which unit rate has been used, but dividing the total cost by the total units exactly gives the lawyer's hourly rate.

    It is also very obvious a paralegal has indeed been used (possibly his wife). Messages from the lawyer's personal phone or email are barely understandable with poor spelling and atrocious grammar, yet formal paperwork is as would be expected from a professional. The paralegal's work however contains errors typical of dictation that the lawyer could never get wrong, showing it has not been checked by him.
     

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