What costs are involved?
At Access Law Group we offer a number of cost effective options for our clients to ensure they receive the best service for the best price. Some of our options include:
At Access Law Group we will endeavour to model a Costs Agreement that suits your budget and your needs.
Tax Invoices are issued on a monthly basis and our payment terms are listed at the end of each Tax Invoice.
The Legal Profession Act 2004 requires us to make certain disclosures to our clients. Our fees and hourly rates can be seen in the Disclosure Notice below. Please be advised that fees and hourly rates can be subject to change from time to time.
Please quote your matter number (it can be found on one of our letters on the top left side), if you are unsure what your matter number is, please contact our office on (02) 4220 7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I make a payment?
Making a payment
If you need to make a payment into our office or trust account, our details are below:
Access Law Group Office Account
BSB: 032 695
Account number: 464843
Access Law Group Trust Account
BSB: 032 695
Account number: 464835
To view the Access Law Group Pty Ltd Disclosure Notice and Terms and Conditions for Standard Costs Agreement click on the below link.
The firm may incur expenses on your behalf while acting for you which we will either ask you to pay in advance or ask you to reimburse. These expenses are usually of three kinds:
We will invoice you for disbursements where appropriate. The charge for our support services will approximate our actual cost only, without mark up. In most matters we achieve this by adding to each invoice a fee of up to five percent (5%) of our professional charges. If the actual cost to us of our support services in a particular matter is likely to exceed five percent (5%) we will discuss this with you.
Our hourly rates and disbursements are exclusive of any GST unless otherwise indicated. GST will be added where payable.
It is our normal practice to render accounts monthly or the completion of the matter. If a matter will take longer than one (1) month, we may send you accounts on a monthly basis or on such other regular basis as we determine to be appropriate.
Payment is due within fourteen (14) days of the date of any invoice. If an account is not paid within thirty (30) days of the date of the tax invoice, we reserve the right to charge interest on any outstanding amount.
Interest will be charged at the maximum rate prescribed in Rule 75 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 (the “Uniform General Rules” (being the Cash Rate Target set by the Reserve Bank of Australia plus 2%) will be charged on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 30 days after a tax invoice is given to you. Our tax invoices will specify the interest rate to be charged.
We may refuse to do any work on a matter if you:
within these terms. If you have a query about an account you should tell us immediately so that we can clear up any misunderstandings or errors before a problem develops. Similarly if you have difficulty paying an account when it is due, or paying a disbursement where required, you should tell us promptly to avoid, as far as possible, your position being prejudiced.
Where you pay our account by credit card, a surcharge equal to the amount of the merchant’s fee may be added and you agree to pay such a surcharge.
If we are required to commence legal proceedings to recover any payment due to us, you agree that any costs incurred in doing so will be payable by you on an indemnity basis.
Additional Rights under the Uniform Law
The Uniform Law gives you certain rights in relation to a costs agreement. These are:
If you request an itemised bill and the total amount of the legal costs specified in it exceeds the amount previously specified in the lump sum bill for the same matter, the additional costs may be recovered by us only if:
(i) when the lump sum bill is given, we inform you in writing that the total amount of the legal costs specified in any itemised bill may be higher than the amount specified in the lump sum bill, and
(ii) the costs are determined to be payable after a costs assessment or after a binding determination under section 292 of the Uniform Law.
Nothing in these terms affects your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
Termination of this Agreement
You may terminate this Agreement by notice in writing to us at any time. We may cease to continue work and terminate this Agreement if you do not pay our accounts in accordance with these terms, if you fail to provide us with adequate instructions or any other just cause. We will give seven (7) days notice of our intention to cease to act.
In either event you will be obliged to pay our charges for the work done and for the expenses incurred up to the time that we receive or give notice of termination.
Use of E-mail
E-mail may be used in correspondence between this firm and you. We accept no responsibility for the security or confidentiality of any correspondence conveyed by e-mail.
Lien, Retention of Documents and Caveat
Should you wish, you may leave important original documents with us in safe custody free of charge. This might include an original Will, Power of Attorney or Certificate of Title.
We will on completion of your matter retain any papers to which you are entitled but leave in our possession (excepting documents deposited in safe custody) for no more than seven (7) years with your authority to destroy the file seven (7) years after the final accounts are prepared in relation to the matter. You can request the return of papers left with us at any time before their destruction.
By entering this agreement you consent to:
while there is money owing to us, for our costs and expenses until they are either paid or security is provided for such outstanding costs and expenses.
The personal information that you provide will only be disclosed outside the firm where we are compelled by law to do so. You authorise us, however, to disclose your personal information within our firm and to other professionals retained on your behalf such as barristers or expert witnesses where it is relevant and necessary to do so.
Engagement of Another Legal Practitioner
It may be necessary for us to engage, on your behalf, the services of another practitioner to provide specialist advice or services. This may include the provision of advocacy services by a barrister.
We will disclose to you the terms of that practitioners engagement but you may be asked to enter into a separate costs agreement directly with that other practitioner.
Your liability to pay our costs under these terms of engagement is not affected, if you are involved in a litigated matter, by any order that might be made in your favour by a court or tribunal that another party pays your costs.
An order by a court or tribunal that the other party pay your costs does not necessarily mean that all of your legal costs will be recovered.
Whatever amount is recovered by you pursuant to such an order may be applied towards the satisfaction of our costs or for reimbursement to you for the costs that you have incurred using our services.
It is possible that the court might make an order that you pay another party’s legal costs (if for example you lose the case). Those costs payable by you to the other party would be in addition to those payable to us under these terms of engagement.
The Uniform Law and the law of NSW applies to legal costs in this matter. Where a legal matter has a substantial connection with another State or Territory, and that State or Territory has a law that corresponds with the provisions of the Uniform Law, then you have the right to enter into a costs agreement with us that corresponds with the relevant provisions of the other State or Territory concerning costs. If you do not elect to do so within the time limits permitted by the corresponding law of the State or Territory, but have signed this agreement, it will be taken that the provisions relating to legal costs, and the assessment of those costs, in NSW by the Uniform Law will apply to this agreement.
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Website Terms & Conditions
See our website terms and conditions.
See Practice Notes below. Administrative notices are no longer used by the Court.
Alternative procedure agreement
A type of Indigenous land use agreement.
An application to a higher court to review a decision of a lower court or tribunal. For example, an appeal from a decision of a Federal Circuit Court judge may be made to the Federal Court, and a decision of a single judge of the Federal Court may be the subject of an appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court.
The power given to a court to hear appeals in certain matters.
The individual, organisation or corporation who/which applies to the Court to start legal proceedings against another person or persons. Also known as ‘plaintiff’ in admiralty and corporations matters and in some other courts. In the National Native Title Tribunal the applicant is the person or persons who make an application for a determination of native title or a future act determination.
The document that starts most proceedings in the Federal Court.
A type of Indigenous land use agreement.
Body corporate agreement
A type of Indigenous land use agreement.
Cause of action
A technical term used in the Federal Court’s electronic case management system to classify proceedings commenced with the Court. There are sixteen main causes of action and five supplementary causes of action. These classifications are different from the way in which the Court organises and manages its work, which is done through nine National Practice Areas (NPAs). See National Practice Area.
An application made by Indigenous Australians seeking compensation for loss or impairment of their native title.
An application by a respondent in an appeal also seeking a review of the lower court or tribunal decision and made in response to the appeal. A cross appeal is not required if the respondent is simply seeking that the decision of the lower court or tribunal be upheld.
A claim made in a proceeding by one party against a co-party, such as the first respondent (or defendant) against the second respondent (or defendant). However, if the claim in the proceeding is by one party against an opposing party, such as the respondent (or defendant) against the applicant (plaintiff), it is called a counter claim. A cross claim has to be closely connected to what is in dispute in the original claim or a counter claim.
Orders made by the Court or a judge in relation to the conduct of a proceeding. Before the trial or hearing of a matter a judge may give directions so that the parties involved will be properly ready. The directions usually set down a list of steps to be taken by the parties and the deadline for those steps. The steps usually involve filing of material and defining the issues that require a decision by the Court.
A process by which the parties involved in a legal proceeding must inform each other of documents they have in their possession and which relate to the matters in dispute between the parties.
A system by which each case is allocated to a particular judge who will then see the case through to completion. In the Federal Court the system is called the Individual Docket System (IDS).
Electronic Court File
An electronic court file is a digital version of the Court file including all documents filed with the Court or created by the Court.
A document or item produced in court for the purpose of becoming part of the evidence in a proceeding.
Filing of documents
The process of the Court accepting a document or documents lodged by a party to a proceeding.
A proceeding heard in the Court’s original jurisdiction.
Three or more judges sitting together to hear a proceeding.
A proposed activity on land and/or waters that may affect native title.
Future act determination application
An application requesting the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) to determine whether a future act can be done (with or without conditions).
Future act determination
A decision by the NNTT either that a future act cannot be done, or can be done with or without conditions. In making the determination, the Tribunal takes into account (among other things) the effect of the future act on the enjoyment by the native title party of their registered rights and interests and the economic or other significant impacts of the future act and any public interest in the act being done.
Good faith negotiations (native title)
All negotiation parties must negotiate in good faith in relation to the doing of future acts to which the right to negotiate applies (Native Title Act 1993 s 31(1)(b)). See the list of indicia put forward by the NNTT of what may constitute good faith in its Guide to future act decisions made under the Right to negotiate scheme at www.nntt.gov.au. Each party and each person representing a party must act in good faith in relation to the conduct of the mediation of a native title application (s 136B(4)).
That part of a proceeding where the parties present evidence and submissions to the Court.
Indigenous land use agreement, a voluntary, legally binding agreement about the use and management of land or waters, made between one or more native title groups and others (such as miners, pastoralists, governments).
Interlocutory proceedings are for dealing with a specific issue in a matter – usually between the filing of the application and the giving of the final hearing and decision. An interlocutory application may be for interim relief (such as an injunction) or in relation to a procedural step (such as discovery).
The final order or set of orders made by the Court after a hearing, often accompanied by reasons which set out the facts and law applied in the case. A judgment is said to be ‘reserved’ when the Court postpones the delivery of the judgment to a later date to allow time to consider the evidence and submissions. A judgment is said to be ‘ex tempore’ when the Court gives the judgment orally at the hearing or soon after.
The extent of legal authority or power of the Court to apply the law.
Individuals, organisations or companies who/which are the parties to a proceeding before the Court.
Mediation (or Assisted Dispute Resolution)
A process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) assists the parties in an attempt to bring about an agreed settlement or compromise, without requiring a decision of the Court.
An agreement on issues, such as a process or framework agreement, that leads towards the resolution of a native title matter but does not fully resolve it.
National Court Framework
The National Court Framework is a number of reforms to the Court’s case management approach.
National Native Title Register
The record of native title determinations.
National Native Title Tribunal Member
A person who has been appointed by the Governor-General as a member of the Tribunal under the Native Title Act. Members are classified as presidential and non-presidential. Some members are full-time and others are part-time appointees.
National Practice Area
A subject matter areas in which the Court’s work is organised and managed.
Native Title determination
A decision by an Australian court or other recognised body that native title does or does not exist. A determination is made either when parties have reached an agreement after mediation (consent determination) or following a trial process (litigated determination).
Native title claimant application/claim
An application made for the legal recognition of native title rights and interests held by Indigenous Australians.
Native title representative body
Representative Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Body also known as native title representative bodies are recognised and funded by the Australian Government to provide a variety of functions under the Native Title Act 1993. These functions include assisting and facilitating native title holders to access and exercise their rights under the Act, certifying applications for determinations of native title and area agreements (ILUA), resolving intra- indigenous disputes, agreement-making and ensuring that notices given under the NTA are brought to the attention of the relevant people.
An application made by a person who does not claim to have native title but who seeks a determination that native title does or does not exist.
The process by which people, organisations and/or the general public are advised by the relevant government of their intention to do certain acts or by the NNTT that certain applications under the Act have been made.
Description applied to activities that take place on the relevant area of land, for example mediation conferences or Federal Court hearings taking place on or near the area covered by a native title application.
The authority or legal power of the Court to hear a case in the first instance.
People involved in a court case. Applicants, appellants, respondents, defendants, are generally called ‘parties’.
Prescribed body corporate, a body nominated by native title holders which will represent them and manage their native title rights and interests once a determination that native title exists has been made.
The Court publishes National Practice Notes. Practice Notes are issued by the Chief Justice on advice of the judges of the Court. They are used to provide information to parties and their lawyers involved in proceedings in the Court on particular aspects of the Court’s practice and procedure. (Administrative Notices, which were registry-specific practice notices, are no longer used by the Court).
The regular and orderly progression of a lawsuit, including all acts and events between the time of commencement and the judgment.
Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements
A record of all indigenous land use agreements that have been registered. An ILUA can only be registered when there are no obstacles to registration or when those obstacles have been resolved.
Register of Native Title Claims
The record of native title claimant applications that have been filed with the Federal Court, referred to the Judicial Registrar – Native Title and generally have met the requirements of the registration test.
Registered native title claimant
A person or persons whose names(s) appear as ‘the applicant’ in relation to a claim that has met the conditions of the registration test and is on the Register of Native Title Claims.
A set of conditions under the Native Title Act 1993 that is applied to native title claimant applications. If an application meets all the conditions, it is included in the Register of Native Title Claims, and the claimants then gain the right to negotiate, together with certain other rights, while their application is under way.
The Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court Regulation 2012 which set the filing and other fees that must be paid in relation to proceedings in the Federal Court.
The individual, organisation or corporation against whom/which legal proceedings are commenced. Also known as a ‘defendant’ in admiralty and corporations matters and in some courts. In an appeal it is the party who/ which did not commence the appeal.
Rules made by the judges which set out the procedures for conducting a proceeding. The current rules of the Federal Court are the Federal Court Rules 2011, Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 (for proceedings under the Corporations Act 2001 and, for a debtor other than an individual, Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 ), Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Rules 2016 (for proceedings under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and, for a debtor who is an individual, Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008) and Federal Court (Criminal Proceedings) Rules 2016.
Self Represented Litigant
A party to a proceeding who does not have legal representation and who is conducting the proceeding on his or her own behalf.
Setting Down Fee
A fee that must be paid when a date is set for hearing a matter. It includes the first day’s hearing fee and, usually, has to be paid at least 28 days before the hearing.
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(02) 4220 7100
Suite 1, Level 8, 200 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW 2500
Level 1, 76 John Street, Camden NSW 2570
Suite 450, Level 5, 311 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000