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By continuing to provide us with instructions to perform work on your matter, you are consenting and agreeing to our commercial terms.
2. Trust Money
(a) If we receive money into our trust account on your behalf, you authorise us to draw on that money to pay any amount due to us in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) 2015.
(b) You may revoke this authority by giving seven (7) days’ notice in writing, but we may still withdraw money held in our trust account for expenses paid on your behalf (disbursements).
(c) A trust statement will be forwarded to you upon completion of the matter.
3. Should your matter not proceed
Should your matter not proceed, fees for work performed within scope on your behalf up to the date on which we are advised by you that the matter cannot proceed, will be charged at the hourly rate and capped at the Fixed Fee amount. Fees for work performed outside scope will be charge at the hourly rate.
4. Provision of Tax Invoices
We may send you a tax invoice at suitable intervals in the matter and at the end of this matter. Our bill is payable when you receive it.
We may give tax invoices to you in any way specified in Rule 73 of the Legal Professional Uniform Rules 2015.
For the purposes of Rule 73, you consent to receiving tax invoices:
(a) by fax to the number specified by you;
(b) by email address or mobile phone number to the address or number specified by you; or
by any other means of electronic transmission agreed to by you and us.
5. Interest on unpaid accounts
If a tax invoice remains unpaid 30 days after we gave it to you, we may charge you interest at a rate not exceeding the Cash Rate Target, as fixed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, plus 2 per cent, at the date the tax invoice is issued.
6. Payment of Tax Invoice
(a) You agree to pay our fees and disbursements contained in tax invoices issued by this law firm to you.
(b) An interim tax invoice may be issued on disbursements incurred on your behalf at any time up until completion. If funds are held in trust on account of disbursements you authorise us to pay any disbursement invoice from those trust funds.
(c) A tax invoice for the balance of our fees and disbursements will be issued upon completion.
(d) Should further work ‘outside scope’ be required after settlement of your matter, a further tax invoice may be issued after settlement.
(e) In respect to a conveyancing matter, you authorise this law firm to request a bank cheque at settlement in payment of outstanding fees and disbursements.
(f) You further authorise us to secure any charge for unpaid fees and disbursements by way of a caveat over any real property of which you and/or any applicable guarantor are registered proprietor.
(g) This law firm may elect to discontinue the provision of any further legal services to you until our fees and disbursements are paid.
(h) If a Caveat is lodged pursuant to (a) hereof, you will be responsible for the costs of preparation and lodging (including registration fees) of the Caveat and withdrawal of the Caveat.
(i) If you do not pay our account this entitles us to exercise a common law right known as a ‘solicitor’s lien’. The lien allows us to retain your documents until our account is paid.
7. Your obligations
We require you to, and you agree to:
(a) provide us with full and honest instructions relevant to your matter and any material changes in your circumstances that may affect your matter;
(b) respond to our requests within a timely manner;
(c) not engage in excessive communication beyond the scope of the matter, to do so may result in the charging of additional hourly fees;
(d) accept and follow our reasonable legal advice; and
(e) provide trust funds in accordance with these commercial terms or some later arrangement.
If you fail to comply with any of these conditions, we have the option to terminate this agreement by advising you of termination in writing.
8. If we cease to act for you or you stop using this law practice
Circumstances may arise (such as a conflict of interest) that make it impossible for us to continue to act for you. We may also cease acting for you if you breach your obligations as set out above.
We will notify you immediately if any of the above matters arise.
If we cease to act for you:
(a) we will take steps to remove our name from the court record in any court proceedings;
(b) you will receive a final account which will include all outstanding legal costs;
(c) you must pay our legal costs up until the date we cease to act; and
(d) we may retain your file and keep your documents until we are paid, subject to any other statutory requirements.
If this law practice ceases to act for you during the course of this matter and before there is an outcome, then all legal costs incurred up to the date of the termination will be charged.
You may end our engagement by written notice at any time. If this occurs then all legal costs incurred up to the date of the termination will be charged and become immediately payable. Depending on circumstances, we may be entitled to exercise our right to a ‘solicitor’s lien’ by retaining documents related to any matters we are conducting on your behalf.
9. Your documents
On completion of your matter we are required by law to store your file for 7 years after the final tax invoice has been rendered on the matter. At the expiration of 7 years your file will be destroyed unless you request its release to you. Any documents held in ‘safe custody’ will not be destroyed at this time. A charge of up to $49.50 will be made at the conclusion of your matter to cover the cost of scanning and/or storage of your file for the legally required 7 year period.
10. Seeking independent legal advice
You are advised to seek independent legal advice prior to signing or agreeing to these commercial terms or continuing to provide us with instructions in your matter.
11. Seeking the services of an Interpreter (if required)
If English is not your first language you are advised to seek the services of a licensed interpreter. It is important that you are fully aware and understand your legal rights and obligations under this Agreement.
In the event of any part of this commercial terms being or becoming void or unenforceable or being illegal then that part shall be severed from this contract to the extent that all parts that shall not be or become void, unenforceable or illegal shall remain in full force and effect and be unaffected by such severance.
This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Victoria and by the Uniform Law as applied in Victoria is applicable to legal costs in this matter.