Slater & Gordon has today (8 September) announced it will offer fixed fee arrangements for its family law services.
Starting in Victoria next week and to be rolled out nationally, the firm's fixed fee service was developed over the last 12 months and will cover every stage of a family law matter up to and including court proceedings in Australia.
Discussing the firm's intention to introduce fixed pricing with Lawyers Weekly earlier this year, Slater & Gordon national practice group leader Ian Shann said: "[Fixed pricing] aligns the interests of the lawyers with their clients, but also provides a much better working environment for those engaged in family law. We'd like to see the end of timesheets."
According to Shann, the financial certainty of fixed fees will contribute to a more level playing field in family law matters, reducing the advantage of better-resourced partners, as well as addressing the uncertainties confronting people dealing with a relationship breakdown.
"Our clients who choose our fixed fee service will know what they have agreed to before any work starts," he explained. "They will be paying for the agreed value of the work we do and an outcome - not the time it takes."
The introduction of a fixed fee service, according to managing partner Andrew Grech, will mean more people are able to access legal services.
"Legal costs are of great concern to people who need family law advice and we are pleased that we have been able to develop a model that will see the end of open-ended time-based billing systems in this area," said Grech.
"We have devoted significant resources, research and business support to our family law practice over the past 12 months to develop this initiative and get it off the ground."