Queensland Consolidated Acts

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Disclosure of costs to clients

308 Disclosure of costs to clients

(1) A law practice must disclose to a client under this division—
(a) the basis on which legal costs will be calculated, including whether a scale of costs applies to any of the legal costs; and
(b) the client’s right to—
(i) negotiate a costs agreement with the law practice; and
(ii) receive a bill from the law practice; and
(iii) request an itemised bill after receipt of a lump sum bill; and
(iv) be notified under section 315 of any substantial change to the matters disclosed under this section; and
(c) an estimate of the total legal costs if reasonably practicable or, if that is not reasonably practicable, a range of estimates of the total legal costs and an explanation of the major variables that will affect the calculation of those costs; and
(d) details of the intervals, if any, at which the client will be billed; and
(e) the rate of interest, if any, that the law practice charges on overdue legal costs, whether that rate is a stated rate of interest or is a benchmark rate of interest as mentioned in subsection (2) ; and
(f) if the matter is a litigious matter, an estimate of—
(i) the range of costs that may be recovered if the client is successful in the litigation; and
(ii) the range of costs the client may be ordered to pay if the client is unsuccessful; and
(g) the client’s right to progress reports under section 317 ; and
(h) details of the person whom the client may contact to discuss the legal costs; and
(i) the following avenues that are open under this Act to the client in the event of a dispute in relation to legal costs—
(i) costs assessment under division 7;
(ii) the setting aside of a costs agreement under section 328 ; and
(j) any time limits that apply to the taking of any action mentioned in paragraph (i); and
(k) that the law of this jurisdiction applies to legal costs in relation to the matter; and
(l) information about the client’s right—
(i) to accept under a corresponding law a written offer to enter into an agreement with the law practice that the corresponding provisions of the corresponding law apply to the matter; or
(ii) to notify under a corresponding law, and within the time allowed by the corresponding law, the law practice in writing that the client requires the corresponding provisions of the corresponding law to apply to the matter.
Note for paragraph (l)—
The client’s right to enter into an agreement or give a notification as mentioned in paragraph (l) will be under provisions of the law of the other jurisdiction that correspond to section 303 .
(2) For subsection (1) (e) , a benchmark rate of interest is a rate of interest for the time being equal to or calculated by reference to a rate of interest that is stated or decided from time to time by an ADI or another body or organisation, or by or under other legislation, and that is publicly available.
(3) A regulation may make provision for the use of benchmark rates of interest, and in particular in relation to permitting, regulating or preventing the use of particular benchmark rates or particular kinds of benchmark rates.
(4) For subsection (1) (f) , the disclosure must include—
(a) a statement that an order by a court for the payment of costs in favour of the client will not necessarily cover the whole of the client’s legal costs; and
(b) if applicable, a statement that disbursements may be payable by the client even if the client enters a conditional costs agreement.
(5) A law practice may disclose any or all of the details mentioned in subsection (1) (b) (i) , (ii) and (iii) , (g), (i), (j) and (l) in or to the effect of a form approved by the chief executive for this subsection, and if it does so the practice is taken to have complied with this section in relation to the details so disclosed.

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