Engaging Us

Becoming a Client 

We want you to understand at the outset that we are a firm who will put you at the top of our priority list. Happy and prosperous clients are what make our firm successful.

Getting to the hear of your actual needs is critical.  Once we understand you and you understand us we know you will then want us to act for you.  There is little point seeking your instructions and asking you to trust us until the complete lawyer - client relationship is cemented.

In most matters, after you have committed to becoming a client of Clelands Lawyers we will provide you with a costs agreement which will outline the terms of engaging us as your lawyer.  We will require you to sign this and return it to us immediately.  In addition we may ask you to pay monies into our Trust account to be held on your behalf.  This will ensure your disbursements are paid on time and will facilitate the payment of our fees on a regular periodic basis. We essentially charge for our time as lawyers to assist you with your matter. We have set out below some tips which will help us to, achieve the best possible outcomes for you:

Before your initial appointment with us:

  • Try to prepare a written summary of your legal issue and how you think it would be best resolved.
  • Email us that summary.
  • Gather relevant documents for us to consider.

If you telephone us have a list of issues you wish to discuss so your time on the phone is productive.

Send documents to us electronically as individual scanned items which are clearly identified.

Keep a copy of everything you provide to us.

When we provide you with our advice please consider our advice very carefully, as we have prepared it through research, our knowledge of the law and many years of experience.


Our Fees

  • We only accept instructions from you.
  • On some files we can provide you with an upfront estimate of your total fees.  Normally fixed fees can be estimated on non-contentious matters such as commercial transactions.
  • Otherwise we charge at an hourly rate, calculated by 6 minute units.  There are 10 units in an hour.
  • Some of the hourly rates of our lawyers are higher than those specified in the Supreme Court scale, but this is not unusual.  We are more than competitive in the marketplace.
  • On occasions we will also incur disbursements on your behalf such as court fees, valuation or expert reports and fees for barristers which we will charge you for. 
  • A Costs Agreements must be signed by you.
  • If your matter involves a Court action it is important you understand that is unlikely you will ever recover all of your costs, even if you are successful.
  • We provide the option of paying by cheque, cash, electronic funds transfer, Visa or MasterCard.  A 1.5% interest charge is payable on all credit card transactions.
  • We may from time to time ask you to pay monies into our trust account for anticipated fees and disbursements.


Fact Sheets


Legal Costs - Your Right to Know

Your Right to Challenge Legal Costs