How Much Are Lawyers’ Consultation Fees In Singapore?
Legal fees in Singapore are often not made transparent and known. In this article, we will try to help you understand how legal costs are calculated and charged.
How Do Singapore Lawyers Charge For Their Legal Costs And Consultation?
Law firms in Singapore usually offer four methods of pricing their services:
- Hourly rate (SGD$100-500 per hour),
- Fixed price (this is usually based on the lawyer’s experience and is usually SGD$3,000 or more),
- A mix of both,
- Successful claims (usually related to accidents) where the compensation is given directly by the court which may pay your lawyer directly. There are only a few law firms that offer this last method.
What Is A Lawyer Consultation?
It is important to understand what a lawyer consultation is. Generally, It is the first meeting with a lawyer to discuss your problem and how you want to handle it. The main purpose of this session is to find out whether you need the services of a lawyer for your case.
What Happens In That First Meeting?
The lawyer will ask questions about the nature of your problem. Your answers will determine if he feels confident enough to be able to handle it or not. For example, if you are charged with drink driving, do not assume that any law firm can represent you at court because many lawyers do not take such cases due to their complex nature. You should also be aware that some offenses require mandatory legal representation or are heard before judges without juries, hence the need for a qualified lawyer.
For the first consultation, most legal advisors charge for it. They feel that it is utilization of their time and aptitude. Some lawyers will forgo it for the initial 30 minutes so as to draw in business. The charge for the discussion fluctuates with the term of the meeting and the notoriety of the legal counsel. Top legal counsels may request a huge store even before the consultation.
At the meeting, the legal counsel will survey the circumstance by glancing through any reports you provide and foresee the potential legal issues that might arise. He will offer guidance with regards to the game-plan to be taken. He will choose whether he needs to take a look into the issue or not. Thereafter, he may exhort that the case involved is excessively minor, or that there is no genuine legal case.
The lawyer will likewise explain legal expenses. If the issue includes a Suit, he should give a cost gauge for each phase of the case procedure. Towards the end of the consultation, if both parties agree, the customer signs a Warrant to Act or Letter of Engagement.
What Happens If The Law Firm Cannot Handle Your Case?
The first meeting or consultation is free because it serves as an assessment of whether the small to a medium-sized law firm can handle your legal issue or not. It also assesses what is involved in handling your case and what fees you should expect from them. Typically, lawyers at a small to the medium-sized law firm are willing to discuss their offer with you because they do not want to waste either parties’ time or money. If they are unable to do so, they will recommend that you go to another law firm.
How Can You Avoid Paying Too Much In Lawyer Fees?
Do not ask the law firm for an exact and final figure because nobody has a crystal ball. Conditions change and circumstances may differ from what was initially anticipated. Lawyers also need to consider such things as the amount of time he has spent on your file, legal fees for investigative work (for example, getting evidence against the opposing party), associated case management fees, filing fees and administrative charges, etc.) before giving you an estimate or presenting a fixed fee offer.
For example, if a lawyer tells you that his fixed fee is SGD$3,000 but this excludes court appearances which is one of his billing items then the true fee might be actually SGD$4,000. When he presents his bill and you see that the amount has increased to SGD$4,000, you may think that it is too much and wonder why this lawyer is trying to cheat you. The truth is that the court appearance fees were not included in the fixed fee quote because he did not know how many appearances he would make on your behalf at court. Also, remember that some cases are settled before going to trial hence there will be no need for a lawyer to appear at all.
What Is The Most Common Way Of Charging For Legal Fees In Singapore?
By and large, a legal counsel charges on an hourly premise. The cost gauge that he gives depends on how long he likely needs to finish what is required. At the point when it really goes to work, the legal counsel will note down how much time has been spent dealing with your case, separating them into investigating, drafting, recording reports, and so forth. Normally, senior legal counsels charge more on an hourly premise than junior ones. Thus, if the law office is certifiably not sole ownership, the preparation is probably going to be finished by junior legal advisors so as to minimize the expenses for the customer dependent on this charging model.
Fixed Fee Calculation For Lawyer Fees In Singapore
The lawyer will usually calculate his fixed fee based on your needs so that he can provide you with an estimate before going into further details. He/she may also consult with some colleagues to get their opinions on this matter because every case is different and it involves many factors such as time spent at meetings or drafting documents, interest rates, size of the claim, etc., all of which affect the final price. The lawyer should explain how he arrived at his fixed fee quote to you and ensure that he has considered everything.
Do Lawyers In Singapore Have To Charge?
No, they do not and no lawyer can force you to make any payment if you choose not to but it may lead to the lawyer dismissing your case or even terminating his employment with you. Remember that a case is very personal and invests a large amount of time, money and emotions so getting a lawyer should be well-thought-out. What happens at court may affect your future so finding a good one is crucial in getting the right representation for your case especially if litigation becomes necessary.
Conclusion About Lawyer Fees In Singapore
As referenced, for the more typical issues, for example, separation, deed surveys, will-composing, and probate matters, rivalry among legal advisors are intense. All things considered, be sure to engage a lawyer that you are confident in working with. If you’d like to seek a free consultation before engaging a lawyer, contact The Singapore Lawyer here.