Your Financial Relationship with HFLC
Here at Hills Family Law Centre, it’s important to us that we are clear and transparent about expected costs, and how our billing process works.
We ask that you please take the time to read the below carefully, as it contains important information regarding your financial relationship with us.
Trust Account & Initial Deposit
Should you choose to retain us, there are two key things required to commence that relationship.
The first is returning a signed copy of your Costs Agreement. The second is depositing a requested sum of money into our Solicitor’s Statutory Trust Account (commonly just referred to as a ‘Trust Account).
This money is held ‘in trust’ for you, as a security for disbursements and fees we are likely to incur in the carriage of your matter. It is important to note that this money remains yours – and at any point can be returned to you, less any funds owing to us for our services.
Trust Balance and Top-Ups
For a typical Family Law matter, we will request an initial Trust Account deposit of $3,000, however this may vary based on the scope of works discussed during your Initial Consultation.
This amount will remain in our trust account until the completion of your matter, where we will deduct any final fees or invoices from this amount and reimburse the rest to your nominated bank account.
We may ask you to increase this amount if we are required to hold any further monies in trust for third parties (e.g. barristers fees or other significant disbursements).
Accounts and Invoicing
You will find our billing rates and methodology contained within the enclosed costs agreement. In summary, all time is billed in 6 minute units (with 10x 6 minute units per hour). There also may be fees or other costs we may incur in the carriage of your matter (such as court filing fees, postage, etc).
As a general rule, we will invoice you on a fortnightly basis, with that invoice containing all costs incurred in the fortnight prior. The only exceptions to this are typically:
- You have incurred less than $300 in fees and disbursements since your last invoice. In this case, we will typically not render an invoice until the following billing cycle.
- Your file is in the middle of a significant task. Should work be part-completed at the time of billing, we will hold raising an invoice until that particular task or stage of work has been finalised, and then raise an invoice that captures this work in its entirety.
- Your account balance is exceeding the balance of funds we hold in our trust account. Whilst this isn’t always possible, we try to generate an invoice if your file has had significant work or a major event that will result in a larger than typical bill.
Your invoice is due for payment within 7 days of being issued, and payment options are enclosed with your invoice.
Should your invoice not be paid within this time, we may pay any outstanding balance using the funds we hold in trust for you. Should this occur, our office will be in touch to request that you top up the funds held in your trust account in order to enable us to continue working on your matter.
We understand that a Family Law matter is draining, both emotionally and financially. Should you need to discuss your account, including payment plans and other options, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Whilst we can’t always help in every circumstance, we will always try our best to assist you.