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Basis of charging





Most barristers use a daily rate and an hourly rate.  The relationship between these rates and the circumstances in which each applies should be made clear. 

Cancellation fees can be particularly contentious. Without offering a view whether or on what basis it is proper to charge a fee where a hearing day is cancelled, barristers who wish to do so should make explicit provision to that effect.  Consideration should be given to what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances (cf. Wilkie v Gordian Runoff Ltd [2005] NSWCA 873). 

The following are examples of a basis of charging that might be used in a Costs Agreement, if appropriate to the barrister’s practice and fair in the circumstances: 

Example A.

$xxx per hour for all time properly spent (including waiting and travelling time, if any), with items or daily totals rounded up or down to the nearest [quarter hour / tenth of an hour], but subject to the following minimum charges:   
           
$xxx for a short appearance in a Court or Tribunal; $yyy for an interlocutory hearing before a duty judicial officer not exceeding ½ day;  otherwise $zzz for every day or part thereof occupied by, listed or set aside for any hearing, mediation or arbitration; but if a matter is settled or de-listed more than seven and not more than 14 days before such a day, the daily fee is reduced by 50%; or if more than 14 days before, or if the Barrister is subsequently briefed to appear in another case and entitled to charge a daily fee for that day, the fee is waived.

Example B.

$xxx per hour for all time properly spent (including waiting and travelling time, if any), with items or daily totals rounded up or down to the nearest [quarter hour / tenth of an hour], but subject to the following minimum charges:   
         
$xxx for a short appearance in a Court or Tribunal; $yyy for an interlocutory hearing before a duty judicial officer not exceeding ½ day;  otherwise $zzz for every day or part thereof occupied by any hearing, mediation or arbitration.