Setting Legal Fees: Factors to Consider

December 18

The following guest post was written by Craig Hollett, a leading commercial litigator at Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky. The post includes Craig’s response to a question regarding the factors he considers when setting legal fees.

This is not an exhaustive list but commonly we consider issues such as: LegalFees

  1. The complexity of the matter
  2. The difficulty or novelty of the questions or issues involved
  3. The experience/expertise of the fee earner who will do the work
  4. The skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved
  5. The expected time to be spent on carrying out the work
  6. The number and importance of any documents to be prepared and read
  7. The period of time over which the work is to be completed and whether there is an element of urgency involved
  8. The amount or value of money or property involved
  9. What is the value to the client
  10. What is the outcome that the client is seeking?

Of course, other factors may come into play in specific matters and need to be considered.

What the above list demonstrates is that time is only one of a number of metrics that should be considered when providing a fixed or value-based price to a client.

Of course, assigning value to many of these factors is subjective and often intangible. That is why it is important to discuss these factors with the client to ascertain the value they attach to many of these things. I have been surprised on occasions that a client attaches a much higher value to the work that they want me to do than the value I subjectively thought they would attach to that work.


Craig acts as in-house counsel and leads the commercial litigation and dispute resolution division of Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky (BBV). BBV is one of Western Australia’s most respected law firms, delivering legal advice and solutions across a full range of practice areas. BBV is the first significant law firm in Perth to offer legal services on a fixed fee pricing basis.