Costs assessment - Legal Profession Act 2007
Legal costs are charged for the work a lawyer has done for their client.
A client may dispute the amount of legal costs they have to pay to the lawyer. This dispute may be settled through costs mediation.
The client may also decide to apply to the court for a costs assessment of the whole or part of the legal costs. If this occurs, the court will appoint an independent person (a costs assessor) to consider the bill and the client’s objections. The assessor will make a decision on what is a fair and reasonable amount for the client to pay.
Court jurisdiction to appoint costs assessors is determined using the following guidelines:
- if the bill does not exceed $150,000 - Magistrates Court
- if the bill exceeds $150,000 and does not exceed $750,000 - District Court
- if the bill exceeds $750,000 - Supreme Court.