An application for an individual expense account must be submitted within 30 days of the date on which the legal fees are due – see s187 of the Single Act. The lawyer`s practice must respond to a request for a detailed invoice within 21 days from the date of the request. A practitioner may not charge a fee for the establishment of a separately established fee account unless the application is made by a non-associated third-party payer. See s171 of the Single Act on Definitions of Terms Relating to Third Party Payers. Given the cash flow constraints imposed by small firms, it may be possible to impose strict and priority payment conditions (e.g. B payment of the account seven or fourteen days after receipt), which should be clearly specified to the customer and included in the cost agreement. Your client has rights when it comes to their legal fees. For most business, you must provide your client with a “statement of commencement of charges” in writing as soon as possible, after your client has charged you. You must declare that if a person files a complaint with the Legal Services Commissioner or requests cost control by the Cost Court, the recovery procedure cannot be initiated or continued – see s194. There are additional disclosure obligations for contingency cost agreements and those that involve uplift fees. It is essential that these disclosures be made in the agreement itself rather than in a separate disclosure statement. The only periods during which you do not have to submit a declaration of commencement of costs to your client are as follows: According to section 178 of the Act, the most serious consequence of a violation of the advertising rules of the Single Law is that any cost agreement is not valid.

In addition, the client is not obliged to bear the legal costs until they have been verified by the Tribunal or the Legal Services Commissioner (and the practitioner cannot maintain the procedure for recovering the costs charged until such verification has taken place). The practitioner normally has to bear the costs of the verification and non-deployment may also result in a reduction in eligible costs by an amount proportional to failure. Finally, a major compliance error may constitute unsatisfactory professional behaviour or misconduct. The following precedents are available to all practitioners through the Legal Services Council: if you have negotiated a transaction for your client, you must give your client an estimate of the fees they will have to pay before completing the transaction. This must include any legal fees to be paid for another party. Legal costs can only be recovered if a cost account has been notified to the contracting authority. . . .

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