Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
Why do lawyers charge in 6 minute blocks?
Well, the rumours are true. Lawyers are expensive. When you are paying somebody $400+ per hour, the prospect of paying a ‘per hour or part thereof’ seen in other industries isn’t particularly attractive. To ensure client’s only pay for the time spent, the system of 6 minute units was developed to divide the hour into 10ths. It could be worse however, in the past lawyers used to charge by the word (which is why documents can be so long).
Client’s of Aventus shouldn’t be scared of the 6 minute units however. We don’t charge for a quick phone call or to read a quick email. In the vast majority of cases we also provide fixed fee quotes to ensure clients aren’t confronted with bill shock when they receive our invoices.
Why do I have to sign a contract to have you work for us?
While we are all a little intimidated by contracts, it is a law society requirement that all new clients sign what we call and engagement letter. This letter outlines all your rights and responsibilities, as well as providing you with formal cost estimates and outline of our charges. In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with our services, it provides information on the processes to be followed and the resources available to you to help with that complaint. It’s nothing to be scared of, and protects both parties equally.
I’ve never had a lawyer before, how do I go about engaging you?
It’s easier than you think. The biggest problem we see is when people engage us too late in the process and we need to spend extra time extracting a client from a sticky commercial situation than we would have needed to had they come to us early.
We always prefer to be earlier on the scene than later, that is why we have developed a system of consulting with a prospective client via phone prior to them committing to us (and us committing to act for them). At Aventus, it is simply a matter of contacting us via phone or through our contact list, or even simpler, booking a first consultation through our online booking system. By answering a few basic questions and booking a time, one of our lawyers can talk through your problem or matter and provide you with information on how to formally engage us to assist.
If you are happy with our approach, and we believe you to be a good fit for our firm, we will then get you to sign a formal engagement agreement.
When will I be charged?
You will incur fees once we start working for you. We do not charge you for work yet to be completed and if you terminate our services early you will only be invoiced for the amount owing at the time of termination.
For large projects such as franchise system establishment, we generally request a deposit be paid at the point the work is formally scoped as this constitutes work completed. We will then generally invoice on regularly basis as the project progresses.
Invoices are generally payable within 14 days of them being provided.
I’ve seen billboards where lawyers offer ‘no-win no-fee’ pricing, will you give that to me?
Law firms offering ‘no-win no-fee’ pricing generally operate in the public liability and personal injury areas of the law. The practice of law in this area is largely process based and subject to specific systems and limitations implemented by Government and insurers. With respect to those firms, ‘no-win no-fee’ is generally offered only to those clients with an overwhelming chance of successfully establishing a claim, and with a high likelihood of achieving a negotiated settlement (the ‘win’), thus entitling the firm to charge and enhanced rate which is then subtracted from any financial settlement obtained by the client.
At Aventus we don’t operate like that. For one, we only operate in the commercial law field and do our best to keep our client’s out of Court. Secondly, we only accept clients who are aware of their responsibilities to pay for the services we provide. We want our clients to respect and appreciate the work we do for them.
We rarely engage with clients for a single matter or for a short term. The vast majority of our clients have used us for years, even decades. We aim to partner with our clients. To get to know their businesses inside and out. Their achievements become our achievements.
It is the potential for this kind of relationship that we look for in all new clients. If a client asks us about no-fee arrangements or otherwise questions our fees, it is a clear sign that they are not a good fit for our business, and we wish them well on their journey.
What do you do for fun? Don’t all lawyers just sit around reading cases and looking down their noses at people?
While we do occasionally have to read cases where something important has been decided which may impact on our clients, we generally try to avoid it as much as possible.
And while I haven’t seen too many lawyers looking down their noses at people, those types do unfortunately exist. At Aventus we are pretty casual though. We have been around the block enough times to know that client’s prefer legal advisors to take a genuine interest in their business and understand that legal advice is just as much about achieving a particular commercial objective than ensuring a particular legal outcome.
We don’t wear the three piece tailored suits (and really don’t look like those in ‘Suits’ either). We ride motorbikes, surf, go camping with our friends and family. Normal stuff really.
I’m still not convinced. Can you provide references?
Wow, tough crowd!
Of course we can. We understand that engaging lawyers if a big step and you want to make sure you are doing the right thing. We have some testimonials from valued clients on our website, but we are happy to provide you with the details of current or previous clients relevant to your particular project or matter upon request.
Fair enough, I’ll give you a go – How do I book one of these free initial consultations?
All you need to do now is contact us via phone on 1300 294 539, via our contact page here, or the best option is to book a phone consult through our on-line appointment system here. We will ask you a few questions, get your details, and let you decide which time best suits for a chat.
We look forward to it!