Free initial consultations
We offer a free 15 minute initial consultations on deceased estate matters. Which includes deceased estate administration and estate litigation. The purpose of the meeting is to provide general advice and give an overview of the process and the type of work (if any) that is involved. We then explain our billing structures (mentioned below) and the effect of legal costs on litigants. The initial meeting is to see whether we are the right lawyers for you! We are always happy to help in any way we can.
Fixed and Value-Based fee agreements
The firm takes a unique approach towards billing in that it generally does not provide time charged services (unless specifically requested and in very limited circumstances – discussed below). We only provide fixed fee scopes of work which never change. This avoids “cost blowouts” and over-servicing which frequently occurs within the legal profession. There are many lawyers who are not mindful of the concept of “proportionality” in charging clients fees. That is to say, in small estates or small value disputes, lawyers need to be flexible in reducing or capping fees. By telling the client upfront what the fixed fees are they have peace of mind that there are not going to be any nasty surprises. Detailed scoping and transparency is the key to success. In litigated matters, we usually provide an initial fixed fee scope of work up to and including mediation. If the client wants us to take on additional work not foreseen in the original scoping (for example deciding to sue a debtor in an estate or to evict a tenant in a deceased estate administration matter) then we provide additional fixed fee agreements before commencing that work.
Payment Plans – Humm
Most law firms require you to pay large amounts of money into trust on account of anticipated costs and disbursements. We will always ask for funds as security for our costs if your case is an “all or nothing case.” That means a case where there is a risk that if you lose you will not recover any entitlement from the estate. In those circumstances, you may not have tens of thousands of dollars at your disposal. However, you may be able to chip away at paying the costs of your matter over time, and if successful, recover those costs from the estate or other party to your litigation.
Gregson & Associates have secured a relationship with Humm as a merchant payment provider for non-litigious matters (such as wills and estate planning and some deceased estate matters). We are one of the first (if not the very first) law firms in Australia to partner with Humm to offer interest-free buy now pay later options. This is absolutely massive news! The ‘pay via Humm option,’ will be integrated into our online payment portal meaning that clients are able to apply to Humm to finance their fixed-fee legal services within minutes. The payments are interest-free with small installments paid directly to Humm. We pay the merchant fees! This option allows for comprehensive estate planning packages to be affordable to the general public. It is often the case when a loved one dies that there are a number of bills to pay on their behalf (for example car registration, real estate insurance, probate filing fees and the like). The Humm payment option gives families a little breathing space, empowering us to have funds available to meet these costs and expenses, whilst we call in the assets of the estate. The assets of the estate are later used (once the banks etc get around to releasing the funds, or once estate property sells) to reimburse the payment of testamentary expenses paid by our clients.
Speak to our accounts department or one of our solicitors if you wish to apply for a payment arrangement.
Deferred fee agreements
Most people can’t afford big legal bills. We don’t want our clients to worry about money when a loved one dies. In many estates, we manage our fees are taken from the estate once the assets become available. This is known as a deferred fee agreement. In order to apply for a deferred fee arrangement, the firm needs to be satisfied that there are sufficient assets available to satisfy the costs of our engagement. Secondly, you need to show that you have been unsuccessful in your application for finance or a Humm payment plan. If in doubt – ask us! We are pretty reasonable and flexible and we will always try and accommodate families wherever we can.
No win no fee
Unfortunately we do not offer this kind of billing anymore. The problem is that client’s do not accept reasonable offers of settlement or follow competent advice. The result is that we don’t get paid despite the good outcome secured. The bigger issue is it creates a perceived conflict of interest (and we have a duty to avoid conflicts where possible).
Time charged matters/hybrid matters
Some clients are “old school,” and prefer to be billed on a time basis. Our firm has the capability to do so however we will only suggest time billing in litigated matters of significant complexity at the request of the client.
Pension and Concession Card Holders
We will always try and use your pension or concession card status to apply for fee reductions at Courts and Tribunals. In the past, we have saved our clients thousands of dollars in listing fees. Please make sure you tell us if you are a pension or concession cardholder.
Payment Portal and Methods
The payment portal is available on our site and is available 24/7. If you have any queries about billing or accounts please contact us at:
(08) 6381 9500