Solicitor and Barrister Prices

The prices that a solicitor will charge for various prices vary between regions of Australia such as city, suburban and country based solicitors or between the big firms, small firms and mid-tier firms. This may not reflect the quality of the service being provided by the firm, it may simply be a function of where they sit in the market. The charge out rates of particular solicitors and barristers will also vary on the basis of the seniority of the person doing the legal work. Please not that these figures are only general estimates and not indicative of the specific amounts that a lawyer in a particular instance might charge, but, as a basic guide, in Sydney for a small firm you might expect the following charge out rates:

Senior Solicitor – $300.00 per hour
Junior Solicitor – $200.00 per hour
Law Clerk – $120.00 per hour

In a large firm, you would expect much higher charge out rates such as:

Partner: $800.00 per hour
Special Counsel: $600.00 per hour
Senior Associate: $500.00 per hour
Junior Lawyer: $300.00 per hour
Law Clerk: $180.00 per hour

The medium sized firms would most likely have charge out rates somewhere between these rates. Barristers are on a different system of rankings within the profession and often charge in a different manner to solicitors. Some will charge on an hourly basis and others an appearance fee, or a specific fee for a given type of hearing. Some barristers also charge an amount for each day of work which is conducted on a case. Barristers rarely do work on a contingency basis and mainly charge an hourly rate for their work which may be advisory in nature or related to court appearance. As a very basic guide, barristers may charge the following amounts:

QC/SC: 1,000.00 per hour
Senior Barrister: 600.00 per hour
Junior Barrister: 400.00 per hour

For daily court fees, this would relate to the following amounts:

QC/SC: 8,000.00 per day
Senior Barrister: 5,000 per day
Junior Barrister: 3,000 per day

For some types of matters like legal aid, motor vehicle accident insurance and workers compensation there are rates which proscribed by statute or in the case of legal aid by the agency procuring the work such as legal aid New South Wales. Also, in relation to appearances by counsel, there are often systems of suggested fees which are given by the courts as a guide to what solicitors should charge in relation to their work. An example of this is the system of fees given by the Federal Court:

Fee on Brief
Junior Counsel $1200-4,800
Senior Counsel $1,950-7,200

Appearance at hearing (daily rate including conference)

Junior Counsel $850-3,950
Senior Counsel $1,950-6,000

Interlocutory Applications

Motion/Interlocutory hearing
– short (up to 2 hours)
Junior Counsel $350-2,000
Senior Counsel $650-3,900

– long (2 hrs plus)
Junior Counsel $400-3,000
Senior Counsel $800-6,000

Hourly rate for: Directions hearing, Preparation time, Conferences (not occurring on day of hearing), Settling applications, statements of claim, affidavits, defence, other documents, Opinions, advice on evidence, Written submissions (where not allowed above), Attending to receive judgment (where appropriate), Not otherwise provided for:

Junior Counsel $250-500
Senior Counsel $400-700

If you have any questions about engaging a lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact us in relation to your inquiry using the contact form or by calling (02)99231700.


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