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One often needs to hire lawyers at some point in life. They play a crucial role in our society as many aspects of our lives such as buying assets, marriage, business, etc. is governed by some law or the other. When hiring lawyers the issue of legal fees comes naturally with this. This is a very important issue which needs to be negotiated at the very beginning of a case with all aspects taken into account. Time and contigency are important factors that determine the fees of an attorney in a legal case. Flat fees, charged for particular actions are also taken into account.

The Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program has been determined by part 137 of the Chief Administrator Regulations law, says A. Harrison Barnes, the CEO of According to the stipulated law, the lawyers amicably came to the decision that they would represent the interest of their clients in majority of the civil cases. This pertains to the lawyers who represent their clients in cases from 1st January, 2002, onwards. According to the law, in case of any dispute between the client and the lawyer, the client might request for resolution of the conflict by adjudication and the involvement of the lawyers is absolutely mandatory. The awards for arbitration are ultimate and lawfully bound by the law in case neither of the party requires renewal of the trail within a period of one month.

The Board of Governors and the lawyers in the appellate court are engaged in bringing about amicable solutions to the local disputes and conflicts. The former presiding justice of the appellate court, Guy James Mangano currently heads the Board of Governors. It also consists of 12 court members and 6 members from the public. According to A. Harrison Barnes, the Board of Governors is responsible for the following actions:

* Supervision of the program,
* Taking part in accreditation,
* Being responsible for calculations, and
* Looking into the disputes arising out of payment of fees.

Part 137 of the law clearly states that “Fee Arbitration in Inner Relations Matters,” shall continue to apply to the conflicts between the lawyer and the client. It was stipulated that lawyers who stand by the clients since 1st January shall be subsidiary to the provisions contained in part 137.

A. Harrison Barnes always stresses on the fact that the clients must have a very open and clear discussion with their lawyers before handing them any case. A client must ensure that the fees charged by the attorneys are reasonable. The lawyers should strive to provide quality services at competitive rates. There are three major parameter of determining legal rates, says Barnes. They are as follows:

* Fees per hour
* Fees on the basis of the outcome of the case or contingency
* Flat fees for specific actions undertaken like that of the handling of the real estate closure

The professional fees depend on the time spent on a particular case. The rates per hour generally vary from lawyer to lawyer. The fee structure is determined by factors like work experience, skills, abilities, and expenses involved in running the offices of law. The lawyers also charge fees for the following services:

* Fees for consultation
* Fees for meetings
* Telephone bills
* Preparation of documents
* Representing the client in the courts of law
* Researches on legal matters

The type of the case also determines fees for the attorneys. If the case is critical or complex, the lawyer is likely to charge A. Higher amount as fees. The result of the court proceedings cannot be guaranteed by any lawyer. If the conditional fee has not been pre-arranged, the attorneys can expect that the client would pay their fees irrespective of whether they lose or win the case.

The client-lawyer relationship also goes to determine the fees of the lawyers. If they share a friendly relation, it is more likely that the attorney will charge his client less.

According to A. Harrison Barnes, there are different ways to reduce the fee structure. They are as follows:

* It is important that the client writes down all relevant information pertaining to the lawyer properly. His contact details, like address and telephone numbers, should be kept at hand.
* The client must be very organized by nature. The client must ensure that he brings all relevant papers, important files and documents along with him when he is coming to meet the lawyer.
* The client must be very precise in all his meetings with the attorney and his associates.
* One must also ensure not to increase the telephone bills by making irrelevant calls to the attorneys.

Barnes also feels that it is very important that the client keeps himself and his lawyer informed about the entire case at all times. The client must have a clear idea about the financial aspects or the bottom-line of the legal matters. Make sure that you weigh the pros and cons of the proposed task effectively.

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