The fees that barristers charge varies from one barrister to another.
Barristers are obliged (under Part 3.4 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic)) to disclose a number of matters, including:
- the basis on which their fees will be calculated; and
- an estimate of the total legal fees that will be payable or, if that is not reasonably practicable, a range of the estimate of legal fees or an explanation of the major variable that will affect the calculation of these costs.
Barristers will make this disclosure through a fee disclosure letter addressed to the firm of solicitors who brief them. The disclosure should be made before, or as soon as reasonably practicable after, the barrister has been retained.
Clients have a right to negotiate a costs agreement with their lawyers.
If a client has available a limited budget, the solicitor may indicate that budget to the barrister and have a discussion about whether the barrister is likely to be able to provide an advice or appear in a matter within that budget, or would be willing to commit to working within the confines of that budget.
Further information about the disclosure obligations of barristers may be obtained from Part 3.4 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic).