At RFH Inc. we pride ourselves on offering personalised and professional legal advice and representation. It is also our belief that we are entitled to charge our clients a fair and reasonable fee for the professional services that we render.
The final fee that is charged in attending to a matter depends on a wealth of factors. These include, but are by no means limited to; the attorney’s experience, the urgency of the matter, the complexity of the case and in what court (magistrate, high or labour court) the matter will be heard.
Before any instructions are taken or work done, we require all our prospective clients to conclude a fee agreement with us. This allows both our clients and our attorneys, to understand from the onset, what their respective rights and responsibilities would be when attending to a mandate.
As a general rule, our fee agreements are based on an hourly rate. Currently that rate is R1500.00 per hour (2017). Please also note that all our fees are VAT exclusive.
Our hourly rate fee agreements include the following:
The fee agreement will clearly stipulate what the attorney’s hourly charge is. The attorney is entitled to charge for time spent per hour or pro rata thereof on a particular matter, including but not limited to, research; appearances in court; time travelling to and from court; meetings; time on the telephone with clients and third parties; drafting and perusal of pleadings, documents and letters.
The fee agreement will further indicate and require that all third party payments and an attorneys out-of-pocket expenses, also known as disbursements, be paid by the client. These fees are most commonly advocates fees, sheriff fees, travelling fees and correspondent attorney’s fees. The client’s attorney will be charged separately by the third party for the service provided to them and these fees will be passed on to the client and will be set out in the invoice. This disbursement is added to the attorney’s invoice and the third party invoice is usually attached to the attorney’s invoice when presented to the client for payment.
Before an attorney commences on a matter, the client may be requested to deposit a certain amount of money into the attorney’s trust account to ensure all fees and disbursements will be covered. This is known as a retainer or a deposit. As soon as the retainer has been depleted the attorney may request further payments to continue with the matter.
An attorney may present an invoice to a client on a monthly basis, when a milestone has been achieved or even at the end of a matter. The agreed fee agreement will explain to the client when he or she will be invoiced and when payments are due.
Should a client disagree with payments due, or their invoices are too general, clients are entitled to request an itemised bill from the attorney’s firm.
Depending on the client’s situation, the nature of the matter and the merits of the case we would also consider:
- An alternative billing arrangements such as agreeing on a fixed fee agreed up front, that will give you peace of mind by assuring that you won’t be met with unexpected legal fees.
- Or a contingency fee agreement where no fee will be charged if we do not win.
At RFH Inc Attorneys, we offer a free, 30-minute, initial interview with any member of the public. This interview will be in person and not over the phone. Should the consultation last longer than 30 minutes, you will be liable for a payment of R900.00.
The consultation will be used to assess your case, and if you want us to assist you, we will direct you to the most suitable professional in our practice to act for you. We will endeavor to determine the nature of the work to be done, see whether we can help you and, if so, at what cost and then agree on future fees. Should it be required we will also try and accommodate you by accepting reasonable monthly installments as agreed with us.
We will then sign an agreement with you that sets out what work we will do for you and at what fee.
You can always count on RFH Inc to:
- Provide an honest and frank assessment of your case.
- Define the scope of our mandate with you.
- Comply with the terms and conditions set out in our fee agreement and agreed to with you.