03 Nov Billing & Fees
AZAM & RAI LLP offers a simple, affordable and cost-effective billing and fees structure in tune with the economic realities and costs/prices in Pakistan. The Firm offers value for money. Our billing method is flexible and we are not bedded to the hourly rate. Consolidated transaction fee, fixed retainer, or the hourly rate, are all offered depending upon suitability, the nature of the matter and client preference.
Types of Billing
1. Consolidated Transaction Fee (or Fixed Fee)
Also known as “lump sum fee”, this is suitable for litigation and single transactions in which hourly billing may not be cost-effective for clients and the matter falls outside the scope of a fixed retainer. Consolidated transaction fee is assessed on a case-to-case basis depending upon the complexity of the matter and the expected time and resources required. In matters involving litigation, the fee also depends on the legal forum involved. As a general rule, the higher the legal forum, the higher the fee.
Consolidated transaction fee is billed and payable in advance.
2. Fixed Retainer
Fixed retainer is a fixed fee charged on a monthly basis for retaining an array of specified legal services of the Firm, usually outlined in a written agreement. A fixed retainer arrangement is beneficial for clients who require ongoing legal advice on a regular basis or readily available legal support during project execution. If a client is unsure about a legal issue, he won’t have to worry about the cost of legal consultation and, hence, there is certainty on two counts – (i) certainty as to costs and (ii) the guaranteed availability legal advice at short notice. Under a fixed retainer arrangement, a client is able to receive legal advice for handling day-to-day legal issues that would otherwise escape legal review, quickly respond to emerging legal challenges and obtain a legal perspective in decision-making and business planning.
Fixed retainer expressly excludes matters such as litigation and complex transactions, the fees for which may be agreed on a case-to-case basis. A fixed retainer allows the Firm to limit the number of clients and matters which the Firm undertakes at any given time, thereby allowing more time, effort and resources to be devoted to each such client and matter. The Firm offers innovative retainer options on reoccurring legal issues for a wide spectrum of clients. In Pakistan, all limited liability companies, private and public, are required by law to appoint legal advisers on a retainer basis under the Companies (Appointment of Legal Advisers) Act, 1974.
Our philosophy behind offering, indeed encouraging, the fixed retainer is that it is important to lay a proper legal foundation for businesses and organizations to achieve long-term success. Doing things right the first time is the most efficient in the long run, whether it’s a business or legal task. Thinking ahead and employing preventive legal practices reduces risk, thereby reducing cost and, hence, increasing investor confidence and profits. These factors enable businesses to focus on operational matters and being profitable, maximizing exploitation of their assets and preventing loss of rights. Also, it gives clients peace of mind that looming legal traps and pitfalls have been avoided. The certainty of legal costs also makes sound business and financial sense.
The fixed retainer is billed and payable in advance on a monthly basis.
3. Hourly Rate
The hourly rate is a billing method in which legal services are charged on an hourly basis. This is usually applied for drafting and vetting legal documents and advisory work. The hourly billing method may also be employed in conjunction with consolidated transaction fee and/or the fixed retainer. The hourly rate may be suitable where the client does not desire a long-term relationship with the Firm and/or where it is difficult for the Firm to assess the expected time and resources involved in accomplishing a particular task.
The hourly rate is billed and payable on a monthly basis.
Expenses are charged at actuals and include items such as official fees, court fees, stamp papers, disbursements and emoluments (e.g. travelling, lodging, telephone, fax, printing, photocopying, binding expenses, etc).
Expenses are billed and payable on a monthly basis – minor expenses are billed and payable as reimbursements after they are incurred whereas major expenses, if foreseen, are billed and payable in advance.