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Cost Disclosure Agreement

Part A - Disclosure Statement

Under Division 3 of Part 4.3 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (VIC) (‘Uniform Law’), we must make you aware of the following information relating to legal costs.

Extent of works and estimate of fees - section 174(1)(a)

Subject to you entering into a Costs Agreement with us, our charges are determined by our estimated amount as determined by Law Squared and agreed by the client prior to  entering into this agreement. The extent of works are listed in the fee table (found within your proposal) exclusive of GST.

The primary legal contact (assigned  to you) is Demetrio Zema. At times, it may be appropriate to delegate some tasks to other legal, paralegal or  clerical staff.

Assumptions

Our fee estimate is based on the information you have provided to us and the following assumptions:

  1. we will receive clear and timely instructions from you;

  2. there will be no significant change to the identified  work to be completed;

  3. the time taken to negotiate documents will be  reasonable and not excessively long; and

  4. we will not be required to produce more than one  draft of any one document.

Additional Administrative Expenses ('Disbursements')

In providing legal services  to you, it may also be necessary to incur other fees, expenses and charges,  including Court associated fees, Barristers’ fees, experts’ fees, bank charges,  travel expenses, stamp duty, courier fees, long distance telephone charges,  photocopying fees and company and other search fees.

These fees, expenses and other charges we incur on your behalf are referred to as 'disbursements'.

We will charge you at cost for any disbursements we incur on your behalf. You must pay reasonable  disbursements, including Goods and Services Tax (GST), incurred by us on your behalf as they arise. We may also  request that you provide us with advance payment to cover any disbursement incurred  on your behalf. Any such money will be held by Law Squared until required.

If any unusual disbursements  arise, we will communicate with you before incurring the expense.

Your rights – section 174(2)

  • You have a right to negotiate  this Costs Agreement with us. You may want to seek independent legal advice  before agreeing to the fees outlined within this Agreement

  • You have a right to negotiate  the billing method with us.

  • You have a right to receive a Bill of Costs from  us – that is, a detailed breakdown of the fees incurred in providing our legal  services to you

  • You have a right to request  an itemised Bill of Costs within 30 days after receiving a bill that is not  itemised, or is only partially itemised, from us.

  • You have a right to be  notified of any significant change to the basis on which legal fees will be  calculated or any significant change to the estimate of total legal fees.

  • You have the right to seek  the assistance of the designated local regulatory authority (Law Institute of  Victoria) in the event of a dispute about legal fees.

Our accounts

We will invoice you for the  work required upon you executing this Agreement. An invoice will be rendered  and this covers our fees and any expenses. In some circumstances, our invoice  will be issued following completion of the work. If so, then our invoice is  payable within 14 days of issue. If you do not pay our bill, we may be entitled  to keep possession of any work associated with the services we have provided to  you (known as a ‘solicitor’s lien’) until our bill is paid.

Interest on unpaid accounts – section 195(1)

If a bill remains unpaid 30  days after issued, we may charge you interest at a rate not exceeding the ‘Cash Rate Target’, as  fixed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, plus 2 per cent, at the date the bill  is issued.

Your right to request a  written report on legal fees – section 190(1)

You have a right to request a  written report of the fees incurred to date or since our last bill (if any),  and we must provide such a report as soon as practicable, at no cost to you .

Concerns about our fees –  section 174(3)

If you have any concerns about our legal fees, please do not hesitate to contact Demetrio Zema on (03) 9008 5954.It is important to us that, in agreeing with  the fees estimated within this Disclosure Statement, and the proposed services to suit your circumstances, you are informed and understand the issues involved.

Your documents

Subject to any instructions by you to the contrary, you:

  1. allow us to run, hold and maintain an electronic file of your matter and you understand that Cubed operates  a paperless office and no original or hard copy version of any documents are kept  by us.

  2. authorise us to destroy, at any time and without consulting you, any documents we hold in hard copy form, regarding our services, that are recognised as yours (except any wills, deeds, leases and agreements). If we destroy any hard copy document within  seven (7) years of our service to you then we will create an electronic copy  before destroying it.

Where we hold documents electronically regarding services provided to you and you are entitled to a copy of them (including electronic copies created as above), we will keep possession of them  for at least seven (7) years after our service to you has concluded. (If you request these documents they will be provided to you in electronic form, not  hard copy.) After that period we may, unless you communicate otherwise, destroy  them without further notice to you.

Relevant law concerning this Agreement 

The Uniform Law, as applied in Victoria, is  applicable to legal fees within this Agreement and any subsequent agreements  and irrespective of where you are located this Agreement is governed by the  laws of Victoria

Engagement  of another lawyer or law practice – section 175

In providing our services to  you, we may need to use other lawyers and law firms – including specialist  lawyers - to provide specialist advice or services.

We will consult you in the event that there are additional fees and agreements associated with these engagements before moving forward. We will provide you with a statement  setting out the rates and estimated fees of any other law firm we seek the help of as soon as they provide this information to us.

Promotion  and marketing

You agree to allow Law  Squared to use your logo for marketing/promotion purposes via our website,  marketing material, social media channels and any other medium we deem fit. You  will have the right to cancel this at any time, however your logo and company  name is to be provided to Law Squared via a royalty-free, irrevocable and non-exclusive license.

Law Squared will not disclose  the confidential nature of your engagement with our firm, however if information  becomes public knowledge then you consent to Law Squared promoting you as part  of its promotional and marketing material online via our website, social media  channels and any other medium we deem fit.

You can at any time request  that Law Squared remove any reference made by us in our promotional and marketing material online via our website, social media channels and any other material of you.

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Part B - Costs AGreement

Division 4 of Part 4.3 of the  Uniform Law allows a law firm and you (the ‘Client’) to agree on how charges to  the law firm’s services are to be calculated and paid. It is called a ‘Costs Agreement’ and it may be enforced in the same way as any other contract.

This document is an offer to  enter into a Costs Agreement which is consistent with the information in the  Disclosure Statement provided (above) and consistent with Division 3 of Part  4.3 of the Uniform Law.

If you accept this Agreement by returning a signed copy of this document (as provided in the Acknowledgement  at the end of this document), the Disclosure Statement and this document will  make up the complete Agreement between Law Squared and yourself as the client. 

Calculation of fees

Our fees are disclosed as a  fixed fee as detailed in the Disclosure Statement (above) that forms part of  this Agreement with you.

Payment of fees

Our invoice will be issued to  you upon signing of the Cost Agreement and acceptance of our Scope of Works. In  some circumstances, payment will not be required at the time of issuing an  invoice and if so, an invoice will be issued once work is completed and is  payable within 14 days of issue.

If an invoice remains unpaid  30 days after you receive it, we may charge you interest at a rate not  exceeding the ‘Cash Rate  Target’, as fixed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, plus 2 per cent, at  the date the bill is issued.

If you do not pay our bill,  we may be entitled to keep possession of any work associated with the services  we have provided to you (known as a ‘solicitor’s lien’) until our bill is paid.

Payment of additional administrative expenses  (‘disbursements’)

We will charge you for any additional administrative expenses –  known as ‘disbursements’ - which we incur on your behalf. You must pay  disbursements, including GST, incurred by us on your behalf on demand

We will charge you for any additional administrative expenses –  known as ‘disbursements’ - which we incur on your behalf. You must pay  disbursements, including GST, incurred by us on your behalf on demand

We may also request that you  provide us with advance payment to cover  a disbursement incurred on your behalf. Any such money will be held by Cubed until  required.

Authorisation of funds into trust

In some  circumstances, you will be required to deposit funds into our trust account. If  we receive money into our trust account on your behalf, you authorise us to  draw on that money to pay any amount due from you to us, consistent with what  is stated at law (within the Uniform Law and the Legal Profession Uniform  General Rules 2015) relating to the withdrawal of money held for legal costs. A  statement will be forwarded to you upon completion (of the matter).

Bills

We may give bills to you in  any way specified in Rule 73 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules  2015. As mentioned in Rule 73, you allow  bills to be received:

  • by fax;

  • by email address or mobile  phone number; or

  • by any other means of  electronic transmission agreed to by you and us.

Your obligations

We expect you to:

  • provide full and honest instructions concerning our services and any significant  changes in your circumstances that might impact on our services;

  • co-operate and do all that we reasonably request of you in a timely  manner;

  • accept and follow our reasonable legal advice;

  • pay out invoice upon issue (if issued at the time of cost disclosure); and

  • provide  money in advance, consistent with this Agreement or some later arrangement.

If you do not comply with any of these conditions, we have the option to cancel this  Agreement by advising you of Cancellation in writing.

Copyright and intellectual property

You are free to use and copy  all documentation created by us for you, but it must be kept confidential by  you unless we agree otherwise. Despite such an arrangement, Cubed keeps all copyright and other intellectual property rights in all documentation created,  designed and developed by us resulting from our services for you and they will  remain our property. For all documents we create, or which are created by  others we engage on your behalf, we may use them for legal training, forms and  research purposes, without acknowledgement to you, or to form the basis of  advice to our clients, provided we do not break our arrangement of  confidentiality to you.

End of service

Circumstances may arise (such  as a conflict of interest) that make it impossible for us to continue to act  for you. We may also stop acting for you if you break your obligations as set  out above.

We will notify you immediately if this occurs.

If we stop acting for you:

  • we will take steps to remove  our name from the Court record in any Court proceedings; you will receive a  final account which will include all outstanding legal fees;

  • you must pay our legal fees  up until the date we cease to act; and

  • we may keep your file and documents until we are  paid, subject to any other requirements mentioned in the law.

If we stop acting for you  during the course of our arrangement, and before there is an outcome, then all  legal fees incurred up to the date of the cancellation will be charged.

You may end our arrangement by written notice at any time. If this occurs, then all legal fees incurred up to  the date of the cancellation of service will be charged. Depending on circumstances,  we may be entitled to keep possession of documents relating to services we have  conducted on your behalf (known as a ‘solicitor’s lien’).

Seeking independent legal advice

You are advised to seek independent legal advice prior to signing this  Agreement or otherwise agreeing to the  Disclosure Statement (above) or the Costs Disclosure part of this Agreement.