The traditional law firm “model” is being turned on its head by many firms and in Australia one of the head turners is Andrea Michaels, whose law firm NDA Law of Adelaide rejects the 6 minute-charge notion.
Coming from a small family business background Ms Michaels couldn’t see the logic in charging more based solely on time spent.
“People are scared to pick up the phone and call a lawyer because they don’t want a $200 bill for what really isn’t any value for them. So we will have a chat to clients beforehand, scope out the costs, and tell them what the job will cost.
“I have a family business background so I know that it’s important to know what a particular service is going cost,” she was reported as saying earlier in the year.
The firm used contract pricing, retainers and fixed pricing so there is certainty on both sides of the table as to what a job is worth. LawFuel has previously reported upon law firm structures and billing practices changing with pressure coming from clients and law firms alike.
Now the Adelaide-based NDA Law is successfully challenging the way legal services are charged and Andrea Michaels has been named as the only South Australian finalist in the “Women in Law” awards.
The former partner at legal firm Finlaysons started her firm in January and is now recognised for establishing a law firm that challenged the status quo and was competing against directors from some of Australia’s largest law firms in her national award category.
Apart from being one of the few law firms in Adelaide owned by a woman, NDA Law operated with flexible working hours for its staff that has now grown with three more lawyers on board.
Its partners decided against traditional time-based six-minute billing for its clients and instead offered fixed quotes and contracts for their work.