Be advised for certain matters “Legal Aid” may be available.
As lawyers and registered migration agents AR LAW Services is bound by ethical and legal requirements in relation to our professional conduct. A copy of these requirement are available for you on AR LAW Services website. See the Information on the Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession (IRMAP) which can be found on our “Legal Resources” page. This information contained in IRMAP is deemed to be included as part of this agreement and disclosure statement.
Code of Conduct
AR LAW Services is fully committed to ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct as issued by the Migration Agents Registration Authority. This Code of Conduct is intended to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents by introducing a proper standard for the conduct of business as a registered migration agent and establishes the minimum attributes and abilities that a person must demonstrate to perform as a registered migration agent. A copy of the code is available on our “Legal Resources” page.
How we will charge you Section 3.4.9 (1)(a)
AR LAW Services legal costs are determined by an hourly charge rate plus GST and relevant disbursements. Our cost are set out in the relevant fee cost agreement.
A disbursement is money to a third party not to the Law Firm, for example the visa charge that goes to the Department of Immigration, or money to a Court or tribunal.
AR LAW Services aims to be extremely competitive with our prices so do not hesitate to contact us.
AR LAW Services’ fees are carefully calculated. Given all visa matters vary, each case is carefully appraised by our team to ensure that a lump sum amount is calculated which takes into account, the complexity of the case and the applicant’s details and background. By treating each case as unique, the individual client can be confident that they will receive the individual care and service required.
It is our practice to have all payments towards costs deposited into our statutory trust account which is subject to annual audits. The full lump sum amount should be deposited into our trust account by the time all work on your matter is completed.
AR LAW Services “fees” do not include disbursements. Disbursements are costs such as government or assessing bodies charges. GST may not payable if payment is made by you and you are resident overseas.
DIAC lodging fees can vary without notice. See form 990i at http://www.immi.gov.au/Help/Pages/fees-charges/visa.aspx for current DIMIA fees.
Other costs are charges such as DIAC lodging fees, skills assessment fees, health examinations, police clearance fees and translation costs are the responsibility of the client.
Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) may be applicable for any applications made on shore.
You will be responsible for payment of expenses which we incur on your behalf. This may include court fees, counsel’s fees, the cost of a psychologist’s report, visa application fees, etc. We shall advise you of the likely costs of expenses of this nature and seek your prior approval.
Your rights Section 3.4.9 (1)(b)
You have the right to negotiate a costs agreement with us.
You may request an itemised bill within 30 days after receipt of a lump sum bill. We will tell you of any substantial changes affecting your matter
Independent Legal Advice
You may wish to seek independent legal advice before agreeing to the legal costs we propose to charge in this matter.
Our accounts Section 3.4.9 (1)(e)
We will ask you to pay an amount in advance to cover expenses or on account of our fees. We will send you an account at suitable breaks in the matter. Our account is payable when you receive it. The account will be a tax invoice and briefly describe the work we
have done. If you require an itemised account, you must request this within 30 days after you receive the account. An itemised account describes in more detail how our fee is made up. This is not available for fixed/lump sum agreements.
Interest on unpaid accounts Section 3.4.9 (1)(f)
If an account remains unpaid 30 days after you receive it, we may charge you interest at the rate fixed under division 2 of the Penalty Interest Rate Act 1983. If you do not pay our account this entitles us to exercise a common law right known as a solicitor’s lien. The
lien allows us to retain your documents until our account is paid.
If we receive money on your behalf we will deposit the money into our trust account. Should we receive money into our trust account on your behalf you may authorise us to withdraw from that money any sums owing for our legal costs and disbursements. We will give you written notice prior to withdrawing money from our trust account. You have the right to revoke your authority by giving seven (7) days notice in writing, but the law practice may still withdraw money held on your behalf for legal costs accrued up to the expiry of the notice period for costs accrued when ever billed. If we receive money to be paid to a third party we will forward that money to the third party unless you instruct us to do otherwise.
Progress reports Sections 3.4.9(1)(h)and 3.4.18
You may request a written progress report at any time. We will give you a progress report at suitable breaks in the matter. Please let us know if you require a report at another time.
If you have a concern about our legal costs Section 3.4.9(1)(i), (j) &(k)
If you have any concern about our legal costs or our legal services, please do not hesitate to speak to Anthony Robinson, the Principal Lawyer.
If we cannot satisfactorily resolve your concern with you, you may:
• Seek a costs review by the Taxing Master under Division 7 of Part 3.4 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 (“the Act”) within 60 days after the bill is given to you or the law practice requests payment of costs or you pay the costs.
• Apply to VCAT to set aside this agreement under section 3.4.32 of the Act.
• Make a complaint to the Legal Services Commissioner under chapter 4 of the Act within 60 days after the legal costs were payable or, if an itemised bill was requested in respect of those costs, within 30 days after the request was complied with. Each invoice provided to you will contain these details.
Jurisdiction Section 3.4.9(1)(l) and (m)
The law of Victoria shall apply to legal costs in this matter. You have the right to sign a costs agreement under a corresponding law or to advise us that you require the law of another jurisdiction shall apply.
Engagement of another lawyer Section 3.4.10
We may need to engage on your behalf a barrister or other lawyer to provide specialist advice or services. We will consult you about the terms of this engagement and provide you with a statement setting out the details of this person’s fee before incurring the expense.