What to Expect
Get familiar with what to expect when you get in touch with us
Step 1. Can we help you? Just ask!
Any number of circumstances or events may have led you to consider seeking legal advice. Regardless of your circumstances you’ll still follow the same basic steps. The first is simply to determine whether you need a solicitor.
You can do this by giving us a call or reviewing and searching our website – and then getting in touch with us via whatever contact channel suits you. Generally though, we find the best way you will determine this, is if you call us and talk to one of our legal services teams to decide your next steps.
We are sensitive to your needs and if you require it, you can make your initial enquiry to us anonymously. However, once you decide to proceed, it will become necessary for you to disclose and verify your identity.
Step 2. What do you need?
When you call us, our Reception will talk to you to determine which legal services team you need. Generally they will ask quite a few questions in order to understand what your needs are and how we can help. Based on your discussion they will either:
- Suggest an initial consultation meeting (and tell you the Fixed Cost for the meeting), or
- Suggest other alternatives if you don’t require professional legal advice, or
- Suggest another solicitor or law firm if we are not able to assist.
There is no cost to you for making initial contact with us (this includes our ‘Ask Us a Question’ form).
Step 3. Nice to meet you
Prior to your initial consultation meeting, you will receive general information and FAQs relevant to your matter along with a checklist of information and documents that you will need to bring along. We also ask you to complete a New Client Form in order to provide some general information about you and your matter.
If you come along to our office for the meeting, come a bit early. Reception will set you up with some refreshments and take your payment prior to the meeting.
Your solicitor may meet you alone, but will generally bring another member of the team along to meet you and to assist taking notes. This helps us maximise the quality and effectiveness of your initial meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting, your solicitor will give you an indication of your options and will also confirm when you will receive formal written advice in regards to your matter. The advice you receive will form the basis of whether you proceed, or not, with your matter and with Burke & Mead Lawyers.
There are no additional costs and no obligations associated with your initial meeting.
NOTE: Solicitors are bound by strict guidelines regarding Conflicts of Interest. After the initial meeting, our team will ensure that there are no legal conflicts of interest and will advise you if there are. In this event we can usually resolve the conflict – and if not, we can assist you in finding suitable alternative representation.
Step 4. Engage
If you decide to continue your matter with us, we will enter into an Engagement Agreement. The Agreement is designed to set clear expectations – you of us as well as us of you. It will set out what is in scope, what is out of scope, what fees will be incurred for our work and what other costs you will / may incur as disbursements (for example Doctor’s appointments, expert reports, etc.). It is also very important that you provide us with all the information we request and require, in a timely manner and make all disclosures honestly.
The Engagement Agreement also includes the Agreed Cost and the amount of money that must be deposited into our Trust account before work will commence. Prior to commencement we will also request copies of your driver’s license, passport or Medicare card (or other suitable means of verifying your identity). Solicitors have a regulatory obligation to verify the identity of each client – or face strict penalties.
Once your matter is underway, just follow the advice or instructions of your team, ask questions as need be – and if you have any concerns or questions you would like to escalate, then simply call or email the Management Team or Managing Director.
As your matter proceeds and the milestones set out in the Agreement are met, we will issue invoices to advise you of required transfers from the Trust account. You can question or clarify any of these transfers if you encounter any surprises or if the expectations set in the Agreement are not being met. We will not undertake any activities that have not been agreed and in the unlikely event that unexpected circumstances arise, we will provide as much notice as possible – and we ask that you do the same.
There are no costs associated with amending or finalising the Engagement Agreement, or clarifying any part of the Agreement prior to it becoming finalised.
“On behalf of our family, I would like to thank all at Burke & Meade for their professionalism and empathy that was on display at all times during the course of the last 2.5 years.”
– A.B. Hamilton