To help practitioners manage their clients’ expectations as well as explain both the client’s and lawyer’s roles and obligations in the relationship LPLC has developed a sample information brochure on cost estimates to illustrate how estimates could be explained. It describes what costs estimates are, how they are calculated, what affects the estimates and how they will be kept informed about them.
Many clients have never retained a lawyer before and do not know how to work effectively with them or understand what a cost estimate is. This lack of understanding sometimes contributes to claims against law firms that could have been avoided or minimised if there had been better communication between the firm and the client about working together and how cost estimates are set and why they change.
LPLC has also developed an additional brochure: Working together roles and obligations. It outlines what the law firm will do when acting for a client including when they will stop acting for a client. It also explains the law firm’s expectations of the client including at the first appointment, follow up appointments and during the course of the matter.
The information is available in a Microsoft Word version so firms can tailor the wording to suit their needs and insert their own branding. Firms are also welcome to use the sample brochure if they so wish.
The brochures can be included in introductory information sent to the client, given to them in the initial contact, loaded on to the firm’s website and available in reception.
LPLC encourages firms to invest time into thinking creatively about ways to better communicate with their clients with a view to better managing the relationship and retainer with their clients.