Below is an excerpt from the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) which outlines the '50/50 Rule' that applies to professional fees charged by personal injury lawyers in Queensland.
347 Maximum payment for conduct of speculative personal
(1) The maximum amount of legal costs (inclusive of GST) that a
law practice may charge and recover from a client for work
done in relation to a speculative personal injury claim must be
worked out under the costs agreement with the client for the
claim or this Act but in no case can those legal costs be more
than the amount worked out using the formula—
E means the amount to which the client is entitled under a
judgment or settlement, including an amount the client is
entitled to receive for costs under the judgment or settlement.
E – (R + D) X 0.5
R means the total amount the client must, under an Act, a law
of the Commonwealth or another jurisdiction, or otherwise,
refund on receipt of the amount to which the client is entitled
under the judgment or settlement.
D means the total amount of disbursements or expenses for
which the client is liable if that liability is incurred by or on
behalf of the client either by the law practice or on the advice
or recommendation of the law practice, in obtaining goods or
services (other than legal services from that law practice) for
the purpose of investigating or progressing the client’s claim,
regardless of how or by whom those disbursements or
expenses are paid, but does not include interest on the
disbursements or expenses.
Examples for D -
1 The disbursements or expenses may be paid by the client direct or
through a law practice or by a person funding the client for those
disbursements or expenses.
2 If a client obtains a loan to fund the payment of disbursements and
expenses on the firm’s recommendation and pays for medical and
expert reports direct to the provider, the expenses fall within D (but
the interest payable by the client on those expenses do not).
(a) the amount of legal costs that a law practice may charge
and recover from a client is more than the amount
calculated under subsection (1); and
(b) the law practice wishes to charge and recover the
amount (the greater amount) from the client;
the law practice may apply under subsection (3) for approval
to charge and recover the greater amount.
(3) The application must be made in writing to—
(a) if the law practice is a barrister—the bar association; or
(b) otherwise—the law society.
(4) A relevant regulatory authority may, in writing, approve an
application made to it for an amount up to the greater amount.
(5) This section applies to a barrister only if the barrister has not
been retained by another law practice.
(6) This section applies despite section 319 and division 5.
(7) Also, this section applies to any request for payment made on
or after the day this section commences, whether or not a
client agreement was entered into before that date.
Legal Profession Act 2007 If you wish to discuss a personal injury matter arising in Queensland, you should call us The Personal Injury Lawyers who may be able to assist with any claims or queries.