The SA Law Reform Commission has announced the commencement of its investigation into legal fees and tariffs – required in terms of sub-sections 35(4) and (5) of the 2014 Legal Practice Act.

With that in mind, comment is sought on an issue paper unpacking fees and costs, associated socio-economic factors, the legal system, the litigation process, court processes and procedures and the legal profession.

In-depth questions are posed as each issue is explored.

Given that it may be deemed ‘necessary and desirable’ to establish a mechanism for determining fees and tariffs, the paper takes due cognisance of the commission’s obligation ‘to consider the desirability of giving (the) users of legal services the option to pay less or in excess of any amount that may be set’.

This is noting an associated obligation on the part of a legal practitioner in such circumstances to conclude a mandatory fee arrangement with a client when services are secured.

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