Criminal Defence Lawyer Services General Fees

courtroom jury bench judge seatsCriminal Defence Costs Disclosure and Costs Agreement

Below are our fixed fee criminal defence lawyer fees rates for Local Court hearings.

Please contact us for more information regarding our Legal Aid work.

Prospective clients are always welcome to call the office to discuss fee payment arrangements, should they be in financial difficulty.

Please contact the firm for matters relating to Civil law and Defamation, including suing police and corrective services.

Please contact the firm for matters being heard in the District and Supreme Courts or other venues such as Coroners’ Court or Commissions of Inquiry, or for cases outside NSW.

Almost all matters with a fixed fee will include all work done from start to finish.

Criminal Defence Lawyer Fees

Local Court Hearing (fixed fee) Principal Solicitor please contact us for Principal Solicitor fees
Local Court Sentence (fixed fee) Principal Solicitor please contact us for Principal Solicitor fees
Hourly Rate Principal Solicitor please contact us for Principal Solicitor fees
Local Court Hearing (fixed fee) Senior Solicitor please contact us for Senior Solicitor fees
Local Court Sentence (fixed fee) Senior Solicitor please contact us for Senior Solicitor fees
Hourly Rate Senior Solicitor please contact us for Senior Solicitor fees
Local Court Hearing (fixed fee) Associate Solicitor $3,500 plus GST = $3,850
Local Court Sentence (fixed fee) Associate Solicitor $2,500 plus GST = $2,200
Hourly Rate Associate Solicitor $500 plus GST = $550

The scope of this work is: 2 conferences, up to 3 mentions, the date set for hearing of the matter and all preparation

Additional fees may be incurred if

  • there are significantly more mentions of the matter,
  • the is issuing and filling of subpoenas,
  • the brief is very large or complex,
  • or the matter requires more than one hearing date
  • or detailed negotiations.

O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors Pty Ltd Law Practice Trust Account

BSB: 062-016

Account No: 1161 5312

Your Reference:

General Terms of Business

  • Billing Arrangements

Our usual policy is to issue a tax invoice on a monthly basis but we may issue tax invoices on a more frequent basis depending on the nature of the work. All tax invoices are due and payable 30 days from the date of the tax invoice. You consent to us sending our tax invoices to you electronically at your usual email address or mobile phone number as specified by you.   

  • Acceptance of Offer

You may accept the Costs Disclosure and Costs Agreement by: 

a) signing and returning this document to us or:

b) continuing to instruct us. 

Upon acceptance you agree to pay for our services on these terms.

  • Cancellation fees

If a matter does not proceed for any reason, and notice of less than four weeks of that fact is provided, a cancellation fee will be charged for the days set aside. In matters listed for hearing for five days or more, a cancellation fee of three days will be charged, pro rata, for every five days set for hearing (for example, if the matter is set for trial for 10 days, then the cancellation fee shall be six days fees). In a matter set for less than five days, a cancellation fee of fifty percent of the number of days fee as set for the hearing will be charged (for example, if a matter is set for hearing for two days the cancellation fee shall be one days fees).

  • Interest Charges

Interest at the maximum rate prescribed in Rule 75 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 (“Uniform General Rules”) (being the Cash Rate Target set by the Reserve Bank of Australia plus 2%) will be charged on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 30 days after a tax invoice is given to you. Our tax invoices will specify the interest rate to be charged.

  • Recovery of Costs

The Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) (“the Uniform Law”) provides that we cannot take action for recovery of legal costs until 30 days after a tax invoice (which complies with the Uniform Law) has been given to you.

  • Your Rights

It is your right to:

  1. negotiate a costs agreement with us;
  2. negotiate the method of billing (e.g. task based or time based);
  3. request and receive an itemised bill within 30 days after a lump sum bill or partially itemised bill is payable; 
  4. seek the assistance of the designated local regulatory authority (the NSW Commissioner) in the event of a dispute about legal costs;
  5. be notified as soon as is reasonably practicable of any significant change to any matter affecting costs; 
  6. accept or reject any offer we make for an interstate costs law to apply to your matter; and
  7. notify us that you require an interstate costs law to apply to your matter.

If you request an itemised bill and the total amount of the legal costs specified in it exceeds the amount previously specified in the lump sum bill for the same matter, the additional costs may be recovered by us only if:

(i) when the lump sum bill is given, we inform you in writing that the total amount of the legal costs specified in any itemised bill may be higher than the amount specified in the lump sum bill, and

(ii) the costs are determined to be payable after a costs assessment or after a binding determination under section 292 of the Uniform Law.

Nothing in these terms affects your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

  • Your Rights in relation to a Dispute concerning Costs

If you have a dispute in relation to any aspect of our legal costs you have the following avenues of redress:

  1. in the first instance we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us so that any issue can be identified and we can have the opportunity of resolving the matter promptly and without it adversely impacting on our business relationship;
  2. you may apply to the Manager, Costs Assessment located at the Supreme Court of NSW for an assessment of our costs. This application must be made within 12 months after the bill was provided or request for payment made or after the costs were paid.
  • Payment Methods

It is our policy that, when acting for new clients, we do one or more of the following:

  1. approve credit;
  2. ask the client to pay monies into our trust account; 
  3. ask the client for their credit card details. 

Unless otherwise agreed with you, we may determine not to incur fees or expenses in excess of the amount that we hold in trust on your behalf or for which credit is approved. 

  • Authorisation to Transfer Money from Trust Account

You authorise us to receive directly into our trust account any judgment or settlement amount, or money received from any source in furtherance of your work, and to pay our professional fees, internal expenses and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of Rule 42 of the Uniform General Rules. A trust statement will be forwarded to you upon completion of the matter.

  • Retention of Your Documents

On completion of your work, or following termination (by either party) of our services, we will retain your documents for 7 years. Your agreement to these terms constitutes your authority for us to destroy the file after those 7 years. The authority does not relate to any documents which are deposited in safe custody which will, subject to agreement, be retained on your behalf indefinitely. We are entitled to retain your documents while there is money owing to us for our costs. 

You will be liable for the cost of storing and retrieving documents in storage and our professional fees in connection with this. 

  • Termination by Us

We may cease to act for you or refuse to perform further work, including:

  1. while any of our tax invoices remain unpaid;
  2. if you do not within 7 days comply with any request to pay an amount in respect of disbursements or future costs;
  3. if you fail to provide us with clear and timely instructions to enable us to advance your matter, for example, compromising our ability to comply with Court directions, orders or practice notes;
  4. if you refuse to accept our advice;
  5. if you indicate to us or we form the view that you have lost confidence in us;
  6. if there are any ethical grounds which we consider require us to cease acting for you, for example a conflict of interest;
  7. for any other reason outside our control which has the effect of compromising our ability to perform the work required within the required timeframe; or
  8. if in our sole discretion we consider it is no longer appropriate to act for you; or
  9. for just cause. 

We will give you reasonable written notice of termination of our services. You will be required to pay our costs incurred up to the date of termination.

  • Termination by You

You may terminate our services by written notice at any time. However, if you do so you will be required to pay our costs incurred up to the date of termination (including if the matter is litigious, any cancellation fees or other fees such as hearing allocation fees for which we remain responsible).

  • Lien

Without affecting any lien to which we are otherwise entitled at law over funds, papers and other property of yours:

(a) we shall be entitled to retain by way of lien any funds, property or papers of yours, which are from time to time in our possession or control, until all costs, disbursements, interest and other moneys due to the firm have been paid; and

(b) our lien will continue notwithstanding that we cease to act for you.

  • Privacy

We will collect personal information from you in the course of providing our legal services.  We may also obtain personal information from third party searches, other investigations and, sometimes, from adverse parties. 

We are required to collect the full name and address of our clients by Rule 93 of the Uniform General Rules. Accurate name and address information must also be collected in order to comply with the trust account record keeping requirements of Rule 47 of the Uniform General Rules and to comply with our duty to the courts.

Your personal information will only be used for the purposes for which it is collected or in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). For example, we may use your personal information to provide advice and recommendations that take into account your personal circumstances.

If you do not provide us with the full name and address information required by law we cannot act for you. If you do not provide us with the other personal information that we request our advice may be wrong for you or misleading.

Depending on the nature of your matter the types of bodies to whom we may disclose your personal information include the courts, the other party or parties to litigation, experts and barristers, the Office of State Revenue, PEXA Limited, the Land and Property Information Division of the Department of Lands, the Registrar General and third parties involved in the completion or processing of a transaction.  

We do not disclose your information overseas unless your instructions involve dealing with parties located overseas. If your matter involves parties overseas we may disclose select personal information to overseas recipients associated with that matter in order to carry out your instructions. 

We manage and protect your personal information in accordance with our privacy policy [which can be found on our firm website or a copy of which we shall provide at your request]. Our privacy policy contains information about how you can access and correct the personal information we hold about you and how you can raise any concerns about our personal information handling practices. For more information, please contact us in writing.

  • Sending Material Electronically

We are able to send and receive documents electronically. However, as such transmission is not secure it may be copied, recorded, read or interfered with by third parties while in transit. If you ask us to transmit any document electronically, you release us from any claim you may have as a result of any unauthorised copying, recording, reading or interference with that document, for any delay or non-delivery of any document and for any damage caused to your system or any files. 

  • GST

Where applicable, GST is payable on our professional fees and expenses and will be clearly shown on our tax invoices. By accepting these terms you agree to pay us an amount equivalent to the GST imposed on these charges.

  • Governing Law

The law of New South Wales governs these terms and legal costs in relation to any matter upon which we are instructed to act.

In most Local Court cases we can offer capped fees. To find out more about our fees, please fill out this form below so that we can get in contact with you regarding your case.


  1. Fill out the form below. You will be automatically emailed a leaflet with the general fees for our criminal defence services.
  2. We will contact you within 24 hours to book a free initial consultation which can be done via phone or at our office. This provides you with an opportunity to tell us about your case and for an experienced lawyer to advise you on your legal options.
  3. Following the initial consultation, you will be sent a cost agreement which will set out your fees if you choose to proceed with our criminal defence services.

Important Information

The firm is competitive and can be flexible with our fees. You can raise any concerns that you may have regarding our fees during your initial consultation. In some instances

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    O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
    p: 02 9261 4281
    a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
    Sydney NSW 2000

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