How we get paid (Rates & Fees)
Pedersen Law recognizes that one of the greatest concerns in hiring a lawyer is the unknown question of how much it will cost. To alleviate some of that concern, we provide the following information regarding our rates and fees. While fees and costs will vary depending on the nature of your specific case, the following should provide you with a basis for understanding how we charge clients depending on the type of matter involved.
Hourly Fees: In many situations, we charge for our services on an hourly basis, meaning you pay for our services at our agreed hourly rates. Under this method, you are charged only for those services that we actually perform for you. Unlike some firms that invoice their time in quarter-hour billing units, Pedersen Law invoices at one-tenth of an hour increments. The goal is to charge for our actual time incurred on your behalf. We charge for all time that we incur on your behalf. This includes client meetings, telephone calls and preparing and reviewing documents.
Our hourly rates and the services we provide are competitive with those offered by larger firms. By operating under a business plan that avoids the accumulation of overhead and operating expenses that larger firms must pass onto their clients, PL is able to provide top quality legal services at competitive cost-effective rates for a wide array of clients.
Your charges are detailed in a monthly statement for you so that you fully understand the work and services we have performed. Those invoices also contain charges for out-of-pocket expenses incurred on your behalf for such items as filings fees, postage, publication, photocopying and the like. When we are proceeding on an hourly basis, we expect payment within 15 days of the invoice.
Contingency Fees: Our firm handles many litigation matters on a “contingency fee” basis, meaning the fees for legal services performed are paid out of the amount recovered in a successful lawsuit. This arrangement is only used in cases where we represent a party seeking to recover a sum of money from another. This is because without the recovery of a sum of money, there is no source from which our contingency fee may be paid.
The contingency fee is usually expressed as a percentage of the client's recovery. For instance, a 40% contingency fee would mean that the attorney is entitled to 40% of the gross recovery for the client from the defendant.
Unlike many of our competitors, we advance all costs of preparing the case. This includes costs for depositions, experts, and other necessary expenses incurred in bringing the case to a successful conclusion.
The most important part of a contingency fee agreement is that you pay nothing unless we recover money or other value on your behalf. If there is no recovery, you pay nothing. If there is a recovery, our fee comes from the gross recovery, and the costs we advanced are paid by you out of your share of the gross recovery at that time.
By hiring an attorney on a contingency fee basis, many individuals are able to seek recovery when they would otherwise be unable to do so.
Flat Fee Basis: Where services are to be performed on a flat fee basis, we are agreeing to complete a project for an agreed amount as defined in our engagement letter. Unless the scope of our work is expanded at your request, or as a result of unforeseen circumstances, you pay only the agreed-upon fee. Flat fee engagements are usually used when we will be performing specific transactional tasks. A few examples of matters for which we may consider a flat fee engagement are:
- Formation of a business entity
- Formation of a nonprofit business entity
- Change to or conversion of existing business entity
- Preparation and maintenance of annual corporate documents
- Preparation of company policy or procedure documents or handbooks
We are willing to discuss a flat fee for matters other than those listed above. Usually, a flat fee will be considered if it is possible for the firm to accurately determine the scope of work required. Please feel free to ask our attorneys about whether your matter could be handled on a flat fee basis.
Other Creative Arrangements: We are always happy to work with you to consider other creative billing arrangements, depending on the circumstances of the proposed work. Hybrid (lower hourly plus a contingent element) fee arrangements can also be considered.