Before the implementation of the Legal Practice Act, these fees, which include the drafting and reviewing of agreements and providing of ad hoc legal advice, were charged by the hour at a rate determined by the attorney providing the services.
Section 35 of the Act confirms that these fees must now be regulated in accordance with the prescribed tariffs set by the Legal Practice Rules Board. This will have far-reaching effects, including making the law more accessible to the public.
The Rules Board, in the process of finalising the prescribed tariffs for non-litigious fees, took into account factors like the level of experience of the legal practitioner, area of expertise, types of clients etc. The proposed tariffs are currently based on the legal practitioner’s years of experience, with certain factors being weighted.
1–2 years of experience: R1 430 per hour
3–5 years of experience: R1 820 per hour
5–10 years of experience: R2 340 per hour
10–15 years of experience: R2 990 per hour
15–20 years of experience: R3 770 per hour
20+ years of experience: R4 810 per hour
Over and above the hourly fee, a practitioner can charge an additional percentage, based on factors like the amount of time spent on the file, the complexity and experience required for the mandate, and the financial implications of the matter.
We will keep you advised of the Legal Practice Rules Board’s progress in finalising the proposed tariffs.
The introduction of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 has led to several changes in the juridical space, including one related to non-litigious fees – fees charged by attorneys for services that do not constitute litigation and are not finalised in court.
Written by Wessel de Kock