Division 3 Costs agreements
184 Agreements about costs
(1) An agreement as to the costs of the provision of legal services
may be made with a client by:
(a) the barrister or solicitor who is retained by the client to
provide the services, or
(b) the barrister or solicitor retained on behalf of the client by
another barrister or solicitor.
(2) An agreement as to the costs of the provision of legal services
may also be made between the barrister or solicitor providing the services and
another barrister or solicitor who retained that barrister or solicitor on
behalf of the client.
(3) An agreement under this section is called a costs
(4) A costs agreement is void if it is not in writing or evidenced in
(5) A costs agreement may form part of a contract for the provision of
(6) A costs agreement may consist of a written offer that is accepted
in writing or by other conduct. A disclosure in accordance with Division 2
under section 175 or 176 may constitute an offer for the purposes of this
185 Regulations, rules and guidelines as to costs
The regulations and, subject to the regulations, the barristers
rules, solicitors rules or joint rules may make provision for or with respect
to the information to be included in costs agreements.
186 Conditional costs agreements
(1) A barrister or solicitor may make a costs agreement under which
the payment of all of the barrister’s or solicitor’s costs is
contingent on the successful outcome of the matter in which the barrister or
solicitor provides the legal services.
(2) Any such costs agreement is called a conditional costs
(3) A conditional costs agreement may relate to proceedings in a court
or tribunal, except criminal proceedings.
(4) A conditional costs agreement must set out the circumstances
constituting the successful outcome of the matter.
(5) A conditional costs agreement may exclude disbursements from the
costs that are payable only on the successful outcome of the
187 Payment of premium under conditional costs
(1) A conditional costs agreement may provide for the payment of a
premium on those costs otherwise payable under the agreement only on the
successful outcome of the matter.
(2) The premium is to be a specified percentage of those costs or a
specified additional amount. The premium is to be separately identified in the
(3) The premium is not to exceed 25% of those
(4) However, the regulations may vary that maximum percentage of
costs. Different percentages may be prescribed for different
188 Costs not to be calculated on amount recovered in
A costs agreement may not provide that costs are to be determined
as a proportion of, or are to vary according to, the amount recovered in any
proceedings to which the agreement relates.
189 Rights may not be waived
(1) Any provision of a costs agreement or other agreement that is
inconsistent with this Division is void to the extent of the
(2) In particular, any provision of a costs agreement or other
agreement that purports to waive rights to an assessment of costs under this
Part, or the right to receive a bill of costs in the form required for
assessment under this Part, is void.