New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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LEGAL PROFESSION UNIFORM LAW (NSW) - SECT 181
Conditional costs agreements
(1) A costs agreement (a
"conditional costs agreement" ) may provide that the payment of some or all of
the legal costs is conditional on the successful outcome of the matter to
which those costs relate.
(2) A conditional costs agreement must--
(a) be in
writing and in plain language; and
(b) set out the circumstances that
constitute the successful outcome of the matter to which it relates.
conditional costs agreement must--
(a) be signed by the client; and
include a statement that the client has been informed of the client's rights
to seek independent legal advice before entering into the agreement.
conditional costs agreement must contain a cooling-off period of not less than
5 clear business days during which the client, by written notice, may
terminate the agreement, but this requirement does not apply where the
agreement is made between law practices only.
(5) If a client terminates a
conditional costs agreement within the cooling-off period, the law practice--
(a) may recover only those legal costs in respect of legal services performed
for the client before that termination that were performed on the instructions
of the client and with the client's knowledge that the legal services would be
performed during that period; and
(b) in particular, may not recover any
(6) A conditional costs agreement may provide for disbursements
to be paid irrespective of the outcome of the matter.
conditional costs agreement may relate to any matter, except a matter that
(a) criminal proceedings; or
(b) proceedings under the
Family Law Act 1975 of the Commonwealth; or
(c) proceedings under
legislation specified in the Uniform Rules for the purposes of this section.
(8) A contravention of provisions of this Law or the Uniform Rules relating to
conditional costs agreements by a law practice is capable of constituting
unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct on the part of
any principal of the law practice or any legal practitioner associate or
foreign lawyer associate involved in the contravention.
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