Practitioners are reminded that amendments were made to the 50/50 rule in 2022, pursuant to the Personal Injuries Proceedings and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022 (see the QLS Proctor report).
Queensland Law Society is also reminding practitioners that the 50/50 rule (section 347 of the Legal Profession Act 2007) continues to prescribe the maximum amount that a law practice may charge and recover for conduct of a speculative personal injury claim. The rule imposes an upper limit on claim-related costs. It is not to be used as the basis for calculating a client’s legal costs.
Speculative personal injury claims are subject to all of the general rules about costs contained in Part 3.4 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act). Setting 50% of the amount recovered in the claim as the basis for calculating costs breaches the prohibition on contingency fees (section 325), rendering the costs agreement void (section 327). Costs agreements that are not fair or reasonable are also liable to be set aside under section 328 of the Act.
If you would like to discuss your costs disclosure and billing practices in a confidential consultation, please contact the QLS Practice Advisory Service.