September 13, 2019
Doyle's Guide

Pricing Report – Employment & WHS, Adelaide 2016

Hiring an employment lawyer in Adelaide will cost you half of what it does in Melbourne or Sydney!  Price sensitivity is always an issue in the Adelaide legal market but, perhaps most so in the area of employment.  The necessary focus on the mid-market and a number of high-quality lower overhead specialist operations creates a pricing dynamic that keeps rates lower than they probably should be.

Hourly Rates

Setting an hourly rate in excess of $500 per hour appears to be a challenge to any Adelaide-based lawyer regardless of practice area and employment fits this mold with only 8% of the market sitting above this level.

There $400-$500 band is heavily populated and most firms appear to find comfort in the middle of this band.

Adelaide Employment & WHS Lawyers Pricing (Hourly Rates)

Hourly RateMarket Share
$350 - $40017%
$400-$45039%
$450-$50036%
$500-$5506%
$550-$6002%

Alternative Pricing

Adelaide rarely leads the way on alternative fee arrangements and it’s no different in employment law with only 78% of individuals moving beyond the hourly rate model in the past year.  There’s almost certainly a link between the abovementioned sharp pricing levels and this lack of innovation.

Among those who did adopt alternative pricing models the was also a tendency to constrain the use of such to just one or two forms of alternative pricing.  In other jurisdictions when alternative pricing came on the table all options are typically considered.  As such the state reported a lower use of all types of alternative pricing but, most notably only 7% of firms used performance based models and 28% of firms used retainer models  (these figures are 10% lower than the national averages).

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