January 26, 2020
Doyle's Guide

Pricing Report – Melbourne Construction, 2015

Victoria’s construction lawyers sit as somewhat pricey but also as some of Australia’s most innovative when it comes to pricing models.

Hourly Rates

The most striking aspect of the Victorian construction market is the relative absence of lowly-priced quality construction lawyers.  Only 9.5% of Victoria’s construction lawyers sit under $500 per hour and none price themselves under $400 per hour.  This is in stark contrast to Sydney where 29% of the market’s construction lawyers sit under $500 per hour and 11% are under $400 per hour.

In the absence of a race to the bottom, Victoria’s construction lawyers find a uniformity in pricing that is also not experienced across Australia’s other construction legal markets.  Some 49% of the market’s lawyers price themselves between $600-$700 per hour and a further 24% price themselves in the lower band of the $700-$800 per hour range.  Effectively that’s almost three quarters of the market pricing themselves at impressive hourly rates and within approximately $150 per hour of each other.  In short, within the Victorian market hourly rate has largely become irrelevant.  It’s more about a combination of expertise and what you can offer outside of this parameter that matters.

Alternative Billing

96% of Victoria’s construction lawyers use models other than hourly rates.  Heaven forbid the remaining 4% as given the lack of a bargain basement option pricing wise it’s difficult to see how such a firm can survive in the medium to longer term.

Fixed and capped pricing were the most common form of models used however these were typically use din combination with a negotiated hourly rate such that, to a point, both parties shared pricing risk.

Unlike other states and practice areas, Victoria’s construction lawyers have eschewed the retainer model with only 6% of the market using this method.

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