Perth’s planning and environment lawyers sit as the most expensive in the country. Despite strong competitive forces an absence of depth and price rises fueled by a resources boom and, dare we say it the arrival of international firms, Perth’s P&E lawyers escalated their rates to stratospheric levels. Even though the market has cooled somewhat there’s not been a cooling in hourly rates but instead a focus on fixed pricing.
Some 87% of Perth’s planning and environment lawyers use alternative pricing which is roughly in line with national figures. Also in line with national trends fixed pricing is the most common however Perth differs from the rest of teh country in that retainer style agreements have not yet made their way into the city’s P&E legal market.
As highlighted above though what is most significant about Perth’s P&E lawyers is their comparative expense.
As a guide:
- 65% of the market priced themselves in excess of above $500 per hour;
- 50% sat above above $600 per hour; and
- 21% above $700 per hour
Compared to Australia’s next most expensive state for planning and environment lawyers, NSW:
- 16% sit above $700 per hour;
- Only 13% under $400 per hour; and
- 48% of lawyers are under $500 per ho
Simply put pricing at these levels in a smaller market such as Perth appears unsustainable. This is even more so when one considers the quality of practitioner on offer at the lower-overhead specialist firms that operate in the WA P&E space and the likelihood of keenly priced Eastern states firms such as HWL Ebsworth and Mills Oakley actively participating in this market in the short to medium term.