The South Australian legal profession is always good value and the state’s property lawyers likely sit as the best value of the lot. An always competitive market and the absence of any real “boom” has seen SA’s property lawyers struggle to push up rates even when compared to other related practice areas such as construction and town planning.
With only a handful of respondents nominating a rack rate above $500 and some 88% noting an hourly rate lying between $400-$500 per hour there’s little doubt as to where the acceptable hourly rate for SA’s property lawyers falls.
In no other state or area is the hourly rate banding so heavily concentrated and there appears to be little scope for any significant upward movement in the near future with a number of lawyers from larger firms in other states noting that when operating in the SA market that they were forced to drop their rates to around the $500 mark to win work.
The use of pricing models other than the hourly rate was widespread with over 90% of firms stating that they used such models. As is typically the case with property the use of fixed pricing and capped fees were the most common models.
The use of performance based fees or stage/activity based fees was low when compared to other states with just over 10% of firms using such models (in other states these figures typically aproach 50%).