Steady market conditions, a small number of active firms given the size of market and/or minimal movement of individuals between firms sees only a comparatively moderate degree of pricing pressure applied to Victoria’s insolvency lawyers.
Compared to insolvency lawyers in other states and also to Victorian lawyers practising in other areas, Victoria’s insolvency lawyers were comparatively expensive. 41% of respondents listed that their rack rate sat over $700 per hour with 12 of lawyers having a rack rate over $800 per hour. As examples:
- Our most recent Victorian pricing survey covered intellectual property and only some 11% of lawyers in this area listed a rack rate over $700 per hour; and
- 20% of Western Australian insolvency lawyers listed a rack rate over $700 per hour; and
- 12% of Queensland’s insolvency lawyers listed a rack rate of over $700 per hour.
Of course there is likely to be a not insubstantial difference between rack rates and actual rates (particularly for bank driven work).
The typical hourly rate “sweet spot” of $500-$700 for Australia’s (45%) accounted for the highest percentage of respondents and lower priced options few and far between with only 14% of firms under $500 per hour
The use of alternative pricing was in line with that of of other contentious areas and other states. Some 74% of responses indicating the use of billijng other than an hourly rate basis with the usual options of sual fixed price billing (85%) and stage based costing (76%) recording the highest use.
The speculative fee style work still clearly has a rtole to play in the Victorian insolvency market with over a quarter of firms using performance based fees and a third of firms using a combination of hourly rate and fixed fee/performance.