Take the anxiety out of instructing a lawyer

Michael SmythChoosing, and then engaging, a lawyer can be an intimidating and difficult process, particularly if you have never used a lawyer before. 

Getting a good outcome to your problem is essential, but so is achieving that outcome in a way which causes you or your business the least stress and disruption. I aim to achieve that with all my clients in a number of ways.

Creating the least amount of stress and disruption for you

Your problem will be important to you, so therefore it will be important to me too. I have heard people complain that some lawyers lack empathy with their clients. They may be good at the law, but when it comes to understanding their client's real needs, they fall short. Calls go unanswered, procedures and processes are left unexplained, and costs get racked up.

My aim is to avoid all that by listening to what you really want and advising you in a way that aims to meet your expectations. That includes being completely upfront about how I charge.


Cost: the biggest stress

The biggest fear for anyone when instructing a lawyer is how much it is going to cost. I have a number of different rates which are applicable depending upon your individual circumstances.

If you are a business, then my standard rate is $300 +GST per hour. That sounds expensive, especially if you are a small or medium sized business. However, there is a way to get your fees lower and that is by joining the Legal Hotline. If you are a member of the Legal Hotline you can make huge savings on your legal fees. The way it works is that you pay a set fee per month and get an allocated amount of legal advice per year. You also get access to the Approachable Lawyer Secret Library and if you exceed your allocated amount of legal advice per year then you get significantly reduced consultancy rates. To see how the Hotline works click here

If you are an employee then I charge depending on your salary or wage. I do not work on a contingency or "no win/no fee" basis so in the unlikely event that you lose then a fee is still payable. To download my Employee Fee Schedule click here


Avoiding the 6 minute unit: fixed fee telephone consults

Not all matters need to be handled on an hourly rate. Sometimes you may just want to ask a question over the phone or get some general guidance on an issue. Where that is the case, I offer telephone consultations of up to 30 minutes and sometimes I can do this over email instead. If you are a member of the Legal Hotline, these consultations will likely form part of your allocated legal advice per year. If you are not a member of the Legal Hotline, then I charge $100 +GST for employees and $125 +GST for businesses. It can be a small price to pay for peace of mind and works out a lot less than engaging me on the hourly rate.


My areas of specialty

I do the majority of my work practicing in the area of employment law. I act for employers and employees alike and have written a book on the subject.

I also specialise in general business law for small and medium sized businesses. As a business owner myself, I can provide helpful guidance in putting in place the right structures and documentation to ensure that your business is watertight. I do not do work of a transactional nature, for example conveyancing or business sales but I can refer you to specialists in this area.

I also do work for clients in the sporting sector. I act for national sporting organisations, regional associations, clubs and athletes in a variety of sporting related matters.


How to instruct me

Simply use the contact form on this website for any enquiries.


And finally, the small print:

Every case I take on is governed by my terms of business. Please read them carefully so you know how I work.

Otherwise, I look forward to working with you.


Michael Smyth