An unsigned costs agreement can cause headaches and confusion for both clients and lawyers. In many cases, clients are not aware of the potential consequences of failing to sign a costs agreement with their lawyer. In this article, we will take a closer look at what an unsigned costs agreement means and how it can impact your legal matters.
What is a Costs Agreement?
A costs agreement is a contract between a lawyer and their client, which outlines the legal services that the lawyer will provide, as well as the costs of those services. This agreement can be entered into prior to or after the commencement of legal proceedings.
The purpose of a costs agreement is to provide transparency and clarity to both parties regarding the legal services being provided and the costs associated with those services. This agreement protects the client by ensuring that they are aware of the costs upfront and can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with engaging the lawyer or not.
What Happens if You Don’t Sign a Costs Agreement?
If you do not sign a costs agreement, it can lead to a number of issues. Firstly, the lawyer may not be able to act for you if they expect to be paid for their services. Secondly, without a signed costs agreement, it can be challenging to resolve any disputes that may arise over the costs of the legal services.
In some cases, a lawyer may proceed with providing legal services without a signed costs agreement if they have reason to believe that the client intends to pay for those services. However, this can create uncertainty and confusion, as the client may not be aware of the costs of the legal services until they receive an invoice.
What Should You Do if You Haven’t Signed a Costs Agreement?
If you haven’t signed a costs agreement, it is important to speak with your lawyer as soon as possible to clarify the situation. You should ask your lawyer to provide you with a copy of the costs agreement, explain the terms and conditions, and answer any questions you may have.
You should also ensure that you understand the costs of the legal services being provided before proceeding. This may include requesting an estimate of costs or requesting a breakdown of the likely fees and expenses.
An unsigned costs agreement can cause confusion and frustration for both clients and lawyers. It is essential to sign a costs agreement with your lawyer before proceeding with any legal matter to ensure that you fully understand the costs associated with the services being provided. If you have not signed a costs agreement, it is important to speak with your lawyer to clarify the situation and ensure that you are aware of the costs involved.