Some of your clients will have considerable experience with attorneys, for others, you may be the first attorney they’ve ever contacted. Your corporate clients probably have a good idea of how and for what you charge, your first-timers and private individuals won’t. Since one of the most common client complaints is what the client considers un-necessary or excessive charges, it’s best to have an explanation of your fees and various expenses early on, otherwise you will have a very unhappy client in the near future. And an unhappy client is an uncooperative client – the bane of most attorneys’ existence.
In particular, inform clients as to both the what and the why of your charges. For example, filing fees, fees to outside consultants, fees for contract research, paralegal fees, and whatever else you charge for along with why these fees are essential to the successful handing of the client’s case – all of these should be communicated to the client, preferably in writing as well as verbally, so that at the time of billing you don’t get a shocked, outraged phone call, text or email.
Again, an unhappy client is an uncooperative client. Clearly communicating your billing procedure is one of the quickest, easiest ways to facilitate client cooperation.