The pricing structure
Thomas charges $200 per hour for most matters. A first consultation is free (an hour or less)
The legal consumer has the right to the following under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW):
- a legal retainer agreement with costs disclosure and terms and conditions of legal service;
- a notice of your Right to Know about legal costs as a legal consumer under the Legal Profession Uniform Law;
- A conditional costs agreement - where agreed with the client for full payment of solicitor costs in matters subject to outcome
of (non criminal) litigation
Background to our pricing structure:
Pricing is a critical factor for the client, just as much as quality of service. Some sections of the legal industry have
a poor reputation for overcharging even allowing for those fees being comparable to highly skilled trades in plumbing, electrical
Thomas - as a raw recruit and junior solicitor in 1990 - was in part responsible for the hard charging culture of big
corporate law in Sydney, NSW and Australia. I was working up several volumes of evidence in a precedent case to justify the
"billable hour" as charged by Baker & McKenzie of a developer of the Darwin Casino, who instead of paying bank
interest at about $100K per month decided to sue his bank instead for similar level of monthly legal fees by B&M. The
developer Datuk Tan Sri Wong, then stiffed his own lawyers and owed $600K in legal fees.
This was subject of a successful court decision for B&M and this writer in the Federal Court here:
20 August 1992 - Burgundy Royale costs decision, justifying the billable hour in Australia, by Einfeld J, particularly at
paragraphs  to 
The full case name is a mouthful below, but the main players were solicitors Baker & McKenzie seeking their costs, their
former client Datuk Tan Sri Wong (eighth defendant), and respondent solicitor Blake Dawson Waldron (who did not appear in
attempt by their foreign based client to avoid service and perhaps enforecement of the NSW judgement in the future)
Full name is - Re Burgundy Royale Investments Pty Limited; the Esplanade Pty Limited; Kota Nominees Pty Limited and Golden
Gloss Properties Ltd v Westpac Banking Corporation; the Northern Territory of Australia; the Northern Territory Development
Corporation (Now Kno  FCA 400 (20 August 1992)
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA
Re: BURGUNDY ROYALE INVESTMENTS PTY LIMITED; THE ESPLANADE PTY LIMITED; KOTA NOMINEES PTY LIMITED and GOLDEN GLOSS PROPERTIES
LTD And: WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION; THE NORTHERN TERRITORY OF AUSTRALIA; THE NORTHERN TERRITORY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
(now known as the TERRITORY LOANS MANAGEMENT CORPORATION); CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF DARWIN; MURLARLI PTY
LIMITED; BEAUFORT INTERNATIONAL HOTELS LIMITED; GALVESTON INVESTMENT LTD; DATUK WONG CHIK LIM; TAN SRI WEE BOON PING and
As principal of his own firm Thomas believes in providing a legal service as a vocation as well as a sustainable business.
I will seek to promote access for all sections of society to have the right to effective and competent legal services.
We note Legal Australia-Wide [LAW] Survey: Legal Need in Australia by the NSW Law and Justice Foundation dated October
2012 indicates a huge unmet demand by the low income and disadvantaged for legal services:
Legal Australia-Wide Survey: Legal need in Australia
"A key finding of the LAW Survey is how Australians respond to legal problems. While, 51% of respondents sought advice
for their legal problems, 31% acted without advice, and 18% took no action to resolve their legal problems for reasons associated
with factors such as stress, time or cost."
This situation of disadvantage may intensify with the Global Financial Crisis still working its way through the global
Often the price of legal services in NSW is affected by high rental costs of under utilised CBD office space, or expensive
administrative staff. In the age of the internet shaking up the economy - especially the retail, media and education sectors
- my firm is riding the waves of the web to provide a more affordable legal services.
We can do this by keeping costs very lean using a mobile office, leveraging low rent and low operating costs generally.
We encourage you as the legal consumer to take advantage of this price advantage and judge for yourself the quality of
my legal service compared with more expensive firms.
Sometimes legal work can't be effectively done online such as court appearances, witnessing an affidavit or confirming
competency for making a will. In those situations we will meet clients personally. Usually however most clients can access
email. Today clients can access their public library, for example in the Ryde and Eastwood areas, which provide access to
computers, printers, scanners, hotmail, gmail or similar email provider.
We are always looking at how to keep costs down while concentrating on the legal issues and evidence that really matters
in your case. Experience shows that high class suits and prime office location does not amount to an expert legal analysis
and sound legal advice.
We will provide all my clients with the best and fairest legal advice, energy and focus, and be contactable when you need