At New South Lawyers, we work on matters across a range of practice areas - 12 of them to be exact. However, our clients generally have some relatively common queries and FAQs. To help, we have created this comprehensive list of the questions you should ask your lawyer.

The first question you should ask your lawyer: Are you a specialist in this area of law?

You wouldn’t go into a Porsche dealer searching for a Suzuki Swift, or a steak house if you were hungry for vegetarian pasta. Similarly, when trying to determine the best course of legal action for your case, one of the first questions you should ask your lawyer is their area of expertise. While New South Lawyers is a multi-disciplinary firm, with the ability to work across 12 key practice areas, every member of our team is an expert on the matters within their division. To determine whether your lawyer is a specialist lawyer who is able to best support your specific needs, don’t be afraid to ask them how long they have practiced that area of law, how many cases they have worked on with circumstances similar to yours, and their success rate in these instances.

Who will actually be working on my case and how will it be managed?

The benefits of working with a boutique law firm, such as New South Lawyers, generally mean that one practitioner (or a specialised team) will be directly dedicated to your matter. This level of focus ensures you receive high-quality personalised service that remains focused on your needs. It’s also important to understand who will be accountable for your case so that you can develop a strong relationship with a primary contact. They can explain how the work will be done, keep you up to date on the progress of your case, and generally support you through the entire process of resolving your legal problem.

Do I have to go to court to resolve this matter?

A good lawyer understands that going to court can be costly and time-consuming, and will always attempt alternative means of dispute resolution first. Don’t be afraid to ask your solicitor about some of the out-of-court options available and whether they are appropriate for your circumstances - in order to choose the approach that suits you best.

How likely am I to win my case?

Any lawyer with integrity will have an objective conversation with his or her client about the weaknesses and strengths of their case. While success is never guaranteed, come prepared to ask your lawyers questions about factual evidence, legal precedence, the firm’s existing caseload, and the prospective length of trial time - which can all help you ascertain the probability of your case’s success. And remember although achieving a verdict in your favour is the ideal goal, a “win” can come in different forms!

How long will it take?

It may be a matter of mere weeks or many years between the time that an alleged offence is committed and a final verdict is received in court.  While no lawyer will be able to give you an accurate and exact start and finish date - owing to variables outside their control such as the nature of the plea and the severity of the alleged offence - a good lawyer should be able to give you an accurate approximation of how long your court case will take.

How much will it cost?

How long is a piece of string …? When commencing proceedings with a legal professional, ensure your sign a cost agreement - a formal agreement between yourself and their legal practice disclosing the price of their professional services and how they will structure the costs of their work.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of the New South Lawyers' team today.