How much do Royal Commission lawyers charge?

giving evidence at Royal Commission

Image Courtesy Federal Government

Representation at the Royal Commission won’t cost you a cent

The Commonwealth Government pays the victim’s chosen lawyer to represent clients who are called to be public witnesses at the Royal Commission.

This process doesn’t cost victims a thing.

The Government pays for all of the time that Kelso’s lawyers spend working on clients’ statements, and our other expenses like travel and accommodation.


What about fees for achieving compensation?

We do charge clients for the work Peter and the team do outside of the Royal Commission in order to achieve compensation payments for them. But the way we charge is different.

We do this work on a no-win, no-fee basis. You will only pay Kelso’s when you receive compensation, and we charge on a sliding scale, so that clients who receive large awards pay more in costs than those who receive small payouts. We think it’s fairer that way.

Since 1988, when we started to help victims of abuse achieve fair compensation, we have never had any client complain about our fees.


Why Kelso’s fees are fairer

Traditionally, lawyers charge on a time basis, which means clients pay for every minute they are travelling, on the phone or reading a letter. We don’t like this approach, as it means clients who receive relatively small payouts risk having their award swallowed up by their lawyer’s fees.

We have carefully structured our fees to make sure we never receive a greater proportion of a payout than our client does.

The other thing we don’t like about lawyers charging on a time basis is that there is also no incentive for them to complete the case quickly. We know that digging up the past can leave our clients feeling really disturbed.

My client’s wellbeing is important to me, so once I take a case on, I aim to achieve an apology and a lump sum payment in the shortest possible time.

Peter Kelso

Many lawyers tend to cherry-pick cases that are likely to achieve big payouts, but we don’t want to turn away anyone who was abused as a child.

We also want to make sure that every case – including small claims – receives as much time and attention as they need.

We ask all of our clients to sign a cost agreement, so everyone is clear on the fees before we start work. As soon as that is done, we can start working on your claim, giving you the best possible chance to take action against your abuser and their institution.


The time to act is now

The Royal Commission is continuing to gain momentum, with public pressure mounting on the institutions involved. Your evidence could change your life, and the lives of so many others.

If you’re ready to share your story, make sure you get in touch with Peter and our team. You can rest assured that you won’t have any financial burden to worry about.

About Peter Kelso

I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

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