When Kheng Hoe started practice, he was no different from every other lawyer in town. He rendered his services, and once the work was done, he then rendered an invoice accordingly.
One day, a client complained about the invoice. This was a contractor for whom Kheng Hoe had won a case, and the amount of the invoice was clearly reasonable. Why then would this client complain?
Kheng Hoe visited the client to find out.
The client then explained, “As a contractor, I participate in tenders. All my works are spelt out. All specifications are provided in detail. I have to carefully indicate my rates for all my work. At the end of the day, if I did more (or less) work, there is always a chance to re-measure my works at pre-agreed rates.”
“The problem with lawyers,” he continued, “is that you simply render an invoice and expect to be paid. However, we non-lawyers do not know whether your invoice is fair or otherwise. We do not understand how much work has been put into the file. So how do you expect us to blindly pay your invoice?”
Since that day, Kheng Hoe decided to charge on an agreed fee basis. It does not matter how much (or little) time it takes for us to handle your case. We will specify our scope of works and charge you an agreed fee for it. You will know from the outset how much to pay, what you are paying for and when you are expected to pay.
This is a practice that Chong + Kheng Hoe continue to adopt today. We want to handle all fee discussion right at the beginning, so that we can move on from a discussion of fees to focus on what is the most important aspect, i.e. your case.