I received an inquiry recently: is there a standard (legal) fee for legal (services) …; is there a norm, or is it that each lawyer charges according to their whim and fancy?
To answer, a brief context: The Grenada Bar Association is a non-profit organisation to which each person admitted to practice as an attorney-at-law in Grenada might apply for membership. Membership is entirely optional. It is not a requirement of admission or to remain a person entitled to practice that one must be a member. It is not a legal prescription that each attorney-at-law/lawyer abides by the mandates, suggestions or agreements of the Association.
Notwithstanding, traditionally, most attorneys-at-law subscribe to membership and accept the leadership of the Bar Association in most matters governing the profession, and indeed widely affecting legal practice in Grenada.
This is true too on the matter of legal fees. From time to time, the Bar Association will consult, confer and agree upon a scale of fees in relation to non-contentious matters, which scale is expected to represent and suggest to its membership what charges are reasonable for professional services.
It may be accurate to say that the settled scale has not been revised and circulated more than twice in the past two decades, and that is generous, because this may well have been once. There is a current revision but it remains uncirculated amongst members of the Bar Association.
Certain items of work are chargeable on the basis of percentages of the value of the transaction. Where this is so, often, it is scaled so that the higher the value, the percentage is scaled downwards, calculating in bands.
Yet other items of work are charged on a flat fee basis.
Where the scale of fees make no specific prescription or suggestion, attorneys-at-law in Grenada are expected to charge by reference to various factors, including the complexity of the matter and the seniority of the legal practitioner delivering the services.
It is the goal of the Legal Profession Act passed in 2011 that the scale of fees would be given statutory teeth, but nearly a decade on, this is yet to happen.