Recently received a circular from the Sabah Law Association (SLA) with the subject matter:
STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF THE ADVOCATES' REMUNERATION RULES 1988
And I quote, "to make compliance with the Advocates' Remuneration Rules 1988 self regulatory (notwithstanding that the said Advocates Remuneration Rules has the force or law!)"
[the emphasis were mine]
Before I could clap my hands and shout hooray...
I received a call from the bank, "We have this free legal package loan, can you give us a quotation with your best discount offer?"
... ... ...
As a "full time loan lawyer" (part time litigation)...
I find the "discount practice" to be the most difficult part of being a "lawyer"!
Usually when I say "no discount" all I get is a "clung!"
The other end hung up on me, without bothering to listen to my explanation because
"ALL other firms offer at least 65% discount"! (imagine that, 65%!)
Although I respect SLA's effort, but I really doubt there can ever be "strict enforcement" not to mention "self regulatory". The fact is, there is no existing enforcement body. So, the Sub-Committee on the Enforcement of the Advocates' Remuneration Rules 1988 has recommended the following measures:
- to make necessary amendments to the rules to make giving of discounts a breach of the Rules that could be subject to investigation by the Inquiry Committee established under the Advocates' (Inquiry Committee) Rules 1988.
- to secure compliance through an Annual Compliance Report prepared by the accountant responsible for the legal firm's Annual Accountant's Report
- each lawyer is to declare via Statutory Declaration that he/she has charged the scale fees without any discount
SLA further advice that pending amendments to the Rules, which shall be made possible before the end of 2008 (can or not?), all members is to "voluntarily practice" the No Discount Rule.
... ... ...
On the basis of the SLA's letter, I have called up lender and told them the "forced discount" I have given them for this time round will be the last one. :)
We'll see how that ends, most probably I won't be getting any files from the lender anymore!
... ... ...
On another note, I wish educate the people about legal fees which everyone seems to think it's a huge sum.
But how come no one is complaining about the estate agent (registered or not) fees which is 3% of the purchase price... and all they do is talk (at least that's how it seems to me)... no drafting of agreement, no government paper work, no due diligence, no undertaking required (don't even issue receipt! one estate agent actually asked me to issue receipt on his behalf! Of course I said NO!)... and they "senang-senang" (easily) get RM3,000 while my legal fees of RM1,300 is "wow, why so much?"
Where is the justification for this???