AAS prohibits discounts on legal fees

MIRI: Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) has put a stop to any discount or any self-imposed standardised scale fees made by any bank, financial institution, developer or client following the Advocates Remuneration (Amendment) Rules 2018 to increase legal fees and prohibit ‘illegal’ scale fees.

Its president Rambir Singh Sangha, in a press statement, said the amended rules had been gazetted on April 16 this year and the statutory rules came into effect on May 1 this year.

The Advocates Remuneration Rules 1988 was last amended in 1990 and the scale fees have not been revised in the past three decades. In Sabah, its Advocates Remuneration Rules was revised in 2010.

The amendments this year were to prescribe standard scale fees to be charged by all advocates in Sarawak to commensurate with the provision of professional legal services rendered to their clients.

“The amendments have several important changes to set and regulate the revised or increased scale fees that may be charged by lawyers in Sarawak,” Ranbir said.

Under the 2018 Advocates Remuneration Rules, not only the various schedules of scale fees have been amended or revised upwards, the rules governing them have also been modified to a large extent, he added.

Any lawyer or legal firm which does not comply with scale fees specified in the schedules or is giving any discount or agreeing to self-imposed scale fees by any bank, financial institution, developer or client is breaching the rules which prohibit entertaining any such requests.

AAS said all lawyers or their legal firms are to report such requests for appropriate action to be taken.

Ranbir pointed out that AAS in 2012 had acted against a prominent bank in Malaysia on the discounted fees imposed by the later, and the High Court had ruled in favour of the association, pointing out that it contravened the Advocates Remuneration Rules and was illegal, null and void. The plaintiff was granted costs against the said bank.

For further information and details on the amended rules, the public can contact the association by email to aasmiribar@gmail.com or call 085-430476.

A copy of the latest amendments and the stated civil case judgement can be downloaded at www.sarawak-advocates.org.my.

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/06/22/aas-prohibits-discounts-on-legal-fees/