Frequently Asked Questions
- Does DDS offer a free consultation?
- Does DDS operate under contingency basis?
- Please explain your fees.
These are the amounts of monies that have to be paid by the client as a result of the specialized effort that only an attorney can put forth (Legal Profession) on behalf of the client.
The fees can vary from custom, hourly or flat fee.
- What are custom fees?
A combination of all types of fees applied, or other custom drafted contracts that are created just for a particular case that would benefit a particular client ; no matter what the outcome of his/her corresponding case which warrants or commands a "custom fee" billing. The attorney reserves the right to not accept a case if no cooperation is granted in proceeding under these billing conditions, if need be.
- What are hourly fees?
Vary depending on the staff member doing the work, (senior attorney, associate, accountant, paralegal, etc.). Variations also result from the amount of research needed, resources available, if outside resources must be secured and / or reserved in advance, the capacity to secure internal support staff to assist, the ability to rearrange the attorney's schedule to fit the timing and intricacies of your matter, among other elements.
- What is fixed / flat fee?
These types of fees give the client an opportunity to know the total cost of the matter going in. For very complex, tough, and nearly impossible matters to predict an accurate estimate for a fixed/flat fee, where an attorney has quoted a fixed/flat fee, a renegotiation of the fee may be necessary as the scope of the matter progresses/changes and/or becomes more complex, or less complex.
- The word "Retainer" has changed menings over the years, Can I retain DDS?
Yes, you can retain DDS in all types of retainers. DDS defines retainers as such:
Retainer Fee (two types, Roman Numerals I & II)-the fee which retains legal counsel, this fee may be charged (both earned and unearned), reflects the seriousness of the clients intentions, sometimes this fee could mean the attorney has to turn down other cases to remain available, sometimes this fee is kept in the trust account in the name of the client. This is the most traditional of billing clients.
I. Earned-a sum of money which belongs to the attorney when the payment is made and funds become immediately available to the law firm for costs incurred. There are three types of earned retainers:
"pure" earned retainer-a fee paid, upfront to your attorney or law firm to make sure the attorney will be "on-call" for you and your case throughout the year and to ensure the attorney will be available 24/7 for small matters as they arise, shifting of priorities if necessary to accommodate the clients matters immediately--even if it means inconveniencing others.
"case" earned retainer-a nonrefundable fee that a client pays to a law office as an inducement (in the law of contracts, "inducement" means- a pledge or promise that causes an individual to enter into a particular agreement) for legal work to be performed for the client.
"general representation" earned retainer-a fee that is paid in consideration of the "big picture", i.e., ongoing representation, EXCEPT for the actual litigation which occurs.
II. Unearned-a sum of money which the client provides to the attorney. It is not the lawyer's money until it is earned. This money is drawn upon as the attorney works and billing hours are incurred. Then it becomes a cash advance retainer.
- How does DDS bill for an entire KPO and BPO project from beginning to end?
Hourly. Not only does the client have the opportunity to be interactive during the entire process online, or just witness the entire process online through new technology, but our breakdown of tasks on a "hard copy" of the bill, i.e., tasks to whom they are assigned (when, where and for how long), actually makes the bill paying satisfying and exciting for the client. The client is about to see their vision come to fruition, as a very detailed list of every move with every agency and for what reason by which ranking member of the Firm is clearly displayed.
- What is "value pricing/billing" and does DDS do this?
Yes, DDS does. In some cases that are more difficult, or not, we apply an additional fee that is billed by "project" rather than by "hour". The main reason is that, more than just sheer labor is going into the case. The essence of the case and it's entirety, (regardless of it's outcome), will command wisdom, judgement and expertise that will only be found in a firm that is comprised of lawyers whose work is undeniably superior to other lawyers, and they need to be compensated accordingly. To not bill the value pricing, would be professionally offensive. DDS will take your case to heart and maintain gravitas and an executive presence, as we have stated in "Our Approach".
There will be other lawyers out there with these qualities, DDS is not alone. We know our value and we will bill for it. Let's face it, everyone knows that not all firms and lawyers are created equal, some lawyers work harder, some are more talented, others not so much. Yet hardly anyone talks about this openly and candidly as we are right here, right now.
The facts are the facts. This is why we bill for "value pricing". We are a firm that is effective in project management and gets the work done within the time promised to the client.
Also, many elements of the case are too valuable to bill hourly for labor, e.g., the intrinsic work of the attorney that aligns with the unusually high stakes for the client.
- Can DDS give me a quote to draft certain contracts or pleadings?
Not on pleadings, but we can work out a quote for contracts or other types of tasks. Just ask.
Forms of Payment
- Please explain how to retain DDS.
Retainer, deposit, cash, check, or bank wire. We do not accept credit cards at this time.
- What is DDS' billing cycle for hourly, custom or fixed/flat fee billing?
Every 5th of the month and to be paid no later than fifteen days from date on the invoice.
- What is DDS' billing cycle for retainers?
Usually paid every first of the month.
- What is DDS' billing cycle for litigation?
Litigation is billed "per milestone" and is priced as a fixed/flat fee or better known as a "package".
- What can I expect to see on the billing statement for KPO and BPO work?
This statement will be in an hourly breakdown format. You will be seeing a lot of: corporate and regulatory terminology: creation of executive and employment contracts, review and draft of contracts, board resolutions for transfers of BPI accounts, board meetings regarding USD to PESOS accounts, business permits to assessors office, your lease with your real estate agent, deed of sale of shares, cashflow inquiries, tax issues on entitiy, PEZA, DTI, SEC, BIR, PAG-IBIG, PHIL-HEALTH, SSS letters, reportings, registrations, communications, certificates, incentives, all depending on your business. Stock certificates, barangay clearances, insurance and fire assessments, trouble shooting assessments, transmittals of documents, signed registrations, and seeing your dream come true.
For the unearned retainer situation: Because you have already deposited anunearned retainer fee (HYPERLINK THAT TERM, SO THEY CAN REFER TO IT ABOVE) depending on how much you have deposited, that fee can be good for a month or more, depending on what we have discussed. Either way, we will be rendering monthly bills and sending them to you, reflecting what we have charged against that retainer fund for that month. On your billing statement you can expect to see a reflection of the work completed; similar to an hourly or custom billing statement.
Any unused funds in an unearned retainer account for that month in your name, will either be returned to you upon completion of work, or put forth towards the next month, plus your deposit for the next month further work, if necessary.
- What can I expect to see on my billing statement for: hourly, and custom fee billing? for fixed/flat fee or package billing?
Let it be known, for ALL billing statements, you can expect to see all of our contact information, to whom the bill is addressed, the bill number or "SOA" number (Statement of Accounts), for which month and for what the matter is regarding; in this case, "Legal Fees".
Look for a "legend" on or near the last page, that can shed some light for you. Also on the last page, there will be information on: to whom to make the check out, and/or to which Bank, Branch, Account type and Account Number to make a deposit for the amount of the bill.
For hourly or custom billing you can expect to see: the breakdown of tasks performed with their corresponding Pesos@hr.; Subtotals, Totals, and a Grand Total; tasks by whom (senior attorney, associate attorney, staff member, professional services, paralegal, notarial, courier, etc.); start and end times; duration of time spent; miscellaneous charges, if any.
Also, for hourly, as a precursor to litigation, you can expect to see on your billing statement: witness fees, discovery and transcription costs, search and investigation fees, filing fees, court fees and other necessary fees in order to prepare for litigation.
- What if I fail to make timely payments?
We have the option to not render services anymore. If it is large amounts owed, we reserve the right to take legal action.
Our Process and Services Offered
- What is your process?
1. Assessment of Legal Needs
2. Signing of the Contract
3. Ask for Documents, Give you Checklists, Go over Timelines
- What are your Services Offered?
Please see "Services Offered" Link in upper navigational tabs
- Do you provide Legal Process Outsourcing? or LPO?
Yes. We do partner with larger law firms with pressing and urgent matters. Where exigency exists for law firms, we can be there to help.
- How do we know if we are out of your jurisdiction?
Representation and Court Appearances
Business Hours, Place of Business, and How to Contact Us
- What are your business hours?
onday through Friday generally, but we work odd hours. Catch us at odd hours online!
- Open on weekends?
By appointment only.
- How do I get to your offices?
DDS is accessible by airplane, car, train, bus, taxi-cab or Jeepney.
Your nearest international airport is Ninoy Aquino International Airport, about ten miles away.
- Phone, facsimile, emails and addresses
Duran & Duran-Schulze Law
Unit 604 The Infinity Tower
26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City 1634