Clients pay for our services in a number of different ways. Many are concerned about our fees and how much they are going to have to pay. Indeed this is one of the most common concerns of people who seek advice from a lawyer.
In the interests of transparency and in an effort to keep things simple we have prepared a table below which explains how we may charge for our different services.
Explanation of fees
In many situations we are able to offer to act on your behalf for a defined service for an agreed sum of money This is a ‘fixed fee’. This is very common when we provide quotes for buying a house of writing a will we can also consider it in other situations such as acting in a divorce or drafting a shareholders agreement. We have provided details of our usual conveyancing, wills and family fees on the website pages for each of those areas. For all other fixed fees please enquire with your lawyer when you speak with them. Please note that disbursements are payable in addition to our fees.
Hourly rate with estimate and agreed limit
Whilst all clients can opt to pay our fees privately on an hourly rate there are some situations where we would not recommend it and others we are in fact unable to provide any alternative method of payment. Our hourly rates will be discussed with you at your first meeting and confirmed in writing. We will provide you with a costs estimate and a ‘costs limit’ if you wish so as to ensure that you will not incur costs beyond a certain level. Please note that disbursements are payable in addition to our fees.
Legal aid is available for a limited number of legal services to clients who will first have to demonstrate that their case has ‘merits’ and that they do they do not have the personal ‘means’ to pay for the service themselves. The criteria for each of these tests is far from straightforward and in order to establish your eligibility we will need to undertake an assessment for you. Please note that legal aid does not mean that a service is free. In the event that you qualify for legal aid then we will be paid by the Legal Aid Agency for the work that we undertake for you. You in turn may be asked to make monthly contributions to the Legal Aid Agency or may have assets which are made subject to a statutory charge. Please be assured that we will advise you of your commitments if you qualify for legal aid support.
No win – No fee : Conditional Fee Agreement
A Conditional Fee Agreement is available in situations where you are claiming damages (money compensation) with reasonable to good prospects of success. We would enter into an agreement with you that provided that if your claim was successful we would charge our normal hourly rates from your opponent as well as deducting a ‘success fee’ and unrecoverable disbursements from your damages. If of course your claim was unsuccessful then none of our fees would be payable.
No win – No fee : Damages Based Agreement
A damages based agreement is available to clients in situations where you are claiming damages (money compensation). The agreement allows us to share in the proceeds of your claim by charging you a percentage of your damages if you succeed with your claim. That would represent the payment for our services. Of course, in the event that your claim is unsuccessful then we will not charge you at all for our work. Please note that disbursements may still be payable in the event that the claim is unsuccessful.
It is not uncommon for clients to have insurance cover to fund the cost of lawyers acting on their behalf. This is often the case when clients wish to bring a claim to compensate them for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident – they may have legal expense insurance cover attached to their motor insurance policy. However, legal expenses insurance products may form part of credit card or home and contents insurance policies so it is worthwhile checking to see if such cover exists. If it does then we can enquire with the provider to see if they are prepared to support your case and authorise us to act for you.
Trade Union funding
Trade Union membership usually provides for some level of funded legal representation in certain circumstances. If you are a member of a Trade Union we can make enquiries with them to see if they are prepared to support your case.
IH In House
As a consequence of a number of our commercial clients wanting a level of regular access and legal support from us we have may offer to enter an arrangement whereby we provide immediately available legal advice and support to clients in return for them paying a monthly retainer. In essence we provide an in house legal service to businesses
Solicitors Fees and Disbursements
Clients want to know how much a particular service will cost and be told in simple terms. The estimate, quote or agreement offered will always include two elements – solicitors fees and disbursements. Solicitors fees are what we as a firm are paid for the work that we would carry on your behalf. Solicitors fees attract VAT. Disbursements are additional costs necessarily incurred as consequence of the instruction. Examples include, court fees, expert fees, barristers fees, stamp duty etc.