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Hourly Rate Fees
The traditional fees structure for instructing a solicitor is on an hourly rate basis. This means the total bill a client pays is calculated by multiplying the solicitors’ hourly rate by the number of hours charged against the file. Once this figure has been calculated, any disbursements which may have been incurred during the lifespan of the case are added to the final bill.
Disbursements are items such as; mileage, parking fees, toll charges, rail fares, barrister fees, fees for medical notes, courier charges and expert fees. Once disbursements have been added to the solicitors’ fee, the total sum the client must pay is calculated and VAT is added.
The bill can be higher than a client initially anticipates. This is important to note as every minute a solicitor spends on a file will be charged. This will include; time on the phone to the client, the Police, CPS, and the Court, time considering the evidence, drafting letters, drafting e-mails, meetings, travelling to Court, time at Court and dealing with any additional issues on the case.
At the conclusion of a case, even if a client has been unsuccessful they could find themselves with a solicitor’s bill which is several thousands of pounds higher than they initially anticipated. This would be due to additional work that was required on the case.
We believe that the traditional hourly rate structure often leaves clients at a disadvantage. This is because they have no real control over how high the bill will eventually become.
If you prefer the traditional fee structure, you can of course instruct us on an hourly rate basis. As all of our lawyers are Solicitors or Barristers, your case will only ever be handled and advanced by a specialist Solicitor or Barrister, for that reason our hourly rate is set at £250 + VAT.
On an hourly rate case our client will find the following items on their bill:
- Solicitors hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours on the file
- Disbursements (e.g. rail fare / expert fees)
We seek to be open and transparent with our clients from the outset and for that reason, where possible we prefer to work on an ‘agreed fee’ basis. This is a fee set from the outset, paid at the start of the case and covers the case up to a certain stage. For example the Police Interview or the first Court Hearing.
The agreed fee up to the First Court Hearing differs from each case, as each case depends on it’s own facts. An agreed fee is always set at an appropriate level having considered the type of case and the time / work involved to prepare and advance the case. Our agreed fees typically start from £1000 + VAT + disbursements.
This means that we would prepare the case and represent our client for the agreed fee, even if we spend more time than initially anticipated. As an example, we may estimate that 10 hours of time is required on a case and set an appropriate agreed fee. Other issues may arise resulting in us dedicating 13 hours of time to the case. As our client has entered an agreed fee arrangement, we would not charge for the additional 3 hours of time.
Our agreed fee generally includes:
- Telephone conference (meetings) / Conference in person (where reasonable)
- Considering the evidence
- Taking your instructions (your version of events)
- Advice on any potential defence
- Advice on likely sentence
- Giving advice on the appropriate law
- Advice on the likelihood of being acquitted
- Confirming all advice in writing
- To liaise on your behalf with the Court
- Liaising on your behalf with the CPS
- Liaising on your behalf with the Police
- Contacting and assessing potential defence witnesses
- Advice on Court procedure
- Instructing a Barrister
- Travelling to Court (where appropriate)
- Attending you in a meeting immediately before the Court Hearing
- Representing you during your Court Hearing
- Advancing oral mitigation to the Court
- Attending you in a conference following your Court Hearing
- Confirming the outcome of the Court Hearing in writing
- Advice on sentence
- Advice on appeal against sentence
As you will appreciate there is a significant amount of work involved in any case and this will all be included within the agreed fee.
Our fees work in stages. If you decide to plead guilty following our advice, that would be the conclusion of your case and you will not be required to pay beyond the first agreed fee payment as the case would have been concluded. However, should you decide to plead not guilty and progress the case to trial, we will notify you of the cost to take the case to trial and the appropriate agreed fee.
The agreed fee covers any work that we have undertaken; anything that falls outside our role is likely to be considered as a disbursement. Typically, if a solicitor instructs a barrister, that would be a disbursement because the barrister charges a separate fee. However if you do not object to the specialist barrister / solicitor we have selected to represent you at Court, we will include the barrister’s fee within our agreed fee. If you have a specific barrister you would like us to instruct for your case, their fee will be classed as a disbursement and will not form part of the agreed fee.
Travel costs are also considered as disbursements (rail fare, mileage, parking, toll fare etc.), though to maintain transparency, give our clients piece of mind and to provide real value for money, we have decided to absorb all reasonable travel disbursements within the agreed fee.
If your case requires an expert we will notify you as soon as possible so that you can make an informed decision on whether you would like us to instruct an expert on your behalf to produce a report, attend Court and give evidence. Expert fees are not included within the agreed fee and are considered as a disbursement. The cost for an expert depends on the type of expert required, the nature of the report and the experience of the expert.
Legal Aid is not usually available for driving offences, and as a specialist high end law firm we do not undertake Legal Aid work. If you think you might be eligible for Legal Aid funding, we recommend you contact a general criminal law firm that can assess your eligibility for Legal Aid.
To find out further information on fees, please contact us.
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Member of Parliament for Slough
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