Frequently Asked Questions
You may not have appointed a lawyer before and may have some questions in relation to how lawyers work and their legal fees.
We have compiled a list of questions and answers below and we encourage you to carefully read all of them at the beginning of the case, as this will ensure your case runs smoothly and there are no unexpected legal fees. If you have any further questions regarding agreed fixed fees and how we operate, please ask these questions at the start of your case.
What is an ‘Agreed Fee’?
An ‘Agreed Fee’ is a fee which is payable by a client at the beginning of a case (or the beginning of a stage of the case) which is agreed by the solicitor and client and set before the work begins. The fee cannot be varied upwards and is payable by a client whether or not the work is completed. The money does not have the usual protection afforded to clients as it is office money, belonging to the firm.
What is included within an ‘Agreed Fee’?
The specifics of exactly what is covered within your agreed fee is included within your Engagement Letter. Please carefully read the Engagement Letter so that you fully understand what is included within the fee you have paid.
What isn’t included within my ‘Agreed Fee’?
Work beyond the scope of your Engagement Letter will not be included therefore it is crucial that you carefully read the ‘Scope of Legal Services’ section so that you are fully aware of the work we have agreed to cover. Typically, expert fees, additional case meetings and attendance at additional Court Hearings are not included within the agreed fees, unless specifically stated otherwise. In your Engagement Letter there will be a section which will explain what is not included within the fee you have paid, please carefully read that section of the Engagement Letter so that you fully understand what is not included within the fee you have paid.
Will I have to pay further legal fees?
Each case is individual and develops uniquely, based upon the type of case and the route each client wishes to take. In some cases, there is only one Agreed Fixed Fee to pay, in others there could be multiple fees payable. If you would like to know whether there will be further fees payable in the future, please speak with the lawyer appointed on your case and they will be able to advise accordingly.
Do have to pay for additional meetings / calls with my lawyer?
Depending upon the package you have appointed Kang & Co Solicitors on it will usually include either 1 telephone meeting, or 1 meeting at our offices. If you would like additional telephone meetings, or additional meetings at our offices, these will not form part of your initial agreed fixed fee and will be charged separately.
If my case involves additional unexpected work, will I have to pay more?
You have entered an agreed fixed fee with Kang & Co Solicitors up to the stage specified in your Engagement Letter. As we have entered into a contractual agreement to represent you up to the stage in the Scope of Legal Services section, we are required to honour this agreement within the fee agreed even if your case requires unexpected additional work within a particular stage. As an example if your case requires additional e-mails / calls to be sent to the Court or a Court Hearing takes longer than anticipated, you will not be charged for the extra time at Court, because we have entered a contractual agreement with you to complete the work up to a certain stage for a fixed fee.
Do I have to pay for additional Court Hearings?
Your Engagement Letter will explain whether the fee you have paid includes a Court Hearing, if it does, it will also explain how many Court Hearings are included. Usually, if a Court Hearing is included, it will include 1 Court Hearing. If your case is adjourned for any reason and requires a further Court attendance, you will need to pay a further fee to cover the additional preparation and Court attendance.
Are Barrister fees included within the ‘Agreed Fee’?
In certain cases, we may instruct in-house or external independent barristers to represent you at Court (if your case requires a Court attendance), the barrister we appoint to represent you at Court will be included as part of the agreed fee you have paid. However, if you have a specific barrister you would like us to appoint to represent you at Court, the fee of that specific barrister will not be included within the agreed fee and you will be charged separately to cover the barristers fee as a disbursement and you will receive a further invoice to cover the cost of that barrister.
Do I have to pay your travelling expenses?
If your case involves travelling to a Court / Police Station to progress your case and your Engagement Letter includes such an attendance, all reasonable travel expenses are included within the agreed fee you have paid. If you are requesting us to travel to a location and we form the view that the travel incurred is unnecessary for progressing the case or unreasonable, such as insisting that we travel to your home or place of work for a case meeting, the travelling costs and travelling time incurred as part of that return journey will not be included within the agreed fee, and we shall need to enter into a new agreed fee for that specific meeting / journey. International travel does not form part of the agreed fee, unless your Engagement Letter states otherwise.
Do you charge for waiting time at a Court / Police Station / Tribunal Hearing?
If your Engagement Letter includes an attendance at Court or the Police Station and we are waiting longer than initially anticipated, we do not charge extra for the additional waiting time or unexpected delay. This is one of the many advantages of appointing our lawyers on an agreed fee.
Do you charge travelling time for attending a Court / Police Station / Tribunal Hearing?
The anticipated travelling time to and from a Court / Police Station / Tribunal Hearing is factored into the agreed fee from the outset and for that reason travelling time is included within the agreed fixed fee.
What funding options does Kang & Co Solicitors provide?
As a specialist law firm, we only offer our legal services on an agreed fixed fee basis. We do not offer Public Funding (Legal Aid). We do not usually represent clients on a Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) basis, unless we have specifically agreed to do so.
What other funding options are there?
Depending on the type of case and your financial situation, Legal Aid may be available. You may also have Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) which may cover the costs of legal advice and representation.
Do I have Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) to fund my case?
We are unable to advise you on whether you have Legal Expenses Insurance which would cover this type of case however, if you wish to fund your case via LEI, we recommend that you contact your insurance company and ask whether they would cover the cost of legal advice and representation. We do not usually accept cases which are funded via LEI, unless the insurance company agrees to cover our fees in full.
Am I eligible for Legal Aid?
As a specialist law firm, we do not offer Legal Aid and therefore, we are unable to advise on eligibility for Legal Aid. If you would like to enquire whether your case can be funded via Legal Aid, we recommend that you contact a law firm which offers Legal Aid.
What work will the lawyers do on my file?
The work undertaken by our lawyers depends on the type of case you have appointed us on however, working on your case will usually involve conducting detailed legal research, assessing case papers, scanning and printing, attending you in a telephone / in person case meeting, drafting file notes, considering e-mails / letters received, drafting letters / e-mails, writing to the Court, providing legal advice, conducting a regular review of your case, internal case meetings with other lawyers, drafting case plans, drafting notes, drafting statements, making telephone calls to the Court / prosecution, discussing your case with a barrister, responding to your calls and e-mails, dealing with your queries, dealing with queries from the prosecution / Court, travelling time, waiting time and advocacy.
Can I appoint a specific solicitor or barrister for my case?
As you have appointed Kang & Co Solicitors Limited to advise and represent you, one of our solicitors or barristers will be dealing with your case on a regular basis. As our lawyers often deal with multiple clients on a regular basis it is inevitable that cases and Court Hearings clash and for that reason, we can’t guarantee that the lawyer dealing with your case will also represent you at Court. If the lawyer dealing with your case is available, a qualified member of the Kang & Co Solicitors team will be assigned to your case.
What other legal defence fees might I incur in my case?
Each case is individual, some cases do not incur any additional agreed fees or charges however, if work is required beyond what has been specified within the ‘Scope of Legal Services’ section of the Engagement Letter another agreed fixed fee will need to be entered into, if you would like us to continue working on your case. If your case requires an expert (e.g. medical professional) to produce a report or attend Court, that will not form part of the agreed fee. If you would like us to appoint a specific barrister to represent you at Court, that fee will not form part of the agreed fee and will result in an additional fee for the cost of appointing the barrister you have chosen. If you would like additional case meetings, there will be further agreed fee for the additional meeting. Requesting a meeting to be held at a location other than one of our offices will also result in an additional agreed fee to cover the travelling time and expense of the home / work visit.
What happens if I am unable to afford to pay any further fees?
Some cases only require the payment of one agreed fee. If your case is likely to involve further fees in the future our lawyers will make you aware of this as soon as possible and we ask that you notify us immediately if you are unable to pay further fees. The work we carry out is done on a stage by stage basis, if you are unable to pay further fixed fees our lawyers will work up to the stage you have paid for and not beyond that point.
What happens if my case requires a further agreed fee and I don’t pay?
If your case is one which requires a further Court Hearing or further preparation beyond the initial agreed fee, our lawyers will assess the complexity of the case, the work required to take the case up to the next stage / Court Hearing and will also factor in any barristers’ fees that may be required. You will then be provided with an agreed fee to take the case up to the next stage. If you do not agree the fee for the next stage or pay the fee for the next stage your file will be closed and archived. If this happens, we shall notify all relevant parties that we are no longer appointed to represent you. You can then either represent yourself at the next stage of your case or appoint another lawyer / law firm to represent you at the next stage.
What happens if I do not pay any further invoices on time?
If your case is such that a further fee is required and you are experiencing difficulties, please contact us as soon as you receive your invoice. The lawyer dealing with your case will then discuss the possible options with you. You will either be given extra time to pay, or your case will be closed.
Are there any late payment fees?
If you do not pay our invoices on time, we may also charge you a late payment fee.
Can I receive a refund?
We have entered into a contractual agreement, which is the entire essence of an agreed fixed fee, these fees are non-refundable, even if for any reason your case does not progress to a Court Hearing.
What should I do if I do not want to continue with my case?
If for any reason you choose no longer to progress with your case, please notify us as soon as possible. Our lawyers will then close and archive your file. You will not receive a refund.
What happens if I decide to plead guilty and the case has been prepared for trial?
When a case is listed for trial, there is a significant amount of time spent on preparing the case for trial. Typically, when a case is listed for trial, a substantial amount of time and work is spent on preparing the case ready for trial and the time spent at Court will usually be a smaller percentage of the total overall work involved. In certain cases, even if you wish to change your mind and plead guilty, we will still need to attend Court to notify the Court of your guilty plea, the significant trial preparation combined with still attending Court will mean that you will not receive a refund, even if the case does not progress to trial, because you have entered into an agreed fee.
What happens if my case was intended for Court but does not go to Court?
If your case was set to progress to Court however, for some reason it does not, your file will be closed and archived. You will not receive a refund, as you have entered into an agreed fixed fee.
Can I change to a different law firm partway through my case?
Yes, if for any reason you wish to appoint a different law firm or lawyer to represent you for the remainder of your case you are always free to do so. If you would like to change to a different law firm / lawyer, please notify us as soon as possible and we will then close and archive your file. If we are part way through the agreed fixed fee you have paid, and wish to appoint a different law firm, you will not receive a refund.
If I am successful, will I get all my legal fees back?
If you are successful (found not guilty) and the Court orders a Defence Costs Order you will receive a contribution from Central Funds or the prosecuting authority towards the legal fees you have paid to us. A Defence Costs Order is usually paid out at Legal Aid rates therefore, usually you will not receive the total cost back of defending your case, but the other side will pay you some legal fees towards the cost of defending your case.
What are your opening hours?
Our offices are open Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm. We are closed on the weekends and Bank Holidays. We do not respond to phone calls or e-mails when our offices are closed.
Do you respond to phone calls / e-mails when your offices are closed?
Our offices are closed on weekends, Bank Holidays and after 5pm each weekday. When our offices are closed there are no staff members present at the office therefore, we do not respond to phone calls or e-mails when we are closed.
How will you communicate with me about my case?
Our preferred method of communication is via e-mail, as it enables us to provide you with written advice quicker than sending correspondence via post. Please let us know if this is not suitable for you or you would prefer us to communicate by letter or by telephone.
How quickly will you respond to my calls / messages?
We aim to respond to telephone messages, e-mails and letters within 5 working days of receipt however, if the nature of your message is urgent, please mark your correspondence as urgent and we shall aim to respond as soon as possible.
Can I have a case meeting at my home or place of work?
Yes, some of our clients prefer to have meetings at their home or place of work and this can be offered by entering into an additional agreed fee. Meetings at a location of your convenience do not form part of any agreed fixed fee. Of course, if you cannot attend our office because of a physical or other impairment, we shall visit you and the cost of this may be included in the agreed fee.
What should I do if I can’t attend a case telephone / in person meeting?
If you are unavailable to attend the case meeting booked for you, please notify your lawyer as soon as possible so that the slot can be offered to another client and your meeting can be re-scheduled for a mutually convenient time. If you have appointed us on the non-telephone meeting package and we are unable to re-schedule the face-to-face meeting to an alternative mutually convenient time, you will be booked in for a telephone meeting. If you cancel a face-to-face meeting at short notice or do not attend, you will be booked in for a telephone meeting at our convenience. If the telephone meeting is unable to take place for any reason and your case is one which will require a Court Hearing, the lawyer that represents you at Court will cover all aspects of what would have taken place in the face-to-face meeting or telephone meeting with you at Court. If our lawyers have limited time and availability from the point of being formally instructed and any applicable deadlines or Court Hearing, you will be booked in for a telephone meeting, rather than a meeting in person.
What happens if I don’t attend a meeting?
If you do not attend a meeting, we have arranged for you, you will be booked in for a telephone meeting, as an alternative to a meeting in person (if you have appointed us on the in person meeting package).
What happens if I don’t attend Court?
The implications of not attending Court will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. If you do not attend Court the lawyer representing, you at Court will initially seek to have the matter adjourned so that the case can be heard when you are present at Court. Your non-attendance will therefore result in an additional Court Hearing which will result in additional agreed fee being required.
Do you attend Court on Weekends or Bank Holidays?
If the agreed fixed fee package you have appointed us on includes a Court Hearing attendance, our lawyers will attend and represent you at Court during our normal business hours which are Monday through to Friday 9am – 5pm. If for any reason you are required to attend Court on a Saturday, Sunday or on a Bank Holiday, our offices are closed, and our lawyers are not required to represent you at Court when our offices are closed.
What happens if my Court Hearing has been changed to a Weekend or Bank Holiday?
If your Court Hearing has been moved to a weekend or bank holiday, please notify us immediate. In very limited circumstances some of our lawyers may be able to represent you at Court on a weekend or bank holiday however, an additional fee will need to be paid if we are required to represent you at Court during a weekends or bank holidays.
Do you attend the Police Station on Weekends or Bank Holiday?
If the agreed fixed fee package you have appointed us on includes a Police Station attendance, our lawyers will attend and represent you at the Police Station during our normal business hours which are Monday through to Friday 9am – 5pm. If for any reason you are required to attend the Police Station on a Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday or after 5pm our offices are closed, and our lawyers are not required to represent you at the Police Station when our offices are closed.
What do I do if I am not satisfied with the service I am receiving?
The outcome in any case is uncertain, and no lawyers can guarantee that your case will conclude with a successful outcome (your desired outcome). If you have concerns with the way your case is being progressed or the service from our lawyers, the first point of contact would be to inform the lawyer dealing with your case and to make him / her aware so that they can seek to remedy any concerns you may have. We have a complaints procedure which is intended to ensure that your complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your complaint, you then have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman Service and we will provide you with details about this.
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