We want to be as transparent as possible with our clients. That’s why we provide a range of charging structures and a comprehensive FAQ for common questions we receive.
At the outset of any new instruction, we will provide a cost and time estimate in respect of our services. This estimate will be based upon the information that we have received from you so, where information is missing or (for example) we first need to see what the other party’s legal stance is on a matter, this estimate might not relate to the entire instruction but be in respect of a specific phase of the instruction. Our estimates will be provided in writing and will be clear as to the phase of the instruction to which it relates. Furthermore, we regularly review and update our written estimates, should the circumstances or the nature of your instruction change for any reason.
Note also that we offer a choice of Charging Structures that move away from traditional hourly rates, which are designed to suit the range of our clients’ legal requirements and financial circumstances.
In short, yes. We appreciate that it can take time to develop a level of trust with a new Solicitor so we in fact recommend that our clients set financial caps from the outset of any instruction to provide them with peace of mind regarding our instruction. These caps can either be set to a specific financial value or a percentage of our total written costs estimate and can either require that we cease any further action until a new cap is agreed or simply notify that a financial value has been reached.
Our policy is to only allocate the most appropriate Solicitor of member of staff to handle each client’s instruction. This relates not only to a Solicitor’s expertise in respect of the nature of an instruction but also that an appropriate grade of Solicitor or staff member is used for each task. This “blended” approach to our instruction ensures that our clients only pay for the service that they receive and, for example, ensures that senior Solicitors are not used to carry out photocopying or administrative tasks, which would instead be handled by administrative staff at a lesser or no charge, as appropriate.
Details as to the Solicitors allocated to any particular instruction are always provided in advance to clients, either within the clients’ retainer or by subsequent notification in writing. Clients can, at any time, request that the Solicitor allocated to their case be reviewed or changed.
Quite reasonably, this is a common query for clients. For this reason, we commit to update clients as soon as reasonably practicable upon any developments within their case. We take responsibility for ensuring that our clients’ cases are progressed in a timely and cost-effective manner and don’t wait for clients to chase us. Where no developments have occurred, our policy is to either set a date upon which to review the case generally or, if appropriate, to continue to remain on hold pending an expected development.
This will depend upon the nature of the Proceedings issued but, as a general rule, the unsuccessful party in Court Proceedings will be ordered to pay the reasonable costs of the successful party. Note though that this general rule does not apply for pre-issue Solicitor correspondence, the Small Claims Court (i.e. for claims below £10,000) or the Employment Tribunal, amongst other specific situations.
After the Event Litigation (ATE) Insurance is available to protect a client against its opponent’s legal costs in case the client is unsuccessful in Legal Proceedings. In specific circumstances, cover can also be obtained to cover a client’s own legal costs.
In order to provide a quotation for ATE cover, the insurers will require comprehensive details as to the claim and the nature and strength of any dispute so it may be that cover is not available at the start of a dispute until sufficient details are known. It is also common that insurers will require a formal Counsel Opinion on the merits of a client’s case before providing a quote for ATE cover. The cost of the cover will understandably vary depending on a variety of factors, including the strength of a party’s case, how soon the cover is taken out, whether the case settles early or late in the Proceedings and whether the premium is stepped or staged etc. We work closely with a number of brokers and insurers to ensure our clients get the best ATE cover available for their specific circumstances.
Firstly, we operate a strictly monitored complaints policy, which ensures that any client concerns are brought to our attention at the earliest opportunity. It would therefore be extremely unusual that an invoice would be raised where client concerns exist. Should this however be the case and, where the firm’s complaints procedure is unable to remedy a client’s concerns, clients are entitled to submit a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and/or apply to Court for an assessment of our invoicing under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
As business owners ourselves, we have a pragmatic in-house approach to resolving issues before they arise by working alongside our clients, often on monthly retainers. We are commercial, practical and entrepreneurial in our approach to legal services. We agree a package that means you get a certain number of hours from us dedicated to you, and you can count on us always being there giving your business the legal attention it needs.
Yes of course. We can agree a fixed price for the work you require based on an estimated number of hours. See our flexible charging structures. We have experience providing advice for start-ups and understand the importance of having the correct structure and legal framework from the outset. You may also be interested in our Company Docs Packages which provide a core suite of agreements at an affordable rate, to set you started in the right direction.