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Whilst it is useful to have an idea of what might be the general likely cost of your case,  it can make sense to agree a fixed fee for a case. Our agreed fixed fees are based on an assessment of the work to be done – drawn from our  hourly rates- and we then apply a discount. We agree with you how many hours we think are likely to be needed and offer a fixed fee based on that. You can accept the offer or say you prefer to pay only for the hours of work actually done.

A single fee for the whole case

If we agree a single fixed fee for the whole case we will confirm it in writing and what it includes. Any VAT payable is always additional.  We offer fixed fees by assessing how much work is likely to be needed and then fixing a competitive rate for the whole job.  We will set out in writing if conditions apply to a fixed fee we offer you but we prefer to offer an unconditional fixed fee if we can.

The fixed fee usually applies to our own costs and not those which have to be paid to others such as barristers or Court fees- unless we agree otherwise and confirm it in writing.

A single fee with an upper limit

We might offer a  fixed fee with a  limit on the maximum amount of work covered where the case is particularly unpredictable.   Typically that might be he point at which the work actually done by us exceeds what was agreed by more than 50% of what the bill would have been on hourly rates. We call that the fixed fee limit.  If it is exceeded we will charge you at our ordinary hourly rate for the work over the fixed fee limit, or agree an amended fixed fee with you. We will not charge you for the extra work unless we have told you in advance what work we have already done and that the fixed fee limit is going to be exceeded.

In most uncomplicated cases agreeing fixed fees is quite easy and predictable – for example  a guilty pleas in a drink-drive case or in a straightforward non-asylum immigration case. Examples of these types of cases are given on another link in this section  so you can compare our charges with those of other lawyers before making a decision

An example of how a  Fixed Fee might work in an unpredictable case

You ask us to act in a case to be heard in a magistrates court in which you will plead Not Guilty. After assessing the case complexity and the amount of work you ask us to do we think we will need to spend up to five hours reading all prosecution papers and taking statements from you and one witness plus two hours preparing for trial and half a day (3 hours)  in court making a total of 10 hours.  If he case and trial are to be conducted by for a solicitor of 4 years post qualification experience whose normal charging rate is £250 an hour the total hourly rate costs up to the start of the trial would come to 10hrs @ £250 ph = £2,500 plus VAT.

  • Scenario 1: If we agreed an unconditional fixed fee of £2000 plus VAT that is all you would pay
  • Scenario 2: If , instead, we agreed a conditional fixed fee of £2200 plus VAT to a maximum of  15 hours work  you would pay £2200 plus VAT plus the cost of the extra work over 15 Hours but no more. This means that if we did just 15 hours work you would not pay more than £2200 plus VAT for our work because the upper limit agreed had not been exceeded.

These arrangements work best when you have the information to make an informed choice about what is best for you and gives you best control over your expenditure.

In more complicated, serious cases, which may involve  several months work we will consider a series of fixed fee agreements for fixed stages of the case. In these cases we will agree a detailed case plan with you for each stage of the case with a detailed explanation of what is included in the fees agreed and what is excluded.

A fixed fee arrangement in unpredictable cases is not always best. But it is an option you may wish to consider with us to keep control of costs

See our other examples of costs in more predictable cases.


Things to bear in mind if you want to agree a fixed fee

  • We can work with you on the basis of agreed fixed fees for the whole of the work we will do or for a particular stage of the work.
  • An agreed fixed fee gives you greater certainty and control of cost and gives us certainty of payment.
  • We offer a fixed fee taking into account the seniority of the lawyer; the nature and seriousness of the matter ; its importance to you; any risk factors; the volume of paperwork and documents to be considered; the level of expertise involved; and the amount of work we anticipate is needed.
  • It is a condition of agreeing a fixed fee that payment is on time. If you fail to pay the agreed fixed fee in full by the due payment date we will revert to full ordinary underlying hourly rates.
  • Unless stated otherwise in writing a fixed fee includes all ordinary work within the following categories: correspondence in and out; ordinary postage; photocopying up to 100 pages; scanning; email; telephone calls; travel time incurred in the particular stage plus all the legal work and waiting undertaken by us (but not others)and included in the quotation for relevant stage.
  • If we agree to work for you on the basis of a single non-refundable fixed fee agreed with you which represents the whole of the work or the first or only stage in the work you wish us to do we may not agree to start any work until payment for that stage has been received. Second and subsequent staged payments of fixed fees are payable within 7 days of issue of a bill for the fixed fee after we have agreed the fee with you.
  • We can agree a series of fixed fees with you for stages in a lengthy matter. We will provide you with a staged case plan on request with a quotation for the first stage together with an estimate of likely costs in subsequent stages. If you do not agree a fixed fee for a stage our ordinary hourly rates apply
  • We can agree an installment plan for the payment of fees. Please ask to speak to a Funding Officer if it is not offered. Generally we do not accept installment payments for bills below £1000 and require installments to be at least monthly and not less than £500 or 15% of the bill in most circumstances.
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