People are often scared of lawyers fees , so we felt it only fair to set out not only our charging structure but also how we will bill you. It is our experience that often such information is not easily available from law firms’ websites.
We know that instructing a solicitor can seem daunting particularly within the sensitive area of Family Law. The breakdown of a relationship can be a stressful and confusing time. Some initial advice can be helpful in terms of understanding your rights and the options available to you, and the various processes which may help you resolve matters going forward.
Fixed Fee Initial Appointment
We offer an initial fixed fee appointment for up to one hour. These are not appropriate in all circumstances, but we can assess whether you might benefit from such a meeting when we arrange the appointment. We charge £150 plus vat (£180) for this meeting. There is no obligation to instruct us further following the appointment if you do not wish to do so. The meeting is confidential, and we would never contact the other party involved. You will be seeing a partner of the business, and together we have over 40 years worth of Family Law Specialism under our belts.
The appointment enables you to take advice about the options available to you, what the cost of each option is likely to be, how the options work, what procedural steps need to be taken, and if we have the information to enable us to do so, the possible outcomes. We will advise you on the "best fit" for your particular circumstances, and what in our opinion is the most efficient and cost effective way to resolve your particular matter. Family Law is not a "one size fits all" area of law, and we have many years of assessing the best way forward for you.
A one-off initial meeting also enables you to meet with us and to see whether we are the type of firm that you wish to work with going forward. In some Family Law cases you may be working with your solicitor for an extended period of time, and it is important that you feel comfortable with the person that you instruct, and that your solicitor understands you and your objectives.
Should you wish to instruct us going forward then we charge an hourly rate of £200 plus vat (£240 in total), and record time in units of 6 minutes. This is highly competitive, and less than the hourly rate charged by partners in firms conducting similar work in the Taunton area.
There are certain things for which we charge a set fee, such as preparing change of name documentation and swearing Court documents.
If your case involves us having to instruct other experts, such as barristers, accountants, valuers, pensions experts etc., then their charges are not included in our hourly rate. Obviously, we cannot instruct such a person without your consent, and we will discuss their charges with you before asking them to do any work on your behalf. In some cases such experts are employed on a “joint” basis, so their cost is shared between you and your opponent.
We will ask you to provide us with a sum of money which we will hold on account of our costs.
We will bill you on a month by month basis (unless otherwise agreed), as experience tells us that clients find it easier to budget on this basis. We will ask you to top up the monies which we hold on account once we have billed you.
If we are to instruct a barrister on your behalf, or instruct an expert to attend as expert witness, or prepare a report, then we will require payment of their fees before they undertake any work on your behalf.
We will provide you with a cost estimate at the outset of your case, and should this change then we will discuss this with you. Whilst we do all within our power to let you know what a case is likely to cost, we can never fully predict what your opponent will do, and thus what action we have to take as a result. Accordingly, we are obliged to keep our cost estimate under constant review, and we will notify you immediately if we think that our original estimate is likely to be exceeded.
Please note that we are obliged to comply with Money Laundering Regulations, and that we are therefore required to obtain proof of identity from each new client. Until we have been able to do this we are not able to undertake any work on your behalf.