We will make sure you know about how much our work is going to cost before we get started. This will be in writing. Make sure you understand:
The method of calculating how much we will charge (time, scale, fixed price – see below).
Any out of pocket costs that we will pay on your behalf.
The estimated total for our work.
How much might be recoverable from someone else.
How much might be payable to someone else.
Calculation of Our Fees
Methods of calculation include:
Time: Each of our staff members has an applicable hourly rate. This will be shown on our initial advice to you. The indicative hourly rate for each of our staff members rate is also shown on their staff profiles in this website. Note that this hourly rate is based on accounts being rendered and paid on a monthly basis.
Scale: Each different court has a different scale of costs which put a price on each activity conducted by us on your behalf.
Fixed Price: In matters where the scope of works can be clearly defined, we can give you a fixed price.
Uplift: Where we take some of the risk in the recovery of our costs i.e. no recovery no charge, we may ask for an uplift on the usual fees at the end of a successful matter or charge a higher hourly rate than the usual indicative rate.
Out of Pocket Costs
Most cases will require us to spend some money on your behalf. Expenditure may be made to the courts for filing fees, hearing fees and the like; expert witnesses; government departments, etc.
These expenses are known as disbursements and we will generally add these expenses to our fees to be paid by you.
Total Cost of Our Work
You will be provided with an estimate of the total cost of our work before we get started and also advised of how the account needs to be paid e.g. monthly, at the completion of various stages or at the end.
It is often possible to estimate the cost of a particular stage of litigation with accuracy e.g. to take initial instructions, draft a statement of claim, file the statement of claim with the courts and serve it on the other side might require 5 to 6 hours for a simple commercial dispute. However, difficulties in predicting the total costs arise because it is difficult to predict exactly what steps a particular dispute is going to require e.g. the defendants might pay once they get served and the case is then finished or they might not respond at all or they might defend and even raise a counterclaim.
The lawyer handling your case will discuss the total cost of our work with you and offer different options to keep that cost to the lowest level possible considering the circumstances of the case.
Costs Recoverable from Someone Else
Most courts and tribunals will order that the losing party pays the costs of the winning party.
Those costs are unlikely to cover the entire amount that you pay us.
The lawyer handling your case will give you an idea on what amount is likely to be recovered if the case is successful.
Remember that there are two elements to recovering costs. First, you need to win your case. Second, the losing party will need to have funds available to pay you. This is not a problem if the losing party is an insurer or other significant organisation but can be an issue if the losing party is an individual or company without assets or income.
Costs Payable to Someone Else
The reverse side of the good news in the section above is that if you are the losing party, you may be ordered to pay the costs of the winning party.
This is an inherent risk in all litigation.
The lawyer handling your case will give you an idea on what amount could be payable if you case was unsuccessful.
Most importantly, we will need to monitor the progress of your case to make sure that we proceed with caution and take appropriate action where we become aware of issues that may negatively affect your prospects of success.