Fixed fees 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.
Fixed fees 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 the point at which the work actually carried out 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 exceeds 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 at a magistrates court in which you will plead Not Guilty. After assessing the case complexity and the amount of work that is required. There may be further work that 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 the case and trial are to be conducted by for a solicitor of 3 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 are appropriate when you have the information to make an informed choice about what is best for you and gives you better 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 manage the control of costs.
Value Added Tax VAT
20% Value added tax (VAT) will be added to our fees.