Understanding legal fees

Business meetingAs discussed in our recent article there are many considerations to make when choosing a solicitor. Not only do you want to be sure that the solicitor you are going to work with is suitable for the job and will provide you with a first rate service – you will also want to know that the fees they charge are reasonable and fair.

When it comes to approaching solicitors for work, many people will have reservations about the fees that might be involved. The idea of an hourly rate, rather than a fixed fee can create a feeling of unease over what the final cost might amount to and whether it will represent value for money. Also, they might not know that in some cases a good solicitor will be able to offer alternative forms of payment.

Hourly rates and fixed fees

Solicitors fees vary but they will often charge at an hourly rate and this means by the letter, phone call or email. This is because it can often be difficult to predict how long some matters will take to resolve. For some types of cases it can be relatively easy to set a fixed price however in other cases it can be more difficult to predict how long the process will take.

Fixed fees help to reassure the client at what can often be a stressful time dealing with personal and legal matters and possibly feeling quite vulnerable. The peace of mind of knowing how much the work is going to cost them can often come as a great relief.

In terms of practicality, for straight forward work like writing a will, or conveyancing work a fixed fee makes sense, however with something more complicated like a custody dispute it can be much harder to estimate the time it will take to complete and therefore harder to set a fixed price. An alternative here would be to set-up a monthly fee.

Transparency is important when it comes to legal fees and in “no win no fee” arrangements the solicitor should be open and upfront about how much money they we will deduct if the case is successful.

It can be helpful for clients to be able to gauge an idea of how much a case is going to cost them by offering a price list or a quotation service online.

At Cooks Solicitors we believe in telling clients, wherever possible, how much we are going to charge them. Please call us on 01782 713 755 to see how we can help you, or request a callback here

Agree? Disagree? Do let Cooks Solicitors know what you think by commenting below.

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