The work we undertake for you is governed by our standard terms of retainer and a letter of engagement. The standard terms of retainer contain important provisions and detail the terms upon which we will provide you with legal services.
Our standard terms of retainer may be accessed here.
Our standard terms of retainer explain our obligations and duties to you and are governed by the law of England & Wales. It includes terms on the following: our fees and the expenses which we incur as well as invoicing and VAT; confidentiality and privacy as well as protection of your data; how we will communicate with you; compliance with money laundering and financial crime legislation; costs management by the court and approved litigation budgets; how we hold funds for you and deal with funds we receive from or are to be paid to you. It also addresses the recoverability of costs in litigation and the obligation on you to verify court documents; the limitation of our liability to you and your right to complain about the service we provide to you as well as the termination of your instructions.
The separate letter of engagement provides you with additional information relevant to the particular matter outlining what you are instructing us to do, how your matter will be conducted and who will undertake the work, as well as the cost.
Both these documents also detail your obligations to us and you should read each document carefully.
Our charges will be calculated by reference to the amount of time spent on your case. The hourly rate of fee earners varies within a given range to reflect their experience or knowledge on an area of law and/or practice, and the skills required depending on the nature, value, complexity of your case and the advice you require.
We calculate our charges by reference to these hourly rates, with VAT payable in addition. This does not mean that we record a full hour each time we undertake some work on a matter upon which you have instructed us. Rather, we record for the amount of time taken.
Within our letter of engagement we will provide you with an estimate of charges to the best of our ability at the outset which we believe are likely to be incurred in dealing with a matter for you as well as detail of disbursements (other costs and expenses which may be incurred), for example a court fee. The estimate of our charges is based on our experience and what we know at the relevant time. However, if there is a change in circumstances we will tell you of that if it occurs.
*Estimates are not fixed fees.*
We may provide an estimate which is a range of cost – between x and y –. Usually this arises where there may be variable factors, including for example there is uncertainty regarding the volume of documents we have to review in order to advise on an issue.
There are some instances where we are not able to estimate at the outset the likely costs, for example the costs of an external expert, a forensic accountant or specialist barrister, but we will discuss such costs with you before they are incurred.
We retain barristers on behalf of clients and where we do so, we will seek your agreement: you will be responsible for paying a barrister’s fees. Usually a barrister is retained when there is a complex point of law and the case may need to be presented to a court or tribunal.
We may agree to charge on a fixed fee basis in certain circumstances where appropriate depending upon the complexity and process to be followed. Again, disbursements will be an additional cost. We will discuss with you if we consider the matter is suitable for a fixed fee.
Our hourly rates
Partners – between £425 and £500 plus VAT.
Senior associates – between £325 and £410 plus VAT.
Associates – between £250 and £310 plus VAT.
Trainee solicitors – between £175 and £225 plus VAT.
Paralegals – £160 plus VAT.
Partners and associates (sometimes referred to as assistant solicitors) are all qualified solicitors admitted in England and Wales. Trainee solicitors are not qualified lawyers, but they will have taken certain professional examinations.