Solicitor fees will vary according to the legal service being provided, such as personal injury claims or litigation, which we focus on. It’s important that you are well informed before choosing your solicitor. The question of how much does a solicitor cost is one we are asked a lot and one that depends on the company.
You should always make relevant questions to your solicitor, making sure you’re fully informed on any potentially hidden costs.
What Do Fixed Solicitor Fees Mean?
You’ll find that some solicitors will work on a fixed fee basis, which tends to apply to routine work like drafting a will. Should you have been offered and agreed to an agreement from your solicitor to work on a fixed fee, your solicitor can’t charge you more than that.
But be sure to pay attention to the disbursements. In personal injury cases, these are often the costs your solicitor undertakes to pay for things like your medical records. Always check these thoroughly – solicitors often advertise low fixed rates but charge disbursements very high.
Most solicitor firms pay these costs themselves or recover them from either the losing Defendant or from the insurance company.
What Happens if I Win My Claim?
Solicitors tend to charge a success fee, which is a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation that will cover any of their extra costs. This percentage is typically 25%, however, it doesn’t always apply to your compensation’s total amount.
Should you be awarded compensation for future losses, like medical treatment you will require in future, your solicitor won’t be entitled to receiving a percentage of that amount. In addition, make sure to check if your solicitor wants to take their percentage with or without VAT being included and if the success fee includes any insurance policy costs.
If you can, ask your solicitor about guaranteeing you receive a minimum amount of compensation from your damages by the end of your claim.
Why Can’t I Receive 100% of the Compensation?
The Government has changed the law from 1st April 2013 about how people can make a compensation claim for personal injuries. The new law states that the Claimant may have to pay some legal fees in case of a win.
This success fee is usually limited to 25% and can no longer be recovered from the Defendant. Personal injury lawyers will charge you a fixed fee alongside the disbursements, which can be the costs of:
- Copies of medical records
- Barrister fees, should your claim go to court
- Accident report
- Travelling expenses
These costs, however, are typically mainly covered by the other (losing) side.
Why are Hourly Rate Fees Included in My Agreements?
Hourly rates need to be included in agreements and documents and most solicitors add very high hourly rates, which can be above £200 per hour. The reason why hourly rates are included is for the circumstances in which the Court orders Defendants to pay costs on an hourly basis.
Don’t worry, these cases are very uncommon and solicitors can’t charge you the hourly rates. They are there for cases in which the Court finds Defendants to have behaved unethically, you have a high-value claim, or your claim is particularly complex.
Your solicitor will, however, have to stick to the agreement of receiving a fixed fee from your compensation, according to law.
Our team will happily discuss all of these factors with you. We never charge more than what is pre-agreed and we always make sure you’re happy before we proceed. Contact us on 01772 562084 to request a callback or get in touch for a free, no obligation consultation with our friendly team.