At Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors we recognise that it is important for people to have accurate and relevant information about a firm when considering buying legal services, including understanding what the costs may be.
Generally speaking, every case we undertake is different and the factors that can affect the work involved are diverse and numerous. Our charges will therefore vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
We have set out a below a summary of the basis upon which we charge for the work we do.
There are three main elements to the legal costs of providing the legal service we are instructed to undertake:
- our charges for doing the work;
- disbursements we pay to others on behalf of a client (e.g. Court fees, Search fees, Counsel’s fees, Expert’s fees)
- expenses we must for something that we provide (e.g. photocopying charges)
We endeavour to be clear about the price and service will help avoid misunderstandings and cost-related complaints later in the matter.
Depending on the nature of the transaction and any legal restrictions that we may be under as to the type of fee arrangements we can offer, the basis upon which we will charge for the work we do will be agreed with you.
Our charges for the following specific legal services can be found by following the relevant link below:
- Debt Recovery up to a value of £100,000
- Employment Tribunal claims
- Residential Conveyancing
- Private Client Services
In all other cases our charges for providing legal services are on one of the following arrangements:
1. Time basis
The time spent on your case or matter will be charged in units with each hour being made up of 10 units. Routine short letters and e-mails in and out are charged as 1 unit. Telephone calls, longer letters and e-mails and will be charged according to the time actually spent rounded up to the next unit.
We will make a record of each activity and the time spent doing this is also chargeable to you. It may be appropriate for a Partner to review the file or supervise the solicitor or other executive dealing with it from time to time, and in such a case you will be advised of the time spent by the Partner and of the costs included for such supervision or file reviews in the overall charge we make.
Sometimes we are asked to deal with a case in a manner which is not cost-effective, for example where the client alters our instructions or makes frequent telephone calls to us which do not advance the matter. It is nevertheless still necessary for us to charge our clients for all the time actually spent by us in such circumstances.
The current hourly rates will be set out in the Client Care Letter we send to clients once instructed.
2. Fixed Fee and capped fee
We may, depending on the nature of the work to be carried out, offer to carry out work for a fixed fee or capped fee.
A fixed fee is payable for carrying out specific instructions for which a fee will be agreed in advance and will be based on certain assumptions.
A capped fee is payable for carrying out specific instructions for which the charge will be the lesser of either the time basis for carrying out the work or an upper limit, or cap, on the amount to be charged for that specified work.
It is important to define the work that is to be carried out under the capped or fixed fee.
In the event that we are asked to carry additional work, or any of the assumptions turn out to be incorrect or change, additional work may need to be carried out on a time basis.
3. Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)
This is an agreement under which we provide advocacy or litigation services where a charge for the work we do will only be payable for the work carried out in specified circumstances, usually but not limited to successfully pursuing a claim. You may still need to pay disbursements and expenses and any costs ordered to be paid to another person.
A conditional fee agreement provides for a success fee to be applied to our charges where the specified circumstances are achieved.
In addition, a discounted conditional fee agreement may be entered into under which you pay a reduce fee irrespective of the outcome and the full fee plus a lower success fee in the event the specified circumstances are achieved.
4. Damages Based Agreement (DBA)
A damages based agreement provides that our fees will only be payable in the event that a specified contingency occurs which confers a financial benefit (generally speaking, damages) onto a client.
The fee that is to cover the work we do is calculated as a percentage of the financial benefit (the DBA payment). In addition, inter partes costs are recoverable on an hourly basis even though a DBA is in place.
5. Other arrangements
There may be occasions where we agree an arrangement with you which does not fall within one of the above categories, provided always that it complies with the obligations we are under from the Law Society and Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority.
We want to give our clients the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided, please inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can contact our Complaints Partner, Stuart Snelson or Managing Partner, Richard Millard
We will always attempt to resolve any complaints, but where this is not possible, or if you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman www.legalombudsman.org.uk to consider the complaint. They can be contacted on 0300 555 0333 or by writing to Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
The SRA can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Updated 6 March 2019