Services & Prices
Under Price Transparency Rules issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority we have to provide information in relation to services we offer and the prices for them.
The majority of our work is carried out under a contract from the Legal Aid Agency. Quite often this means that work is carried out with no charge to the client, although sometimes the client has to pay a contribution towards the costs of funding the case.
Applications for public funding) generically referred to as Legal Aid) in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court are subject to means testing. Further information can be given on this by speaking to one of our fee-earners.
If case is one for which public funding is not available (either due to the nature of the case or the client’s means) we do carry out cases on a privately paying basis. One area where public funding is often not available is Road Traffic (e.g cases of using a motor vehicle with no insurance, driving a motor vehicle without a licence and so on). Here we set out the usual hourly rates we can charge for such work.
However, it is very rare that we would conduct such a case and charge a full hourly rate for the entire case. Each case is specific to its own facts and we will discuss any funding issues in full at an initial free interview. To confirm, this means we will hold a discussion with you about your case, including its progress and cost, at an initial interview for which you will not be charged regardless of the future conduct of the case.
Wherever possible we try and agree a fixed fee with the client at the outset once we have considered the case and what work will be required. This will vary depending upon whether the case is a straightforward guilty plea which will be dealt with at one hearing, or whether it is a not guilty plea which will need to be dealt with at trial.
The table below shows the guideline hourly rates solicitors are suggested to charge privately paying clients. The current legal staff set up at Hodgson Coulthard & Co is three solicitors all with more than 8 years experience. The firm cover work mainly in National Grade 2. Therefore the guideline hourly charging rate is £201.
|A||Solicitors and legal executives with over 8 years’ experience||£409||£317||£229–£267||£217||£201||£201|
|B||Solicitors and legal executives with over 4 years’ experience||£296||£242||£172–£229||£192||£177||£177|
|C||Other solicitors or legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience||£226||£196||£165||£161||£146||£146|
|D||Trainee solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners||£138||£126||£121||£118||£111||£111|
However, it is important to note that in the vast majority of cases we would look to agree a fee at the outset of the case. Once that fee was agreed the work would be carried out for that amount, even if more work became necessary than was initially envisaged.
Fees agreed usually range from £200 (inclusive of VAT and disbursements) for a straightforward matter dealt with at one hearing by way of a guilty plea, up to £1000 (including VAT and disbursements) for complex cases where a lengthy trial is listed. Over that price range the vast majority cases are dealt with in a range of £150-£500 (including VAT and disbursements).
We are entitled to charge for the following items of work:
- (1) Attending upon the client and others involved in the case to discuss and progress matters.
- (2) Preparing the case by considering the evidence in the case and researching any relevant law.
- (3) Writing letters and making telephone calls to progress the case.
- (4) Travelling to and from Court in connection with the case.
- (5) Waiting at Court for the case to be dealt with.
- (6) Representing the client in Court dealing with the case.
Those items are ones which would usually be charged at the above hourly rates (with each letter or telephone call being charged at 10% of the hourly rate). The amount charged hourly would attract VAT.
We are also entitled to charge for disbursements which are amounts we reasonably incur in progressing the case. Common examples are an allowance of 45p per mile travelling (usually to and from Court in connection to the case) and car parking charges.
Any specific cost queries can be dealt with by contacting the office and speaking to one of our fee earners. We would reiterate that most cases are likely to be capable of being dealt with on the basis of an agreed fee.
We would also like to point out that sometimes, if a person is found not guilty at trial, and they were privately paying for their representation, the Court may agree to repay some or all of the costs incurred by granting a Defence Costs Order. More information can be given on this upon request.