Ian WalkerAfter the Initial Meeting

Following the Initial Meeting our charges are as follows;

Legal Services

We have always been very open about how we charge. This is important both to us and to our clients.

You will find our hourly charge rates on our Our Charges page.

You will also be assisted by the Pricing Journey / Costs Estimates page.

For most clients we will act on the basis that we will send monthly bills (most months) and we charge according to our hourly rates.

A few clients will choose to instruct us on the basis of a fixed fee. All cases are different and how complicated the case becomes will depend upon how cooperative and able to negotiate the other party and their legal representative are. It is therefore very difficult to work out what would be a fair fixed fee until we know a bit more about the case and the issues and personalities involved.

 

Pay as you go

We are conscious that there are some clients who have a limited budget and who do not qualify for legal aid.

For these clients – the best starting point is one of our initial meetings. Our client engagement questionnaire together with anything that the client sends will allow us to prepare for the first meeting and we should be able to give some good advice to assist the client taking the case forward from there by themselves.

The idea of the pay-as-you-go scheme is that clients who cannot afford to instruct us to represent them in the normal way will then come back for a series of meetings as the case progresses. They will deal with all the work between meetings including communicating with the other party.

Each time the client comes back for a new pay-as-you-go meeting they will send to us an update including relevant letters and emails and court documents. We will then be able to prepare for a good face-to-face meeting and if the client chooses prepare a short written report – best with bullet points – so there clear as to next steps.

Under this model we cannot meet with or discuss the case with the client between these proper meetings – because we will not be up to date and there will be no retainer in place for us to act. However the idea is that there will be a series of constructive meetings which should give the client assistance and confidence to run the next phase of the case by themselves.

Under this model we could also attend court – but a fixed fee would be agreed on a case-by-case basis and would depend upon what the hearing was about and what preparation we needed to do.

It is always best for a client to be completely honest about what they can realistically afford at their initial meeting (including what they may be able to borrow commercially or from relatives if absolutely necessary). One of the worst things that can happen is for a client to start off instructing us in the normal way and then run out of money – and us not being able to act – just as the case reaches its most complex and may be a significant court hearing is coming up.

We want to help our clients as best we can. As a business we can only help all of our clients if the lawyers charge a fair price for their time (if the business didn’t make enough money to pay everyone and our overheads – we wouldn’t be able to help anyone – which is therefore completely counter-productive).

Pay as you go is not as good as normal representation – but it can be the best solution for some clients.

Legal Aid for Family Law cases

Legal Aid is still available for some areas of Family Law. We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and can offer a Legal Aid service to eligible clients.

Legal Aid is still available for cases brought by Social Services or where there are issues of safety and where protection is required.

Legally Aid is also available for issues such as child contact and divorce if there is evidence of a danger to you or your children from the other person. The specific rules are complicated and it is best to ask us.  Unless the case is brought by Social Services,  there is a means assessment. In that situation, you may be asked to pay a contribution from your income. You may also have to repay your costs from any money you recover or preserve.

Legal Aid and Social Services

Legal Aid is still available for cases brought by Social Services or where there are issues of safety and where protection is required.

If the case is brought by Social Services, there is no means testing. You pay nothing.

You may have questions such as: What does family law cover? What different types of family lawyers are there?
We have created an FAQ’s page that can help answer those questions.