Can you give us a price list now for everything you do?
Not here, no. We will always be willing to explore a pricing structure that best suits both you and us. We will also always discuss and agree prices or a pricing model and indicative prices, with you before we start to provide you with our services. We cannot provide a menu of set prices because every matter is unique and is priced accordingly.
We pride ourselves on providing a bespoke service for our clients. The price will be tailored to match the particular services that you require.
How much a matter will cost will depend on a whole range of things, examples of which are listed below.
Factors which influence cost
How much a matter will cost will depend on a whole range of things, examples of which include the following:
~ How much support you’ll need.
If you need more help, we’ll give you that support – that’s part of our role as professionals.
Conversely, if you are already knowledgeable about the subject matter but just need someone to guide you or to lead the transaction, then our role will be a different one.
~ The nature and complexity of the matter and our experience in dealing with it
Traditionally lawyers have billed based around time and experience. How long we spend dealing with something could impact on the cost, but will rarely be the deciding factor.
We are moving away from billing based upon time spent at hourly rates, although in some (discrete areas) we may still agree that this is the best pricing model for both parties.
Generally speaking, it remains true that the longer someone has worked in a given area, the more expertise they will have built up and the more valuable their time will likely be (partly because of supply and demand principles; partly because they’ll likely be more efficient at dealing with certain issues and may therefore be able to do them more quickly). It’s for these reasons that partners generally have a higher charge out rate than more junior members of the team.
Other factors also play their part. Something might be complex, but we might nevertheless have dealt with it many times before, so understand how to do it more efficiently.
Some areas of law are more technical or “valuable” (in the market place) than others. Tax law advice, for example, is harder to obtain because fewer people can offer this skill (partly because it requires additional skills, experience and, ideally qualifications). For this reason, tax legal advice might be more expensive than, say, corporate legal advice.
In broad terms, matters and issues which we’ve encountered numerous times before, or which are easy and quick to deal with, will take us less time, and may therefore cost less, than more complex matters.
Where we both agree that you will be billed based on a time spent at hourly rates basis, the above factors will be particularly relevant in terms of the fees aspect of your bill. However, billing by time spent at hourly rates is only one of a host of ways of billing.
We will discuss and explore other options with you in order to find the best structure for both parties.
~ The agreed basis for pricing
Certainty on costs is good for you, good for us, and good for business.
We are moving away from billing based upon time spent at hourly rates because we recognise that this isn’t always the best pricing structure for you. Businesses and individuals like certainty; they need to budget. As a business, made up of individuals, we understand your needs.
Different clients like different pricing structures. Where we can, we will try to accommodate this, and we’ll always explore options with a view to agreeing a structure that suits both parties.
Examples of pricing models are below. These are not exhaustive. We remain open to new suggestions or innovative solutions.
Time spent at hourly rates
In some cases, billing the fees element on a time spent at hourly rates basis may be preferable for you and us.
Closely aligning time spent and fee earner experience in respect of the fees part of the bill, has its advantages, particularly in circumstances where there may be a chance of recovering a proportion of fees from the other side.
It may also be advantageous in a dispute situation, where there’s uncertainty as to how the “other side” may react and things may quickly change. Regular staged billing (i.e. a step by step approach) can allow a client to keep the pressure on and keep things progressing, but with a regular re-assessment of the cost-benefit analysis of “taking the next step” (See also staged capped fees, below).
Some clients prefer to call on our services on a “use when needed” basis, and where they do so, this is often based on a time spent at hourly rates fee structure plus VAT and extras.
With certain transactional matters, once we understand something about the transaction and what it involves, we can quote on a fixed or a capped fee basis. In this way, you know the cost upfront and can make decisions with this in mind as well as comparing our price against that of other law firms.
Needless to say, if new issues arise that mean that the basis on which we agreed the fixed price has changed (e.g. if the deal changes) we will, of course, discuss that and agree a way forward. The lion’s share of clients who have asked us to provide services for them at a fixed price, have either paid this or been satisfied that the additional costs were justified by the additional service provided.
Monthly set fee
Some clients retain us on a pre-arranged monthly or quarterly fee, tailored to usage. This makes budgeting legal spend a very straightforward exercise.
Staged capped fees
None of the above structures are exhaustive and we can explore a mixture of different types of fee structures. In some areas of work, such as employment tribunal claims, a staged capped fee structure may be preferable. This combines the flexibility of a staged approach (allowing a “slowly, slowly approach”, with room for manoeuvre) with the certainty of capped fees for different pre-defined stages (allowing clients to budget more effectively).
We value our relationship with organisations like TEAM and The Northern Business Hive and offer reduced rates to their members.
~ Additional costs (Disbursements, expenses and VAT)
As well as charging for “doing the legal work” (which we refer to as “our Fee or Fees”), expenditure which we incur on your behalf will also be passed onto you.
Examples include counsel’s (barrister’s) fees, overseas legal fees, enquiry agent’s fees, certain property searches/enquiry fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax and submission fees, Land Registry fees, court fees, valuation fees and courier charges). We call these “Disbursements”.
We will also pass on other charges (which we refer to as “Expenses”) such as:
- any charges that we incur in carrying out client identification checks;
- bank transfer fees (where applicable) of £25 per transfer;
- certain property searches.
Where applicable, we’ll add VAT at the prevailing rate to our Fees and Expenses. All estimates of, or references to, Fees and Expenses are exclusive of VAT. Our VAT registration number is 158626187.
Price and other information in relation to employment tribunal claims is set out here.