Managing Your Legal Costs

Private Funding

This is when clients pay our costs directly. There are different ways this can work:

  • Fixed fee – a price is quoted to carry out the work and regardless of how many hours are spent on the case, this is the amount that will be charged. Generally Divorces and Wills are quoted on this basis. Other fixed fee work can be negotiated at the time of instructing us.
  • Hourly rate – this is when you are charged according to the number of hours worked on your case. At Routh Clarke we work differently to other solicitors in that we charge by the grade of work done rather than the person doing it. Work is graded into 4 categories according to law Society bands. In practice it means that you may have a grade A person working on your case, but if they are merely forwarding an email from the other side or doing other grade D work, you will only be charged at a grade D rate. This gives your case consistency and means the same person will work on it the whole time, giving you peace of mind, at the same time as keeping costs to a minimum.

There are then different ways you can be billed for the work undertaken by us and different payment options. We will discuss these with you from the outset of your case.

  • Deferred costs - In some instances costs can be deferred to the end of the case.
  • Monthly billing 1 – you will be billed each month and the total amount is cleared each month.
  • Monthly billing 2 - you will be billed each month, but you set up a standing order at the outset of your case which pays a set amount each month. At the end of the case any outstanding amounts (if any) can be paid.
  • Other options – we try to be flexible in how we do business and are always open to different payment options, if you have a way that you would prefer to work, please discuss it with us at the start of the case.

Public Funding

Public Funding is more commonly referred to as Legal Aid. You are entitled to apply for Public Funding as of right, however it is only available in certain circumstances and there are financial eligibility requirements. Should you wish to apply then you can find more information at the Legal Aid Agency website. Unfortunately if this is the way you wish to fund your case, we are not able to conduct Legal Aid work.

Third Party Funding

A third party may be prepared to fund your claim. If you are a member of a trade union or organisation you may also be entitled to free legal advice as part of membership and they may agree to underwrite your legal costs. This type of funding is more common for Accidents at Work Employment issues

Legal Expenses Insurance

You may have Legal Expenses Insurance which may be attached to a business, home or motor insurance policy, a credit card or be part of a specialist legal expenses insurance policy. We will ask you to check through your papers to see whether the type of legal case we are undertaking on your behalf is covered by any form of insurance you may have. If you have pre-existing legal expenses insurance we will ask your insurer to agree to us being instructed under the terms of the policy. This would normally be allowed, but in rare instances may not be the case.

In practice, what this insurance usually covers are solicitors’ costs and any disbursements or expenses that are incurred during the length of the case. This type of funding can be used for lots of different areas of law including Personal Injury, Civil Disputes, employment, contract or criminal cases. You will need to read the small print of your insurance policies to see if you are covered for your particular case. If you are not, you may be able to purchase “After The Event” (ATE) insurance, but this will generally only cover you for the other side’s legal costs and your own expenses (not your solicitor’s fees) if you lose the case. We are here to help and advise you on all aspects of LEI and can often help clients find a provider of ATE insurance if they want to minimise their risks.

Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)

In certain instances, we may be able to work with you on a standard Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) or a Discounted Rate Conditional Fee Agreement (DCFA) basis. These are also referred to as a “No Win, No Fee” (CFA) or a “No Win, Lower Fee” (DCFA) agreement. The benefits of these type of agreements are that we share the litigation risk with you and help you fund the litigation. In return, a premium (known as a success fee) is payable in addition to our standard fees, if the claim succeeds or we are successful on an interim hearing. If the claim is unsuccessful, as long as you have complied with your obligations or the agreement was terminated by you or us, you pay disbursements and either a reduced amount when on a DCFA agreement or nothing if on a CFA agreement, for our time.

Very often, these agreements are also supported by Legal Expenses Insurance, which means if you are unsuccessful in your claim, the other side’s costs are covered. Since April 2013, Success Fees are payable by the client and not by the other side, even if you win your case. There are several criteria that are used to decide if a CFA is appropriate to use to fund a case and it is a matter for the solicitor to decide on a case by case basis. CFA’s are not available for Family work, they are more generally available on Personal Injury and Civil Disputes. Please speak to us about whether your case is appropriate for a CFA.