COST ESTIMATES & HOURLY RATES

    • Assessing costs of a particular case is not an exact science but worked on the basis of how many hours of work is needed to do the work based on the litigator`s expertise and hourly rates. Firstly, the costs schedule sets out the work done in hours and adds the number of routine emails, telephone calls and letters. The work type includes attending on client and others, reviewing documents, preparing documents [such as statements, chronologies, position statements, skeleton arguments and submissions], attending hearings, including negotiations and consultation with parties, travel, waiting and hearings. The hourly rate is divided into units of ten 6 minute units of time. Routine letters, calls and emails are charged as one unit each.
    • What solicitors can charge is set by the Supreme Court Costs Office [SCCO] and the charges are based on the grade of the solicitor from A-E and the region of the country they practice in.
    • The factors taken into account when setting the hourly rates are the number of years of experience of the solicitor in their area of work [a more experienced solicitor will give better advice and take less time in dealing with the case]. The area of the country they operate in is important because of the solicitors` overheads such as rent and costs of employing staff [ for example Central London is more expensive than outside London]
    • In the most recent case of Various Claimants v MGN Ltd [2016] the Costs Master Gordon-Saker set guideline hourly rates of £400 per hour for a Grade A solicitor with over 8 years experience operating in London area 2. Our solicitors Mumtaz Awan and Jacqueline Awan [ Grade A with over 25 years experience operating in London Area 3] charge hourly rates of  £200 – £ 250 per hour depending on the type of work.
    • From time to time, depending on the type of work, we may agree a fixed fee for the work involved. These costs would always be less than those charged on an hourly rates and you would have certainty of costs but would be based on the information available at the time and may change if circumstances or instructions change. The type of work could be a straight forward divorce, children application or small claim where the amount is small and issues are uncomplicated. This may involve giving general advice, assisting you with preparing the documents for court, advice and assistance on attending a hearing or attending a hearing with you. We will set out in writing what work will be done on your behalf and what we will charge before we proceed.
    • The costs of a typical claim depending on whether you are a claimant or defendant can range  from £200 to £50,000 including other expenses or disbursements.
    • From time to time solicitors have to pay out other expenses on behalf of clients ranging from counsel/barrister fees and expert fees depending on the type of case. We have no obligation to make such payments unless we are in funds for that purpose. These payments are referred to as other expenses or disbursements.
    • The total costs of a case with solicitors fees, based on number of hours spent on case, may include other expenses such as counsel /barrister fees for advice on a complex matter, preparing documents and attending a court on your behalf, expert fees [ such as valuations, medical reports or accountant`s reports] which can be agreed in advance and court fees depending on the value and stage of the claim such as issue fees , trial fees or application fees.
    • There are various stages to a claim for example if you start a claim you have to send a letter before action setting out your claim in detail, if after a reply or correspondence there is no chance of settling the matter then you issue court proceedings, deal with a defence and follow on to disclosure [ exchange of the evidence by way of documents and statements ] and if still there is no resolution then the matter goes to trial for a Judge to decide. We must stress that it is incumbent on both sides of the dispute to try and resolve the issues as soon and as cost effectively as possible and try to avoid going to trial. Notwithstanding the fact that no two cases or clients are exactly the same our estimates are based on expertise in dealing with many cases over the years and likely amount of time spent on the case.
    • At the outset we will give you an estimate for the first stage of the proceedings and an overall costs estimate for the whole matter.
    • We will add VAT to our fees at the rate that applies when the work is done and VAT is payable on certain expenses. At present VAT is 20%.
    • In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors which include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge that the case requires and if appropriate, the value of the property or the subject matter involved. On the basis of the information available, we would expect these factors to be adequately covered by the hourly rates set out above.
    • We will inform you in writing if any unforeseen additional work becomes necessary for example due to unexpected difficulties or if your requirements or the circumstances significantly change during the course of the matter. We will also inform you of estimated costs in writing before any extra charges and expenses are incurred.
    • Normally on 31st March each year we review the hourly rates to take account of changes in our overhead costs. We will notify you in writing of any change in the rates.
    • We do our best to keep the costs down and speed up the process to minimise stress but many things are beyond our control such as the behaviour the opponent and how long it takes for the matter to be listed for hearing. A contested claim can take from 6 months to 18 months to conclude. In complex cases it may take longer to get early trial dates.
    • We do not provide public funding [legal aid ] , conditional fee agreements or a contingency agreements.