We understand that you want to have control over your legal expenses and that you want certainty. You need clear guidelines to make predictions, estimates and good decisions. You need to know what to expect and we need to manage those expectations. We believe we should only bill for the value we add (the outcomes we achieve), transparency is key and we’re open to alternative fee arrangements such as a retainer fee structure. We always try to find a better way to provide legal services and to pass the benefit on to you.
We always aim to provide valuable cost-effective legal services. We are flexible and willing to discuss and agree alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) and billing methods. We base our fees on value-added and not just on time spent by a specialist. Just because a senior practitioner spends time on a matter does not mean that you will be charged for all that time irrespective of the nature of the work actually done. In other words, you pay for the value we provide and not just on time spent.
Nature of work
Legal work ranges from routine tasks to specialist individual advice based on considerable knowledge and experience gained over many years. The nature of the actual work determines the appropriate fee. Depending on resources and urgency we ensure that work is done and charged for at appropriate rates and levels depending on the skill and experience required.
If senior practitioners perform some routine tasks you will not be charged at their usual rate for all the time spent. We are transparent about how our fees are calculated and how a matter is progressing. Preferably the value to be added and the appropriate fees should be fixed upfront to avoid any disputes and unpleasantness. We are conscious of financial burdens and guard against inefficiencies and align our legal fees accordingly.
Alternative fee arrangements (AFAs)
Alternative billing structures, fixed and other fee structures can be more efficient than billing on hourly rates. Fees can also be quoted on a project basis. There may also be scope for volume discounting and risk or reward structures and even maximum daily rates. With us there is a ‘no surprises approach’ to fees. Once a fee is agreed or fixed or an estimate accepted we will honour our commitment and report regularly to you.
We only charge for the value we add. We are transparent, no surprises.
Where possible we prefer to work on an agreed fixed fee basis if we know and understand your actual needs and can agree the scope of the work. Once we know what you need, we will provide a simple quote that will describe what:
- needs to be done,
- process will be followed, and
- it will cost you.
We assume you will provide us with the necessary information to deliver within the agreed timeframes and that we can speak to the relevant persons. In discussion with you, we may charge additional fees for delays or other unanticipated problems that are beyond our control.
Where the scope is uncertain we charge an appropriate fee based largely on time spent. But this will depend of the actual nature of the work and the knowledge, skill and experience required by the person doing the work. Whenever possible we provide fee estimates prior to starting the work. Before emailing invoices to you we prefer to agree them with you and when necessary provide full details of the work done.
Our fees are highly competitive because team members do not only base their fees only on the time spent but on the work performed at different levels of expertise. We also curtail overheads and fixed costs with a limited number of specialists and staff. Tasks are allocated depending on the nature and complexity and that means the total cost per project will be much lower than other attorneys, especially the bigger firms. For example, time spent on each instruction may include:
- Meetings and conversations [telephonic, via Skype, face to face including the time needed to prepare a written record and any time spent travelling and waiting].
- Drafting [agreements, letters, instructions to counsel or pleadings].
- Research [including databases, precedents and websites].
- Advice and reporting.
- Customising templates.
Apart from time spent other factors influence the fee estimate, including complexity, urgency, specialist expertise and knowledge. For ease of calculation time is recorded in six-minute units, so that there are ten units in an hour but we also “round-up” time of less than six minutes and treat it as one “unit”. You are welcome to contact us to find out about our current hourly rates for different types of work.
Most expenses included
Unless agreed otherwise we do not bill separately for the usual running expenses (like telephone calls, bandwidth, fax, copying, local travel, stationery and printing costs nor the cost of compulsory storage of your files). But our fees do not include extraordinary disbursements (like court fees, stamp duties and fees of counsel and other experts and (patent and trademark) search fees, and the cost of travel by aeroplane, car hire and hotel accommodation). You will be asked to approve any such charges before they are incurred.
Our fees exclude VAT which is added at the rate of 15%.