Solicitors Costs

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  • Woby_Tide
    Woby_Tide Posts: 5,344 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    salthegal wrote:
    Are you at all associated with this firm in anyway, it's just that your first and only posts are about this firm? Sorry about my suspisions but it looks like it could be a bit of a plug? :confused:

    icklejay hasn't posted since 2004 so doubt we'll ever find out...bit of a thread ressurrection
  • bakerag
    bakerag Posts: 21 Forumite
    I have legal insurance included in my household insurance, it costs very little extra but can save you a lot. I have only had to use it a couple of times but has easily paid for itself.
  • salthegal
    salthegal Posts: 422 Forumite
    Woby_Tide wrote:
    icklejay hasn't posted since 2004 so doubt we'll ever find out...bit of a thread ressurrection

    Doh, didnt spot that! :p
  • trevs
    trevs Posts: 8 Forumite
    Are Hateleys still going only their web site https://www.Hateleys.com doesn't seem to be.
  • dmg24
    dmg24 Posts: 33,925 Forumite
    Not the first time Hateleys have spammed MSE ...
    Gone ... or have I?
  • red
    red Posts: 666 Forumite
    hi, just wanted to say that this is a fanatastic service....i thought i would give them a call and i found that unfortunately my complaint was too little for them to take on, however, i spoke with the guy in charge - very sharp, straight and decent and he gave me loads of advice. the firm just looks at the rules and makes sure that clients get a fair deal- it is something worth remembering, particularly for those big charges. i will definitely be recommending them...brilliant...
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • f1owers
    f1owers Posts: 40 Forumite
    Interesting thread. I am a law costs draftsman which means I deal with the preparation of solicitors bills of costs - although i now deal mainly with legal aid work.

    When you first instruct a solicitor, he should provide you with a client care letter which should details exactly what his charging rates are. This normally comprises of an hourly rate (normally based on guideline rates published by local courts for firms practising in their area). Apart from the hourly rate, there will also be a charge for routine telephone calls, letters sent and letters received. Normally 10% of the hourly rate for letters sent and phone calls, and 5% (where applicable) for letters received. When a solicitor bills you for work done, you are entitled to receive more than a basic invoice totalling the work done - you can always ask for a solicitor/own client bill which should detail exactly what work has been done, including the amount of correspondence items dealt with and an itemised breakdown of all time spent.

    Most of the time, what people fail to realise is when they phone their solicitor over something very small, and then during the telephone call detract from their original point onto other less relevant matters - the solicitor's time spent talking to you is being charged. Solicitors normally charge in units of 6 minutes. Time is therefore rounded up or down accordingly. The basic rule being to leave your solicitor to get on with the job - spend a lot of time writing and talking to him and your bill is going up every minute.

    Should you ever wish to question a solicitors bill - or even have it assessed by the court - the solicitor is allowed to charge for work done which was reasonable and necessary to progress the case. As for the hourly rates charged - as I previously said, the guideline rates are set down by the local courts. The rates between the various courts varies greatly - central London being the highest. When a solicitor says he is charging (just an example) £150 per hour for work done, the cost is said to be reasonable and takes into account not just the solicitors's time, but also the cost of the office premises, staffing costs etc. In basic terms you have "fee earners" the ones that make money for the busiess, and non fee earners (like secretarys/payroll).

    Legal Aid work is very highly regulated and the solicitors receive a fraction of the money that a private charging solicitor would - ever wonder why there is a distinct lack of legal aid solicitors around now. Unfortunately, with the new regulations that came in last October for family legal aid, this is a situation that will only get worse. Fewer and fewer firms are taking on legal aid work and it is feared that it will all become centralised to a few large city centre firms.

    Anyways, that's the basics of how solicitor's fees and bills work.

    Hugs

    Flower
  • f1owers wrote: »
    Interesting thread. I am a law costs draftsman which means I deal with the preparation of solicitors bills of costs - although i now deal mainly with legal aid work.

    When you first instruct a solicitor, he should provide you with a client care letter which should details exactly what his charging rates are. This normally comprises of an hourly rate (normally based on guideline rates published by local courts for firms practising in their area). Apart from the hourly rate, there will also be a charge for routine telephone calls, letters sent and letters received. Normally 10% of the hourly rate for letters sent and phone calls, and 5% (where applicable) for letters received. When a solicitor bills you for work done, you are entitled to receive more than a basic invoice totalling the work done - you can always ask for a solicitor/own client bill which should detail exactly what work has been done, including the amount of correspondence items dealt with and an itemised breakdown of all time spent.

    Most of the time, what people fail to realise is when they phone their solicitor over something very small, and then during the telephone call detract from their original point onto other less relevant matters - the solicitor's time spent talking to you is being charged. Solicitors normally charge in units of 6 minutes. Time is therefore rounded up or down accordingly. The basic rule being to leave your solicitor to get on with the job - spend a lot of time writing and talking to him and your bill is going up every minute.

    Should you ever wish to question a solicitors bill - or even have it assessed by the court - the solicitor is allowed to charge for work done which was reasonable and necessary to progress the case. As for the hourly rates charged - as I previously said, the guideline rates are set down by the local courts. The rates between the various courts varies greatly - central London being the highest. When a solicitor says he is charging (just an example) £150 per hour for work done, the cost is said to be reasonable and takes into account not just the solicitors's time, but also the cost of the office premises, staffing costs etc. In basic terms you have "fee earners" the ones that make money for the busiess, and non fee earners (like secretarys/payroll).

    Legal Aid work is very highly regulated and the solicitors receive a fraction of the money that a private charging solicitor would - ever wonder why there is a distinct lack of legal aid solicitors around now. Unfortunately, with the new regulations that came in last October for family legal aid, this is a situation that will only get worse. Fewer and fewer firms are taking on legal aid work and it is feared that it will all become centralised to a few large city centre firms.

    Anyways, that's the basics of how solicitor's fees and bills work.

    Hugs

    Flower

    Thank you for posting this. I think it is very helpful.

    I am a lawyer and I get upset that we are all tarred with the same brush - that we are money grabbers! I think most people would be quite surprised at how little we actually earn although I can't deny there are some big earners around.

    I am always conscious of the costs that can quickly escalate and never run a case just to make money. I chose my career because I wanted to help people, not fleece them.
  • Penny35_2
    Penny35_2 Posts: 455 Forumite
    Hi

    Can someone please advise. I have a number of issues with the solicitor who has handled my divorce numeous errors and incompetencies on their part. The final bill has come in and I have asked for an itemised bill they will give me nothing more itemised than 6 letters, 10 telephone calls. I have told them I want to know which letters and calls this relates to to ensure it is not for the work that had to be re-done on their errors. I have started a complaint with them using their in-house procedure but I am not getting any joy.

    Am I entitled to a more detailed invoice or can they just provide this. Who can I get to deal with my grievances as previously they acknoledged they had made errors they are now backtracking on this.

    Thanks
  • Stoopid
    Stoopid Posts: 258 Forumite
    My divorce lawyers charged me over £200 an hour + vat - and I am not in London. :mad::eek:
    I have children, work part-time and and am on Tax Credits, and the money I have had to pay could have paid the national debt of a small country !!!

    Also, my solicitor did charge interest if you were late paying.

    With hindsight I don't know what I would rather have done, let the ex have it, pay it to the lawyers or burn it.........correction, I do know, I wish I had burnt it - at least I would have had the benefit of being kept warm :cool:

    My advice to Penny35 is pay the t!!!!ing s!!m and never put yourself in a position where you have to have anything to do with lawyers ever again.

    I know people will claim that you cannot tar them all with the same brush - but I can only speak as I find, and I was well and truly taken to the cleaners by the ex and the solicitors

    How can you tell if a solicitor is lying ?
    Their lips are are moving.
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