Fees for most forms of legal advice are calculated on a time related basis, typically expressed as a fee per hour spent on your case by the case handler carrying out the work.
This makes it difficult, in many cases, to give an accurate estimate of the cost of completing a matter, as costs are affected by matters beyond our control. These can include the personality of your spouse or partner, the degree of cooperation they give and the complexity of the issues involved.
We appreciate how difficult this can be for clients to budget, and how much more stress this uncertainty can add to what is often an already fraught situation.
For family work we offer four options to alleviate this situation at the start of the process.
Firstly, we offer a first telephone call or meeting free of charge to clients who want general advice about divorce or separation. This gives you the opportunity to talk with our family solicitor and decide if you feel that we can work together on your case. We will advise on the law, explain how we can help you and which process (e.g. mediation, collaboration or the court process) might work for you and your family. The discussion may last up to half an hour.
Secondly, we offer a consultation to discuss your particular situation in detail and then advise on how best to proceed. The consultation will last up to an hour and be followed by a detailed letter of advice. For this we charge a fixed fee of £165 plus VAT, in total, £198. We will also give an estimate of likely future costs.
Thirdly, we offer you the certainty of a fixed fee for certain types of work such as an undefended divorce or a parental responsibility agreement.
Fourthly, if you do not want or cannot afford to use a solicitor every step of the way, we can advise through a style of practice call ‘unbundled’ law. In this we would ‘look over your shoulder’ whenever you feel that you need legal advice. We can help you to think your strategy, write a letter or review a settlement agreement, and even if you have worked everything out yourself, we can still advise if the agreement is enforceable.