Our Approach to Fees We understand litigation can be an expensive process for lay clients. Funding can be the biggest barrier for an individual’s access to justice; consequentially, we are always looking for ways to reduce that barrier. Our barristers bring their commitment to a flexible, client focused service to the question of their fees. Whilst we charge reasonable market rates commensurate with the service provided, we are always willing to discuss ways to make payment of our fees more manageable. We aim to find a solution that works for our clients as well as for us. Hourly rates Each of our barristers has an hourly rate which takes account of the market rates in their area of practice and the barrister’s skills and experience. The hourly rate for a particular case and a particular piece of work is agreed in advance. That rate will take account of the complexity of the case, the value of the case and any particular demands the case gives rise to. Charges for paperwork and conferences are based on hourly rates. Time estimates for a piece of work can be given in advance and where appropriate a maximum fee can be agreed. Brief fees, Refreshers & Hearing fees Fees for a trial consist of a brief fee and refreshers. A brief fee is an agreed fixed fee that covers all the pre-trial preparation and the first day of the trial. A refresher is the fixed agreed fee for a subsequent day of the trial which includes the ongoing preparation before and after court each day as well as any conference. In advance of the trial both the brief fee and refreshers will be agreed, and the date the brief fee becomes due, and when refreshers must be paid. In substantial matters it is possible to agree a brief fee which falls due in instalments leading up to the start of the trial. The fee payable for a hearing will include all the preparation for that hearing and any required pre-trial conference. Expenses The costs of travel for substantial journeys or overnight accommodation may be charged as a separate item or included in the overall brief or a hearing fee. Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) Where a lay client's case has good prospect of success, a CFA may be an option worth considering. CFAs can assist a lay client to proceed with litigation when they would not be in a position to pay their own lawyers should they lose. Where the solicitor is working under a CFA, it is more likely that one of our barristers will accept the case on a CFA. The lay client should consider whether he already has insurance which would cover his legal costs. Further, the lay client may wish to consider whether to take out an after the event insurance policy, to cover the risk that they are ordered to pay the other side's legal costs, should the other side win. More sophisticated arrangements can be made where the case is complex, involves substantial quantities of work, or has risk factors that mean a straightforward CFA is not appropriate. How a barrister decides whether to enter into a CFA Each individual barrister must make their own decision whether to enter into a particular CFA. The barrister concerned will consider the merits of a case, including the legal, evidential and practical risks involved, before deciding whether they are willing to act. It will be a matter for the individual barrister whether they are willing to offer their legal services on a CFA basis. Sometimes the merits of the case will be considered informally by two 33 Bedford Row barristers so that we can give a more comprehensive commitment to deal with the case on the basis of CFAs in the event that the main barrister is not free to do every piece of work required for the case. Contact us If you want more information about possible fee arrangements, please contact the clerks on 0207 242 6476.