Pricing Transparency

As a Solicitors Practice, we are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to publish certain
information concerning our costs for certain work. This work is limited to Employment
Tribunals concerned with Unfair Dismissal or Wrongful Dismissal.

It is our intention to be as clear as possible in relation to our costs
not just on these two types of claims, but on all work undertaken by the firm.

As a basic starting point, as solicitors, we charge for our time. That is published as an hourly rate, but actually accrues, or builds up, in units of 6 minutes. (Known as a “unit”).   The reason for this is that it is easier to monitor costs building up in hours that are divisible by 10. (10 x 6 minute units are 60 minutes).   In this way, you can monitor your own time accrual according to the hourly rate of the solicitor that is working for you. Thus, if a solicitor’s hourly rate is £200 per hour, if they spend 6 minutes on work for you, then this will be transferred to a bill of £20. If they spend 12 minutes (that’s 2 units) then it turns into a bill for £40 and so on.
2 things to be aware of.
  1. That the smallest unit of time that is on sale within this practice is 6 minutes. Therefore if you engage in a 2 minute conversation, that will be recorded as one 6 minute unit. The same applies if you spend 3, 4 or 5 minutes on that call. If you spend 7 minutes, then it counts as two units.
  2. VAT is applicable to all charges at whatever rate the government sets it at. Currently, that is 20%. Therefore, if you are a consumer (not VAT registered and able to claim back the tax) then you should include the extra 20% in your calculations. Using the example above, the hourly rate INCLUDING VAT becomes £240 per hour, not £200 per hour. VAT is chargeable on all our services without exception.

What we charge for:

As Solicitors, the value we have is based on our knowledge, qualifications and experience. We therefore make a business out of selling that knowledge and experience. In effect, we apply what we know to your own situation, for money. That is the very essence of being “Professional” and we are not ashamed of it.

As it is impossible to quantify knowledge in a way that could translate to understandable charges, we charge for the time we spend on matters. We try our best to classify our time spent, but whatever classification that time has, the charge is the same.

Some of the more frequently used classifications are:
  • Telephone calls. Time spent discussing your matter, with you, or with others such as lawyers, on the telephone, whether we make the call, or receive the call.
  • Time spent reading or writing emails concerning your matter. This is not simply a typing cost, it includes those pauses for thought that inevitably take place when dealing with legalities, and often the pauses can be longer than the actual time spent hitting the keyboard.
  • The same as emails, but on a more formal basis and whether or not these are sent in the post (snail mail) or electronically.
  • This refers to composing and writing legal argument, usually to the court or tribunal, but sometimes to other lawyers, and again might include time spent thinking.
  • This refers to time spent looking up legal points which we might want to be sure of, or sometimes even don’t know off the top of our heads. It does happen.
  • This refers to time spent in meetings, usually with you, but sometimes with other witnesses or colleagues if necessary.
  • This is a solicitors way of saying “Thinking time”. Time spent thinking about your case, and its consequences for you.
Strangely you will note that there is no charge code for “advice”. Given that you are wishing to pay for advice, this seems odd. However, the advice given will be given in a meeting (Attendance) in writing (Email or Letters) or in a telephone call (Telephone). Therefore, as we charge by time, you are not charged twice for the advice AND the telephone call. Only once.

Things that might effect the level of bill you receive

We are all different, and require slightly differing services from a solicitor during a legal dispute. It is therefore impossible to give an exact quote for any form of employment litigation. However, the same job can incur quite different charges when performed for two different people.

You should be absolutely clear that no litigation can be guaranteed success, no matter how strong the case appears to be, and we do not generally agree to any fee structure that is dependent upon a particular outcome. Remember, guarantees come with toasters, not litigation.

Things within your control

 

As we charge for our time, if you require us to spend more time on a matter, the bill will be larger than if we spend less time.

What this means is, if for example you are bringing a claim for Unfair Dismissal only, but want to spend time in a meeting informing us of how you could have earned more money working for a different employer (which is irrelevant), then we will still charge you for that time. If you wish to talk about how your dog is losing weight now that you have more time to walk him, we will still charge you for that time. We see it as our duty to try to guide you as to what is relevant, but if you insist, we will not be so rude as to stop you.

On a similar note, if you let us do our job, the work will be cheaper than if you question or second guess our advice at every turn. It is your right to question our advice, and we will never object or take issue with you doing so. However it is our right to charge for the time we spend answering those questions. The more you do this, the more you will be charged (with the exception of complaints handling which we do not charge for).

If you send us a 10 page document, you have the right to expect us to have read it, especially if it gives us information that is crucial to the success of your case. If we failed to read something you sent us, it would be our fault if we missed something. The flip side of this is that if you send a 10 page document and it is not relevant, we will not know it is not relevant until we have read it. We are entitled to charge for the reading time. Therefore, if you are unsure about whether a document needs to be read by us, ask before sending it. It will be less expensive. Although sometimes it is not possible to tell whether a document is relevant from just a description of it.

Other matters which you control but could increase your bill would be simple issues such as, where you have a doctors note, but want us to send it to your employer rather than do that yourself, we will be happy to do so, but will charge. If you wish to return goods to your employer, but wish us to do that we will charge. It is our job to ensure that the most senior lawyer in the practice is not