We are aware that lawyers can be expensive, although it can often end up more expensive without a lawyer's advice. With that in mind, we want to make sure you get the best value out of your dealings with us. Please read our recommendations about working with us to ensure you do.
Before an appointment, it is often useful to gather up all relevant documents and think about the questions you would like answered at the meeting. Often it will be useful to prepare a chronology or summary and to send the relevant information to the lawyer in advance. This will mean that the lawyer will have had a chance to consider the material and your questions in advance of the meeting and be able to make best use of the time.
You have the right to request an estimate. Estimating the cost of some jobs (especially litigation matters) is extremely difficult as it depends on many factors outside our control including how the other side will react. If we do give you an estimate, we have a duty to notify you promptly if it becomes apparent that the estimate is to be exceeded. Any estimate we give you is not to be treated as a fixed price quote. The final fee may be more or less than any estimate.
Be open with your expectations as to the time a matter will take and the cost of that. Once we have an understanding of your matter, we may be able to undertake some or all of the work for a fixed fee. Where a fixed fee is agreed, that sum will be the fee for the specified scope of work irrespective of how long it takes us to do. It will not always be possible to undertake all or part of a case for a fixed fee. On some occasions we will only be able to perform part of the job for a fixed fee and then assess whether it is possible to do any further parts of the job for a fixed fee, or whether to continue on an hourly rate basis. Where work is done for a fixed fee, we usually require that fee (or some agreed part of it) to be paid in advance. Work outside the scope of any agreed fixed fee will be charged on an hourly rate basis. Please contact us if you would like us to consider whether we can undertake some or all of your work on a fixed fee basis and, if so, the conditions of that.
As a matter progresses, you may have a number of questions. Every communication you send to your lawyer will need to be considered and responded to. It is often more efficient for a lawyer to answer a tranche of questions at once rather than a series of questions. Try and group your queries where that is possible.