Keep Legal Costs Down
Here are some simple rules that you should follow to try and keep legal costs down:
- Before you consult a lawyer you should research both your potential claim and the lawyer you intend to use. Make full use of the internet for this. We do not recommend you try and do it yourself, but a little information goes a long way.
- Most solicitors will offer a 30 minute free consultation, so make use of this.
- Make a list of the questions that you have before the meeting, take your papers with you (within limits) and make sure that they are in order.
- Check the legal qualifications of the person who is advising you. If they do not call themselves a solicitor, barrister or fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives then they are not legally qualified. Following the links on the words will allow you to search for an individual. At the current time the ILEX site does not allow you to check on their membership list.
- Ask what methods of funding they offer. For contentious litigation we usually recommend a Conditional Fee Agreement, whereby you pay greatly reduced costs unless and until you win the case at which time the other side would normally have to pay the bill anyway. If you are paying on an hourly basis check the hourly rate is appropriate and consider agreeing a budget.
- Obtain written confirmation of the likely charges. This should confirm any agreed fee, hourly rate and overall costs estimate.
- Let your solicitor get on with the job and provide information or instructions when asked. Ring your solicitor all the time or snow them under with letters and they will not be able to get any work done and will bill you for this.
- Where possible write to or e-mail your solicitor, do not ring them. When they try and call you back and cannot get through they are probably charging you for this. If you write then they should normally reply in writing, saving you money.
- Make their life easy. They will have an enormous amount of documentation on a number of cases. If they need a document give them a copy. If they have to spend 30 minutes looking for it on their file you are likely to be charged for this.
- Make sure the bill you receive at the end of the case matches the advice you received at the start, or any updating advice if this was received. If it does not then contact us to discuss the matter.
If you need our help, either e-mail us anytime, or call 01404 861868.