Solicitor Hourly Rate
The solicitors hourly rate charged to a client is a matter for negotiation and free economy. It is not set by any rule or regulation and can be whatever the client and solicitor agree provided the client's agreement is based on informed choice. This does not mean the solicitor has to tell the client what everyone else charges, but the client needs to understand and appreciate the amount is not set and other solicitors may charge different rates.
Guideline hourly rates are issued on a regular basis giving indications of the rates that may be allowed between parties by the Courts. As the name suggests, they are only guidelines and higher or lower rates may be allowed. The rates are used as a yardstick when assessing the costs one party has to pay the other. They do not apply between a solicitor and their own client.
Historically the hourly rate covered the cost of the solicitor (33.3%), the office overheads (33.3%) and a profit element (33.3%). More recently it has become much more a question of what the market will pay, or sometimes what the market will bear.
Instructing a solicitor should be like buying a car. Clients should do their research and make an informed choice. More often than not they choose their solicitor based on more simple criterion such as who answered the phone.
The hourly rate your lawyer will charge should not be the only deciding factor on who you instruct. One of the reasons more experienced lawyers can charge more is their greater experience often means they will achieve a better result having spent less time getting it. Overall the legal charges may therefore be lower.
Whether you are reading this as part of your research before instructing a solicitor or because things have gone wrong, please feel free to call us to discuss the matter on (01525) 373322. We may not be available to take your call immediately, but we will get back to you. Alternatively you can always e-mail us.
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