Keep Legal Costs Down

Here are some simple rules that you should follow to try and keep legal costs down:

  1. 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.
  2. Most solicitors will offer a 30 minute free consultation, so make use of this.
  3. Make a list of the questions you have before the meeting, take your papers with you (within limits) and make sure they are in chronological order.
  4. 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, they are not legally qualified.
  5. Ask what methods of funding they offer. For contentious litigation, we usually recommend a Conditional Fee Agreement, whereby you pay greatly reduced costs 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.
  6. Obtain written confirmation of the likely charges. This should confirm any agreed fee, hourly rate and overall costs estimate.
  7. Let your solicitor get on with the job and provide information or instructions when asked. If you ring your solicitor all the time or snow them under with letters, they will take longer to get work done and will bill you for the extra time.
  8. Where possible try to write to, or e-mail your solicitor, rather than ring them. Phone calls can end up going on for quite a while and if you are paying an hourly rate, this can increase costs. If you put your query in writing, they will normally reply in writing, saving you money.
  9. 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 may be charged for this.
  10. Make sure the bill you receive at the end of the case matches the estimate you received at the start, or any updating estimate, if this was received. Good solicitors, will provide you with a complete time printout of each line of cost, which should also give a brief description of the work done, with each bill, so you can check to see if you agree with it. If they do and will not provide one when asked, it might be they’re trying to hide something and we would suggest you contact us to discuss the matter.

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We can help. Call us on 01935 823883