Frequently asked questions about our charges

 

What do we charge for our services?  

We offer a cost effective service tailored to your and your business’s specific requirements. We use the following methods to calculate our fees.

An hourly rate

Solicitors’ fees are normally based on an hourly rate – that is, we will charge a certain rate for every hour or part of an hour worked on a matter for you.

This hourly rate is calculated on the basis of a firm’s overheads and the level of each individual solicitor’s experience. So, for example, we charge more for a partner’s time than an assistant solicitor.

Our long experience of dealing with legal issues, enables us to estimate how long it will take to carry out your instructions. We will therefore give you an estimate of how much our work will cost based on how long such work normally takes.

A fixed price

In some cases, we know exactly what is involved in a certain type of service and how much it will cost. In those cases, we can offer you a fixed price for our work. Unless your instructions or the circumstances change, that fixed price is what you will be billed for.

For example, we offer a fixed price from £595 plus VAT to carry out the conveyancing work involved in selling or buying your house.

Capped fees

In some cases, we can “cap” our fees. This means we place an upper limit on our fees for a defined piece of work above which we will not charge. If we complete the work for a lower fee, we will bill you for the lower fee. If we complete the work for a higher fee, we will not charge you more than the cap.

Legal Aid (or assistance with legal fees)

We are often asked whether Legal Aid is available for small business claims. Unfortunately, it is not available for our commercial work.

What types of legal fees might I incur?  

If you instruct us to act on your behalf, you can expect to be charged for the following:

Our legal advice or services

We will charge you a fee for the legal work we carry out on your behalf.

We will also charge Value Added Tax (VAT) at 20% on our fees.

“Disbursements”

Disbursements is another word for expenses.

The expenses you will need to pay for will depend on what type of legal work we are carrying out for you. For example:

  • In property transactions, you would pay for local authority searches, photocopying of plans and surveys.
  • In court disputes, you might pay for court fees, photocopying documentary evidence, (possibly) instructing barristers, instructing experts.

Whatever type of work we are doing for you, we will tell you what expenses you may have to incur.

Do you give quotations or estimates?  

Our aim is to ensure you know what legal costs you can expect to pay.

When you first approach us, we will discuss with you what you need. At that point, we will give you an estimate of what the work will cost and how long it might take.

You should bear in mind that the scope of some of our work can be hard to define precisely at the outset. This makes it difficult to price. The final bill might therefore be more than the initial estimate. However, we monitor our legal fees carefully. Where it looks like more work is needed at further cost to you, we will update you in advance of any changes needed to the estimate.

Sometimes, in appropriate cases, we might be able to fix our fees and give you a “fixed price” for the work. In that case, your final bill will be limited to the agreed fixed price.

Do you offer a free consultation to new clients?  

We offer an initial, free telephone consultation* to new clients.

To get the most from us during this discussion, we suggest you prepare well for the telephone call. Read our tips on how to maximise value from our legal services below.

* During this initial telephone discussion, we will provide you with some preliminary guidance. However, you should bear in mind that, until you instruct us to act for you, such guidance does not amount to legal advice.

What is “Employment Protect: 1, 2, 3”? (It's our employment law retainer)  

We offer a fixed-cost employment law support service for companies with between 50 and 150 employees. We call it “1, 2, 3” because it:

1 – comprises a review of policies
2 – protects your business from potential employment law claims
3 – enables you to relax and get on with running your business

Employment Protect 1,2,3 gives you access to the services of a dedicated employment solicitor who will support and advise you as necessary via telephone, email and meetings. Read more about this type of retainer

Are my legal expenses insured?  

It is worth reviewing your insurance policies to check whether your legal expenses are covered. You might, for example, be covered under your house, buildings or other insurance policies.

If you are a business, check whether you have taken out legal expenses insurance cover.

If in doubt about your cover, check with your insurer or insurance broker.

What if an insurer tells me to use their solicitor?

If you are insured and have a claim, your insurer might request that you appoint their own solicitor to deal with that claim. If they do, you can still request that we at Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers deal with your matter. We have extensive experience of handling matters covered by legal expenses insurance: at any one time, we will be dealing with several of these matters.

How do I maximise value from Pearson's legal services?  

There are a number of ways you can enhance the value you derive from our legal services. Read our tips:

- Prepare well before you telephone us for advice or an update. You could, for example:

  • Collect all the documents that relate to the issue and familiarise yourself with them.
  • Consider what you want to happen – or stop happening.
  • If it is a dispute, is there a contract? If yes, find a copy or the correspondence relating to the contract. Think about who is involved in the issues. Who might be a witness? What are the main problems? List them.
  • Think about how much you have in your budget to spend on legal fees
  • Be prepared to take some notes of key information we may give you – or ask someone you trust to be with you to take a note for you.

- Read our newsletters - they often include extra guidance to help you run your business.

- Look out for our training sessions – or suggest training you would like to have.

- Ask us about training sessions we can run for your teams.

What are costs budgets in court proceedings?  

For those involved in court proceedings, we are required by the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) to prepare a formal Costs Budget for some disputes.

These costs budgets, once agreed or approved by the court, will dictate what costs you will recover if you are successful at trial.

For more information on costs budgets, contact Christopher Burke

Who do I contact to find out more?  

To discuss our charges further, make an enquiry or contact:

 

Contact  

For more information, get in touch with one of our key contacts:

Commercial property: Karen Piontek

Corporate & commercial: Karen Piontek

Disputes: Christopher Burke

Employment: Susan Mayall

Financial planning: Richard Eastwood

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