We charge for our services by a mix of fixed fees and hourly rates. We try to quote new clients fixed fees so that it is easy to understand the cost of our services. Our fixed fees are calculated by reference to the scope of the particular work required by the client.
As part of our engagement process we will provide you with an engagement letter and our terms of business. That will contain confirmation of what we have agreed in terms of pricing. Our engagement letter always contains a default hourly rate which applies if a fixed fee has not been agreed for a particular piece of work or advice.
We are required by our regulatory rules to provide specific guidance on our pricing in the following areas:
Licensing applications for business premises
You may ask us to assist you with applying for a premises licence (a licence allowing the sale of alcohol). We charge a fixed fee of £1,500 + VAT to draft up the documentation required to apply for the premises licence, draft and submit the application itself and comply with the various publicity and notification obligations that apply when a premises licence application is submitted. These services cover everything that is required to submit the application, save that you will be required to provide us with business related documentation including risk assessments, information as to how you meet the licensing objectives (which we collect from you via a questionnaire), consent from the holder of a personal licence to act as the named responsible person, provision of evidence that the business has insurance in place meeting the requirements of the licensing authority and any other information requested by the licensing authority.
Members of the public and the licensing authority are permitted to object to the application in which case we can help you to respond to objections and can represent you in front of the licensing panel (if it is referred to a formal licensing meeting). We would charge at our standard hourly rates for this work – please see details of these below. The additional cost of the matter proceeding to a public hearing is likely to be in the region of £750 + VAT to £2,000 + VAT depending on the amount of work involved.
In addition to our fees, you will have to pay the following additional costs:
(i) fees charged to file the application – application fees range from £100 to £1,905, depending on the fee band of your venue; and
(ii) fees payable to the local newspaper for the publication of a notice detailing your application – publication fees range from £200 to £750 + VAT
Debt recovery (up to £100,000)
If you wish us to review the merits of any claim for payment of a debt and/or send a letter before claim to a creditor, we will charge you between £200 + VAT and £1,000 + VAT depending on the time required for us to complete the work. The cost will be calculated by reference to our hourly rates, though we may agree a fixed fee with you prior to commencing the work. If we have to review and respond to further pre-litigation correspondence, we will either agree a fixed fee with you, or will charge at our hourly rates. It is difficult to estimate how many rounds of correspondence there may be, and how long reviewing and drafting correspondence might take. As a rule of thumb, we expect that a 2 to 3 page letter as a follow up from an initial detailed letter before claim would cost between £250 + VAT and £500 + VAT.
If a matter proceeds to litigation, you should be aware of the following costs:
(i) court filing fee for the claim: this will be better £35 and £5,000 depending on the value of the claim. You can see current court filing fees at this link: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees
(ii) our fees for preparing the claim form and particulars of claim range between £500 + VAT and £5,000 + VAT depending on the complexity of the dispute. These sums will be based on our hourly rates;
(iii) if the matter is not settled, or you do not secure a judgment in default (because the defendant does not file a defence), we would have to review the defence filed by the defendant, complete a questionnaire to allow the court to allocate the claim to the appropriate level of court, draft witness statement(s), deal with disclosure of evidence and prepare you, any barrister and ourselves for trial. Our fees vary depending on the individual claim but by way of rough guidance, our fees for this work would usually be between £5,000 and £30,000 + VAT. Our fees would be calculated by reference to our hourly rates.
(iv) we may advise you to instruct a barrister to represent you in hearings. The cost of a barrister ranges depending on seniority and the chambers they are a member of. For a debt claim up to £100,000, we would expect the cost of a barrister to be between £3,000 and £8,000 + VAT assuming that the matter proceeds to a trial.
(v) you may have to incur additional costs including for appointing experts, making any specific applications, and/or paying some or all of the defendant’s legal fees if you lose.
Before we file any claim, we will explain to you what the likely costs will be for your particular claim. We will also let you know in good time if the costs are likely to exceed our estimate.
Please note that you may not be able to recover (all of) our legal fees even if you win your claim. We will explain to you how recover of costs works prior to filing any claim.
We charge different hourly rates depending on the seniority of the person providing our services to you. We will discuss with you who will provide services both at the point of engagement, and from time to time thereafter. Our hourly rates range from £225.00 + VAT per hour to £340.00 + VAT per hour.
We are a VAT registered business and so VAT is chargeable on all our services where required by law.
Your matter will be worked on by a solicitor supported by a trainee solicitor and/or a paralegal. Michael Buckworth will supervise the solicitor and will be available to speak to you if you have any concerns.