Many people are unfamiliar with what exactly happens when you contact a solicitor. Our aim is to be as open and transparent as possible. We want to take you through what happens when you contact us with your enquiry, what you need to bring to the first appointment and how you will be billed if you go ahead.
5 Step Process
Burt Brill & Cardens always tailor our services to meet your exact needs and circumstances, but the following process gives you an idea of what you might expect:
2) We can give you a call at a time convenient to you to discuss your issue and answer any questions
3) We arrange an initial appointment at a time and location convenient to you
4) We let you know who will be working on your matter, the time-frames we expect and the estimated costs involved
5) We use our vast experience to reach a satisfactory conclusion in as short a time as possible, keeping you regularly updated and being available to answer any questions you may have
How Much Does A Solicitor Cost?
When it comes to solicitor costs, our approach is to be up front, transparent and flexible. We use our experience to ensure that costs are kept as low as possible and will always give you our best estimate of fees at the outset of a matter.
There are two main aspects to costs:
1. Whether they are fixed or an open amount i.e. fixed price or an hourly rate, and
2. When we require payment.
How Will I Be Charged? – Fixed Price vs Hourly Rate
We always try and fix a price where possible – this way you know exactly what costs you can expect. Sometimes this means we fix a price for the next stage or for part of a job, leaving future stages or any uncertain parts of the job to be priced at a later stage when the facts are better known.
If it is completely impossible for us to set a figure, then we will agree to limit fees to a particular amount and not proceed further without your confirmation.
We are always happy to do matters on an hourly-rate basis, which some clients prefer.
When Do I Need to Pay My Solicitor Fees?
- On more simple and short transactional matters such as Wills or a sale or purchase, we are usually happy to wait until the end of the matter before we receive payment.
- If the transaction is likely to produce money, like a sale, then we are usually happy to wait and be paid out of those proceeds.
- On larger jobs or matters that will happen over an extended period of time such as a divorce case or a probate matter, then we will normally bill periodically. Many clients find it helpful to have a monthly bill so that they can keep a close eye on fees and it makes it easier for them to budget. We are happy to bill when a limit is reached or every month.
In some cases, we will have to pay out money on behalf of a client. These are called expenses or disbursements. We will not normally pay these out of our own funds and we always ask the client for them up front before we pay them out.
When the matter is only dependent on us and the client, like a Will, then it is very easy for us to fix a time frame and keep to it. We always work to meet the time frames that we set.
Where it becomes more difficult is when the matter is part of a transaction and is dependent on third parties or other solicitors. Then, the time frame is not within our or your control, and matters can become delayed.
We will always use our experience to try and unblock matters so that they proceed and we will always keep you updated with a realistic time estimate. There is often the option to prioritise matters and work extra hours if that is what the matter requires.
What do I need to bring along to my solicitors appointment?
To ensure we are able to get things moving as quickly as possible, it’s helpful if you can bring the following with you to your solicitor appointment:
• Identification such as a passport or photo driving licence
• Any papers that relate to or may relate to the particular matter in hand – we are happy and experienced at looking through large quantities of papers very quickly to find what is relevant. Don’t worry about bringing in carrier bags full of papers – we will process them and decide what is important.
What Will Happen In My First Appointment?
- We find out as much out as about your situation as posible
- We give you information about costs up front
- We provide you with information about who to complain to if you are unhappy with the service provided by Burt Brill & Cardens
- We tell you who will be dealing with your matter and their status i.e. solicitor or legal executive
- We agree any deadlines, whether or not the matter is urgent, reporting time scales.
- We agree the scope of work involved. For example, we agree exactly what we will and will not do. We will always set out any limitations on our advice and tell you what the next steps are.
What Happens Next
We pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our clients. We will provide regular and meaningful contact throughout the legal process and be available to answer any questions you may have.