Private Funding

We have a duty to explore your eligibility for legal aid funding. However, some cases such as simple motoring offences do not attract legal aid and some people because of their means are not eligible for legal aid. Alternatively, you may wish to fund your defence privately whether you are eligible for legal aid or not.
In accordance with the SRA Transparency Rules, we now provide the following general information regarding our private client fees and specific information concerning any fixed fee quote for a motoring offence to be met by a guilty plea.

Private client fees

In the event that you are not eligible for legal aid we will be happy to represent you as a private client based on the below Schedule of Charges. We would estimate that the costs would be in the region of, £1000 to £5000, plus VAT subject to the nature of your case.
At the outset, we will require an initial payment on account of £1,000 plus VAT (£1,200) unless otherwise agreed with you. We are afraid that we no longer routinely receive cash payments but will assist you to pay by card or bank transfer. Please contact us should you need any help.
Should you be found Not Guilty at the conclusion of proceedings or the proceedings are discontinued against you, we can apply to the Court for a Defendant’s Costs Order (DCO) and when received, will seek re-imbursement of your legal costs from an organization called the National Taxing Team (NTT) out of Central Funds. However Schedule 7 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act now provides that all cases that commence in the Magistrates’ Court or are committed or transferred to the Crown Court for trial on or after 1st October 2012 will see DCO limited.
These limitations are as follows:

1. DCO to include legal costs can still be made following an acquittal or discontinuance of proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court but are limited to be paid at Legal Aid rates, which are currently and locally:
• Attendance & preparation – £52.15 per hour
• Advocacy (including applications for bail and other applications to the court) – £65.42 per hour
• Travelling and waiting – £27.60 per hour
• Routine letters written and routine telephone calls – £4.09 per item

This means that you are likely to only recover approximately 25% of your costs.
2. DCO to include legal costs can only be made following an upheld Appeal against conviction and/or sentence from the Magistrates’ Court.

3. DCO for individual defendants are no longer allowed in cases tried on Indictment in the Crown Court unless you have not been deemed financially eligible for a Representation Order. Those in receipt of an annual disposable income of £37,500.00 per annum or more will not be deemed financially eligible but would be entitled to apply for a DCO upon acquittal based upon Legal Aid rates only.

4. Companies can no longer apply for a DCO in any proceedings other than in certain circumstances before the Supreme Court.

5. DCO are still available in certain proceedings before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court but you will be given separate advice in this regard in the event this applies to your case.

We preserve the right to bill private fees on an interim bill basis where for any reason whatsoever your case is of a prolonged nature. Please note again that we shall exercise our right to retain papers relating to your matter while our fees remain unpaid and that for assisting you in recovering any legal costs, there may be an additional charge of £50 plus VAT.

Schedule of Charges

All charges are exclusive of VAT.

Hourly rates

This rate applies to interviews, time spent in consideration of documents sent to us, preparation of documents by us, appearance at Court, travelling and waiting times spent in connection with your case. Different rates apply dependent upon the experience and both the level of qualification and position of the relevant fee earner:

(A) £278.00 (Director or Solicitor Advocate)
(B) £233.00 (Senior Solicitor/Executive)
(C) £190.00 (Solicitor)
(D) £138.00 (Trainee/Paralegal)

Fixed Fees – Guilty Pleas

Where possible we will quote a fixed fee for Magistrates’ Court work and for Guilty Pleas our minimum fee will be £1,000.00 plus VAT (£1,200).
That fee will be greater if the proceedings are to take place out of the area. The cost of travel, disbursements and expert or medical reports will be additional.
For specific information concerning any fixed fee quote for a motoring offence to be met by a guilty plea, please see below.

Not Guilty Pleas

We will quote an estimated fee for Magistrates’ Court work based upon the hourly rates quoted above. However, the fee quoted may be subject to change depending on the length and complexity of the proceedings. The cost of expert or medical reports will be additional. You will be consulted before any increase to the fee is made.

We also reserve the right to charge an uplift at the conclusion of the proceedings on preparation, attendance and advocacy if particular care, expedition or due diligence is evident.

Additional Costs

Telephone Calls – each telephone call made or received lasting up to six minutes:

• £15.00

Longer calls charged on a time recording basis.

Letters and E-mails – each letter or e-mail written by us where the time spent is up to six minutes:

• £15.00

Longer letters or e-mails charged on a time recording basis.

Letters received:

• £10.00

Photocopies & Disbursements

• £0.35 per sheet
• Mileage @ 45p per mile, other disbursements as receipted

Any bill that we render to you, you have the right to object to that bill and apply for the assessment of that bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act.

Fixed fee quote – motoring offence (Guilty plea)
The minimum fee of £1,000 plus VAT (£1,200) will include:
• Up to 2 hours attendance/preparation considering evidence, taking your instructions and providing advice on likely sentence to include advice on whether an exceptional hardship, or special reasons argument should be made; and
• Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court
The fee does not include:
• instruction of any expert witnesses;
• taking statements from any witnesses;
• advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing; or
• advice or assistance in relation to any appeal.
The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you have or will enter a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing. They are:
• You will meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
• We will consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice.
• Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary. This will have an additional cost, £100 plus VAT (£120).
• We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
• We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
• We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.
• We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the court. We anticipate being at court for less than half a day.
• We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.
The qualifications of our current fee earners are:

Mark Jerman Solicitor
Simon Samuels Solicitor
Ian Clift Solicitor Advocate
Carly Denniss Solicitor Advocate

Associate Directors
Carly Pharoah Solicitor
Ciara Mathews Solicitor
Amie Harris Solicitor
Zoe Hyland Solicitor
Rachael Gray Solicitor Advocate
George Dixon Solicitor

Fatimah Dhorowa Solicitor
Samantha Harris Solicitor

Trainee Solicitors
Aqsa Farooq Trainee Solicitor
Chloe Goodey Trainee Solicitor
Alex Barltrop Trainee Solicitor
Kim Edgley SQE Apprentice Solicitor

Elisha Turner Paralegal/Accredited Rep
Jodi Spence Paralegal/Accredited Rep
Natalia Zuraw Paralegal/Accredited Rep
Tavia Johnson Paralegal/Accredited Rep
Alex Tahsin Paralegal
Manuela Vicedo Iserte Paralegal
Natalie Jeremiah Paralegal

In terms of supervision:

• the Directors supervise each other and all other fee earners; and
• Carly Pharoah, Ciara Mathews, Amie Harris, Zoe Hyland and Rachael Gray also supervise.

We have no standing terms for regular clients.

Offering a personal service

For expert advice on this service please get in touch with us.