Barristers at FOURTEEN act in both privately funded and legal aid cases in all types of family law matters.
Our Practice Managers (our barristers’ clerks) take an open and transparent approach to negotiating our barristers’ fees with our clients and welcome discussion about the terms on a case-by-case basis in advance of any work being undertaken. In any fee estimate, we will always give you the most accurate figures possible and clear information on the total amount of fees you should expect to be charged. The most commonly used pricing models for privately funded legal services, including Public Access cases, are:
- An hourly rate;
- A fixed fee; or
- An agreed brief fee and refreshers.
The model that is used and the rates set will depend upon a number of factors including the type of service provided, the nature, complexity and financial value of the matter and the preparation time required as well as the experience of the barrister needed for the case.
Fees for drafting paperwork and advice and for conferences will usually be charged at an hourly rate determined by the factors mentioned. Our typical fees can range from £100 per hour for our most junior barrister up to £600 per hour for a more senior barrister in a complex matter. If an hourly rate is quoted then we will give you an estimate of the expected number of hours that will be required, having first reviewed any available papers. If at any stage it looks like this estimate may be exceeded, we will contact you as soon as possible and before carrying out the further work, explaining why the estimate has changed.
If a fixed fee for the barrister’s services is agreed rather than an hourly rate, the fee will again depend on the factors mentioned above. When a fixed fee is estimated, we would not exceed that amount unless the circumstances had changed. This could be, for example, because more documents been provided for the barrister to review, your instructions have changed in some way or it has been identified that other legal assistance is required. In any event, we would contact you to explain the circumstances and any likely additional fees before any further work is undertaken and costs incurred.
Hearing fees are usually based on a brief fee and refreshers. The brief fee is a fixed fee which will include the preparatory work for the hearing together with the first day of the hearing. A refresher is a fixed daily fee charged for any subsequent day of the hearing. Both the brief fee and the rate for refreshers will be agreed in advance of the hearing. As the nature and complexity of legal cases can vary very substantially, the amount of the brief fee will vary from case to case. Our practice managers will discuss this with you from the outset when providing you with the fee quotation.
Chambers’ routine administrative and stationery costs involved in your case are usually included in the barrister’s fees. Should exceptional services be required, such as couriers, then the charge, at cost, may be passed to the client. Clients may also be charged for their barrister’s exceptional travel and accommodation costs. In all such circumstances, clients will be informed in advance of the likely cost.
Public Access clients should be aware that they may also have to pay an additional fee if their case goes to a court or tribunal. This is separate from the legal fees charged by the barrister and is paid to HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Further information can be found on the Government website here.
All fees are subject to VAT (if applicable) at the current rate.
Legal Aid Fees
All fees for hearings, conferences and document-drafting in cases funded by legal aid will be charged in accordance with the Legal Aid Agency’s regulations. Further information on legal aid can be found here.
As well as discussing fees with our clients, we will also agree, where appropriate, a timescale for the delivery of the services. There are several factors which might influence this. These include: the nature of the service provided; the complexity of the matter; the availability of the client, the barrister and any other relevant parties; the volume of documents to review; the need for any additional information or documents; court waiting times and the urgency of the matter. The barristers at FOURTEEN aim to turn around paperwork within 14 days unless agreed otherwise. Should the barrister not be able to meet the agreed timeline for any reason, we will inform the client as soon as possible. In such an instance, if necessary and should the client agree, it might be possible to transfer the work to alternative and equally experienced counsel to ensure the timeline can be met.