We understand that funding and affordability are huge concerns for many of our clients. We are committed to being open and transparent about our charges and are confident that our specialist expertise and exemplary client service mean we offer great value for money.
There are a variety of ways we can charge you as well as different ways you can arrange to pay us, all of which are broken down below.
Please don’t be shy about asking questions about our charges if you require more information – we are always happy to discuss money matters, without embarrassment.
Types of legal funding arrangements
An estimate is a best guess at the final fee. It is not the same thing as a fixed quote. You can always ask your solicitor for an estimate of how much a particular piece of work (such as drafting a specific document) will cost.
However, it is often not be possible for them to give an estimate for work a long way in advance as they won’t know exactly how things will progress in the future. Things can easily take an unexpected turn when you are negotiating with other parties, which could potentially take more time and incur larger fees. However, if we detect that any estimate we have given will end up significantly wrong, your solicitor will inform you of this as soon as possible.
Paying yourself, as you go
In a so-called ‘pay as you go’ arrangement, you will pay for the work we do as your matter progresses, at our standard hourly rate. The outlined hourly rate is a set amount charged for the actual time your solicitor spends working on your case.
For example, if the solicitor’s hourly rate is £200 and your matter takes five hours in total, your bill will cost £200 X 5 = £1,000. VAT at 20% will then be added, bringing the total bill to £1,200.
Please ask for details of our latest hourly rate. We can agree how regularly we will bill you e.g. once a month or once a certain amount is “on the clock”.
A fixed fee means you will know in advance what a piece of work will cost, and you will not pay more than this, regardless of how long it actually takes.
In calculating a cost for a fixed fee, we will factor in the likelihood of additional and unexpected work so that the price reflects this. You get total peace of mind as you know in advance what you will pay once the work is completed; we bear the risk of things taking longer.
A capped fee arrangement means a client will not pay more than a pre-agreed maximum price. In this scenario, you may pay less if the work takes less time than initially estimated.
However, it may not always be possible to predict the amount of time that will be spent on your matter, or any particular stage of it, so such arrangements are not always agreed to. However, it is always worth asking if a fixed or capped fee arrangement can be made available.
No win, no fee
When we think your case has a strong chance of success and you are likely to recover compensation, we can discuss taking your case on a no win, no fee basis (sometimes called a conditional fee arrangement).
Not all cases are suitable for this arrangement and it may be necessary for you to take out after-the-event insurance cover to fund the cost of such an arrangement. Please get in touch with one of our experts for more advice on no win, no fee arrangements.
How can you pay your legal bill?
Regardless of the method used to calculate your legal charges, you will need to pay your bill. In the UK, there are various funding methods you may wish to consider to cover the cost. For example:
- Specific legal expenses insurance
- Cover for legal fees for employment claims under your home/car/mortgage/ other insurance policy
- If you belong to a trade union, they may offer a contribution towards your fees
- Financial assistance from a relevant charity, trust or public body such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission,
- Crowd-funding, in which individuals donate small amounts to collectively raise the total fee. This is explained in further detail beow.
It is always worth checking the terms of your household and motor insurance policies before your first appointment with Springhouse to find out if the legal fees for your case may be covered. People are often unaware that they have an insurance policy which includes cover for legal expenses. If you are unsure what your cover entails, speak to your insurer.
Funding employment tribunal cases fees
The general rule is that each party in an employment tribunal case pays their own legal costs – regardless of who wins (unlike in other courts where the loser usually pays the winner’s costs). As each case is different, with varying levels of work and preparation required, it is very difficult to give a very precise figure for total costs at the outset of a case.
While it is no longer necessary to pay a fee in order to issue a claim in the employment tribunal, you will need to pay legal fees in respect of advice, preparation for and attendance at any tribunal hearing.
Even if your case ultimately settles before it reaches an employment tribunal there will be fees in respect of settlement advice and negotiation to be paid for.
For more detail about fees in such a situation, see our recent article covering everything you need to know about paying for an employment tribunal.
For clients who want to fund their case using the latest donation based funding, we work with CrowdJustice, a crowdfunding platform for legal action. Their online tool is specifically designed for private fundraising and tailored to employment issues. This enables clients to ask for support for funding the cost of their employment cases from family and friends, as well as other who might be interested in your cause.
How does this type of fee funding work?
With CrowdJustice, you are in control of the crowdfunding process and there are no upfront fees. Simply sign up on their website, create your account and access their employment law resources. CrowdJustice will handle everything from there, including helping you build your fundraising page.
Your fundraising page is private and only people you invite will get access to it, ensuring your privacy is protected throughout. You will be notified when you hit your funding targets. The funds raised are sent directly to the Springhouse client account by CrowdJustice, meaning you do not deal directly with the money raised at any time and don’t have to worry about the administration or compliance aspects of this type of fundraising.
It’s important to remember that you do remain responsible for funding the payment of our legal bill until the time that we receive full settlement of our charges from CrowdJustice.