FAMILY LAW SOLICITOR IN BRISTOL AND EXETER
Like most solicitors, we base our fees on an hourly rate. The figure we use is around £200 per hour plus VAT. You can compare this rate with other firms - some will be lower but most will be higher, and you also need to understand how the overall cost will be calculated.
Naturally a more experienced solicitor tends to carry a higher hourly rate than one who is less experienced but that is not the whole picture because the hourly rate charged by a law firm reflects their general overheads as well as the seniority of the solicitor him/herself. So at a large firm you will often pay a higher hourly rate for an inexperienced solicitor, than we will charge for an experienced solicitor.
Also, an experienced solicitor can often help you more efficiently and quickly than a more junior solicitor, so the total cost of using the junior solicitor can be more, even though his or her time is charged at a lower rate.
Many firms quote you an hourly rate when you first consult them, and give a vague indication of what the overall cost will be. Then, after a few weeks, they send you a printout showing exactly what they have done, and a bill which massively exceeds the figure they indicated. They are genuinely surprised that this upsets you and when you complain about it they point to the small print in the documentation they sent you at the beginning setting out their terms of business. In most cases you really don’t have a leg to stand on.
At Apple Tree family law we understand why that is not acceptable and we don’t do it. We will give you a clear and thought through estimate at each stage along the way, and we will stick to that estimate. We will not exceed it unless something truly unexpected arises which, naturally, we would need to discuss with you.
We want you to be delighted with the work we do for you, and to feel you have been charged fairly.