Motoring Offences Fees - dealt with only in the magistrate's court


All rates detailed will attract additional VAT at the present rate of 20%. 

We ensure that the funding of your case is cost-efficient and transparent. We understand that the costs of your case will be important to you and that you receive a meaningful indication of how much you will need to pay. We will always endeavour to agree on costs in advance of any case once we have had an opportunity to assess the issues and the level of work and assistance required.

We will take time to agree on the costs with you by gaining an understanding of you, your case and the work involved. In accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Transparency Rules and in order to provide a good estimate of the range of fee you will pay (whether that be an agreed fee or a range of the costs involved in a typical case) if you were to instruct us, we have set out on our website a breakdown of our standard charges for this type of work. It is possible that there may be other costs that you may need to pay in addition to our fees and we aim to provide information about those. Our aim is to enable you to have a good understanding of what the overall costs may be.

You may also have the benefit of other sources of funding such as legal expenses insurance or funding through a trade union or other representative. Please do not hesitate to contact us to explore your options.

Platforms for meetings

We will always meet with you virtually unless it is not suitable for the case. If we have agreed to meet you in person, we will do so providing there are no health and safety risks.

Examples of Summary only motoring cases (cases only triable in the magistrate’s court) –

Drink or drug driving cases, failing to provide a specimen, no insurance, without due care, speeding, failing to stop for the police, disqualified driving, taxi touting, no insurance, no licence and driving whilst using a mobile phone.

All our crime team members undertake this type of work. See our staff list. This will detail their experience and that of the supervisors. Cases are usually supervised by Umar Zeb and Lisa Nicol who head up the criminal department.

We do not work on a contingency fee basis i.e., ‘no win, no fee’ for any criminal legal issue or case. We will always give you our honest estimate when you instruct us and continue to provide cost updates throughout the case. At times we may need to work on an hourly rate basis. We will work as quickly as we are able to on your behalf of as we are conscious that time is your money.

Types of motoring work we can do by fixed fee (this is an example only of the types of work we can do)

Advance meeting pre-court proceedings for advice on a fixed fee basis i.e. advice on speeding/totting / completion and return of documents to the police, or advice before a PS interview.

Advance meeting cost options

If you require a meeting to discuss your case and the evidence against you prior to instruction to carry out substantive work such as making any representations or appearing in court, then we can agree this.

At this meeting we will assess the strength of the case and your potential defences. We will outline all likely penalties. W e are usually able to offer meetings.

Option 1 – This option will involve up to 3 hours of meetings and preparation. This will include meeting with you for up to 2 hours on one occasion only plus the preparation for this meeting, which will likely require reading documents and/or follow up advice. This can be in person or by Zoom to be agreed. The price for this option is a fixed fee of £750 plus VAT which in total is £900 including VAT.

This will include preparation for the meeting and preparation after the meeting if time remains within the 3-hour limit. This does not include any other preparation or work or court cover.

Option 2 - This option involves up to 2 hours of meetings and preparation. The meeting will last a maximum of 1 hour on one occasion and preparation will be carried out up to 1 hour. The price for these 2 hours is £500 plus VAT which in total is £600 including VAT. If appropriate we may agree to this shorter time commitment of up to 2 hours. This option is for less serious or less complicated cases where the meeting can occur by Zoom or telephone etc only. This will not be in person unless we agree to this. This does not include any other preparation or work or court cover.

If less work is required at further stages below then we can agree fees taking into account any progress made in this advice.

Please see our Frequently asked questions relating to fixed fees in criminal cases  CLICK HERE.

Making Written Submissions or mitigation on your behalf

We can work to try and persuade the police/CPS against commencing court proceedings where possible. We will draft your mitigation for you. Representation at court for this discreet work is not included. We will meet with you, and we will take instructions from you and we will where possible analyse the case evidence before mitigating on your behalf to attempt to persuade the court not to impose a ban where the law permits. We will write a letter of representations or mitigation on your behalf. As indicated above Representation by us at court is not included - £1,000 plus VAT for up to 4 hours work and £1,500 plus VAT for up to 6 hours work covered, which is more suitable for complicated cases. We will assess each case and advise you. Sometimes the work involved may be more substantial and if this is the case we will advise you and agree fees. 

The service fees include –

* Reading evidence

* Attending/preparation virtually or in person as agreed or necessary

* Instructions from you and us advising you on your plea at court

* Advice on likely sentence

* Drafting written submissions for you

* We will undertake work which includes, letters, calls, and emails all charged as 6 minutes each unless greater time is incurred plus preparation and attendance up to the maximum number of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us.

* This does not include –

* Any further work such as taking statements

* Attending court

Preparing the case any further

* Instructing experts

* Incurring any expert fee or disbursements

We can appear at court for – Plea, sentencing, exceptional hardship hearings (one hearing). Trial preparation and attendance is not covered by this fee.

Representation at court by an advocate within the fee such as a solicitor from our firm or a barrister. We will meet with you in advance and take your instructions where necessary. We will collate your documents in support and prepare for the hearing. We will appear at court on your behalf and act for you at court for up to half a day. A member of our team will attend, or we will choose a suitably qualified barrister or solicitor to appear for you. From £1,500 plus VAT for up to 6 hours work and to £2,500 plus VAT for up to 10 hours work covered. The final fee will be agreed with you. 

The service fees include -

* Reading evidence

* Attending/preparation virtually or in person as agreed or necessary

* Advice on likely sentence

* Attendance and representation at the Magistrates Court on one occasion as agreed

* Advising you on your plea at court and credit

* Advising you on the strength and weaknesses of your case

* Advising you on available defences, and the likely prospect of success at trial if pursued

* Advice on likely sentence

* Advice on court costs on a guilty plea and following a trial

This is to include an experienced advocate or barrister to represent you at court for up to a half-day hearing. Most cases will not take longer than half a day of a lawyer's time including travel, awaiting, and representing you at court.

We will undertake work which includes letters, telephone calls, and emails which are all time charged at a minimum of 6 minutes each unless greater time is incurred plus preparation and attendance up to the maximum number of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us

This does not include –

* Any further work such as taking statements

* Attending further court hearings or legal arguments that can arise in court, including adjourned sentencing hearings

* Preparing the case any further

* Incurring any expert fee or disbursements

* Preparation work which includes letters, calls, emails, preparation, and attendance beyond the maximum number of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us.

Not Guilty Plea trials or a Special Reasons Argument

We will fully prepare your case for trial or a special reasons hearing where you have pleaded guilty. We will read and prepare all evidence served. We can take your instructions and all necessary statements from your witnesses where the fee agreed covers the work required. We will make representations to the CPS where appropriate to try and get them to drop the case before trial where the time agreed between us will permit such work to be carried out. We will deal with the court and apply for adjournments, when necessary, in writing but not by attendance at court separate to the hearing date you have paid for.

We will deal with disclosure issues that arise during the case such as requesting CCTV, forensic reports, or other unserved material

We will provide a qualified advocate to represent you at trial.

Not included in the fee is the price of any expert. If an expert is necessary, for example, an alcohol expert, we will discuss the possible fees in advance and agree these with you. It is not possible to accurately advise on expert fees until we know the nature and skill of the expert required.

A special reasons argument is where you have pleaded guilty and seek to persuade the court to not impose a driving ban. Special reasons apply to some driving offences and can result in avoiding the usual sentence which would be expected for such an offence. In particular, a special reasons argument could help you avoid a driving disqualification or points being endorsed on your licence after having been convicted.

Examples of this include laced drinks, shortness of distance and driving during a genuine emergency. We will have to obtain disclosure from the CPS, interview you and your witnesses and attend the hearing.

The above cases cost from £2,500 plus VAT this will cover from 10 hours work to £5,000 plus VAT for up to 20 hours work in more complicated cases. If you have multiple or complicated witness issues, you are likely to require more time to carry out this work. If we estimate that we need to do more work, then we will advise you in advance and quote the fee.

Sometimes more work can arise at a later stage as the nature of the case against you can change as the prosecution serves additional evidence not disclosed earlier. The prosecution can delay cases, or the court can delay matters due to workload or other issues such as pandemics, ill health, or non-availability of court staff. Increasingly court buildings have safety or building works issues, and this delays cases which can increase your costs. This is applicable if we attend court, and the case is delayed and not heard on the day due to one of these issues or any other issue that can arise including the case being delayed because witnesses do not attend court. 

The service fee includes

* Reading the evidence

* Obtaining disclosure

* Attendance and representation once at the Magistrates Court on the agreed date with you.

* Meeting with us in advance to provide instructions virtually or in person as agreed or necessary

* Taking witness statements from any witnesses or making enquiries and preparation where the fixed fee hours agreed will allow that additional work

* Reading your supporting documents

* This is to include a suitably experienced advocate or barrister to represent you at court for a half day hearing.

We will undertake work which includes, letters, telephone calls, emails which are all time charged at a minimum of 6 minutes each unless greater time is incurred plus preparation and attendance up to the maximum number of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us

This does not include –

* Any further work or enquiries or preparation such as taking statements not covered within the fixed fee hours.

* Hearings regarding disclosure / breach of bail / complex legal arguments heard at a separate hearing regarding disclosure, any mention or pre-trial review by the court

* Extensive enquiries tracing witnesses which we cannot do in the time agreed with us in the fixed fee agreed.

* Undertaking preparation beyond the hours agreed in the fixed fee

* Attending further court hearings including adjourned sentencing hearings

* Incurring any expert fee or disbursements

* Preparation work which includes letters, calls, emails, preparation, and attendance beyond the maximum number of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us.

Advocates or barristers for court hearings

Where we cannot cover the case in house with our team of lawyers we will pay for an external barrister. As an estimate a barrister would charge approx. 20% of the fee that we have charged you for covering the court hearing aspect of the case. If you require a specific advocate outside our firm or barrister of your choice that costs more than 20% of the fee quoted by us to you, then this will normally attract higher costs plus VAT at the prevailing rate which presently is 20%. This means that we will provide a suitably qualified advocate within the fee agreed with us. If you decide to choose an advocate or barrister that is more expensive, then you will have to meet the additional costs. Advance conferences other than at court with barristers are not included in the fee and will have to be additionally funded.

Additional hearings

If we have to attend additional hearings to adjourn your case or if the case is adjourned once we attend court, then each further hearing or trial will be from £1,000 plus VAT to £2,500 plus VAT and again this fee includes representation by an experienced advocate. If you require a specific advocate outside of our firm, then this could attract higher costs depending on their costs. Sometimes after a case is adjourned, we may be required to do more work than estimated as more evidence is served, or you may require more work on your defence and in such cases we will estimate for this work. This can affect the fees above. You may sometimes require us to make or oppose additional legal argument hearings for you. We will quote for these as they arise. This cost will depend on complexity.

Factors That Can Affect the Fixed Fee

We always endeavour to ensure that our fees do not exceed those particularised above. If you instruct us at late notice close to a hearing or in connection with multiple allegations or the court dealing with your case is at a distant location, then there will be an increase to the fees quoted above. Having many witness enquiries or obtaining expert reports will complicate the case. We will always agree with you in advance. If the case becomes more complex because more documents need to be considered, then this will complicate the case.

The fee for any court attendance, guilty plea hearing, not guilty plea hearing or special reasons hearing/ exceptional hardship does not include:

The cost of instruction of any expert witnesses which we can only guide you on once we know more about the nature of the expert and availability

Advance conferences with advocates or barrister other than at court on the day unless agreed

Disbursements will normally attract VAT such as alcohol reports, some interpreting agencies charge VAT whilst smaller agencies do not. Photocopying and expert reports such as psychiatric reports attract VAT. Smaller businesses or suppliers may not charge VAT depending on whether the law requires them to register for this based on the size of the business. 

 Barristers’ fees unless we have agreed to provide a barrister, and this will attract additional VAT

Travel costs attract VAT. We will provide an estimate once we know the location of the court

Where the hours work agreed in the fixed fee are exceeded in which case additional fees must be agreed for additional work

Taking statements from any witnesses or making enquiries and preparation where the fixed fee agreed will not allow that additional work. Reading further documents or evidence that are adduced by you or the prosecution which requires further analysis in which case we may have to agree additional fees

Advice or assistance in relation to any appeal

Most cases will not require additional cost. Potential expenses and disbursements are listed below, and some experts and professionals charge VAT and others do not if they are not registered for VAT.

Interpreters and translation fees from £25 plus VAT per hour if needed. It is not possible to predict the cost of these as this varies according to the particular circumstances

Court fees – we cannot estimate these, but they are unlikely to apply in most cases

Travel costs to the Court - there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses based upon a rate of £0.45 per mile or public transport plus VAT

If we need to stay overnight, then hotel accommodation may be chargeable (amounts subject to VAT), but we would try and avoid this where possible

Psychiatric reports can cost from £500 plus VAT to £5,000 plus VAT or on very rare occasions a higher amount 

Alcohol reports cost from £500 plus VAT to £2,500 plus VAT. More complicated reports will cost more

Medical experts can cost from £500 plus VAT to £5,000 plus VAT

VAT is charged at 20%

The Key stages of your case depend on you having advised us correctly about the next hearing and you also having a date for your hearing.

You will provide instructions to us

We will consider evidence and advise you on your plea at court

We can take any witness statements if necessary (this could have an additional cost dependant on the complexity of the case and whether it can be covered in the hours agreed)

We will explain the court procedure so you will know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court

We arrange any further preparatory work; obtain instructions from you and answer queries you have

We will instruct experts and incur disbursements if you agree the associated fees

The actual timescale of when your hearing will take place depends on the court listing for that day

Where we agree to attend court, we will meet with you before going into the court

Fees for court attendance are estimated on half a day case

We will discuss the outcome achieved with you. If our opinion is required on appeal, we will agree costs.

Fixed fees non-refundable

Where we have not agreed hourly rates for work, we will represent you on a fixed fee basis, you are obligated to pay us the full amount that we have agreed, irrespective of whether the actual matter goes ahead, or the work required is less than originally quoted for. For example, we agree to do up to 3 hours work but the case concludes at 2.5 hours work. In the majority of matters, fixed fee agreements work out lower overall than a high hourly rate. This fixed fee is non-refundable in the event less work is undertaken, or if the case does not proceed, as we are working on lower hourly rates. You can, if you wish, agree in advance in writing to pay on an hourly rate basis which is set out below.

Time Estimate

How long a case takes depends on the amount of work involved. A criminal case can often end up taking quite a different shape from that envisaged at the time when it starts. Accordingly, it can be difficult at this early stage to give you an accurate prediction of the time it will take to conclude.

In cases where a case is dealt with at a single hearing the whole case is usually completed on that day. However, each case is different, and we cannot provide a precise timescale of how long each key stage will take or when hearings will take place, as this depends on many factors such as the complexity of the matter and court listings.  Based on our vast experience, we would expect matters to generally follow the below timetable: Police Station Case 3-6 Months (although more serious cases can take longer than 12 months) Magistrates Court (Guilty Plea) 1-2 Months Magistrates Court (Not Guilty Plea) 3-6 Months Crown Court (General Cases) 3-12 Months Crown Court (Serious Cases) Up to 24 Months’ Time frames change based on the adherence of all parties to timetables and attendance of witnesses and court time available. As matters progress, we should be in a better position to advise you of the likely timeframe

Payment on Account

It is our usual practice to ask clients to make a payment on account of anticipated costs and disbursements. We will normally ask for full payment in advance and notify you. We shall deliver bills to you at regular intervals for work carried out during the conduct of this case. Please see our terms and conditions of business /private client document for more information when you decide to receive a formal quote from us.

Disbursements and expert reports/Barristers

If your case requires an expert, we will advise you as soon as possible so that you can decide on whether you would like us to instruct an expert on your behalf to produce a report, attend Court and give evidence. Expert fees are not included within the agreed fee and are considered as a disbursement. The cost for an expert depends on the type of expert required, the nature of the report and the experience of the expert. Other disbursements can be copying costs, medical reports/notes specifically to assist with your case. If you require a named barrister and not an advocate that we have chosen as available within the fees, this can increase the costs and you will have to pay for the cost and any associated work such as additional meetings with the barrister, us, and you.

Our Travel costs

We will ask you to pay our reasonable travel fares for which we will estimate in advance and agree with you.


Sometimes, if you are facing a very serious allegation with serious consequences or if the case is extremely complex then we will discuss with you in advance acting on an hourly rate basis.

We can offer hourly rates depending on the complexity of each case.

Partner from £400 per hour.

Solicitor from £300 per hour.

Trainee/paralegal from £200 per hour.

Letters, calls, and emails are charged at 1/10 of the hourly rate.

We will give you an estimate in good faith on the number of hours your case is likely to require. This estimate can be based on the entire case or by each stage of the case (pretrial, preparation and trial, sentences).

All rates detailed will attract additional VAT at 20%.


A separate fee has to be agreed for any appeals and necessary work that will have to be carried out.

Can I recover any of my private fees?

Where a defendant is successful (i.e., he is not convicted of the offence(s) he faces) he can apply for reimbursement of his defence costs.  This is known as a Defendant’s Costs Order. If successful, the costs are paid from public funds. The rules state that where a defendant is successful ‘A defendant’s costs order should normally be made unless there are positive reasons for not doing so, for example, where the defendant’s own conduct has brought suspicion on himself and has misled the prosecution into thinking that the case against him was stronger than it was.’ Where a defendant faces multiple charges and is convicted of some but not others, the court can still award costs in relation to those matters that were not proved.

The sting in the tail here is that, even if the application is successful, the costs that can be recovered are limited to legal fees and these fees, in turn, are capped at Legal Aid rates. For this reason, it is extremely unusual for an acquitted defendant who has been paying privately for his defence to recover the costs of successfully defending himself, let alone for his lost earnings or otherwise for time spent preparing his case. In addition, only individuals (as opposed to companies and other organisations) can recover these limited defence costs in the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court.

Finally, to be able to receive defence costs in the crown court, the defendant must have applied for legal aid, and then be determined to be ineligible to receive it. That is right - without a determination of ineligibility for legal aid, no costs can be recovered in the event of an acquittal. The recoverable costs will be less than 20% in most cases.

Fees recoverable in respect of work done by advocates in the Crown Court will not exceed the fees set out in the relevant cost’s rules and regulations. If you require more details, please ask us.





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