Fees

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

DEALT WITH AT A SINGLE HEARING UNDER PART I OF THE ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1988 AND S89 OF THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984

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 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 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 sort of level 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 would need to in addition to our fees and we aim to provide information of 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 –

Drink 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.

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 supervised by Umar Zeb and Lisa Nicol who head up the criminal department.

We do not work on a contingency fee basis ie ‘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  on your  behalf of as we are conscious that time is your money.

Types of work we can do by fixed fee

Making written Submissions letter or mitigation letter only for you

We can work to try and persuade the police against commencing court proceedings where possible. Representation at court for this discreet work is not included. We will meet with you and we will be take instructions from you and we will usually analyse the case evidence before mitigating on your behalf to attempt to persuade the court not to impose a ban where the law. We will write a letter with your mitigation on your behalf. As indicated above Representation by us at court is not included. £600 plus VAT for up to 4 hours work and to £1,000 plus VAT for up to 6 hours work covered.

The service fees include –

  • Reading evidence
  • Attending/preparation on you virtually or in person as agreed or necessary
  • Instructions from you and us advising you on your plea at court
  • Advice on likely sentence
  • Making writing submissions for you
  • We will undertake work which includes, letters, calls, emails, preparation and attendance up to the maximum no 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 Exceptional Hardship/Mitigation or Guilty plea at court. Single hearing. Trial preparation and cover not covered by this fee.

Representation at court by an advocate within the fee. We will meet with you in advance and take your instructions. 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. £800 plus VAT for up to 6 hours work and to £1500 plus VAT for up to 10 hours work covered.

The service fees include -

  • Reading evidence
  • Attending/preparation on you virtually or in person as agreed or necessary
  • Advice on likely sentence
  • Attendance and representation once at the Magistrates Court.
  • Advising you on your plea at court
  • Advice on likely sentence
  • This is to include an experienced advocate or barrister to represent you at court for up to  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 , preparation and attendance up to the maximum no of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us

This does not include –

  • Any further work such as taking statements
  • Attending further court hearings 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 no 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. We will read and prepare all evidence served. We can take 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. We will deal with the court and apply for adjournments when necessary.

We will deal with disclosure issues that arise during the case such as asking for CCTV for example.

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.

A special reasons argument is where you have pleaded guilty and seek to persuade the court from not imposing a driving ban. Special reasons can apply to all sorts of driving cases 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 such as 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 £1500 plus VAT this will cover from 10 hours work to £3,000 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 the 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.

The service fee includes

  • Reading the evidence
  • Obtaining disclosure
  • Attendance and representation once at the Magistrates Court.
  • 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 an 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 , preparation and attendance up to the maximum no 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.
  • Extensive enquiries tracing witnesses
  • 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 no of hours agreed in the fixed fee with us.

 Advocates or barristers for court hearings

Where we cannot cover the case in house 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 could 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 the case is adjourned, then each further hearing or Trial will be from £500 plus VAT to £1,000 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.

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 experts reports will complicate the case. We will always agree this 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
  • Advance conferences with advocates or barrister other than at court on the day unless agreed
  • Disbursements some of which 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.
  • Most Barristers fees attract VAT
  • Travel costs attract VAT.
  • 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 professional 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 £1,500 plus VAT.
  • 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 have 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 attendances 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 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 for more information

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

Where the court is distant to us then we will ask you to pay our reasonable travel fares for which we will estimate in advance and agree with you.

Additional Hearings

If we have included an advocate within the agreed fee and there is more than one hearing necessary as the case is adjourned on the day that we attend, there will be an additional charge of £500 plus VAT to £1,000 plus VAT for each additional hearing. The fee will be higher if the case is more complicated or more work is required. This will be agreed with you in advance.

MORE COMPLEX CASES

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 £275 per hour.
  • Solicitor from £200 per hour.
  • Trainee/paralegal from £150 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%.

Appeals

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's 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%.

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.

 

Our cases

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future, and you have the means to pay for this service please read more about our bespoke private fee service.