LEGAL FEES

Controlling Legal Fees 

Using our Help Desks, significant savings can be made on legal fees.

Use our Legal Fee Savings Calculator while you research Law-Answers.com to see how much in legal fees you are saving yourself. Open our calculator and keep it running while you browse then, using the two sliders, dial up the time you spend on our help desks and a lawyer’s hourly fee rate to see how much you have saved yourself on legal fees.

See also our ready reckon indicative legal fees savings

Ten Questions to Ask your Lawyer about fees

How Legal Fees are Charged 

Lawyers charge for their services in a variety of ways:

  • Time–  fee based on recorded minutes/hours multiplied by a lawyer’s rate
  • Fixed– fee pre-agreed and cannot usually be changed
  • Contingency– fee based on a pre-defined outcome
  • Percentage– fee based what is recovered for the client from another party e.g, an insurer

The type of work lawyers do for a client will often determine the basis of their charges and how much they charge.

For example:

  • Buying a house– usually fixed fee
  • Divorce– usually time charge
  • Business set-up– could be fixed fee and time charge combination
  • Debt collection– often fixed fee on simple cases but time charges if complex
  • Traffic accident– often percentage of damages recovered
  • Contract drafting– fixed fee if a standard contract but time charges if complex

Market Rates 

For legal advice, it is very hard to say market rates apply to particular legal advisory services.

There was a time, long ago, when ‘scale fees’ applied to house conveyancing. These scales were abandoned as being unfair to consumers and there is now free competition amongst lawyers, who broadly charge what they feel is appropriate.

This link to a Government guide shows how legal fees are highly sensitive to where legal advice is sought.

Despite the notion that a free “market place” will help to control prices, it has not proved to be universally beneficial to the legal profession’s customers.

Pressure is being brought on the legal profession to be more transparent about its charges.

The Competition and Markets Authority in 2016 set out measures designed to help customers “better navigate the market and get value for money“.

As Rachel Merelie, Acting Executive Director for Markets and Mergers, said:

You might not need a lawyer very often but when you do it will often be at a crucial point in your life – whether that’s buying a property, resolving a dispute or getting expert advice on financial and employment matters. So the transparency, affordability and accessibility shortcomings we have identified are a real concern.

Consumers who are equipped with the information they need to assess the services on offer and choose the best deal for them, will not just benefit personally but will also help drive competition, quality and innovation across the whole market. That means a better outcome for everyone and, importantly, fewer people will be discouraged from seeking the help they need.”

Atkins Shield is pleased to be a prime actor in the process that brings and easier and more cost effective access to the law and to lawyers.

UK’s Legal Fees Map 

We have created a legal fee rate map of the UK using publicly available information. Take a look at our Atkins-Shield UK Legal Fees Map that shows how legal fee rates vary up and down the country- the map converts hourly regional legal fees into the prices of everyday items- see some  examples below.

#Access2law4all (why we created Law-Answers.com)

Legal Fees Investigation 

What the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) found in its extensive investigation into the Legal Profession:

The CMA reported in its extensive 2016 investigation into the Legal Profession that:

  1. Consumers often use legal services providers at critical moments in their lives.
  2. In these situations legal advice can have major personal and financial consequences.
  3. These consequences may not be possible to reverse or remedy.
  4. Consumers may be unable to judge the quality of legal services upfront, and may therefore face difficulties choosing a provider that meets their needs.
  5. Consumers have limited knowledge and awareness of their need for legal services.
  6.  Consumers need providers to be transparent about the price and quality of what they are offering in order to choose offers that represents the best value for money to address their legal needs.
  7. There is a lack of information on price, service and quality available to consumers when they try to engage in the legal sector.
  8. Individuals most frequently seek advice on:
  • Property matters
  • Conveyancing
  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Estate management
  • Family matters
  • Accident or injury
  • Tenant & landlord problems
  • Work problems

9. There are around 4.8 million private sector and 81,000 non-profit enterprises in the United Kingdom. The 99% of these with fewer than 50 employees account for more than 1/3 of turnover and around 1/2 of jobs outside the public sector. Small businesses operate in a world that is ‘flooded with law’. Thus, how they deal with problems with a legal dimension may be critical to their development and growth.

Extract from: “In Need of Advice? Findings of a Small Business Legal Needs Benchmarking Survey- April 2013

10. Small businesses seek advice on:

  • Trading (38%)
  • Tax (22%)
  • Employees (15%)
  • Intellectual property (9%)

For the full CMAs report on the Legal Services Market, Click Here

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