Fees and Funding
Our Approach to Fees
We understand litigation can be an expensive process. Funding can be the biggest barrier for an individual’s access to justice. We are always looking for ways to reduce that barrier.
Our barristers bring their commitment to a flexible, client focused service to the question of their fees. Whilst we charge reasonable market rates commensurate with the service provided we are always willing to discuss the way our fees, and their payment, are structured in order to find a solution that works for our clients as well as us.
Each of our barristers has an hourly rate which takes account of the market rates in their area of practice and the barrister’s skills and experience.
The hourly rate for a particular case and a particular piece of work is agreed in advance. That rate will take account of the complexity of the case, the value of the case and any particular demands the case gives rise to. Rates for direct access work are generally a little higher because of the additional client care requirements involved.
Charges for paperwork and conferences are based on hourly rates. Time estimates for a piece of work can be given in advance and where appropriate a maximum fee can be agreed.
Brief fees, Refreshers & Hearing fees
Fees for a trial consist of a brief fee and refreshers. A brief fee is an agreed fixed fee that covers all the pre-trial preparation and the first day of the trial. A refresher is the fixed agreed fee for a subsequent day of the trial which includes the ongoing preparation before and after court each day as well as any conference.
In advance of the trial both the brief fee and refreshers will be agreed. The date of the trial, preparation is treated as starting or “the brief is delivered” and the brief fee that becomes due will also be agreed in advance. In substantial matters it is possible to agree a brief fee which falls due in instalments leading up to the start of the trial.
The fee payable for a hearing will include all the preparation for that hearing and at any conference as well as for the hearing itself.
The costs of travel for substantial journeys or overnight accommodation may be charged as a separate item or reflected in the brief or a hearing fee.
Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs)
CFAs are often referred to as “no win, no fee” arrangements.
If your case has a good prospect of success a CFA may be an option worth considering. If your solicitor is working for you under a CFA it is likely our barristers will be willing to do so as well.
Under a CFA your barrister agrees a basic hourly or daily rate and a percentage uplift (up to 100%) on that basic fee. If you and your barrister are ultimately successful, the other side pay your barrister’s basic fee and percentage uplift on that sum. If you and your barrister are not successful, your barrister does not get paid.
You will need to take out an insurance policy to cover your liability to the other side in the event they win. Essentially CFAs allow you to proceed with a claim although you are not in a position to fund the litigation.
More sophisticated arrangements can be made where the case is complex, involves substantial quantities of work or has risk factors that mean a straightforward CFA is not appropriate. Hybrid arrangements may involve a payment of part of the barrister’s basic fee with the balance, and with an uplift on the balance, being payable on success only.
How we will decide
Each individual barrister must make their own decision whether to enter into a particular CFA. The barrister concerned will consider the merits of a case including the legal, evidential and practical risks involved and decide whether they are willing to act.
Sometimes the merits of the case will be considered informally by two Hardwicke barristers so that we can give a more comprehensive commitment to deal with the case on the basis of CFAs in the event the original barrister is not free to do every piece of work required for the case.
If you want more information about possible fee arrangements please contact the Practice Management Team.