We aim to be paid what we’re worth to our clients. So we want to be worth a lot to you. Nevertheless we are more motivated by interesting and useful work than in maximising profitability.
So ask us about fee structures that might suit you. We respect markets. Scarcity rules. If we have time that would otherwise be unrewarded, our rates will reflect that. If we’re so busy that more work will stretch us to the limit, the next job will cost more. We’ll let you know when you ask.
The fees could be calculated on any of the following bases:
Market hourly rates – Sometimes value can only be measured as the “market price” – what you’d have to pay for the next best service, frequently an hourly rate. We’ll give you hourly rate quotes that depend on the issues and how quickly and confidently we should be able to solve them. They’ll reflect the relative scarcity of our relevant knowledge and experience. The firm will employ staff lawyers. Their quoted rates will depend on relevant experience in relation to the market, just like the partners. And like the partners they’ll vary according to how busy they are. Try us – if we’re not busy you might get a bargain.
Payment by result – We’d like to fix fees by reference to the results for you. We want to spend as much of our time as possible working where we can bring to bear a unique mix of skill, experience, judgment, and connections. We’d work out in advance an arrangement that you regard as fair. That may include sharing your risk if we can assess it in advance.
Fixed price – Unhappy experience tells us that legal things often take longer than most good faith estimates. If a fixed price quote is needed we’ll add a safety margin. But with our experience we should be able to simplify most issues.
Working with in-house counsel – We like to work with in-house counsel. In-house practice can be the most challenging legal work. We understand the unavoidability of in-house ‘politics’. We’ll tailor our approach to your communication needs, to be of practical use to you in your organisation.
Retainers and sounding board work – We’re happy to work on retainer. If you wish we’ll act informally, as a sounding board or second opinion. Often top of the head comment is all that is needed for reassurance (though in prudence we’d reserve the right to know how our advice is represented to third parties). If it takes less than 20 minutes we’d rarely charge.
DIY legal work – We expect clients to want to stretch the value of our advice. For example, if you or your counsel do not have experience in our field but want to gain it without excessive risk, they should do most of the work. We’re happy to provide guidance only. You implement, we’ll help where asked.
Just ask – We’re always happy to discuss billing. Most importantly, we want to continue to be called to work on the most challenging and interesting issues.
We’re in a firm (instead of working as barristers alone) because we like to work with stimulating colleagues. Comparing notes, getting a gross error check – they’re part of prudent legal practice, but being intrigued by colleagues’ interesting problems is also what we love about practising law.
Office Service Charge
Law firms often add a standard percentage for “office services”. It seems petty and looks greedy. We charge for disbursements only where they are substantial enough to justify the costs of tracking them to your work. So, for example, minor communication, courier and photocopying costs are covered by our fee.