FEES AND EXPENSES

a nice cup of coffeeWhen you contact me, and we agree to meet, I will invite you to a public place, like a coffee shop, safe pub or restaurant (which can also be at a supermarket). I will ask you to bring all your paperwork concerning the matter that you want to talk about.

I don’t charge you for our first meeting and I’ll pay for your coffee, tea or orange juice. If I had an office, you could visit me there and you’d get tea, coffee or orange juice at my office.

Feel free to speak during that first meeting. At the start of the meeting, we can sign a very short agreement stating that everything you say to me will remain completely confidential. It is only one page, and I’ve kept it very simple. It is for your reassurance only.

Once you have made up your mind and decide to hire me, I will draw up another, much longer agreement. I will explain it to you in detail. From the moment I receive that agreement back from you, signed by you, you have officially hired me. We then each have a copy of that agreement, signed by both of us. That is when the clock starts ticking.

I have three different fee rates and three different payment arrangements. Below, you find details of how I charge. The fee rates below do not include VAT, but I will not add VAT for this type of work.

I use the following three hourly fee rates.

  • Fee waived
    Zero* **, if your personal annual income is less than £12,000
  • Medium fee rate
    £25 per hour, with a minimum of 1 hour, if your personal annual income is between £12,000 and £20,000
  • Full fee rate
    £50 per hour, with a minimum of 1 hour, if your personal annual income is more than £20,000

* If I incur any expenses, I may ask you to reimburse those, but I will discuss that with you first.
** On average, I can spend up to 10 hours per week on unpaid consultations.

A copy of your most recent tax return – or your council’s most recent income assessment if you are on benefits – will usually suffice as proof of your income level. I will also want to verify your identity and your address; I will let you know what I need to see for that.

At the bottom of this page, you can find a specification of how I calculate my fees and of which expenses I may include on my bill.

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PAYMENT OPTIONS
I have the following three payment options for when I don’t waive my fees.

  • Regular invoices

I will draw up an invoice once per month, most likely around the end of each calendar month, and provide you with this invoice. You will pay this invoice within 14 days after the invoice date. The first invoice will be for at least a minimum amount of one hour of work. After that, I charge in blocks of six minutes and I keep a detailed record of time spent by me for you.

At the bottom of this page, you can find a specification of how I calculate my fees. It also shows you which costs I consider business overhead costs and which costs I consider project costs.

  • Monthly fixed-fee arrangement with built-in guarantee

You can also opt for a monthly-fixed fee arrangement in which you pay me the sum of £125 or £250 (depending on income level) at the start of each calendar month for the duration of my work for you. Within 30 days after completion of my work for you, you then pay me the same amount of £125 or £250 times the number of months I worked for you, but only if you think that I did a good job (and only for months in which I did work for you).

There is an average monthly maximum number of 20 hours. This option also includes that you can call me between 8 AM and 11 PM if you want to talk about the matter you hired me for.

This second option may be good for if you do not know when exactly you will need me and when, and are concerned about complicated situations that may suddenly require a lot of my time. This option gives you the guarantee that I will be there for you whenever you need me.

There may be additional expenses, but I will rarely charge expenses without having discussed them with you first, and I will always keep them to a minimum. See also the specification at the bottom of this page.

  • Total fixed-fee arrangement with built-in guarantee

A third option is that you and I agree on a fixed total fee for my work for you and you pay me half of that amount at the start of my work for you. You pay the other half within 30 days after completion of my work for you, but only if you think that I did a good job.

There is an average monthly maximum number of 20 hours. This option also includes that you can call me between 8 AM and 11 PM if you want to talk about the matter you hired me for.

This third option means that you will know exactly how much you will pay for my services and when. There may be additional expenses, but I will rarely charge expenses without having discussed them with you first, and I will always keep them to a minimum. See also the specification at the bottom of this page.

The project agreement that we both sign in duplicate at the start of my work for you includes these payment details. Project agreements are a good idea for any type of work because a project agreement clarifies matters and can therefore identify and solve misunderstandings right at the start. It makes clear who is expected to do what, and when.

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Specification of my fees and charges
I keep a record of how I spend my time and I charge in units of 6 minutes. Anything that takes less than 6 minutes counts as 6 minutes, but I will spend my time wisely. This means that if I know I have to draft a simple letter, and write a simple e-mail, and each were to take 3 minutes, I would do this within the same block of 6 minutes, and charge you for 6 minutes of my time, not for 12 minutes.

Remember that I may waive my hourly fee because your income is low or you may choose to pay a fixed fee, either for all my work for you or per month of work for you.

Below are examples of what I will and won’t include on my invoice. These examples are not a complete list, but give you a good idea of what you can expect.

Meeting with you:

  • I will generally ask you to meet at a location that is convenient for me, as this means that I don’t have to charge for my travel expenses and time spent travelling. Where we meet will likely also be convenient for you; I will for example often try to meet you halfway. If I had an office for visitors, you would be travelling to meet me at my office instead.
  • I normally do not charge anything for travelling to meet with you. If I have to pay travel expenses of more than £10 or if travel to meet with you takes a long time (longer than one hour one way, in normal circumstances), I may include my travel expenses and the time I spend travelling (at 50% of my hourly fee) on my invoice. In such a case, I will discuss this with you when we make the appointment to see what works out best.
  • Time spent during an appointment with you will be on my invoice, but with a maximum of 30 minutes, unless the meeting lasts longer than 90 minutes*.

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Time spent that I will not include on my invoice:

  • Preparing invoices;
  • Making an appointment with you or reminding you of an appointment;
  • Research or reading that is interesting but does not relate to the matter you hired me for;
  • Keeping a record of how I spend my time;
  • The first, free hour of consultation;
  • Assessing your income level;
  • Helping you fill out fee remission forms.

Time I include on my invoice:

  • How I calculate my costsDrafting documents, e-mails and letters relating to the matter you hired me for;
  • Research relating to the matter you hired me for;
  • Reading, reviewing and summarising documents relating to the matter you hired me for;
  • Phone calls with you to discuss the matter you hired me for;
  • Writing e-mails, texts and letters to you (but only when reasonable);
  • Preparing for a meeting relating to the matter you hired me for;
  • Travelling (when necessary for the matter you hired me for, preferably after your approval, and only if reasonable), at 50% of my hourly fee;
  • Consulting others, interviewing others, or taking witness statements (only after your approval);
  • Waiting, at 50% of my hourly fee (to a degree that is reasonable);
  • Completing forms relating to the matter you hired me for (except fee remission forms);
  • Time spent during an appointment with you, but with a maximum of 30 minutes, unless the meeting lasts longer than 90 minutes*;
  • Time spent during an appointment with you at a court or other third party.

* I do this so that anyone with lots of questions or who wants more explanations does not have to worry about if a regular meeting lasts a bit longer.

Remember that I may waive my hourly fee and you can also choose to pay me a fixed fee for my work for you if I don’t waive my fees.

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Examples of expenses that I will not include on my invoice:

  • Postage to send materials to you;
  • Mobile phones and other equipment;
  • Use of telephone, e-mail and other communication services;
  • Food and beverages of any kind;
  • Ink, paper, printing and photocopying done by me, database access, books, magazines.

Examples of expenses that I may include in my invoices (on the basis of receipts):

  • Travel to meet with you at a court or another third party;
  • Travel to meet with other parties (only after your approval);
  • Overnight accommodation, if necessary for the matter you hired me for (only after your approval);
  • Costs of courier services or express deliveries (only after your approval);
  • Taxis and public transport (which you will likely know about in advance), but only if reasonable;
  • Document provision, but only in some cases (only after your approval);
  • Photocopies and printing carried out by a third party (only after your approval);
  • Translations carried out by a third party (only after your approval).

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