FEES AND EXPENSES

I have three payment arrangements:

  • Pay As You Go (PAYG), Pay Per Period (PPP) and Pay Per Case (PPC).

For PAYG clients, I have three fee rates:

  • 0 per hour, £25 per hour and £50 per hour.

In addition, there can be expenses. Below, I explain it all.

When you hire me and I agree to be hired, the project agreement that we both sign at the start of my work includes these payment details and other terms and conditions. Project agreements are a good idea for any type of work because a project agreement clarifies matters and can identify and solve possible misunderstandings right at the start. It makes clear who is expected to do what, and when.

 

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FIRST MEETING FREE

a nice cup of coffeeIf 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 not only for your reassurance; it can come in handy for you later to be able to show that you spoke with me about something even if I you don’t hire me.

I will also want to verify your identity and your address; I will let you know what I need to see for that. Pursuant to the Data Protection Act 1998, I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ico) in the public register of data controllers. I handle your information in compliance with the law.

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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PAY AS YOU GO = PAYG

With this option, you won’t know from the start exactly how much you will end up paying me for my services (unless your annual income is less than £12,000 per year, in which case my services are free).

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 1 hour of work. After that, I charge in blocks of 6 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 (mine) and which costs I consider project costs (which you may need to pay back to me).

The first meeting will be free. I will give you a confidentiality agreement for that first meeting because even if you decide not to hire me, it can later really help you to have it on paper that you met with me to discuss the case. I will also want to verify your identity and your address; I will let you know what I need to see for that.

Maybe right after that first meeting and three months after that, you will call and e-mail me and ask me to do something for you. You may ask me to accompany you to a meeting or hearing five months after that. When you decide you want to hire me, I will send you an agreement after our first meeting. When I get the paperwork back from you, that’s when you have officially hired me.

I use the following three hourly fee rates.

  • Fee waived
    Zero* **, if your personal annual income is less than £12,000 or you are being evicted for arrears
  • 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.

In addition, there can be expenses which I may include on my bill so you can refund them to me. I will always want to discuss that with you before I spend the money.

The Pay-As-You-Go option is usually how lawyers bill you.

My mobile phone number is 075 1826 1184.

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PAY PER PERIOD = PPP – with built-in guarantee

This can be like a subscription. You pay me a fixed fee per month, per three months, or per year for my services (but there does not have to be an automatic renewal). If your income is less than £12,000 per year, you pay zero for my services. If you pay three months ahead, you get one month free, and if you pay ahead for a year, you get four months free.

You don’t have to worry about calling me too often to vent or asking too many questions. You won’t get a higher bill either if the case you are dealing with suddenly gets more complicated than you expected. This is called a “concierge-style” service. During the pay period, you can call me at any time. Yes, also outside regular office hours and during the weekend.*

It gets even better. You only pay me half my fee – 50% – at the start of each period. At the end of the period, you pay me the remaining half when you feel happy with how I have helped you.

You can, for example, hire me for one or two months at the start of your legal challenge, and hire me for two more months, eight months later.

You may not know yet when you will need me most, so you could pay me for my availability per month, as a subscription. This means that I schedule time for you regardless of whether you actually need me. You would only pay the remaining 50% for those months in which you really did need me to be there for you, and are happy with how I’ve helped you.

An easier solution may be to pay me for being available for you for a full year, which can be more economic than paying me on a month-by-month basis. You pay 50% of the yearly fee up front. You pay the remaining 50% later, and only if you’re happy with how we’ve worked together.

The first meeting is free, as always. I will give you a confidentiality agreement for that first meeting because even if you decide not to hire me, it can later really help you to have it on paper that you met with me to discuss the case.I will also want to verify your identity and your address; I will let you know what I need to see for that.

If you decide to hire me, I will send you another agreement. When I get that paperwork back from you, with your autograph on it, that’s when you’ve officially hired me.

There can be expenses which I may have to ask you to refund to me. I will always want to discuss that with you first. There is a table at the bottom of this page that shows you how expenses can work out.

I calculate the pay-per-period fees on a basis of £0, £50 (if your income is between 12,000 and 20,000 pounds per year) or £100 per month (if your income is more than 20,000 pounds per year). Keep my 50% guarantee in mind, though.

So if you make 18,000 pounds per year, you pay £200 up front for a whole year. You pay the remaining £200 at the end of that year, though only if you feel that I have helped you well. That decision is entirely up to you.

*A fair use policy applies.

My mobile phone number is 075 1826 1184.

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PAY PER CASE = PPC – with built-in guarantee

This means that we agree on a fixed sum for the entire case for the entire duration of the legal challenge that you are tackling. If you make less than £12,000 per year, that sum will be a big fat zero. This excludes expenses.

You pay 50% of the total fee we agree on up front.

  • Advantage 1: You only pay the remaining 50% after your legal challenge has completely run its course or has run out of steam, one way or another.
  • Advantage 2: You never have to worry about calling me too often to vent or asking too many questions if you decide to hire me for the duration of your legal adventure. You know that you won’t get a higher bill for my services, not even if the case suddenly gets more complicated than we expected. During the entire duration of the case, you can call me at any time. Also outside regular office hours.* This is known as a “concierge-style” service.
  • Advantage 3: If you feel that I haven’t helped you enough, for whatever reason, you can choose not to pay the remaining 50% in the end. It is up to you.

Paying per case means that I book time on my schedule for you, in advance, even though I won’t know for how many hours you will be needing me.

There may be many meetings you want me to go to with you. There may be just one or two. You won’t know that at the start either. When you need me, I need to be there for you and that is why I need to book that time in advance. It can mean that I have to say no to another case, and that is why there is a 50% advance payment.

You may be an unrepresented litigant (litigant in person, litigant pro se). You are taking one or more people and/or businesses to court without having a lawyer by your side in court. It is quite possible that you also have the assistance of a lawyer and team up with me for extra support. Or maybe someone else is taking you to court.

For many people, this solution of paying per case will be ideal. You likely know the maximum amount that you can spend on your legal challenge, and may wonder whether the fees may end up being more than what you can afford. That’s not going to happen when we agree on this option. It is an amount we will both be happy with.

The first meeting is free. I will give you a confidentiality agreement for that first meeting because even if you decide not to hire me, it can later really help you to have it on paper that you met with me to discuss the case. If you do decide to hire me, will send you another agreement. When I get that paperwork back from you, signed, you have officially hired me.

Speaking from my own experience, taking someone to court without a lawyer can make you feel isolated when no one is at hand to talk about whatever issue you have questions about. It can be great to have me going with you to meetings and hearings. It can also be wonderful to be able to share frustrations and hiccups as well as pleasant surprises and victories and know that there will not be a higher bill. There is no clock ticking.

There can be expenses which I may have to ask you to refund to me. I will always want to discuss that with you first. There is a table at the bottom of this page that shows you how expenses can work out.

*A fair use policy applies.

My mobile phone number is 075 1826 1184.

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SPECIFICATION OF MY FEES AND EXPENSES
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.

Time spent to do with 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*.

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.

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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My mobile phone number is 075 1826 1184.

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