How will we work out your costs estimate?
Costs estimates are influenced by several factors including the complexity of your affairs – for instance, a divorcing couple with few assets and no children would likely pay less in legal fees than someone with multiple assets and children. Should a matter become contested then that will have a significant impact on any cost estimate.
The best way to obtain a bespoke estimate adapted to unique circumstances is to book an initial consultation with one of the team. Initial consultations are at a discounted price of £120 plus VAT for a one-hour meeting which can be arranged in person or online, whatever suits you.
Our fees are charged by an hourly rate. The current hourly rates are set out below. These rates do not include VAT which is added when the invoice is prepared.
Examples of typical finances instructions and our estimated costs
In some cases, the parties may have already reached a financial agreement upon separation and merely wish to instruct a solicitor to incorporate that agreement into a legally binding document. Even if you have reached an agreement and are happy to proceed on this basis, we strongly recommend you ensure you have taken into account the value of your spouses’ pension and all other assets. It is advised that this information is provided to you within a form E (financial statement) and Form P (pension enquiry form).
Where you wish to proceed with a financial settlement, we would estimate that my costs in drafting a Consent Order and the associated legal documents, and providing you with advice and corresponding with the other side and the Court, are likely to be in the region of £1,500 to £1,600 plus VAT. You will also incur a disbursement of £53 in respect of the Court fee payable upon lodging a Consent Order.
If an agreement has not been reached, we will therefore need to deal with financial disclosure and/or negotiations that lead to a settlement without the issuing of proceedings, it is difficult to assess the likely level of costs from the outset as each case will have its own individual factors. However, and on the basis that matters are agreed promptly, we would estimate your costs to be in the region of £3,500 to £4,250 plus VAT and again you will also incur a disbursement of £53 in respect of the Court fee payable upon lodging a Consent Order.
If it is not possible to reach an agreement and an application to the Court is required we would estimate that your costs up to and including arranging for you to be represented at the First Appointment hearing would be in the region of £4,250 to £7,000 plus VAT. You will also incur a disbursement in respect of the Court issue fee (currently £275).
In the event that we proceed to a Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment with a District Judge who will actively attempt to assist you in reaching an agreement, we would estimate your costs would be in the region of £7,000 to £11,000 plus VAT. In the event that the matter has to proceed to a Final Hearing, the costs could be in the region of £11,000 to £18,000 plus VAT, depending on the complexity of the matter and the number of issues that are in dispute. We will keep you up-dated in relation to the level of costs at regular intervals of your case, as it is simply not possible to predict how a case will proceed from the outset. We therefore may be obliged to increase or decrease the estimates provided herein accordingly.
Examples of typical children related instructions and our estimated costs
If there has been a breakdown in the arrangements for children it may be possible to resolve any disputes through negotiation and/or mediation. If we are instructed to deal with a dispute concerning children and we are able to resolve matters through negotiation and/or mediation, we would estimate that your legal fees could be in the region of £750 to £1,200 plus VAT. If a referral to mediation is made any charges that are imposed by the mediation provider will be your responsibility and separate to this estimate.
If is it not possible to reach agreement concerning the arrangements for children and an application to the Court under the Children Act 1989 were required, we would estimate that your costs up to and including arranging for you to be represented at the First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment would be in the region of £3,500 to £5,500 plus VAT. You will also incur a disbursement in respect of the Court issue fee (currently £232).
In the event that matters then had to proceed to the Dispute Resolution Appointment we would estimate your costs to be in the region of £5,500 to £8,000 plus VAT. In the event that we proceed to a Final Hearing, the costs could be in the region of £8,000 to £15,000 plus VAT, depending on the complexity of the matter and the number of issues that are in dispute. So far as your costs are concerned, we will of course keep you up-dated in relation to the level of costs as your case progresses as it is simply not possible to predict how a case will proceed from the outset. We therefore may be obliged to increase or decrease the estimates provided herein accordingly.
This timescale obviously depends on a number of factors, some of which are outside of our control (i.e. the time it takes others to react or for the Court to process documents or to schedule hearings). Many cases can reach a final hearing within 9 – 12 months, however it is possible that the matter can be resolved sooner if the parties are able to agree settlement terms and the Court approves the settlement. In more complex cases which require the inclusion of a Fact Finding Hearing, it is possible that a children dispute could take some 12 – 18 months before a final order is made.