What are legal costs?
Seeking legal advice from solicitors can be expensive, whether you are buying property or if you are involved in a dispute that goes to court. Solicitors are under an obligation to keep you informed of the costs they are running up and to provide itemised bills. The ways in which charges are worked out differ depending on whether your legal work has been contentious (with court proceedings) or non-contentious (with no court proceedings). In both cases, your solicitor's bill should contain enough information for you to see what work has been done and what you are being charged for so that you can decide whether to get your bill checked.
What should you do if you think that your solicitors have overcharged or cannot justify their bill? As a first step, you ask them to explain their bill. If you are not then happy with the response, you can take your case to the ombudsman. Failing that, the dispute may escalate and, if you do not pay the bill, you may find that you need to defend your decision not to pay in the courts.
Disputes about legal costs can also arise when you have won your case in court and the court has ordered the loser to pay your legal costs (usually a proportion of the legal costs and not the full amount). You may find that you need to chase the loser in the litigation to recover those costs. Alternatively, you may find that someone is claiming their legal costs against you, where you have been the loser in litigation.
There are technical rules relating to legal costs, which differ according to whether you are speaking about solicitors’ bills or whether you are dealing with the payment of costs to or from a third party. There are strict time limits and deadlines within which you may need to make a claim or respond to a claim.
In all cases, it is advisable to seek the best legal advice from a barrister who is expert in the area of legal costs and dispute resolution as early as you can. Barristers can take the stress out of what is often a difficult situation.
Why choose a barrister?
Barristers are experts in the law, are best placed to advise on the right course of action, can assist you to steer the right course through complicated procedures and represent you to the highest standard in any tribunal or court.
Who is the best barrister for me?
If you need expert advice on legal costs, choose a barrister on myBarrister. Barristers will provide you with guidance so you that you know where you stand and can take the right decisions about what to do next. We can put you in touch with a barrister who can advise you on any proceedings that you need to take or defend.
Search for a legal costs barrister, and you’ll be in direct contact with a barrister within minutes.