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Our injury compensation team is headed by very experienced specialists in the field, namely partners, Andrew Harris at Exeter (pictured), and Catherine Rosewell (at Crediton), backed by colleagues as needed.
Initial discussions are usually free of charge, to help you decide on the way forward.
You may have an existing legal expenses insurance policy covering fees for this type of work. If you do than we will liaise with your insurers to be sure the cover is sufficient for your needs (sadly we have come across some schemes that are not quite what they seem) and then to secure confirmation of our appointment.
If you do not have (or choose not to use) such a policy , there are two ways forward.
- You can “pay as you go” in which case we will invoice for time reasonably spent following your instructions (see below).
- You can ask us to consider accepting your claim on a “no-win-no-fee” basis. There are two types, the more common being a “Conditional Fee Agreement” (CFA).
A “Damages Based Agreement” (DBA) is also permissible, though used by us mainly in claims against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau under the Untraced Drivers Agreement.
Under a CFA – if you lost, then you only repay our outgoings – we charge nothing for our time from the date of the agreement (exceptions which apply are set out in the Agreement itself).
If you win then in addition to our basic fees and outlays, you will pay a “success fee” (+ vat) which is a percentage of our basic fees. ranging from 12.5% to 100% depending on the nature of the case and the stage reached at settlement. Depending on our risk assessment, typical success fees; maximum 100% (usually only if if resolved in court); if resolved out of court then typically: 12.5% for Road Traffic claims; 25% for accidents at work and 30% for public/occupiers liability claims.
You may wish to purchase an insurance policy to cover you against irrecoverable disbursements and adverse costs if any were awarded against you, Success fees and such insurance premiums are not recoverable from your opponent if you win.
We would hope to recover as much as we can towards your basic bill from the losing party. Court scale fees and budgets may apply Success fees are not recoverable, but we promise they will not exceed 25% of your awarded damages.
Outlays required may include court fees, medical or other expert reports, police report, travel, barrister’s fees, or the use of a cost draftsman.
As estimates will need amending as the issues in your case become clearer, we will provide an initial estimate but update it as needed, and usually every six months. or so.
Our charges are normally based on the time spent working on your behalf. Our “time” is measured in “units” of 6 minutes each and there are 10 units to an hour. We note and charge for the number of letters written, and the time taken for other aspects, e.g.: file work, meetings, research, telephone calls etc. VAT is then applied at the prevailing rate. We may periodically alter the hourly rate to reflect changes in the court rates or our overheads but we will always notify you in writing and tell you the date from which the proposed increase will become effective.
Our hourly rates (usually revised in January of each year) currently used are:
||Per hr + vat
||Solicitors – over 8 year’s experience
||Per hr + vat
||Solicitors, Legal Execs and similar – over 4 years’ experience
||Per hr + vat
||Other Solicitors, Legal Execs and equivalent fee earners
||Per hr + vat
||Trainee solicitors, paralegals
The qualifications and/or experience of your case handler will be made clear from the outset although other members of the team may work on the case as needed at their prevailing rates, whether higher or lower than this.
We will only charge for work reasonably necessary in promoting your claim, or for which you have given us specific or implied authority and may discount the above rates where appropriate. In this way the other side are unlikely to challenge your bill when we ask them to pay it on your behalf.
If a fixed fee has been agreed between us (limited to specified work) it will have been recorded in a separate letter but the above charging regime will still apply to any additional work you authorise us to undertake.
Expenses (also called “disbursements”) may arise, Court fees, expert reports, travel expenses and enforcement charges may fall into this heading, as might Barrister’s fees if retained.
The court fees arising vary depending on the amount claimed and the stage reached, A link to the government site listing most civil court fees can be accessed here.
VAT will be added to our bill as appropriate.
Please request a call back for more information.