Indicative Fees for Public Access Cases
It is important to note the fees indicated below are only indicative of a range. Within the range set out there is considerable variation and the many fee factors that can affect the final fee are included. Please discuss your case with the clerks for a detailed and accurate estimate of the costs to be reached. All fees and the basis for any changes must be agreed before the Terms and Conditions letter is sent out as they will be set out in detail there. Please note that all fees and disbursements charged will include Value Added Tax (VAT) at the current rate.
The hourly rates charged by barristers in Trinity Chambers vary according to the seniority and experience of each barrister as well as the level of the court which will hear the case and the complexity of the case. As a rough guide for conferences and court work and preparation a newly qualified barrister appearing in the magistrates court or the county court will charge between £150 and £175 per hour. A more experienced barrister may charge between £180 and £225 per hour and our most experienced barristers may charge up to £500 per hour. The more senior the court the higher the rate charged and this can be a multiple of the above rate for the High Court and a further multiplefor the Court of Appeal and more for the Supreme Court. A highly complex case may be charged at a higher level across all bands of experience and courts. Other rates may be agreed as a proportion of these fees for travelling and waiting time but this will have to be agreed at the start of the case. If notice of a hearing being adjourned is received no less than a week before it is due some of the above fees may be discounted.
It may be that your case is more suited to a daily rate and if so it must be agreed early on. The daily rate is in addition to the brief fee which includes all of the preparation for the hearing up to and including the first day. If the case is expected to continue into a second and subsequent days a daily rate will be paid for those extra days or parts of those days. This daily rate should be agreed in advance in case the hearing takes longer than expected and goes into a second or more days. As with the hourly rate the fee charged by the barrister will vary according to amount of preparation required, the complexity of the case, the seniority and experience of the barrister and the level of court. As an indication the brief fee for a junior barrister appearing in a straightforward case before a district judge for a single day may be £1,500 with a subsequent daily rate of £1,000 thereafter. A senior barrister may charge £3,000 for a one day case with £2,500 as the daily after that for appearing in the same court. The fees charged will be greater for more senior baristers and Queen’s Counsel appearing in complex cases, in higher courts and multipliers similar to those set out in the hourly rate section will apply.
In addition to the cost of your barrister there are additional costs which, if they arise, you will be asked to pay. These can include :
- The court fees charged by the Courts and Tribunal Service for issuing or dealing with your claim. These fees can be found on the Courts and Tribunals website by following this link.
- Travel and subsistence costs should you wish your barrister to travel to court or a conference or stay overnight near to the placet where your case will be dealt with. Please ask the clerk dealing for your case for an estimate of these costs as soon as it becomes clear they will be incurred.
Key stages in in your case may include, (in the order a case usually takes):
- An initial meeting with your barrister to discuss your case when the details will be explored and an overall strategy set. This may be a face to face meeting, possibly in Trinity Chambers or may be over video or by telephone. At present though access to Highfield house is available this is subject to health and vaccine checks due to the pandemic.
- It may be appropriate for your barrister to provide written advice on your dispute or claim
- Case preparation, including further meetings with you and assistance with drafting of any court documents
- The first hearing. This may be the First Appointment (FA), First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointments (FHDRA) directions and emergency hearings.
- Further short hearings (usually for one hour or more). These may include, depending on the type of case, return dates, Financial Dispute Resolution appointments (FDRs), Case Management Hearings (CMH), Pre-Trial Reviews (PTR), directions appointments, and other interim hearings. Which of these will be taking place and their purpose and structure will be explained at an early stage.
- First day of Final Hearing or Trial. In some cases, there will be a longer court set timetable involving several days of trial.
- Court appearances per day, after the first day of the Final Hearing or Trial.
- Appeals can take place after the court has made a decision either at an early hearing or at the end of a trial. The decision to appeal or respond to an appeal will be yours but only after you have been given full advice.
It may be that some of these stages have taken place before you choose to instruct a barrister from Trinity Chambers. Given full access to the case papers including court orders your barrister will be able to assist you on the stages yet to come.
As a general guide a case’s progress through the courts fall into stages. At the beginning of each stage the time needed can usually be estimated. If the case is already underway in the courts a date for a hearing may have been set together with a time estimate for its length.
Where work is to be done on your behalf by a barrister from Trinity Chambers a clear timescale will be given and the work will be done on time. Written work will usually be produced within four weeks of your instructions, more quickly if necessary.
Generally contested disputes take up to 12 months, sometimes longer, to resolve depending on their complexity, the behaviour of the other party or parties and the availability of the court. This does not include appeals or subsequent applications for variation or enforcement.
The time taken to prepare a case for a hearing and the duration of a hearing cannot be estimated without detailed information relating to the case. Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as your or your barristers’ availability, the complexity of the issues and the extent to which they are in dispute. However, the court may have already set a time and date for the next hearing or have timetabled the case through several stages.
In all cases you will be asked at the first stage to explain your case in some detail and provide documents relating to the dispute and any court orders already made. This will allow a reliable estimate for preparation to be prepared. Unfortunately, the time taken to get the case to court is not simply a question of the preparation time put in by your barrister. During the pandemic severe delays have been experienced creating a backlog of unheard cases within the court system, this backlog is currently growing, and delays are getting longer. Short or “no notice” adjournments of cases due to a shortage of judges, difficulties with remote hearing technology and other problems the courts are experiencing have become a regular feature for court users. These are all beyond your barrister’s control. When your case is considered by our experienced clerks and your barrister an estimate of the timescale of the key stages will be made but this is always subject to variation due to matters beyond our control.