If you are facing criminal charges in the UK, you obviously want the best defense solicitor on your side. You have a choice between an independent paid lawyer or a public defender. Many people prefer paying for their defense rather than relying on a state-appointed lawyer, especially if they can afford it. If you are one of these, the first thing you may wonder about is the cost. A criminal case comes with many variables, making it difficult to determine the exact cost of legal fees. But this article explains the average fees to expect and how a solicitor may charge you.
The average cost of hiring a London criminal justice solicitor
In most cases, criminal justice solicitors charge per hour. The average rate depends on their seniority. A junior or an intern’s hourly fees will be lower. Although these work under more experienced lawyers. The fees for a mid-level lawyer will also be lower than a senior.
Solicitors with more than 8years of experience can charge between £230 to £410 per hour.
Solicitors with less than eight years but four years+ experience usually charge between £200 and £298 per hour.
Others with lesser experience can charge between £160 and £220 per hour.
Paralegals’ and interns’ hourly rate ranges between £120 and £198.
These rates are for London-based criminal justice solicitors. The fees are lower in other parts of the UK, with an average of £200 per hour for senior solicitors.
How a defense solicitor can charge you
Though the common type of fee is pay-per-hour, a solicitor may charge you in other ways, including:
Sometimes, a law firm may require you to deposit a specific sum before taking your case. This sum is called a retainer. If the firm charges by the hour, the retainer can be paid for a specific amount of billable hours (e.g., 15 hours). Paying this sum upfront assures the firm that you can afford their legal services.
Some law firms charge a fixed amount for certain cases. This type of agreement is straightforward. The solicitor has already determined how much a particular case will cost. There may be some specified conditions, which may include what the fee does not cover. The work which is covered in the fixed amount will be stated in the quote. The client will have to pay additional fees for any extra task.
Contingency fee structure
This type of fee model means the client only pays if there is a win. That is, if the trial is unsuccessful, the client does not owe the lawyer a dime. Although this fee agreement is only mostly common in injury cases, it is rare in criminal cases.
The solicitor will always explain their fee arrangements to clients before starting work on the case. It will be stated in the business contract. In most cases, you will also receive estimated total fees. This will help you budget properly for your legal needs.