We do offer a limited Legal Aid service for criminal litigation (including very high cost cases and specialist fraud panel matters, alongside child care / complex family cases). We are not a general legal aid practice, as we do not believe that it is possible to work at the highest level within the constraints of public funding. The legal aid matters we deal with are dealt with at the highest standard as we refuse to compromise our level of service, which is borne out by our success rate.
We are regarded as one of the top specialist legal practices in the country and are extremely proud of our reputation.
New casesWe will discuss and agree funding options at the start of any new matter and agree terms of business and engagement as part of our client care process.
Funding and costs recoveryThis is a complex issue. In broad terms, you can assume the following:
- Family cases - it is very rare to recover any costs from the other side in children cases. In financial cases and divorce cases involving blame, costs can be recovered along with your sanity, life/children etc.
- Litigation funding - costs generally follow the event, ie the loser pays the winner's costs (or a proportion of them). It is important, therefore, to win. With costs budgeting becoming compulsory for most multi-track cases from 1 April 2013, we are firm believers that costs management and case management go hand in hand. Clients who embrace costs management and costs budgeting will see a significant positive impact on their costs entitlement and/or liability. We fully recognise that litigation is personal to each case. Our dedicated team will ensure that they understand your individual approach to litigation to enable effective planning and ensure accuracy, whilst working within the defined parameters of the costs management process. Our approach is personal and ensures a long term effective relationship. We have significantly developed our own in-house IT facilities to enable us to support our clients with budget preparation. We deal with case management and costs management. In addition to drafting an initial budget, we monitor to ensure your actual spend is within budget for each phase of an agreed case plan. This on-going management review is helpful in relation to the recovery of costs between parties. Litigation is expensive and it is therefore imperative to understand your objectives. We have been winning cases for a long time and preparation and attention to detail are key. The costs of litigation can be substantial and if you lose you may well be liable for a large portion of your opponent’s costs. In some cases, this is a reason not to litigate. We take the view that good cases should not be abandoned, or cheap non-specialist lawyers instructed, simply on the basis of costs. We are always willing to work with clients to investigate the various funding options that are available:
a) Insurance - this may be available under existing policies and we can advise on cover and working with insurers. In most cases you can choose your own lawyer and should do so rather than accept a panel ambulance chaser;
b) After the event insurance - this may be bought to protect your potential liability for the other side’s costs;
c) Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFA) - we may act under a CFA which means we would agree a discounted rate and receive an enhanced payment if successful;
d) Third party funding - this is available for some cases and means a third party takes on the cost of the litigation on the basis that it will share and benefit from any recoveries. We have a great record of winning litigation cases!
- Criminal cases - in the event of a successful outcome it may be possible to apply for a defendant’s costs order to recover a proportion of the costs incurred in your defence. Even if you are acquitted, you are likely to recover only a fraction of the actual costs (based upon paltry Legal Aid rates) incurred in your defence, although we would hope that you would have your life, liberty and some of your sanity intact.
- Real Estate, Probate, Trusts, Wealth and Management - costs are based on an hourly rate.
- Legal insurance, directors and officers of companies often have D&O policies which will cover legal costs in relation to business issues. Similarly, many house holders have legal insurance included on their home owner insurance policies and we are able to act under those policies.
- Road traffic cases - motor insurance will generally cover our legal costs, remember you are always able to chose your own solicitor and should not be "fobbed off" by an insurance company.
Legal Expenses InsuranceThis is an insurance policy that will pay for the costs of legal advice and/or the costs of bringing or possibly defending proceedings. It can be purchased separately or added on to most household policies (such as buildings or contents) and in the latter case, many insurers will offer a minimum amount cover. The policy would likely cover for example, contract disputes, civil claims, employment etc and whilst this amount of cover might not be enough for a whole case, it should be enough at least to obtain advice on your position so that you can decide how best to proceed. Legal expenses insurance is not available for all types of legal work though, such as the legal costs of buying a house or making a Will and your insurer would need to consider your individual or business needs.
Directors and Officers Liability Insurance
This insurance will cover any civil or criminal offences, including any legal defence costs and awards. In addition, not only is cover available for all directors and officers of the company, but it also extends to include managers and key employees.
We are familiar with such policies, however in all instances the insured should check the terms of the policy carefully and notify the insurer.