What will it cost? We are happy to give you a quote for any work and invite you to e-mail us here→ with the details and we will provide you with a written quote.
For most work, we can give you an estimate of the fee based on similar transactions – e.g. a €200,000 purchase or sale is estimated at €1500; taking out a Grant of Probate in an estate valued at €300,000 would be estimated at €7,500; for an application for compensation to PIAB we would calculate a fee of €1500. All these fees do not include 23% VAT which is payable to the Revenue and is normally recoverable by you in a commercial transaction, if you are registered for VAT.
However, if we have to undertake additional work additional fees are payable for such work on a time basis or an agreed fee basis – for example, in the administration of the estate or a divorce case you might sell property or a consent family case may become contested.
If this arises, we will give you an estimate of the fee for this work.In addition to the fee there will usually be outlays payable – e.g. photocopying expenses, fax and telephone charges, Commissioner for Oaths fees, stamp duty, medical or other expert reports.
Apart from certain exceptions, the most common being medical reports, these charges (in common with all legal professional fees) are subject to V.A.T. at 23% which is payable to the Revenue. This is included in any fee charged.
How we calculate our fee.
There are a number of ways of calculating fees. At the outset we will agree with you which billing method is applicable to your case.
This means that our fees are based on the time that we spend on the file multiplied by the rate per hour of the person working on the file. Time includes file management, advising, attending on you and others by telephone and in person, receiving and dealing with papers, correspondence, telephone calls, travelling, and waiting time. We keep a record of the time we devote to your case and we charge this to you according to the hourly rate.
OR Fixed Fee
There are cases where we will agree to accept a set fee for dealing with your file. This is something that we discuss on a file by file basis.
This figure is exclusive of VAT @ 23% and of any outlays.
OR Contingency Fee
We can make a contingency fee agreement with you. If you lose we don’t get paid but you will have to pay the fees of the other side.
If you win your case you have to pay our fees @ an agreed hourly rate out of the monies recovered . We should recover an amount of our fees in due course from the other side. Whatever fees we recover from the other side will be paid to you and can be set against the fees that we charge. We usually charge an increased rate @ 20% of our standard time costed rate plus VAT @ 23%.
This contingency agreement does not include outlays.
All outlay such as photocopying expenses, fax and telephone charges, Stamp Duty, Commissioner for Oaths fees, Expert or Medical report fees (which are separate from any professional fees), Land Registry fees, Search fees or Probate fees are payable by you. These must be paid for in advance.
In certain cases we will agree to provide the necessary funds to meet any outlay such as photocopying expenses, fax and telephone charges, Stamp Duty, Commissioner for Oaths fees, Expert or Medical report fees (which are separate from any professional fees), Land Registry fees, Search fees or Probate fees.
We will charge a fee for providing such finance to you out of any settlement or decree.
Reports in Personal Injury and Medical Negligence Cases
As discussed above each case usually involves a certain amount of outlay expenses. These are particularly relevant if your case involves Personal Injury or Medical Negligence as, to allow us to progress your case and explain your injury to the other side and the court, we need to request expert reports such as engineering report(s), medical reports and other expert opinions as your case requires. It is important to understand that not the total amount of these fees are refunded by the other side in your case – there are very many cases when part only of such fees are recovered.
What fees do I pay if I win my case?
If you win your case, in most cases, you win costs from the other side.
This means that we will charge you fees for the work done during the Injuries Board phase of your case none of which is recovered. We charge you fees for the remainder of the work at a set rate on a time costed basis. This is payable out of any monies recovered from the other side. You should recover an amount of these fees in due course from the other side. Whatever fees are recovered from the other side will be paid to you and can be set against the fees that we charge.
When your case is successfully concluded, we prepare a Bill of Costs (solicitor client ) setting out our fees and expenses together with those of all the experts, barristers, and witnesses employed in your case. This bill is defected from any monies received from the other side.
We also prepare a Bill of Costs (party party Bill ) for submission to the other side. This bill is sent to the other side and we try to agree it with them on your behalf. Sometimes it is not possible to agree the bill and when this occurs, we will ‘Tax’ the bill. This means we send the bill to the County Registrar in Circuit Court cases or to the Taxing Master in High Court or Supreme Court Cases to decide on. This is a process that is also open to you on the Bill of Costs that we send to you personally.
The reason we would go to taxation is that either we fail to agree our solicitor/client Bill of Costs with you or the other side are not prepared to discuss fees, are delaying too long or are not offering enough money. We may need to engage our in house accountant or a legal costs accountant in order to deal with the taxation. In the event that this becomes necessary you will be responsible for the costs of such accountants.
Words of Warning
Even if you win your case and costs, the costs are still, strictly speaking, your costs. While you should recover an amount of your costs from the other side you will have to pay initially costs out of any settlement or award. There is no guarantee that you will be paid the costs by the other side. While this rarely happens it is important to be aware of the time it takes to get these costs, the fact that they have to be agreed and the length of time it takes to recover them.
Also, not all expenses are paid by the other side even if you win your case. In some cases an expert will charge a fee for a report or for attending court and the other side will only pay part of the fee. This is a very important issue that will only come to light after you settle your case and is something that we will discuss with you before any settlement or hearing of your case.
What fees do I pay if I lose my case?
If you do not win your case the other side will not pay any of your costs and expenses and the court may hold you responsible for their own legal costs against you.
This means that you will have to pay two sets of legal costs and expenses.
In certain cases, we will require an up front payment before accepting your instructions to act. This retainer is held by us against the final fee when your case ends or during the course of it.
We prefer to ask you to pay as you go. This suits both us and you – we get the necessary cashflow to run the firm and you do not have a big bill to pay at the end of your case and you also know what the case is costing as you go along. We will advise you of the fees as the case progresses – i.e. we will send you interim bills on a monthly basis. These accounts are payable within 21 days.
What if I don’t agree with the Amount of the Fees?
At the conclusion of your case if you are in any way dissatisfied with how we have calculated our fee, you have a number of options.
· Talk to us. If you think our bill is not what you believe was agreed, let us know!
· As advocates of mediation, we would be happy to agree to the appointment of a mediator to see if we can agree a fee.
· If we are unable to agree a fee that you are satisfied with, you can ask the County Registrar or in High Court cases, the Taxing Master to look at our work and the file. If they do not consider that our fee is in accordance with this Terms of Business Agreement, they have the power to set an alternative fee. In the unlikely event that we find ourselves in such a disagreement, we will give you the contact details for these people and advise you on what to do next.