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Motoring Solicitor Fees

How much do Motoring Solicitors Cost?

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Free Initial Legal Advice

Before you commit to any fees, we urge you to take advantage of our free advice service. We can discuss your case in detail completely free of charge and hopefully the conversation will help alleviate any concerns and allow you to make a confident and informed decision about what you want to do.

Are there any hidden costs?

At Motoring Defence Solicitors, we keep our costs and pricing transparent. To aid a positive outcome of your case there are from time to time third parties costs such as expert witnesses.  These payments are called ‘disbursements’ and can vary from case to case. We ensure that we always consult you about these costs in advance for you to agree and approve.

FUNDING YOUR CASE

If you need representation, we at Motoring Defence Solicitors (MDS) appreciate that funding your case can be a daunting and unexpected expense. With this in mind, we try to be as transparent as we can when it comes to our fee structure and how your case incurs costs.

There are various ways in which your case can be funded and we hope this page provides clarity in respect of this so you can feel confident about your case moving forward.

Insurance

If you currently pay for any insurance then we urge you to check if the policy includes “legal expenses cover” or “motor legal protection”.  If cover exists then your insurance provider may agree to cover your legal costs so please check your policy to see if it is included.

We urge you to check any insurance policies you have however we find that such protection is most often included in home and car insurance policies.  

In the event that you have the appropriate level of cover, your insurer may claim that you can only benefit from the policy if you instruct a firm from a panel selected by them.

The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses) Act is clear and allows you to choose your own representative. We have represented numerous clients under legal expenses cover despite them having been told that they cannot instruct us.

If you think you are covered by legal expenses protection or you are unsure, then please contact us to discuss in more detail and we will be happy to help you.

Flexible Payment Plans

If you choose to instruct our motor law specialist then the usual way to fund your case is by paying privately.

You will have direct access to your lawyer via telephone and email to provide updates on your case or simply for peace of mind. We can ensure that when your case requires an expert witness or a particular barrister, we will have the freedom to instruct those best-suited to your case without the red tape that hinders legally aided cases.

Our Neil Sargeant has specialised exclusively in road traffic law since 2008. He has maintained close relationships with the country’s leading expert witnesses and barristers and prides himself on the service levels he provides to his clients.

What Does Your Quote Include?

Motor Law specialist lawyers charge a rate of £317+ VAT per hour for all time spent working on your case. Letters and telephone calls are charged out at 1/10 of the hourly rate. The total cost of your case therefore depends upon the amount of work required and the complexity of the case. Many types of case will incur “disbursements” which are effectively the cost of third parties (such as expert witnesses) who are instructed as part of your defence.

We will provide you with an estimate of costs for your case. This estimate will be based on our experience of dealing with similar cases  over the past 10 years.

Legal Fees for Drugs & Alcohol Offences

Cases of this nature tend to follow a similar path to trial. Whilst there may be exceptions, most cases require a similar level of time and work to prepare effectively which ensures the greatest chance of success. We are frequently able to secure an acquittal at the first trial date and this may be due to errors made at any point throughout the case duration (e.g., the CPS has failing to comply with their disclosure obligations). It may also be possible for the matter to be discontinued before the trial date, depending on the seriousness of the police/Crown’s error and how the matter unfolds in the months preceding your trial date.

With the above in mind, we offer a fixed fee of £9000 + VAT to defend an allegation of this nature and this will apply in the following scenarios:

  1. We secure an acquittal at your first trial date; or
  2. We secure a successful result before your trial date takes place

The fixed fee of £9000 + VAT is intended to cover the costs of proceeding to trial or securing a successful result before that date. It may include, but is not guaranteed to include the following:

  1. Representation at your first hearing
  2. Representation at one case management hearing
  3. Obtaining a report from an expert witness
  4. Our time to prepare and advise you on the case; and
  5. Representing you at trial (including the trial advocate’s fee, if required)

Any additional disbursements listed that are not covered by the fixed fee above (e.g. additional hearings or expert reports) will be billed to you separately. We may not always have to send a barrister to court to represent you and incur those fees and an advocate’s physical attendance at a trial date may not always be required

Not Guilty Option –  Non-fixed fee cases

If the matter falls outside of the fixed-fee criteria outlined earlier in this letter, we will either:

  1. Agree to a new fixed fee arrangement with you; or
  2. We bill your file at our hourly rate and charge disbursements separately

Trials may become part-heard (i.e. where more than one trial date is required) or there may be developments that make your case more complicated than we initially anticipate and this often means that we will need to spend substantially more time on the case which is why the fixed fee cannot apply. Defending multiple allegations may also mean that the case is more complex, and this will have an impact on whether the fixed fee can apply.

Generally, we calculate our charges by reference to the time spent working for you and we are obliged by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to provide you with an estimate of the amount of work we expect to be involved to complete the case. Our charges consider the complexity of the case, the specialist expertise required and the degree of urgency in which our services are required.  An hourly rate is charged for our motoring specialists of £317.00 per hour with standard letters and telephone calls charges at 1/10 of the hourly rate. The charging rates cover all work done by us including preparation of the case and attendance at Court where required. The charging rates also apply to travelling and waiting time.

Final fees, after accounting for potential barrister and expert witness fees are likely to be between £9,000 and £15, 000 + VAT .  As you may appreciate, this fee estimate is and can only be speculative from our experience of dealing with cases like yours.  It may change according to how the matter develops.

When you make payments to us, they are held in your client account and at various stages throughout your case, we will want to move monies from your client account and into our office account to reflect the progress of your case. At this point, we are legally required to issue you with a tax invoice to show how much of your funds have been taken into our office account.

In a fixed fee matter, we have 3 such billing “milestones”.

You will receive your first invoice on or around the time of your first court appearance at which, it is likely a trial date will be listed by the court which should indicate the intended conclusion of your case.

Your second invoice will be when we are roughly 50% of the way through the proceedings.  The third and final invoice will be on or around your trial date.

For example, if your first hearing is on 05 January and your trial is 05 November you will be invoiced as follows:

INVOICE NUMBER EXAMPLE AMOUNT EXAMPLE DATE OF ISSUE
1st Invoice £2,400 On or around 05 January
2nd Invoice £4,200 On or around 05 June
3rd Invoice £4,200 On or around 05 November

It is therefore important that you make regular payments into your client account so that there are sufficient funds for us to move into our office account at each of the milestone points above. Using the example above, this means that between 05 January and 05 June, you will need to ensure that £4200.00 has been paid in addition to the initial, interim payment of £2400.00.

Failure to adhere to the milestones above may mean that progress on your case is stalled and, in the worst case, we may be unable to continue representing you.

If your case is discontinued (essentially dropped) by the Crown prior to the second billing milestone, you are only liable for 50% of our fixed fee.

Other Motoring Offences

  • Failing to furnish information: £3,000-£5,000
  • Driving without Insurance: £3,000-£5,000
  • Mobile Phone Offences: £3,000–£5,000
  • Speeding: £3,000–£6,000

We have tried to anticipate as many eventualities as possible when estimating fees to ensure that there are no hidden costs during, or at the conclusion of your case. We will be as flexible as possible when it comes to payment and we are often able to agree payment plans to assist you. 

Each case, and its cost are unique however, so we would urge you to speak to us about the specifics of your case

Pleading Guilty

For any case in which you want to plead guilty (including totting up), Motoring Defence Solicitors can offer representation at a fixed fee of £2500.00 + VAT depending on the allegation. *

This level of representation includes:

  • Untimed and unlimited consultations with your lawyer for advice and support;
  • Meticulously prepared mitigation;
  • A specialist Barrister/advocate
  • Thorough advice on supporting evidence to assist mitigation
  • Thorough advice on court procedure and what you can expect on your day in court

The benefit of having a fixed/agreed fee is that we will likely do sufficiently more work than what you will be charged for.  You can rest assured that you know  costs will not escalate above the agreed fee. 

*This quote is based on only one hearing being required which is typical for cases involving a guilty plea. If, for whatever reason, more than one hearing is required then an additional £300+ VAT is required per hearing. We do not expect guilty pleas to require more than one hearing however.

Dangerous Driving Cases (including those involving a fatality)

Dangerous driving is one of the most complex cases a motorist can face and defending the allegation can be an expensive venture depending on the amount of evidence involved. Costs are affected by the increased number of hearings required and the amount of preparation work involved. 

Our hourly rate will be applied to the work conducted in your case and the total costs are likely to be between £10’000 – £20’000 if you decide to defend your case. We strongly urge you to check your if you have any legal expenses cover which is explained above. Cases of this nature involve a low more work in order to progress them to trial which is why the estimate is significantly higher than those for drink or drug driving which are only dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. 

If you intend to plead guilty to dangerous driving then we charge a fixed fee of £2500 + VAT

Legal Aid is extremely restrictive when it comes to the preparation of road traffic cases. There is often work that is required, or expert witnesses who are needed that the Legal Agency will not provide funding for. If we are unable to instruct the relevant experts in your case it significantly reduces the chance of a successful outcome. As such, we do not  accept legally aided cases but will be more than happy to provide initial advice for you free of charge.

Other Offences & Costs

Representation to defend other allegations such as speeding, driving without insurance etc are all charged at an hourly rate but most are usually less-complex than drug and alcohol cases so the fees will be lower. We can often agree a fixed-fee so you can be sure the costs will not escalate. Below are examples of fixed fees to defend various types of allegations.

Failing to furnish information – £3000 + VAT

Driving without Insurance – £3000 + VAT

Mobile Phone Offences – £3000 – £5000 + VAT

Speeding – £3000 – £6000 + VAT

All fees quoted included the time to prepare the case and the cost of any disbursements. Please feel free to contact us as once we know more about your case we can provide you with an estimate of costs.

Motoring Defence Solicitors London

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