How Long is a Piece of Fee-String? The Important Question of Costs

It’s the age-old question we are asked. What do you charge?

Nobody wants to pay exorbitant fees.  In the legal sector, even in the most straightforward of cases or contract exchanges, there is a risk of a higher final fee due to unexpected circumstances, glitches and negotiations.

This isn’t exclusive to the legal sector – if you’re hiring an architect, an accountant or a plumber often, the final fee can often be higher than expected. And whilst this isn’t always entirely avoidable, there are steps you can take to keep your legal fees within your expectations, without compromising on the service you receive. Here’s how.

Find a solicitor you like.

Finding the right solicitor is key to keeping costs to a minimum.  Meet them in person and check past client reviews before appointing them to your case. It’s important that you feel they are there and ready to work in your best interests. 

You will need a solicitor that values their client relationships, and is happy to transparently answer any fee-related question you have.  Immediately upon appointment, you should also receive a client care letter or service level agreement which will detail the costs and any situations that may change the final price.

Make the most of your free consultation.

Some solicitors, like Robertsons, offer a free initial consultation.  Others have a fixed fee and others may charge for a part of the initial consult. Whilst most solicitors will inform you beforehand if the consultation is accompanied by a fee, make sure you double check by simply asking to ensure that this is the case.  You never know – the act of asking may trigger a no fee consultation!

See the free consultation as an opportunity and make the most of it!  Your choice of representation going forward will be based on this meeting.  Be prepared with all the relevant information the solicitor may require and provide the facts upfront.  This will avoid confusion, misunderstanding and rework (additional fees)) in the future.

Ask away.

Don’t feel embarrassed or shy to ask your potential solicitor questions regarding their fees and other costs (often called ‘disbursements’).

Some key questions you might consider are:

  • How do you cost your service?
  • Can you tell me more about the way you charge?
  • Will there be additional fees?

And always ask what technical words relating to the legal process mean if you don’t understand them.  It will help you understand where fees come into play and where your money is being spent.

Are there alternatives?

When we think legal services, we often think of Courts.  But Court doesn’t always have to be the answer. It can be a lengthy, stressful and costly process and a good solicitor will advise you of the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions before making any decisions.

In some instances, for example, mediation may be the most appropriate way of resolving a case at a fraction of the cost of a court case.

Here at Robertsons Solicitors, we care about our clients, our service and our fees – which is why we offer an initial FREE, no obligation consultation. We’ll listen first, and then discuss your situation before offering advice on the best action to give you the best possible outcome.

Arranging a meeting with one of our expert team members is stress-free and very easy and there are no strings involved! Contact us today on 02920 237777 or email us via


Our Expert Team

Our expertise is how we maintain our strong reputation as a law firm.

Meet The Team