Our hourly rate starts from £210 plus VAT for advice from a qualified solicitor. Although we do not offer an initial free consultation but we guarantee that your initial consultation and a letter confirming advice given at that consultation will be charged for per hour or part thereof (minimum one hour). Whenever possible we try and give you a fixed fee for work we are going to undertake for you – for example to apply for an injunction on your behalf or to act in obtaining probate on an estate.
If we represent you in a Magistrates Court criminal matter, we charge £1500 + VAT to represent you at court to include one hearing of up to one day then £800 + VAT for each further day’s hearing in the same matter. These fees include the fee for the initial consultation and any correspondence and preparation. For Crown Court cases or if we need to instruct a barrister, different fees will apply and we will discuss this with you.
In contested court cases, the costs cannot always be so easy to fix because the number of hearings or applications needed is often out of our control. In those cases we will let you know what the costs will be for each stage in the case so that you can budget and make decisions about carrying on.
Free Legal Aid funding
Hecht Montgomery have a Family Legal Aid contract to undertake free legal aid work so can represent children who are made parties to the proceedings as well as parents in an application by a Local Authority for an emergency protection order, supervision order or care order in relation to children. Legal aid can be granted to you straight away and in an emergency so please contact us immediately if you have a problem with social services concerning your child and need advice.
Hecht Montgomery also have a Criminal Legal Aid contract. Whether you are charged or summonsed to appear in a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court, you may be eligible for Legal Aid. This is the source of government funding available to people who would otherwise not be able to afford legal advice or representation in Court. The government has re-introduced ‘means testing’ for Legal Aid applications in criminal defence cases in the Magistrates’ Court. ‘Means testing’ ensures that those who can afford to pay do pay for their legal representation. In addition, Legal Aid is only granted if it is deemed to be in the ‘interests of justice’.
Unfortunately from 1st April 2013, legal aid is no longer available for family disputes (except if you are the victim of domestic violence or in exceptional circumstances) unless the Local Authority is involved, such as care proceedings.