What will it cost me?
The following details the various funding options that may be available to you.
- Pay as you go
- Fixed Fee Interview
- Free Advice
- Contingency Fee Agreement
- Legal Help
- Legal Aid
- Conditional Fee Agreement (“No Win, No Fee”)
- Conditional Fee Insurance
- Legal Expenses Insurance
- Assistance from Trade Unions, Trade Organisations or other Associations
- Funding your Personal Injury costs
Pay as you go
Please ask for details about paying on the traditional “private” basis. We have a range of different charging rates according to the level of experience you require.
We are always happy to discuss likely costs with you. With disputes, this can often depend on the conduct of other party. Therefore, we can offer either a fixed fee for a specific piece of work or you can set a costs limit and we shall do as much work as we can up to that amount.
Fixed Fee Interview
For your peace of mind, Thomas Dunton can offer a Fixed Fee Interview. This enables you to talk through your concerns with a specialist lawyer, while knowing exactly what it will cost. A fixed fee interview provides:
- An opportunity for you to explain your concerns to a lawyer
- To ascertain whether you need to take any urgent action
- To discover what services are available and the fee structure that would apply
- To find out what future costs might be involved
- To help you decide if it is worthwhile for you to instruct a solicitor
You are under absolutely no obligation to engage Thomas Dunton.
For Family matters we can offer 30 minutes initial appointment £75+vat or 1 hour appointment £150+vat. For other disputes half an hour would probably not be long enough for a more complex matter, so an hour appointment is available for £150+vat.
Suitable subjects include the following:
- Family Law, including divorce
- Civil partnership, cohabitation relationships
- Intellectual property rights and civil Mediation
- Commercial litigation and some aspects of advice for existing businesses
Detailed advice cannot be given at this stage.
A Fixed Fee Interview is not appropriate if you are already involved in court proceedings and need to instruct a lawyer to represent you in those proceedings or if you require work to be carried out urgently.
Quotes for legal services
In addition, there are certain services for which we can give you a quotation or an estimate for the work we undertake on your behalf. These include:
- Residential property sale and purchase
- Residential property re-mortgages
- Residential leases
- Wills (except complex Wills)
- Change of name deeds
In all cases full payment must be made on the day of the interview by cash or cheque. Please ensure you obtain confirmation of cost when you telephone for an appointment, as fees are subject to change from time to time.
In some cases we can offer you an initial appointment without any charge at all. These would include:
- Personal Injury claims
- Business Start-ups
- Advice on certain aspects of existing businesses
Please make sure you confirm this is a free appointment when you book.
If you are in receipt of Income Support, Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance or Guaranteed State Pension Credit, then you will qualify for the basic level of public funding: this is called Legal Help.
If you are not in receipt of any of these benefits, then we would be happy to carry out a full assessment before you instruct us to see if you qualify for Legal Help.
Under Legal Help we would be able to meet with you and advise you. We may then be able to enter into correspondence with a third party on your behalf in order to assist you in your dispute.
Unlike Legal Aid, Legal Help does not allow us to represent you in a Court or Tribunal Hearing. However, depending on your circumstances and the matter in dispute, you may be eligible for full certificate public funding, more commonly known as Legal Aid.
The Legal Aid regime is governed by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) which came into effect on April 1 2013. There are two levels of legal controlled work and licensed work.
Controlled work covers the following
- Legal help
- Help at court
- Family help (lower)
- Family mediation
- Legal representation for proceedings in the immigration and asylum tribunal of the first-tier tribunal
Licensed work encompasses
- Family help (higher)
- Legal representation (other than controlled legal representation, see above)
- Other legal services (exceptional cases)
Controlled Work (Lower Level Funding)
To qualify for this basic level of public funding you must pass both the income and capital tests.
If you are in receipt of Income Support, Income- Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income related Employment and support allowance or Guaranteed State Pension Credit then you automatically satisfy the income test.
For those not in receipt of these benefits your gross income (income before tax) must not exceed £2657 (for applicants with 0-4 children) For those with more than 4 children a higher gross income limit applies.
Even where the gross income is below the permissible limit, the disposable income (income left after deducting permitted items of expenditure such as rent, tax, national insurance and childcare costs) must not exceed £733.
In assessing income the following state benefits are disregarded:
- Disability living allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Attendance allowance
- Constant attendance allowance paid as an increase to disability pension
- Any payment made out of the social fund
- Carer’s Allowance
- Council Tax benefit.
Disposable capital must not exceed £3,000 for legal representation in respect of certain immigration
Legal Aid (Higher Level Funding)
Thomas Dunton are accredited to carry out publicly funded work – Legal Aid – in specific circumstances. These may include such areas of law as:
- Debt repossession due to mortgage arrears only
- Family and Child Care
- Personal Injury in limited circumstance
Eligibility is subject to two tests: a means test; and a merits test. The means test is identical to the legal help test. However, the Legal Aid Agency will look at your income over a longer period of time. We can assess whether you might be eligible over the telephone depending on your income and assets.
Contingency Fee Agreement
We may be able to enter into a Contingency Fee Agreement to cover your representation at a Tribunal Hearing. You would then only have to pay legal fees if you were awarded money by the Tribunal. In which case, all you would pay is a percentage of the money awarded, as agreed in advance.
Conditional Fee Agreement (“No Win, No Fee”)
We may be able to assist with your claim on the basis of a conditional fee agreement. This is known popularly as a “No Win, No Fee” scheme.
The idea is that, by making the claim, you do not risk being financially worse off than you were before, whatever the result. If you lose, you pay us nothing, and if you win your opponent pays towards your costs.
We will provide you with a conditional fee agreement which sets out all the terms of the agreement between us.
It will include details of any arrangement for funding of disbursements, the details of the success fee payable and details of your Conditional Fee Insurance (see below). We are always happy to discuss the terms of the conditional fee agreement with you.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Many of our clients already have the benefit of Legal Expenses Insurance. Most motor policies include legal expenses insurance, as do some building, home contents and holiday policies and even credit cards and some bank accounts.
Sometimes insurers will tell you to use their own nominated lawyer. This may not be convenient for you, nor provide the level of service you would like. If you talk to us about it, we can usually make arrangements with the insurers so that we may act on your behalf. Alternatively, insurance can sometimes be taken out even at this stage to cover your legal costs and/or those of the opponent. Please ask us about these possibilities.
Assistance from Trade Unions, Trade Organisations or other Associations
If you are a member of any of these, or similar bodies, you may be eligible for financial assistance with your claim. If this is the case, please discuss it with us and provide the details. We will probably be able to act on your behalf as your nominated solicitor.
Personal Injury funding
For all our Personal Injury clients, we offer a first free interview without obligation. We can discuss your case and advise you about the different funding options.
Conditional Fee Insurance
If you lose your case, there is a risk that you would have to pay your opponent’s legal costs and your own disbursements. For this reason the popular term “no win no fee” can be somewhat misleading.
We aim to avoid that risk for you by advising and arranging that you take out “conditional fee insurance”. The insurer would then pay your opponent’s costs and disbursements.
It would also pay your own disbursements if you lost the case. “Disbursements” are payments to others who help with your claim, such as experts.
Please click here for more information on the various cost options that may be available to you. To contact us please complete the Contact form on the right or alternatively please telephone Freephone 0800146 340 or 01689 822554 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that whilst we are able to accept payment by debit card, payment by credit card will only be accepted at our exclusive discretion, in the most exceptional circumstances, given the additional charges that incur.
Please contact us at 217-219 High Street, Orpington, Kent BR6 0NZ
Call us on 01689 822554 or email us at email@example.com