There are two main factors you should consider when considering which Firm to instruct for your family law matter. The first is expertise. Both of our partners are Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as specialists in Family Law and/or Child Law. Even our paralegals are accredited in family law.The second is cost. Lawyers being lawyers, it is not as simple as considering the hourly rate. You have to consider how that hourly rate is actually broken down and charged. You will find (and feel free to call around because very few solicitors actually display or explain their fees online) that the vast majority of family solicitors charge in “units” of time. The industry standard is 6 minutes per unit. Some of our competitors charge 10 minutes per unit! The majority of firms charge in terms of number 1, whilst we charge in terms of number 2:-
The charges in this example are based on an hourly rate of £225 + VAT (£270) on the following items of work:-
- 31 Minute meeting.
- One line email.
Now, lets apply each charge type:-
1) Time and Line (Most popular charging method – 1 unit = 6 minutes)
- 31 Minute meeting = £162
- One line email = £27
Total = £189
Time and Line – This is the most popular method of charging. It uses a mix of charges based on units of time (either 1 unit = 6 minutes or 1 unit = 10 minutes) and the number of words in certain documents (see some examples below).
2) Rooney Family Law – 1 unit = 3 minutes
- 31 Minute meeting = £148.50
- One line email = £13.50
Total = £162
Difference = £27
RFL Charging – Where we are different is that we charge HALF the standard unit rate, i.e. 1 unit = 3 minutes.
If you carry this through the duration of your case, the savings are considerable. We charge minimum fees for more complicated pieces of work (drafting/revising court papers, Minute of Agreement (aka Separation Agreement, Pre-Nuptial Agreements). We reserve the right to charge over and above the minimum fee where the work involved is complex or lengthy.
We offer very competitive private rates for the advice and representation we provide. We offer fixed fees for certain undefended divorce actions. For all other cases our hourly rates are a) Accredited Specialist Solicitors = £250 + VAT per hour (£300 in total) and b) Associate = £225 + VAT (£270 in total). If you obtain quotes, make sure you get the amount, including VAT, as most will give it to you without (we’re not sure why either).
We should make it clear that our competitive hourly rate has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the service and advice we provide. We are able to charge less because we have invested heavily in case management software and other technology to run an efficient legal practice that focuses solely on Family Law. This keeps our overheads low. We have also built our business on this charging structure, whereas most Firm’s have been built on the industry standard of charging.
Your case will primarily be dealt with by one solicitor who will be assisted by support staff. We fully recognise that clients want the same person dealing with their case from start to finish and that is something we aim to achieve in most cases.
We appreciate that legal fees will be one of your biggest concerns. We pride ourselves on being open and transparent with our fees. We operate a system that produces a weekly itemised breakdown of the work undertaken and the applicable charges (i.e. not a £3,000 bill after 6 months with a line or two regarding what it relates to). We normally operate a float whereby you pay an amount upfront so that your file is in credit to be worked on. In cases where that is not possible, we will discuss deferring payment until a specific time i.e. when a property sells.
We are happy to accept instalment payments and accept payment by credit card, online transfer, cash, cheque or any other means.