What are legal costs?

< Back to insights list

Posted on: July 6th, 2021 by Elena Kostova

Legal costs are the costs incurred by a legal practitioner in pursuance of a client’s case or matter from the date of instruction or date of  inception of the retainer until the retainer is terminated/ the matter is otherwise complete. This may be in the form of charges calculated based on an hourly rate, fixed fee or possibly based on the percentage of the damages ultimately recovered in litigation (i.e. further to a damages based agreement).

A client is liable to their legal representative for their fees for undertaking work. These are often payable on a monthly basis but, depending on the agreement reached, the full fees may be due to be paid on the completion of the matter. These are known as solicitor/client legal costs. Fees are for the legal representative’s work and would normally exclude any costs that ought to be considered overheads such as photocopying, postage unless specifically provided for/ or unless these are exceptional.

If as a client you are unhappy with the fees raised by your legal representative you can have those costs assessed further to the Solicitors Act 1974. It is worth being aware that there are strict time limits for seeking an assessment on this basis (1 year) and that after this it may be more difficult to challenge the fees.

Here at Sentio Costs we have a wide expertise in legal costs to include considering and advising upon retainer agreements, solicitor’s invoices and challenges under the Solicitors Act 1974.