Fees and Litigation Funding

The White Collar Crime Centre

Due to the specialist nature of a barrister’s work, each case is different. When fixing a fee, a barrister estimates the length of time needed to be spent on the work, its complexity and importance, and how quickly the work needs to be done.

Fixed fee

In most cases, we agree a fixed fee at the time when we are instructed. This means that you know the cost from the outset.

Where there is some uncertainty as to how much time is likely to be involved, it is possible to agree an hourly rate for the work but with a maximum limit or “cap”, so that a client knows that the fee will not exceed a pre-set figure.

At the time when the fee is agreed, the question of when the fee becomes payable is also discussed.

No fixed fee

Where a fee is calculated on an hourly basis, our charging rates (exclusive of VAT) are –

       Hourly Rate       Daily Rate 
 Lead Counsel      £750 - £850        £6,000 - £7,000
 Principal Associate      £275 - £325       £2,500 - £3,000
 Associate      £225 - £275       £2,000 - £2,500

Legal aid

Bright Line Law is authorised to undertake criminal cases under legal aid when instructed by a solicitor. Legal aid is not available under the Bar’s public access scheme.

Government agencies and international organisations

On occasions, Bright Line Law undertakes work for government agencies and international organisations, and separate fee arrangements are made on these occasions.

Litigation funding

If you would like to consider alternatives to funding a case yourself, there are options available, especially in civil cases.

You might like to consider seeking funding from a litigation funder. This is where a third party agrees to invest in your legal proceedings in return for a fee. The funder cannot direct how the dispute is conducted. This remains for you to decide in consultation with us at Bright Line Law. The fees involved are subject to negotiation and depend on the sums at stake, the complexity and expected length of the matter.

There may be a range of funding packages available, including “no win no fee” such that the funder only receives its fee if you succeed overall. If you do not succeed, you will not owe anything to the funder.

You can approach brokers and/or funders directly. However, we recommend it is best for your legal team to be involved at an early stage in order to assess the overall merits of your case and liaise with brokers and/or prospective funders. As you would expect, litigation funders conduct due diligence of their own before deciding to support a case.

Insurance & Costs Exposure

In England & Wales, the general rule is that the losing party pays a proportion of the winning party’s costs.

You may already have legal expenses insurance in place which will cover both legal expenses and costs exposure, for example Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance). If you have cover in place, this is sometimes referred to as “before the event” insurance, i.e. before the circumstances which gave rise to the dispute.

You might like to consider “after the event insurance” (ATE) to insure you against the risks of being ordered to pay the other side’s costs in the event that you do not succeed.

The level of insurance premium for ATE insurance depends on factors such as the extent of cover and the risk involved. As a rough guide, however, a premium of 30-40% of the sum insured is usual. For ATE policies taken out from 1 April 2013 onwards, the cost of the ATE premium is generally not recoverable from the other side. It is possible, however, for funders to cover ATE premiums as part of an overall funding package.

We are happy to discuss the options with you in order to pursue or defend your legal proceedings.


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