Solicitors charge for their time and services. If you’re getting legal advice or representation from a solicitor, you’ll probably need to pay for these services. Costs for legal services will depend on which solicitor you choose.
Solicitors are subject to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Price Transparency Rules. The rules require firms to publish price and service information on their websites for certain areas of practice. They’re also required to publish their complaints procedures and to display a digital badge to show they’re regulated by the SRA. The rules were introduced to help potential clients make informed decisions about legal services.
You may be able to get legal aid to help pay for some or all of your legal costs.
What your solicitor will charge for
Types of bill
Talking to your solicitor about payment
Getting help with legal costs
Your solicitor should:
Charges may include:
The type of bill you receive will depend on whether the work is:
If your case went to court, your solicitor will give you:
If your case went to court and you only receive a summary bill, you can ask your solicitor for a detailed breakdown bill. You need to ask for it within three months of getting the summary bill. The detailed bill will replace the original summary bill. If your solicitor is suing you for an unpaid bill, they do not have to give you a detailed version.
If the work did not involve a court case, your solicitor will give you a summary bill (sometimes called a gross sum bill).
You can ask your solicitor for a more detailed bill, but they do not have to provide one.
You can complain about:
How to complain about your solicitor
Challenge your solicitor’s bill – GOV.UK website
You can discuss payment options with your solicitor. For example, they may be able to offer you:
Your solicitor may take out after-the-event insurance for you, so that you can pay the other side’s legal costs if you lose. It may also cover your solicitor’s expenses.
You agree to pay only if you win your case. However you may still have to pay, in certain circumstances, if the agreement is ended by you or your solicitors before the case finishes.
You agree with your solicitor to pay a set percentage of the compensation you receive if you win your case.
Some solicitors give a free or one-off payment advice session. You can call the solicitor's office to find out if they offer this.
If you need help paying your solicitor’s fees, you may be able to get legal aid or other free legal help.
Legal aid may help pay towards your legal costs. Whether you can get legal aid depends on:
Find out more about legal aid
Check if you’re eligible for legal aid
If you cannot get legal aid, you may be able to get other help.
Find out about getting free legal advice
Help paying court and tribunal fees – GOV.UK website
Finding free or affordable legal help – Citizens Advice website