News

31 August 2017

Fixed fees – the future of litigation

What price would you place on upholding your rights in the Courts? For some people it’s not the cost, it’s the principle. For those with less financial flexibility, there is always a difficult balance to be struck between the benefits to be gained from success and the potential costs of fighting your corner.

In recent times, the media and the Judiciary have been keen to drive the debate on legal costs under the banner of “Access to Justice”. In simple terms, it is argued that because of the perceived high legal costs in Jersey, only the lowest and highest ends of the financial spectrum can afford to litigate. The former will receive the benefit of Legal Aid and the latter will have the means to cover the costs. That leaves a large proportion for whom entering into litigation could constitute an uncertain journey into an expensive unknown.

Much of this dilemma is driven by the lack of clarity in legal costs. The modern fee charging model for law firms is based on a hourly rate for chargeable work which has meant that the client is often unaware of the actual (or indeed anticipated) costs of completing the work. This is especially true un litigation where the amount of work needed and the time required to be spent on the client’s behalf can often be dictated by the degree to which the other side prevent smooth passage of the proceedings.

At Le Gallais & Luce, we recognise that the topic of costs in litigation can be a difficult issue for clients. That is why we are always open to discuss fixed fees on all aspects of litigation, from family problems to contractual disputes; criminal proceedings to property issues. Fixed fees give you certainty on your legal costs from day one – they allow you to weigh up the pros and cons of entering into litigation and to budget for the costs.

If you wish to discuss fixed fees on any aspect of litigation, please contact us to arrange a meeting.