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T & C's

T & C's

Postby Russell » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:40 am

We have just had some T & C's written up. The terms of engagement state 2k fixed fee. We are just about to finalise the terms (final draft) and we've been told that the actually cost will be almost 4k :o We have never been told at any stage the agreed fee would be any higher, let alone almost double. Are they allowed to do this? Cheers
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Re: T & C's

Postby Russell » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:36 pm

Lol "There will never be any pricing surprises." Lawyer for yer ;) The contract basically say its fixed unless you cause additional work with excessive calls and communications. We had two scheduled calls to discuss the work and emails were purely to reply to questions and drafts. And Solicitor is claiming he needed to do more research then was expected. There isn't any mentions of this exclusion in the terms.
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Re: T & C's

Postby atticus » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:45 pm

Unless there is something really quite unique about your business and the way you do business, £2,000 + VAT would be towards the top of the range.

If I quote a fixed fee*, that is what I charge. If I have had to spend more time on the job, that is my problem. I may learn from the experience and quote more for that kind of job next time. Recently I had a case where I felt my agreed fixed fee was too much for what I had in fact had to do, so my bill was less than I'd said.

As you say, no unpleasant surprises. I want a client to come back to me, and that kind of fee surprise probably won't help.


* I agree fixed fees on most non-contentious work.
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Re: T & C's

Postby Russell » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:59 pm

Yes as I thought, and as common sense would dictate, fixed means fixed :) Thank you Att. It really doesn't give you much confidence in these people to do your T & C's when they are trying to breech their own.
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Re: T & C's

Postby diy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:09 am

If they have increased their proposed charges, I presume you are free to say no Thanks and walk?

I did some work building a time a and billing platform for one of the major law firms a few years back and never understood the ethics of partners being able to amend time billed to a client. It was suggested to me that where a client got a lot of value from the work, they would want to add hours. Seemed very odd on a time hire arrangement.
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Re: T & C's

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:54 am

Russell wrote:Yes as I thought, and as common sense would dictate, fixed means fixed :) Thank you Att. It really doesn't give you much confidence in these people to do your T & C's when they are trying to breech their own.


My thoughts exactly!

What Atticus says is how it should be.

I did once ask about lawyers charging for research, but the the question was not really properly addressed: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4831&p=68880 I think the starting point has to be that if you take on a job you represent to the client that you are competent to deal with it. Of course no lawyer knows everything and difficult or obscure points of law crop up which may require research or careful consideration. Lawyers, like everyone else, want it both ways. If you ask one why he charges so much he will bring out the knowing where to bang argument. If he does not know the answer to a question he will though still charge the knowing where to bang rate to find the answer.

In practice what it can come down to is the client subsidising the next client with the same problem. If someone in the same business as Russell approaches his solicitors for terms and conditions they are going to have it all pretty much cut and dried. They will quote 2k and spend less than 2k's worth of time on the job.

If doing fixed fee work it has be swings and roundabouts.
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Re: T & C's

Postby Russell » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:10 am

Yes exactly! I believe it's £300 per hour at the moment, so you'd expect an expert and not to have to pay them to learn. Not long back we agreed to do a powerpoint for a company, they actually wanted an animated powerpoint. Our error for not checking, it was maybe 30 times the work we expected. We lost our weekend and a lot of money. But it was our fault, we didn't even bring it up.
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