Divorce Magazine

Shocked by Revelations

By Judithmiddleton

SHOCKED BY REVELATIONS

An article in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday has had UK divorce lawyers and their clients reeling with shock at the revelation that six figure mark-ups have been applied to solicitors’ fees for some of Baroness Shackleton's clients. However the explanation that she is slack with her time-keeping and makes herself available to clients out of hours appears to have been accepted and, moreover, her clients are reported as being happy with the service they have received. I guess when you are worth millions, there’s no need to worry about how to pay for your legal services.
For most people however costs are a major concern and they should be reassured by the fact that they are entitled from the outset to a full explanation of how costs will be calculated. Whilst it is always difficult to give a fixed quote in relation to cases arising from matrimonial issues, clients should expect to be given an estimate of the range of costs and a warning if an initial costs estimate is likely to be exceeded. Most family lawyers pride themselves on being transparent about their charging arrangements. Mark-ups, whether of the magnitude reported or otherwise, are not generally applied. On my own part, I endeavour to bill clients at monthly intervals and purely in relation to the time actually spent; that way there are no hidden shocks or mark-ups at the end of a matter.

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