Pricing for Motoring Offences

How We Charge For Our Services
Motoring offences (summary only)

Team Members and Supervision

Sarah Wheadon, a partner in the regulatory team is independently recognised in Chambers and Partners legal directory as being “exceptionally able and dedicated” and “absolutely first class” and the team is frequently recommended by existing clients, many of whom have a long standing relationship with the firm as well as by professional intermediaries.

Your matter would be dealt with by a qualified solicitor and any work undertaken would be supervised by a partner with a minimum of 15 years experience. Details of the individuals within the team and their qualifications and experience can be found in their profiles: Regulatory Crime and Motoring Offences.

Fees and Charging Structures

The fee information set out in this document relate specifically to those services in the ‘Services’ section and is indicative only. Once the full details relating to your particular matter are understood, we will provide a specific fee proposal which, upon confirmation of our instruction through a signed client engagement letter and terms of business, will form the contractual basis upon which we will deliver our services.

During the progress of any matter it is possible that fees may change, up or down, due to change in your instructions, or because it is necessary to reassess the level of complexity of the matter should new information come to light or circumstances change. Should this be the case, we would discuss this with you at the time and agree any changes before progressing.

Any additional services required outside those set out in the Services section would be quoted separately on an individual basis.

Services (guilty plea)

Representing you on a guilty plea to one of the summary motoring offences listed below, dealt with at a single hearing:

  • Drink/drug driving offences
  • Careless/inconsiderate driving
  • Signs and signals offences
  • Speeding
  • Pedestrian/other crossings offences
  • Parking/obstruction offences
  • Failing to stop or report a road accident
  • Construction and use offences
  • Lighting offences
  • Seatbelt/safety equipment offences
  • Driving licence offences
  • Driving without insurance

Key stages in delivering these services

  • Meeting with you in person or talking to you over the telephone to take your instructions about what happened
  • Considering any paperwork received from the police or CPS (initial disclosure) and any other evidence provided by you
  • Explaining the court procedure to you so that you know what to expect on the day of your hearing and advising you of the likely sentence (or where this is not possible, the options available to the court in relation to sentencing)

Travel to and attendance and representation at a Magistrates’ Court hearing:

  • Attending court on the day and meeting with you before going into court
  • Discussing the outcome of the hearing with you

As it is usual for the court to list several cases at the same time, we are not able to say how long you will have to wait at court before your case is heard.

How we would charge for these services

The fee will vary depending on whether or not Counsel is instructed to represent you at the hearing. There are a number of reasons why Counsel may be instructed, for example it may be more cost effective to do so because of the location of the court.

  • If we represent you at the hearing it would be a fixed fee of £1,250 plus disbursements.
  • If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the hearing, we would charge a fixed fee of £625 plus disbursements, and you would pay Counsel’s fees in addition to this.

Certain assumptions have been relied upon for the purposes of the fee information provided, as set out below.

Depending on the experience of the team member advising you, we would charge an hourly rate of between £161 and £250 plus VAT for dealing with any services which fall within the ‘not included’ section below.

You should investigate whether you have any other means of funding your case.

‘Before the Event’ legal expenses insurance – You should check to see whether you have the benefit of before the event legal expenses insurance which forms part of an insurance policy which you already have such as motor insurance, household contents and buildings insurance, personal accident policies, bank account scheme or credit card schemes.

Trade Union or other source – If you are a member of a Trade Union or other organisation, they may be able to assist with the funding of your case. If you are, you may make enquiries direct to them to see what assistance if any, they are able to offer to you.

What these fees include

If we represent you at the hearing:

2 hours preparation and attendance on you:

  • Meeting with you in person or talking to you over the telephone to take your instructions about what happened
  • Considering any paperwork received from the police or CPS (initial disclosure) and any other evidence provided by you
  • Explaining the court procedure to you so that you know what to expect on the day of your hearing and advising you of the likely sentence (or where this is not possible, the options available to the court in relation to sentencing)

Travel to and attendance and representation at one Magistrates’ Court hearing:

  • Attending court on the day and meeting with you before going into court. Our fee includes being at court for 3 hours in total
  • Discussing the outcome of the hearing with you

If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the hearing:

2½ hours preparation and attendance on you:

  • Meeting with you in person or talking to you over the telephone to take your instructions about what happened
  • Considering any paperwork received from the police or CPS (initial disclosure) and any other evidence provided by you
  • Explaining the court procedure to you so that you know what to expect on the day of your hearing and advising you of the likely sentence (or where this is not possible, the options available to the court in relation to sentencing)
  • Instructing Counsel to represent you at the hearing
  • Discussing the outcome of the case with you

What these fees do not include If we are representing you at the hearing:

  • Preparation/attendance time over the 2 hours referred to in the ‘what these fees include’ section above
  • Attendance at court over the 3 hours referred to in the ‘what these fees include’ section above

If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the hearing:

  • Preparation/attendance time over the 2½ hours referred to in the ‘what these fees include’ section above

In addition:

  • Chasing the police or CPS for initial disclosure
  • Additional meetings/conferences at court
  • Additional hearings
  • Preparing for additional meetings/additional hearings
  • Instructing expert witnesses
  • Taking statements from witnesses/obtaining character references
  • Reviewing any additional evidence which we request from you such as video footage
  • Reviewing more than 25 single sided pages of prosecution evidence
  • Reviewing CCTV footage
  • If we represent you at the hearing, our travelling time to a court located more than half an hours drive from our offices in Southampton, Salisbury, Winchester, Poole and Bournemouth
  • If Counsel is instructed to represent you at the hearing but you wish us to attend, our attendance at the hearing as well
  • Making a claim for your costs following the grant of a Defendant’s Cost Order
  • Advice on whether an exceptional hardship or special reasons argument should be made (where appropriate)
  • Advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing (where applicable)
  • Advice or assistance in relation to an appeal

VAT

Unless expressly stated otherwise, all of the fees and disbursements referred to would be subject to VAT, payable in addition, calculated at the standard rate of 20%.

Disbursements

Disbursements are additional costs related to your matter that would typically be incurred by us on your behalf to ensure that the matter progresses in an efficient manner. These would be chargeable by us in addition to the fees set out above.

The disbursements that you can expect to be charged in respect of your matter are as follows:

If we represent you at the hearing:

  • Travel and associated costs
  • Overnight accommodation costs if required

If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the hearing:

  • Counsel’s fees are estimated at between £750 – £1,500 (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending one hearing (including preparation)

Services (not guilty plea)

Representing you on a not guilty plea to one of the summary motoring offences listed below, dealt with at a single hearing:

  • Drink/drug driving offences
  • Careless/inconsiderate driving
  • Signs and signals offences
  • Speeding
  • Pedestrian/other crossings offences
  • Parking/obstruction offences
  • Failing to stop or report a road accident
  • Construction and use offences
  • Lighting offences
  • Seatbelt/safety equipment offences
  • Driving licence offences
  • Driving without insurance

Key stages in delivering these services

Preparation and attendance:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the police or CPS papers (initial disclosure) and any other evidence provided by you and advising on merits and plea (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and may be subject to change)
  • Drafting your statement
  • Taking witness statements and drafting statements
  • Instructing an expert, reviewing the expert’s report and liaising with the expert with regards to any additional queries
  • Making any appropriate evidential or procedural applications e.g. to rely on hearsay evidence
  • Reviewing the schedule of prosecution unused material (and any unused material served by the prosecution) and advising accordingly
  • Preparing for the trial
  • Explaining the court procedure to you so that you know what to expect on the day of your trial and advising you of the likely sentence (or where this is not possible, the options available to the court in relation to sentencing)

Travel to and attendance and representation at a Magistrates’ Court trial:

  • Attending court on the day and meeting with you before going into court
  • Discussing the outcome of the trial with you

The timescale for your case will depend on the date you have been given by the court for your trial.

How we would charge for these services

The fee will vary depending on whether or not Counsel is instructed to represent you at the hearing. There are a number of reasons why Counsel may be instructed, for example it may be more cost effective to do so because of the location of the court.

If we represent you at the hearing:

  • £1,500 – £5,000 for preparation and attendance; and
  • £750 – £1,250 for representation at court and disbursements.

If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the hearing:

  • £1,500 – £5,000 plus VAT for preparation and attendance plus Counsel’s fees and disbursements.

Our fee will vary depending on:

  • The complexity of your case
  • The team member advising you
  • Whether we have to chase 1) the prosecution for their evidence or the material which they do not intend to rely on in the case (unused material) and/or 2) any witness(es) for their statements
  • Whether Counsel is instructed to represent you at the trial. There are a number of reasons why Counsel may be instructed, for example it may be more cost effective to do so because of the location of the court

Factors that could make a case more complex include:

  • The number of witnesses
  • The instruction of expert witnesses
  • Complicated evidential issues
  • Unusual or complex legal arguments

Certain assumptions have been relied upon for the purposes of the fee information provided, as set out below.

Depending on the experience of the team member advising you, we would charge an hourly rate of between £161 and £250 plus VAT for dealing with any services which fall within the ‘not included’ section below.

You should investigate whether you have any other means of funding your case.

‘Before the Event’ legal expenses insurance – You should check to see whether you have the benefit of before the event legal expenses insurance which forms part of an insurance policy which you already have such as motor insurance, household contents and buildings insurance, personal accident policies, bank account scheme or credit card schemes.

Trade Union or other source – If you are a member of a Trade Union or other organisation, they may be able to assist with the funding of your case. If you are, you may make enquiries direct to them to see what assistance if any, they are able to offer to you.

What these fees include

If we represent you at the trial

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the police or CPS papers (initial disclosure) and any other evidence provided by you and advising on merits and plea (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and may be subject to change)
  • Drafting your statement
  • Taking witness statements and drafting statements
  • Making any appropriate evidential or procedural applications e.g. to rely on hearsay evidence
  • Reviewing the schedule of prosecution unused material (and any unused material served by the prosecution) and advising accordingly
  • Preparing for the trial
  • Explaining the court procedure to you so that you know what to expect on the day of your trial and advising you of the likely sentence (or where this is not possible, the options available to the court in relation to sentencing)

Travel to and attendance and representation at a Magistrates’ Court trial (listed for no more than 1 day):

  • Attending court on the day and meeting with you before going into court
  • Discussing the outcome of the trial with you

If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the trial Preparation and attendance on you:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the reviewing the police or CPS papers (initial disclosure) and any other evidence provided by you and advising on merits and plea (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and may be subject to change)
  • Drafting your statement
  • Taking witness statements and drafting statements
  • Making any appropriate evidential or procedural applications e.g. to rely on hearsay evidence
  • Reviewing the schedule of prosecution unused material (and any unused material served by the prosecution) and advising accordingly
  • Explaining the court procedure to you so that you know what to expect on the day of your trial and advising you of the likely sentence (or where this is not possible, the options available to the court in relation to sentencing)
  • Instructing Counsel to represent you at the trial
  • Discussing the outcome of the case with you

What these fees do not include

  • Additional trial days
  • Instructing more than one expert
  • Additional meetings/conferences at court
  • Additional hearings
  • Preparing for additional meetings/additional hearings
  • If we represent you at the trial, our travelling time to a court located more than half an hours drive from our offices in Southampton, Salisbury, Poole and Bournemouth
  • If Counsel is instructed to represent you at the hearing but you wish us to attend, our attendance at the hearing as well
  • Making a claim for your costs following the grant of a Defendant’s Cost Order
  • Advice on whether an exceptional hardship or special reasons argument should be made (where appropriate)
  • Advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing (where applicable)
  • Advice or assistance in relation to an appeal

VAT

Unless expressly stated otherwise, all of the fees and disbursements referred to would be subject to VAT, payable in addition, calculated at the standard rate of 20%.

Disbursements

Disbursements are additional costs related to your matter that would typically be incurred by us on your behalf to ensure that the matter progresses in an efficient manner. These would be chargeable by us in addition to the fees set out above.

The disbursements that you can expect to be charged in respect of your matter are as follows:

If we instruct an expert on your behalf, then the expert will charge for reviewing the documents we send them, preparing a report, responding to any queries and attending court. Before instructing an expert on your behalf, we will obtain an indication of their likely fee and agree this with you. It is estimated that an expert’s fees could range between £750 – £3,500 plus VAT depending on the experience of the expert and what they are being asked to do.

If we represent you at the hearing:

  • Travel and associated costs
  • Overnight accommodation costs if required

If we instruct Counsel to represent you at the hearing:

Counsel’s fees are estimated at between £750 – £2,500 (depending on anticipated length of trial and the experience of the advocate) for attending trial with the time estimate of up to one day (including preparation).

Assumptions

  • You have already entered a not guilty plea and have a date for your trial
  • The trial is listed for no more than 1 day
  • No more than 1 expert is instructed
  • There are at least 25 clear working days prior to and excluding your trial date
  • If we represent you at the trial, the court is located at no more than half an hours drive from our offices in Southampton, Salisbury, Poole and Bournemouth
  • Your instructions do not materially change
  • No unforeseen complications arise

If you are facing an alleged driving offence, contact our team of Regulatory Solicitors on 0800 2800 421 or get in touch here.

Meet the team

Sarah Wheadon

Partner

Sarah Huck

Solicitor