Fees and Litigation Funding

A guideline

Due to the specialist nature of a barrister’s work, each case is different. When fixing a fee, a barrister estimates the length of time needed to be spent on the work, its complexity and importance, and how quickly the work needs to be done.

Fixed fee
In most cases, Bright Line Law agrees a fixed fee at the time when it is instructed. This means that you know the cost from the outset.

Where there is some uncertainty as to how much time is likely to be involved, it is possible to agree an hourly rate for the work but with a maximum limit or ‘cap’, so that a client knows that the fee will not exceed a pre-set figure.

At the time when the fee is agreed, the question of when the fee becomes payable is also discussed.

No fixed fee
Where a fee is calculated on an hourly basis, charging rates (exclusive of VAT) are:

Jonathan Fisher QC
Hourly Rate: £850—£950
Daily Rate: £6,000—£7,000

Anita Clifford, when instructed at Red Lion Chambers by Bright Line Law
Hourly Rate: £325—£375
Daily Rate: £2,750—£3,250

Rachel Clark, when instructed at 33 Chancery Lane by Bright Line Law
Hourly Rate: £250—£300
Daily Rate: £1,750—£2,250

VAT is chargeable where applicable.

Bright Line Law endeavours to complete work at the earliest opportunity. Inevitably, timing depends on the amount of research required and the complexity of the case. Timing is discussed with a client at the time of instruction.

Conditional fees
In certain cases, Bright Line Law is willing to consider a conditional fee arrangement. This is where part or sometimes all legal fees will only become payable by you in the event of success. Conditional fee arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis and Bright Line Law shall agree with you in advance how success and key milestones in your case will be managed. The first step is to get in touch with Bright Line Law to discuss if a conditional fee arrangement is appropriate in your case and how Bright Line Law may work with you.

Legal aid
Bright Line Law is authorised to undertake criminal cases under legal aid when instructed by a solicitor. Legal aid is not available under the Bar’s public access scheme.

Government agencies and international organisations
On occasions, Bright Line Law undertakes work for government agencies and international organisations, and separate fee arrangements are made on these occasions.

Litigation funding
If you would like to consider alternatives to funding a case yourself, there are options available, especially in civil cases.

You might like to consider seeking funding from a litigation funder. This is where a third party agrees to invest in your legal proceedings in return for a fee. The funder cannot direct how the dispute is conducted. This remains for you to decide in consultation with Bright Line Law. The fees involved are subject to negotiation and depend on the sums at stake, the complexity and expected length of the matter.

There may be a range of funding packages available, including ‘no win no fee’ such that the funder only receives its fee if you succeed overall. If you do not succeed, you will not owe anything to the funder.

You can approach brokers and/or funders directly. However, Bright Line Law recommends it is best for your legal team to be involved at an early stage in order to assess the overall merits of your case and liaise with brokers and/or prospective funders. As you would expect, litigation funders conduct due diligence of their own before deciding to support a case.

Insurance & Costs Exposure
In England & Wales, the general rule is that the losing party pays a proportion of the winning party’s costs.

You may already have legal expenses insurance in place which will cover both legal expenses and costs exposure, for example Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance). If you have cover in place, this is sometimes referred to as ‘before the event’ insurance, i.e., before the circumstances which gave rise to the dispute.

You might like to consider ‘after the event insurance’ (ATE) to insure you against the risks of being ordered to pay the other side’s costs in the event that you do not succeed.

The level of insurance premium for ATE insurance depends on factors such as the extent of cover and the risk involved. As a rough guide, however, a premium of 30–40% of the sum insured is usual. For ATE policies taken out from 1 April 2013 onwards, the cost of the ATE premium is generally not recoverable from the other side. It is possible, however, for funders to cover ATE premiums as part of an overall funding package.

Bright Line Law is happy to discuss the options with you in order to pursue or defend your legal proceedings.

If you would like to discuss availability, please contact Jonathan Fisher QC at Bright Line Law by telephone +44 (0)20 3709 9470.Email
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