As a private client you want the best representation at a reasonable cost. We will always aim to offer a fixed fee irrespective of how long your case lasts. The good news is that if you win your case, it is likely that you will get back all of your money from the government if your case remains in the Magistrates Court.
We have represented people from all walks of life including IT professionals, MPs, CEOs of companies, teachers, Lords of the Realm, farmers, racing drivers, TV personalities, military, doctors etc.
We have a proactive, forensic and assertive approach to representation, to ensure you get the best result, whether that’s getting the police to take “no further action” or taking your case to trial and securing an acquittal.
Private Client Case Study 1
Our client was a local government employee who had never been in trouble with the police before. He was accused of assaulting his son. Mr. Phillips spent a day with our client at his house taking detailed instructions.
Our client was acquitted on appeal, the Judge having read our detailed written submissions, and having heard evidence from our client, his wife, and his children and having heard character references.
Our client was granted a defence costs order, so in the end he paid nothing.
Private Client Case Study 2
Our client, an IT professional, was accused of harassing an ex-girlfriend. He came to us after getting into trouble, having represented himself at the police station. We managed to get the charges dropped. The CPS applied to adjourn his case, as their witness was not available for the trial hearing. We opposed and the Court agreed with our lawyer.
The case was dismissed and our client was awarded a defence costs order. Once again he received all his costs back.
This is a summary only. Always ring, as many cases fall into a legal aid category.
Before The Police Station
We can only give free advice of a freestanding nature if you are on Income Support, Job Seekers’ Allowance, or equivalent. Otherwise no legal aid is available and we will have to charge £120 – £200 per hour plus VAT (it depends on various factors). A free appointment or free one-off advice over the phone may be available.
At The Police Station
If you are to be questioned by the police, you can get advice first from one of our duty solicitors free of charge, whatever your income. This is the case whether you attend the police station on a voluntary basis or you are interviewed outside the police station if there is a police officer present.
At the Magistrates Court
We hold a Legal Aid contract so we can do Legal Aid work. Legal Aid in Magistrates Courts is means tested. If you are on a low income or benefits you are likely to be eligible for Legal Aid for the initial consultation. If you earn between £12,475 and £22,325 per annum you may be eligible for Legal Aid. If you earn over £22,325 you probably won’t be eligible for Legal Aid but in exceptional cases legal aid may be granted. You can check out your own eligibility via this link :
Contact us and we can tell you whether you can get Legal Aid and help you apply for it. If you don’t qualify for legal aid, then we can represent you privately. Our usual hourly rate is between £120 – £200 + VAT. However we can offer fixed fees, for example we will normally charge £400 + VAT per half day for Reading Magistrates. This will be more if the case goes on for longer than anticipated, it is very complicated or you wish us to represent you in a different Magistrates Court.
At the Crown Court
Legal Aid is currently available in the Crown Court for all matters committed for trial or for an appeal. The means test still applies although it is more generous than at the Magistrates. The total family income limitis £38,000 pa net. You might have to pay a contribution towards the costs of your case. This amount is determined by how much you earn. There is also a capital test: There is a disposable capital limit of £30,000 after which capital contributions are called for.
If you wish to apply for legal aid you will need to fill in the forms. If you want Legal aid for the Magistrates Court you will need to complete a CDS 14 and a CDS 15. If you are applying for legal aid at the crown court you only need to complete a CDS 15. You can find links to these forms below:
CDS 14: application for legal aid in criminal proceedings
CDS 15: financial statement and cds15c continuation of questions