Being involved in a legal proceeding is often highly emotional and financially taxing; but by following our top 5 tips for reducing your legal fees, you can worry about one less thing.
5 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Legal Fees
Before your initial consultation with your solicitor, have in mind a clear picture of the facts of your case and what you hope to achieve by starting legal proceedings. Bring along copies of any relevant documentation that may affect your case. This could include emails between you and other parties, contracts, a list of relevant dates, and more. During the consultation, provide as many facts of the case as you can so your lawyer has a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances that brought you to them. Being clear and upfront from the get-go will result in less calls, emails and letters from your solicitor working out the details of your situation and chasing you up for supporting documentation.
When your solicitor does need to contact you, ensure that this is an easy and time-effective process for them. By providing an email that you regularly check and a phone number that you have frequent access to, your solicitor will spend less of their time, and less of your money, chasing you up. Aim to respond to their emails and return their calls in a timely manner, so that they can focus their time on what is important – working on your case.
Be clever with your correspondence
Emails are the preferred form of correspondence by solicitors, as there is little room for ambiguity. If you have multiple relevant questions for your solicitor, compile these into one email in an organised and logical manner.
Review all emails before sending and be sure to attach any relevant documentation. Before replying to emails from your solicitor, read everything carefully and make sure you have addressed their questions fully and clearly. Being thorough in your written correspondence will result in less emails from your solicitor clarifying what you have said, thus, less money out of your pocket.
If you prefer to call your solicitor, and find yourself doing so multiple times for only a short conversation, consider compiling all your questions and concerns into one phone call. Many solicitors bill in 5 or 6 minute intervals, so if you call your solicitor 6 times for a 2-minute phone call each time, instead of paying for 12 minutes of their time, you may pay more.
Offer to help with some basic, administrative tasks that do not require a lawyer’s set of skills. This may include making copies of documents, organising them into a logical order, corresponding with third parties (but only with your solicitor’s direct approval), and more. By completing these basic tasks in your own time, you will not be paying someone else to do what you easily can.
Pay your bills on time. Not only is this the courteous thing to do, but it will save you money in the long run. Failing to comply with your solicitor’s terms of trade will result in more of their time, and your money, being spent chasing you up. It also minimises any delay in working on your matter. No payment, no work.