Blended Rates are where a single hourly rate is used for your solicitor’s fees. The hourly rate charged to you is always the same – whether the work is done by an experienced solicitor or a junior solicitor. This ensures that you always have certainty to what you are being charged.
When a law firm is instructed, the cost of the legal services provided is usually charged on the basis of the time spent multiplied by the hourly rate of the solicitor or other individual doing the work. With experience, the cost rises.
For example, a paralegal may provided a good service to you and be relatively inexpensive, but for more complex work, requiring a more sophisticated knowledge of the law, they may not be appropriately qualified and a solicitor with more legal training and more experience of complex matters may be more suitable. For even more complex matters, it may be necessary to employ a very experienced solicitor or even a partner.
The theory goes that a more experienced lawyer should require less time to understand and advise on any legal dilemma, and thus the difference in cost should not be too severe.
However, upon instructing any law firm, there is often suspiscion as to how the law firm will charge the client and who will do the work. A unqualified or junior solicitor may be appropriate where matters are more straightforward, but may spend a considerable amount of time where matters are complex and may ultimately become uneconomical. Alternatively, a partner who deals with straightforward tasks that can be easily performed by a junior solicitor may result in a overcharge of such legal services.
Accordingly, it may sometimes be appropriate (especially for more extensive matters) for a blended rate to be agreed, such that all fee earners (from partners through to junior solicitors) are charged at a single hourly rate. This gives certainty to the client and also naturally provides for matters to be dealt with by the most appropriate personnel, with partners dealing with complex matters and junior solicitors dealing with more straightforward legal matters.
A blended rate will, from the client’s point of view, prevent legal costs escalating out of control by way of the amount of the time spent by experienced solicitors yet will enable the provision of continuous legal services, including a solicitor being always available, to deal with the matter.
In addition the use of a blended rate will mean that the client has certainty over such costs against the background that a solicitor must always provide adequate legal services appropriate to the complexity of the work and in accordance with all instructions provided by a client.
To read more about blended rates, please click here.
At Francis Wilks & Jones we often work on projects with a blended rate agreement, subject to a review of your proposal and the scope of any instructions, and we will always discuss these arrangements and any other funding arrangements appropriate to the nature of any legal services you seek and your financial circumstances.
Please call any member of our commercial litigation team for your consultation now on 020 7305 7667. Alternatively e mail us with your enquiry and we will call you back at a time convenient to you.