MTM Family Law is a firm registered with the Law Society of Scotland. The Law Society issue guidance on practices that must be adopted by every firm offering legal services to private clients. As part of this guidance, we require to provide information to clients on transparent pricing. This is to enable clients to have as much information as possible about fees, outlays and costs that may be incurred when instructing us.
We are a firm that specialises in family law.
The work that we do can take many forms. Cases can be litigated at court or work can be negotiated in correspondence and undertaken through collaborative meetings. We also offer a mediation service and have a trained arbitrator in our practice. The cost of work undertaken will very much depend upon the process that you choose to adopt. Transparency in pricing requires the solicitor and the client to fully discuss the options that are available to them, the hourly rate of the solicitor involved and any potential outlays that may be incurred as a consequence of the work that they chose to do. Costs will vary depending on whether parties are instructing us in connection with financial disputes, children, or both. It can be extremely difficult in family cases in particular to provide quotes for pieces of work. So much of the work that we do requires a degree of co-operation and common sense to be adopted by both parties and it is not possible for us, as your instructed solicitor, to provide a quote for a piece of work that relies upon a similar approach being taken by the other party.
In certain circumstances, we can undertake work for a fixed price. This would include for example a simplified divorce, or an undefended ordinary divorce.
We can offer undefended ordinary divorces applications (where there are children under 16) at a fixed fee of £1,200 plus VAT plus outlays in addition. They usually comprise the court fees (which generally change annually) sheriff officers fees (for service of court papers) and outlays incurred for obtaining copy marriage or birth certificates. The fixed fee is for drafting and lodging all court papers including the initiating writ and affidavits, serving the application, checking that no opposition has been made and then finalising the divorce application.
Where there are matters in dispute either in court or in negotiations, we cannot offer fixed fees and we will charge at our hourly time charge rates which we would be happy to discuss with you should you wish to instruct us.
A Simplified Procedure divorce application involves similar steps but can be used when there are no children under 16 and we can offer this process at a fixed fee of £ 300 plus VAT plus outlays.
Over and above fees, outlays are charged, and costs paid out by the firm on behalf of the client to other companies, offices or organisations such as the court, the Registers of Scotland, Search Companies etc. These charges are incurred for the client as a necessary part of the work being done. The firm makes no margin or profit on outlays. They are simply passed on to the client at whatever cost is charged to us.
Fundamentally, we would point out that each and every case is unique, and the particular circumstances of their family are particular to each and every client. As a consequence, it is not possible to give indications of costs for the length of a negotiation as circumstances may well change as that negotiation is ongoing. It is the practice of our firm to bill our clients at the end of every month. We undertake this practice in order to ensure clients are aware of their fees on an ongoing basis and that they will not be charged significant fees only at the end of a matter. From experience clients find this a more acceptable and better way to manage the payment of fees.
If we have to litigate your client matter then, again, costs are not able to be predicted. Courts cases can cost a client many thousands of pounds and the ultimate spend will also depend on how many issues are in dispute as well as how complex they are as well as the approach taken by the other side or by the court. There may be multiple court hearings for example in a child related case which will mean fees will be charged for preparation and attendance at each one.
If you have any queries about the way we charge fees or wish further information then we recommend that you contact us directly and discuss the matter with one of our solicitors.