how to dispute legal fees - challenge my solicitor

If I want to dispute my legal fees do I have to do so within a certain time period?

Yes, to ensure you have an absolute entitlement to have your bill assessed, you must usually apply within 1 month of receiving it.  Applications made after 1 month (but within a year) are then discretionary provided the bill has not been paid.

If it has been more than a year, or you have already paid the bill, you will have to demonstrate that there are ‘special circumstances’ eg:

Justifiable Delay
Payment under pressure
Payment under protest
Gross Overcharging

If in doubt, or you have already paid your bill, please contact us and we will see what we can do.

If the fees I receive is higher than the estimate my Solicitor gave me do I have to pay it?

No, not always.  With an estimate you are obliged to pay a “reasonable sum”, which may be higher or lower than the figure provided in the estimate.

What is a disclosure?

Before a Solicitor commences to act for you, they are required by law to inform you how they are going to charge you and let you know your rights.  This document, either in the form of a letter or a costs agreement is called a ‘disclosure’.

What information should be detailed on my Solicitor’s Bill?

Your bill should contain enough detailed information for you to be able decide whether or not your legal fees are reasonable. As a minimum, it should show:

The date(s) on or between which work has been completed
A description of the work that has been done
A breakdown of any disbursements (see below)
If your case has gone to court (known as ‘contentious’ work), a brief summary of costs (called a gross sum bill).


What are disbursements?

Disbursements are generally expenses that a solicitor has to pay out on behalf of a client for goods or services provided to the client or on the client’s behalf e.g. fees paid to court and barristers’ fees.

What do you charge to dispute my legal fees on my behalf?

Our fee is calculated based on a percentage of the amount of money we save you.  If we don’t manage to reduce your legal costs, there will be nothing to pay.

If you have any further questions, please contact us and we will do our best to answer them for you.

Frequently asked questions


has your solicitor sent you a bill and you feel you have been overcharged?

has your solicitor taken too much of your compensation?