Sometimes, high legal costs deter individuals and businesses from seeking the necessary legal support, but there are ways you can ensure your legal costs do not blow out unexpectedly.
- Get organised
Find all of the necessary documentation you might need that is relevant to your legal case – this is all contracts, key communications, dates and more. Being prepared with all the necessary information in advance of your first consultation with a solicitor will not only save everyone time following up and exchanging these via email at a later date, but in turn, money. You should also engage a lawyer nice and early, before you have attempted to get involved in the legal proceedings of the case yourself. This early engagement means less re-work for the lawyer to correct what might not have been done properly in the first place.
- Be responsive
If your solicitor needs to speak with you about your case, you need to be accessible and responsive to their queries. Return phone calls and emails in a prompt manner so they do not have to continue to chase you for information and facts and can focus on understanding your case.
Similarly, if you are engaging the solicitor, give consideration about your enquiry and the best way to engage them. For example, if it is complex, make an appointment to speak with them over the telephone and have already compiled all your questions and concerns so you are ready to ask them. If your query can be clearly articulated in writing, email them – but make sure your emails are considered and thorough, including all documentation and asking all questions.
- What is your desired outcome and level of service?
A lawyer will be upfront with you about the costs associated with the different outcomes of a case and the likelihood of achieving them. It is important you are upfront with your solicitor about what type of outcome you are seeking to achieve and what type of legal service you expect; your costs will differ accordingly.
- Recognise that you can help too
Instead of paying a premium price for a law clerk to do your photocopying and sorting of legal documents, why don’t you offer to do some of these basic administrative tasks? This organisation and administration not only make it easy to work with you, but means you are not paying someone else to do something you can do quite quickly.
- Prompt payments
When you are invoiced, be sure to take note of the terms of payment and pay legal invoices promptly. This will ensure the solicitor and the staff are not chasing you for payment, rather working on your case.
- Stick to the scope
When you are in the thick of a case, feeling overwhelmed and anxious, many people will start to add extras to the original scope of work. These extras come at a cost and will see the final bill rise and the scope of work increases. Try your best to stick to what you originally set out to achieve.