Navigating the world of solicitor fees and costs can be surprisingly challenging. The fees involved can vary greatly, with many different fee types such as fixed fees, no win no fee, and hourly rates. Let's take a look at how much solicitors charge on average and the key factors that influence legal fees, including the legal area, complexity of the case, the solicitor's experience, and their location. By shedding light on these factors, you'll gain a better understanding of solicitor costs and be better equipped to make an informed decision when hiring a solicitor.
How much does a solicitor cost on average?
The type of legal work you need can significantly impact the fees solicitors charge. Different legal areas require varying levels of expertise, specialisation, and experience, all of which contribute to the overall cost. To help you better understand how the legal area affects solicitor fees, we’ve created a table below.
Examples of Cases
Visa applications, asylum claims, citizenship
Divorce, child custody, prenuptial agreements
Conveyancing, transfer of equity, deed of gift
Landlord & Tenant
landlord-tenant disputes, evictions
Wills & Probate
Will writing, Lasting power of Attorney
Flight refunds, neighbour disputes
How to use the table
The table above provides an overview of various legal areas, their relative costs, and examples of cases within each area. It serves as a guide to help you better understand the fees you can expect when hiring a solicitor for a specific type of case. Here's how to interpret the table:
1. Legal Area: This column lists the different fields of law. We’ve only included the most common areas on the table above for simplicity. For a more comprehensive list refer to the “navigation bar” at the top of every page on our site.
2. Relative Cost: This column indicates the general cost level associated with each legal area. Keep in mind that these are relative terms; actual costs will vary depending on the other factors we will discuss in this article. However, this column can give you a rough idea of the expenses you might encounter in comparison to other legal areas.
3. Examples of Cases: This column provides some examples of specific legal matters that fall under each legal area. We track the average cost across a wide range of cases via the Lawhive website. By visiting the specific page for the type of case you need help with you’ll be able to see an indicative cost for that type of legal work.
The complexity of your legal matter will also influence the cost. Complex cases typically require more time, resources, and expertise, which translates into higher fees. Factors that can make legal work more complex include:
Multiple parties involved – When more parties are involved in a case, the number of documents, legal arguments, and negotiation processes often increase, making the case more challenging to manage. This complexity can lead to a higher workload for your solicitor, ultimately resulting in increased fees.
Intricate legal issues – Some cases involve complicated legal issues that require a deeper understanding of the law, extensive research, and the ability to develop creative legal strategies. These types of cases often demand a higher level of expertise from your solicitor, which can increase the cost of their services.
Large amounts of documentation - Cases that involve substantial documentation, such as contracts, correspondence, or financial records, can be time-consuming and labour-intensive for your solicitor to review and analyse. The more time your solicitor spends on these tasks, the higher the fees are likely to be.
Need for specialist input – In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with expert witnesses or other specialists to support your case or provide essential information. These experts can be expensive to retain, and their fees are often passed on to the client, contributing to the overall cost of your legal representation.
The solicitor's location
The location of your solicitor can have a significant impact on the fees they charge. This can create real challenges in accessing affordable legal services.
Solicitors who operate in big cities tend to charge more. Higher living expenses, such as rent, utilities, and transportation, can necessitate higher fees to cover these costs and maintain a sustainable business. It can go the other way too though. It’s also very common for solicitors based in remote or rural areas where access to legal services may be limited to charge more. With few solicitors available to handle cases, the scarcity can result in higher fees as the few solicitors in these areas have less competition. The fact that solicitors can charge such wildly different amounts based on location alone is why at Lawhive we recommend you work with a solicitor online . Because of competition, solicitors operating online will charge you a far lower fee and these days local solicitors will insist that you speak with them via email and phone anyway!
The solicitor's experience
A solicitor's level of experience can significantly impact the fees they charge. More experienced solicitors often command higher fees due to their expertise, proven track record, and ability to handle complex cases efficiently. Here's a closer look at how experience factors into solicitor fees:
Years of practice – Solicitors with more years of practice under their belt are often more knowledgeable about the intricacies of the law and have developed a broader set of skills. This expertise enables them to provide better legal advice and representation, which is often reflected in their fees.
Track record – Solicitors who have a history of success in their field or a high rate of positive case outcomes may charge more for their services. Clients are often willing to pay a premium for a solicitor with a proven track record, as it increases their chances of achieving a favourable outcome in their case.
We don’t think experience should affect cost.
At Lawhive, we believe that everyone should be able to get access to quality legal help regardless of how much money they have. By partnering with experienced solicitors who offer their services at affordable rates, our vetting process ensures that you receive top-notch legal help without breaking the bank.
How much do solicitors charge per hour
Some solicitors will charge you on an hourly basis. This means that the cost of their services is determined by the amount of time they spend working on your case. Understanding the average hourly rates for solicitors can help you gauge what to expect when evaluating potential legal services.
Level of Experience
Newly qualified or junior
£100 - £200
Mid-level or experienced
£200 - £300
Senior or highly-specialised
£350 or more
We aren’t big fans of hourly fees at Lawhive. They can be opaque, unclear and often lead to people over paying for their legal work. We’d recommend that you stick with fixed fees instead if given the option. If you are working with a Lawhive solicitor you’ll be paying a fixed fee rather than an hourly one.
Pay attention to other factors!
By understanding the factors that influence legal costs, you can make more informed decisions when selecting a solicitor to handle your legal matter. It would be untrue to say that cost should be the only factor you consider when choosing a solicitor though. If you are looking for more information we’ve written a fully comprehensive guide on everything legal from research through to what you can expect in terms of timelines and progress. If you are interested you can check it out here.