Irwin Mitchell To Offer New Fixed Fee Litigation For Claimants

National Law Firm Aims To Counter Uncertainty For Clients

01.10.2015

Karen Roberts, Press Officer | 0207 400 8714

National law firm Irwin Mitchell is introducing a new offering to potential clients wishing to bring a claim, whereby the firm will agree to conduct commercial litigation in appropriate cases entirely upon a staged, fixed fee basis. Unlike other products in the market, barrister and experts fees can also be included in the fixed cost fee. The firm believes it is one of the few law firms to offer such a product, and sees this as a logical extension of the conditional fee agreements, litigation funding and project fixed fees already offered in the market.

This new fixed fee product is a response to the rising costs of litigation, typified by the recent staggering increase in court fees (which the Lord Chancellor Michael Gove indicated may well increase further) and the uncertainty surrounding the costs of obtaining expert legal advice, created by the outdated and expensive hourly rate and the estimate model upon which many law firms conduct business. Indeed, whilst lawyers may be able to estimate the number of hours a particular piece of work will take, this is only an estimate , and claimants therefore face a huge degree of uncertainty about what it will cost to bring their claim to court.

The Irwin Mitchell fixed fee product takes this uncertainty away. As a starting point, upon being instructed by and obtaining preliminary information from a new client, the firm will analyse the likely legal fees to be incurred by a party wishing to bring a claim. It will then, in conjunction with expert law costs draftsmen, prepare and present a prospective client with a proposed fixed fee for each stage of the litigation process, incorporating not only solicitors fees, but fees charged by third parties such as expert witnesses and counsel where possible. These stages will include, for example, the costs of preparing and issuing the claim at court, the costs of preparing witness statements, and the costs of preparing for and attending trial.

Expert Opinion
“The obvious benefit of this product to a claimant is that they will have absolute certainty as to what it will cost to bring legal proceedings, and seek recovery of losses suffered. No extra costs above and beyond that which has been proposed will be charged.

Corporate financial officers will be able to budget for the litigation appropriately - there will be no unwelcome surprises which would require an explanation to the board of directors, and no unexpected costs to report to shareholders. Claimant clients will be given a huge degree of certainty, in an often uncertain environment.”
Jonathan Sachs, Partner
Expert Opinion
“The requirement to budget for large but often uncertain sums at the outset of the litigation process is understandably not an attractive prospect for claimants, so it's increasingly important for lawyers to proactively look for innovative funding arrangements to help their clients seek the appropriate redress. We believe we have listened to our clients and their need to receive accurate project (and costs) management. This is vital if access to justice for these parties is to be preserved.”
Niall Baker, Chairman of IM Asset Management & Partner