Legal aid may be available for some aspects or road traffic law in which case we will advise on availability. In the event that the case is privately funded unless requested to provide a detailed quote or estimate which would be based on the complexity of the case we will charge at hourly rates but that we are committed to making any quote or estimates transparent and fair.
You may also have other options to fund your case such as a policy if insurance that covers legal expenses of this type (please note many policies that cover legal expenses exclude the defence of these types of cases), membership of certain professional bodies and trade unions, or specialist policies. Please note we do not offer ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements for cases of this type. We are happy to discuss your funding options with you, and review any documentation concerning any insurance policies during a no obligation fixed fee interview (see below).

Private Motoring Costs for Magistrate Court Cases

If you are eligible for Legal Aid we will advise you of this and can help you to apply. However, you are unlikely to be able to obtain legal aid for driving offences which are “summary only” – meaning that they can only be heard in the Magistrates’ Court as they are generally not eligible, although there are some exceptions. We are happy to discuss all funding options with any clients and potential clients. If legal aid is not an option then we can provide a written estimate of fees based upon your needs and expectations for your consideration before you commit to instructing us. Please call us to discuss us putting together a comprehensive package for you.

There are a range of summary only offences, for example:
• Driving a vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit for alcohol
• Failing to provide a specimen
• Failing to stop after an accident
• Careless driving
• Speeding
• Driving without insurance
• Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence
Every case and every client is different and the work required in preparing any given case will depend on a number of factors, including:
• The nature and number of alleged offences
• The plea(s) to be entered
• The circumstances of the alleged offence
• The circumstances of the client
• Whether witnesses will be required
• Whether expert reports may be needed
• The driving record of the client and any penalty points to be taken into account

Where we carry out work at an hourly rate we will charge you for time spent working on your case. This would include time spent dealing with you (including letters, telephone calls and meetings), reading material, speaking to other people on hour behalf such as experts, witnesses, the court or the prosecution, preparing documents, travelling to court or other locations and time spent at court.

Initial Consultation

In relation to all road traffic matters we are usually prepared to offer a no obligation, fixed fee appointment of £200 plus VAT so that you can meet with one of our experts in order to discuss the allegation you face. This meeting is paid for in advance or on the day of the meeting, which would typically last up to 1 hour, and will be capped at 90 minutes after which if you require further advice a further meeting may need to be arranged charged at our hourly rates. At the meeting, we will discuss your requirements with you, and this meeting will include:
• Discussing the case and considering any paperwork you may have received.
• Receiving advice as to the most appropriate plea( if we have enough information to do so)
• Informing you as to the court procedure so that you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, if applicable.
• Providing advice on the sentencing options available at court.
• Your funding options and how much the case may cost you.
• After this meeting, should you ask us to represent you in the case moving forward the following fees will then apply.

Our Hourly Rates

For offences such as these and other Road Traffic matters, our hourly rates are:-
Partner – £250 per hour plus VAT (£300) for cases conducted via our Tonbridge or Barry offices and £350 per hour plus VAT (£420) for cases in our Chislehurst offices.
Solicitor – £225 per hour plus VAT (£270) for cases conducted via our Tonbridge or Barry offices and £275 per hour plus VAT (£330) for cases in our Chislehurst offices.

The current VAT rate is 20% but is subject to change should the government decide so.

Fixed Fees

In some cases, we will be able to offer a fixed fee, but this is subject to an initial assessment to establish that the case is suitable which will depend upon, for example, the complexity of the case and the nature of your plea.

See below for further information.

Initial Consultation

In relation to all road traffic matters we are usually prepared to offer a no obligation, fixed fee appointment of £200 plus VAT so that you can meet with one of our experts in order to discuss the allegation you face. This meeting is paid for in advance or on the day of the meeting, which would typically last up to 1 hour, and will be capped at 90 minutes after which if you require further advice a further meeting may need to be arranged charged at our hourly rates. At the meeting, we will discuss your requirements with you, and this meeting will include:
• Discussing the case and considering any paperwork you may have received.
• Receiving advice as to the most appropriate plea( if we have enough information to do so)
• Informing you as to the court procedure so that you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, if applicable.
• Providing advice on the sentencing options available at court.
• Your funding options and how much the case may cost you.
• After this meeting, should you ask us to represent you in the case moving forward the following fees will then apply.

 

Fixed Fees

In some cases, we will be able to offer a fixed fee, but this is subject to an initial assessment to establish that the case is suitable which will depend upon, for example, the complexity of the case and the nature of your plea.
If your case is suitable for a fixed fee, our fixed fees for average cases of this type namely summary only motoring offences are likely to be as follows:
• Attendance at a single hearing to deal with a guilty plea and mitigation and where travel from our nearest office is not excessive, a fixed fee cost of £500 plus VAT (£600)
• Attendance at a single hearing to deal with a guilty plea and mitigation where the court is 30 minutes or more away from our nearest office, but not more than 60 minutes a fixed fee of £750 plus VAT (£900)
• Attendance at a single hearing to deal with a guilty plea and mitigation where the court is more than 60 minutes a fixed fee of £1200 plus VAT (£1440)
The fixed fee arrangement is based on an average case requiring around 3 hours’ total preparation and attendance time, plus representation at a single court hearing.

Our fixed fees assume you either have pleaded guilty already or intend to plead guilty and have a date to attend a magistrate’s court in Kent or East Sussex, South London or Cardiff. They do not apply to any of the more serious offences which could be dealt with at the Crown Court. Nor do they apply if you intend to plead not guilty, as a trial will be required.

If we have represented you at the first hearing on a fixed fee basis and your case is then adjourned to another date, for example, for a sentence hearing, a trial or a special reasons/exceptional hardship argument, our normal hourly rate would then apply for the subsequent hearing/s unless we agree a further fixed fee for those hearings.

The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing. The key stages of your matter will be:
• Considering the prosecution papers when available
• Taking your instructions, either face-to-face at our offices or over the telephone
• Advising you as to plea, likely sentence and how to prepare for the hearing
• Attending court to represent you at the hearing.
• The fees do not include:
o Attendance at further hearings (e.g. to enter pleas, for case management, or where a hearing is adjourned for any reason)
o Taking statements from witnesses (unless carried out within the preparation time specified)
o Obtaining medical records or expert reports
o If you decide you want a barrister to represent you.
o Advice and assistance on appeal

Any additional costs would be agreed with you in advance, and before we could carry out that work you would be required to fund it by making a payment on account of costs to us.

For road traffic cases, falling outside the fixed fees set out above, we would always provide you with a realistic costs estimate at the outset and discuss the funding options with you.

Should you wish to discuss a fixed fee and the option is not outlined above, we would be happy to discuss this on a case by case basis.

Our Road Traffic Team

All members of our Road Traffic Team are qualified lawyers – we do not use paralegals like some firms doing these types of cases.

Partners :
• Partner : Catherine McCarthy (Admitted as solicitor : 1992) (Click here to see Legal 500 profile)
• Partner : Daniel Bonich (Called to the Bar, 2001, admitted as solicitor 2007) ) (Click here to see Legal 500 profile)
• Partner Dennis Clarke (Admitted as solicitor : 1976) ) (Click here to see Legal 500 profile)

Solicitors :
• Sacha Alexander (Admitted as solicitor : 2005)
• David Dinkeldein (Admitted as solicitor : 2010)
• Isabel Corrigan (Admitted as solicitor : 2017)
• John Moreland (Admitted as solicitor : 2018)
• Simon Pettican (Admitted as solicitor : 1996)
• Emma Oliphant (Admitted as solicitor : 2020)
• Adrian Gillan ( Admitted as solicitor : 1988)

Should you wish to discuss a fixed fee and the option is not outlined above, we would be happy to discuss this on a case by case basis.