How much will it cost?

The question, "How much will it cost?" is obviously important to most people who choose to instruct a barrister. That's why my standard and minimum rates for advice and representation are published here. It is also why if you instruct me the work that will be carried out and the precise charges for that work will be contained in a Client Care letter that you will have the opportunity to read through carefully and sign before work commences.  

Standard & MINIMUM Rates for public access advice & REPRESENTATION

  • Advice on Appeal Against Sentence - £1,000 (minimum fixed charge);
  • Advice on Appeal Against Conviction - £2,000 (minimum fixed charge);
  • Standard rate for representation in court - £1,500 per day (or part of a day);
  • Standard rate for providing advice - £200 per hour.  

Please Note

  1. The applicable rate in your case will always be clearly stated in your client care letter and agreed by you in advance.  
  2. Payments required for external services (such as court transcripts, expert witness services, witness attendance) are additional costs and not included in these standard and minimum rates.
  3. In the event of a positive advice on appeal against conviction and/or sentence, an additional charge is applicable for drafting grounds of appeal.
  4. Travel charges may be applicable for cases outside London (M25 area). Standard travel rate - £75 per hour. 
  5. For fixed fee cases payment in full is required in advance.  For other cases a payment in advance will be required, to be notified.
  6. Legal Aid is not available for Public/Direct Access cases.  It is also not possible to pay privately for advice if you currently have a legal aid certificate.
  7. Payments can be made by BACS or through Paypal (including by credit card).
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CLEAR Fixed Fees for advice

Rather than having an open-ended agreement where you pay for work by the hour not knowing what the eventual bill will be, where possible you will be offered a fixed fee for the work required.  


If a fixed fee cannot be offered, you will receive a clear estimate of the charges for the work and, if you require, charges can be capped so that your specific authority must be given to continue with the work if those charges reach the agreed threshold.  

Fees for Representation at Court

If you require representation at court, such as for a trial, an appeal hearing or a sentence, you may be charged a preparation fee (hourly rate) to reflect the preparation time and a daily attendance fee (daily rate) for the length of the hearing or trial.  It will usually be possible to provide a reasonable estimate of how long a case will take to prepare and how long it will last.  Indeed, the court itself will always provide a time estimate for a trial or an appeal hearing.  For these reasons it will often be possible to give a clear fee indication for the case to cover both preparation and length of trial.  

An advance fee indication allows you to know in advance the likely overall cost.  However, the cost may increase in the following circumstances:  (1) Where a case exceeds the estimated length a daily rate will be payable for each additional day or part of a day requiring attendance. Cases can take more time than expected due to external factors, such as late attendance of witnesses, illness of jurors, judges having to deal with other work during the court day and legal arguments arising during the course of the hearing or trial; (2) similarly, if the case is listed at court for a mention hearing or any other hearing (other than one forming part of the trial), or the case is adjourned for sentence following a conviction, a daily fee is payable for each day or part of a day spent in attendance at any such hearing.

No Hidden Charges

The purpose of a clear and transparent fee structure is to avoid 'surprises' in the charges for the work carried out to advise or represent you. Everything is clearly explained from the outset and contained in your Client Care letter. You must feel free to ask any questions you have about the fees charged.  

Where can I find more information ABOUT FEES?

Please read our Direct Access to Barristers FAQs which will answer many of your questions, including about legal aid and you can also see a model Client Care Letter.

You can read this guide to How Do I Pay a Barrister? on the Bar Standards Board website.

The Legal Ombudsman has produced a helpful guide to costs called Ten Questions to Ask your Lawyer about Costs . 

Christopher Kessling | 86-90 Paul Street London EC2A 4NE | 0203 319 6420 | contact@defence-barrister.co.uk