Information on costs—law firms—2019
Information on costs—law firms—2019

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Information on costs—law firms—2019
  • Comparison to 2011 Code of Conduct
  • Costs information—general requirements
  • Amount of costs
  • Payment terms
  • Cost-benefit risk analysis
  • Limitations or conditions
  • Estimates, fixed fees and price caps
  • Exceeding an estimate
  • Price cap
  • More...

Information on costs—law firms—2019

Failure to provide adequate costs estimates is one of the most common causes of client complaints and disciplinary action by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

This Practice Note explains the regulatory requirements that you must comply with in relation to providing costs information to your client. It reflects the SRA Codes of Conduct 2019 and requirements that apply under the SRA Transparency Rules.

Where relevant, this Practice Note also incorporates:

  1. guidance issued by the Law Society, which predates the 2019 Codes of Conduct, but is likely to be of continued relevance

  2. expectations of the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), as articulated in An ombudsman’s view of good costs service, and

  3. Lexcel requirements—which are compulsory for firms that have or wish to achieve Lexcel accreditation, but generally reflect good practice for other firms

Comparison to 2011 Code of Conduct

The requirements in the 2019 Codes represent the bare bones of those in the 2011 Code, as shown in Practice Note: Information on costs—SRA 2011 regime and SRA 2019 regime compared—Information on costs at the outset. However, that the pared-down requirements in the 2019 Codes do not signify a relaxation of the SRA’s expectations. Generally, the omitted items in the Codes can be mapped across to one or more obligation in the SRA Principles 2019.

Costs information—general requirements

Amount of costs

You must ensure clients receive the best possible information about:

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