Information on costs—new clients 2011 [Archived]
Information on costs—new clients 2011 [Archived]

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

  • Information on costs—new clients 2011 [Archived]
  • Costs information requirements
  • Payments to and from third parties
  • Timing of costs information
  • How to provide costs information
  • Price and service transparency
  • Cost of initial consultations
  • Managing affordability
  • Method of funding
  • Complaints and costs

You must treat clients fairly and ensure you achieve this outcome in all your dealings regarding costs. This practice note explains the regulatory requirements that you must comply with in relation to providing costs information to your client, particularly when taking on new clients. It also summarises requirements that apply under the SRA's Transparency Rules.

This Practice Note reflects requirements under the 2011 SRA Handbook. Practice Note: Information on costs—law firms—2019 reflects the SRA Codes of Conduct 2019. 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. However, 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 requirements

You must treat clients fairly and ensure you achieve this outcome in all your dealings regarding costs.

Amount of costs

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

You must provide the best possible information about the likely overall cost of the client's matter at the outset and when appropriate as their matter progresses.

You should:

  1. clearly explain your