One way of managing the costs of your litigation claim is to select the right billing model for solicitors’ fees. In simple terms, there are two options available: Hourly Billing and Fixed Fee. More information on these options follows, but there are alternative ways to get litigation funding that you might want to explore.

Solicitors have a duty to discuss all funding options with you and you may have a case for professional negligence if you have not been properly advised by your solicitor.


To help you decide the right option for you, get in touch with an expert member of our team today.

Choosing the right billing model

Determining the litigation funding model that is right for you or your business depends on the details of your case, as well as your own financial position and attitude to risk. As a start, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long will my case take to resolve? – Fees based on hourly rates can spiral out of control if a case drags out over a long period of time. Fixed fee legal services mean what you pay is agreed in advance, but you may risk paying far more than you initially intended.
  • How certain am I that I’ll win? – Because the loser typically pays both parties’ legal fees, the more uncertain a case is, the more risk you’ll be liable to pay legal fees for both sides if you lose.
  • How much am I likely to receive in damages? – If it’s a lot and you’ve chosen a contingency fee deal you may be frustrated to give away a large percentage of your damages.

Types of solicitors’ fees plans available

Hourly Billing

Pros: If you win your case you keep 100% of the damages and in theory you should incur no legal fees, although typically the winner only recovers in the region of 70% of their legal fees. If a case settles quickly legal fees will be relatively low.

Cons: The solicitor is paid for their work on the case regardless of the outcome – they are not taking any risk at all, and have no financial incentive to find a quick resolution for you. You are taking the risk for your own legal fees and also for your opponent’s, with no certainty over what either of those bills could end up looking like at the end of the case.

Fixed Fee Legal Services

Fixed fees are pre-agreed for each element of the case, irrespective of the eventual actual cost. It may be possible to agree a fixed fee for an entire dispute, but this is extremely rare. In such an instance a Discounted Conditional Fee Agreement (D.CFA) should be considered to maximise the recovery of legal fees from the losing party.

Pros: No matter how long the case lasts you only pay the agreed amount for your own legal services. If successful you should retain all the damages, although if you’re unsuccessful you’re still liable for your opponent’s costs.

Cons: If the case is over quickly, you still have to pay the agreed amount, which is one of the reasons that fixed fees for phases is more common than for a whole case.

Given the pros and cons outlined, it is often a case that an alternative to these two litigation funding options is preferable.

Get in touch with an expert member of our team or find more information on other law firm pricing and legal funding options here.