The Great Solicitor Hourly-Rate Scandal

When I was training as a solicitor in Devon, I was shocked to learn that had I been practising in a different area of the country I would have been earning considerably more. Why was this? Well because what solicitors charge is based on hourly rates set by the law society, and which vary depending on which part of England and Wales you are in. If you are a solicitor in a city for example your hourly rate is much more than if you are in an allegedly poorer part of the country. So, for example, a Grade A solicitor (which I am) sets an hourly rate is £255.00 plus VAT, but in any of the following places it would be £262.00:

Berkshire
Buckinghamshire
Dorset
Essex
Hampshire (and Isle of Wight)
Kent
Middlesex
Oxfordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Sussex
Wiltshire

In London, depending on which part of London, its anywhere between £282-512.00! So, for doing the same work, you are charged more simply because of the area of the country you are in. This is yet another example of unfairness I believe in our current legal system.

It goes without saying that at Riviera Mediation we do not adjust our rates wherever we conduct the mediation. There are no hidden charges, and we will always discuss fees in advance with you and confirm these in writing. Often my legal clients complain that they have been to a law firm, and not really know what they will be charged, and invoices come as a surprise, and often a shock. The whole reason I set up Riviera Mediation was to try and offer certainty to people at a stressful time. Nothing is more stressful than unknown costs.

Ben Tisdall