Legal advice and/or representation is vital when your career, livelihood, business or reputation are at risk due to an investigation or prosecution by your regulator.
At Leigh Day, we understand that the costs involved can be also be a source of worry for you – which is why we keep the information about our costs and charges transparent.
The costs involved in defending any regulatory or disciplinary proceedings vary depending on the specifics of each case. We aim to work with you and others we work with on your behalf (such as barristers) at competitive rates and straightforward terms.
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Costs in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings
Regulatory and disciplinary proceedings are different from most types of legal cases, in that the person or business defending themselves almost always has to pay their own costs, even if they successfully defend themselves against the prosecution.
In certain professions, the prosecuting regulator can also seek its costs of bringing the case from the person or practice it has prosecuted, even if the prosecution has failed. Only in exceptional circumstances will those regulators be ordered to pay the costs of the professional or practice, for instance when it has been found that a regulatory body has acted unreasonably or improperly in bringing the case.
The rationale for this is that a professional regulator carries out its duties and brings prosecutions to uphold standards in the profession, to protect the public and in the wider public interest. Due to the importance of the regulator’s role, the argument goes that it shouldn’t be penalised by having to pay a regulated person’s costs when it carries out its duties of bringing prosecutions reasonably and properly, including when it brings a prosecution that fails.
This means that a prosecuting regulator can even, in some professions, recover at least some of the costs of bringing the case from the person or practice it has prosecuted – even when the prosecution fails.
Are these rules always applied?
There are rare occasions when the regulator may have to pay the costs of the professional or practice, usually when it is found by the decision-making tribunal that the regulatory body has acted unreasonably or improperly in bringing the case.
An exception to the rule is if you win an appeal after a full hearing of the allegations against you. In that case, you will usually be awarded the costs of the appeal proceedings, although you may still not be awarded your costs of defending the original proceedings because of the rules explained above.
How Leigh Day charges for our work
Our charges are generally based on the amount of time our lawyers and other professional staff spend working on your case.
We record all of this time and calculate the charges using an hourly rate based on the actual amount of time spent working on particular tasks related to your case.
For maximum transparency, we divide an hour into ten blocks of six minutes to record the time spent on your case. This breakdown is what you will see in our time records and on all the invoices we send you.
When carrying out advisory work and in other appropriate cases, we can do specific pieces of work for a fixed or capped fee – agreed with you in advance.
VAT is added to all our charges, unless you are resident outside of the European Union.
Expenses and fees
In certain cases, we’ll need to pay out expenses and fees on your behalf. This could be to instruct subject matter experts from outside our firm. They will charge fees for their time, whether it’s spent preparing a report, answering questions, attending a meeting or hearing. We will only use an expert for your case after advising you about the need to do so and the charges it may incur and agreeing those matters with you.
We may also have to instruct one or more barristers to work on your case – again, only once we have advised you about the need and likely charges involved. When you have instructed us to do so, barristers’ fees will be payable alongside our charges. They may charge by the hour, in a similar way to Leigh Day, or use a set fee that we agree in advance.
VAT is usually added to all expenses and fees, unless you are resident outside of the European Union.
Funding regulatory and disciplinary advice and proceedings
When you instruct us to work on your regulatory and disciplinary matter, we will work with you to understand your position and advise you on the most appropriate method of funding our work for you. Some of the most common forms of funding regulatory and disciplinary advice and proceedings include:
Directors and Officers or Management Liability Insurance
Individual and group insurance policies held by professional practices can include cover for regulatory and/or disciplinary investigations and/or prosecutions. Check any insurance policy in your name or taken out on behalf of your practice. It may include provision to pay legal advice or representation to cover such investigations and/or prosecutions.
Membership organisation or trade union funding
Funding for legal assistance may be included as a benefit of a trade union or professional membership organisation. If you are a member of either, contact your union or membership body to check if they provide funding.
Legal expenses insurance
Domestic insurance policies – such as contents, buildings and car insurance – sometimes include legal expenses insurance. Credit card contracts can also contain this, which may cover legal advice or representation costs for regulatory and disciplinary matters. Check if this applies in your case.
Private and crowdfunding
You can pay privately by covering our charges and fees directly as your case proceeds.
Crowdfunding is growing in popularity for funding legal cases. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to use crowdfunding to pay for advice or representation in regulatory and disciplinary matters. As a legal firm, there are laws and regulations we must comply with when receiving money from clients. Therefore, please inform us when you consider crowdfunding your case.
Why choose Leigh Day?
Successful defence of Leigh Day
We defended our firm and three of our colleagues against a SRA investigation, prosecution and High Court appeal between 2014 and 2018.
Ranked by the directories
Gideon Habel and Emma Walker recognised as specialists by Chambers and partners 2021
“They’ve already established themselves as major players.”