Court Department – Price Guide

Our Dispute Resolution Team at Munro & Noble handle a range of matters.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Family Law cases to include Divorce, Separation and Cohabitation matters, and the drafting of Pre-nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements.
  • Civil disputes between parties such as boundary disputes.
  • Contractual disputes relating to the purchase of goods or services.
  • Commercial disputes between businesses or in relation to a business or its assets.
  • Child residence and contact matters where arrangements require to be made with the assistance of one of our Solicitors, or when the matter requires to be placed before the Court.
  • Adoption, Kinship Care or Guardianship Orders. 

Please note that whilst Munro and Noble have been approved by the Scottish Legal Aid Board to undertake  work under the Legal Advice & Assistance / Legal Aid Schemes,  our team are not currently able to take any work on  this basis.  Any work instructed to be undertaken therefore requires to be fee’d on a Time In Line (hourly rate) basis. 

The amount charged on each individual case will be based upon the hourly rate of the Fee Earner who undertakes work on any given file at any given time.  Please note that we do not offer any kind of “No Win/No Fee” agreements for work undertaken by our Court Department.

Outlays are costs which arise during the course of your matter which are payable to third parties.  These third party outlays can include, but are not strictly limited to:

  • Routine fees payable to the Court when paperwork and/or documents require to be lodged
  • Fees payable to a Barrister/Advocate for an ‘expert’ Opinion as to your case and/or prospects of success (Ranging from £500 plus VAT to in excess of £1000 plus VAT depending upon the individual circumstances of your case)
  • Fees payable to Registers of Scotland for the registration of a Minute of Agreement or Deed
  • Fees for an expert report such as a Social Work Report, Child Welfare Report or Child Psychologist’s Report

Please note that our Court Department are an extremely approachable and friendly team.  They are happy to discuss your requirements in respect of any case that you are potentially looking at pursuing or defending. 

Please note that our Court Department will provide you with independent, realistic and tailored advice to reflect your personal circumstances.  Often if you are contacting a Court Department it is because you are going through a difficult time and experiencing a dispute in some way or another.  We aim to make the process of resolving the dispute straightforward, transparent and streamlined for you.  We do this in order to try as to alleviate the weight of the burden that you are undertaking, and so as to ensure that your case is handled in a way which completely conforms to, and manages, your expectations.

Please do note that we are obliged to undertake regular Risk Assessments in respect of matters.  This could mean that from time to time that we require to give you realistic and transparent guidance as to your prospects of success and the levels of risk involved in any action that you are either contemplating or defending.  This could include us giving you a revised estimate as to the likely legal fees you could expect to incur going forward.

FAMILY LAW MATTERS INCLUDING CHILD CONTACT (EXCLUDING DIVORCE)

We can confirm that the fees attributed to Family Law matters cannot often be prescriptive.  This is because the fee that will be generated will depend wholly upon the amount of work that requires to be undertaken on your behalf. 

Any work instructed to be undertaken therefore requires to be fee’d on a Time In Line (hourly rate) basis. 

The amount charged on each individual case will be based upon the hourly rate of the Fee Earner who undertakes work on any given file at any given time.  Please note that we do not offer any kind of No Win No Fee Agreements for work undertaken by our Court Department.

Outlays are costs which arise during the course of your matter which are payable to third parties.  These third party outlays can include, but are not strictly limited to:

All our Court Department matters are regularly and routinely fee’d at least once per calendar month.  From time to time, and depending upon the amount of work undertaken and the amount of Work in Progress recorded on your file, you may find that you are issued with more than one fee note in any given calendar month.  All and any fee notes issued to you require to be paid timeously within 21 days of the Fee Note being issued.  This is as detailed within our Terms of Business.   

If court proceedings are raised against you in a Court matter or if you require to raise proceedings against a third party, the fees that you will require to pay will increase significantly.  This is because the Court will issue a timetable detailing deadlines (known as a G5) for the filing and lodging of documents, and for dates upon which hearings before the Court or by telephone will require to take place.  

We will require to prepare fully for any scheduled Court hearings, and this will be met with an appropriate fee depending upon the amount of time that requires to be spent in preparing your case. 

It is fundamentally important that you provide us with your instructions and with your responses to our emails timeously.  Whilst we will endeavour to assist you in so far as is possible, we may not always have the capacity to ‘drop everything’ to action your case/request immediately, especially if you have delayed to respond to us as and when requested.  

Please do note that we are obliged to undertake regular Risk Assessments in respect of matters.  This could mean that from time to time that we require to give you realistic and transparent guidance as to your prospects of success and the levels of risk involved in any action that you are either contemplating or defending.  This could include us giving you a revised estimate as to the likely legal fees you could expect to incur going forward.

DIVORCE

We offer a fixed-fee service in respect of cases which require a standalone Divorce. 

Please note that the fee quote given will depend upon whether the Simplified Divorce Procedure can be utilised, or whether a Court Action for Divorce requires to be raised – i.e. if there are children of the marriage under the age of 16.

Simplified Procedure Divorce

Our Fees                                            £200.00 plus VAT, posts and incidental expenses

Outlays for court fees                                  £128.00 (approx.)

For lodging your divorce application

Ordinary Cause Court Action – Divorce (Ordinary Procedure – uncontested)

Our Fees                                            £850.00 plus VAT, posts and incidental expenses

Outlays                                               £210.00 (approx.)      + Minute for Decree fee                          

 For lodging/raising a court action

CIVIL, CONTRACTUAL OR COMMERCIAL DISPUTES 

We can confirm that the fees attributed to Civil, Contractual or Commercial disputes cannot often be prescriptive.  This is because the fee that will be generated will depend wholly upon the amount of work that requires to be undertaken on your behalf. 

Any work instructed to be undertaken therefore requires to be fee’d on a Time In Line (hourly rate) basis. 

The amount charged on each individual case will be based upon the hourly rate of the Fee Earner who undertakes work on any given file at any given time.  Please note that we do not offer any kind of No Win No Fee Agreements for work undertaken by our Court Department.

Outlays are costs which arise during the course of your matter which are payable to third parties.  These third party outlays can include, but are not strictly limited to:

  • Routine fees payable to the Court when paperwork and/or documents require to be lodged
  • Fees payable to a Barrister/Advocate for an ‘expert’ Opinion as to your case and/or prospects of success (Ranging from £500 plus VAT to in excess of £1000 plus VAT depending upon the individual circumstances of your case)
  • Fees payable to Registers of Scotland for the registration of a Minute of Agreement or Deed
  • Fees for an expert report such as that of a Surveyor or Valuer

All our Court Department matters are regularly and routinely fee’d at least once per calendar month.  From time to time, and depending upon the amount of work undertaken and the amount of Work in Progress recorded on your file, you may find that you are issued with more than one fee note in any given calendar month.  All and any fee notes issued to you require to be paid timeously within 21 days of the Fee Note being issued.  This is as detailed within our Terms of Business.   

If court proceedings are raised against you in a Court matter or if you require to raise proceedings against a third party, the fees that you will require to pay will increase significantly.  This is because the Court will issue a timetable detailing deadlines (known as a G5) for the filing and lodging of documents, and for dates upon which hearings before the Court or by telephone will require to take place. 

We will require to prepare fully for any scheduled Court hearings, and this will be met with an appropriate fee depending upon the amount of time that requires to be spent in preparing your case. 

It is fundamentally important that you provide us with your instructions and with your responses to our emails timeously.  Whilst we will endeavour to assist you in so far as is possible, we may not always have the capacity to ‘drop everything’ to action your case/request immediately, especially if you have delayed to respond to us as and when requested.  

Please do note that we are obliged to undertake regular Risk Assessments in respect of matters.  This could mean that from time to time that we require to give you realistic and transparent guidance as to your prospects of success and the levels of risk involved in any action that you are either contemplating or defending.  This could include us giving you a revised estimate as to the likely legal fees you could expect to incur going forward.

GUARDIANSHIP/ADOPTION/KINSHIP CARE ORDER

Please note that any work undertaken in applying for an Order in respect of any of the above matters is undertaken on a Time In Line (hourly rate) basis. 

Ordinarily, we would estimate that the fees for undertaking work to obtain the Orders detailed above would cost in the region of TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS (£2,500) to THREE THOUSAND POUNDS (£3,000) STERLING.

Please note that there may from time to time be third party outlays/disbursements payable in respect of these matters.  This could include, but are not limited to:

  • the payment to a Consultant Psychiatrist for a Capacity Assessment to be undertaken
  • an outlay to the Court for the lodging of Court paperwork.

We can confirm that we handle the payment of disbursements/outlays to third parties on your behalf.  This ensures that the process and procedure that we undertake on your behalf is streamlined for you.

HOW WE CHARGE FOR OUR WORK

Our Fee Earners hourly rates are based upon what the Law Society of Scotland suggests that clients should be paying for the service provided by a Solicitor given their level of qualification and the stage that they have achieved post qualification.

Unless otherwise specified, or unless we have agreed a fixed fee for our work in writing with you, we fee all work undertaken in the Court Department on a ‘time in line’ (hourly rate) basis.  Please find a breakdown below of the hourly rates of all Fee Earners within the Court Department below:

Mary Nimmo             Managing Partner                                        £275.00 per hour

Laura McCarthy       Partner                                                            £242.00 per hour

James Noone           Associate Solicitor                                        £215.00 per hour

Stephen Grant          Trainee Solicitor                                             £152.00 per hour

Jacqueline Brown     Accredited Debt Recovery Paralegal      £149.00 per hour

Dinah McDonald      Court Department Paralegal                      £186.00 per hour

Please do note that all of the hourly rates narrated above attract VAT at the standard rate of 20%.

We charge our time based on six-minute units.  This means that each hour is broken down into ten six-minute units.  Each six minutes spent on a letter or telephone attendance will therefore be charged at one tenth of the Fee Earner’s hourly rate.

A charge of 5% will also be added to each 6-minute unit fee’d.  This is charged for posts and incidental expenses as outlined in our Terms of Business Letter.  

In terms of how this affects your fees please note that a six-minute telephone call with Laura McCarthy will cost £24.20 plus 5% for posts and incidental expenses of £1.21 (plus VAT).  If Laura McCarthy were required to undertake an hour of work on your file you would be charged £242.00 plus 5% for posts and incidental expenses of £12.10 (plus VAT). 

Please do note that all of the figures provided for above do attract VAT at the standard rate of 20%.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I WIN MY CASE AT COURT?

If you win your case at Court (i.e. the Sheriff makes an Order in your favour) the Sheriff Court can often make an order for you to be awarded Judicial Expenses.  This means that the other party to the court proceedings who is deemed to have lost their case could be ordered by the Sheriff to pay your Judicial Expenses. 

Please do note that Judicial Expenses are not the sum of the actual legal expenses that you have outlaid to us during the course of the transaction.  Often the sum awarded by way of Judicial Expenses can be between 40% to 60% of the sum of actual legal expenses that you have paid throughout a transaction.

If an Advocate with specific expertise within a particular subject area has been instructed to assist in your case, please note that the Advocate’s fees will not automatically be recoverable from the losing party at Court.

Please note that if an award of Judicial Expenses is made in your favour by the Sheriff Court then often the Court will require that an account of Judicial Expenses is submitted to the Court for what is known as “taxation”.  During the taxation process the solicitor acting for you and the solicitor acting for the other party will have the opportunity to discuss the account presented, in an attempt to persuade the Sheriff to uphold or reduce the sum that is being sought by the successful party.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I LOSE MY CASE AT COURT?

If you are unsuccessful following your Court hearing and Decree was granted against you by the Sheriff Court, you could be potentially liable for the winning party’s Judicial Expenses. 

Please note that often in Family Law cases the Sheriff will not make an award of Judicial Expenses in any party’s favour unless the information and details presented to the Court have been extreme.  In Family Law cases the Sheriff will require to be persuaded that an Order of Expenses should be granted. 

Please note that a Sheriff will often only grant an award of expenses in a party’s favour if either:-

  • A party has simply sought to abandon their claim at court; or
  • A party has systemically failed to present and argue their case fully before a Sheriff – wasting Court time and/or procedure to the detriment of the third party.

Please note that the decision that will be made by the Sheriff as to whether an award of Judicial Expenses is made is made on a case by case basis and is entirely at the discretion of the Sheriff.   We can never guarantee that a request for an award of expenses will be successful.

DISBURSEMENTS/OUTLAYS

Please note that from time to time outlays will be payable to the Court or to third parties such as Sheriff Officers during the course of handling your case.  We will require you to make payment to account for those sums sometimes in advance of the fee note being received from the third party, to ensure that we are holding suitable sums on account with which to be able to settle the fees as they fall due.  Sometimes if we instruct an Advocate to provide an Opinion in respect of your case we will ask you to make a payment to account of the Advocate’s fee prior to the instructions being issued to the Advocate.

PERSONAL INJURY CASES

Munro & Noble will be pleased to provide legal advice in relation to any personal injury claim you feel you can make. We would offer you an initial free consultation (of no more than 30 minutes) to discuss your case, take details of the nature of the injuries you sustained and the basic nature of your claim.

However, please note that Munro & Noble is part of the Compensate Network which means that we are able to take your full and detailed instructions as to the nature of any personal injury claim that you may have.  We remain involved in your case throughout the claim process. However the majority of legal work undertaken in seeking to achieve a settlement for you is undertaken by Panel Solicitors under the Compensate Scheme within the local area. We enjoy a close working relationship with Compensate scheme solicitors and it would be our intention to refer your claim to them to enable them to determine its merits and likely prospects of success. They will explain the procedures to you, how your claim is funded and how legal fees and costs are settlement in the event of a successful claim.

The Compensate Scheme means that you would not be liable to pay Munro & Noble any legal costs or outlays directly. Munro & Noble would only receive a payment (via  the Compensate Scheme) should your claim be successful. The sum that we would receive would be a proportion of the legal costs recovered by the Panel Solicitor.  It is our understanding that this would be independent of any compensation figure you receive.

COLLABORATIVE LAW / MEDIATION

Here at Munro & Noble the general wellbeing of our clients is at the forefront of our minds when dealing with stressful situations particularly relating to separation and divorce. 

Collaborative law is a form of dispute resolution whereby all negotiations take place in “four way settlement meetings” at which both parties and their respective Solicitors attend.  This cuts out the difficulties and costs associated with prolonged conventional negotiations or negotiations done by way of Solicitors letters. 

Mary Nimmo is a collaboratively trained and accredited specialist Collaborative Lawyer.  Mary is also a qualified Mediator.  Mary is an advocate of the collaborative law process and has seen first-hand how well this can work for our clients.  When a relationship or marriage breakdown and parties separate, it is far better for all of those involved, including children and extended family and friends, that arrangements relating to your separation are made in a respectful and contained environment.  The collaborative law process seeks to do this by way of discussion, always with what is in the best interests of all involved at the forefront of parties’ minds. 

Whilst this process can involve difficult and upsetting discussions, often confessions are made by both parties, which can lead to an agreement being reached which is representative of the best way forward.  Whilst the relationship between the separating couple may have ended, the wider relationship with family and friends should not stop.  This avoids the inevitable acrimony and costs involved in going to Court where terms of settlement will be imposed upon both by a Sheriff of Judge. 

Sometimes the collaborative process re-enforces the need to avoid litigation and instead afford separating couples the opportunity to choose the right way to formalise their separation.

Mary charges out her time for Mediation and/or Collaborative law matters on a hourly rate/time in line basis.  Mary’s hourly rate is £275.00 per hour plus vat and incidental expenses.  

TIMESCALES

In respect of Court matters it is extremely difficult for us to be prescriptive as to the time that it will take from your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter.  We cannot be prescriptive, as each and every case is different.  This does however largely depend upon the stage at which your case is resolved.  If in a matrimonial case a resolution can be reached in correspondence with your husband/wife or with their solicitor, then your fees are likely to be considerably lower than if a Court Action had to be raised and a determination to be made by a Sheriff. 

WHAT LEGAL FEES CAN I EXPECT TO PAY IF I HAVE TO RAISE OR DEFEND A COURT ACTION ?

We often advise our clients that if Court proceedings were to be raised or defended in a family or civil matter that as a rule of thumb you should expect your legal expenses to be in the region of at least FIFTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS (£15,000) to TWENTY THOUSAND POUNDS (£20,000) STERLING. If your matter is complex you could easily expect your costs to approach or exceed THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS (£30,000) STERLING.

Please note that we do not offer a ‘No Win No Fee’ service. 

COURT DEPARTMENT – HOW WE CALCULATE OUR BASIC CHARGES

Our Fee Earners hourly rates are based upon what the Law Society of Scotland suggests that clients should be paying for the service provided by a Solicitor given their level of qualification and the stage that they have achieved post qualification.

Please note that our basic charges for each matter are calculated for each hour that we are engaged on your matter.  All and any routine letters are telephone calls that we undertake are charged as units of one tenth of an hour.  Any other letters and telephone calls that we undertake are charged on a ‘time in line’ (hourly rate) basis.

For the avoidance of doubt, please note that the hourly rates of the Court Department Team are as follows:-

Mary Nimmo             Managing Partner                                        £275.00 per hour

Laura McCarthy       Partner                                                            £242.00 per hour

James Noone           Associate Solicitor                                        £215.00 per hour

Stephen Grant          Trainee Solicitor                                             £152.00 per hour

Jacqueline Brown     Accredited Debt Recovery Paralegal      £149.00 per hour

Dinah McDonald      Court Department Paralegal                      £186.00 per hour

Please note that the hourly rates of our Fee Earners are reviewed annually.  This is in order to ensure that any increases in overhead costs or inflation are taken board.  We are provided with very distinct and specific advice and guidance from the Law Society of Scotland as to the fees that we charge for our matters.  It is therefore important that you note that the hourly rates of our Fee Earners are likely to change each January, and your overall fees are likely to increase as a result of same.  Again, these increases are undertaken wholly in line with guidance issued by the Law Society of Scotland. 

PAYMENT TO ACCOUNT

We routinely ask for a payment to account to be made in respect of all new client matters prior to any work being undertaken.  The payment to account requested can range from £300 to more than £1500.  This depends upon the individual circumstances of your case.  If a Court action requires to be raised within 7 days of you instructing us please note that the payment to account requested is likely to be substantial in order to reflect the fact that urgent and immediate attention is required in order for the work to be completed and prioritised above other client matters.