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Divorce solicitor costs

(7 Posts)
Loftella Wed 25-Jan-17 13:25:31

I've been to see two solicitors for my free half-hour consultation with a view to separating from H and starting divorce proceedings but am wondering how much costs vary and whether what I'm being quoted by one is especially high or completely normal. Solicitor 1 is a trainee in a small firm. She didn't seem very experienced, the set-up wasn't very professional, and I decided not to go with that firm. Her hourly rate is £118+VAT. Solicitor 2 is a fully qualified solicitor with 25 years' experience, she came across very well, extremely professional, assertive, and knowledgeable. Her hourly rate is £250+VAT. Obviously you get what you pay for and I'm prepared to pay for someone who knows what they're doing. But is £250+VAT fairly normal or is it on the high side? I live in a small and pretty prosperous market town, not a big city.

MrsBertBibby Wed 25-Jan-17 14:17:38

£250 is a bit high, I'm £220, and that's inside the M25. But you do indeed get what you pay for. Central London would be twice that, easily.

Loftella Wed 25-Jan-17 15:00:47

Thanks MrsBB. We're a one-hour train commute from London, with quite high property prices, and I think that has an impact on everything else. I'm a bit torn. I really liked Solicitor 2 and think she grasped the situation very quickly, but I might look at a few solicitors in the next market town over. Though that may confuse me even more. Solicitor 1 said that I might be able to get a 70/30 or 60/40 split on the house (I paid for it all but we're named as joint owners on the deeds, bad decision on my part), but Solicitor 2 said H will probably be entitled 50% (I'm hoping to buy him out and stay in the house with DS (13) to minimise the disruption for DS). Ugh.

babybarrister Wed 25-Jan-17 16:47:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Loftella Thu 26-Jan-17 14:15:34

Thanks babybarrister. Definitely not planning to use my solicitor as a shoulder to cry on, far too expensive!

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 30-Jan-17 13:44:33

£250 sounds pretty average for a solicitor in a smallish town to me. In Cambridge it would be higher but not as high as city (London) rates.

Definitely never go with a trainee as your main lawyer. The solicitor will sometimes use the trainee to do some of the donkey work to keep costs down but always get advice from someone who has practical experience. For all you know the trainee may not have even studied family law (its an option rather than compulsory) and may be in their first week of training in that discipline.

Loftella Mon 30-Jan-17 13:52:05

Thanks Allthebestnames. I'm beginning to realise my idea of costs was a bit out of date and have seen £500 an hour mentioned for central London solicitors, so I'm going to go with the experienced and fully qualified solicitor I saw last week and feel grateful I'm not living somewhere even more expensive.

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