We are now in our eighth year practising as Corfield Solicitors.
We started with Jonathan’s clients from his previous firm, who valued lower fees, a phone line straight through to their solicitor, flexible hours, the amount of time Jonathan could give them and the parking right outside the door! We were then amazed how quickly we were acting for local clients in an array of matters and by recommendation and advertising in the local magazine, the business mushroomed. Our son Charles joined the practice after graduating from Bristol University and qualified as a solicitor in 2011. Our other son Stuart has started his training contract with the firm and will become fully qualified in early 2018.
We have always remained true to the ethos that we want to make a living not a fortune. When we started out in 2009, the hourly fee was set at £150 plus VAT. It was raised to £175 plus VAT five years later and is has now been raised to £195 plus VAT, for both Jonathan and Charles. Some of our fixed fees have also recently been raised.
The solicitor’s fee is the only money coming into the practice to fund everything from insurance to practising certificates, salaries to postage, computer systems to secure storage. Many people perceive it to go straight to the solicitor and into his pocket, but of course this is not the case; we are a business that has nothing to sell other than solicitors’ time and that fee is the sole income to keep the practice running smoothly and compliant.
For reasons of transparency we set out the amount we charge on the ‘Fees’ page of this website. This is a very unusual step for a solicitor’s practice to take, most prefer direct contact by phone or meeting before they will divulge their charges. Most will charge at different rates for different levels of qualification, expertise or the area of law. We don’t do this, hence the one hourly fee of £195 plus VAT for both solicitors. Additionally, we don’t charge extra for home visits, evening appointments and phone calls, nor do we charge a percentage of the value of an estate when carrying out probate work; all probate is charged at the hourly rate only.
We are often asked if, in view of our relatively low hourly fee, Jonathan and Charles are actually solicitors, the answer of course if yes and fully qualified and insured! However, we are able to charge at a level we feel is honest and fair because as a family working together, we all have a vested interest in keeping our clients happy; Corfield Solicitors is our livelihood and we live in the community we serve!
Our clients value the fact that they are paying for a fully qualified solicitor, not a legal executive, paralegal or nebulously termed ‘lawyer’. Just as when they want specialist medical advice they like to see a fully qualified doctor, our clients see Jonathan or Charles, safe in the knowledge that a fully qualified solicitor is handling their matter at all times. Additionally if they ring up, the chances are that either Jonathan or Charles will pick up the phone and can discuss the matter with them straight away.
We work on recommendation and repeat business and often receive letters and cards like the one I’ve just opened this morning. It relates to work Jonathan has been carrying out in relation to the administration of a probate and it reads:-
“I would like to thank you so much for dealing with [her husband’s] Will. You were so kind in explaining everything in detail so that I was able to understand, and visiting me in my own home, I did appreciate it”.
Letters like this are what job satisfaction is all about!
Thank you for your continued interest and support.