At Helix Law we have always fundamentally believed in being transparent with our clients in relation to our fees and charges. From December 2018 the SRA required firms of solicitors to implement transparency. For us this is nothing new. We have always been, and remain, happy to speak with you without any cost or obligation to see if we can assist you. Where we can help you we will be clear on how, and what it will cost.
You can find details of our services in relation to business disputes here, property disputes here, construction advice here, and employment/HR issues here. If you aren’t sure of any aspect don’t hesitate to call a member of the team on 0345 314 2044 .
Details of our costs and funding arrangements are available here. There are further details below however these are very much indicative of the sort of costs that might be incurred. These are not estimates or quotes. We are fundamentally happy to back our own advice and to only be paid if we are right. We know that sets us apart from our competitors. Before any costs are incurred whatsoever we need to speak with you to discuss your case first to see if we can help, second to explain how if we can, and third to discuss funding options with you.

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the individual who is working on your case to discuss any concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage.

If you would like to make a formal complaint, you can contact us in writing (by letter, fax or email) or by speaking with one of our directors, whose contact details are: [email protected] or Complaints Director, Helix Law Limited, 1 Frederick Terrace, Frederick Place, Brighton, BN1 1AX.

To help us understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:

• your full name and contact details

• what you think we have got wrong

• what you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint, and

• your file reference number (if you have it)

If you require any help in making your complaint we will try to help you.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  1. Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint


  1. No more than one year from the date of the act/omission being complained about; or
  2. No more than one year from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them:

Contact details:


Call 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm

Email [email protected]

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6167, Slough, SL1 0EH

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about any non-service aspect of the firm. This includes any practice or regulatory issues, which you believe should be considered by the professional regulator of solicitors.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority at

We offer debt collection services for businesses. Full details of our service are available here.

The following information is an illustrative guide only and is not a quote or an estimate. Individual costs will depend on individual cases and we need to speak with you to assess those details before there is any commitment, cost or obligation.

VAT is chargeable on our fees at the prevailing rate.

We typically charge 10% + VAT the amount of the debt – minimum debt £2,000 for a solicitors debt recovery letter. Where debts are over £10,000 we will consider offering a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee) or a Damages Based Agreement (%) to pursue these claims on your behalf. More details regarding costs is available here.

Court claims

The costs below are indicative where you have a claim in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and where enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee, Conditional Fee Agreement, Damages Based Agreement, or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Most commonly we work on a Conditional Fee Agreement basis or on the basis of a Damages Based Agreement (%).

Where we work in this way the funding agreement with you together with our client care letter and terms of business will set out the details of what we will be doing within our retainer.

You can find out more information about CFA’s here and DBA’s here.

In most cases we are able to assess whether a CFA or DBA is appropriate within an initial telephone conversation and brief initial informal review of key documents. There is usually no charge for this review. If however your dispute is more complex and we cannot readily identify your prospects of success quickly for any reason, we might propose charging a fee for considering whether we will offer either type of funding agreement. We might decline to offer any form of alternative funding where there is complexity of facts, law, or both, or where in our view there is risk that might mean we cannot be paid or will be delayed in being successful. In some instances we are not permitted to offer these funding agreements- for example where you might have insurance or qualify for legal aid. We will consider that with you. Otherwise Conditional Fee Agreements require a ‘win’ before we are entitled to be paid. In that context it is unlikely that we would offer a Conditional Fee Agreement or DBA to a Defendant in any litigation because a ‘win’ might mean securing an outcome or order that you are not liable to do or pay something.

If you would like us to review your case on a no cost or obligation basis please contact us on 0345 314 2044 or email [email protected].

Debt value Court fee Our fee (vat)

Up to £5,000 £35-£205 £500 (plus vat)

£5,001-£10,000 £205-£455 £1,000 (plus vat)

£10,001-£50,000 5% value of the claim £5,000 (plus VAT) or CFA or DBA

VAT on our fees is payable by you but cannot be reclaimed from the debtor. You are able to reclaim these sums from HMRC is you are VAT registered with HMRC. Court fees are subject to change and are recoverable from the debtor. Costs are generally recoverable in claims for over £10,000 at the discretion of the court. Costs are generally not recoverable for claims below £10,000.

Where we are instructed we will automatically seek to maximise your claim including calculating and including both Interest and compensation. These sums will increase the value of the debt and claim and consequently will increase the value of the recoverable court fee you will need to pay.

Generally our cost estimates do not include the cost of enforcement work and steps that might be required.

As a general example (and non-exhaustive list) our fees typically include:

– Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation

– Undertaking appropriate searches

– Sending a letter before action

– Receiving a payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim

– Where no Acknowledgement of Service or defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default

– When Judgment in default is received, write to the other side to request payment

– If payment is not received within 14 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

– Matters usually take 1-12 weeks from receipt of instruction from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Typically our employment and HR related work is for employers and is on the basis of our retained services where a fixed monthly fee is payable. You can find more information about our retainers here.

We typically, though not exclusively, work for the employer in relation to Employment and HR disputes.

The following information is an illustrative guide only and is not a quote or an estimate. Individual costs will depend on individual cases and we need to speak with you to assess those details before there is any commitment, cost or obligation.

The reality is that litigation should be a last resort. We are adept at positioning our client’s so that the cost and time of full litigation to trial can usually be avoided. Although we an indication below these are entirely subject to change depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case.

VAT is chargeable on our fees at the prevailing rate.

Every case is different and the cost that will be incurred will vary depending on the facts and law, and the amount of complexity and resistance encountered. We might send one letter and achieve a settlement, or might have to pursue a claim to tribunal after 12 months work. Each will incur significantly different costs. This makes it incredibly difficult to estimate costs and fees however by way of indication an estimate of our fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are set out below.

Simple case: £10,000-£20,000 (plus vat)

Medium complexity case: £20,000-£50,000 (plus vat)

High complexity case: £50,000-£100,000 (plus vat)

Factors that could make a case more complex:

– If there is a degree of urgency such as the need to issue or defend an injunction application

– If is necessary to make or defend application to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim

– Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person

– Making or defending a costs application

– Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)

– The number of witnesses and documents

– If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer

– Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of approximately £5,000 per day (plus VAT) that will depend on the seniority of the person handling your case. Generally, we would allow 2-5 days depending on the complexity of your case, the volume and number of documents and number of witnesses involved.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. Court fees, barrister fees, expert fees are all examples of disbursements. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. It is impossible to accurately estimate disbursements without a proper assessment of your particular case however by way of example counsel’s fees might be between £5k-£10k per day depending on the experience and seniority of the advocate for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

Key Stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

– Taking our initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revised throughout the matter and subject to change)

– Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached

– Preparing claim or response

– Reviewing and advising on claim or response from the other party

– Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process

– Preparing or considering a schedule of loss

– Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing

– Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents

– Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses

– Preparing bundle of documents

– Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements

– Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list

– Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

– The stages set out above are an indication and if some stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take approximately 2-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, a case might take 6-12 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale when instructed.

Helix Law Limited are registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) with HMRC. VAT is therefore added to our invoices at the prevailing rate as applicable from time to time. Currently the VAT rate is 20%. There can be circumstances where a client is not liable to pay VAT including, for example where you are not domiciled in England and Wales. We are not financial advisers and are unable to give advice regarding your liability to pay VAT. Financial advice should be obtained if you have any queries. We charge VAT and account to HMRC for that VAT in the proper way.


The nature of litigation makes it hard to give generalised timescales for all matters. Where we are instructed we will discuss specifics relating to your circumstances with you. The following are broad estimates. Further information regarding timescales and steps can be found within work type specific pages of this website- for example commercial dispute timescales are discussed further under the Commercial section and/or related FAQs whilst the Construction section of our website focusses on construction dispute timescales, costs and processes- for obvious reasons.


The above noted, disputes can settle at any time, including without the need for court action or a court order. Where we are instructed we will consider with you how best to resolve your specific dispute in our advice. Due to the wide range of circumstances and factors involved in disputes and their resolution, it is very difficult to provide absolute or comprehensive and/or accurate timescales within which we can be certain that your dispute will be resolved. We will therefore need to discuss timescales with you when we are instructed and have reviewed your matter specifically. What follows are general time periods to have in mind- no more.


With some disputes we are required to follow court guidelines, even where a claim has not been issued. These guidelines are known as pre-action protocols. Pre-action protocols are designed to assist, and to force, all parties in a dispute to narrow the areas and issues in dispute in the hope that disputes can be resolved without the need for the courts to get involved.


There is a general requirement that all parties will have attempted to settle or resolve a dispute before going to court and failing to do so can lead to costs sanctions. This means that if you are not seen to have acted reasonably and proportionately, the court can refuse to allow you to recover your legal costs or may even order you to pay your opponent’s legal costs even where you are successful.


The above steps take time to comply with. In complex disputes 3-4 months is not unusual. In more straightforward matters we might expect 7-14 days for initial investigation, review, advice and correspondence with your opponent, and we might then allow 7-14 days for a response.


The following will not apply in every case or dispute however in very general broad terms we would normally expect to spend in the region of approximately 1 week to 3 months corresponding with your opponent to narrow the issues, working with you to prepare and set out your case, putting you in the strongest possible position to either settle the dispute, or to present your case at trial.


Commercial Litigation and Business Debt Recovery

Where we are instructed to recover business and/or commercial debts the pre action stage referred to above will usually be shorter and urgent steps and work can often be required (see the injunction section, below). Unless the circumstances are unusual, or a substantive issue is raised, we would normally expect this to amount to one letter setting out the legal basis of the claim (often called a letter of claim or letter before action) and thereafter we would usually proceed with issuing a claim or by taking the most appropriate alternative next step such as bankruptcy or winding up proceedings.


Broadly if the debt has a high value or has greater complexity factually, legally or procedurally, or if a claim is defended, it may take significantly longer for the issue to be resolved at trial.


Sending a detailed letter of claim can be important to illustrate your reasonableness before the court. That approach should, in turn, position you well to recover your legal costs in due course.


Complex Disputes and Significant Litigation

For disputes only concluded at trial and/or that have a higher value, a timescale of 18 months or longer from issuing the claim would not be unusual, depending on how busy the court is, and how much resistance is encountered from your opponent. Again, we will always seek to keep you advised regarding estimated timescales throughout the course of your instruction.


Urgent Litigation and Injunctions

The timescale referred above do not take into account whether you are entitled or need an immediate temporary solution to prevent something from happening or to force something to be done, for example to protect your business or property.


In such circumstances you may be entitled to an injunction which is a fast and immediate order from the court that might be made to ensure that no further harm or damage is done before a trial can take place. If you have any queries regarding timescales and/or injunctions, then please raise these with us immediately.


We have previously obtained a without notice (most urgent) injunction on the same day as being instructed. Whilst this is possible, more commonly we will apply with notice, meaning 3 cleared days. Drafting an application and evidence in support will usually take approximately 3 working days.


Where claims are issued in court if your opponent does not respond at all to the claim, or does not respond fully or properly, it is possible that the above timescales may be significantly reduced. For example, we might be able to obtain a Default Judgment against an opponent in a money claim after only 14 days from the date of the claim being served. If this is possible and/or applicable, we will automatically let you know.



Usually you will need to allow some initial time for a review and advice before embarking on commencing your own adjudication. In a straightforward matter than might be possible fairly quickly- within 7 days. In other more complex situations or disputes we might need to spend time working with you before commencing the adjudication process. That will vary and is situation and case specific. Following commencement an adjudication will usually be completed within 28 days.


Where you are responding to an adjudication there is, by nature of the process, urgency. Usually the adjudicator will set out timescales and there is need to act very promptly to review the position and to advise you, and to take steps to protect and improve your position.


Following a successful adjudicators decision being obtained in your favour it can be necessary to seek to claim to enforce that decision in the high court. If this is required you should allow approximately 2 weeks for drafting the claim, application and evidence in support (occasionally less, sometimes more) and then another 2-4 months for the court to list the application assuming an application to abridge time and summary judgment are appropriate and are proactively listed by the court. If there is a jurisdiction challenge then the litigation might continue for a further 12-18 months depending on the amount of resistance and how busy the court is. We will advise you on this further when instructed.


Residential Possession

We will usually review and advise you within 24-48 hours receipt of documents from you. Residential possession claims are almost exclusively handled in the county court nearest the property. Certain steps can only be taken when the earlier step has been completed. For example we cannot apply for a bailiff warrant until after the possession order has expired. We will usually apply for the next step immediately, next working day, after the preceeding step. How busy a court is can/will drastically impact the speed with which your claim proceeds through the court process. There are significant differences between county courts across the country. Notice periods also vary from between 14 days and 2 months, not to expire before the end of the fixed term. As a broad brush general estimate you should allow 6-12 months to obtain a possession order from expiry of your notice seeking possession, and should allow another 3 months to actually obtain possession if a bailiffs warrant is required

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