Written by, Marija Petkova
Updated September, 21, 2022
How much is a solicitors letter?
Written correspondence is every solicitor’s stock-in-trade– writing and receiving letters and emails is what they do for the majority of their working day.
But, how much it will cost you depends on a number of factors, including the type of legal service and the solicitor’s experience.
Let’s dive in.
A solicitor’s letter, also known as a Letter Before Claim, is a note written by a solicitor that lets a debtor know that the creditor is planning to take them to court for unpaid debt.
This usually happens after the creditor has exhausted all of their standard debt recovery options. When a debtor missed a payment or two, creditors initially send them overdue notes or email reminders, and some contact them via phone.
If the debtor ignores the creditor’s attempts to pay back what they owe or get back on track with their repayment plan, creditors have little choice but to escalate the matter to the courts. Missed repayments can hurt your credit score.
Before they can start a legal dispute, creditors have to inform the debtor of their intentions. To do so, they hire a solicitor and pay solicitors fees for writing a letter for the debtor that contains the following information:
In most cases, sending this letter is enough to motivate the debtor to reach out to the creditor and prevent the matter from going further.
Litigation can be extremely expensive, so it is in the best interest of both parties to reach an agreement without the court’s involvement.
Most solicitors charge on an hourly basis. In other words, how much you’ll pay depends on the amount of time that the solicitor will spend writing your letter.
Solicitors generally divide their hours into 10 units of 6 minutes and charge based on how many units they spend on a case. If the letter is short and straightforward, it would take a solicitor one unit or a tenth of an hour to finish it, and that’s usually how much the solicitor letter will cost.
For example, if a solicitor charges £250 per hour plus VAT, and they spent one unit of time on the letter, you’ll pay £25 plus VAT (or £30 including 20% VAT).
However, solicitors charges per letter in the UK are rarely fixed (although there are solicitors that offer them).
Fees can be based on the type of legal service that they’re providing (e.g. conveyancing, wills and trusts, business law, or divorce), the experience of the solicitor, and where you are in the UK.
Conveyancing fees are generally higher than divorce fees, but the cost of solicitors letters will rise if the divorce is contested in court.
Another thing to keep in mind is that solicitors’ services may have some hidden fees.
Let’s say that your solicitor drafts a letter and forwards it to the debtor. If the debtor writes back or calls the solicitor, they will then respond to you in writing. Every email, phone call, and letter that the solicitor writes while dealing with your case is chargeable.
This means that they may end up writing additional paperwork and correspondences, which will add up to the cost. You’ll also need to cover any material costs.
Did you know: If you’re struggling to repay back what you owe due to multiple loans, you might want to consider getting a debt consolidation loan. Here’s our list of the top lenders that offer debt consolidation loans for people with bad credit.
A solicitor’s letter plays an essential part in the debt recovery process, especially considering that a solicitor’s letter alone is sufficient to provoke the desired response from the debtor. The cost of a solicitors letter largely depends on how long it will take the solicitor to write it up. However, their hourly rate often varies based on their experience and where they’re located.
Solicitors typically charge by the time it takes to write the letter. Some offer fixed rates, in which case they will charge based on the type of letter they’re writing.
Part of a solicitor’s job is to write and send letters on their client’s behalf.
A solicitor’s letter is not legally binding, and you are not required by law to respond. However, failing to respond will likely result in court proceedings.
The cost of a solicitor letter depends on the solicitor’s hourly rate and how long it takes to write it.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.