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Fees and Transparency

The below provides you with useful information and guidance on how your case may run and the associated fees...

Transparency (including Public Access)

Rowan Chambers aims to provide the highest standards of care for all lay and professional clients and to build long term relationships with all our clients.  

We aim to provide provide written work within 14 days of receipt unless otherwise agreed. However, there may be factors which might influence these timescales include availability of counsel, availability of court, client or relevant third parties requirement for additional information or documents or unavoidable delay from matters outside or Rowan Chambers' control. Sometimes the court takes time to list cases and process orders. This is dependent on the capacity of the local court. We will always target 14 days and will notify you of any likely delays and provide an explanation.

Legal Aid

We carry out legal aid work when instructed by solicitors to do so and Counsel is remunerated in accordance with the legal aid rates for the work conducted. Payment is made under either Graduated fees or High Cost case plans.

Barristers cannot do legal aid work on a public access basis. We advise all individuals seeking legal aid to contact a solicitor to discuss their requirements and then make an informed decision on whether to apply for legal aid or proceed with public access with the knowledge that they will not be entitled to legal aid through a direct access barrister.

Work not suitable for Public Access

In some circumstances there are cases which are not suitable for public access work and when this arises the parties will be advised to seek representation by solicitors who may then instruct counsel or may represent a party instead. Counsel may be able to assist you in finding someone suitable for your particular case.

Private and Public Access Cases

Our experienced clerks are aware of the importance of flexibility in their approach to fees and that each case and client can have different requirements. We provide verbal and written fee quotes in advance of any work being undertaken. Transparency is key to positive relations with clients – be they solicitors or lay clients under the direct access scheme.

Bridget McVay may be instructed on a fixed fee or hourly rate. Bridget McVay’s hourly rate is between £250 - £300 plus VAT per hour. The variation depends on the complexity of the case.

A fixed fee for a hearing may be agreed based on the hourly rate estimating the number of hours preparation, length of the hearing and allow for time taken to draft the order after the hearing. The notice of hearing should stipulate the length of the hearing. Additional fees may be charged at an hourly rate should further work be required. No additional fees will be charged without agreement (verbal or written) where a fixed fee has been agreed however if the case enters a further day this will be charged at the hourly rate. 

A new fee may be agreed for each piece of work. For each hearing a new fee is agreed.

The costs for a fixed fee hearing will vary depending on the time spent preparing a case (volume of papers and complexity), estimated length of hearing, approach taken by the opponent and amount of time taken reviewing or drafting the order.

General Pricing Guidance:

  • Lowest fee for a remote hearing would be £500 plus VAT for a straightforward 30-60 minutes hearing.

  • Lowest fee for an attended hearing with similar timescales to those in the above would be between £750 - £850 depending on the location of the hearing and its proximity to Chambers.

  • Lowest fee for an attended contested hearing listed for a day would be £1,500 plus VAT and can increase considerably if the paperwork is extensive such that a brief fee would then be nearer to £3,500 plus VAT.

The location of the hearing and its proximity to chambers is also a factor which would increase the fee depending on the amount and cost of the travel involved and whether overnight accommodation is required. This additional cost ranges from £100 - £500.

Financial Disputes Arising Out of Divorce

If you cannot agree how your assets should be divided, whether the matrimonial home should be sold, or how your pension or your husband’s pension should be divided and/or there is a dispute as to maintenance payments and your joint assets are worth less than £300,000 then Rowan Chambers are able to offer a service which can be divided into different stages to give you an idea of potential cost.

Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the value and complexity of your assets and whether you have children, how much you are able to agree directly with your former husband and their approach to settling the financial proceedings. If it goes to court the matter will usually take about 12 months (not including any appeals which could add at least a further 12 months)

General Pricing Guidance:

For each stage of case there is a range of fees:

  • Advice on your financial dispute (Meeting on zoom or in person) is usually 2 hours at around £500 plus VAT plus any preparation time depending on bundle size charged at normal hourly rate

  • Preparation and drafting court documents ranges between 4 – 12 hours at around £1000 - £3,000 plus VAT

  • First appointment hearing ranges between £750 - £1000 plus VAT

  • Financial dispute resolution (FDR) appointment ranges between £1500 - £3000 plus VAT (second court hearing where settlement may be reached)

  • First day of final hearing ranges between £2,000 –£5,000 (if no settlement reached at the FDR/last hearing) plus VAT

  • Court appearances for each subsequent day ranges between £1,500 – 2,000 plus VAT after the first day


These fees apply for joint assets worth less than £300,000. Please contact the clerks if your assets are worth more than this and they will be able to give you detailed estimates.

Immigration Appeals (First Tier Tribunals) or Judicial Reviews

If you wish to appeal against a decision of the Home Office, you have had a visa refused or have simply received no immigration decision yet. You can ask us to draft your grounds for an appeal, draft a letter to the Home Office, or grounds for Judicial Review . You will have to file or send the grounds or letter yourself but you will be assisted with the drafting under the direct access scheme.

It should be noted that Immigration Appeals can take a significant amount of time to complete due to the delays that are being experienced.  On average it could be expected to take up to a year depending on the complexity of your case and the availability of reviews.

General Pricing Guidance:

For each stage of case there is a range of fees:

    • Written advice on your appeal £250 – £1000 plus VAT

    • Preliminary hearing (in some cases) £750 - £1,500 plus VAT

    • Preparation of appeal including meetings with you and assistance with completion of forms £250 -£3,000 plus VAT

    • First day’s tribunal appearance £1500 - £2,000 plus VAT


Additional Fees for Issuing Applications in Court

Bridget McVay is not authorised to conduct litigation on your behalf which means that she cannot accept service of documents or issue proceedings on your behalf. You will be able to find examples of the extra fees that you may incur are available on the court web site for any family proceedings

Please contact us for more details 01823 240517

Money Laundering Regulations

Any new client who is not a solicitor must under the direct access scheme provide proof of identity (photo ID - passport or driving license) and a current utility bill with their name and address on it (council tax bill or a bank statement).

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