How much do the services of DDS lawyers cost?
Doctors Defence Service lawyers will always give clear indications as to the likely fees payble for a particular stage of work or the whole case (where possible).
Our lawyers charge hourly rates or fixed fees according to the nature of the work to be undertaken. Fees are commensurate with the experience and seniority of a particular lawyer, and the complexity and length of the piece of legal work to be undertaken. Our lawyers are highly experienced in legal matters relating to doctors. We often take less time than other, less experienced lawyers, due to our expertise and experience.
A client care letter will always be sent to a client prior to any work being undertaken.
Initially, a Doctors Defence Service (DDS) lawyer will need to have a broad discussion with a doctor in order to be able to understand the case or legal issue that the doctor is seeking advice about, in order to assess the amount of likely legal work that will be needed. Initial ballpark figures are just that and a more accurate assessment of likely costs can usually be provided where the doctor sends relevant case papers to the DDS lawyer. DDS lawyers can provided during an initial discussion by telephone of up to 45 minutes a ballpark estimate of fees, where possible. For a more detailed assessment of the likely fees involved, the DDS lawyer will need to see the relevant case papers.
DDS lawyers can provide a verbal and/or written advice in most cases, following a short face-to-face conference and provide guidance on likely fees. Fixed fees are usually charged for conferences with specialist counsel and court and tribunal hearings.
On average, an initial consultation will cost around £700 plus VAT, but the range can be from £500 plus VAT to around £1,500 plus VAT, dependent on the volume of the paperwork and the number of issues within the case.
Hourly rates range from £180 to £400 plus VAT an hour, with an average of £250 plus VAT being applicable in most cases. Very junior doctors usually receive a discount on fees.
Fixed fees for hearings will be agreed, so as to provide predictable costs. Fees rise with the seniority and experience of lawyers. A one day hearing can cost from £1,500 plus VAT, with an average range of £1,800 plus VAT to £2,200 plus VAT usually applying. A one week (five days) case in court can cost in the region of £3,500 plus VAT to £9,000 plus VAT, on average.
Fees for other parties:
In some cases doctors will be liable for the legal costs of the party that they are litigating against. Some regulators apply costs, while others do not. The General Medical Council cannot apply for costs against a doctor unless the doctor has conducted their case in a manner that could be criticised. We can advise about this, in specific cases.
Some doctors may be entitled to legal aid if they are not working or they are on a low income but this usually applies to appeals. For more information on legal aidassistance for doctors see the relevant FAQ.
For a clearer understanding of the fees that may be charged for legal services provided by DDS lawyers, call us without obligation and in strict confidence on: 0800 10 88 739