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Report reveals wide variation in charging for divorce services

Most firms offer fixed fees for simpler, uncontested cases

The Legal Services Board has published a report – Prices of Individual Consumer Legal Services – which establishes the prices that consumers pay for 15 legal services including divorce.

The research shows that there is often significant variation in the price that consumers pay for the same service. The research also reveals a lack of price transparency, with fewer than one in five firms displaying prices on their websites. The report says that those firms which do display their prices tend to be cheaper. The research also suggests wide availability of fixed fees, even for some complex services.

The report found that the mean price for divorce work is:

For the divorce scenarios there was a mix in the charging approach adopted. The majority of firms would charge using a fixed fee for the simpler uncontested scenarios. However, as the scenarios became more complex, the likelihood of charging exclusively in this way decreased, and more firms said they would charge either an hourly rate or provide an estimate of the total cost. For example in the more complex divorce with disagreement over assets, there was an even split between those giving a total cost estimate, those charging a fixed fee and those quoting based on an hourly rate.

To read the report (the divorce section begins at page 19), click here.