How much will it cost to hire a good criminal defence lawyer?

Naturally, if you are facing a criminal allegation you will want to be represented by the best criminal lawyer; the problem is that unless you have been unfortunate enough to have been in a similar position previously, or you know someone who has, it is difficult to get accurate information as to the likely cost of paying for your defence privately rather than relying on a state-appointed duty solicitor or public defender, or a lawyer who is remunerated under the legal aid scheme.

Jim charges £350 per hour, plus VAT. You can see how this compares to the guideline figures used by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service when carrying out a summary assessment of court costs.

Note that, even if you win your case, in the crown court you are not able to recover any of your legal costs unless you applied for legal aid and were refused on the means test. Even in those circumstances, the costs you can recover are capped at what your lawyer would have been paid under the legal aid scheme. The position is slightly different in the magistrates’ court or in relation to appeals from the magistrates’ court, where you can recover your legal costs regardless of whether you applied for legal aid or not, but these are capped at legal aid rates (so the amount you recover will in practice be much less than the amount you have spent).

The table below provides a very rough guide of the likely cost of hiring Jim to represent you in a contested case that has reached the court proceedings stage. If you would like Jim to attend a police station or interview under caution, then he will normally agree a fixed fee of £1,800 inclusive of VAT per attendance.


Graduated table of estimated legal costs, including the advocate's fee and VAT, but excluding all other disbursements
Pages of Material Days in Court
1 day 2 days 3 days 4 days 5 days 6 days 7 days 8 days 9 days 10 days 11 days 12 days 13 days 14 days 15 days 16 days 17 days 18 days 19 days 20 days
1-50 £8,880-£13,620 £15,360-£24,300 £21,840-£34,980 £28,320-£45,660 £34,800-£56,340 £41,280-£67,020 £47,760-£77,700 £54,240-£88,380 £60,720-£99,060 £67,200-£109,740 £73,680-£120,420 £80,160-£131,100 £86,640-£141,780 £93,120-£152,460 £99,600-£163,140 £106,080-£173,820 £112,560-£184,500 £119,040-£195,180 £125,520-£205,860 £132,000-£216,540
51-100 £11,420-£17,220 £17,900-£27,900 £24,380-£38,580 £30,860-£49,260 £37,340-£59,940 £43,820-£70,620 £50,300-£81,300 £56,780-£91,980 £63,260-£102,660 £69,740-£113,340 £76,220-£124,020 £82,700-£134,700 £89,180-£145,380 £95,660-£156,060 £102,140-£166,740 £108,620-£177,420 £115,100-£188,100 £121,580-£198,780 £128,060-£209,460 £134,540-£220,140
101-150 £13,980-£20,820 £20,460-£31,500 £26,940-£42,180 £33,420-£52,860 £39,900-£63,540 £46,380-£74,220 £52,860-£84,900 £59,340-£95,580 £65,820-£106,260 £72,300-£116,940 £78,780-£127,620 £85,260-£138,300 £91,740-£148,980 £98,220-£159,660 £104,700-£170,340 £111,180-£181,020 £117,660-£191,700 £124,140-£202,380 £130,620-£213,060 £137,100-£223,740
151-200 £16,520-£24,420 £23,000-£35,100 £29,480-£45,780 £35,960-£56,460 £42,440-£67,140 £48,920-£77,820 £55,400-£88,500 £61,880-£99,180 £68,360-£109,860 £74,840-£120,540 £81,320-£131,220 £87,800-£141,900 £94,280-£152,580 £100,760-£163,260 £107,240-£173,940 £113,720-£184,620 £120,200-£195,300 £126,680-£205,980 £133,160-£216,660 £139,640-£227,340
201-250 £19,080-£28,020 £25,560-£38,700 £32,040-£49,380 £38,520-£60,060 £45,000-£70,740 £51,480-£81,420 £57,960-£92,100 £64,440-£102,780 £70,920-£113,460 £77,400-£124,140 £83,880-£134,820 £90,360-£145,500 £96,840-£156,180 £103,320-£166,860 £109,800-£177,540 £116,280-£188,220 £122,760-£198,900 £129,240-£209,580 £135,720-£220,260 £142,200-£230,940
251-300 £21,620-£31,620 £28,100-£42,300 £34,580-£52,980 £41,060-£63,660 £47,540-£74,340 £54,020-£85,020 £60,500-£95,700 £66,980-£106,380 £73,460-£117,060 £79,940-£127,740 £86,420-£138,420 £92,900-£149,100 £99,380-£159,780 £105,860-£170,460 £112,340-£181,140 £118,820-£191,820 £125,300-£202,500 £131,780-£213,180 £138,260-£223,860 £144,740-£234,540
301-350 £24,180-£35,220 £30,660-£45,900 £37,140-£56,580 £43,620-£67,260 £50,100-£77,940 £56,580-£88,620 £63,060-£99,300 £69,540-£109,980 £76,020-£120,660 £82,500-£131,340 £88,980-£142,020 £95,460-£152,700 £101,940-£163,380 £108,420-£174,060 £114,900-£184,740 £121,380-£195,420 £127,860-£206,100 £134,340-£216,780 £140,820-£227,460 £147,300-£238,140
351-400 £26,720-£38,820 £33,200-£49,500 £39,680-£60,180 £46,160-£70,860 £52,640-£81,540 £59,120-£92,220 £65,600-£102,900 £72,080-£113,580 £78,560-£124,260 £85,040-£134,940 £91,520-£145,620 £98,000-£156,300 £104,480-£166,980 £110,960-£177,660 £117,440-£188,340 £123,920-£199,020 £130,400-£209,700 £136,880-£220,380 £143,360-£231,060 £149,840-£241,740
401-450 £29,280-£42,420 £35,760-£53,100 £42,240-£63,780 £48,720-£74,460 £55,200-£85,140 £61,680-£95,820 £68,160-£106,500 £74,640-£117,180 £81,120-£127,860 £87,600-£138,540 £94,080-£149,220 £100,560-£159,900 £107,040-£170,580 £113,520-£181,260 £120,000-£191,940 £126,480-£202,620 £132,960-£213,300 £139,440-£223,980 £145,920-£234,660 £152,400-£245,340
451-500 £31,820-£46,020 £38,300-£56,700 £44,780-£67,380 £51,260-£78,060 £57,740-£88,740 £64,220-£99,420 £70,700-£110,100 £77,180-£120,780 £83,660-£131,460 £90,140-£142,140 £96,620-£152,820 £103,100-£163,500 £109,580-£174,180 £116,060-£184,860 £122,540-£195,540 £129,020-£206,220 £135,500-£216,900 £141,980-£227,580 £148,460-£238,260 £154,940-£248,940
501-1,000 £45,860-£65,820 £52,340-£76,500 £58,820-£87,180 £65,300-£97,860 £71,780-£108,540 £73,580-£114,540 £75,380-£120,540 £77,180-£126,540 £78,980-£132,540 £80,780-£138,540 £82,580-£144,540 £84,380-£150,540 £86,180-£156,540 £87,980-£162,540 £89,780-£168,540 £91,580-£174,540 £93,380-£180,540 £95,180-£186,540 £96,980-£192,540 £98,780-£198,540
1,001-1,500 £71,360-£101,820 £77,840-£112,500 £84,320-£123,180 £90,800-£133,860 £97,280-£144,540 £99,080-£150,540 £100,880-£156,540 £102,680-£162,540 £104,480-£168,540 £106,280-£174,540 £108,080-£180,540 £109,880-£186,540 £111,680-£192,540 £113,480-£198,540 £115,280-£204,540 £117,080-£210,540 £118,880-£216,540 £120,680-£222,540 £122,480-£228,540 £124,280-£234,540
1,501-2,000 £96,860-£137,820 £103,340-£148,500 £109,820-£159,180 £116,300-£169,860 £122,780-£180,540 £124,580-£186,540 £126,380-£192,540 £128,180-£198,540 £129,980-£204,540 £131,780-£210,540 £133,580-£216,540 £135,380-£222,540 £137,180-£228,540 £138,980-£234,540 £140,780-£240,540 £142,580-£246,540 £144,380-£252,540 £146,180-£258,540 £147,980-£264,540 £149,780-£270,540
2,001-2,500 £122,360-£173,820 £128,840-£184,500 £135,320-£195,180 £141,800-£205,860 £148,280-£216,540 £150,080-£222,540 £151,880-£228,540 £153,680-£234,540 £155,480-£240,540 £157,280-£246,540 £159,080-£252,540 £160,880-£258,540 £162,680-£264,540 £164,480-£270,540 £166,280-£276,540 £168,080-£282,540 £169,880-£288,540 £171,680-£294,540 £173,480-£300,540 £175,280-£306,540
2,501-3,000 £147,860-£209,820 £154,340-£220,500 £160,820-£231,180 £167,300-£241,860 £173,780-£252,540 £175,580-£258,540 £177,380-£264,540 £179,180-£270,540 £180,980-£276,540 £182,780-£282,540 £184,580-£288,540 £186,380-£294,540 £188,180-£300,540 £189,980-£306,540 £191,780-£312,540 £193,580-£318,540 £195,380-£324,540 £197,180-£330,540 £198,980-£336,540 £200,780-£342,540
3,001-3,500 £173,360-£245,820 £179,840-£256,500 £186,320-£267,180 £192,800-£277,860 £199,280-£288,540 £201,080-£294,540 £202,880-£300,540 £204,680-£306,540 £206,480-£312,540 £208,280-£318,540 £210,080-£324,540 £211,880-£330,540 £213,680-£336,540 £215,480-£342,540 £217,280-£348,540 £219,080-£354,540 £220,880-£360,540 £222,680-£366,540 £224,480-£372,540 £226,280-£378,540
3,501-4,000 £198,860-£281,820 £205,340-£292,500 £211,820-£303,180 £218,300-£313,860 £224,780-£324,540 £226,580-£330,540 £228,380-£336,540 £230,180-£342,540 £231,980-£348,540 £233,780-£354,540 £235,580-£360,540 £237,380-£366,540 £239,180-£372,540 £240,980-£378,540 £242,780-£384,540 £244,580-£390,540 £246,380-£396,540 £248,180-£402,540 £249,980-£408,540 £251,780-£414,540
4,001-4,500 £224,360-£317,820 £230,840-£328,500 £237,320-£339,180 £243,800-£349,860 £250,280-£360,540 £252,080-£366,540 £253,880-£372,540 £255,680-£378,540 £257,480-£384,540 £259,280-£390,540 £261,080-£396,540 £262,880-£402,540 £264,680-£408,540 £266,480-£414,540 £268,280-£420,540 £270,080-£426,540 £271,880-£432,540 £273,680-£438,540 £275,480-£444,540 £277,280-£450,540
4,501-5,000 £249,860-£353,820 £256,340-£364,500 £262,820-£375,180 £269,300-£385,860 £275,780-£396,540 £277,580-£402,540 £279,380-£408,540 £281,180-£414,540 £282,980-£420,540 £284,780-£426,540 £286,580-£432,540 £288,380-£438,540 £290,180-£444,540 £291,980-£450,540 £293,780-£456,540 £295,580-£462,540 £297,380-£468,540 £299,180-£474,540 £300,980-£480,540 £302,780-£486,540

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