Charging for meetings with clients

Chargeable meetings

A meeting with a client is only chargeable where it is clear from the account that you have given or received, substantive advice which progresses the matter.

A narrative in the account which demonstrates some development since the last contact with the client that needs discussion or further instructions, should help to justify the meeting.  We will not pay for a meeting where it is apparent that a meeting was not at that stage appropriate or necessary to progress the case, but took place as a result of the client calling in at the office.

An adequate narrative is all the more important in supporting a claim for:

  • A lengthy meeting.
  • A course of meetings over a short time.

You need to distinguish the purpose of each meeting to justify this.

Factors we consider in deciding whether meeting-related charges are reasonable

Factors we are likely to take into account in deciding if the time you are charging for is reasonable include:

  • Nature of the meeting.
  • Client’s individual needs.
  • Novelty or complexity (if any) of the advice being tendered.
  • The client’s frame of mind or ability to understand the proceedings.
  • The need for an interpreter.

Where relevant, you should give us a detailed and focused narrative exactly why an attendance took longer than would be usually expected.

Some accounts contain a standard charge for similar and often lengthy attendances with a client with a standard supporting narrative. It is unlikely that you would spend the same time with a client at all stages of the advice.

In these circumstances, we will:

  • Query such entries.
  • Scrutinise the account more thoroughly, until we are satisfied that the duration of each meeting was reasonable in the circumstances of the particular case, which may delay payment.

Framing of meeting file notes – no separate fee available

No separate charge is allowed for framing a file note arising from a meeting or telephone call.  This is included within the time charge allowable for the meeting, telephone call or other work about which the note was taken.

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