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 £500 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. As a very rough guide, to calculate the number of days divide the total number of witnesses by 3 and round up to the nearest whole number.

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 £13,440 - £18,180 £23,040 - £31,980 £32,640 - £45,780 £42,240 - £59,580 £51,840 - £73,380 £46,860 - £72,600 £54,120 - £84,060 £61,380 - £95,520 £68,640 - £106,980 £75,900 - £118,440 £83,160 - £129,900 £90,420 - £141,360 £97,680 - £152,820 £104,940 - £164,280 £112,200 - £175,740 £119,460 - £187,200 £126,720 - £198,660 £133,980 - £210,120 £141,240 - £221,580 £148,500 - £233,040
51 - 100 £17,380 - £23,180 £26,980 - £36,980 £36,580 - £50,780 £46,180 - £64,580 £55,780 - £78,380 £49,740 - £76,540 £57,000 - £88,000 £64,260 - £99,460 £71,520 - £110,920 £78,780 - £122,380 £86,040 - £133,840 £93,300 - £145,300 £100,560 - £156,760 £107,820 - £168,220 £115,080 - £179,680 £122,340 - £191,140 £129,600 - £202,600 £136,860 - £214,060 £144,120 - £225,520 £151,380 - £236,980
101 - 150 £21,340 - £28,180 £30,940 - £41,980 £40,540 - £55,780 £50,140 - £69,580 £59,740 - £83,380 £52,660 - £80,500 £59,920 - £91,960 £67,180 - £103,420 £74,440 - £114,880 £81,700 - £126,340 £88,960 - £137,800 £96,220 - £149,260 £103,480 - £160,720 £110,740 - £172,180 £118,000 - £183,640 £125,260 - £195,100 £132,520 - £206,560 £139,780 - £218,020 £147,040 - £229,480 £154,300 - £240,940
151 - 200 £25,280 - £33,180 £34,880 - £46,980 £44,480 - £60,780 £54,080 - £74,580 £63,680 - £88,380 £55,540 - £84,440 £62,800 - £95,900 £70,060 - £107,360 £77,320 - £118,820 £84,580 - £130,280 £91,840 - £141,740 £99,100 - £153,200 £106,360 - £164,660 £113,620 - £176,120 £120,880 - £187,580 £128,140 - £199,040 £135,400 - £210,500 £142,660 - £221,960 £149,920 - £233,420 £157,180 - £244,880
201 - 250 £29,240 - £38,180 £38,840 - £51,980 £48,440 - £65,780 £58,040 - £79,580 £67,640 - £93,380 £58,460 - £88,400 £65,720 - £99,860 £72,980 - £111,320 £80,240 - £122,780 £87,500 - £134,240 £94,760 - £145,700 £102,020 - £157,160 £109,280 - £168,620 £116,540 - £180,080 £123,800 - £191,540 £131,060 - £203,000 £138,320 - £214,460 £145,580 - £225,920 £152,840 - £237,380 £160,100 - £248,840
251 - 300 £33,180 - £43,180 £42,780 - £56,980 £52,380 - £70,780 £61,980 - £84,580 £71,580 - £98,380 £61,340 - £92,340 £68,600 - £103,800 £75,860 - £115,260 £83,120 - £126,720 £90,380 - £138,180 £97,640 - £149,640 £104,900 - £161,100 £112,160 - £172,560 £119,420 - £184,020 £126,680 - £195,480 £133,940 - £206,940 £141,200 - £218,400 £148,460 - £229,860 £155,720 - £241,320 £162,980 - £252,780
301 - 350 £37,140 - £48,180 £46,740 - £61,980 £56,340 - £75,780 £65,940 - £89,580 £75,540 - £103,380 £64,260 - £96,300 £71,520 - £107,760 £78,780 - £119,220 £86,040 - £130,680 £93,300 - £142,140 £100,560 - £153,600 £107,820 - £165,060 £115,080 - £176,520 £122,340 - £187,980 £129,600 - £199,440 £136,860 - £210,900 £144,120 - £222,360 £151,380 - £233,820 £158,640 - £245,280 £165,900 - £256,740
351 - 400 £41,080 - £53,180 £50,680 - £66,980 £60,280 - £80,780 £69,880 - £94,580 £79,480 - £108,380 £67,140 - £100,240 £74,400 - £111,700 £81,660 - £123,160 £88,920 - £134,620 £96,180 - £146,080 £103,440 - £157,540 £110,700 - £169,000 £117,960 - £180,460 £125,220 - £191,920 £132,480 - £203,380 £139,740 - £214,840 £147,000 - £226,300 £154,260 - £237,760 £161,520 - £249,220 £168,780 - £260,680
401 - 450 £45,040 - £58,180 £54,640 - £71,980 £64,240 - £85,780 £73,840 - £99,580 £83,440 - £113,380 £70,060 - £104,200 £77,320 - £115,660 £84,580 - £127,120 £91,840 - £138,580 £99,100 - £150,040 £106,360 - £161,500 £113,620 - £172,960 £120,880 - £184,420 £128,140 - £195,880 £135,400 - £207,340 £142,660 - £218,800 £149,920 - £230,260 £157,180 - £241,720 £164,440 - £253,180 £171,700 - £264,640
451 - 500 £48,980 - £63,180 £58,580 - £76,980 £68,180 - £90,780 £77,780 - £104,580 £87,380 - £118,380 £72,940 - £108,140 £80,200 - £119,600 £87,460 - £131,060 £94,720 - £142,520 £101,980 - £153,980 £109,240 - £165,440 £116,500 - £176,900 £123,760 - £188,360 £131,020 - £199,820 £138,280 - £211,280 £145,540 - £222,740 £152,800 - £234,200 £160,060 - £245,660 £167,320 - £257,120 £174,580 - £268,580
501-1,000 £52,600 - £72,560 £59,860 - £84,020 £67,120 - £95,480 £74,380 - £106,940 £81,640 - £118,400 £83,440 - £124,400 £85,240 - £130,400 £87,040 - £136,400 £88,840 - £142,400 £90,640 - £148,400 £92,440 - £154,400 £94,240 - £160,400 £96,040 - £166,400 £97,840 - £172,400 £99,640 - £178,400 £101,440 - £184,400 £103,240 - £190,400 £105,040 - £196,400 £106,840 - £202,400 £108,640 - £208,400
1,001-1,500 £81,600 - £112,060 £88,860 - £123,520 £96,120 - £134,980 £103,380 - £146,440 £110,640 - £157,900 £112,440 - £163,900 £114,240 - £169,900 £116,040 - £175,900 £117,840 - £181,900 £119,640 - £187,900 £121,440 - £193,900 £123,240 - £199,900 £125,040 - £205,900 £126,840 - £211,900 £128,640 - £217,900 £130,440 - £223,900 £132,240 - £229,900 £134,040 - £235,900 £135,840 - £241,900 £137,640 - £247,900
1,501-2,000 £110,600 - £151,560 £117,860 - £163,020 £125,120 - £174,480 £132,380 - £185,940 £139,640 - £197,400 £141,440 - £203,400 £143,240 - £209,400 £145,040 - £215,400 £146,840 - £221,400 £148,640 - £227,400 £150,440 - £233,400 £152,240 - £239,400 £154,040 - £245,400 £155,840 - £251,400 £157,640 - £257,400 £159,440 - £263,400 £161,240 - £269,400 £163,040 - £275,400 £164,840 - £281,400 £166,640 - £287,400
2,001-2,500 £139,600 - £191,060 £146,860 - £202,520 £154,120 - £213,980 £161,380 - £225,440 £168,640 - £236,900 £170,440 - £242,900 £172,240 - £248,900 £174,040 - £254,900 £175,840 - £260,900 £177,640 - £266,900 £179,440 - £272,900 £181,240 - £278,900 £183,040 - £284,900 £184,840 - £290,900 £186,640 - £296,900 £188,440 - £302,900 £190,240 - £308,900 £192,040 - £314,900 £193,840 - £320,900 £195,640 - £326,900
2,501-3,000 £168,600 - £230,560 £175,860 - £242,020 £183,120 - £253,480 £190,380 - £264,940 £197,640 - £276,400 £199,440 - £282,400 £201,240 - £288,400 £203,040 - £294,400 £204,840 - £300,400 £206,640 - £306,400 £208,440 - £312,400 £210,240 - £318,400 £212,040 - £324,400 £213,840 - £330,400 £215,640 - £336,400 £217,440 - £342,400 £219,240 - £348,400 £221,040 - £354,400 £222,840 - £360,400 £224,640 - £366,400
3,001-3,500 £197,600 - £270,060 £204,860 - £281,520 £212,120 - £292,980 £219,380 - £304,440 £226,640 - £315,900 £228,440 - £321,900 £230,240 - £327,900 £232,040 - £333,900 £233,840 - £339,900 £235,640 - £345,900 £237,440 - £351,900 £239,240 - £357,900 £241,040 - £363,900 £242,840 - £369,900 £244,640 - £375,900 £246,440 - £381,900 £248,240 - £387,900 £250,040 - £393,900 £251,840 - £399,900 £253,640 - £405,900
3,501-4,000 £226,600 - £309,560 £233,860 - £321,020 £241,120 - £332,480 £248,380 - £343,940 £255,640 - £355,400 £257,440 - £361,400 £259,240 - £367,400 £261,040 - £373,400 £262,840 - £379,400 £264,640 - £385,400 £266,440 - £391,400 £268,240 - £397,400 £270,040 - £403,400 £271,840 - £409,400 £273,640 - £415,400 £275,440 - £421,400 £277,240 - £427,400 £279,040 - £433,400 £280,840 - £439,400 £282,640 - £445,400
4,001-4,500 £255,600 - £349,060 £262,860 - £360,520 £270,120 - £371,980 £277,380 - £383,440 £284,640 - £394,900 £286,440 - £400,900 £288,240 - £406,900 £290,040 - £412,900 £291,840 - £418,900 £293,640 - £424,900 £295,440 - £430,900 £297,240 - £436,900 £299,040 - £442,900 £300,840 - £448,900 £302,640 - £454,900 £304,440 - £460,900 £306,240 - £466,900 £308,040 - £472,900 £309,840 - £478,900 £311,640 - £484,900
4,501-5,000 £284,600 - £388,560 £291,860 - £400,020 £299,120 - £411,480 £306,380 - £422,940 £313,640 - £434,400 £315,440 - £440,400 £317,240 - £446,400 £319,040 - £452,400 £320,840 - £458,400 £322,640 - £464,400 £324,440 - £470,400 £326,240 - £476,400 £328,040 - £482,400 £329,840 - £488,400 £331,640 - £494,400 £333,440 - £500,400 £335,240 - £506,400 £337,040 - £512,400 £338,840 - £518,400 £340,640 - £524,400

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