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Refund Policy

If you require a refund, or have made a mistake with your payment, please call us as soon as possible on 0333 344 6302 or email us at If there are any monies left over at the conclusion of your case, these will be refunded to you following deduction of any final bill. Any other refunds will be made at our discretion.

Paying for your Legal Fees

Legal fees make divorce and separation, and all that flow from it, perhaps one of the most expensive times of your lives. On top of a very stressful experience, you need to know what your likely spend might be, so that you can budget for it.

At Blanchards Law, we try to make legal costs as easy as possible to understand, with full transparency from the very first letter that is sent out to you. At every important stage of your case, we will review that costs advice to see if it needs updating. Also, you can request an account at any time.

Below is an explanation of the options which may be available to you.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or email us at

Payment options

Legal Aid

Due to cuts by various governments, legal aid is no longer as widely available as it used to be.  There are large areas of law which simply do not qualify for legal aid at all and sadly, family law has all but come under that banner.  If your family law dispute does still qualify for legal aid there are two tests that the Legal Aid Agency generally apply before granting it.  The first is the means test.  Unfortunately you need only have a very modest income, savings or assets before you are excluded by the means test.  Generally legal aid is now reserved for only the poorest in society and then, even if your financial means allow you to apply for legal aid, there will still be an assessment of the benefits which your case may bring.  In broad terms, you will have to demonstrate that there is some significant benefit in pursuing your matter. If your case is likely to fail then the Legal Aid Agency will rarely grant legal aid.

Even if legal aid is available, only solicitors who hold the necessary contract with the Legal Aid Agency can work under it.  Many solicitors have stopped offering legal aid services and there are some places where there are few, if any, legal aid solicitors.  It can be quite a challenge to find a solicitor who will undertake legal aid work, even if you qualify for it.  In general the rates that the Legal Aid Agency pays means that the solicitor’s firm will generally allocate under-qualified staff in order to make legal aid affordable for them.

There are a few types of legal aid, for example, child care proceedings, where the means and merits test do not apply and people can automatically get legal aid.  However, that does not apply to most legal disputes.  We do not offer legal aid at Blanchards Law.  If you feel that you may qualify for legal aid, for example because you may be on Universal Credit or other benefits, please advise us immediately and we will try to refer you to other solicitors who may undertake legal aid work.

Private Payment

If you do not qualify for legal aid and there are no other means for paying for your matter, then it is likely that you will have to pay for it yourself.  At Blanchards Law we are very sensitive to our clients’ worries about legal fees.  We understand that these costs are being incurred at a very stressful and traumatic time in our clients’ lives, when there may be other calls on limited funds.  To that end, we do not make any charge for your first appointment with us.  At that meeting, we will provide you with an estimate of your overall costs, based on your particular situation.  We understand that it is important that you know how your legal fees are calculated and how much the process is likely to cost you.  We will always provide our clients with a costs estimate that includes VAT and expenses, to include barristers fees, court costs etc.  Our fees are charged on an hourly rate and the rate you pay will depend on the seniority of the lawyer who is dealing with your case.  This can make a significant difference to your overall fees at the end of the day.  Your case will always be supervised by a senior solicitor, but we will always ensure that, where it is possible, your work will be done at a more junior level to save you costs.  Although our terms of business state that we will charge for each letter and email, unlikely most firms, this does not always happen.  We are alone at Blanchards Law in taking a much more holistic view of charging, and instead of charging each and every email that we receive or send to you, we will often look at how long it took us to work on your matter.  This results in the process being less expensive for you.

We conduct regular checks on our costs and compare them to other solicitor’s fees at every stage of the Court process.  We consistently come in at 50% lower than solicitors acting for our clients’ partners.  This means that we offer excellent value for money, without compromising our principle of delivering a quality service but with integrity.  As well as providing our clients with a costs estimate from the outset, we will also provide ongoing fees advice in that you are billed each and every month.  This is so you know where you stand on a regular basis.  You are entitled to ask us to render you a bill at any time and not just at the beginning of the month when we normally send our invoices out.

We can offer you the following payment plans:

  • Pay As You Go service: You can pay a sum upfront and use our services up to the amount that you have paid.  It is then your choice as to whether you continue with the firm.  Using the Pay As You Go payment scheme allows you to dip in and out of the service as you feel you need it.
  • Standing Order: You can set up a standing order to pay a certain amount each and every month to ensure that you are managing your spend.  If there are items of expenditure arising in the future; such as barrister’s fees, we will let you know what these are likely to be so that you can budget more effectively, to ensure that you are up to date by the time those costs are imminent.
  • Alternative funding: Many people borrow money to fund their legal fees, whether it be from a normal bank or family.  However there are now some legal specific funders who have entered into the market and will provide legal clients with a loan to fund their legal fees.  That loan is repayable at the end of the case, when a family home is sold etc. These are often complex arrangements and we can assist you in your application for funding in these circumstances.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or email us at

Steps that you can take to limit your expenditure

Be smarter about your communication with us

We often advise clients that instead of sending several emails over the day, they should “save up” everything they need to say and send it to us in one email, once a week or more emails if that is necessary.  This ensures, again, that costs are lower.  In addition, we will often ask our clients to complete Court forms or otherwise undertake reviews of financial documents, to save your needing to pay the fees of us having to do so on your behalf.

Don’t get angry!

You are sometimes extremely annoyed with your separated partner, and often you will want this to be conveyed in letters and emails to the other solicitors.  We are alive to the fact that such communications simply serve to increase your fees unnecessarily.  We will always advise you to take a more measured approach, and not rise to provocation in these situations.

Acceptance of our advice

Our job is to assess the viability of an offer made to you, or offers that we make on your behalf.  As experts in our field, we will conduct a costs benefit analysis as to whether it would be appropriate for you to put forward or accept an offer, or pursue matters further.  We will always counsel you to accept or put forward reasonable proposals as that will save you costs in the long run.

You can trust us always to have your best interests at heart, and not simply to ‘run up the clock’ to maximise the firm’s billings.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Stories & case studies to help you

Please read our blogs on our work and practice. Like you, many client have come to us because the blogs are informative and designed to help you understand what you can do to resolve your situation.

Contact us on 0333 344 6302 for a no-obligation call