Scratchy head time - forty two times cheaper? Really?!
We are of course exaggerating a little so we can use a photo of Marvin. Whilst forty two is of course answer to life the universe and everything (but you knew that right?), if it's not forty two times cheaper what's the real number?
It's only forty.
That sounds off the scale bonkers right?! It can’t be correct can it? But it is.
This was a direct quote and comment raised by a barrister at the Bar Council’s annual conference. This was a long trial, lasting six months and whilst costs savings of course increase the more you use a service, the level of the cost saving is hugely significant and highlights how expert barristers can save individuals and companies a fortune: one fortieth of the cost of using solicitors too.
Let’s just imagine what that would mean if we applied it to the rest of your life. Quite apart from the fact that you could do a year's weekly shop for less than a fortnight's spend, a pint of milk would cost a little over 1 pence and a loaf of bread would cost you just 2.5 pence. There would be no problem with house affordability either with the average UK house price costing just £5,000 which is so far before 1960 we can't find a graph to cover which year that might relate to. Surely this was just a one off? No. There was another example given at the conference too.
According to another barrister, who commented that he did [all] of the work, “clients are sick to the back teeth with solicitors’ charges”. In his case they had paid the barrister just £12,000 and the solicitor a staggering £85,000. A quick bit of maths shows the barrister’s fees were just 12% of the total, or an 88% saving if those fees were paid on their own (read the full article here).
We know of another case, where a barrister's costs in a High Court hearing were one tenth of that of the other side who were using solicitors and it's not like we don't have our own examples:
If you really don't think that any of that is actually the answer to life the universe and everything, well, you are probably right - it's not forty two after all. But isn't it time to revisit how you procure legal services?