Bishop & Sewell

We recognise that dealing with a solicitor may seem like a complicated process

To help explain more about how we work, we’ve included a list of frequently asked questions below

About Bishop & Sewell

We are based in Central London, in Russell Square. Click here for directions. Whilst a face-to-face meeting is useful, we can also deal with your matter by telephone, email, Skype or FaceTime.

Stephen Bishop and Jill Sewell established the firm in 1979. Jill retired in 2007, but Stephen is still Managing Partner and the firm continues to act for a number of its original clients. In 2017 we merged with London firm Fisher Meredith, with most of their lawyers and clients transferring to Bishop & Sewell.

Yes of course, please contact us so we can explain how to go about this. It’s a much simpler process than you might think and we’ll take care of the formalities for you.

We will always try and accommodate any specific requests, but we can’t always guarantee the availability of a particular lawyer. However, we do promise you’ll only ever have a solicitor that is an expert in the field of law that you require working with you. Click here to meet our team.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 5.30 pm. However, we’re committed to returning calls within 24 hours or less, so please feel free to contact us outside of these hours.

Working with Bishop & Sewell

Charges vary between our solicitors, and will depend on the expertise and experience of the individual solicitor concerned, as well as how complicated the work is. We sometimes provide a short first interview free of charge; to assess the issue, so do ask us if this service is applicable to your case.

We will charge on a fixed fee(s) or hourly rate basis. If we quote an hourly rate, we will try our best to estimate the likely total bill, but this may change depending on a number of factors, like unforeseen complexities and how easy and quick the other party and their solicitor responds to our requests. You may want to agree a fixed spending limit. If the costs look likely to go over this limit we will contact you to warn you in advance, give you a new estimate and obtain your agreement to continue.

If we quote a fixed fee that should be the total amount you will be charged for your case. Very occasionally, there may be good reasons to extend this, for example, unknown facts at the time of the quote, or a substantial change in circumstances as the matter progresses. If that happens, we will contact you to warn you, give you a new estimate and obtain your agreement to continue.

See our Terms & Conditions for more detail.

In addition to legal fees for our time, there are various expenses that must be paid to others in order to prepare your legal matter. For example, payments must be made to obtain necessary reports or copies of necessary documents, to obtain licenses or permits from governmental authorities, and to file cases in courts of law.

At the start of your legal matter, we will try to estimate for you the amount of out-of-pocket expenses that may be incurred on your behalf. We will also keep you informed about these costs throughout the matter. See our Terms & Conditions for more detail.

Sometimes we may ask for payment, ‘on account’, to enable us to start your case or to pay third parties to progress the case, e.g. barristers or expert witnesses. If so, we are bound by our Client Interest Policy. Click here for more details.

Think carefully about the details of your case – the more preparation you do before the meeting, the more you’ll get out of it. Prepare a list of the main points you want to make or the questions you want to ask. Get together any paperwork that might be relevant and put it in some kind of order so you can refer to it quickly. This will make it quicker and easier for your solicitor to understand your circumstances and give you proper advice.

We understand the importance of communication and transparency between lawyer and client. Legal matters can have a way of stretching out over long periods of time. To you, it may often seem like time has gone by without activity, however, in fact, much behind-the-scenes work is being completed so that on the day, your matter is ready, and nothing will be overlooked. We will strive to keep you informed when anything important happens and to respond to your questions in a reasonable time. In addition, we will inform you when your presence is required, either in our office or in court.

Sometimes we are required to be out of the office, even for days at a time. When in the office, we meet with clients, complete research, review documents, or prepare documents. For the most efficient and quickest response, please contact one of our legal assistants, or secretaries, as they have a working knowledge of all aspects of your case. If they cannot answer your question, every attempt will be made get the answer for you, or arrange to have your lawyer contact you as quickly as possible.

In the first instance you should complain directly to the solicitor handling your matter. We have an internal procedure and the solicitor will aim to resolve the issue with you directly, and may well involve their Head of Department or another Partner in the firm.

If you aren’t satisfied with our response, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333, who can help to resolve your complaint for you.

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