NGP Fees

Motoring Offences – Timescales and Fees

Who will deal with my road traffic case?

Our legal fees are fixed with no hidden extras.

 

During your free consultation we will assess your case and all relevant issues and then advise on the best course of action open to you. We will explain in plain, no-nonsense language, what options are available to you and how best to deal with your case from start to conclusion.


Following the initial consultation, should you decide to instruct us we will provide you with a quotation for our specialist legal services, tailored to your unique situation. 

This quotation will be fixed, with no hidden extras. You will therefore know in advance the fees for your expert representation.


NGP's mission is to provide the best possible value for providing quality legal assistance. We have an excellent record in achieving best-possible outcomes for our clients, but don't just take our word for it, read some of their testimonials here. We also strive to provide clear, jargon-free explanations of our services and the legal processes relevant to your case. If there is anything you are unsure of while you are considering your options then feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you with those queries.

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Motoring Offences – Timescales and Fees


At Nelson Guest & Partners, we only work on a fixed fee basis. We believe this provides you with peace of mind in having certainty over what you are paying for and avoiding the possibility of any hidden or surprise costs. 


In each road traffic matter, we will set out the work included (which will be tailored, as appropriate, to your individual case) in an engagement letter to you, if you decide to instruct us. However, this guidance aims to provide you with transparency regarding expected costs and work included.


A typical motoring offence case would include the following events and timescales:


1)    We aim to meet with you in person prior to your ‘first appearance’ court hearing, to discuss the available evidence and your instructions, at least one week before the hearing (although we accept instructions at shorter notice if necessary).

2)    We will prepare for and attend the ‘first appearance’ hearing to represent you:

(a)    If you plead guilty, we will mitigate on your behalf to achieve the best sentence possible. We aim to dispose of the case on the day, however this is sometimes not possible, for instance, if the Judge requires a pre-sentence report or there is a lack of court time.


(b)    If you plead not guilty, we will put the court and prosecution on notice of the relevant defence issues, complete a ‘Preparation for Effective Trial’ form and a trial date will be set. This is typically 2 – 3 months after the first appearance hearing, which is largely dependent on court availability.

3)    If the matter is proceeding to trial, the court itself will set deadlines for the prosecution to serve evidence and for the defence to serve any defence case statement, skeleton arguments or other relevant applications. We will meet with you again as soon as possible after this hearing to discuss the necessary preparation work for your trial and agree a fee.

4)    At the trial, after hearing the case, the Magistrates or District Judge will deliver a verdict:

(a)    If you are found guilty, you may be sentenced on the same date or the case may be adjourned (typically for one month) for a sentence hearing.


(b)    If you are found not guilty, the case will conclude, and we will request that the court grant a Defence Costs Order (DCO) to cover your legal costs (although this is only up to the legal aid rate).

5)    If there is a separate sentence hearing, we will meet with you again prior to the hearing to take further instructions for mitigation and give you further advice on sentence.


As above, each case turns on its facts and it may be necessary for other hearings to take place, such as special reasons hearings, case management hearings, hearings to make or oppose special measures or hearsay applications, or applications for disclosure. 


Whilst we do our very best to avoid any unnecessary prolongments of your case, hearings being adjourned due to lack of court time or some other spurious reason is unfortunately an unavoidable occurrence on some occasions. If this does occur, an additional fee will be payable for representation at the adjourned hearing.


Preparation for and representation at each court hearing attracts a separate agreed fixed fee, unless expressly agreed otherwise with us. As the facts and circumstances of each case vary significantly, it would be impossible to provide a specified fixed fee for every scenario without reviewing the particular case papers in advance. 


We have therefore provided a range of expected costs and the work that you can reasonably expect to be included below, including any factors that, if applicable, would be likely to increase the fee. Please note that these ranges of costs are subject to any unforeseen or unusual complexities arising, which could include (but not limited to) factors such as the proximity of the court venue and excessive length of the prosecution evidence. We will always notify you of any such complexities arising as soon as practicable.


This guidance is not intended to be binding and is presented as a guide only; it is not an exact science. 

First appearance at the Magistrates’ court


Preparation work up to and representation at one hearing only.
Fixed fee: Between £950 plus VAT - £2,000 plus VAT


The fixed fee would include:

 

  • A dedicated Case Manager to handle your case internally;
     

  • Obtaining the case papers from the Crown Prosecution Service or other prosecution agency and perusing this for any potential defence issues;
     

  • A conference of reasonable length with you in preparation for the hearing to advise you on plea, the evidence and sentence generally;
     

  • Taking your instructions so far as we advise is appropriate;
     

  • Liaising with the court and the prosecution in relation to general case management issues; 
     

  • Advice on mitigation in the event of a guilty plea and the implications of a pre-sentence report;
     

  • In the event of a guilty plea, a full plea in mitigation in order to achieve the best sentence possible;
     

  • In the event of a not guilty plea, dealing with all case management issues, including (but not limited to) dealing with what evidence can be agreed, what evidence is in dispute, the relevant law and any case law relied on, the time span for cross-examination of witnesses, court directions for service of skeleton arguments on points of law and appropriate service dates, whether it is intended that a defence case statement will be served etc; and,
     

  • Representation at the hearing, including costs of the advocate’s travel (including mileage, fares and/or parking), waiting, attendance and advocacy times.
     

  • The fixed fee would not include and (if necessary) would likely to increase the fee
     

  • Drafting and serving representations to the prosecution;
     

  • Drafting a letter of instruction to and liaising with an expert;
     

  • Obtaining any evidence beyond the scope of ‘initial disclosure’, such as collecting CCTV footage, interview discs or a custody record; and,
     

  • Advice and assistance in relation to any appeal.
     

This is a non-exhaustive list. The ‘Likely Disbursements and Costs’ list should also be considered. If you have any queries regarding other factors / work which are not listed here and may be relevant to your case, please contact the office for clarification.

 

 

Trial at the Magistrates’ court 
 

Preparation work up to and representation at one hearing only.
Fixed fee: Between £5,000 plus VAT - £8,000 plus VAT


The fixed fee would include:
 

  • A dedicated Case Manager to handle your case internally;
     

  • A conference of reasonable length with you in preparation for the hearing to advise you on plea, the evidence and sentence generally;
     

  • Taking your instructions so far as we advise is appropriate;
     

  • Liaising with the court and the prosecution in relation to general case management issues; 
     

  • Chasing initial disclosure of evidence from the prosecution;
     

  • Providing advice on alternative options, such as a change of plea or basis of plea;Meeting with witnesses and taking statements;
     

  • Preparing and serving exhibits (depending on the quantity of exhibits); 
     

  • Preparing a proof of evidence; 
     

  • Serving and opposing Section 9 statements;
     

  • Recording your comments on the statements;
     

  • Requesting a copy of the PET form;
     

  • Preparation of an examination-in-chief, cross-examination, closing speech and potential legal arguments arising at trial;
     

  • Representation at the hearing, including costs of the advocate’s travel (including mileage, fares and/or parking), waiting, attendance and advocacy times.

 


The fixed fee would not include and (if necessary) would likely to increase the fee:

 

  • Preparation and service of a defence case statement;
     

  • Drafting and/or opposing hearsay applications;
     

  • Drafting and/or opposing bad character applications;
     

  • Drafting and/or opposing special measures applications;
     

  • Drafting and serving skeleton arguments;
     

  • Drafting and serving a basis of plea;
     

  • Site or witness visits;
     

  • Scene photographs; 
     

  • Drafting and serving representations to the prosecution;
     

  • Drafting a letter of instruction to and liaising with an expert;
     

  • Obtaining any evidence beyond the scope of ‘initial disclosure’, such as collecting CCTV footage, interview discs or a custody record;
     

  • Making a Section 8 CPIA 1994 application (to obtain evidence withheld by the prosecution);
     

  • Advice on Newton hearings;
     

  • Additional conferences; 
     

  • Advice and assistance in relation to a ‘special reasons’ hearing; and,
     

  • Advice and assistance in relation to any appeal.


This is a non-exhaustive list. The ‘Likely Disbursements and Costs’ list should also be considered. If you have any queries regarding other factors / work which are not listed here and may be relevant to your case, please contact the office for clarification.

 

Sentence at the Magistrates’ court (if listed as a separate hearing) 


Preparation work up to and representation at one hearing only.
Fixed fee: Between £950 plus VAT - £2,000 plus VAT


The fixed fee would include:

  • A dedicated Case Manager to handle your case internally;
     

  • A conference of reasonable length with you in preparation for the hearing to advise you on plea, the evidence and sentence generally;
     

  • Taking your instructions on mitigation, so far as we advise is appropriate;
     

  • Liaising with the court and the prosecution in relation to general case management issues; 
     

  • Chasing initial disclosure of evidence from the prosecution (if any evidence material to sentence is still outstanding);
     

  • Advice and reasonable assistance in gathering character references and other mitigation documents;
     

  • Advice on the sentencing guidelines;
     

  • Preparation of a plea in mitigation;
     

  • Representation at the hearing, including costs of the advocate’s travel (including mileage, fares and/or parking), waiting, attendance and advocacy times.
     

  • The fixed fee would not include and (if necessary) would likely to increase the fee:
     

  • Drafting and serving representations to the prosecution;
     

  • Drafting a letter of instruction to and liaising with an expert;
     

  • Obtaining any evidence beyond the scope of ‘initial disclosure’, such as collecting CCTV footage, interview discs or a custody record (if relevant to sentence);
     

  • Additional conferences; 
     

  • Advice and assistance in relation to a ‘special reasons’ hearing; and,
     

  • Advice and assistance in relation to any appeal.


This is a non-exhaustive list. The ‘Likely Disbursements and Costs’ list should also be considered. If you have any queries regarding other factors / work which are not listed here and may be relevant to your case, please contact the office for clarification.

 

LIKELY DISBURSEMENTS AND COSTS
 

In most cases, particularly those proceeding to trial after a not guilty plea, we would advise instructing a relevant expert. Whilst our costs for instructing an expert are generally included in an agreed fee, expert fees are not included, and we will usually arrange for you to make payment directly to the relevant expert.


There are a various types of experts that we recommend instructing on road traffic cases. The most common include:

 

  • Psychiatrists – ranges from £1,500 - £1,800 including VAT.
     

  • Blood Alcohol Calculation – ranges from £300 - £600 including VAT.
     

  • EBM machine expert – ranges from £300 - £600 including VAT.
     

  • Road Traffic Reconstruction Expert – depending on location and severity, generally ranges from £1,200 - £2,000 including VAT.
     

  • Forensic Scientist – depending on quantity of evidence, generally ranges from £1,000 - £2,000 including VAT.
     

  • Examples of other common disbursements include the following (all of which the price will be exclusive of our fee and depends completely on the relevant location):
     

  • Process Servers
     

  • Couriers
     

  • Fees for medical records


Instructed counsel’s fee is usually incorporated within our fee. The cost of counsel completely depends on their level of experience and qualification. We will always advise you regarding this particular aspect of the fee in advance. 

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Who will deal with my road traffic case?

 

The road traffic matters are generally handled by our driving team. We have four members of the team who may work on your case, as outlined below. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Stephen Nelson, Senior Partner of the firm.


Generally, we seek to ensure that you receive continuity of service by having a point of contact in the office. This means that any queries can be answered expediently if the advocate in the case is at Court handling other matters. 


There are occasions where you may be directed or referred to specialist counsel, who we work closely with on a regular basis. We will do this when we feel the case merits such an instruction (but we will always discuss this with you in advance and it is ultimately your choice).

Ross Greig - Partner


Ross qualified as a Higher Courts Advocate in 2019 and is renowned for his success rate on road traffic matters. Ross represents the vast majority of our private clients at the first hearing and is regularly instructed to conduct trials. 


Ross represents our clients across a spectrum of road traffic matters. Ross has successfully defended cases involving allegations of drink driving, drug driving, failing to provide a sample and being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. Ross is generally considered to be a trial advocate but also attends to deal with the complex nature of driving related matters at the case management stage, where, more often than not, addressing the legal issues becomes an imperative stage of any success. Ross regularly acts for clients with speeding offences, special reasons arguments, and driving licence application matters.


Ross has also completed the Professional Skills Course and Higher Rights of Audience, in addition to a range of professional development courses.​

Ryan Dormer - Case Manager


Ryan attended the University of Kent, graduating with a degree in Law in 2011. He has successfully completed the Legal Practice Course.


Ryan has over 7 years’ experience handling road traffic matters, including (but not limited to) dangerous driving, careless driving, drink driving, being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle and drug driving. Ryan has significant experience in preparing road traffic matters for trial and holds detailed knowledge of the statutory provisions.


Ryan has completed several professional development courses regarding road traffic law and criminal law updates. 

Stephen A. Nelson – Senior Partner

Stephen Nelson is the Senior Partner and qualified as a solicitor in 1986. Stephen supervises all of our road traffic matters.

As a solicitor advocate, he has an abundance of experience in dealing with high profile cases and spends the majority of his time in the Crown Court. However, he also has a wealth of experience defending road traffic matters and will often advise on case preparation.

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