Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Construction industry reluctant to question legal fees

A probe into solicitors' overcharging of construction firms failed after an unprecedented zero complaints were made, NCE can reveal.

Legal Costmastersis a team of barristers and solicitors that investigates overcharging in the legal profession. Last year it appealed to engineering and construction firms to come forward with tales of exorbitant fees (NCE 5 October 2006).

However, none came forward, something that is unprecented in the firm's previous sector-specific investigations, said Legal Costmasters director Gary Smith.

"We always get people coming forward and I don't know why this didn't happen this time, especially as I know overcharging is rife in construction," said Smith.

Smith added that he could guarantee to cut most construction firm's legal costs by one third if advising during negotiations between client and solicitor.

"In many cases all work by the solictor's office is charged at the partner's rate of, say, £300 per hour, yet a large part of it is done by more junior solicitors or administrative staff, so the total fee should be less," said Smith.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.