Our principal solicitor and network of specialist consultant solicitors all have an open and transparent ethos when it comes to how they charge so that there are no surprises.   If you decide to work with a consultant solicitor, they’ll offer an initial no charge service and thereafter charges will be based on either conditional fees, fixed fees or competitive rates.  Below we provide answers to some frequently asked questions about consultant fees and their service.

What is a conditional fee agreement (CFA)?

A CFA is an agreement with a client in relation to how and when their solicitor  will receive payment for their service.   Typically a solicitor will agree to be paid at the end of a case, if they win.  A CFA is tyipically offered for professional negligence type cases.

What is a fixed fee?

A fixed fee is an agreed amount that a solicitor may offer to be paid in return for the service they provide.  Fixed fees work well when a defined piece of work is required and may be offered for data protection/GDPR health checks, employment, immigration, commerical property and commerical/corporate work.

What is after the event insurance (ATE)?

ATE is a type of insurance that may be available in dispute cases to protect against you have to pay your opponent’s costs if a case is not won. 

What is a consultant solicitor/lawyer?

A consultant solicitor/lawyer is a solicitor that is  regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority “SRA”. Consultant solicitors personally look after and manage their own clients’ cases. They work remotely rather than through expensive offices and employ high spec IT delivering a high quality service. Their low overheads mean that they can offer a wealth of expertise to their clients at competitive rates. Consultant solicitors ensure they provide their clients with an SRA compliant service by partnering with preferred law firms. 

What is reserved legal activity?

There are certain types of legal services that can only be carried out by lawyers and law firms that are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).  Those works include for example, representation at court, the conduct of litigation (in summary, the entire process of issuing and defending a case through the court system), dealing with probate (in summary, dealing with a person’s estate after they pass away) etc.  Further information can be found here.

Who is the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)?

In brief, the SRA regulates solicitors, law firms and other types of lawyers such as foreign lawyers.

What is a discounted dcfa?

A DCFA is an agreement with a client in relation to how and when a solicitor will receive payment for their service.   Typically a solicitor will agree to receive a percentage of their fee as a case progresses and to only be paid the balance of their fees at the end of a case, if they win.  A DCFA may be offered for breach of contract claims.

What is a competitive rate?

Consultant solicitors/lawyers are able to offer competitive hourly rates as they have lower overheads than traditional law firms.  However, consultant solicitors are still able to offer an efficient, tech savvy and reliable service with Covid-19 compliant face to face office meetings (when necessary), remote meetings and they can also meet with you at your offices if required. Competitive hourly rates may be offered for DPO’s and general data protection/GDPR assistance, employment, family, defence personal injury, commerical property and commerical/corporate work.

What is third party funding?

Third party funding is as the name suggests, it is funding to assist businesses and individuals to pursue their cases.  In return the third party funder will receive a percentage of your compensation or damages.

What are non-reserved activities?

Non-reserved activities include for example, providing legal advice that does not relate to court/the conduct of litigation or the transfer of property etc, will writing, some employment and family law.

Is Johnson May a regulated law firm?

No. We are a fully insured business consultancy providing Data Protection Officer (“DPO”) services and general Data Protection/UK GDPR/GDPR, Privacy, Compliance etc guidance and support.  We also provide general business services to our clients, for example drafting of business contracts, terms and conditions, privacy notices etc. We are not a Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) regulated law firm which means that we are not authorised or regulated by the SRA. Our founder, Mrs Maxine Johnson, is a qualified BCS Data Protection Practitioner  and a SRA Regulated Solicitor, SRA ID: 322539. Mrs Johnson can assist you with data protection and non reserved business services through JM.  However, if you would like to instruct her to act for you in her capacity as a dispute solicitor to provide reserved legal activities that service will be offered through our partnered SRA Regulated law firms only.  Please see our terms of use to learn more.



Ask a question

Johnson May Limited

137-139 High Street



t: 020 8150 7173