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Lawyers have come under fire in the news, with a tabloid revealing that Lawyers have been debating online whether they should charge for time thinking about cases during short breaks.

Mediators charge an hourly rate or day rate and many lawyers charge fixed fees, so that would include breaks.

However, one lawyer was said to have billed all 24 hours in a day, including bathroom breaks, on the basis he was so stressed that he thought about his deal ‘every second’ that he was on the toilet.

Nabarro told its team to charge for any short break including when they pop out for a coffee.
Nabarro told its team to charge for any short break including when they pop out for a coffee.

Another revealed: ‘I know a solicitor who recorded time for when he was in the bath thinking about clients.’

A third commented: ‘We all know it. We all include our time for wandering to the copier or swinging by the coffee machine on the way back to our desks.’

Whilst legal advice is necessary in a lot of cases and this behaviour is NOT the norm in most law firms, it highlights the fact that lawyers are not cheap and it is always advisable to consider ADR at the earliest opportunity. Although the headline figure for hiring a mediator may look high, there are cheaper options available such as telephone or limited time mediations. The cost is usually shared between the parties and works out a lot less than legal fees if the case is resolved.

Don’t hesitate – Mediate