To download the explanation of Terms and Conditions and the contract required to arrange medico-legal services, please download by clicking the tab at the end of this document below.

Abbreviated Terms and Conditions for Medico-Legal Services

My medico-legal practice aims to conduct business with the medico-legal sector in a spirit of co-operation, and where possible specific arrangements can be made for each individual request.  It is also appreciated that cost budgets are an important part of modern medico-legal practice, and to this end I will provide a full cost estimate to you, and communicate promptly with appointed costs experts.  However, the Terms and Conditions at the end of this document are applicable as a default position.

 

Fees

  • Fees for all medico-legal services are £400 + VAT per hour.

  • I appreciate that the Court in the modern era of litigation requires estimates from Experts of fees for the provision of medico-legal reports.  However, such an estimation is often inaccurate due to the unknown time at instruction required to review medical records, time taken in interview and examination and the time taken to prepare the report itself.

  • Thus, an estimate is just that, and I reserve the right to take longer over preparation of the report than initially estimated, but will inform you if this is the case (i.e. if my initial time estimate is more than 10% an underestimate).

  • In general;

    • a report for a Personal Injury litigation involving 1-2 body part injuries, along with interview and examination, will typically involve 4-8 hours of time​ (i.e. fees of £1600-£3200 +VAT).

    • a report for a Personal Injury litigation involving more than 1-2 body part injuries requiring expert opinion, along with interview and examination, will typically involve 6-12 hours of time​ (i.e. fees of £2400-£4800 +VAT).

    • a report on Liability and Causation in Clinical Negligence will typically involve 6-10 hours of time (i.e. fees of £2400-£4000 + VAT).

    • a report on Condition and Prognosis in Clinical Negligence litigation will typically involve 6-10 hours of time (i.e. fees of £2400-£4000 + VAT).

 

  • Fees for attendance at Conference with Counsel and attendance at Court are charged at £400 + VAT per hour, with these fees applicable for travelling time from Windsor if within the times of 8am-8pm.   Travel time outside these times is charged at £75 per hour.  Standard Class train travel is charged for attendance in London or within 50 miles of Windsor, but First Class train travel is charged for travel of 50 miles or longer.

  • Fees for attendance for a whole working day at Court or in Conference with Counsel are £4000 + VAT, which includes travel time within 50 miles of Windsor.  However if further than 50 miles from Windsor, additional travel time at £75 per hour, and hotel accommodation if required, is applicable in addition

  • Charges will be made at £400 + VAT per hour for the time reasonably taken to review the medical evidence before conference with Counsel and attendance at Court

  • Requests for alterations to medico-legal reports (for items other than typographical errors and issues that should reasonably have been included in my initial report), supplementary reports, Part 35 Questions, review of documents, reviews of Particulars of Claim and other advisory work is charged at £400 + VAT per hour, with a minimum charge of 0.5 hours.

  • The charges for Joint Discussions with other experts are charged at £400 + VAT per hour, to include preparation for the Joint Discussion, undertaking the Joint Discussion, preparation of the Draft Joint Statement and Final Joint Statement.  The typical time taken to prepare a Joint Statement is 6-10 hours.

  • If a patient does not attend for a medico-legal appointment, having confirmed the appointment with my office, and not contacted my office in working hours (8am - 5pm) within 72 hours of the appointment to arrange for cancellation, a fee of £500 will be charged to compensate for the lost clinic time associated with such a non-attendance.

  • Domiciliary visits can be undertaken on request, and specific cost estimates provided for each individual case.

  • Please respectfully note that I do not provide medico-legal services on a fixed-fee basis.  I do undertake work on an estimated time basis, and agree to inform the instructing party if the time estimate is significantly more than provided (i.e. if more than 10% above the estimated figure).

  • At medico-legal consultations with Claimants, I can arrange investigations as necessary to make a diagnosis for medico-legal purposes (x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans).  I will assume that I have authorisation to proceed with these investigations where patients are travelling long distances, and where proportionate to the complexity of the case.  These will be charged directly by the relevant provider of those investigations to the instructing agent, and will not be billed for my company.  Fees for such imaging are due for payment by return.

  • For the avoidance of doubt, all fees incurred at the schedule above are independent of taxation by the Court, and are the responsibility of the instructing party.

Payment of fees

 

  • Default payment terms for all medico-legal work are 28 days from the date of the invoice.

  • Deferred fee arrangements, or payment for fees at the settlement of the case, can be arranged on request, but in the absence of written arrangements for any one individual instruction, the default payment terms of 28 days will apply.

  • In the event of default or non-payment of fees, after suitable written notice is given by post (by registered delivery), interest is payable from 28 days after the invoice date at 8% above the prevailing Barclays Bank base rate, with administration fees of a maximum of £100 + VAT per month for each and every written contact made with the instructing party.  In the event of referral to debt recovery agencies, the instructing party will be responsible for all costs, including legal costs as required.

Cancellation fees for attendance at Court and/or conference with Counsel

 

  • I appreciate that the nature of medico-legal litigation means that a case may often only settle relatively late before a court date.

  • The instructing party must also appreciate that I need to run a clinical and medico-legal practice, and cannot have required attendance at Court cancelled at short notice without charging a fee.  The instructing party must also appreciate that my clinical patients cannot have their appointment times for surgery and clinics cancelled at the last minute, as they have made arrangements for their treatment, and must be given adequate notice.

  • To this end, I will ensure that any date reserved for Court or attendance with Counsel is honoured.  The reservation of my time is without charge.

  • However, two weeks prior to a Court attendance, my office will contact the instructing party to ascertain if my time reservation to attend Court is still required.

  • No charges will be made for cancellation of attendance of Court within 10 calendar days of a Court attendance date.

  • If a cancellation is made 7-10 calendar days before a Court date, a fee of £250 per day will be made to the instructing party, and for the avoidance of doubt this is independent of taxation.

  • At 7 days prior to a Court date, my office will cancel all my clinical commitments for the date (out-patient and surgery) as I am not prepared to inconvenience my patients any later than this with cancellation for their treatment.  Therefore, If a cancellation is made within 7 calendar days of a Court date, full 100% fees for that attendance will be applied, independent of taxation.

  • If an instructing party wish to utilise my cancelled time for any educational purpose for their staff, as they have paid for my time, I am happy to attend on demand.

Medical records

 

  • ​It is expected at instruction that medico-legal records will be obtained from the relevant sources by the instructing party.

  • If during the course of evaluation, I consider that obtaining further or updated medical records is needed, I will advise the instructing party of this.

  • If further medical records are supplied after issue of a medico-legal report, further fees will be applicable in providing a revised report.

  • It is expected that relevant imaging, with passwords, are provided on CD-ROM or by secure on-line facility.

  • My office can request medical records and imaging on request by the instructing party, but an administrative fee will be charged in such circumstances.  Relevant authority will be required.

  • I am happy to receive medical records in paper form, on disc or on-line as desired by the instructing party.

  • Please note that due to volume restraints, I am not able to store medical records after they have been reviewed - they will be sent back by registered delivery to the instructing party (or securely destroyed on request) at the cost of the instructing party.

Arrangements for appointments

 

  • ​For instructions where it is necessary to interview or examine an individual (i.e. the patient), appointments will be sent (and can be arranged by telephone or email with the patient) and confirmed in writing.

  • The instructing party will be sent a copy of the confirmation.

  • All patients will be requested to confirm by telephone, email or in writing the appointment time.  In the event that a patient has not confirmed their appointment time, my office reserves the right to cancel that appointment within a reasonable time, but will contact the patient and the instructing party with notice of the cancellation.

  • If a patient fails to attend a confirmed appointment, or cancels within 72 hours of that appointment, I reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee (as detailed above) which is the responsibility of the instructing party.

  • For clinical reasons, or for attendance at Court, an appointment with a patient may need to be changed.  In the unlikely event that this is necessary, I will ensure that significant flexibility will be offered to the patient in re-arranging the appointment. However I cannot be held responsible for any non-refundable travel expenses incurred by the patient in the event of cancellation.  

 

Conflict of interest

 

  • ​I will declare any conflict of interest in the provision of Claimant and Defendant Reports in both Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence.

  • For the avoidance of doubt I will not recommend any treatment to be undertaken where I personally will be providing the treatment (surgical or non-surgical) either before or after settlement of the medico-legal litigation.  All recommendations for treatment will be for other providers to undertake.

  • On request, I am prepared to advise of practitioners specialising in certain aspects of care in the relevant geographical location for referral purposes for clinical treatment.

 

Estimation of costs of treatment recommended in medico-legal reports

 

  • ​I by default, unless asked not to otherwise, incorporate in my medico-legal costs an estimate for any recommended investigations and/or treatment in the UK private sector.

  • For the avoidance of doubt, I do not take any legal responsibility for such estimates, which are not researched but provided in good faith as an estimate to allow for an estimation of cost of treatment.  It is the responsibility of the instructing party to confirm the exact costs with the relevant provider.

  • On request, I can provide formal time limited costs for treatment in the UK private sector, but a fee will be applicable for such requests in respect of the time taken to provide the fee quotation.

 

Confidentiality

  • ​The instructing party agree that all information provided by me in a medico-legal report is confidential and should not be released to a third party without my consent, other than for the purposes of the medico-legal litigation for which the instruction is made.  Consent will not unreasonably be denied but must be authorised to ensure GMC (General Medical Council) recommendations are fulfilled.

 

​Referral via intermediary agencies

 

  • ​Unless specifically agreed, I do not undertake medico-legal work on referral from intermediary medico-legal agencies.

  • On agreement, I can be instructed by an intermediary agency but (a) the instructing party (and not the agency) is the ultimate client, (b) the instructing party is ultimately responsible for my fees, (c) I will not subscribe to the terms and conditions of the intermediary agency and (d) in the event of default, liquidation or insolvency of the agency, the instructing party is responsible for all fees incurred, at the date on which notification is received of such an event.

© 2017 by AJ Unwin Medico-Legal Ltd