Chris is often asked how much he charges for a forensic report. The cheeky answer is to ask how long’s a piece of string! But that isn’t very helpful. There are three questions which ought to be asked:
- Do you understand my case, and do you have the experience and technical ability to handle it?
- How much would you charge for a report on this particular case? And
- What are the likely cost/benefits of instructing you?
Chris answers these questions with his initial review without obligation. Except for the very largest cases, where a fee may have to charged from the outset:
- He asks for the key documents;
- He reads them and types his own notes on them,
- He shares those notes with the instructing party to show that he understands the case;
- He includes in those notes the likely benefit, as far as one can at this early stage, of using his services; and
- He provides either a fixed fee for the report, or an estimate as close as he can.
That review is sent to the instructing party or solicitor. If, for whatever reason, potential instructions are not confirmed, the papers are returned or destroyed, THERE IS NO CHARGE WHATSOEVER, and Chris doesn’t even sulk!
So you can find out, with no charge and no obligation to instruct Chris, whether he can add value to your case.
Chris is transparent about his mediation fees, and pitches them low so as to encourage mediation between parties. He feels mediation can solve problems for so many people in dispute. This is why he still uses the old scale of fees published in April 2009 by the late lamented National Mediation Helpline (NMH), based on the amount in dispute, which he has still not increased, as follows:
|Value of dispute||Fee per party|
|Up to £5,000 – Small claim 1*||No charge for preparation; £50 for a mediation of up to 1 hour|
|Up to £5,000 – Small claim 2*||No charge for preparation; £100 for a mediation of up to 2 hours; excess hours at £50 per hour or part|
|£5,000 to £15,000 – Fast Track||No charge for preparation; £300 for a mediation of up to 3 hours; excess hours at £100 per hour or part|
|£15,000 to £50,000 – Multi Track||No charge for preparation; £425 for a mediation up to 4 hours; excess hours at £107 per hour or part|
|£50,000 to £100,000**||No charge for preparation; £525 for a mediation up to 5 hours; excess hours at £140 per hour or part|
|Over £100,000||As agreed with the mediator|
Fees for a mediation lasting more than a day are as agreed with the mediator.
Fees for mediations where the dispute is of no identifiable value are by negotiation.
These fees are based on single claimant & defendant disputes. If there is more than one claimant or defendant then, as was advised by the NMH, the length of the mediation session may need to be increased, and the next tariff applied. Chris will discuss this with you if you wish, when the mediation is being arranged.
All charges are plus VAT, plus significant expenses such as travelling or overnight accommodation. Chris reserves the right to make a charge for preparation time where the documents to be studied are substantial, or where for example with a partnership dissolution dispute, or a case with several heads of claim bearing their own litigation risk, it is helpful to the parties for him to prepare an interactive spread sheet in advance.
Without exception, fees are to be paid equally by each party; and the basic fee + VAT and estimated disbursements must always be paid before the mediation commences.
The following scale of cancellation charges applies + VAT:
|Time When Mediation Cancelled||Amount Payable By Each Party|
|Within 2 working days of time and date fixed||Their share of full fee|
|Between 2 and 5 working days of time and date fixed||£50 or 50% of full fee, whichever is greater|
|After date is agreed but more than 5 working days before that agreed date||£50|
Mediation requires a room large enough for everyone to sit around the table together for the joint meetings, and then separate rooms for each party and their advisers, which are reasonably close together but soundproof from one another.
One party’s premises or their solicitor’s offices may be used provided there is no suggestion that the other party may feel at any kind of disadvantage.
Chris can provide rooms should you require them, at modest cost at his rooms in Gray’s Inn Square, London. Alternatively rooms may be hired in local hotels, or serviced offices such as those offered by Regus.
It is the responsibility of the parties to find the rooms and to meet their cost.
Whether the appointment comes directly, or from the panel of expert determiners maintained by the President of ICAEW, Chris will always agree his charging structure with the parties before the assignment gets under way. All such fees are payable to him equally between the parties. Although he is usually given the power to award payment of his fees other than equally – this is rare, but it might be the result of one party not cooperating in the process, thus causing extra costs – such an allocation would be within his award, and he would still require each party to pay their equal share of his fees before his award may be published.
Chris Makin Mediator Ltd: Data Protection Policy
Chris Makin Mediator Ltd (“CMM”) is a specialist firm of chartered accountants providing forensic accountant, mediation and other services in the field of dispute resolution, and is committed to protecting the privacy of all the personal information or data provided by those who use our services. Personal information and data is described as “any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address”. This policy explains how we collect, use and store the personal information provided to us.
CMM commits to abide by the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) and the General Data Protection Regulation 2017 (“GDPR”) in all areas of its operation. This policy applies to everyone who works on its behalf and they are expected to work within the legislation. This policy sets out in detail the procedures in place to ensure that personal data relating to our users and those that enquire about our services are treated in the appropriate way.
CMM acknowledges that individuals have the right to expect that appropriate and reasonable safeguards will be operated by CMM and any third parties engaged to protect the confidentiality, integrity and security of their personal and sensitive personal data. Where third parties process data on our behalf we will ensure though a legal agreement that the third party also operates in accordance with the DPA and the GDPR.
The DPA and the GDPR require that organisations process personal data in accordance with the eight Data Protection Principles and CMM has adopted those principles, which are:
- Fair and lawful
- Specific to purpose
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up to date
- Kept for no longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with data subjects’ rights
- Kept secure
- Not transferred overseas without suitable safeguards.
CMM will never share or sell your data to other third party organisations for their marketing purposes, unless required by law (for example by public bodies in respect of the prevention and detection of crime).
We may allow our employees or consultants and / or external providers acting on our behalf to access and use your information for the purposes for which it is intended (for example for preparation of expert witness reports, preparation in mediations or processing payments). We ensure that they are provided with the relevant data and ensure the information is treated with the same level of care we would take ourselves.
Our website has links to websites owned and operated by third parties. These third parties have their own privacy policies, and will control the information you provide them with in accordance with their respective policies.
CMM has adopted this policy. The core requirements relate to the collection, storage, processing, records, confidentiality, security, incident management, retention and deletion, management, availability, integrity, and secure disposal of personal and sensitive data which comes to us, either directly from parties instructing us or from lawyers acting on their behalf.
We will only collect and process personal and sensitive data that has been obtained fairly and lawfully and for a specific set of purposes connected with our activities or where we have a legitimate purpose under law to do so. Data will be adequate and relevant and only used for the purposes collected. It will be maintained, kept accurate, and not retained for any longer than is necessary. We will before collecting any information consider:
- What details are necessary for our purposes
- How long we are likely to need this information
- What the information will be used for.
CMM may use your personal information for a number of reasons. These include:
- In forensic or expert witness assignments – to collate and consider the evidence and information provided, in the compiling of expert reports, holding meetings of experts, giving expert evidence at trial, and all such similar steps in the litigation process
- In mediations – to collate and consider the evidence and information provided, in compiling notes and using such information in the conduct of mediations
- For administrative purposes – to include all internal record keeping and auditing
Your consent to our using this information will be confirmed by you or by your lawyers, in the countersigning of my engagement letter or my agreement to mediate, and in the event you change your preferences we shall act swiftly to ensure that our contact and information is adjusted as appropriate.
We will take steps to ensure that personal data is kept secure at all times against unauthorised or unlawful loss or disclosure. The following measures will be taken:
- Password protection on personal systems which could be accessed by unauthorised persons
- Daily back up data on computers
- Password protected attachments for sensitive personal information sent by email or stored on computers/laptops/phones
- Laptops taken out of the office or used by home based staff are always secured.
We will ensure that anyone whose personal information we process has the right to know:
- What information we hold and process on them
- How to gain access to this information
- How to keep it up to date
- What we are doing to comply with the regulations.
They also have the right to prevent processing of their personal data in some circumstances and the right to correct, rectify, block, or erase information regarded as wrong or if consent is withdrawn.
Individuals have the right under the DPA and the GDPR to access certain personal data being kept about them on computer and certain files. Any person wishing to exercise this right should apply in writing to the Data Compliance Officer Chris Makin by email firstname.lastname@example.org The following information will be required before access is granted:
- Full name and contact details of the person making the request
- Their relationship with CMM
- Any other relevant information eg timescales.
We may also require proof of identity before access is granted.
Queries about handling personal information will be dealt with swiftly and politely. CMM aim to comply with requests for access to personal information as soon as possible, but will ensure it is provided within the month required by the GDPR.
For further current information see https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/
Professional Negligence Insurance
Chris’s professional negligence insurers are Lloyd’s Syndicate 2526, AG Doré & Others, whose brokers are CBC UK Limited, Mansell Court, 69 Mansell Street, London E1 8AN.
Contact Chris to discuss further options and details on how you can work together.