Transport regulation/motor crime

  • Overview

    Our Transport Regulatory team focuses on the provision of services to the transport and logistics industry including regulatory road transport, motoring offences, DVSA investigations and prosecutions.

    Ensuring compliance and therefore avoiding prosecutions is key. Due to our representation of clients within the transport industry over the last four decades, we have the experience and expertise to provide consultancy services, which complement our skill at representation of clients before the courts and tribunals. Our clients are involved in all sectors of the transport and logistics industry, from contractors to infrastructure owners, post and courier service providers and marine insurers.

    We are recommended solicitors for the Freight Transport Association and members of the Road Haulage Association. We are also a member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Freight Council.

    Our specialist road regulatory team cover the whole country appearing in Courts, Tribunals and Inquiries. Through our network of seven offices, we can provide a personal and local service, wherever you are based.

    We have extensive experience in all aspects of operators licensing and other regulatory matters and make regular appearances before the Traffic Commissioners and at Transport Tribunals.

    Our team has wide experience and a particular specialisation in prosecutions arising from drivers' hours, records offences and construction use offences. We are retained by many national and international transport logistic operators on regulatory transport matters. We are widely regarded for our immediate and practical advice following vehicle seizures by the UK Border Force or HM Customs and Revenue.

    Our dedicated teams offer practical, commercial and emergency advice in the following:

    • Advice on operator licensing law and bespoke systems for compliance including auditing
    • Consulting/liaising with the Traffic Area Office and the Traffic Commissioner 
    • Advocacy at the Public Inquiries and Driver Conduct Hearings Police interviews and PACE interviews
    • Non-compliance prosecutions
    • Drivers Hours
    • Overloading and load security
    • Road Traffic Offences
    • Driving licenses
    • Carriage of goods (CMR)
    • Clandestine entrants
    • Vehicle seizures and Impounding
    • Appeals to the Upper Tribunal and High Court
    • Fatal collisions, accidents and furnishing information

    Our team is nationally and regionally recognised by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

    • How we determine our price

      This section applies to our advice to you in respect of a motoring offence with which you have been charged.  It applies only where the offence in question is a “summary” offence, in other words, an offence which would normally be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court.  Examples of such offences include: driving whilst disqualified; driving without insurance; careless and inconsiderate driving; driving whilst unfit (alcohol or drugs); failing to give information as to the identity of the driver; failing to stop or report; and speeding.

      We have set out below the fees that we would typically charge for handling your case:

      Fee (excluding VAT)
      The below represent our average
      What services are, or are not, included?

      Type of offence

      Driving whilst disqualified:

      Trial £2,000-£5,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      Driving without insurance:

      Trial £2,000-£5,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      Careless driving:

      Trial £3,000-£5,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      Driving whilst over the prescribed limit; drink or drug driving – including in-charge and failure to provide a specimen:

      Trial £5,000-£8,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      Failure to provide information (driver ID):

      Trial £2,000-£5,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      Failure to stop (report accident):

      Trial £2,000-£5,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      Speeding:

      Trial £3,000-£5,000
      Guilty plea £1,500-£1,850

      VAT is charged in addition at 20%.

      On a guilty plea:

      Services included:

      1. Considering evidence
      2. Providing advice in relation to your plea and likely sentence
      3. Advising you on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
      4. Advising you on whether you should make an exceptional hardship, or special reasons argument
      5. Representation at a single hearing.

      The following would not be included:

      1. The instruction of any expert witnesses
      2. Taking statements from any witnesses including character references
      3. Providing advice and representation in relation to a special reasons hearing or an exceptional hardship hearing
      4. Any hearing at which you admit the offence but not all the facts (a Newton Hearing)
      5. Any advice on appeal
      6. Any fine imposed by the court, surcharge or order for costs made in favour of prosecution.

      For representation at trial:

      Services included:

      1. Considering evidence
      2. Providing advice in relation to your plea and likely prospects of success
      3. Advising you on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
      4. Written plea and case management
      5. Minimum attendance/preparation for trial of two hours
      6. Representation at a single half-day trial hearing.

      The following would not be included:

      1. The instruction of any expert witnesses
      2. Taking statements from any witnesses including character references
      3. Providing advice and representation in relation to a special reasons hearing or an exceptional hardship hearing
      4. Any hearing at which you admit the offence but not all the facts (a Newton Hearing)
      5. Any representation in person at a case management hearing
      6. Any fine imposed by the court, surcharge or order for costs made in favour of prosecution
      7. Any work following the conclusion of your final hearing.

      Please note that the fee ranges stated above reflect the work that we would expect to carry out in respect of a typical guilty plea or trial case and, where appropriate, is based on the following assumptions:

      • That you have a hearing date already listed
      • That your case is not adjourned requiring further attendance.

      Why might our fee vary?

      Factors that may result in a change from the fee indicated above include:

      • If either of the assumptions listed above proves to be incorrect
      • If the hearing runs beyond half a day
      • The location of the trial/sentence hearing
      • The number of witnesses involved
      • The number of offences charged
      • The instruction of expert witnesses
      • If the court requires a report from the probation service.

      Before you commit to paying, we will explain to you any variance from the indicative fee if this is apparent from the outset. We will also keep you updated at all times if any of these, or other, factors are likely to result in an increase in our fee.

      What other costs may arise?

      You may have to pay certain expenses and other costs. To the extent that such costs relate to amounts that we must pay to third parties, they are known as “disbursements”. The costs and expenses most likely to arise are expert’s fees, our travel expenses and, if we consult a barrister to represent you, barrister’s fees. The amount payable will vary depending on the circumstances of your case. We will aim to provide you with an estimate of such costs when you instruct us and will, of course, keep you updated as the case progresses.

      Timescale and key stages of the process

      These are the key stages of the trial process:

      1. Entering a not guilty plea (usually done in writing or online)
      2. The prosecution serves its case
      3. Case Management hearing – identifying for the Court the issues in the case and which witnesses will be required. Fixing a date for trial
      4. Trial.

      This process will typically take 12-26 weeks to complete, but this may vary. Typical factors which may influence the duration include:

      1. Witnesses availability
      2. Local Court availability
      3. The Crown Prosecution Service resources.

      We will keep you updated at all times if any of these, or other, factors are likely to result in delay.

      Who will be dealing with your case?

      Your application will typically be handled by a solicitor in our Regulatory team, supported as necessary by our trainees/paralegals. A solicitor acting for you may be described in correspondence as a “Partner” or “Legal Director”, a “Principal Associate”, an “Associate” or a “Solicitor”. Partners and Legal Directors have equivalent status. An Associate is, generally, more experienced than a Solicitor, but not as experienced as a Principal Associate. Our trainees/paralegals are not (yet) solicitors, and usually have no other formal legal qualification.

      We will always ensure that the solicitor acting for you has the requisite level of experience to handle your case competently. In any event, all work will be supervised by a Partner or Legal Director, being the most senior member of the team allocated to you.

      If we do not provide you with a fixed fee quote, or if we do additional work for you which is outside our fixed fee quote, please note that our hourly rates (exclusive of VAT) for each type of solicitor or other team member who may be involved in your transaction, are as follows:

      Partner or Legal Director (London) £420 per hour
      Partner or Legal Director (outside London) £320 per hour
      Principal Associate (London) £375 per hour
      Principal Associate (outside London) £275 per hour
      Associate (London) £340 per hour
      Associate (outside London) £260 per hour
      Solicitor (London) £280 per hour
      Solicitor (outside London) £210 per hour
      Trainee (London) £175 per hour
      Trainee (outside London) £170 per hour
      Paralegal (London) £195 per hour
      Paralegal (outside London) £170 per hour

      If we need to rely on our hourly rates, we will endeavour to provide you with an estimate of the time that each member of the team is likely to take in order to conclude your case.

      Once you know who will be in the team allocated to your transaction, you will be able to find out more information about the team by visiting the Regulatory section on our website.

      If you have any queries, please contact Dewi Ap-Thomas at dewi.ap-thomas@weightmans.com in the first instance.

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