It is important for our clients to have clarity around our fee structure. You will see our indicative fee structure for a number of areas where we work with individuals and with businesses, and in particular for employment tribunal claims, debt recovery, residential conveyancing and for probate. It is likely that, we need to understand more about your particular situation and what you are looking to achieve, before we can give you a more accurate estimate of the costs that will be incurred. Hence what is indicated here is a broad view of the pricing structure that we charge for each of these areas. Where you require advice or assistance in any other area, we shall provide you with an indicative fee structure so that you are able to make an informed choice when you instruct us. We look to beat our competitors on both cost and on service. The costs that we estimate are realistic and are a fair reflection of the work involved.
As part of dealing with the full administration of an estate we will:
Advise you on the terms of the Will or the rules of intestacy (where there is no valid Will), collate detailed information on the assets and liabilities of the estate, request information on any lifetime gifts made by the deceased, advise you on whether there is a potential liability to inheritance tax and claim any exemptions and reliefs available; Prepare the inheritance tax account for HM Revenue & Customs; Prepare the application for a Grant; Deal with the closure, transfer or sale of the assets within the estate; Settle any liabilities; File income tax returns for the period of administration; Provide estate accounts detailing all financial transactions since the date of death; Advise the personal representatives on minimising their risk exposure; Distribute the estate to the entitled beneficiaries
Where there are no complicating factors it generally takes 6 - 12 months to administer an estate. In such cases it takes 3 - 6 months to obtain the grant of probate, 1 - 3 months to collect in and sell the assets and 1 - 3 months to then distribute the assets. The main factors which affect the time line are the sale of any properties and if the reporting to HMRC becomes protracted for any reason (HMRC have wide powers to investigate and seek clarification on matters).
How much will it cost?
The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of any matter but we do appreciate that our clients need some guidance and certainty as to the likely costs involved in this process. In our experience, the legal fees for administering an estate are approximately 2% plus VAT of the value of the assets within the estate. Occasionally, this can vary due to the factors we have listed below but in our experience this is a good indication of our likely fees. We will give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information taking into account any of the factors below as appropriate.
There are various tasks which must be done when administering an estate so a variety of fee earners may be involved. The time spent by the different fee earners is recorded at their different hourly charge rates which range from £140.00 plus VAT (£150) (paralegal) to £400.00 plus VAT (partner). We base our charges on the time spent and this may result in the fees being below or above the 2% plus VAT (currently at 20%) we have estimated above.
Once the scope of work is clear, we can provide a fixed price for completing the work in most cases.
Factors which can affect our fees
There is no valid Will (an intestacy); The validity of the Will is disputed; If a Trust is or Trusts are created by the Will; What IHT and other reliefs and exemptions may apply. A helpful link in relation to IHT calculators is on the HMRC site. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators#inheritance-tax-and-bereavement; If a Deed of Variation is required or requested; Whether we are appointed under a Will as the sole or as a joint executor. In these circumstances additional work and responsibility may need to be undertaken. The number, location and status of the beneficiaries. e.g. children, charities, issues in relation to capacity; If any foreign assets, including shares and bank accounts are within the estate; Any additional properties, other than the main home, held by the estate; If numerous shareholdings (stocks and bonds) or bank accounts held within the estate; Any disputes between beneficiaries; Any anticipated, potential or actual claims against the estate; Any executors living outside the UK; Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included. (The sale of a property can also significantly affect the time it takes to administer the estate)
Disbursements, in addition in our fees:
Disbursements are costs which are related to your matter but are payable to third parties, such as the Probate Registry. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. For instance:
Probate application fee of £155.00
Additional copies of the Grant of Probate £0.50 each
Swearing of the Oath (per executor): £5 plus VAT (£6) for the Oath and £2 plus VAT for each document referred to in the Oath
Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary)
£50 - £150 plus VAT (£60 - £180) Advertisement in the London Gazette – this protects executors against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
£50 - £150 plus VAT (£60 - £180) Advertisement in a local newspaper – this also helps to protect executors against unexpected claims
Being a specialist litigation practice, we have extensive experience in pursuing individual and commercial debtors who have failed to pay our client’s invoices in full and on time.
We can provide some of these for a fixed fee:
drafting and sending letters before action
issuing claims in the County Court
seeking Default Judgments
In addition to these services, we undertake insolvency work for creditors, including the preparation and service of Statutory Demands and Bankruptcy/ Winding Up Petitions. The fees charged for these services are calculated on an hourly rate of £140 plus VAT (paralegal) to £400 plus VAT per hour (partner). Additional expenses (also called disbursements) may also be incurred, such as Court fees, process server’s fees etc.
We also act for clients where a claim becomes defended, or when a claim is made whether in the County Court or in the High Court. In such cases we will agree a fee estimate with our clients, usually based on our hourly rates which currently range between £140 plus VAT (paralegal) to £400 plus VAT (partner) depending on the experience and expertise of our lawyers.
What we will do for you
If you are bringing a claim against your employer for things like unfair dismissal, or unlawful discrimination or equal pay we can help. We act for both employers and employees hence we have an in-depth knowledge of both sides of the argument. We are able to give a meaningful and realistic overview at an early stage of expected costs.
There are a number of factors which will affect the timescale for completing the hearing of your case. Nearly all claims start with providing basic details of your claim to ACAS, who then contact your employer to see whether settlement can be achieved. This process is known as Early Conciliation. If a claim can be settled at this stage, then this should be achieved within around 4 weeks of the ACAS process starting.
If settlement is not achieved at that early stage, then you will have to start your formal claim to the Employment Tribunal. As a guide, claims for unfair dismissal are often heard within around 3 to 6 months of the formal claim being submitted to the Tribunal. More complex cases, such as those involving discrimination can take longer to complete; often 6-12 months. Settlement may be achieved at any stage, subject of course to both sides being able to reach agreement.
How much will it cost?
The costs of a case will depend on a number of factors, which include:
The complexity of the facts in your case
The complexity of the legal arguments in your case
The number of witnesses from both sides
The amount of documentation.
The approach to litigation and settlement taken by you and your opponent.
Whether in addition to the main hearing, any additional procedural hearings are needed during the progress of the case, either because of the complexity of the issues, or the approach of the other side
Any particular measures that the Employment Tribunal consider necessary for the case to be dealt with effectively.
The costs of any third parties who we agree with you should be instructed on your behalf (perhaps a barrister or a medical or other expert in appropriate cases).
At an early stage we will agree the approach most suited to your case and circumstances, and will keep this under review. We will not encourage you to bring a claim which we do not believe has any real chance of success, or one where bringing a claim is unlikely to bring much by way of financial or other benefit.
In a straight-forward claim such as where your former employer has failed to pay your notice pay and which does not involve more than a single day’s hearing at the Tribunal, costs are likely to be in the region of £3-5,000 plus VAT. More complex cases might be in the region of £5-7,000 plus VAT. In particularly difficult cases, where the length of the Tribunal hearing exceeds one day, the costs might be above £10,000 plus VAT.
Straight-forward claims involving unfair dismissal and a hearing not longer than one day will generally cost in the region of £7-10,000 plus VAT. More involved cases, particularly where the hearing last for more than one day are likely to cost more than £10,000 plus VAT.
Discrimination claims tend to take longer to prepare for hearing, and the hearing itself is often longer. As a guide, the hearing of a case of medium legal complexity is likely to involve a hearing of two to three days, and involve costs of £18-22,000 plus VAT.
Most claims settle before the main hearing. The scope of work can involve:
Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter in the light of changing circumstances and as further information is received); Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached with the employer; Preparing the formal claim; Reviewing and advising on the response from your employer; Reviewing and responding to correspondence from the Employment Tribunal; Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process; Preparing a schedule of loss (that is a financial statement summarising the potential areas of compensation you will claim); Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing;
Reviewing and identifying relevant documents with you, and exchanging them with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents; Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses; Preparing a bundle of documents for any hearing ; Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements; Preparing for the final hearing which may include agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list;
Preparation for and attendance at Final Hearing; Advising you after the hearing in respect of the decision, whether in relation to any appeal or the enforcement of any award in your favour or in relation to any appeal (whether brought by you or the other side).
The final costs will reflect the number of steps which we worked on, and as a general rule the earlier any case is resolved (whether through settlement or otherwise) the lower the overall costs.
Acting for you on what is commonly known as a ‘no win no fee’ basis
We do offer this service in cases where we believe that this arrangement can be fairly put in place. Where we agree that with you, we may seek to recover up to a third of any compensation that you recover, over and on top of what is paid to us in legal costs. That element will be payable to us directly from any monies recovered.
Mortgage/Re-Mortgage - Residential Property (Freehold & Leasehold)
The information on costs and timing is provided for guidance only. It is not a quotation. We shall be pleased to provide more detailed costs information relating to a particular matter on request. Every client will receive a letter of engagement and terms of business setting out our terms and costs based on their needs and the specific facts of the matter.
Where we carry out residential property work for clients, including freehold and/or leasehold sales and purchase, and mortgages or re-mortgages, we will agree with you a fee estimate at the outset. That fee estimate is not strictly a ‘fixed fee’ but we would only seek to alter that estimate if the work we were required to do was significantly outside what we expected when the estimate was given and only in consultation with you.
How much will it cost?
Our fee estimates are based on various factors on a case-by-case basis. Our fees typically range from £995 plus VAT to a maximum of 0.125% of the value of the property +VAT. Such fees are intended to cover the work required in respect of the transaction and we do not charge additional ‘add on’ fees for work within the original, agreed scope. Our fee assumes that:
a. That the property is registered with the Land Registry
b. That our investigations do not reveal any unexpected legal issues which must be resolved prior to the lender agreeing to complete on the mortgage
c. That your lender is a member of the Council of Mortgage Lenders
d. That there are no other unusual problems or complications
Please see below by way of ‘typical’ fees for some straightforward transactions:
purchase of a residential, freehold house with a registered title with a value of £450,000 with a mortgage - £1,500 plus VAT.
sale of a leasehold property with a registered title with a value of £450,000 - £1,700 plus VAT
re-mortgage of a freehold property with a registered title with a value of £450,000 - £995 plus VAT
An indication of what may affect the level of fees involved include the following:
The value of the property in question.
Whether the transaction is a sale, purchase or re-mortgage
Whether the property in question is leasehold or freehold
The nature of the mortgage or other funding method
The urgency of the matter and whether or not there is another transaction with which it must coincide
Whether the property is a listed building, in a conservation area or subject to other planning obligations requiring specific action or investigation
Where a freehold property, if the property is part of a managed estate
Whether title to the property is defective and remedial action required.
Whether or not the property is registered at the Land Registry, and if so in more than one registered title. If the transaction consists of the purchase of a new build house or flat at which point the new title has not been created or if the land is unregistered then further consideration of the time involved may be required.
This is not an exhaustive list of circumstances that we must take into account when providing you with a cost estimate. However, assuming the initial information we are given is accurate and also taking account of the experience of our qualified staff who give you the costs estimate, it will be possible to provide an accurate estimate at that stage. In the event of unforeseen circumstances or subsequent changes in instructions, any requirement to revisit and amend the cost estimate would always be undertaken fully in consultation with you. Typical disbursements (out of pocket expenses) on such transactions include:
For providing Bank Telegraphic Transfer (CHAPS) we charge £30 plus VAT per transfer (including our bank’s charge to us).
SALE ONLY: Land Registry Official Copy Entries, Plans or Documents – £3 per copy.
LEASEHOLD SALE ONLY: Landlord/Managing Agent’s Fees for supplying leasehold management information. This varies considerably but we estimate £200 - £400 inc VAT.
PURCHASE/ REMORTGAGE: Land Registry Registration Fees – £20 - £910 (no VAT). (This depends on value and certain other factors. The Land Registry website provides the current fee scale).
PURCHASE/REMORTGAGE: Land Registry Pre-Completion Searches – typically £7 (no VAT).
PURCHASE/ REMORTGAGE: Property Searches - £340 inc VAT.
LEASEHOLD PURCHASE/ REMORTGAGE: Landlord/Managing Agent’s Notice/Admin Fees (if required). These can vary considerably from £30 to £400 depending on the landlord’s requirements.
In order to calculate the total costs associated with the purchase, you will need to add the legal costs together with the VAT, any disbursements (and where applicable the VAT on these items). These costs should be added to any other costs you may incur such costs payable to a mortgage broker. Details of the Land Registry fees payable van be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees. If the transaction aborts we will charge you for the work actually carried out but limited to no more than 75% of the base fee due and any disbursements incurred.