We recognise that managing costs is important and therefore a staged approach will help our clients and us work together in achieving a cost-effective solution to their issue or the matter that they are undertaking. This page provides information about how we charge for our legal services and, in some cases, the different options available. Where VAT is chargeable this will be at the current applicable rate, presently 20%. Where our charges are said to be based on our usual hourly rates (time incurred), the rates that apply will be confirmed in our engagement letter with you; our current rates based on the qualifications and experience of our teams are set out at the foot of this page, for your information. We will always agree the basis of our charges with you up-front; please do discuss costs with us at any time; we want you to be comfortable with the costs of our services, based on the work that you ask us to carry out for you.
Business and Personal Debt Recovery
Despite the availability of Money Claims online, in fact businesses and individuals are required to comply with steps prior to issuing court proceedings, known as pre-action protocols. This involves setting out clearly the details about the debt and how it came about; often an initial letter compliant with these rules from a solicitor will lead to payment or an agreement around payment via instalments, rather than incurring the additional costs of a court claim. An initial letter on your behalf, compliant with these rules, is only £90 plus VAT, even if the debt owed is a significant sum, such as £20,000+. If a response is not received, you can then confidently pursue court action without the risk of having to pay the other side’s costs for non-compliance.
We always approach litigation in stages, ensuring the costs are proportionate and worthwhile; fees will be based on our usual hourly rates, charged in real-time; details about our hourly charging rates and the qualification and experience of the individuals undertaking your work are included at the foot of this page.
Of course, many commercial businesses will have multiple debtors that they may wish to pursue and therefore we are able to offer a packaged service:
Debt Recovery Letters:
1: £90 plus VAT
2-5: £60 plus VAT (with the initial fee offset against further work where the debtor disputes payment leading to the matter continuing.
If formal proceedings are required to be issued, our fees will range between £250 to £500 plus VAT, together with the Court issue fees payable.
In these cases the applicable timescale may be up to 6 months. Where a claim is not defended, we may be able to secure a favourable judgement within 4 approximately weeks.
Please be aware that in lower value and simpler claims, that proceed on what is known as the small claims track, only limited fixed costs will be recoverable and therefore you should consider whether it will be worthwhile incurring additional fees. Fixed recoverable costs at the claim stage range apply on a sliding scale from £50 to £100. Fixed recoverable costs if a judgment (CCJ) is granted in your favour again apply on a sliding scale from £22 to £70.
A judgment will not guarantee recovery of your money and you may therefore need to move to an enforcement stage; recoverable costs may include:
A Warrant of Execution, in the County Court: £2.25
A Writ of Execution, where the claim is transferred up for High Court Enforcement: £51.75
An Attachment of Earnings Order or a Third Party Debt Order: £65.00
Obtaining a Charging Order: £200.00
Our work involves taking your instructions, compiling the relevant documentation related to your debt, advising you upon prospects of success and exploring the likelihood of the claim being defended. If a claim is defended, we will consider the next stage with a view to responding to any response filed and/or settlement/negotiation options.
If a defence is filed, our work may involve advice on the defence put forward, whether a reply to the defence should be considered and filed, dealing with court obligations, filing draft orders and directions questionnaires, liaising with the other party or their advisors, representing you and advising on the options concerning mediation, preparing and filing witness evidence, instructing counsel and considering appropriate evidence/the need for expert evidence.
If a counterclaim is filed, alongside the opponent’s defence, the above considerations will also apply to the counterclaim (effective a claim brought against you in response, requiring you to defend that claim, as if an original claim had begun against you).
Our debt recovery service only relates to debt and monetary claims and responses to those claims; claims or legal proceedings related to other areas of law or which relate to issues that are more complex will be pursued and charged for on a different basis.
Disbursements are court costs and other third party costs that may apply during the progression of your case; these will be charged by us and usually we will require these fees to be provided to us on account:
Court Fees to Start a Claim (based on the amount claimed plus interest):
These range from £25 to £455 (filing online being more cost-effective). See the Gov.com website for further details about Applicable Court Fees
Court Fees, after the issue of a claim, including for applications seeking the court’s directions on particular issues: £100 to £255, inclusive of VAT
Hearing Fees, to pursue your claim to a final hearing: £25 to £335, inclusive of VAT
Employment Tribunal Claims
We do not presently offer services related to the brining and defence of claims before the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal; as such we have not provided costs transparency information about these services, but will do so if in the future we are able to offer these services to our clients and prospective clients.
A simple will starts from a fixed price of £220 plus VAT and mirror wills (these are two near identical wills made by partners or spouses that reflect the same wishes) start from £320 plus VAT but this price covers both wills; however, if your circumstances require more bespoke provisions, to best protect your interests or that of your family, then additional fees will apply and we will always confirm these up-front before starting the work for you. More bespoke provisions may include putting your assets in a trust, creating life interests, hotchpotch clauses – contact us if you would like to know more; any initial discussions are free.
We are also proud to support charity and are members of the National Free Will Network and Cancer Research UK free Wills schemes.
Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney prepared remotely
We do not make any additional charge for receiving your instructions from a distance (using one or more of the following media: letter, email, phone or online video conferencing), as opposed to meeting you in person.
Covid-19 safe execution of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney
This firm leads the field with its innovative use of video conferencing technology and its pro bono law reform campaign in 2020 led to the Wills Act 1837 being amended to expressly sanction the video witnessing of Wills, with retrospective effect from 31 January 2020.
We are happy to continue to administer the execution of wills (i.e. the process of signing and witnessing the will) in a Covid-19 safe manner either inside our offices or whilst you are seated in a vehicle as we witness and officiate from a safe distance outside. We generally make no extra charge for this where this does not involve additional travel.
Video Witnessing of Wills
Where it is not possible to visit our offices or to supervise a Covid-19-safe line of sight witnessed Will execution, we can arrange for the Will signing to be witnessed and attested in your virtual presence using online video conferencing. This is requires an internet enabled device. The procedure is more involved than a conventionally executed Will, requiring us to set up and test both the device and the connection as well as conducting two separate video conference meetings. The proceedings are recorded and stored in our client database.
Our supplemental charge for the additional time involved is £350 plus VAT.
Probate and Estate Administration
Certain cases can be carried out based on the time that we spend carrying out the work on behalf of you and your family and we would provide you with an estimate of our likely charges and any other expenses, such as registration fees, which are anticipated, up-front. As indicated above, our standard rates applicable to different members of our team, based on their qualifications and experience, are set out at the foot of this page.
It will also be necessary to cover certain other costs or expenses and the likely charges for these are as follows:
Disbursements that are not included in this fee include the following estimates:
◾Applying for Probate – ranging from £155 to £6,000
◾Obtaining copies of the Grant of Probate – £10
◾Swearing of the oath – £7
◾Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches – £5 per beneficiary
◾Posting a Notice in The London Gazette and local paper; intended to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors – £150 plus VAT and the charge applied by your local paper, usually in the region of £30 to £50
◾Undertaking a Will Search – £350 plus VAT
◾Tracing Beneficiaries £60.00 per person
◾Valuing the Contents of a Property – difficult to estimate but may be in the region of £400 to £900 plus VAT
◾Application and Notice fees for transfers of properties to the Land Registry (these do not include standard conveyancing costs – see further below)
◾Funeral costs and death certificates
◾Ongoing charges related to Gas, Electric, Telephone, council tax and Insurance
◾Mileage and travel
◾Costs of Estate Agents, including for valuations
◾Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax plus the costs of preparing and filing returns or dealing with HMRC, to include charges of Accountants in assisting with this
What does our work Cover?
As part of our probate service, for a non-taxable, simple estate, we will:
◾Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
◾Obtain the grant of probate on your behalf
◾Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries based on the information provided to us
◾Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require based on the information provided to us
◾Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
◾Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC Inheritance Tax forms
◾Draft a legal oath for you to swear
◾Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
◾Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
◾Collect and distribute all known assets in the estate
On average, simple estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of Probate takes 4-6 weeks. Collecting assets then follows which can take 4-6 weeks but if there are for example properties to be sold, then the timescale for the conveyancing process to complete will also be applied. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes a further 4-6 weeks.
We appreciate that clients need to be able to budget from the outset when they are buying or selling a property. We are able to provide you with an initial likely indication of price which is based on the value of the property and the typical amount of work needed to conclude a standard transaction. Many transactions are straightforward and we think that those which are, should not subsidise those which aren’t. The figures given below are the prices that we expect to apply to the majority of transactions falling within that price band. However where we encounter the need for additional work because of title defects or other difficulties which arise we shall bring these to your attention at quickly as possible so that any adjustments to budgets can be made quickly
Price Band Up To
Acting for Seller
£ (excl VAT)
Acting for Buyer
£ (excl VAT)
Price Band Up To
Acting for Seller
£ (excl VAT)
Acting for Buyer
£ (excl VAT)
If you require a quote for a Newbuild, Shared Ownership, a Transfer of Equity or for Conveyancing of a property over £500,000 please call us for a tailored quote.
Typical Disbursements When Purchasing
|Standard Compulsory Searches (Local Authority, Water, Environmental, PlanSearch Plus and Chancel Repair Indemnity)||Approx £237.00 (inc VAT)|
|Land Registration Fees
(for unregistered land, HM Land Registry make a double charge – though over 95% of properties are now registered meaning these lower charges are payable)
Rates can vary depending upon specific circumstances including your status as a buyer, whether you already have another property and the purchase price agreed; we will of course confirm this in our terms of engagement, but to allow you to consider these costs now, please refer to the latest guidance on the Gov.com website for current: Stamp Duty Rates
Up-front Information at the Start of any Work
The above provides an indication only of likely costs for a range of our services but assumes that there are no complications or particular aspects which might make the work more complex. We always intend to be transparent about the likely costs of any work and this approach accords with the Standards and Regulations to which we adhere, as required by our regulator, the Solicitors Regulations Authority (SRA).
Qualifications and Experience of our Team: Standard Hourly Rates
Our usual charging rates, where our fees will be based on the time spent on the work are £250 plus VAT for Partners, £220 plus VAT for senior solicitors and £150 plus VAT for Trainees, Legal Executives (trainee) and paralegals, with experience in the relevant area of work.
Our actual fees and charges (or our best estimate of them) will be as set out in an initial engagement letter that we send to you, at the start of your case or matter, providing detailed information about costs, the individuals that will work on your matter, their qualifications and experience and the likely timesclales involved.