correct as of Nov 2018
No two people or properties are the same and the service that we offer reflects the personal and individual nature of what for many people is one of the most important transactions they will undertake. Our experienced and friendly team offers not only specialist expertise but also support and guidance throughout the transaction.
Your matter will not be handled by a team or by ever changing and difficult to contact people but, rather, by a qualified Solicitor assisted by a named and experienced Secretary. Unless you prefer that it is done in this way, Contract documentation will not be sent to you in the post for signature and you will have a face to face meeting to discuss it and for it to be explained to you and for any questions you may have to be answered. Please telephone and ask to speak to either Sandra Bennett or Debbie Childs for more information or if you have any queries.
Different types of properties give rise to a range of issues some of which cannot be accurately predicted in advance. Below are some of the typical scenarios that arise and the most common circumstances giving rise to additional expenses. It would be impractical as well as being misleading to offer in advance a fixed total sum that will arise and the information given is to provide the best guidance possible in advance. If you would like to have assistance in calculating the total cost please give us a call. Before proceeding on your behalf we will need to discuss the details of the proposed transaction(s) with you and we will then confirm to you in writing the best estimate we can provide of the anticipated cost with a detailed breakdown of it.
The basic fee structure for sales and purchases of Freehold properties with existing registered titles is as follows:
Up to £150,000.00 - £490.00 + VAT
Then to £200,000.00 - £540.00 + VAT
Over £200,000.00 - Add £50.00 per additional £100,000.00 purchase price or part
So, for example, on a purchase of a Freehold house with a registered title at a price of £350,000.00 the fee will be £640.00 + VAT.
As indicated above additional fees may arise in different circumstances where there are either complications or where extra work is involved. Typical scenarios where additional fees may arise are:
Leasehold Flat purchase - £200.00 + VAT
Leasehold Flat sale - £100.00 + VAT
New Builds/Plots - £200.00 + VAT
For Listed Buildings or where there are other unusual features or planning restrictions - £150.00 + VAT
Unregistered Title - £100.00 + VAT
Solar Panels - £100.00 + VAT
Arranging Indemnity Policies - £50.00 + VAT per policy
Dealing with Restrictions/Deeds of Covenant on Freehold transactions - £100.00 + VAT
Notice Fees - £25.00 + VAT per notice
Help to Buy ISAs - £50.00 + VAT per person
Help to Buy Mortgage - £150.00 + VAT
CHAPs Bank Transfers (e.g. to other Solicitors, to Lenders to repay mortgage(s) or if required due to amount involved) - £20.00 + VAT per payment
Gifted Deposit verification - £50.00 + VAT
Retentions (usually on leasehold flats only) - £100.00 + VAT
Obtaining confirmation of identity using Form ID1 - £50.00 + VAT per ID1
Verify instructions and identity where Power of Attorney involved - £100.00 + VAT
Trust Deed (basic) - £150.00 + VAT. If revisions are required or additional attendances or complications arise further fees will arise and are likely to be in the range of up to £300.00.
Illustrations of fees in relation to other transactions that commonly arise are:
Transfer of title – no Mortgage - £200.00 + VAT
Re-Mortgage (subject to confirmation of Lender) - £320.00 + VAT
Re-mortgage and Transfer
Including Transfer of equity with Mortgage - £390.00 + VAT
Council House Purchase - £390.00 + VAT
Advice on Auction pack - £200.00 + VAT
Purchase following exchange no advice - £300.00 + VAT
Auction Sale - £550.00 + VAT
Land Sale - £500.00 + VAT
Purchase of Freehold Reversion - £350.00 + VAT
Update Title - £100.00 + VAT
If you have a different transaction or need advice generally please contact us to discuss the position and to arrange a bespoke figure.
In addition to the legal fees arising there will also be payments to third parties (known as disbursements) which will vary according to the transaction.
On a purchase transaction these will typically be:
Preliminary Search fees for a property in South Yorkshire - £191.00. Elsewhere in the country where a Coal Mining Report is not required they are typically £146.00 though it is sometimes necessary for additional searches (e.g. Cheshire Brine/Cornish Tin) to be carried out.
Final Land Registry and Land Charges Searches. Without details of the relevant title a specific figure cannot be given, but in a typical Freehold transaction where there are two buyers the cost will be £7.00.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). This is potentially a complicated but in a usual and straightforward transaction not involving the surcharge details can be obtained from HMRC’s website following the link of https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculator-service-availability-and-issues/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculator-service-availability-and-issues. For example in a purchase by a first time buyer of a property at £150,000.00, the SDLT liability will be nil the purchase of a replacement home by a couple at a price of £150,000.00 will be £500.00 and a similar purchase by them at a price of £300,000.00 it will be £5,000.00. It is important that the potential liability is checked carefully as different rules can apply depending on the individual circumstances. This is of particular relevance where the 3% surcharge applies e.g. to investors or to purchasers not replacing their existing residence.
Land Registry Fee. This is charged on a sliding scale details of which can be viewed on the Land Registry’s website following the link to HM Land Registry: Registration Services Fees https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-hm-land-registry-guides. Again, on a typical transaction at £150,000.00 for an existing registered title the cost will be £95.00 and at £300,000.00 the cost will be £135.00.
On a sale transaction the disbursements are usually only modest comprising copies of up to date Official Copy of Register Entries and the title plan together with copies of any other documents that are referred to and are generally in the range of £6.00 - £12.00. It should be noted however that Leasehold properties and in particular Leasehold flats give rise to additional expense which can be significant, the charge made by Managing Agents for the provision of a Leasehold Flat Information Form being commonly in the range of £250.00 - £400.00 plus VAT.
On other transactions details of the disbursements that are either required or which may be advisable can be provided on request.
To comply with our Professional Regulations and both Money Laundering and Land Registry requirements we are obliged to check identities of all parties for whom we act and the source(s) of funds for all transactions. This involves a Credit Check and will give rise to a non-refundable fee of £40.00 + VAT even if the transaction(s) do not proceed (e.g. due to an adverse survey or to a change of mind) after we have otherwise been given authority to proceed.
Where a home visit is required an additional fee which is ordinarily of £100.00 - £200.00 + VAT will be charged depending on the distance and further time involved.
If additional or specific advice is required (for example in relation to Stamp Duty Land Tax queries) fees will be charged on a time spent basis at the current hourly charging rate which for Chris Auburn is £205.00 and for Katie Auburn is £170.00.
All fees are subject to the addition of VAT which is currently charged at 20%
Private Client Matters
Our Senior Partner, Chris Auburn, will be responsible for dealing with your matter. Chris has many years’ experience and is able to advise not only in relation to the specific matters mentioned below but also generally in relation to other matters. He is assisted by Rebecca Richmond who is also experienced in dealing with all matters relevant to Estates and able to provide additional
support and assistance.
Dependent upon the value and make up of an Estate either Probate (where there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will) may be required. Whilst the names are different, in general terms the procedures for them both are similar. However, no two Estates are the same and it is potentially misleading for fees to be quoted in advance, the information given below providing guidance and as good an indication as is possible of what might be expected. The exact cost may not be fully predictable and therefore known particularly if issues of difficulty or complexity arise.
At what is a difficult time, we will provide not only advice but also general support and assistance with a view to helping you as much as is possible and in dealing with the position in the way you choose. This might be on a fully “hands on” basis or, alternatively, less full in its scope depending upon your needs and your preferences and wishes.
Obtaining a Grant of either Probate or Letters of Administration requires that the assets and liabilities of the Estate are ascertained. The fees arising will, therefore, be influenced by the number and values of the different assets and liabilities that arise. For ease of simplifying the position the cost indications given below are in two parts reflecting whether or not the Estate is of a lower value and of a more straightforward nature and which is usually the case where there are no Inheritance Tax implications, and those where an Estate is either more substantial or which involves other complexities requiring to be addressed and for advice to be given in relation to them.
Illustrations of the costs arising in typical Estates of which there are two Executors and two beneficiaries might be as follows:
(a) Where there are no Inheritance Tax implications and there are up to 6 assets and 3 liabilities: an Oath fee of £12.00, Special Delivery fee £7.30, fee payable to the Probate Registry £158.00, legal fees in the range of £900.00-£1,800.00 plus VAT.
(b) For an Estate where there are Inheritance Tax implications or a higher number of institutions with whom assets are held and/or more beneficiaries a typical cost would be an Oath fee of £12.00, Special Delivery fee £7.30, fee payable to the Probate Registry £155.00 plus £0.50 per copy required, legal fees are likely to be in the range of £1,800.00 to £4,800.00 plus VAT. More specific and accurate information can be provided when the extent of the Estate and the work that is anticipated to arise is more clearly known.
The timescale within which it is possible to complete the administration of an Estate will vary significantly dependent upon factors such as the sale of a property, finalising either Income Tax or Inheritance Tax matters and also upon the make-up of assets some of which it is possible to deal
with more speedily than others. It is often possible to conclude the administration of a straightforward Estate on a timescale of 3 months. Larger or more complicated Estates will take longer being commonly dealt with in a timescale of 6-12 months. We will always work as speedily
and efficiently as is possible.
Additional fees will arise in matters which are the subject of any disputes between beneficiaries or which are subject to claims made against the Estate.
Dealing with any property is additional to the obtaining of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration and dealing with the other elements of the Estate. An indication of the likely levels of fees can be found in the Residential Conveyancing section.
In addition to the fees that arise there are disbursements i.e. payments to third parties, some of which will always be incurred and others which are additional being either advisable or necessary in some but not all circumstances.
The following fees will always be payable:
An Oath fee. This is of £5.00 per person completing the document plus, in the case of Probate, £2.00 per document referred to, ie Will and Codicil(s) to the Will. If there are 2 Executors and a Will but no Codicil(s) to it the cost will be £12.00.
A special delivery charge of, usually, £7.30, to safeguard the delivery of the papers to the Probate Registry.
An application fee payable to the Probate Registry of £155.00. In addition it is usually desirable for Court supplied copies to be obtained and which are at a cost of £0.50 each. So, for example, if there are investments or accounts with, say, 6 institutions then ordinarily there would be an additional cost of £3.00 for the copies, i.e. a total of £158.00.
The following are the most commonly arising additional expenses:
Notices pursuant to Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925 and which are placed with a local newspaper and the London Gazette. Typically the cost of these Notices is a total of c£210.00, but can vary depending on the locality in which the death occurred.
Land Charges searches made against the names of beneficiaries and which are at a cost of £2.00 per person
As with Estates everyone’s circumstances are different and we have the experience and expertise to provide you with the solution and advice that you personally need. Illustrations of the more usually arising types of Wills are given below.
A single Will - A straight forward single Will is £90.00 plus VAT.
Mirror Wills - A pair of straight forward mirror Wills is £150.00 plus VAT.
The above do not include any advice in relation to Inheritance Tax, protection of assets for nursing/residential care home fees, in relation to Trusts or claims against an Estate.
Severance of beneficial joint tenancy in a property
To include the preparation of a Notice of Severance and registration of it at the Land Registry. Legal fees are £50.00 plus VAT.
A Will incorporating a life interest provision in favour of another person
£190.00 plus VAT per person or £250.00 plus VAT for a couple.
A Will incorporating a Discretionary Trust (e.g. for asset protection purposes or to include provision for disabled child/children, vulnerable adults) and the preparation of a Letter(s) of Wishes. Dependent on the complexity of issues arising the legal fees commence at £300.00 plus VAT for a single person or £360.00 plus VAT for a couple.
3. POWERS OF ATTORNEY
3.1 Registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney (i.e. completed prior to 1st October 2007)
This is done by an Attorney where the Donor has become or is becoming mentally incapable of dealing with their own affairs. Legal fees of £300.00 plus VAT plus the current Registration fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian of £82.00.
3.2 Preparation and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
There are currently two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, being one for Property and Financial Affairs and one for Health and Welfare.
For one person to complete one type of Lasting Power of Attorney - £250.00 plus VAT
For one person to complete two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney - £400.00 plus VAT
For a couple to complete both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney - £600.00 plus VAT
In addition there is currently a registration/validation fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian of £82.00 per Lasting Power of Attorney.
Where a home visit is required an additional fee which is ordinarily of £100-£200.00 plus VAT will be charged depending on the distance and further time involved. If additional or specific advice is required fees will be charged on a time spent basis at Chris Auburn’s current hourly charging rate of £205.00. Other circumstances may be relevant to the overall cost details of which are contained in the Solicitors’ (Non-Contentious) Remuneration Order 2009 which can be viewed on https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/1931/contents/made.
All fees are subject to the addition of VAT which is currently charged at 20%.
Employment Tribunal: Range of costs
Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal.
The following estimates of prices are based upon our experience of the time taken to complete typical administrative stages of the tribunal process* (see below).
All cases are handled either by a Partner assisted by a secretary clerk
Simple case: £1500 to 3500 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £3500 to 25000 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £25000 to £40000 est (excluding VAT)
The above charges are our estimated time charges or ‘profit costs’
Factors that could make a case more complex and therefore involve increased time and therefore cost include:
· If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
· Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
· Making or defending a costs application
· Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
· The number of witnesses and documents
· Ifitisanautomaticunfairdismissalclaime.g.ifyouaredismissedafterblowingthewhistleonyour employer
· Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal
· Whether the claim involves more than one claim or cause of action
There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £1200.00 per day (excluding VAT).
Generally, we would allow 1-2 days depending on the complexity of your case.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handlethepaymentofthedisbursementsonyourbehalftoensureasmootherprocess.
Counsel's fees estimated between £2,000.00 and £3,500.00 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
Preparing claim or response
Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
Preparing bundle of documents
Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication. If some of the stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced.
You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.
How long will my Claim take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your Claim depends largely on the stage at which your case isresolved.
If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2-4 weeks.
If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 8 weeks to 52 weeks. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
In the event that the Claim is settled then the costs payable will depend upon the amount of time spent in dealing with the claim to that point – the above estimates imagine working through each of the phases of a typical claim.
Debt recovery: Range of fixed fees
We provide a fixed cost debt recovery legal service in certain cases.
Our fixed cost service is always based upon undisputed debts.
The following costs apply where the claim relates to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed.
Note that if the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.
Debt value Court fee Our fee (incl.VAT) Total
Up to £5,000 £205.00 £150.00 plus VAT (£180) £385.00
£5,001 - £10,000 £455.00 £300.00 plus VAT (£360.00) £815.00
£10,001 - £50,000 5% of the value of the Claim 10% value of the claim To be calculated
Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should also note that:
The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.
Our fee includes:
Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
Undertaking appropriate searches
Sending a letter before action
Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
If payment is not received within 14 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs
Matters usually take 2-4 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not It is necessary to issue a claim.
This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.
Disputed Debts and Commercial and Insolvency Claims
Separately, in disputed cases and in the case of Insolvency related work, we apply an hourly charging rate. Letters, emails and telephone calls are charged according to 6 minute units of time or are “pro-rated” in accordance with the scheme set out below.
Our current hourly charging rates are as follows:
£205.00 per hour plus VAT for work conducted by partners
Solicitors and non-partner Solicitor’s hourly charging rate of £170 per hour
Paralegal personnel’s hourly charging rate £130 per hour
Secretary Clerks – this will be charged at the rate of £50 per hour with appropriate pro-rating.
The overall cost of dealing with disputed cases varies according to the size and nature of the claim, its complexity the evidential and procedural requirements of the case
Licensing applications in relation to businesses: Range of costs and fixed fee
Premises Licenses are required when any business wishes to provide any one of the ‘licensable activities’ to its customers - for example the selling of alcohol, the playing of live or recorded music, or the selling of hot food take-away after 11.pm.
Applications for a premises Licence under Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003 and applications to vary a premises Licence under Section 34 of the Licensing Act 2003 involve legal processes that ensure that responsible bodies (for example the Police Fire Service Local Authority) and members of the public to question the planned activity and the way in which this will be carried out.
The average cost or a range of costs associated with these types of application depends upon the complexity of the planned business, its nature and the extent to which objections might be made to the application.
Factors affecting complexity can include:
whether there is a cumulative impact policy in place,
the type and size of the premises,or
whether it is in a residential area.
Whether what is proposed is e.g. a large scale public event.
The normal range of costs for cases of this type are typically:
Simple application(new premises Licence): £750.00 plus VAT plus disbursements (based on 3 Hours at £205.00 per hour plus VAT)
Medium complexity: £1,025.00 plus VAT plus Disbursements ( based on 5 hours at £205.00 hours plus VAT)
High complexity: (for example large public events) £1,025.00 plus VAT to £5,000.00 plus VAT (based on 5-24.5 hours at an hourly rate of £205.00 per hour plus VAT).
These estimated fees will include the following parts of a typical licensing application:
Taking your instructions and advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application
Advising you as the type of plans you are required to submit with your application.
Completing the application form for a new premises Licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority along side suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans.
Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.
Preparing copies of the premises Licence application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities
Drafting the notices advertising the premises Licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper.
Arranging with you for you to display the notice(s)advertising the premises Licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.
Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal Licence holder proposed by yourself.
Checking the Licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.
The fee does not include:
Obtaining suitable plans
Attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting.
Dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties
Advising on varying the Licence
Attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate.
These additional elements of work will be charged at our hourly charging rate of £205.00 per hour plus VAT
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the application fee.
Some fees depend upon the business rates payable for the property. Local Authorities will provide the following type of information as a basis for setting the application fees:
Band A is £0 to £4,300
Band B is £4,301 to £33,000
Band C is £33,001 to £87,000
Band D is £87,001 to £125,000
Band E is £125,001 or more
The actual fee to be charged by the Local Authority varies from area to area but by way of illustration:
Band Application fee Annual charge Variation fee
A £100 £70 £100
B £190 £180 £190
C £315 £295 £315
D £450 £320 £450
E £635 £350 £635
In addition to the application fee each Premises Licence Application needs to be advertised and other typical aspects of an application will involve the payment of other types of disbursement eg:
Advertising fee £250.00 to 1000.000 plus VAT
Enquiry agent fees to display public notices £200 to 400 plus VAT
Special delivery fee to serve the application £80.00
Printing additional copies of plans if necessary £50.00
*These fees vary depending on the individual premises and where it is located. The fees can on occasion be higher than the ranges given above. We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we are able to do so.
Any premises in bands D and E will be charged more where they are exclusively or mainly in the business of selling alcohol.
Band D premises - application fee or twice annual charge
Band E premises - application fee or three times annual charge
Similarly, where the maximum number of persons you plan to allow on the premises whilst licensable activities take place is 5,000 or more, then the following additional fees will apply:
£1,000.00 for 5,000 to 9,999 persons
£2,000.00 for 10,000 to 14,999 persons
£4,000.00 for 15,000 to 19,999 persons
Contact us if 20,000 or more persons
Other common types of disbursements include the following
Application for provisional statement - £315.00
Personal Licence - £37.00
Temporary event notice - £21.00
Copy of notice/Licence/certificate or summary - £10.50
Notification of change of name or address - £10.50
Notification of change of details - £10.50
Variation to premises supervisor - £23.00
Transfer of premises Licence - £23.00
Interim authority - £23.00
Register freeholder interest - £21.00
How long will my application take?
Matters usually take 4-6 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. The licensing regulations have specified time limits built into them and so it is not likely that an application will take less time than this estimate.
A period of 6-8 weeks is given on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly.
If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.