Pricing and Service Information
We pride ourselves in providing our clients with transparent pricing information before we are instructed and keeping our clients up to date with costs throughout a matter so that they can budget accordingly.
We appreciate that our clients have different pricing requirements and so we offer a variety of pricing structures to suit our clients’ needs.
For our conveyancing clients, our online quote generator produces an instant quotation for sale, purchase and remortgage matters including expenses in addition to legal fees such as HM Land Registry fees. For more complex conveyancing matters, however, we can offer the following pricing options:
(i) An estimated fee based on the predicted time to be spent on the matter with agreement that if the predicted time is exceeded then further fees will be discussed and proposed. The estimated fee will not be a simple calculation of predicted hours multiplied by hourly rate, but will include an element of price reduction. For example, an instruction to draft and execute a legal charge will typically involve 6 – 8 hours work from start to finish but our estimated fee is likely to be in the region of £600.00 plus VAT, which is much lower than the hourly rates of our conveyancing fee earners shown on the price information section below.
(ii) The certainty of a capped fixed fee that will be higher than the estimated fee referred to at (i) above but a fee that will not be increased providing you with budgeting certainty.
(iii) Charging on a straightforward hourly rate basis. This could result in a fee that is lower or higher than both options (i) and (ii) above but is the most variable of the fee charging options we offer.
Clients instructing us in employment law matters can also choose from an estimated fee based on the three options shown above.
For probate matters, our fee structure is dependent upon the complexity of the estate. For simple estates where our involvement is limited to the application for a grant of probate (and not the remainder of the administration) we will offer a fixed fee. For substantial and complex estates our fee will be based in part on the value of the estate and in part upon the time taken, charged on an hourly rate basis.
We have built our reputation on the levels of service and the depth of advice that we provide to our clients and we are proud to say that over 75% of our new instructions are from either returning clients or personal recommendation.
- The documents below provide detailed information on the key stages of sale, purchase and remortgage matters and an estimate of timescales. Profiles of the conveyancing team fee earners that will be acting for you can be found on our team page.
- Price Information
- We can provide you with an instant conveyancing quote for your sale, purchase or remortgage via our online quote generator.
For a general overview of our pricing for residential sale, purchase and remortgage transactions please see the fee scale table below.
For some matters, such as leasehold transactions, additional fees may be appropriate and will be included in our original fee estimates if the circumstances are known at that stage. A list of typical additional fees that may apply can be viewed below.
There is also the possibility that additional fees will be proposed during the course of a matter should unexpected work be necessary, e.g. drafting of tenancy agreements, statutory declarations or varying a defective lease.
For more complex sale, purchase or remortgage transactions, you may wish to instruct us to act on an hourly rate basis and details of the hourly rates of our fee earners are as follows:
Peter Dodd Solicitor and Partner £215.00 per hour plus VAT Claire Meehan Solicitor £195.00 per hour plus VAT Kerry Webster Solicitor £195.00 per hour plus VAT Elizabeth Priestley Associate Member of CILEx £175.00 per hour plus VAT
In addition to our legal fees, you will also be required to pay expenses to third parties, often referred to as ‘disbursements’, on sale, purchase and remortgage matters. A list of typical third party expenses for sale, purchase and remortgage matters can be found below.
- Example Quotes
- Here are some example quotes for typical conveyancing transactions including our fees and third party expenses along with a grand total cost.
- Estate Administration – Key Stages and Timescale
An estate administration can broadly be divided into stages. These are detailed below.
(i) Register the death, carry out funeral wishes, check validity and interpretation of the Will or explain how the Rules of Intestacy will apply and advise how to protect estate assets
(ii) Determine who is responsible for administering the estate, make an initial assessment of what will be required, explain the process, the timescales and the costs involved; agree what you will need us to do and then take those steps without delay
(iii) Value the estate, calculate if tax is payable and if so manage payment, if necessary, complete and guide you through the paperwork and apply for a Grant of Representation
(iv) Liaise with HMRC (Inheritance Tax), collect in assets, settle liabilities including income tax, notify and identify beneficiaries, produce clear Estate Accounts and distribute
How long will it take?
Once the funeral has passed, there is no particular urgency and we are happy to take things at your pace. Certain steps may be pressing such as ensuring property is adequately insured and valuables are secure. Once you are ready and where practicable, we will meet you in person either at your home with family members or at our offices. We will always endeavour to conclude an administration as swiftly as possible, however, the timescale for completing the estate will depend upon a number of factors. For an estate with just one bank account and no property to sell, the administration could be completed within as little as two to three months, although the time period is likely to be longer where there is inheritance tax to pay. Where there is a property to sell, the timescale is likely to be dependent upon how long it takes for that property sale to be completed. However, if the estate has only a few assets and a single property and there is no Inheritance Tax to pay, the administration can usually be completed approximately two months following the completion of the property sale.
In all cases, consideration must be given as to whether there is likely to be any claim against the estate of the deceased. Where a claim is considered a possibility, the best advice is to wait a period of ten months from the date of issue of the Grant of Representation before distributing all (or in some cases any) part of the estate. Distribution of the estate should be withheld if a claim is commenced. In those situations where solicitors are appointed as executors, the solicitor executors are likely to want to take a cautious approach and to delay distributing all (or possibly any) of the estate until the ten month period has expired.
In tax paying estates, the timescale for administering the estate will be dependent upon the speed with which the tax authorities agree the Inheritance Tax position. It is likely that tax paying estates will take at least a year to finalise, possibly more if a property in the estate is slow to sell. In very complex situations an estate can take a number of years to administer.
- Price Information
- How much will it cost?
We approach each instruction individually. We listen to our clients and we work closely with them. Our charges are based on how much we do and how complex the estate is. There are two parts to our charging structure; a time-based element and a value related element. For the most straightforward estates, perhaps where there is only one beneficiary and no property to sell, our fees will be at the lower end of the possible range. In some cases our fees are limited as we are only instructed to assist with limited elements of an administration. In such cases we charge on a time-only basis and our fee-earner rates are available on our website. Our fee notes are accompanied by a time sheet which identifies the time taken, the fee-earner and the activity.
Where we are instructed to undertake the full administration of a complex estate, we charge on a time and value related basis. The value related charge reflects the importance of the matters we advise upon, the cost to us of professional indemnity insurance and the responsibility which the firm undertakes. The value related charge is calculated as a percentage of the value of the estate, following guidelines set down by the Court of Appeal. These guidelines are displayed below and on our website. It is our current practise to apply a discount to the Court of Appeal figures of between 10% and 20%.
The Court of Appeal guidance as to how the charges relating to the value of an estate should be calculated is as follows:
The estate should be considered in two parts:-
(i) The deceased’s residence (the value of the deceased’s home or as much of it as the deceased person owned if owned jointly)
(ii) The rest of the Deceased person’s estate.
The appropriate percentages are as follows:-
(A) Solicitor not acting as an Executor
Value of gross estate less residence 1%
Value of residence 0.5%
(B) Solicitor as Sole Executor or Joint Executor with another person
Value of gross estate less residence 1.5%
Value of residence 0.75%
In the case of high value estates, the Court of Appeal set out that a regressive scale should apply. The figures provided by the Court cover a case where a Solicitor is acting as Executor and for comparison, we have extrapolated what the appropriate figure would be where a Solicitor is not appointed Executor.
Gross value of estate Appropriate percentage where a Solicitor is appointed as an Executor Appropriate percentage where a Solicitor is not appointed as an Executor up to £1 million 1.5 1 £1 million – £3,999,999 0.5 0.3333 £4 million – £7,999,999 0.1666 0.1111 £8 million – £11,999,999 0.0833 0.0555 £12 million and over 0.0416 0.0277
The examples available on the menu tab below set out likely costs from the simplest of estates to the more complex high values estates. As a team we have extensive experience across all these ranges.
Details of the hourly rates of our fee earners are as follows:
James Hamilton Partner £215.00 per hour plus VAT Robert Kornas Partner £215.00 per hour plus VAT Laura Priestley Solicitor £195.00 per hour plus VAT Shelley Savasi Probate Manager £170.00 per hour plus VAT Alex Gardiner Probate Assistant £135.00 per hour plus VAT Emma Rawlinson Accounts Manager £130.00 per hour plus VAT
When administering an estate there are additional costs payable to third parties, known as ‘disbursements’. These can include the following, with the respective current cost:
- Land Registry Title (electronic downloads) £3 each
- Chartered Surveyor property reports (variable) From £250 + VAT per property
- Executor’s Oath fee £7 (per executor)
- Probate Registry Application Fees £155
(the Government have proposed that this set figure of £155 is to be substantially increased from April 2019)
- Sealed copies of the Grant of Representation £0.50 (each)
- Executors’ Legal Notices (variable) From £190 + VAT
- Beneficiary bankruptcy checks £2 (each name checked)
Our conveyancing charges will be a separate fee in addition to the administration costs and these are available on our on-line quote generator.