Friendly & Approachable

Costs

COSTS, FEES AND EXPENSES – A GENERAL OVERVIEW

Solicitors charge for work in a number of different ways and we are no different in that respect. We are a business and therefore need to charge for the work we undertake and we need to make a profit.

Where we think we are slightly different is that whilst we will not be the cheapest legal firm, we work on a rather old fashioned basis that the fees we charge should be fair and reasonable to you and to us. That is a value judgement and is often very subjective.

We set out below some examples of fees. These are not prescriptive and are guides. The reason for this is that if for example, we give an estimate of costs to one client, that might be appropriate to that client, but another client wanting a similar job doing will have other significant factors which come into play which will change the time and complexity of the work involved. In simple terms, you are not comparing like with like. Therefore, the figures we set out below are examples or guides.

There are other factors which need to be borne in mind. Unlike a number of legal firms, all the professionals you will use are qualified solicitors in most cases of many years standing. This experience means that you are sure that time spent on your matters is most cost effective. You are not paying for unqualified clerks to undertake work on your behalf. Different solicitors in the firm will have different rates. That will depend upon the seniority of the person undertaking the work. We time record work we carry out to ensure that this is cost effective to you and also to ourselves. This also allows us to calculate costs.

WHEN WE SEND YOU OUR BILL

We are conscious of costs to clients and will discuss with you how best to bill and what works best for you. In most transactions for example a house purchase or a Will, we will simply submit our account when we have completed the matter for you. In other matters such as court proceedings, we will discuss how we will bill you and this may well be on a quarterly basis.

We appreciate that the issue of costs will be very important to you. We are happy to discuss costs with you and how we will structure work for you to keep these to a minimum or accommodate your personal requirements as far as we are able.

RESIDENTIAL CONVEYANCING (UNDERTAKEN BY A SOLICITOR)

We are accredited members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Between our solicitors we have over 100 years of experience.

The scale below gives indicative charges (estimates) but before giving any full cost estimate consideration will be given to the following:-

1. Freehold, leasehold or commonhold?
2. Registered or unregistered title?
3. Mortgage or no mortgage?
4. Special ownership issues etc

Remember, there will also be searches, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax. Additional fees may be payable for other related work undertaken.

Alternatively, please use our fees calculator :-

 

WILLS

Average cost of Wills
A single Will £100.00 – £180.00 plus VAT.
Mirror Wills £150.00 – £210.00 plus VAT.

WHAT YOU MIGHT THINK OF AS A SIMPLE WILL MAY NOT ACTUALLY BE SIMPLE.

There are a number of factors which need to be taken into account and therefore what you might think is fairly complex might to us be fairly simple and be less time consuming and therefore the cost would be at the lower end of the scale. In other circumstances, what you might consider to be simple from your personal situation might actually be more complicated and therefore a fee might be at the higher end of the scale. We will discuss costs with you, when we know the time and complexity of the work involved.

We will advise on other matters when we talk to you about Wills such as Inheritance Tax, Powers of Attorney and care home costs. We will also look at your family circumstances to make sure that what you think you want actually best protects you and your family.

LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

Average costs for Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs (single document plus registration)
£350.00 plus VAT

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare (single document plus registration)
£350.00 plus VAT

Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance and Health and Welfare (2 documents and 2 registrations)
£500.00 plus VAT

Husband and wife Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance x 2
£500.00 plus VAT

Husband and wife Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finance and Health and Welfare (x4 including registration)
£600.00 plus VAT

Please note that court registration fee is currently £82.00 per Power of Attorney and is also payable to the Office of the Public Guardian.

The above fees as with all our fees, are dependent upon circumstances of each matter.

We have significant experience assessing mental capacity, possibly with the assistance of doctors or other healthcare professionals. Michael McGarry is a court appointed deputy and has significant experience in dealing with the affairs of older clients and is also a member of the Society for Trusts and Estate Practitioners as Solicitors for the Elderly. Where additional time is required to assess mental capacity, then fees may be greater.

LICENSING

Licensing for public houses, workingmen’s clubs, gambling institutions and the like, estimated cost for application £600.00 plus VAT plus advertising costs and other disbursements.

CIVIL DISPUTES DEPARTMENT

Disputes can arise in all areas of life, whether it is in the workplace, between families or colleagues; with professional advisors, or between customers and businesses. Nobody likes to become involved in a dispute but if they arise, whichever side of the dispute you are on, we are here to help.

Our experienced solicitors can offer professional legal advice and guidance with a wide range of Civil Dispute matters including:-
• Debt recovery
• Defending debt claims
• Family and inherited wealth disputes
• Property disputes
• Contractual Disputes
• Professional Negligence
• Landlord and tenant
• Defamation

If your particular issue isn’t listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

We will provide professional guidance and honest advice about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and about your options for resolving the matter, so that you can make informed decisions about how you would like to proceed. Disputes can be stressful and costly, whether you are pursuing an action against another party, or defending an action which someone has brought against you. We will guide and advise you, so that you can reach the most timely and cost-effective outcome. We will explain any alternatives to taking court proceedings and, if that is the only way to proceed to secure the right outcome, our experienced solicitors will conduct that litigation for you.

No matter how big or small your dispute, we are happy to discuss it with you in a free 20 minute consultation by telephone or in person, which will help you to decide what you want to do next.

WHAT WILL IT COST?

It is never easy to estimate the cost of a civil dispute because a lot will depend on the work involved. This will vary from case to case, depending on the complexity of the matter, how long it takes to resolve and whether court proceedings are involved. Our goal is always to achieve a resolution of your dispute as quickly, smoothly and cost-effectively as possible.

We are committed to ensuring that there are no nasty surprises and so we will agree a fixed fee with you for the initial stages of your case, so that you can then make an informed decision about how you would like to proceed. In all cases, we will update you regularly about the cost of your case and we will always obtain your authority at each stage before any fees are incurred. As with most law firms, VAT and expenses will be charged in addition to our fees. In matters with a value up to £100,000, our charging rate will be £200 per hour plus VAT and expenses. For matters with a value in excess of £100,000, please contact us for a confidential discussion to see how we can help. To request a call back please complete the contact form.

PROBATE

Less than £325,000.00 (£650,000 between spouses or civil partners)

If we are asked by executors to obtain a Grant of Probate and the executors provide information to us to complete the return of estate information where an estate has a value of less than the relevant inheritance tax threshold, then an estimated fee would be £500.00 plus VAT

Greater than

Where we are instructed by executors or personal representatives to prepare a probate application and obtain probate where all information supplied by the executors to an estate having a value greater than the relevant inheritance tax threshold then our fee would be a minimum of £1,000.00 plus VAT.

We can give no further costs advice as this will be dependent upon a variety of factors and issues

PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION

Where the personal representatives or executors/administrators of a deceased person instructs us to deal with the administration of an estate including the obtaining of the grant of probate or grant of administration, winding up of the estate including ascertaining values, the preparation of all the inheritance tax forms, collection of assets, payment of debts and liabilities, communications with accountants, tax office, financial advisers, banks, building societies and other institutions and the like. On taking instructions we will give an estimate of the likely costs involved. Costs are based upon time spent and this is different in each estate. It depends upon whether the estate is complex with lots of assets and liabilities, or simple. You essentially pay for what is required. Our charges also include a value element which is calculated by reference to the value of the estate. The reason for this is that as with all work we undertake (including for example conveyancing), we are heavily insured to ensure that clients are protected in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Our professional indemnity insurance is calculated by reference to the value of properties and estates we deal with. Hence the value element charged. Once again however we must say that we charge what we believe to be a fair and reasonable basis to both us and to our clients.

TIME RATES

Michael McGarry, Richard Johnson and Graham Dalton at £215.00 per hour and an incremental charge for 6 minute units – £21.50.

1. Attendances upon you or any other parties, preparation and consideration of documents and long letters for each 6 minute time unit – £21.50 (+ VAT)

2. Telephone calls (in and out) of 6 minutes or less – £21.50 (+ VAT)

3. Long telephone calls which exceed 6 minutes and in which advice is given, will be charged upon a time spent basis rather than as one unit.

4. Routine letters and emails not exceeding 1 page £21.50 (+ VAT)

5. Letters and emails exceeding 1 page £31.25 (+ VAT)

6. Routine letters received requiring attention – £10.75 (+ VAT)

Janice McKenna, James Fawcett, Ian Cowan, Louise Gudgin and Clare Tamea at £195.00 per hour and an incremental charge for 6 minute units – £19.50

1. Attendances upon you or any other parties, preparation and consideration of documents and long letters for each 6 minute time unit – £19.50 (+ VAT)

2. Telephone calls (in and out) of 6 minutes or less £19.50 (+ VAT)

3. Long telephone calls which exceed 6 minutes and in which advice is given, will be charged upon a time spent basis rather than as one unit.

4. Routine letters and emails in and out not exceeding 1 page £19.50 (+ VAT)

5. Routine letters and emails in and out exceeding 1 page £29.25 (+ VAT)

6. Routine letters and emails received requiring attention £9.90 (+ VAT)