Initial Fixed Fee Appointments
We offer an initial fixed fee appointment* of no more than 45 minutes for £75 plus VAT.
This is a one-off opportunity for you to discuss your matter generally and obtain broad advice as to how to proceed, and decide whether it is something that you should instruct a solicitor about, and in particular if you wish to instruct the particular solicitor you meet.
It also allows us as your potential solicitor to assess if we wish to take on your case, assess what the fees are likely to be and give you an indication of the costs and the options open to you.
*There are, as you would expect limitations on this arrangement.
a. you can only have one fixed fee appointment for the same matter;
b. you cannot discuss 2 matters at an appointment. A separate appointment would have to be made;
c. no work can be undertaken after the appointment unless fees are agreed and paid in advance or an arrangement arrived at and a care letter/terms of business signed by you;
d. payment for the fixed fee must be paid for in advance. We do not currently offer the facility to accept payments by debit/credit card. If you wish to pay by cheque this must be received 7 days before the appointment and be cleared prior to the appointment;
e. you must produce photographic proof of your ID and proof of your current address (which must be dated within the last 3 months) to meet our client identification;
f. in these fixed fee appointments we cannot consider lengthy documents or bundles of papers;
g. we may be prepared to advise and witness documents but this depends on the document and the advise involved, you should enquire.
h. we reserve the right to decline to offer a fixed fee appointment to any person without being required to provide an explanation or reason.
Please contact us for further information.
This is a guide to our Hourly rates, you always need to add VAT to the figures given.
Paul Birds basic hourly rate is £300 per hour. For advocacy £340.
Is charged at our hourly rates. This covers a wide variety of aspects and therefore we can provide an estimate when we know what we are being asked to advice regarding.
Commercial Leases or Commercial Conveyancing
As these transactions vary enormously in complexity and the time involved depending on whether we are acting for the landlord or the tenant, if the lease excludes security of tenure or the purpose for which the property being purchased is to be put. Due to all the variables, it is impossible to offer any remotely accurate guide to our estimated fees, which are charged at our hourly rates.
Please contact us so we can clarify the proposed transaction and we may be able to provide an estimate of the likely costs.
Domestic or Residential conveyancing
Our fees are estimated on a scale where the fees charged depend on the sale/purchase price. These estimates assume that the property is being purchased by individuals (not a company) is freehold registered land with no mortgage and no onerous or restrictive covenants and no management company involved and that the property is for your occupation (it is NOT a BUY to Let situation). We do not include advice regarding the calculation of the amount of stamp duty land tax payable. Neither does this include any advice concerning trust deeds or beneficial ownership other than as joint tenants or tenants in common in equal shares. It also assumes that your transaction proceeds normally without excessive telephone calls and e mails and there is no requirement for expedition.
PLEASE NOTE you will be liable to pay our fees whether or not your matter proceeds to completion.
The following are some typical examples of additional factors which may well lead to an increase in the fees we charge:
if you have an existing mortgage or are obtaining a new mortgage;
whether the property is leasehold, or even if freehold where a management company is involved;
if you have not obtained or cannot provide planning permission or building regulations approval for works to the property;
if there has been a boundary dispute;
if your buyers or their solicitor raise a large number of additional enquiries;
you or one of the buyers is using a Help to Buy Isa or other facility to help fund the purchase;
any family loans or charges being registered against the property;
additional ID verification and or money laundering checks are required;
if we are subjected to frequent or excessive telephone calls and e mails from you or other parties.
Most Frequent Costs and disbursements
On your Sale
You will need to allow for the cost of the estate agents fees, also the need to provide official copies of your registered title and possibly supporting documents to your buyer.
If there is a management company, they usually charge a fee for providing the required information.
On your Purchase
You can expect to have to pay:
local search fees, (the amount of which varies according to the property location), environmental search fees and chancel check, and water or drainage searches,
land registration searches and registration fees which vary according to the purchase price,
stamp duty land tax (or if you are buying in Wales Land Transaction Tax). Note the amount of stamp duty payable will change depending on your personal circumstances and the nature of the property being bought and whether you own other real property.
Electronic money transfer fee or Telegraphic transfer charge of £36.00 plus vat for each transfer over £80,000.
Sale (not leasehold or management company)
For Leasehold Sales add £150.00 plus VAT minimum
If management company involved add £150 plus vat minimum
For redeeming each mortgage add £100.00 plus VAT
Purchase (not leasehold)
For Leasehold Purchases add £150.00 plus VAT minimum
If management company involved add £150 plus vat minimum
For acting for Mortgage Co’s add £150.00 plus VAT
Telegraphic Transfer Charge: £36.00 plus VAT
For non standard matters such as transfers of equity, trust deeds, remortgages, Shared Ownership transaction or dealings with unregistered land please contact us with more details and we can seek to provide a more tailored estimate.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Inevitably considerable time is needed to ascertain your wishes, provide advice and complete each lasting power.
The estimated fees do not include advice on capacity or the interaction between the lasting power and any Will.
We usually estimate our fees for the preparation of a single lasting power to be upwards of £600 plus vat. In addition there is a registration fee with the Office of the Public Guardian where the cost is £82.00 (2021) for each lasting power.
Every probate matter is different with different aspects to be considered or taken into account. We estimate our charges based on our hourly rates and our assessment of how much work is involved and therefore how long matters take. Some clients are comfortable to manage many aspects of the process themselves others require us to undertake a more comprehensive hands on approach. This is your choice but the more work you ask us to do the higher the cost will be.
All probate applications by legal professionals are now required to be submitted via an on line portal.
The estimate below assumes that this is a standard estate (which means the following statements apply):
We will handle the process for you and the following apply:
There is a valid undisputed Will with an accessible original which can be produced to be examined;
There is no more than one property (note the estimate does NOT include the cost of acting in the sale);
There are no more than 2 high street or building society bank accounts;
There are no other intangible assets;;
All assets are located in the UK;
There are no more than 3 to 5 beneficiaries and their addresses are all known in the Uk;
There are no disputes between the beneficiaries in the division of the assets;
There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full IHT account to HMRC;
There are no claims against the estate;
We are not required to advise or assist in the completion of the inheritance tax return OR regarding any allowances to be claimed;
Based on the above we therefore estimate that a standard estate will take between 3 and 4 hours work at £300 per hour plus vat at 20%. Total estimate of our fees £900 to £1200 plus VAT at 20%.
Costs and Disbursements
The following costs or disbursements are in addition to the standard estate estimate. (These are costs which are required to be paid to third parties eg court fees etc). We will handle the payment of these disbursements on your behalf to assist with a smoother process:
Probate registry application fees £155 (2021)
Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department Searches £1.00 per name or alternative spelling of the name per beneficiary.
Post in the London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
Post in a local newspaper – also helps to protect against unexpected claims
Additional copies of the grant of probate which are required cost £1.50 each (usually you need 1 extra copy for each asset).
How long will this take?
On average standard estates are dealt with in around 4 to 6 months but a lot depends on the speed with which the executors can complete and return documentation and also the provision of accurate information about the various asset values. Typically obtaining the grant of probate is 12 to 16 weeks from it being submitted to the probate registry.
Collecting the assets usually follows after the grant and if there is no property to be sold then this normally will take 4 to 6 weeks. Only once the assets have been collected in can the process of settling any debts and preparing estate accounts take place prior to distributing the assets this commonly takes 4 to 6 weeks.
Non standard Estates
If the estate is a non standard estate then we can provide an estimate but will need to discuss the various factors in order to give a realistic assessment of the costs based on the time estimated.
For the preparation of a simple Will we usually charge £200 plus VAT for each will.
For more complicated wills or where advice is required concerning inheritance tax and mitigation of any liability, our charges are calculated using our hourly rates.
Please note that, on instructing us, you MUST produce photographic proof of your ID and proof of your current address (which must be dated within the last 3 months). This is to meet the stringent client identification parameters that are dictated to us by our regulatory body, and also to allow us to meet money laundering checks. We will not undertake any work until these requirements have been met. This applies to all clients – whether they are known to our staff or have been a client in the past.