Our fees

We ensure consumers and businesses have the relevant information they need to make an informed choice when purchasing certain types of legal services. 

Information Regarding Pricing and Services –Sales, Purchases and Mortgages of Residential Properties

The overall cost will depend on the type of transaction and will include some or all of the following:

  • Our legal fees for doing the work
  • Electronic transfer fees
  • Search fees and other disbursements
  • Land Registry fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Indemnity policy premiums
  • Landlords’ and managing agents’ fees for leasehold properties.

Our fees on a purchase of a freehold property are likely to fall into the following bands;

Under £500,000         

£1,620 – £3,500 plus VAT at 20%

£500,001 – £1,000,000

£2,400 – £4,500 plus VAT at 20%

£1,000,001 – £1,500,000

£3,000 – £5,500 plus VAT at 20%

Over £1,500,001

Fees on application

Our fees are charged on the basis of our hourly rate i.e. depending on how much time we have to spend on the transaction. We will give you an estimate at the outset of the likely cost and inform you as matters progress if that estimate is likely to be exceeded.

Hourly Rates

The hourly rates will depend on the qualification and experience of the person acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £175 + VAT at 20% for a junior paralegal to £325 +VAT at 20% for a Partner. At the outset we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person/s handling your transaction.

Additional Charges

Certain transactions involve additional work e.g. transactions involving flats and mortgages. We will include an element for this additional work in our estimate.

Fee Estimates

At the outset we will give you an estimate of our charges for your transaction, this will be based on the time we consider may be necessary to conclude the matter, the complexity and the hourly rate of the fee earner.

In addition to our fees, other charges may be payable to someone else on your behalf (disbursements) depending on the type of transaction involved. The likely costs are as follows: –

3.1 Freehold Purchases:

Search fees – this figure will vary according to the range of information requested. However for a normal residential purchase the likely cost for Local Authority, Water/Drainage and Environmental Searches is in the region of £420 including VAT.

Land Registry fees – this fee is payable to the Government and will depend on the value of the property and whether it is already registered. We will let you know the exact figure at the outset of your transaction. The fees range between £40 and £1,105.

Electronic Transfer Fee – this fee is payable to our firm and covers bank charges and the time spent in processing the bank transfer. The current fee is £35 plus VAT at 20%.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or Land Tax in Wales

This is a complex area and the amount of tax payable will depend on a number of factors including whether you are a first-time buyer or you or anyone connected with you, will own another property on completion of your purchase. We are not tax specialists and in any transaction other than an apparently straightforward purchase we may advise you to seek advice from a specialist accountant. We will advise you of the likely cost of this if required. Further information can be obtained from the government website – www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax

The cost of preparing the SDLT return is not included in our estimate for acting in the purchase and in the case of straightforward returns we will charge a fee of £95+ VAT at 20% for this work. More complex returns will be charged at the hourly rate of the person doing the work.

Indemnity Policy Premium

It may be necessary for you to take out a single premium indemnity policy to cover a defect in the title of the property or where planning or building regulation issues are unresolved. Depending on the level of cover required the cost can range between £50 and £500 in normal cases. We will let you have an exact figure in advance of any policy being taken out.

Our fees for arranging and taking out the policy are set out below.

3.2 Leasehold Purchases:

In addition to the charges which apply to a freehold purchase the following additional charges may apply:

Deed of Covenant with the Landlord – the landlord’s solicitors’ fees are generally in the region of £100 – 250 plus VAT at 20%

Registration of share in the Management Company- generally in the region of £75-150 including VAT

Notice of transfer – generally between £75 and £250 plus VAT at 20%.

3.3 Freehold Sales:

Land Registry copy entries- £6 plus VAT at 20% – further charges may apply if additional copies are required

Indemnity Policy Premium – please see freehold purchases above

3.4 Leasehold Sales:

Land Registry copy entries- £6 plus VAT at 20%– further charges may apply if additional copies are required

Indemnity Policy premium – please see freehold purchases above

Obtaining information regarding the management of the building of which the flat forms part. This can vary considerably according to who is responsible but generally is in the region of £250-900. VAT may be payable at 20% depending on who provides the information.

3.5 Mortgages/Remortgages

Search Fees – lenders require us to carry out Local Authority, Water/Drainage and Environmental Searches. The likely cost of these searches is in the region of £420 including VAT

Land Registry fees – depending on the amount of the loan the fee will vary between £20 and £140. We will let you know the exact figure at the outset of your transaction.

Indemnity Policy Premium – please see Freehold Purchases above

Leasehold properties only – Registration of charge with the landlord/management company – generally between £50 and £250 plus VAT at 20%.

3.6 Retrieval of files

Our current charge for the retrieval of files from storage and for producing paper copies of electronic documents from a closed ‘paperlite’ file is £50.00 plus VAT at 20%. Please note that this charge may be updated from time to time and the charge shown on this website will be the current one.

4.1 Purchase of a Freehold Residential Property

  • (a) To act for you in the purchase of the Property.
  • (b) Contact with you to gather information and carry out money laundering and onboarding checks to deal with all compliance requirements, to include verification of Source of Funds.
  • (c) Approving the Contract and if necessary negotiating any required contractual changes with the Seller’s solicitors.
  • (d) Communicate with the Seller’s solicitors, the lender, your estate agent and other third parties at key stages.
  • (e) Extensive review of the legal title to the Property, to ensure that the Seller is legally entitled to sell the Property; and to ensure that there are no onerous covenants or rights which will affect your use and enjoyment of the Property; and to ensure that all necessary rights are in place to allow your use of the Property for all normal residential purposes.
  • (f) Carrying out a search with the Local Authority and reporting on the results to ensure amongst other things, that all necessary planning permission and building regulations approvals are in place; whether the Property abuts a publicly maintainable highway; the results of any Tree Preservation Orders, details of any nearby road schemes, details of any proposed compulsory purchase, and whether there are any orders in place that would create further liabilities.
  • (g) Carrying out further searches in relation to drainage and water supply, environmental history and other locally relevant matters such as mining. Reporting on the search reports to ensure that there are no onerous liabilities attached to the Property.                                                                 
  • (h) Corresponding with the Seller’s solicitor to raise additional enquiries to address the results of our research and searches so that any issues that we revealed are clarified and/or dealt with.
  • (i) Reviewing the mortgage offer and reporting to you on the details of the mortgage offer and clarifying with you any special conditions imposed by the lender.
  • (j) Reporting to the lender any issues that have been uncovered and confirming how we intend to deal with these.
  • (k) Providing you with a written summary of our findings from reviewing the legal title and the search reports. Providing you with the Contract for your signature, along with a prepared Stamp Duty Land Tax return for filing with HMRC (or the equivalent in Wales) and Mortgage Deed for signing.
  • (l) Exchanging Contracts and carrying out final pre-completion searches with the Land Registry to ensure that there have been no further amendments to the legal title and to ensure that you have priority to register your ownership of the Property.
  • (m)Preparing completion statement to show all payments made and received and indicating the balance required from you in order to complete your purchase.
  • (n) Raising requisitions on title and checking the replies, including undertakings to redeem the Seller’s existing charges. Drafting and agreeing a simple transfer of registered title form TR1.
  • (o)Reporting to the Lender to request the release of the Mortgage advance.
  • (p) Completing the purchase; submitting a Stamp Duty Land Tax return to HMRC to account for any Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid (or the equivalent in Wales).
  • (q) Registering the transaction with the Land Registry and ensuring that your ownership, any mortgage and any other pertinent matters are correctly recorded.
  • (r) Forwarding to you and your lender a copy of the updated title once received from the Land Registry.

4.2 Purchase of a Leasehold Residential Property

  • (a)To act for you in the purchase of the Property.
  • (b) Contact with you to gather information and carry out money laundering and onboarding checks to deal with all compliance requirements, to include verification of Source of Funds.
  • (c) Approving Contract and if necessary negotiating any required contractual changes with the Seller’s Solicitors.
  • (d) Communicate with the Seller’s solicitors, the lender, the Landlord or managing agent, your estate agent and other third parties at key stages.
  • (e) Extensive review of the legal title to the Property to ensure that the Seller is legally entitled to sell the Property; and to ensure that there are no onerous covenants or rights which will affect your use and enjoyment of the Property; and to ensure that all necessary rights are in place to allow your use of the Property for all normal residential purposes.
  • (f) Reviewing the details of the Lease to make sure it validly grants the leaseholder the necessary rights, easements and interests, that the Lease contains all necessary covenants on behalf of the Landlord and Management Company and the generally the Lease meets the requirements of your Lender as valid security.
  • (g) Carrying out a search with the Local Authority and reporting on the results to ensure amongst other things, that all necessary planning permission and building regulations approvals are in place; whether the Property abuts a publicly maintainable highway; the results of any Tree Preservation Orders, details of any nearby road schemes, details of any proposed compulsory purchase, and whether there are any orders in place that would create further liabilities.
  • (h) Carrying out further searches in relation to drainage and water supply, environmental history, and other locally relevant matters such as mining. Reporting on the search reports to ensure that there are no onerous liabilities attached to the Property.
  • (i) Reviewing the replies to LPE1 (or equivalent) and supporting documentation.
  • (j) Corresponding with the Seller’s solicitor to raise additional enquiries to address the results of our research and searches so that any issues that we revealed are clarified and/or dealt with.
  • (k) Reviewing mortgage offer and ensuring compliance with any special conditions imposed by the lender.
  • (l) Reporting to the lender any issues which have been uncovered and confirming how we intend to deal with these.
  • (m) Providing you with a written summary of our findings from reviewing the legal title, replies to LPE1 and the search reports. Providing you with the Contract for your signature, along with a prepared Stamp Duty Land Tax return for filing with HMRC (or the equivalent in Wales) and mortgage deed for signing.
  • (n) Exchanging Contracts and carrying out final pre-completion searches with the Land Registry to ensure that there have been no further amendments to the legal title and to ensure that you have priority to register your ownership of the Property.
  • (o) Preparing completion statement to show all payments made and received and indicating the balance required from you in order to complete your purchase. Apportioning service charges and ground rent (if any).
  • (p) Raising requisitions on title and checking the replies, including undertakings to redeem the Seller’s existing charges. Drafting and agreeing a simple transfer of registered title form TR1.
  • (q) Reporting to the lender to request the release of the Mortgage advance.
  • (r) Completing the purchase; submitting a Stamp Duty Land Tax return to the Inland Revenue to account for any Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid (or the equivalent in Wales).
  • (s) Serving on the Freeholder (and/or management company) any necessary Notices of Transfer and Charge, along with completing a Deed of Covenant and dealing with the issue of a new share certificate (if necessary).
  • (t) Registering the transaction with the Land Registry and ensuring that your ownership, any mortgage and any other pertinent matters are correctly recorded.
  • (u)Forwarding to you and your Lender a copy of the updated title once received from the Land Registry.

4.3       Sale of a Freehold Residential Property

  • (a)  To act for you in the sale of the Property.
  • (b) Contact with you to gather information and carry out money laundering and onboarding checks to deal with all compliance requirements.
  • (c) Liaise with you to complete Property Information Forms and obtain all documents required to issue the contract package. Obtain an initial redemption statement from your lender.
  • (d) Check and deduce Freehold title, draft the Contract for sale and any supplementary documents and advise you on the terms.
  • (e) Answer pre contract enquiries and liaise with you to obtain supplementary information required.
  • (f) Communicate with the Buyer’s solicitors, the lender, your estate agent and other third parties at key stages.
  • (g) Agree the deposit arrangements and notify you of any issues.
  • (h) Liaise with you to sign the Contract and facilitate the process of exchange of Contracts.
  • (i) Obtain a redemption figure from your lender and the estate agent’s commission account for you to check.
  • (j) Provide the Buyer’s solicitor with replies to requisitions on title. Approve and amend the transfer of registered title form TR1.
  • (k) Liaise with you to sign the transfer of registered title form TR1.
  • (l) Produce a completion statement setting out the amount to be paid to you on completion after all necessary deductions. Collect money on completion and repay the mortgage and pay your estate agent’s commission account on your behalf.
  • (m) Redeem the mortgage and prepare the discharge documents.
  • (n) Notify you and the estate agent of completion and account to you for the balance of the sale proceeds.
  1. Sale of a Leasehold Residential Property
  • (a) To act for you in the sale of the Property.
  • (b) Contact with you to gather information and carry out money laundering and onboarding checks to deal with all compliance requirements.
  • (c) Liaise with you to complete Property Information and Leasehold Information Forms and obtain all documents required to issue the contract package. Obtain an initial redemption statement from your lender.
  • (d) Check and deduce Leasehold and Freehold titles, draft the Contract for sale and any supplementary paperwork and advise you on the terms.
  • (e) Request LPE1 pack from Landlord or Managing Agent and provide this to the Buyer’s solicitor.
  • (f) Answer pre contract enquiries and liaise with you to obtain supplementary information required.
  • (g) Communicate with the Buyer’s solicitors, the lender, the Landlord or managing agent, your estate agent and other third  parties at key stages.
  • (h) Agree the deposit arrangements and notify you of any issues.
  • (i) Liaise with you to sign the Contract and facilitate the process of exchange of Contracts.
  • (j) Obtain a redemption figure from your lender and your estate agent’s commission account for you to check and calculate any apportionments of service charge and ground rent. Provide the Buyer’s solicitor with replies to requisitions on title. Approve and amend the transfer of registered title form TR1.
  • (k) Liaise with you to sign the transfer of registered title form TR1.
  • (l) Produce a completion statement setting out the amount to be paid to you on completion after all necessary deductions. Collect money on completion and repay the Mortgage and pay your estate agent’s commission account on your behalf.
  • (m) Redeem the Mortgage and prepare the discharge documents.

Notify you and the estate agent of completion and account to you for the balance of the sale proceeds4.6 What Services are not included in our estimate?

Financial advice.

Advice on Tax issues

The effect of property ownership on on your Estate following your death including tax and Inheritance issues and probate advice.

Negotiating price or other changes to the contractual arrangements.

Rectifying unusual or onerous defects in title.

Advice in respect of the implications of the Building Safety Act 2022 or the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022.

Anything not specifically identified above in the list of matters included for each work type.Any work outside of the normal scope of a retainer will be charged at the hourly rate of the person doing the work. VAT will be payable.

Indemnity Insurance Policies – arranging any necessary Indemnity Insurance Policy to cover defects in title or the absence of Planning/Building Regulation permissions or other compliance certificates e.g. Fensa/Hetas. Our normal fee for arranging a straightforward indemnity policy is £125 plus VAT per policy but in the case of complex situations involving more than the usual amount of time it may be higher and we will advise you of the likely cost in advance.

Declarations of Trust – Depending on your circumstances we may advise you to enter into a Trust Deed setting out the shares in which you own the property and dealing with the interests of any other persons in the property e.g. parents or other relatives. We will advise you of the likely cost of this work at the outset but in general the fee for this is not less than £500 plus VAT at 20%.

Residential sales and purchases Key Stages

The purchase/sale of a residential property generally falls into two stages.

Prior to exchange of contracts:

When you make an offer to buy or sell a property, at that point the transaction is not legally binding. You are not legally bound to the purchase/sale until contracts have been signed and exchanged.

The time between an offer being made and contracts being exchanged can vary enormously depending on a large number of circumstances. However for most transactions the likely time between offer and exchange is 10 to 14 weeks.

Following exchange of contracts:

Once contracts have been exchanged you are legally committed to the sale/purchase and there are severe penalties if you fail to complete the transaction. On exchange contracts both sides will agree a completion date i.e. when the seller will move out of the property and the purchaser can move in. That date will be legally binding.

It is up to the parties how much time they want between exchange and completion. We would advise a minimum of two weeks in order to arrange removals and allow time for all the necessary arrangements to be put in place.

Factors which will affect how long the transaction will take:

The length of any chain

The readiness of other parties in the chain

The availability of mortgage finance to parties in the chain

Whether other parties in the chain are being truthful regarding their position

The existence of any defects in title affecting properties in the chain which require resolving

Mortgages and Remortgages

As there are no other parties involved in the transaction apart from the borrower, new lender and any existing lender, in the absence of any difficulties with the title to the property or absence of Planning or Building Regulation consents, we would normally expect a mortgage/remortgage to be completed within four weeks.

A property transaction will generally involve various members of our Property Department. Details of our teams, their experience and qualifications Can be found on our website under the section marked “HK People” We will inform you in writing at the outset of your transaction who will be the main person responsible for your transaction and who will be their supervisor, together with details of any support staff.

The supervisors for our various offices are as follows: –

  • David Blackmore – Bournemouth
  • Emma Webster -Parkstone
  • Justin Martin – Crewkerne
  • Katharine Jones – Dorchester
  • Rebecca Keeshan – Swanage
  • Emma Webster –Blandford

Information Regarding Pricing and Services –Employment tribunals (claims and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

The overall cost will depend on the complexity of the claim or defence and will include some or all of the following:
• Our legal fees for doing the work
• Counsel’s fees.

1.1. Fee Estimates – Complexity of Case -:

• A simple case may incur fees of around: £3,000 – £6,000 (+ VAT @20%)
• A medium complexity case may incur fees of around: £6,000 – £15,000 (+ VAT @20%
• A high complexity case may incur fees of around: £15,000 – £50,000 (+ VAT @20%)

The majority of our employment tribunal work is charged on the basis of our hourly rate i.e. depending on how much time we have to spend on the matter. We will give you an estimate at the outset of the likely cost and inform you as matters progress if that estimate is likely to be exceeded. The fees will depend on the complexity of the case.

2.1. Hourly Rates

The hourly rates will depend on the qualification and experience of the person acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £176 (+VAT @ 20%) for a junior paralegal or trainee solicitor to £373 (+VAT @ 20%) for a Partner. At the outset we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person/s handling your transaction.

2.2. Fixed Fees

We may be able to offer a fixed fee for some matters at the discretion of the Partner in charge.

In addition to our fees other charges may be payable to a third party on your behalf (disbursements) such as Counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The likely costs are as follows: –

  • Counsel’s fees are estimated between £160 to £220 plus VAT @ 20% per hour, including:-
    • to provide an expert Opinion on the merits and prospects of the claim or defence;
    • to prepare the particulars of claim or grounds of response;
    • To prepare a Schedule of loss/ Scott Schedule or other Tribunal document;
    • To prepare for (and attend) a Preliminary Hearing.
  • Counsel’s fees are estimated at around £1,250 plus VAT @ 20% per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for representation at a Tribunal Hearing (excluding preparation). Counsel’s fees for a straightforward claim are estimated at around £2,500 plus VAT @20% per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for representation at a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

The fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Identifying the relevant facts including 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 a claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on a 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 bundles 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 a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
  • Post Hearing work

 

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fees may be lower. 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.

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26- 52 weeks. Generally, a tribunal hearing will be listed for 1-5 days depending on the complexity of the case.

  • 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
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

An Employment Tribunal claim will generally involve various members of our Employment Department. Details of our team, their experience and qualifications can be found on our website under the section marked “Our People
We will inform you in writing at the outset of your transaction who will be the main person responsible for your transaction and who will be their supervisor, together with details of any support staff.
The supervisor for employment tribunal claims is: Caroline Carretta who is a Partner of the Firm and Head of Commercial based in our Dorchester Office.

Information Regarding Pricing and Services – Administration of Estates

We offer two separate services, Grant of Representation only and Full Administration.

Estate Administration (Grant of Representation only) – fixed cost

This is a fixed cost service where we would expect you to provide all the information required. This would include obtaining date of death valuations for all assets and liabilities of the estate. We would then prepare the relevant Inheritance Tax (IHT) paperwork and the relevant Statement of Truth for the personal representatives to sign. We would then submit the forms to HM Revenue and Customs IHT department and then on to the Probate Registry as appropriate. When the Grant of Representation (Grant) is received, our fixed fee cost is payable and then we will forward the Grant (and any copies) to you to administer the estate yourself.

Our instruction is limited to the production of documents only. We are not engaged to advise on the actions of the personal representatives or the testator. We would not settle any liabilities on your behalf and we do not hold any funds on behalf of the estate.

The fixed cost will depend on the nature of IHT return required and whether IHT is payable. This is set out in the table below:

Grant only with no IHT to pay

| £2,500 + VAT @20%

£500 payment on account is required to commence the matter.

| £3,000 inc VAT @ 20%
Grant with no IHT to pay and IHT400 to complete

| £3,500 + VAT @ 20%

£500 payment on account is required to commence the matter.

| £4,200 inc VAT @ 20%
Grant with IHT payable and IHT400 to complete

| £3,500 + VAT @ 20%

£500 payment on account is required to commence the matter.

| £4,200 inc VAT @ 20%

The timescale for obtaining the grant of representation will depend on whether an IHT application will need to be sent to HMRC first or whether it can be sent to the probate registry straight away for the grant. We can only commence work when you have provided us with all the information required. If the application needs to be sent to HMRC first then obtaining the grant of representation can typically take 16 weeks or more.

If the application does not need to be sent to HMRC first, then obtaining the grant of representation will typically take 8 to 16 weeks. (These timescales are set by the Probate Registry).

Estate Administration (full service)

We will carry out the following:

  • Write to all the asset/liability holders
  • Notify any interested parties (e.g. pension and utilities) of the death
  • Submit statutory notices to protect the personal representatives from creditors
  • Prepare and file the Inheritance Tax return
  • Settle any Inheritance Tax due
  • Deal with any enquiries from HM Revenue & Customs relating to the Inheritance Tax return
  • Prepare the Probate papers and arrange for them to be signed
  • Make the application for Probate with the Probate Registry which is a branch of H M Courts Service and obtain the Grant of Probate
  • Assess whether there are any trusts in the Will and register them with the Trusts Registration Service of HM Revenue & Customs
  • Gather in all the assets including the sale of the property, holding funds on behalf of the Estate
  • Settle all debts, taxes and liabilities of the estate
  • Pay any pecuniary legacies and ensure specific gifts are gifted as instructed in the Will
  • Pay any interim distributions of capital with the agreement and indemnity of the Executors
  • Finalise the Income Tax account for the period up to the date of death and for the period of administration
  • Prepare Estate Accounts and once approved, distribute the estate to the remaining residuary beneficiaries
  • Dealing with any Capital Gains Tax calculation and reporting

Our charges for a full service estate administration will be  calculated on a case by case basis and depend on the amount of work required, as well as the hourly rate of the person carrying out a particular item of work. At the outset we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person/s acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £155.00 +VAT @ 20% for legal support staff member to £346.00 + VAT @ 20% for a Partner.

For example, if the estate consists only of a bank account and one beneficiary then our charges will be at the lower end. If there are a number of beneficiaries, several properties and a number of individual holdings of stocks and shares then our charges will be at the higher end.

Our charges are calculated upon the amount of time spent on the matter and the value of the Estate, plus any disbursements incurred on your behalf.

We charge a “Value Element” for estates under £1million the percentage is 2-2.5% + VAT @ 20% of the whole estate value.  If the estate is over £1million the percentage drops to 1.5% – 2% + VAT @ 20%. 

Disbursements (fixed costs and full service)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. In addition to the costs above, the following disbursements will be payable:

  • Probate Court fee: £300.00. You will also need copies of the grant which have been certified by the Court to send to the different asset holders. These are £1.50 each.
  • Statutory notices in London Gazette and local paper. These protect the PRs against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. The typical cost is between £220.00 and £280.00.
  • Asset Searches identify what assets and liabilities the deceased held and provides a report on any dormant accounts and holdings. These searches can include searches for any Wills. We attach a list of options from EstateSearch.

 

Taxes (fixed costs and full service)

You may need to pay taxes in the administration of the estate in addition to the payment of our fees. A non-exhaustive list is set out below:

  • Inheritance Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Income Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax

The Administration of an Estate generally falls into two stages:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Representation (the authority to administer the Estate)
  • Administering the estate.

Timescales (full service)

Timescales for full estate administration can vary widely. The grant of representation is typically obtained within 6 month of the death. The full administration of the estate is likely to take between 9 and 12 months, but can take considerably longer dependent on the tax arrangements and the complexity of the assets held.

There are a number of factors which can prolong and increase the cost of administering an estate, including but not limited to:

    • beneficiaries not being easily located and needing to be traced,
    • there is a property which takes a long time to sell,
    • there are prolonged enquiries from HMRC or other Government bodies, and
    • where there is no Will.

Obtaining a Grant and the subsequent administration of an Estate will generally involve various members of our Private Client Department. Details of our teams, their experience and qualifications can be found on our website. We will inform you in writing at the outset who will be the person primarily responsible for acting on your behalf who is in their team and who will be their supervisor.

Laura Staples – Head of the Private Client Department, is the overall supervisor for the Administration of Estates.

Information regarding Pricing and Services - Debt Collection Matters up to £100,000

The overall cost will depend on the type of debt, how it arose, whether the creditor pays up immediately, whether Court proceedings are required in order to obtain judgment and whether enforcement will be required in order to obtain payment after liability for the debt is established.

  • The majority of our debt collection work is charged on the basis of our hourly rate i.e. depending on how much time we have spent on the transaction. We will give you an estimate at the outset of the likely cost and inform you as matters progress if that estimate is likely to be exceeded.

    Hourly rates

    The hourly rates will depend on the qualification and experience of the person acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £125 + VAT at 20% for a junior paralegal to £398 + VAT at 20% for a partner. At the outset, we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person(s) handling your transaction.

In addition to our fees, other charges may be payable to someone else on your behalf (disbursements) depending on the type of transaction involved. These can be Court fees which can range from £35 for a claim up to £300 in value up to a maximum of £10,000. More information is available on the Government website (HM Courts And Tribunals Service Civil And Family Court Fees (EX50)).

If the Court has ordered someone to pay you a sum of money or to return your goods, property or land and they have not done so, you can issue enforcement proceedings. The Court fees payable to enforce a debt depend on what method of enforcement you use. on the type of warrant issued. If writs are issued in the High Court, the cost is higher. Further information is available from the Government website.

As set out above, we will charge based on the amount of time we spend on your matter and fees will include work done on taking instructions, giving you advice, considering any documentation provided by you or obtained from the other side, advising you in relation to any response received from the other side and advising you in relation to enforcement of any judgment obtained.

What services are not included in our estimate/fixed fee?

We do not include costs we have to pay third parties (disbursements) as set out above or VAT.

If proceedings are required, then it can take up to 12 months from the date of issue of proceedings to have a final hearing. However, other transactions depend on the approach the debtor makes to your claim.

A debt claim will generally involve various members of our Civil Litigation Department. Details of our members, their experience and qualifications can be found on our website under the section marked ‘HK People’.We will inform you in writing at the outset of your transaction who will be the main person responsible for your transaction and who will be their supervisor, together with any details of support staff.

The supervisor for our Dorchester Office is Victoria Pearson (Partner).

File retrieval fees

When we have completed our work for you on a particular matter, your file will normally be placed in storage (archive) and please note that there will be a file retrieval fee as follows:

Our current charge for the retrieval of files from storage and for producing paper copies of electronic documents from a closed ‘paperlite’ file is £50.00 plus VAT. Please note that this charge may be updated from time to time and the charge shown on this website will be the current one.

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Employment Law for you

Find out how Humphries Kirk can assist you in many personal legal issues. Click the category you need more information on and get in touch.