Conveyancing

Purchase of a Freehold Residential Property

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Before comparing prices we would advise you to carefully consider these key issues:

  1. Is the firm regulated by the SRA (Solicitor’s Regulation Authority)?
  2. Is the firm a member of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme and can they act for my mortgage lender if applicable?
  3. What is the reputation of that firm? What do people say about them online and on their website?
  4. What is their service like? Do they have qualified and experienced people to handle my matter?  Do they have a support team that will help get things done?
  5. Does this firm have insurance if anything goes wrong?
  6. How will I know what is happening throughout my matter – does the firm have a way of reporting the key stages to me?

Once you are certain you have chosen the right firm for you, it is then a good idea to compare the cost of the service you will receive.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements:

Our legal fees depend on the value of the property.  If you call or email us we can give you an instant estimate that shows you all of the costs involved.  You can see here a sample estimate for a property valued at £100,000 that shows you the costs involved, including all legal fees and disbursements related to your matter.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.  Our instant estimates will also calculate this for you.

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. If you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle however, this would be dependant on the stage of the build and when this has been signed off by the building regulation inspector, the developers can provide an indication of this when the plot is reserved but could take anything up to a year.

* Our fee assumes that:

  1. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  2. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
  3. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  4. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances.

We have an extensive list on our Perfect Portal case management system and you are updated electronically at every stage.  You can also log in and view where you are yourself.  Here is a shortened version:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Purchase of a Leasehold Residential Property

Our fees cover all the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property is in Wales.

Before comparing prices we would advise you to carefully consider these key issues:

  1. Is the firm regulated by the SRA (Solicitor’s Regulation Authority)?
  2. Is the firm a member of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme and can they act for my mortgage lender if applicable?
  3. What is the reputation of that firm? What do people say about them online and on their website?
  4. What is their service like? Do they have qualified and experienced people to handle my matter?  Do they have a support team that will help get things done?
  5. Does this firm have insurance if anything goes wrong?
  6. How will I know what is happening throughout my matter – does the firm have a way of reporting the key states to me?

Once you are certain you have chosen the right firm for you, it is then a good idea to compare the cost of the service you will receive.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements:

Our legal fees depend on the value of the property.  If you call or email us we can give you an instant estimate that shows you all of the costs involved.  You can see here a sample estimate for a property valued at £100,000 that shows you the costs involved, including all legal fees and disbursements related to your matter.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller’s solicitors.

Anticipated Disbursements

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is referred to in the management pack. Often the fee is between £60-£150.00 plus vat.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee again is set out in the management pack. Often the fee is between £60-£150.00 plus vat.
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £150.00 and £300.00 plus vat.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – This fee is set out in the management pack and can range between £60.00 – £120.00 plus vat.

*These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of the management pack from the freeholder/management company.

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charges are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this information.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential leasehold property vary according to the circumstances. However, below are some key stages that you may wish to be aware of:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Draft Transfer
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 10-12 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain.

If you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle however, this would be dependant on the stage of the build and when this has been signed off by the building regulation inspector, the developers can provide an indication of this when the plot is reserved but could take anything up to a year.

If you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take  between 3 and 6 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

* Our fee assumes that:

  1. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  2. this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
  3. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
  4. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  5. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

Who Will Carry Out The Work?

All legal work will only be carried out by our qualified lawyers and over-seen by our Head of Property and the Senior Partner.

Our dedicated and experienced support team carry out all administrative tasks so that your lawyer can concentrate on getting the legal work done.

You will receive a full list of who is responsible for your matter upon instruction.  We are happy to discuss this with you and for you to meet the team at any point.

No Referral Fees

 We do not pay referral fees to estate agents as we believe that our fantastic service speaks for itself.  We want you to have confidence in us, that comes from knowing anyone who refers us, does so because we are good – not because we have paid.

Probate

Our fees are calculated on a ‘time-spent’ basis rather than being based on a percentage of the value of the estate. As such every estate is different and the estimated fees depend very much on the complexity of the estate. We will always give an estimate at our first meeting.

Obtaining a grant of probate only

We estimate that if you require us to obtain a grant of probate only and you are happy to deal with the remainder of the estate, our fees will be between £1,000 – £1,500 plus VAT.

Simple case

We anticipate that a simple case will take between 6 and 15 hours work at £275 per hour. Total costs would be estimated at between £1,500 – £4,000 (+VAT).

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

A simple case would often, but not always, be an estate with no trusts where no inheritance tax is due and the assets pass to a surviving spouse or a small number of beneficiaries. The average number and type of assets in this kind of estate would range from including; a property, a couple of bank accounts, a couple of shareholdings, a life policy and a private pension.

More complex cases

We anticipate that the majority of more complex cases will take between 15 hours and 25 hours work at £275 per hour. Total costs would be estimated at £4,000 – £7,000 (+VAT). The most complex cases taking longer than 25 hours work will cost more than £7,000 (+VAT).

The complexity of an estate will depend on many of the following factors: whether inheritance tax is payable, if there is a large number of beneficiaries or assets, if there are labour intensive assets (for example a property that we need to clear), if there are a large number of individual shareholdings outside of a portfolio, if there is more than one property or rental properties, if there are foreign assets, if there is a business, if there are related trusts, if there are negotiations required with DWP or HM Revenue & Customs or the District Valuer, if there are complex tax calculations (for example income or capital gains tax).

Disbursements

These are costs that will be incurred by the estate that have to be paid to a third party, such as the Land Registry or court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The likely disbursements in an estate administration matter are:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p per copy of the grant required
  • £5 Swearing of the oath (per executor) and £2 per exhibit
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £150 -200 Post in The London Gazette and a local newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors
  • Land Registry search fee of £3.60 per copy of Register of Title for a property

Timescales

The timescales for finalising an estate are difficult to predict accurately, particularly if there is a property that needs to be sold, but as a guide a simple case can often be finalised within 3 – 6 months, most more complex estate between 6 months to a year, and many of the most complicated estates will take over a year.

None of the above fee estimates include conveyancing fees which are estimated separately, and the estimates are made assuming that there are no claims against the estate or disagreements between beneficiaries or executors, we are able to easily contact and/or trace all assets and beneficiaries, and we receive timely responses from executors, beneficiaries, HMRC and other third parties.

Employment Tribunals (Claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal:

Simple case: £250-£2,500 (excluding VAT)

Medium complexity case: 400-£4,000 (excluding VAT)

High complexity case: £500-£10,000 (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • 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

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of £500 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1-3 days depending on the complexity of your case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel’s fees estimated between £500 to £5000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)

Key stages

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 and if some of 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 matter take?

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 2-3 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 20-40 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.

Small Businesses

Debt Recovery (Up to £100k)

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. 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   Our fee (incl. VAT) Total  
Up to £5,000 £100
£5,001 – £10,000 £150
£10,001 – £50,000 £250

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should 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
  • If payment is not received within 21 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 3-5 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.

If proceedings ned to be issued or other action taken we will charge at an hourly rate and provide an estimate of future costs. The Hourly rate may vary between £150-£300 plus VAT an hour depending on the size of the debt and the complexity of the facts of the case.