The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires that all regulated law firms publish information on how they charge and what these prices include, for a select number of specified legal services.
The Head Partnership LLP/ THP Solicitors always gives clear, transparent and unambiguous fee quotations in advance of doing any work for clients, and we clearly explain the basis on which these estimates are made.
We have trained our staff so that they can provide you with that peace of mind by making it clear from the beginning:
- what we understand to be the legal issue you want us to work on
- what will be doing for you to help you achieve your objective
- what it is our fee quotation/ estimate of costs
- how that fee/cost has been calculated
Because every circumstance is different it is hard to provide a ‘typical’ price for many legal services so we have provided an average or range of our costs below. If you would like a more accurate and personalised quotation please contact the relevant team below who will give you a no obligation quotation based on your specific set of circumstances.
Residential Property Fees
We will discuss your aims and objectives at the outset and agree with you how you would best prefer to be communicated with, the frequency that you wish to be updated and any other factors which are important and personal to you.
To ensure the smooth progress of a house purchase or sale, our Residential Property team will:
- give clear, transparent and unambiguous fee quotations
- guarantee an 8-business hour response to any enquiries by phone or email
- guarantee to maintain contact with you at least once a week to give you a progress update
- communicate with you by whatever means you prefer (phone, email, text, video, in person) and ensure we explain everything clearly
- make the process as smooth as possible through a responsive and proactive service that gets you where you need to be
We will provide you with a fixed quote and there are no hidden extras. As our service is personalised there is no one set fee for a sale or purchase just as no two transactions are the same. The details below give an indication of the range of our prices.
- Our legal costs for a Sale of a Freehold Property up to £500k sale price range from £900 – £1250
- Our legal costs for a Sale of a Freehold Property up to £1million sale price range from £1250 – £2500
- Our legal costs for a Purchase of Freehold Property up to £500k purchase price range from £945- £1350
- Our legal costs for a Purchase of Freehold Property up to £1million purchase price range from £1350- £3000
- Our legal costs for a Re-mortgage range from £550- £800
- Our legal costs for an Equity Release Mortgage are £850
- Our legal costs for Shared Ownerships and Help to Buy Purchases range from £1095-£1500
These legal costs are all subject to VAT charged at 20% of the above fees. The figures shown above are net of VAT.
The most important thing to THP is that you are clear following receipt of our personalised quotation of the individual costs which your transaction will attract. We would encourage you to phone and have a no obligation chat with one of our team who can provide a personalised quote and also some advice on the process and how we can make it as smooth as possible for you which will help you decide whether we are the right firm for you.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties for example Land Registry Fees and SDLT. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf in order to ensure a smoother process.
The standard searches which we undertake on behalf of you and your lender are the Local Authority Search, Environmental Search and Drainage Search. The cost of these does depend upon the Local Authority but they tend to range from £350 – £400. We can give you an accurate figure once we know your post code. Please click here for a link to our searches and survey information sheet. These searches are subject to the addition of VAT as they are obtained electronically.
There are also Pre-Completion Searches which are carried out with the Land Registry and Land Charges between exchange and completion in order to protect both you and your lender:
Land Registry Priority Search (per title) £3.00 plus VAT
Bankruptcy Searches (per name) £2.00 plus VAT
Land Registry Fees
We will in all cases possible lodge the application for registration electronically thus attracting the lower fee. In cases of some new build purchases or purchases of part of a title where a new title number is being created by the Land Registry for the property then this will not be possible and the higher sum will be payable. We will advise you on this when we have all the details of the transaction.
Property Price Electronic Postal
£0-£80,000 £20.00 £40.00
£80,001 – £100,000 £40.00 £80.00
£100,001 – £200,000 £95.00 £190.00
£200,001 – £500,000 £135.00 £270.00
£500,001 – £1,000,000 £270.00 £540.00
£1,000,001 and over £455.00 £910.00
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on the consideration i.e. the purchase price or other value given directly or indirectly for the property.
Please note that the Government have granted a temporary SDLT holiday for transactions that complete between July 8, 2020, until March 31, 2021 in relation to their first SDLT threshold from £125,000 to £500,000.
The standard rates which are apply are currently :
Property or lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate
- Up to £125,000 Zero
- The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000) 2%
- The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%
- The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%
- The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%
If the property you are buying is a new lease i.e. you are being granted the lease then you will pay SDLT on the purchase price of the lease using the rates above and if the total rent over the life of the lease is more than £125,000 you will also pay SDLT of 1% on the portion over £125,000.00.
If you or a spouse owns another property then you may be subject to the higher rate which is an additional 3% unless you are replacing your main residence. If all purchasers meet the requirements for first time buyers then you may be eligible for first time buyer relief.
If you are purchasing in a Company name you will be subject to the higher rate even if it is the Company’s only property and if the purchase price is over £500,000.00 then you may be subject to the 15% rate of tax and also may be subject to an annual tax on enveloped dwellings.
SDLT is a self-assessment tax i.e. the HMRC will not tell you how much you need to pay it is for you to calculate and assess. It has become more complicated over the years and there are various reliefs which may apply and as such if you are at all unsure about the level of SDLT payable in your transaction we would recommend you take specialist advice.
Please visit HMRC’s website on SDLT for more information https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax
In Leasehold transactions you are likely to be required to pay a proportionate amount of any annual service charge or ground rent.
In addition, often Landlords will charge administration fee for dealing with notice of your purchase and any other administrative facilities associated with your purchase. Again these will become clear once we have the paperwork from the Landlord/Management Company and we will advise you on these at the earliest opportunity.
How long will my house sale/purchase take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your property will depend upon a number of factors for example how many people are in the chain, whether any of those people have their own agenda as to timing i.e. a reason to need it done quickly or a desire to wait for an event in the future before completing. The average process takes 6-8 weeks from when we receive the paperwork from the Sellers Solicitors or issue the paperwork to the Buyers Solicitors. It can be significantly quicker or longer if there are complicating factors in the title or if for example someone in the chain needs to remedy a defect in their title or extend their lease or it could simply be someone is not prepared to complete until after the expiry of their early repayment penalty or needs the timing to fit in with their tax affairs.
Whether you are considering bringing a claim at the employment tribunal or court; or if you have an employee who is threatening or has issued a claim against your business, we will be able to help.
Where appropriate we shall work with you to secure resolution or settlement ahead of any claim being issued. Where that is not possible, we shall act on your behalf in the build up to and then at the final hearing.
You shall find below general information about costs for bringing or defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Please note that before a claim is issued there is likely to be a compulsory period of conciliation through ACAS. This shall need to be attempted before bringing a claim.
Please call Alexis Lane on 01491 570909 or 0118 9756622 for an initial discussion about your situation and the support we can provide.
What could I expect in relation to Legal Fees?
Many claims are self-funded, however, it is possible that you may have other funding options available such as cover under an insurance policy and we will check this with you at your first appointment.
Should your matter progress to the issuing of a claim, our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal at court or tribunal are as follows:
- Simple case £2,000.00 – £12,000.00 plus VAT
- Medium Complexity £11,000.00 – £20,000.00 plus VAT
- High Complexity Case £19,000.00 – £150,000.00 plus VAT
Factors which could make a case more complex are:
- Defending claims which are brought by litigants in person
- Making or defending a costs application
- Complex preliminary issues such as where there is a dispute over employment status
- The number of witnesses and documents
- Any preliminary hearings
- 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.
- If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
- If the claim is for something other than unfair or wrongful dismissal, we shall be able to provide an estimate of fees both for initial stages and for bringing or defending a claim at court or tribunal.
Are there any additional costs or disbursements?
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that a payable to third parties such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf in order to ensure a smoother process for you.
The Employment Tribunal does not charge for claims to be issued or heard. Should it be necessary to go to Court rather than Tribunal, there are likely to be Court fees which operate on a sliding scale depending upon the size of the claim.
We are not affiliated to any barristers’ chambers. If it becomes necessary to instruct a barrister we would always obtain quotations and details of the level of experience of a selection of barristers for discussion and approval by you before instruction. Typically, a barrister may charge in the region of £1,500 plus VAT a day to attend a hearing or for advice and drafting of pleadings, but this would be expressly confirmed before making any instructions on your behalf.
How long will my matter take?
The time it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely upon the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation you case is likely to take 4 – 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing your case is likely to take between 26 – 52 weeks, depending upon when the court or tribunal list a hearing. 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.
We understand that unpaid invoices can affect your business cash flow and create anxiety and uncertainty. We can provide practical advice to help you recover the maximum amount of the debt, as quickly as possible and with minimum cost.
We can help you have efficient credit control procedures in place and assist you in recovering debts should they become overdue by contacting the offending parties on your behalf. We will quickly be able to establish whether there is a genuine reason for late payment or whether the debtor is using delaying tactics. We can also assist with asset tracing to establish if a debtor is financially able to repay the debt, or are actually attempting to hide their assets from creditors, before pursuing court proceedings.
We are experienced in all types of debt collection including:
- serving letters before action for unpaid debts
- issuing legal proceedings
- asset tracing
- obtaining and enforcing judgments
- receiverships and bankruptcy
What should you expect in terms of cost?
Generally speaking, for a claim for unpaid invoices with a value up to £100,000 which is not contested and no enforcement action is required, the costs can be broken down into 3 stages:
Stage 1: Drafting and sending a Letter Before Action in accordance with the relevant protocol and advising you on your options. If relevant, receiving payment and forwarding to you. Letter Before Action – £220-£660 plus VAT
Stage 2: Issue of your claim in the County Court Money Claims Centre – £440-£1,100 plus VAT
Stage 3: Entry of Judgment – £110-£350 plus VAT
All time spent on your case, in addition to the fixed fees set out above, will be recorded in 6-minute units and charged at £220 plus VAT per hour. That time may include making and receiving phone calls, further outgoing or incoming correspondence, whether by e-mail, fax or post, with yourself and/or others, time spent speaking to yourself and/or others, considering, dictating notes of telephone conversations, drafting, preparing documents/forms and carrying out searches.
We would therefore set an initial budget of £550 plus VAT (representing 2.5 hours) in addition to the fixed fees set out above. We will regularly provide you with accurate costs so that you can always ensure that the costs/benefits are acceptable and keep you informed at every stage.
How long will it take?
Timescales to achieve resolution depend hugely upon the approach adopted by the debtor however, by way of a guide;
- a Letter before Action will usually demand payment within 7- 30 days depending whether it is a company to company or company to individual debt.
- Once Court proceedings are served a debtor will normally have 14 days within which to acknowledge the claim and indicate whether it intends to defend the claim and, if so, it then has a further 14 days in the first instance to file any defence to the Court proceedings.
- Once proceedings have been issued, the expectation is that the debtor will pay a small percentage of your costs which – we have detailed the Statutory costs awarded by the Court below. However, this may not be possible and, if not, you will remain liable for our costs and charges.
Courts fees payable to the Court to issue proceedings are based on a scale dependent upon the band into which the amount claimed you are claiming falls. Please note that interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding which will result in a higher Court fee being payable.
Claim amount Court fee
Up to £300.00 £35.00
£300.00 – £500.00 £50.00
£500.00 – £1,000.00 £70.00
£1,000.00 – £1,500.00 £80.00
£1,500.00 – £3,000.00 £115.00
£3,000.00 – £5,000.00 £205.00
£5,000.00 – £10,000.00 £455.00
£10,000.00 – £200,000.00 5% of the claim
There may be other expenses which we will incur on your behalf such as, but not limited to, Counsel’s fees, Land Registry fees, tracing agents fees etc. It is this firm’s practice to ask for those fees to be paid in advance.
Statutory costs awarded by the Court
Fixed costs on commencement of claim
Between £25.00 – £500.00 £50.00
Between £500.00 – £1,000.00 £70.00
Between £1,000.00 – £5,000.00 £80.00
Between £25.00 – £5,000.00 £22.00
For £5,000.00 or more £30.00
Issue of Warrant £2.25
Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:
- The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor even if you are successful in recovering some or all of your legal costs.
- Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
- The costs above are not for matters where any enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.
- For small claims up to £10,000, clients are only entitled to recover fixed costs.
Who will be advising you?
Laura Colebrook handles the Debt Recovery within our Dispute Resolution Department and is involved with the collection of debts prior to issue, the preparation and lodgement of Claims at Court, obtaining Judgments and issuing enforcement for individuals, companies, firms and sole traders.
Estate Administration Fees
We provide a personalised and tailored service which fits with your individual requirements and circumstances. As such, each estate administration is different and there is variation in both our costs and the services required.
Because of the bespoke nature of estate administration, the easiest way to obtain details of both our costs and the services required would be to telephone a member of our team (details below) for an initial discussion on a no obligation basis.
We would then organise a meeting and we would encourage you to bring all of the estate paperwork with you. We will then be able to provide you with an accurate quotation based upon how many hours we believe it will take to finalise the matter, and the level of service that you require. During this meeting, you can discuss any queries or concerns you have, chat through the details of your matter and also meet the person who you will be dealing with.
However, we do understand that it is useful for you to have an indication of the likely costs of estate administration at the outset. We pride ourselves on providing clear guidance in relation to costs and being transparent in this regard at the outset. You can engage our services in a number of different ways, whether this is to provide full estate administration services, bespoke estate administration services, or Grant only applications. Because of the different levels of service available, some of our fees will be dealt with on a fixed fee basis, whilst others will be dealt with by providing fee ranges and estimates.
We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to publish general information on the costs of estate administration. The information that follows is, therefore, generic and is purely intended for illustrative purposes to give you an idea of the likely costs involved. We will always provide you with a bespoke cost indication at an initial meeting and this will depend entirely on the circumstances of your individual matter. We agree all costs with you prior to any costs being incurred and we pride ourselves on being upfront and open about costs.
Factors that affect costs
The cost of dealing with your matter will depend entirely upon the individual circumstances of the estate. The sorts of the factors which may have an impact on the cost of an estate administration are as follows:
- The Will. If there are queries about the validity of the Will, the existence of the Will, or if there is an intestacy, these can all be complicating factors in an estate administration.
- The complexity of the Will. If the Will left by the deceased is complex because it includes trusts or complex family protection arrangements, these can have an impact on the fees for the estate administration.
- The inheritance tax position (IHT). If IHT is payable then the administration of the estate will be more complex because of the involvement and liaison with HMRC.
- On some estates, HMRC will accept the initial IHT submissions without query, and similarly with income tax. In other matters, compliance checks will arise and these may involve protracted correspondence with HMRC regarding the estate.
- The number of beneficiaries. If there are a significant number of beneficiaries that we need to liaise with during the matter, and who have differing views, this can increase the costs of an estate administration.
- Dealing with unusual or complex assets, for instance fine art or shares in private companies.
- If there are capital gains tax issues in the estate, additional advice may be required in relation to the realisation of estate assets to ensure this is achieved in the most tax efficient manner.
- If not all of the estate paperwork is available, or if there is missing or incorrect information which requires additional investigation, this will have an impact on cost.
- Disputes or family disagreements. If there is a dispute about the Will or estate, or a claim against the estate, this will increase fees.
In general terms, our costs and quotes will be based upon the work required by our fee earners in the estate administration. Accordingly, these costs are then based upon the hourly rates of the fee earners within the team. These are as follows:-
Shirah Blackwood TEP – £280 plus VAT
Elizabeth Moffitt TEP – £250 plus VAT
Lauren Williams – £210 plus VAT
Kaley Penniston – £210 plus VAT
Sunil Vasisht TEP – £250 plus VAT
Emma Harrison – £180 plus VAT
Please note that in insolation, this hourly rate will not give you a clear indication of the likely cost of your matter. For example, a higher hourly rate will be due to the level of experience and qualification of the individual, meaning that they may be quicker at dealing with matters and the overall cost may balance out with a lower hourly rate.
It is also often the case that more than one fee earner will work on your matter, so that the more technical aspects are covered by the more experienced members of the team, where the more junior members of the team can deal with the general administration. This will have a positive impact on your fees as it allows appropriate levels of expertise to be involved at different stages lowering the overall cost.
For illustrative purposes, below are some examples of the different fee structures available in relation to our involvement and assistance with estate administration.
As referred to above, these are illustrative only as every estate is individual and will be quoted for on an individual basis.
This is a relatively small estate where we are engaged to complete the full estate administration. There will be no IHT to pay and there will be a Will that leaves all of the estate to the surviving spouse or to children. There will be no trusts and the assets will be straightforward comprising only cash assets in bank accounts.
The work required to complete this estate will include:-
- Meeting with the executors
- Liaising with the financial institutions to obtain the necessary asset and liability information for the IHT return and probate application
- Preparing the probate application and advising the executor(s) on the IHT form and the statement of truth which will accompany the application
- Liaising with the probate registry (and HMRC if necessary) in order to obtain the Grant of Probate
- Liaising with the various banks and institutions in order to collect any assets of the estate, obtain the income tax information, and closing all accounts
- Preparing a full set of estate accounts and sending these to the executors for their approval prior to the final distribution of the estate
- Completing the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the Will
Our fees for this work would be in the region of £5,000 plus VAT. Please note that this does not include any estate liabilities and disbursements (for details see below).
This is an estate subject to IHT with the estate passing to a small number of beneficiaries. We will have been engaged to complete the full estate administration. The estate assets will be split between bank accounts, investments, shares, and a residential property.
The work involved in dealing with such an estate will include all of the work listed in the above example together with the following:-
- Liaising with professional valuers in order to obtain professional valuation for the residential property and the estate chattels.
- Organising for the payment of IHT directly from the deceased’s assets and liaising with all parties to ensure this reaches HMRC in order for the Grant of Probate to be obtained.
- Dealing with the sale of any investments and providing associated capital gains tax advice.
- Discussing the marketing approach for any estate sale of residential property and organising this with appropriate agents.
- Submitting corrective accounts to HMRC for any change in the value of estate assets on sale and considering IHT and capital gains tax consequences of the approach to the estate asset sales.
- Finalising the income tax position of the estate, to include reporting during the estate administration period or, in particularly complex matters, instructing accountants to file tax returns in respect of the estate administration period, or in relation to outstanding lifetime taxation requirements.
Our likely costs for dealing with the above estate would be between £5,000 and £10,000 plus VAT. Please note that this does not include any estate liabilities and disbursements (for details see below).
Full estate administration involving an estate which is subject to IHT, with an estate passing to a combination of exempt and non-exempt beneficiaries, complex estate assets involving private company shares, bank accounts, investments, traded stocks and shares, various properties and a complex IHT scenario.
This will include all of the work listed in examples 1 and 2, and in addition:-
- Dealing with the complex IHT submissions regarding the estate.
- Dealing with queries raised by HMRC regarding the IHT, providing such additional information as is requested by HMRC and corresponding with HMRC regarding the estate IHT position.
Our costs for this type of estate will be between £7,000 and £15,000 plus VAT. Please note this does not include any tax payable to HMRC, estate liabilities or any disbursements (see below).
In some circumstances, clients opt to complete much of the estate administration themselves, relying on legal expertise in the application for the Grant only. We are happy to assist on a fixed fee basis in order to apply for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.
For such matters, we will:-
- Review the estate asset and liability information as provided by you and advise on the requirements for valuations for probate purposes.
- Prepare a probate application which will include the IHT form and the statement of truth for executors and we will meet with you in order to assist you in completing these. We will also provide a detailed letter of advice in relation to this documentation and answer any queries you may have.
- Submit the IHT form to HMRC and the probate registry and forward the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration to you once you have received these.
- Please note that this service will not include any estate administration advice or tax advice after the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration has been issued. We will also not liaise directly with any of the banks or financial institutions, in order to obtain estate asset and liability valuations. We will also not deal with collecting in the assets of the estate or the closure of accounts, or instructing valuers in the valuation of the property.
Our fees for working on a fixed fee basis for obtaining the Grant of Probate will be between £1,500 and £3,000 plus VAT, and the ultimate quote will depend upon the complexity of the estate and the level of assistance you require from us.
If, having obtained the Grant, you require any additional assistance, this will be charged on a time basis on the hourly rates specified previously.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. Where we are instructed in the full estate administration, we will handle the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
The likely disbursements that will be incurred in an estate administration are as follows:-
- Probate application fee payable to the probate registry (on estates worth more than £5,000) £155.
- Bankruptcy searches (per beneficiary) £2 plus VAT.
- International Bankruptcy searches dependant on jurisdiction.
- Official copies of any property forming part of the estate – £6 plus VAT.
- Certainty Will search – £95 plus VAT.
- Landmark Asset search – £135 plus VAT.
- Section 27 Trustee Act notices – these fees are bespoke and will depend on what paper the notices are placed into, but it will be in the region of £200 plus VAT).
We believe it is very important to ensure that our clients understand the likely timescales in an estate administration. Therefore, at our initial meeting we will always endeavour to give you an indication of how long it will take to obtain the Grant of Probate and once it has been received, we will then be able to confirm the likely timescales for finalising the estate administration.
Sometimes there will be matters which delay the conclusion of the estate administration, for instance the sale of a property, or queries raised by HMRC, and these will be outside of our control. However, we will always keep you informed on a regular basis and let you know of any delays that are likely to be caused by third party involvement.
Your initial discussion
If you have an estate that needs to be administered, we would recommend that you contact us so that we can discuss the estate with you and give you an indication of our likely costs for providing you with such assistance as is required. If you have any particular queries relating to costs, please do not hesitate to contact us.