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Costs Information and Complaints Procedure

Costs Information.

In accordance with SRA requirements, we aim to provide guidance about likely costs for certain types of work. 

Please note that the information here is a guide to show the normal rage of costs for different kinds of work.

Except where a fixed fee is agreed, the actual costs in your case may be lower, or higher, that those set out below, depending on your specific needs and the details of the work you ask us to carry out, . In all cases, when you instruct us to carry out work for you, we will provide you with a tailored, written, costs estimate as part of our client care letter, which will set out  details of the likely costs, and the person who will be carrying out the work,  based on the specific instructions you give and the work you want us to do for you. 

CONVEYANCING (Buying or Selling ypour home or other property)

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale of your current home or 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 you intend to buy is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Legal Fees

These are set on sliding scale subject to the value of the property:

  Property Value                                                      Usual Fee

£0.00 - £200,000.00                                       £745.00 + VAT

£200,000.00 - £250,000.00                            £795.00 + VAT

£250,000.00 - £300,000.00                            £845.00 + VAT

£300,000.00 - £400,000.00                            £945.00 + VAT

£400,000.00 - £500,000.00                            £1,045.00 + VAT

£500,000.00 - £650,000.00                            £1,195.00 + VAT

£650,000.00 - £800,000.00                             £1,345.00 + VAT

£800,000.00 - £1,000,000.00                          £1,595.00 + VAT

If you are buying a Leasehold property, there will usually be an additional charge. This will normally be £250 + VAT to cover the extra work involved in reviewing the freehold title, the management company information pack and the subsequent notification of the Freeholder of your ownership.

If you are buying a new-build property, there will be an extra charge of £250 + VAT to cover the additional work involved in reviewing the planning documentation associated with the development.

Please note the extra charges may be higher or lower, depending on the specific  circumstances.  For example,  if you are buying a leasehold house, there will not normally be any management company documentation to review, so the  extra charge will be lower.

Disbursements

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. 

On Your Sale

As part of your sale the disbursements will include:

Title Information Documentation                £ 3 per document

Completion Fee                                         £35 + VAT.

On a Leasehold sale, you may be required to obtain a Leasehold Information Pack from the Landlord or Management Company. You should check with your freeholder/management company as to the cost of their providing this information.

On Your Purchase

As part of the investigations and completion of your purchase the disbursements will include:

 

Searches                around £325.00. The exact amount is dependent on the area in which you  are buying

Bankruptcy Fee                  £2.00 per person

Priority Search                    £3.00

Completion Fee                  £35.00 + VAT

SDLT Submission Fee       £30.00 + VAT

On a Leasehold purchase you may also incur disbursements payable to the Landlord or their representatives. These disbursements can vary significantly as they depend on what the Landlord charges.  You may wish to ask the agent to check this information before you make an offer. Examples of these disbursements include:

Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £10 - £250.
Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £0 - £150.
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 £50 - £250.
Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £10 - £150.

Land Registry fees are incurred on a value basis as shown:

Scale 1 fees

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase only)

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 here.

If you are a first-time buyer you may be exempt from paying SDLT if the property is purchased for less than £300,000 or have the sum paid reduced where the value is less than £500,000.  You will be required to complete a Declaration confirming the truth of this statement.  Any falsehood in this Declaration could be deemed a criminal offence on the basis of fraudulent activity.

Sometimes sales or purchases are complex and the work cannot be done on a fixed fee basis.  If you feel your sale or purchase is more complex, please contact one of our offices to discuss the type of sale or purchase involved and we can provide a clearer indication as to the costs involved.

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 12 - 16 weeks from acceptance of an offer to completion and final registration of a purchased property with the Land Registry.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 - 10 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 4 and 6 months. In such a situation additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in a sale or purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. As part of the processe we will:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase or obtain a redemption figure from your lender to ensure there is no negative equity
  • Check title documentation to ensure the correct party is the seller
  • Submit or receive contract documents
  • Carry out searches and submit enquiries to the seller’s solicitor or answer queries submitted by the purchaser’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • If applicable, go through conditions of mortgage offer with you or provide a redemption statement to confirm the sum to be paid
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own or leave the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all money needed to be received from your lender, or obtain a final redemption statement from your mortgage company
  • Complete purchase or sale
  • On your purchase deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax and submit an application for registration at Land Registry
  • On your sale discharge any legal charge and provide you with payment of the remaining balance

Equity Release

We also provide a service providing the legal advice required by lifetime mortgage lenders and the submission of the subsequent documentation to enable the funds to be drawn down.

Legal Costs                                       £650.00 + VAT

Completion Fee                                £35.00 + VAT

Money Laundering Check                £3.04 per person on the title

On your instruction we will:

  • check the title to the property to ensure the correct parties are named on the deeds and on the lifetime mortgage documentation
  • complete the documentation required as part of the application
  • check for buildings insurance cover
  • check the resulting title documentation post-completion.

Transfers of Equity

This action alters the ownership of a property or land according to your wishes.  If you are  transferring the ownership of a property where there is still a mortgage, you will need to get your mortgage lender’s permission to make the change in ownership, as it will affect their security over the property and ability to be repaid.

If there is no mortgage, the costs will be

Legal Costs on a registered title              £425 + VAT

Legal Costs on an unregistered title         £675 + VAT

Where a lender is involved, we will make an additional charge of £250 + VAT to cover the extra work needed in liaising with them before and after completion.

As part of the process we will also incur disbursements, these will typically include:

Title information

documentation                       £3.00 per document

Completion Fee                      £35 + VAT
SDLT Submission Fee            £30 + VAT
Money Laundering Check       £3.04 per person
Land Registry Fee                   £Variable

The Registration Fee to the Land Registry is dependent on the value of the share of the property being transfer.  The fees are set out in the table above.

As part of this kind of job we will:

  • Check the title to the property and its ownership
  • Draft the appropriate Transfer Deed and ensure suitable provisions are included to protect the parties involved
  • Liaise with any lender if they need to be included in the transfer
  • If required, submit the SDLT application
  • Submit the Transfer Deed for registration purposes or if the property is unregistered, we will collate all the deeds to submit them to the Land Registry for First Registration.

 

Probate - Simple Estate

Applying for the Grant, Collecting and Distributing the Assets

We anticipate this will take between 10 and 20 hours work at £200.75* per hour (depending on which fee earner is doing the work, as the hourly rate differs).  Total costs estimated at £2,000 to £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.

We will handle the full process for you.  This estimate is for an estate where:

  • There is a valid Will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 3 to 5 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.  If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no Inheritance Tax payable and the Executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate All assets are located in England and Wales.
  • There are no assets abroad (foreign assets)

Anticipated disbursements (not included in this fee):

(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)

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus 50p per copy (if needed)
  • £7 swearing of the Oath (per Executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • £210.54 post in the London Gazette – protects again unexpected claims from unknown creditors and post in a local newspaper – this also helps to protect against unexpected claims
  • Valuation fees for chattels and property (if required)

.Potential Additional Costs

  • If there is no Will or the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with.  We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the Grant are required, they will cost 50p per copy (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • Any enquiry made by the Department for Work and Pensions is not included.
  • If the Deceased had extensive liabilities we would need further information to give an accurate estimate of the likely cost.
  • Dealing with any businesses or farms is not included.
  • If FDC Law are executors, extra fees called Value Element may apply. This will be specified at the time of instructing us.

 

How Long Will This Take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months, depending on number of assets.  Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 4-6 weeks.  #Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4-6 weeks.  Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4-6 weeks.

*This is an average hourly rate: The specific rate will depend on the person carrying out the work. Hourly Rates are currently: Partners:£225 plus VAT, Solicitors:£201 plus VAT, FILEX £192 plus VAT CILEX and other legal esecutives  £185 plus VAT

In some cases is not advisable to distribute until at least six months after the grant of probate. If this is applicable to your case, we will let you know.

Probate – Grant only (Fixed Fee)

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. 

How Much Does This Service Cost?

TOTAL: Fixed fee of £1,200 (inclusive of VAT).

This includes: obtaining the Grant only.

Breakdown of costs:

Legal fees £1,000

VAT on legal fees £200

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.

Disbursements are not included in the fixed fee . the usual; disbursement for obtaining a grant of probate are:

  • Probate Court fee of £155
  • £7 swearing of the Oath (per Executor)
  • Chattels and property valuation fees (if required)

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced Solicitor or Legal Executive to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Complete the Probate application and the relevant HMRC form (IHT205 only)
  • Draft a legal Oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 1 to 2 months (from receipt of all the relevant information from you).  Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 2 to 4 weeks.

 

Court Claims - Debt Recovery

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

Court fee

Our fee

Up to £5,000

£35-£205

5% value of the claim plus VAT, subject to a minimum of  £195 plus VAT

£5,001 - £10,000

£455

5% value of the claim plus VAT

£10,001 - £50,000

5% value of the claim

5% value of the claim plus VAT

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The total amount 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, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 14 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 4-12 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.

 

Employment Tribunal (Estimated Range of costs)

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

Simple case: £1,500 - £3,000 (excluding VAT)

A more complex case: £3,000-£5,000 (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 £1500 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 ( Barristers) fees estimated between £1,500 to £2,500 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 between 1 and 3 months. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 and 12 months. 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.

 

Complaints Procedure

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have  provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance, you should usually contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage If you have not been able to resolve the issue with the person dealing with your matter, then you can make a formal complaint. We sent you details of the process in the client care letter and terms of business sent to you when your file was opened, and you can also read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first.

If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint

and

No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or

No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

Contact details

Visit: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.

Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

 

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be if you felt that there were any concerns about anything such as dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, gender, a disability or other personal characteristic.

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

OUR OFFICES:

Midsomer Norton See details
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This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (FDC Law ID: 48189) sra.org.uk
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