Price and Service Information

Under SRA rules, we are required to publish on our website price and service information in respect of the following practice areas : Immigration, Employment, Debt Recovery of up to £100,000 for businesses, Probate and Residential Conveyancing.

The information below is intended to provide an overview of the fees likely to be incurred in a small range of services that the firm offers. If you require further fee information in relation to any of our services, please contact the firm for a personalised quote tailored to your specific requirements.

Immigration Services

Services Provided

As part of our representation in your matter, we will carry out some or all of the following work:

  • Providing you with expert advice throughout the process of preparing the application with respect to the requirements of the Immigration Rules.
  • Providing you with advice as to alternative options should you not fulfil the relevant criteria for an application to be successful.
  • Providing you with a detailed schedule of supporting documents specific to your application.
  • Considering the documents which you provide to us and then advising you on whether these documents provided are sufficient to comply with the Immigration Rules or whether they need to be amended or substituted for alternative documents.
  • If appropriate, providing assistance with obtaining further evidence needed in support of an application.
  • Drafting and providing templates for supporting documents required under the rules for you to use as part of your application.
  • Drafting and preparing your application, whether online or in paper format, based on your response to our detailed questionnaire, as well as a detailed letter of representations to be submitted in support.
  • Providing advice about the outcome of your application and any further steps that you will need to take.
  • The fees shown below will not include the following and will be charged separately:
  • Initial advice provided as part of any consultation that you may have with us. We would usually have an initial chargeable consultation so that we can obtain detailed instructions from you regarding your specific circumstances and objectives in terms of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Nationality, prior to us deciding which application is the most appropriate to make or to assess whether you actually meet the basic requirements of a specific application.
    This initial consultation will be based on a fixed fee of between £495 to £750 plus 20% VAT, if chargeable, and will cover up to a fixed amount of time of between 1 and a half hours to 2 hours.
  • Representing you in relation to any appeals or administrative reviews should your application be refused.
  • Any post-submission work such as contacting UK Visas and Immigration about the progress of your application.
Timescales and stages

The majority of immigration applications follow 4  key stages but the time-frame for each will depend on the type of application, the country where the application is being submitted, the type of service chosen and any specific issues related to the matter and in some countries the availability of Priority Services at the issuing post or as provided  by the local partner of UK Visas and Immigration.

 

Stage Activity Timeframe
Stage 1 Obtaining initial instructions and providing strategic advice. The completion of this stage can take place within a few days of the initial meeting or telephone call but those will only take place once the firm has been formally instructed and retained. Following on from the initial meeting or telephone call, if a specific application has been identified,then a fixed fee quote will normally be provided to the client to cover the time spent up to submission of the application.
Stage 2  Preparation of application, submission of application and attendance at Biometric appointment This stage normally takes about 6-8 weeks but it does depend on a number of factors including if an extension or indefinite application the expiry of any existing leave, how quickly the client provides the information and copy documents to enable us to prepare the application and the availability of the Biometric appointments.
Stage 3 Consideration and decision-making by the Home Office. The Home Office processing times can vary between 24 hours to more than six months, depending on the type of application, the availability of premium services, the country from which the application is made, and any case-specific issues.

You can use the links below to see the published visa and application processing times for the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times 

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration/about-our-services#service-standards

Stage 4 Post-decision advice. Once an application has been decided we will normally provide post-decision advice, explaining the next steps.

 

Our Legal Fees

The Immigration team is currently made up of Mark Barnett, as Head of Immigration and an experienced immigration paralegal, Faaizah Rahman, whose work is supervised by him. We also have a trainee within the firm, Joseph Choudhary, who spent 4 years working at the Home Office, and is available to assist the team, when required to do so.

Mark has more than 20 years post qualification experience dealing with UK immigration and British Nationality matters and has dealt with numerous cases mainly relating to Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System, such as Investors, Entrepreneurs (now Innovators) , Sponsor licence applications, applications outside the Points Based System such as Overseas Representatives and Spouse and Family applications as well as corresponding applications for extensions of leave and Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Mark’s work has a bias towards Business Immigration and high net worth individuals and their families and consequently he often works with Private Client teams at established firms of accountants.

Since March 2019, Mark has also dealt with numerous applications under the European Settlement Scheme for both Pre-Settled and Settled Status.

Our immigration team do not guarantee that any application will be successful but their approval rates are very high, in most categories well over 90%.

Please note that the applications listed on this page are not exhaustive and is merely a list of applications which we most commonly handle. If the application you wish to obtain representation on is not listed below, please feel free to contact us, and assuming that it is an application which we do provide advice and representation on, we will provide you with a fixed fee quote once we have had an initial consultation with you.

The range of prices given is intended to be a guide and our fees may increase beyond this range depending on a number of factors which include:

  1. Whether you have been previously refused an application for entry clearance, Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK;
  2. Whether you have any criminal convictions;
  3. The amount of documentation required to be reviewed and considered;
  4. Whether you will be applying with dependents;
  5. In the case of applications for British Nationality, whether you meet the residence requirement and, if not, by how much you have exceeded them.

Please note that the fee information provided cover our advice and representation up to the submission of your application only and do not include any work which we may carry out post-submission of the application. Any post-submission work will be charged at Mark’s hourly rate, which will be advised at the beginning of the matter, of £375 to £450 plus 20% VAT (if chargeable) depending on the application, and will be subject to a minimum charge of 1 hour, which is due and payable on submission of the application.

Disbursements

The fees quoted do not include any disbursements incurred on your behalf. Disbursements are costs that are payable to third parties which you will have to pay for in order to process your application. We may assist you in the process for making payment of these disbursements should you wish, provided we are first placed in cleared funds to do so.

Disbursements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Visa Application fee or Home Office fees (which is dependent upon the country that you are applying from);
  • Immigration Health Surcharge –currently £400 per year per applicant for each year of leave granted unless the applicant is a Tier 4 Student or on Tier 5 Youth mobility in which case it is £300.
  • Additional User-Pay Services which you may opt to take advantage of such as a Priority Visa Service or Walk-In Without Appointment Service (depending upon whether the service is available) or appointments at a Premium Service Centre or new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service point.
Items and Services not Included

Disbursements -These are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as visa or Home Office fees, Priority Service Fees , Immigration Health Surcharge.

Additional time spent dealing with matters that arise after we are formally instructed ,which may adversely effect or delay the application and which were not disclosed by the client.

  • If your application is refused, advice and assistance in relation to any appeal, administrative review, re-submission or Judicial Review.
  • Dependent applications, unless specifically quoted for
  • Post submission issues such as processing delays, BRP card issues, subject to that covered by the initial post submission period as specified in the client care letter.
Applications under the Points-Based System – Main Applicant Only
  1.  Tier 2 (General) Migrant
    – Initial Visa and Extension
    Range between – £1,275 – £1,975
    – Indefinite Leave to Remain
    Range between – £1,895 – £2,500 plus 20% VAT
  2. Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant
    – Initial Visa and Extension
    Range between – £1,275 – £1,675
    – Indefinite Leave to Remain
    Range between – £1,895 – £2,500 plus 20% VAT
  3. Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant
    – Initial Visa
    Range between – £13,750 – £19,750
    – Extension
    Range between – £12,000 – £15,000 plus 20% VAT
    – Indefinite Leave to Remain
    Range between – £15,000 – £19,750 plus 20% VAT
Application to join a Spouse in the UK
  1. Entry Clearance and Extension Application
    Range between – £2, 750 – £3,725 plus 20% VAT if chargeable
  2. Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications
    Range between – £3,500 – £5,500 plus 20% VAT
Applications under the EU Settlement Scheme

1 Initial advice and assessment:

Range between – £375 – £495 plus 20% VAT

2 Applications for Pre–Settled Status:

Range between – £995 and £1,275 plus 20% VAT

3.Applications for Settled Status:

Range between – £1,275 and £1,495 plus 20% VAT

Applications for British Nationality
  1. British Naturalisation
    Range between – £1,995 – £3,995 plus 20% VAT if chargeable
  2. Registration of a British child
    Range between – £2,250 – £3,125 plus 20% VAT if chargeable
Applications for UK Ancestry

Range between – £2,500 – £3,995 plus 20% VAT if chargeable

Applications for Global Talent Status
  1. Initial advice – Range £395 to £675 plus 20% VAT if chargeable
  2. Initial stage – application for Endorsement – Range £995 to £1495 plus 20% VAT if chargeable
  3. Second stage Entry Clearance or Further Leave to Remain – Range £1395 to £1895 plus 20% VAT if chargeable
Applications for Long Residence

Range between – £3,500 – £5,500 plus 20% VAT

Debt Recovery Services

Solicitors providing debt recovery services

Kate Bowen has specialised in litigation since her qualification in March 2007.  Kate is categorised as a ‘Grade A’ litigator (the highest grading), which is defined by the courts as a solicitor with more than 8 years’ litigation experience.  Kate’s hourly rate ranges from £300 to £350 per hour plus 20% VAT depending on the complexity and urgency of the case.

Caroline Gibbs is a consultant solicitor who qualified in 1987.  Caroline is also a ‘Grade A’ litigator.  Caroline’s hourly rate ranges between £350 and £400 per hour plus 20% VAT depending on the complexity and urgency of the case.

Kate is assisted by Oliver Conte, a trainee solicitor who is due to qualify in January 2021.  Oliver’s hourly rate is £125 plus 20% VAT.

If the matter requires urgent attention, for example over a weekend, then the hourly rates may be towards the higher end of the range.

Costs Estimates

Regardless of the value of a claim, before you issue a claim the court rules provide that you must send a letter of claim setting out the details of your claim and allow the debtor an opportunity to respond (usually around 30 days).  Most cases are settled before proceedings are issued during this pre-action stage.

In order to prepare a letter of claim a full analysis of the case including consideration of the documentary and witness evidence will be required.  We will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of costs upon receipt of the documentation and following our initial discussions with you.  We are prepared to agree fixed fees for the preparation of the letter of claim and will discuss this on a case by case basis. The minimum that we would usually charge for a letter of claim is £1,200 plus 20% VAT (this is on the basis of around 4 hours’ work).  If your case is complicated and there is a large amount of evidence to consider then this initial stage could cost upwards of £10,000 plus 20% VAT.

If your case reaches trial then the legal costs will range from £15,000 to in excess of £100,000 plus 20% VAT (excluding court issue fee and other disbursements – see below).  In our experience debt claims of £100,000 that reach trial will incur costs of around £50,000 plus 20% VAT.  These fees will include the following:

  • Drafting and issuing the claim form and particulars of claim.
  • Considering the defence.
  • Completion of a costs budget if required.
  • Advising on disclosure obligations and completing disclosure as ordered by the court.
  • Liaising with witnesses and preparing witness statements.
  • Preparing for and attending all court hearings listed by the court including trial.
  • Advising you as appropriate in terms of the merits of the case and strategy throughout.

The time that must be spent on a matter will depend on a number of issues including but not limited to: the complexity of the claim; the existence of a written agreement and evidence generally; the location of the debtor; the strength of any defence that the debtor might raise and the number of witnesses.

The fee ranges indicated above do not include enforcing any judgment that might be obtained, dealing with any counter claim/Part 20/or third-party claims, instructing experts or dealing with experts generally; the making of or responding to any interim applications; or third party disbursements such as process server fees.

Claims usually take between 1 – 18 months 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. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Key Stages

Claims are commenced by issuing a claim form, which contains the names of the parties, details of the claim and its value. A court fee must be paid depending on the value of the claim as set out in the ‘Court costs and structure’ drop down.

Once the claim form has been issued, the claimant must serve it on the defendant within four months if the defendant is within the jurisdiction or within six months if the defendant is outside the jurisdiction. The claimant must also prepare particulars of claim, which set out the case and the facts relied on. The claim form can be served within the jurisdiction by various methods, including post and personal service.

Once the defendant has been served with the particulars of claim, it has 14 days to file an acknowledgement of service or a defence. If the defendant files an acknowledgment of service form, it has 28 days from the date of service of the particulars of claim to file a defence. If the defendant does not file an acknowledgment of service form, it must serve a defence within 14 days of receipt of the particulars of claim.

If the defendant does not file an acknowledgment of service form or a defence within the prescribed time-frames, in most cases the claimant can apply for judgment in default.

The claimant can serve a reply in response to the defence within 28 days of receipt of a directions questionnaire from the court.

If the defence contains a counterclaim, the claimant must serve a defence to counterclaim, which is often served with a reply, within 14 days of service of the defence and counterclaim.

The timetable for the subsequent stages of the litigation process, known as “directions”, will be determined at a hearing known as a case management conference. Directions for multi-track cases (usually those worth over £25,000) will usually include most or all of the following:

  • Disclosure of documents – usually around 1-2 months after the pleadings (particulars of claim, defence, counterclaim, reply etc.) are closed
  • Exchange of witness statements – usually around 1 month after disclosure
  • Exchange of experts’ reports – around 1 month after witness evidence
  • A pre-trial review hearing – 1-2 months before trial
  • Trial – within 9-18 months after the claim is issued.

The directions for fast track cases will be a shorted version of the multitrack directions and trials are usually listed within around 6-9 months from when the claim is issued.

The directions for small claims track cases usually involve listing a trial around 4 months after the claim is issued with the evidence exchanged around a month before trial.

The court generally plays an active role in managing the proceedings and the directions given at the case management conference (even if the directions are agreed between the parties).

Court costs and structure

If it is necessary to commence a claim at court, the court charges a fee.  The fee is dependent upon the value of the claim.  Below is a table issued by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals service which sets out the court fees applicable when starting a claim at court.  It is often possible to utilise one of the court’s online portals to issue claims known as Money Claim Online (“MCOL”) or County Court Business Centre (“CCBC”). The court issue fee for using these portals is discounted as set out below:-

Starting proceedings to recover a sum of money which:

Starting proceedings to recover a sum of which which: At Court MCOL or CCBC Fee
does not exceed £300 £35 £25
exceeds £300 but does not exceed £500 £50 £35
exceeds £500 but does not exceed £1000 £70 £60
exceeds £1,000 but does not exceed £1,500 £80 £70
exceeds £1,500 but does not exceed £3,000 £115 £105
exceeds £3,000 but does not exceed £5,000 £205 £185
exceeds £5,000 but does not exceed £10,000 £455 £410
exceeds £10,000 but does not exceed £200,000 5% of the value of the claim 4.5% of the value of the claim
exceeds £200,000 or is not limited £10,000 N/A

The value of the claim issued will determine which one of the 3 tracks of the court the claim will be allocated to.

The small claims track is a simplified procedural system for dealing with lower value claims with a financial value of under £10,000.

The fast track is the usual track for any claim:

  • Which is worth between £10,000 and £25,000.
  • Where the trial is estimated to last not more than a day.
  • Where oral expert evidence at trial will be limited to one expert per party per field.

The costs recoverability for the successful party in respect of small claims and fast track claims is very limited. It is for this reason parties usually represent themselves as it is often not cost effective to instruct solicitors to conduct the cases.

The Civil Procedure Rules defines the multi-track as the track for all cases not suitable for allocation to the small claims track or the fast track. This means that the multi-track is the right track for any case:

  • Worth more than £25,000.
  • Where the trial is estimated to last for more than a day.
  • Where each party will need to adduce oral expert evidence either from more than two fields, or one expert in a particular field.

Multi-track claims can be heard in either the High Court or the County Court. Usually claims worth below £50,000 are appropriate for the County Court and those worth more than £50,000 are appropriate for the High Court.

The general rule is that the winner pays around two thirds of the winner’s costs, however the courts have a wide discretion in terms of costs allocation and we would advise on a case by case basis.

Counsel’s fees

If you start a claim at court, there will be at least one hearing before a judge; sometimes there are several hearings.  You will need to be represented by an advocate and for this we will instruct a barrister on your behalf.  Barristers also often assist with the drafting and preparation of your claim and other key documents. We will negotiate and agree barrister’s fees on your behalf. The cost of a barrister will depend on the experience of the barrister, the length of the hearing and the amount of work/preparation required.

As a rule of thumb barrister’s fees usually represent around one third of the total legal fees incurred by a claimant during the course of proceedings.

Counsel’s fees in respect of a debt claim worth £100,000 that reached trial would be approximately £15,000-£30,000 plus 20% VAT depending on the seniority of the barrister.

Other Disbursements

It is sometimes necessary to incur other third party costs during debt recovery litigation.  Such costs could include:-

  • Land Registry search fees
  • Process server fees
  • Enquiry agent fees if it is necessary to locate a debtor
  • Postage costs
  • Copying charges if the documentation is substantial

Employment Services

Introduction

Our employment department, headed up by Peter Jones, provides a full range of services to support employers, employees and consultants. These services include advice on:

  • employment disputes and terminations;
  • settlement agreement consultations and drafting;
  • whistle-blowing and related claims;
  • protecting confidential information;
  • all forms of unlawful discrimination;
  • corporate and commercial transactions (including due diligence and transfer of undertakings);
  • individual and collective redundancy consultation;
  • director and senior executive service agreements (including bonus and profit-sharing arrangements and restrictive covenants);
  • long-term absence and disability;
  • performance management; and
  • drafting consultancy and contractor agreements with service companies and individuals.

We can bring and defend claims in the employment tribunals and issue and defend High Court proceedings dealing with confidential information, restrictive covenants and other contractual disputes in conjunction with our dispute resolution team.

Peter started practising employment law in 2004, after a career in music and a senior management position at a national charity. He has been responsible for high value whistle-blowing and discrimination cases brought and defended in the employment tribunals, as well as ordinary unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims. He has always specialised in employment law and related commercial practice.

Peter’s fees for employment and commercial work range from £290 to £350 plus 20% VAT per hour, depending on the complexity of the case. Other fee earners at the firm may also be involved, depending on the necessary levels of experience and expertise.

Pricing

We are required to provide specific information about the cost of bringing and defending employment tribunal proceedings for unfair and wrongful dismissal, which is difficult to assess, as each case is very different, but we hope that the following information will be helpful.

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

Simple case: £10,000-£15,000 (plus 20% VAT)

Medium complexity case: £15,000-£20,000 (plus 20% VAT)

High complexity case: £20,000-£100,000 (plus 20% 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 £2,500 per day (excluding 20% VAT). Generally, we would allow 1 – 30 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 £1,500 to £4,000 plus 20% VAT 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 – 4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take over 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.

We note that due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the already slow and under resourced tribunal system, it is likely that cases will take considerably longer, but we cannot estimate the impact at this stage

Costs and damages

There is a general rule that each party bears their own costs in employment tribunal litigation. However, on an exceptional basis, awards for some or all of a party’s costs can made against the other because a party, or their representative, has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively, or otherwise unreasonably in the bringing or conducting of the proceedings, or a part of them, has been in breach of an order or practice direction or has postponed or adjourned a hearing inappropriately. Weak parts of claims can also be subject to deposit orders and the employment tribunal has power to penalise inappropriate conduct by representatives or the parties, by awarding wasted costs and aggravated and exemplary damages.

Insurance and sources of funding

You may have insurance to cover some or all of the cost of bringing or defending an unfair and/or wrongful dismissal claim. For individuals, insurance may be bundled with other financial products, such as home contents or mortgage payment protection insurance. It is important that you comply with any policy terms in full and it is advisable that decisions about dismissal are taken with the benefit of legal advice from a specialist solicitor. Individuals may be able to obtain advice and support without incurring costs, as a member of a union or other organisation that provides these membership benefits.

General

The statements above do not amount to legal advice or any commitment to a specific fee, rate or timescale. The fee ranges indicated above do not include enforcing any judgment that might be obtained or dealing with any counter claim. Fee, costs and time estimates will be provided upon our review of relevant information and the nature of your instructions.

Probate Services

Solicitor providing probate services

Sarah Chamberlain deals with probate matters as well as Will-drafting and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Sarah qualified as a lawyer in 2000 and has extensive experience in dealing with a range of estates and inheritance tax matters.

Fees and disbursements

The time and costs for assisting with the administration of an Estate will vary depending on such matters as the assets of the Estate and the deceased’s individual circumstances. Generally the work involves identifying the assets and liabilities of the Estate, obtaining probate valuations and contacting creditors. We will also advise on beneficial entitlement and intestacy if applicable. We prepare the Inheritance Tax Account for submission to the Revenue, including any Inheritance Tax calculation, and the documents necessary to apply for the Grant of Probate. We assist in collecting in assets, paying liabilities and distributions to beneficiaries.

Our fees are based on an hourly rate (£300 plus 20% VAT) and will depend on the time involved. As a general guide, our fees for dealing with a straightforward Estate will be in the region of £3,000 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements.  The disbursements include the Probate Registry fees which will be approximately £160. The other typical disbursements for a probate matter also include any charges made by third parties for providing asset valuations and processing transfers – those charges will be set by them according to value, complexity and type but can range from £50 for an individual shareholding valuation to £5,000 for a private company valuation. Our services do not include valuing assets and we will assist in instructing any estate agents, tax advisers or accountants as necessary. Any Inheritance Tax due in respect of the Estate is payable in addition to fees and charges – this figure will depend on the value of the Estate and any available exemptions and reliefs.

Fees will be higher for instance if the Estate includes a large number of assets or beneficiaries, trust matters or an overseas element. Please also note that the probate fees do not include fees charged for dealing with the sale of any assets such as property or chattels, nor for dealing with income tax matters.

Timescales

The key stages for the administration of an Estate are preparing the Inheritance Tax Account – which will generally take 3 – 4 months – and then making the application for the Grant of Probate.

A typical timescale for obtaining a Grant of Probate is 6 months, although this period may be shorter or longer depending on the nature of the Estate. If you would like to consider instructing us to act for you then we will give you a specific quote for fees, disbursements and timescale based on the individual circumstances.

Residential Conveyancing Services

Introduction

Sarah Chamberlain supervises our property department. Sarah qualified as a lawyer in 2000 and deals with both commercial and residential property matters. The department includes Howard Salter, with over 50 years’ experience, who specialises in commercial and residential property transactions, and Obaid Sethi who qualified in 2006 and works particularly on residential conveyancing and lease extension matters.

Our fees are based on the fee earner’s hourly rates (which range from £250 – £350 plus 20% VAT) and our experience of the time that will be involved for the type of transaction. Our fees will vary depending on the complexity, requirements and value of the particular transaction. If you would like to consider instructing us to act for you then we will give you a specific quote for fees and disbursements tailored to your individual transaction.

Purchase Transactions

Our work for a purchase transaction includes investigating title, reviewing information provided by the seller, carrying out relevant property searches, raising appropriate enquiries, preparing a report on title and agreeing the form of contract and transfer documents. If you are using mortgage finance then we will either act for your lender on the mortgage arrangements, or if they require a separate firm to act for them, we will liaise with the lender’s solicitors. We will deal with exchange of contracts, completion of the purchase, preparation and submission of the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and then registration of the transfer and any legal charges at the Land Registry.

The key stages for a purchase transaction are exchange of contracts – which is usually between 4 – 8 weeks from starting the matter – and then completion, which will generally be set for somewhere between 2 – 4 weeks later. A typical purchase transaction can therefore take anything from 6 weeks to 3 months to complete but each matter will depend on the individual circumstances and other parties involved.

As a general indication, the legal fees for a straightforward purchase of a freehold house with a market value of £1 million would be in the region of £1500 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements, and for a leasehold flat would be around £1600 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements.

Disbursements are additional charges you must pay and are set by, and paid to, third parties. For a purchase transaction these will usually include – search fees (i.e Local Authority Search, Water & Drainage search, Environmental Search and Chancelcheck search) of approximately £400 plus 20% VAT, bankruptcy and land registry search fees of around £10 plus 20% VAT and a bank transfer fee of £15 plus 20% VAT. In addition, the most significant disbursements will be the Land Registry registration fee and the Stamp Duty Land Tax due on the transaction – these amounts will depend on the value of the property and your circumstances, and we can provide you with a calculation of these figures at the outset of your transaction. If your lender requires a separate firm to represent them for the mortgage arrangements, any fees charged by them are also payable by you.

If you are purchasing a leasehold property there are likely to be additional disbursements required under the terms of the lease such as a Deed of Covenant fee and a Notice of Transfer/Charge fee – those amounts will be set by the landlord’s solicitor and we will obtain those figures at the earliest stage of the transaction.

Please note that our services do not include advice on financial matters, mortgages, tax, valuation issues or surveys. You will need to separately instruct appropriate professionals to deal with such matters if required.

Sale Transactions

A typical sale transaction will involve us collating title documents, obtaining information from the landlord (if applicable) and preparing the draft Contract package. We will deal with enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitors, liaise with the landlord’s solicitors/managing agents and your lender where applicable.

The key stages for a sale transaction are exchange of contracts – which is usually between 4 – 8 weeks from starting the matter – and then completion, which will generally be set for somewhere between 2 – 4 weeks later. A typical sale transaction can therefore take anything from 6 weeks to 3 months to complete but each matter will depend on the individual circumstances and other parties involved.

As a general indication, the legal fees for a straightforward sale of a freehold house with a market value of £1 million would be in the region of £1400 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements, and for a leasehold flat would be around £1500 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements. For a sale transaction, the disbursements are generally limited to copy title documents at approximately £10 plus 20% VAT and a bank transfer fee of £15 plus 20% VAT.

If you are selling a leasehold property there are likely to be additional disbursements for fees charged by the landlord/managing agents for providing replies to standard enquiries – those amounts will be set by them and we will obtain those figures at the earliest stage of the transaction.

Please note that our services do not include advice on financial matters, mortgages, tax, valuation issues or surveys. You will need to separately instruct appropriate professionals to deal with such matters if required.

Mortgage Transactions

For a remortgage/mortgage only transaction, the work involved will depend on the lender’s requirements but this will usually involve us reviewing the title documents, carrying out the relevant property searches and obtaining general information regarding the property from you, and your landlord/managing agent as applicable.

The key stages for a mortgage transaction are reporting to the lender – which is usually 4 – 6 weeks from starting the matter – and then completion, which will generally be set for somewhere between 1 – 2 weeks later. A typical mortgage transaction can therefore take anything from 5 – 8 weeks to complete but each matter will depend on the individual circumstances and other parties involved.

As a general indication, the legal fees for a straightforward mortgage of a freehold house with a market value £1 million would be in the region of £1000 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements, and for a leasehold flat £1100 plus 20% VAT plus disbursements.

For a mortgage transactions the disbursements are usually search fees of approximately £400 plus 20% VAT; bankruptcy search fees of around £10 plus 20% VAT; Land Registry search fees of around £10 plus 20% VAT and a registration fee which will depend on the value of the loan; bank transfer fee of £15 plus 20% VAT; and landlord/managing agent fee (if applicable) for providing information about the property.

Please note that our services do not include advice on financial matters, mortgages, tax, valuation issues or surveys. You will need to separately instruct appropriate professionals to deal with such matters if required.

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