Pricing Transparency For Debt Recovery, Employment Tribunals, Probate and Residential Conveyancing

1.       Under the Solicitors Regulation Authority Transparency Rules 2018 Solicitors have to publish price information and what that covers for the following areas of practice:

 

Debt recovery (up to £100,000)

Employment tribunals (claims and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

Immigration (excluding asylum)

Licensing applications for business premises

Motoring offences

Probate

Residential conveyancing

 

This firm does not deal with Immigration (excluding asylum), Licensing applications for business premises or Motoring offences.

 

2.       General points

 

2.1     Except where fixed fees apply, no case will be the same as others and our fees will reflect the particular requirements of your case, which it is likely will evolve as it continues. Because of this we cannot give you a reliable estimate of the costs of helping you here, but we will endeavour to do so as soon as we can. If your case does have unexpected complications we will discuss this and any potential consequences with you as soon as possible. You should note that additional time charges may be made for non-routine cases and that we will seek to estimate them in providing you with a costs estimate or in revising that costs estimate as the matter progresses.

 

2.2     In some cases we will have to pay others for services or supplies such as court fees or search fees. VAT will have to be paid on these payments except where they are for court fees, subsistence and postage including next day or recorded delivery, travel expenses and car parking, and for medical records and reports.

 

3.       Debt recovery (up to £100,000)

3.1          Court Claims

For business debts which are undisputed we offer a range of fixed fees based on the value of the debt.

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 (incl.VAT)

Total

Up to £4,999

£35 to £205

£420 (VAT £70)

£420 plus Court & any Search Fees

£5,000 to £9,999

£405

£660 (VAT £110)

£1,050

£10,000 to £50,000

5% of the value of the debt

£900 (VAT £150)

£900 plus Court & any Search Fees

£50,001 to £100,000

5% of the value of the debt

£1,200 (VAT £200)

£1,200 plus Court & any Search Fees

 

3.2          Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor if you are VAT registered.
  • 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.

 

3.3          Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches such as Companies House or Land Registry searches.  Generally, there is no charge for Companies House searches but Land Registry searches will typically incur a £3 charge for each search which is not subject to VAT and will be charged separately.
  • 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 Judgment 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

 

3.4          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 Judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

3.5          Please note we do not offer ‘no win no fee’ type arrangements (for example Conditional Fee Agreements (‘CFA’s’) for this area of work.

3.6          Gareth Lamb will deal with this work. His hourly rate is £255 plus VAT. He has more than … years’ experience of dealing with debt collection.

4.       Employment tribunals (claims and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

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

  • Simple case: £6,000-£12,000 (including VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £12,000 -£30,000 (including VAT)
  • Complex case: £30,000-£50,000 (including VAT)

 

These bands will not apply to any case which is of special complexity and we endeavour to give our clients the best estimate of fees at the outset of a matter once we have a clear idea of the complexity of the matter.

 

4.2          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

 

4.3          Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. Court fees and travel expenses do not normally incur any charge to VAT. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel's fees estimated between £750 to £2,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation)

4.4          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.

4.5          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 5 - 10 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 to 9 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.

4.6          CFAs and DBAs. Please note we do not offer ‘no win no fee’ type arrangements (for example Conditional Fee Agreements (‘CFA’s’) or Damages Based Agreements (‘DBA’s) for this area of work.

4.7          Gareth Lamb and Mark Nicholson both solicitors will deal with this work. Their hourly rate is £255 plus VAT. Mark has more than 40 years’ experience in dealing with employment work and Gareth has more than … years experience.

5.       Probate

 

5.1          Fixed fee probate applications for estates not liable to Inheritance Tax

 

We provide a fixed fee service for executors/personal representatives who are able to provide us with a full list of the deceased’s assets and liabilities and their date of death values.

 

We complete the inheritance tax return (IHT 205) and Oath and submit it to the Probate Registry on behalf of the executors/administrators for a fixed fee of £600 including VAT (£100) and disbursements.

 

The disbursements associated with a probate application are as follows:-

Probate court fee - £155

Commission/swear fee £5 plus £2 per exhibit i.e. for the Will.

Official copies of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration -50 pence per copy.

None of these disbursements bear or include VAT

 

5.2          Other probate services

 

Broadly speaking there are three stages to administering a person’s estate:-

 

Stage 1 - Ascertaining and valuing assets and liabilities;

Stage 2 - Completing inheritance tax return/s and Oath/probate application to submit to HMRC (if taxable) and the Probate Registry; and

Stage 3 - Collecting in assets, settlings debts and administrative expenses, accounting to HMRC for income tax due during the period of administration and distributing the estate in accordance with the Will/the rules of intestacy where there is no Will.

 

Executors/personal representatives may wish to get us involved in any of the three stages, most commonly the second stage but in some cases all three stages. The following table gives a range of estimates that you might be likely to expect at each stage depending on whether the estate is taxable or not, and the figures include VAT. The table below does not include estimates for estates with special complications and we endeavour to give our clients the best estimate of fees at the outset of a matter once we have a clear idea of the complexity of the estate.

 

Otherwise the table below applies.

 

 

 

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Total for all 3 stages

Non-taxable estates

Our fees inclusive of VAT

£600-£1200

£600

£600-£1800

£1800 -£4100

Taxable estates

Our fees inclusive of VAT

£1200-£2400

£1200-£3600

£1200-£3600

£3600-£9600

 

Disbursements in each case are as follows:-

Probate court fee - £155

Commission/swear fee £5 plus £2 per exhibit i.e. for the Will.

Official copies of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration -50 pence per copy.

None of these disbursements bear or include VAT

 

5.3       Ella Nicholson (solicitor), Jill Bagley (Legal Executive) and Jon Wharry (trainee Legal Executive) deal with Probate work and their respective hourly rates are £255, £216 and £108, all plus VAT.