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Charges – Transparency on Fees

Our Charges

Transparency and upfront  – no hidden extras

When taking your instructions we will:

  • discuss how your legal charges are to be met,
  • give you the best information we can as to likely cost, by doing one of the following: agreeing a fee with you; providing you with an estimate of costs,
  • or explaining how our costs will be worked out.

We will confirm these arrangements in writing, explain what work they cover, tell you about any other foreseeable payments which are likely to be necessary. Unless otherwise agreed costs are calculated on a time basis at the rates set out in the leaflet. Time spent will include meetings with you and perhaps others; considering preparing and working on papers; correspondence; and making and receiving telephone calls.

You can set a limit

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You can: set a limit on costs to be incurred without further agreement with you (not the same as an agreed fee), and  ask us for details of what costs have been run up at any stage.

We will tell you what costs have been incurred at least every six months where a matter takes some time.

We will ask you for payment on account of our costs. We will ask you for further payments as the matter progresses.

Value Added Tax (VAT) and all payments we make on your behalf (disbursements) will be added to our final account.

Explain the charges

 

If you think your bill is too much we will be pleased to explain how it has been worked out. If you are still unhappy after that, we can explain your rights to have the bill checked

the Courts.

We always aim to be transparent over the fees we charge for dealing with the administration of an estate.  Our fees are based on the hourly rates of the person dealing with the matter.

Wills and Probate

Who will be carry out your matters.

Nigel George TEP – Head of Department

Richard Hancock – Solicitor

Jakub Kotan –  Solicitor

Mathew Goddard – Paralegal

Uncontested Probate Application Costs

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

Our fees are calculated in accordance with the time spent on the matter and the value of the estate and our charge rates which are below

Partners (Directors)£285  – £350 plus VAT
Solicitors£230 to £270 plus VAT
Legal Executives£200 plus VAT
Trainee and paralegal£180 plus VAT

We have listed two different potential estate models with costs, to provide a context into which you can place your own estate circumstances. Please do contact us directly with the details of your estate and we can provide an estimate of costs based on the particular circumstances involved:

Simple Estate Model for a Single Person

Rosemary has recently passed away with two accounts held with her local high street bank, two ISA’s held with a local building society, premium bonds and one 65+ NS&I bond. Rosemary owned a freehold property in her sole name, worth under £500,000, and the combined value of all her assets which will be sold or disposed of in any one tax year is less than £500,000. Rosemary has left all to be divided equally between her two adult children. No IHT charge is made based on the value of the estate in this instance.

We would anticipate that the legal work involved in the administration of Rosemary’s estate would take between 8 and 10 hours to achieve Grant of Probate, and a further 5 to 10 hours post Grant unless work is required on income tax matters. The cost of this time would be between £3,250 and £5,500+VAT, plus disbursements (please see below).

Moderately Complex Estate with Mark-Up Charged

David has recently passed away, leaving legacies to various family members and charities, with the residue of his estate passing to his surviving spouse/civil partner. David held accounts with four different high street banks, some joint and some sole ISAs with two building societies, NS&I 65+ bonds and premium bonds, a life insurance policy and five different sets of shares in five different FTSE companies. He jointly owned a large, freehold property worth £800,000, his share being worth £400,000. The estate value, including the property, is £750,000. In light of the size and complexity of the estate, a mark-up is applied according to Law Society rules.

We would anticipate that the legal work involved in the administration of David’s estate would take between 12 and 25 hours to achieve Grant of Probate, depending on the complexity of the shareholdings involved, with a further 10 to 12 hours post grant, including the registration of the estate with HMRC and the submission of an income tax return for the period of administration. The cost would therefore be estimated at between £5,000 and £10,175+VAT, plus disbursements.

The mark-up on the estate would be based on the Law Society’s recommended rates of 0.5% on the gross value of the property in the estate and 0.875% on the gross value of the rest of the estate, which equates to £5,062.50+VAT.
The exact cost will depend on both the individual circumstances of the matter and the seniority of the solicitor acting, as per our charging rates above.

Likely disbursements include:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1.50p for each copy
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • AML searches for each beneficiary (£6 for UK searches – £5 plus VAT)
  • Post in The London Gazette and Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors approximately £250 but depends on the number of words
  • Certainty National Will Register search (if needed) £95+VAT
  • Unclaimed Asset Register search £25

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.

Useful Articles to read

  1. Tips on Trusts and Tax
  2. Probate fees hike and increased expense of probate
  3. How to seek probate

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (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.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 20 to 30 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 to 12 weeks. Sale of shares and land may take longer. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4 to 12 weeks.

Cost of a simple Will (not involving inheritance tax of trusts or multiple beneficiaries)

£350 plus VAT or £475 plus VAT for a couple.

 

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Single LPA: £450 plus VAT

Double LPA (Health and Finance): £795 plus VAT.

 

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Fixed Charges – We offer fixed fees on:

The complexity and urgency of a matter will affect the charging rate. The above charge rates are only a guide and subject to confirmation by letter or e-mail.

 

PROPERTY

In the Department:

Gurdev Mann – Solicitor and Director

James Harrison – Solicitor and Director

Komal Soni – Paralegal

Tiana Stewart – Paralegal

All our fees are transparent

Our Team are happy to provide you with a personalised fee estimate by email. Please “Contact our Team”  to request this. The information which follows is for information and general guidance purposes only.

Our charges for dealing with residential conveyancing are usually based on a fixed fee basis and within our Estimate of Costs we will always let you know what our charges will be for dealing with your sale, purchase or remortgage. Occasionally, complications may arise during the course of the transaction that can affect the amount that you will pay. We will always let you know if that happens and will explain what the cost will be to resolve the issue. We will agree this with you, before the cost is incurred. We have set out examples of the kinds of issues that can sometimes arise below, together with the typical costs of dealing with them.

You can request a personalised conveyancing fee estimate by filling in our insert link for contact form
We have set out below typical fees for a range of transactions.

Residential Property Sales

Our charges are usually offered on a fixed fee basis plus any extra administrative charges and costs paid to others on your behalf (known as ‘disbursements’).

Scale of our fees

Price of property Legal fees
Up to £500,000 £1,000–£1,300 plus VAT
£500,001 – £1,000,000 – £1,250-1,850 plus VAT
£1,000,001 – £1,500,000  – £1,800-2,100 plus VAT
£1,500,001 – £2,500,000  – £2,000-3,000 plus VAT

Bank Transfer Fee £30.00 plus VAT

Third party charges

Land Registry document fee £6 per document
Landlord’s Information Pack (Leasehold property only) – Landlords and managing agents supply information packs including insurance and service charges information. Their charges are usually between £100- £500

How long will it take?

The speed of your transaction from the point at which you accept an offer will depend on a number of factors. In our experience the average time is between eight and ten weeks.
Your transaction may move more quickly or more slowly depending on the other parties in your chain and the particular circumstances of your transaction. We will always talk to you about the timescale that you have in mind and will stay in touch with you to update you throughout.

What happens?

  •  Every transaction is different but some of the key stages include:
    • take your instructions and give you initial advice
    • obtaining client ID and carrying out ID checks
    • send you property information forms for completion
    • drafting contract documents
    • obtaining title information documents from the Land Registry
    • sending contract package to the Buyers solicitors
    • obtaining service charge information from the freeholder (Leasehold sales only)
    • dealing with enquiries raised by the Buyers solicitors
    • advising you on all documents and information relevant to the sale
    • agreeing the final contract document and sending it to you for signature
    • agree completion date (your moving date)
    • exchange of contracts
    • agreeing the transfer documents and sending to you for signature
    • receiving the purchase funds and completing the sale
    • paying the estate agents invoice from the sale proceeds
    • redeeming any mortgage
    • Send documents to the buyers solicitors
    • Send money to you where applicable

Residential Property Purchases

We will deal with everything that is required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry, payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Our charges are usually offered on a fixed fee basis plus any extra administrative charges and costs paid to others on your behalf (known as ‘disbursements’).

Scale of our fees

Price of property Legal fees

Up to £500,000 £1,000-£31500 plus VAT
£500,001 – £1,000,000  – £1,500-1955 plus VAT
£1,000,001 – £1,500,000 – £1,800-2250 plus VAT
£1,500,001 – £2,500,000 – £2,000-3125 plus VAT
Electronic Money Transfer Fee  -£30.00 plus VAT

Third party charges

Search fees £350.00 (estimated)
Once your leasehold purchase has been completed we will serve notice on your freeholder. They will make an administrative charge for this, usually between £100 – £300

Land Registry fees – dependent on the property value:

Fee
£0- £80,000 £20
£80,001 – £100,000 £40
£100,001 – £200,000 £95
£200,001 – £500,000 £135
£500,001 – £1,000,000 £270
£1,000,001 and over £455

Search fees and Land Registry fees will vary depending upon local charges where tour property is situated and the property price.
Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty is charged in relation to the purchase price of the property and is increased if you own other properties. You can use the calculator on HMRC’s website for properties in England or the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website, if the property is in Wales

How long will it take?

The speed of your transaction from the point at which you accept an offer will depend on a number of factors. In our experience the average time is between eight and ten weeks.
Your transaction may move more quickly or more slowly depending on the other parties in your chain and the particular circumstances of your transaction. We will always talk to you about the timescale that you have in mind and will work to meet your expectations where possible.

What happens?

Every transaction is different but some of the key stages include:

• take your instructions and give you initial advice
• obtaining client ID and carrying out ID checks
• check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
• review documents, information forms and contract received from seller
• carry out all relevant searches
• send enquiries arising from the papers to seller’s solicitor
• advise you on all documents and information received
• deal with Deed of Covenant, Licence to Assign and share certificate transfer forms (Leasehold only)
• review and advise you on the conditions of any mortgage offer
• send final contract to you for signature
• agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
• exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
• request mortgage monies from lender
• advise you of the amount we need to receive from you to complete your purchase including apportionments of ground rents/service charges (leasehold purchases only)
• carry out pre-completion searches at the Land Registry
• complete purchase
• deal with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax
• apply for registration at Land Registry
• provide you with a copy of completed registration at the Land Registry
• Notify the freeholder of the transfer and obtain new share certificate (Leasehold only)
• Confirm registration of your mortgage with your lender

Residential Property Remortgage

We will deal with everything that is required to remortgage your home. including redeeming any existing mortgage and dealing with registration at the Land Registry.
Our charges are usually offered on a fixed fee basis plus any extra administrative charges and costs paid to others on your behalf (known as ‘disbursements’).

Scale of our fees

Amount of funds borrowed Legal fees
Up to £500,000 –  £650-£900 plus VAT
£500,001 and above –  £840-£1440 plus VAT

Electronic Money Transfer Fee £30.00 plus VAT

Third party charges

Land Registry document fee £6 per document
Landlord’s Information Pack (Leasehold property only) – Landlords and managing agents supply information packs including insurance and service charges information. Their charges are usually between £100- £500
Once your leasehold remortgage has been completed we will serve notice on your freeholder. They will make an administrative charge for this, usually between £100 – £300

How long will it take?

The length of time it will take to complete your remortgage depends on a number of factors, including the requirements set by your new mortgage lender. In our experience the usual timescale is 2-4 weeks from receipt of your mortgage offer. We will always talk to you about the timescale that you have in mind and will stay in touch with you to update you throughout.

What happens?

Every transaction is different but some of the key stages include:
• take your instructions and give you initial advice
• obtain copy title documents and review
• carry out searches
• give you advice on all documents and information relevant to the remortgage
• send the mortgage deed to you for signature
• agree completion date
• obtain redemption figure on existing mortgage(s)
• submit report on title to the lender and request funds
• redeeming any mortgage(s)
• account to you with any balance of funds held
• register new mortgage at the Land Registry

Possible Additional Charges

Every transaction is different and sometimes complications arise that are outside our control. The following list is not intended to be exhaustive but shows some commonly encountered complications which can affect our charges:

  • Accelerated Completion – fewer than five working days £175
    Additional Bank Transfer fee £35
    Additional Money Laundering checks (per person) £6
    Dealing with Gifted Deposit £195
    Dealing with Help to Buy ISA bonus account (per account) £50
    Dealing with Occupier’s Consent £125
    Dealing with Occupier’s Signature on Sale Contract £50
    Dealing with service charge retention, costs to be advised but from £60-£200
    Declaration of Trust costs to be advised subject to assessment of requirements £300-£600
    Discharging Second Charge £100
    Drafting and lodging Deed of Covenant £150
    General Power of Attorney (Short Form) £125
    Obtaining copies of Bankruptcy Entries if indicated by search £50Section 21 Notices Could Be Abolished
    Obtaining Indemnity Insurance £60
    Obtaining references and dealing with Licence to Assign £250
    Transfer of Share Certificate £75

VAT is added to all the above items

Hidden costs to look out for

We at Garner & Hancock will be open and transparent about our costs. But in any case, you should always read the terms and conditions. We do not charge such things as:

  • admin fees involving things like photocopying, printing and filling in forms
  • professional indemnity insurance

At Garner & Hancock, we don’t charge any hidden fees. We’re always transparent and honest about our quotes and we’ll tell you upfront exactly what you’ll pay.

Do I pay conveyancing fees upfront?

Garner & Hancock  will ask for an upfront payment of anywhere between £100 and £500. This is to cover some of the disbursements, such as searches, ID checks, getting office copies from the Land Registry and so on.

You shouldn’t then have to pay anything else until:

  • you exchange contracts (buying)
  • the sale completes (selling)

What fees do first-time buyers pay?

At Garner & Hancock conveyancing fees are the same whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve bought a house in the past. You won’t receive any concessions, or be penalised, if this is your first step on the property ladder.

However, if you’re buying the house using funds from a Help to Buy ISA, or through a shared ownership scheme, for example, there will likely be additional fees due to the extra work involved.

I’m buying a house with a Help to Buy ISA. Does this matter?

Using funds from a Help to Buy ISA to buy your house means you may be charged additional costs for the extra conveyancing work this needs. These are explained above.

Are there fees for remortgaging?

Only if the remortgage needs the work of a conveyancer.

When remortgaging, you pay legal fees if there’s a lawyer involved. You’ll usually only need a lawyer if you’re moving to a mortgage deal with a different lender.

What fees do I pay if I buy a house at auction?

Garner & Hancock charges the same amount to carry out the conveyancing on an auction property as it does on any other property, based on the purchase price but excluding search fees. These search fees are usually included in the seller’s auction pack and you’ll be expected to reimburse them.

If we’re asked to check the auction pack, there is a fee of £250 plus VAT, which we will deduct from the final fees if we’re asked to act on behalf of the buyer.

Employment Tribunal Proceedings 

In our Department

Daniel Flynn – Partner and Solicitor Advocate

Vinay Tanna – Partner

Fleur Smith – Trainee Solicitor

Meghan Jones – Paralegal

 

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair, wrongful dismissal and discrimination:

Complexity of the claimEstimate of range of FeesLength of case
Simple claim£4.000 – £15,000 + VATEmployment Tribunal Hearing lasting 1 day or less
Medium complexity claim

& discrimination claims

£7,000– £25,000 + VATEmployment Tribunal Hearing lasting 2 -3 days
Complex claim£15,000 – £25,000 + VATEmployment Tribunal Hearing lasting 3 days or more

 

Fixed fees

Where we can we shall try and fix the fees for such things as hearings.

What can affect the fees?

Factors that could affect the complexity of a case include:

  • 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), whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the case or whether the claim was brought in    time
  • The number of witnesses and documents to be considered
  • 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

Hourly rates Our fees are based on the time spent on each matter.Details of our hourly rates are set out below:

Partners (Directors)£285  – £350 plus VAT
Solicitors£230 to £270 plus VAT
Legal Executives£200 plus VAT
Trainee and paralegal£180 plus VAT

Disbursements

 Disbursements  in employment cases could include Barrister’s fees, travel costs, photocopying and courier fees, private investigator costs and costs of an accountant.

We would usually handle the payment of such fees so as to ensure a smooth process although we will usually require payment of these fees in advance.

Barrister’s fees can range from £1200 – £5,000 per day plus VAT depending on the experience of a Barrister including preparation.

Key Stages of an employment case

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 (known as Early 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 or counter-schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing, including instructing Counsel
  • 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, if acting for the Claimant
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation for 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 may be reduced.

Other related work

Advising on Settlement agreements up to £500 plus VAT.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to us to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during Early Conciliation, your case is likely to take approximately 6 – 12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 – 18 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. The timetable is of course dependent on the Employment Tribunal or Court scheduling.

Business Debt Dispute: Range of Fees


Court Claims

Our Business Debt Law Team

These costs apply where your business 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 £5,000               £35 – 205 £1,000          up to      (£2,500 inclusive of VAT)

£5,001 – £10,000        £455 £2,500            up to          (£6,000 inclusive of VAT)

£10,001 – £50,000         5% value of the claim    up to     £11,000 (inclusive of VAT)

£50,001 – £100,000    5% value of the claim    up to    £25,500 (inclusive of VAT)

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

 

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and statutory 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.
  • There will be court fees to pay and there is a scale of fees which can be found here

 

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, when payment is received
  • If the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgement 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 for enforcement    and likely costs

Matters usually take up to one year months from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default and presuming that there is no delay in the Court issuing your claim, if submitted

If enforcement action is needed, or the other side makes an application to set aside the judgement, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Our complaints policy can be found here

Garner & Hancock  ~July  2020

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Free advice and Q & A from your armchair every Wednesday at 3.00 pm

  • Commercial Leases - Getting Out of Them or Renegotiating Them
  • Buying or Selling a Property During This Time – Are You Serious?
  • Landlord and Tenant – Landlords Right During Lockdown

followed by Q&A with our solicitor panel

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