Charges and Expenses
If we have agreed a fixed fee for work on your case, the arrangements will be set out in the engagement letter. Provided we are not requested to do any more work than when that fixed fee was agreed, we will not make any additional charge. If you do request us to do any additional work then we will either increase our fixed fee estimate or charge at an hourly rate for the additional work involved. In the latter case we would try and give you our best estimate of the likely additional cost or, where this is not possible, we would obtain your authority to carry out work to an agreed fee limit.
In many cases it is very difficult at the outset to estimate the amount of work that will be required to conclude the matter. In such cases you will be given an estimate of anticipated costs but this should not be taken as a firm quotation or capped fee unless otherwise agreed in writing. Various factors may mean that the estimates change throughout the progress of the instruction. If your case is to be funded on an hourly rate basis, our charges will be calculated mainly by reference to the time actually spent by the solicitors and other staff in respect of any work which they do on your behalf. This will include meetings with you and perhaps others, reading and working on papers, correspondence, including emails, preparation of any detailed costs calculations, and time spent travelling away from the office when this is necessary. We may arrange for some aspects of the work to be carried out on our behalf by persons not directly employed by us. Such work will be charged to you at hourly rates not exceeding those set out below.
Routine letters are charged as 6 minute units of time and we charge for the time spent on making and taking telephone calls in 6 minute units and considering incoming letters at units of 3 minutes per page.
The current hourly rates are set out below. We will add VAT to these fees at the rate that applies when the work is done, the current rate of VAT is 20%.
Consultants over 10 years qualified – £250.00 (or by negotiation)
Directors, Consultants and Solicitors (over 4 years qualified) – £201.00
Solicitors – £177.00
Accredited Specialist Panels – £146.00
Fellows of Institute of Legal Executive, Senior Executives – £146.00
Executives – £111.00
Trainee Solicitors – £111.00
Junior Executives – £90.00
These hourly rates have to be reviewed periodically to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation. Normally the rates are reviewed with effect from 1 September each year. If a review is carried out before this matter has been concluded, we will inform you of any variation in the rate before it takes effect.
In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours, the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action has to be taken, any particularly specialist expertise when the case may demand. In particular, in property transactions, in the administration of estates and in matters involving a substantial financial value or benefit to a client, a charge reflecting, for example, the price of the property, the size of the estate, or the value of the financial benefit may be considered. A way of reflecting the weight to be attached to factors in the Solicitors Remuneration order apart from the time and value is an additional mark up of up to 35% on time value. In the administration of Estates, we may also add a one per cent value of the Estate. It is not always possible to indicate how these aspects may arise but on present information we would expect them to be sufficiently taken into account in the rates which we have quoted. Where a charge reflecting any value element is to be added we will explain this to you.
Our fees include any additional fees which occur if we are required to carry out professional searches on your behalf. You will be notified in advance of any additional fees and we will require payment from you in advance of them being incurred. These will mainly be incurred in relation to conveyancing work and will be explained to you when you are provided with an estimate of our fees. VAT is payable on additional fees.
Our fees do not include any disbursements which we may incur on your behalf. Disbursements that Solicitors have to pay out on behalf of clients range from Land or Probate Registry fees, court fees, experts’ fees, and so on. We have no obligation to make such payments unless you have provided us with the funds for that purpose. VAT is payable on certain expenses. We refer to such payments generally as ‘disbursements’. We will require a payment in advance from you in respect of any disbursements payable on your transactions unless otherwise agreed in writing. On occasion we may have agreed to pay a referral fee to a third party, i.e. an estate agent. Please be aware that you are not charged for this payment.