We recognise that the cost of legal advice is often a major source of concern for our clients when they contact us. Initial fixed fee appointments are available from £130 per hour, plus VAT.
After initial consultation, we offer fixed fee pricing for some areas of our practice. We are able to offer fixed fee pricing in the following areas;
- Initial advice (no obligation appointment)
- Divorces and Dissolutions of Civil Partnerships (undefended)
- Wills (dependent on complexity)
- Preparation and Registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney
We will consider a fixed pricing arrangement in other areas upon request. Please contact us for further details of the fixed fees currently chargeable.
The remainder of the work that we undertake is charged in accordance with the hourly rate of the person undertaking the work for you. As these are reviewed periodically and are subject to change we suggest that you contact us for further details of these.
We provide clear information to clients on a regular basis about the level of costs they are incurring. We operate a computerised time recording system and all our fees are charged strictly in accordance with the amount of work that our staff undertake for a particular client.
Work is time recorded by our staff as they complete it and detailed information about work completed and recorded can be made available to clients upon request. At the outset of your case we will give the best estimate that we can as to the number of hours of work that will be needed to complete that case and this estimate is reviewed regularly for accuracy.
We inform clients at the beginning of our involvement, of the different funding options available to them and agree how and when costs will be paid.
Mediation Charges – The normal hourly rate for Family Mediation is £260 per hour, plus VAT, which is £130 per hour, plus VAT, for each person.
We are not able to offer Legal Aid (Publicly Funded Mediation) but can let you know if you may be eligible and if so can refer you to a mediator that does. Alternatively, we offer a discounted rate for people with low income and limited savings. Please ask for details if you think you may be eligible.
Charges are made for the Mediation Sessions themselves, and for drafting documents. These include the following:-
- Face to face mediation sessions (usually 1 – 2 hours)
- Interim summaries prepared following each session (usually 1 hour)
- The Open Financial Statement (usually 1 – 2 hours)
- The Memorandum of Understanding (usually 1 – 2 hours)
There is no charge for routine letters and phone calls. If we need to write a joint letter to seek expert advice (for example to a pension actuary) we will agree a charge with you beforehand for this work.
Each party to mediation is individually responsible for their share of the fees.
We reserve the right to raise a cancellation charge of £50 plus VAT per person in the event of cancellation of a mediation session at less than 48 hours notice.
Mediation Information and Assessment Appointments (MIAMS) are charged at £95 plus VAT.
All fees are payable at the start or at the end of the mediation session or preliminary meeting. Invoices are not generally sent.
We only charge for the time that we spend on dealing with your matter. We do not charge a percentage of the value of your Estate or a fixed fee, nor do we charge different rates for different aspects of your matter. Our probate fees are charged at an hourly rate of £230 per hour plus VAT. (This is reviewed annually) Standard letters out and telephone calls are charged at 1/10 of the hourly rate and emails and standard letters received in and reviewed are charged in at half that rate plus VAT.
We are happy to assist you with whatever aspects of the estate administration you wish. We regularly accept limited instructions from clients who feel able to deal with some areas of the work themselves, but who require legal support in other areas. This is a good way to minimise your legal costs. We endeavour to agree which parts of the estate administration our clients can deal with and which parts we will manage at the outset of your case.
How Much Does this Cost?
We can handle as little or as much as you require us to including;
- Checking whether there is a valid will
- Identifying the assets and the beneficiaries
- Preparing the inheritance tax forms
- Applying ant reliefs or exemptions
- Preparing the probate application for you to sign
- Making the application on your behalf to the Probate Registry
- Obtaining the Grant of Probate and sealed copies
- Serving the Grant on relevant organisations
- Collecting in the assets
- Preparing an estate account
- Distributing the assets in accordance with the terms of a will
- Transferring a property
On average, an excepted estate will take between 6 and 12 months to complete and in our experience will cost between £3,000 and £7,000 plus VAT depending on complexity such as the assets involved and the number of beneficiaries.
Disbursements (Costs that may be payable to third parties) are:
- Probate Court Fee £157 (at present)
- Bankruptcy Fees £12 per beneficiary
- Section 27 Notice fees £200-£250
Estates which are not Excepted
As you only pay us for the time that we actually spend dealing with your case you would be charged according to how much time is spent dealing with your case. On average the estimated costs of dealing with a non-excepted estate are between £7,000-£10,000 but again this would vary depending on a number of factors which will determine how much work is required and therefore what the final price might be. In addition to the work for an excepted estate we might have to assist with inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax queries.
It is usually takes between 6 and 12 months to deal with an un-excepted estate.
Whilst we always provide an estimate of fees once we are aware of the details of the estate unforeseen complexities may arise which may result in additional work being required. If this occurs we will inform clients and provide a revised costs estimate.
All invoices submitted to you for payment will include an itemised schedule of work that has been carried out on your behalf so you will always be aware of what you have been charged for.
The timescales and average fees which have been indicated will change if for example there are any claims on the estate or difficult beneficiaries.