Akin Palmer LLP - Services

Potential charges for services

Purchase of a freehold residential property

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the 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.
The level of Stamp Duty that may apply to your purchase depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website here.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Our costs and disbursements will vary depending on the value of the property and its location.
Our standard Legal fee will be based on 0.333% of the value of the property with a minimum charge of £600.00. This standard fee may be increased to 2% of the value of the property depending on the specific details  and complexity of the transaction.
The illustration below is based on a property with a purchase price of £400,000.00 located in London.

Conveyancer's fees and disbursements
Our Fees (A)
Our Fee £1,332.00
Acting for your Lender £250.00
Completing Stamp Duty Form £75.00
Bank Charges (transferring completion funds to the seller's solicitors) £40.00
Total of our fees £1,697.00

Disbursements/Expenses (B)
VAT on fees (tax paid to the Inland Revenue on fees) £339.40
Local Authority Search Fees, Water, Drainage and Chancel Searches and Land Registry Official Searches estimated £290.00
Bankruptcy and Priority search Fees per person £6.00
Land Registry Fees (to register you as the new owner) £135.00
Stamp Duty based on second homeownership (to be confirmed) £10,000.00
Total Disbursements £10,770.40.00
Total fees and disbursements (A+B) £12,467.40
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 - 12 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 16 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 5 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property (be it Leasehold or Freehold) vary according to the circumstances. Some of the key stages are explained below:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents and Lease where relevant
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • 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
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at the Land Registry

Purchase of a Leasehold residential property

Our fees will be charged on a similar basis to that for Freehold purchases as outlined above, but there will be additional disbursements related to the fact that it is a Leasehold property.

Anticipated Disbursements

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £90.00 - £150.00.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £90.00 - £150.00
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £150.00 and £250.00.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £90.00 - £150.00.

These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.
You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as this we receive this information.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

The level of Stamp Duty that may apply to your purchase depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website here.
* Our fee assumes that:

  1. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  2. this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
  3. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
  4. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  5. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

We reserve the right to charge additional fees at our hourly rate if the matter becomes extraordinarily complicated, difficult or time consuming. Naturally, we shall inform you of any variation from any estimate should this arise.
Should the transaction fail to complete (for whatever reason) the firm's abortive fees for the transaction will be such sum as is reasonable having regard to the amount of work done by that stage, together with VAT and the disbursements incurred.  The fees charged will be referable to our hourly charge out rate of £275.00.
From time to time it may be necessary for some parts of your matter to be dealt with by a Clerk, Paralegal or Assistant Solicitor, in which case their work will be supervised by a Partner.  Our hourly charging rate for a Clerk or Paralegal is £150.00 and £200.00 for an Assistant Solicitor.

PROBATE

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets
An approximate estimate of our costs will be 1.5% of the gross value of the general assets of the Estate, plus .75% of the gross value of the flat, together with vat and expenses.
The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
We reserve the right to charge additional fees at our hourly rate if the matter becomes extraordinarily complicated, difficult or time consuming. Naturally, we shall inform you of any variation from any estimate should this arise.
Should the transaction fail to complete (for whatever reason) the firm's abortive fees for the transaction will be such sum as is reasonable having regard to the amount of work done by that stage, together with VAT and the disbursements incurred. The fees charged will be referable to our hourly charge out rate of £405.00. From time to time it may be necessary for some parts of your matter to be dealt with by a Clerk, Paralegal or Assistant Solicitor, in which case their work will be supervised by a Partner. Our hourly charging rate for a Clerk or Paralegal is £150.00 and £275.00 for an Assistant Solicitor.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 4 - 6 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee of £215.00 + £2.00 for 4 copies of the grant
  • £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£3.00 per beneficiary)
  • £77.58 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £222.00 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

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.

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.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 12 - 18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 1 – 2 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6 – 12 months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2 - 3 weeks.

As part of our fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

IMMIGRATION

Types of Applications we cover:

1) Initial Application As A Parent Of A Child Who Has Lived In The UK Continuously For Seven Years
2) Family Members Of British Citizens And Settled Persons including Fiancee and Spouse UK, Proposed, Civil Partner and Unmarried, Same Sex Partner visa applications.
3) Indefinite Leave to Remain as victim of Domestic Violence or Bereaved Partner
4) Parent of a British Child or Children of a parent with limited leave to remain
5) EU Law applications
6) Long Residency applications
7) British Citizenship applications
8) Turkish Worker and Self-employed visa applications
9) UK Visitor visas

Hourly rate: £296.00 per hour plus VAT however most applications are quoted on a fixed fee basis.
On average, the above types of work takes between 6-7 hours to complete. This means that on average costs are between £2,000 and £2,500. All figures include VAT unless specifically stated.
The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances in your case. Such as:

  • The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider
  • Which language(s) you speak
  • Whether you are applying with other dependants

If you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and clearly meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be at the lower end of this range or slightly lower between £1,500 - £2,000.

What services are included

The work will involve:

  • discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you;
  • giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria.
  • if you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how, which on average takes 2 hours;
  • considering the supporting evidence you have provided, which we anticipate will take 2 to 3 hours;
  • where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;
  • preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf, which we anticipate will take hours 2;
  • Attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time. This could be between 2 and 3 hours of work.
  • giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take.

*the amount of hours depends on the number of documents, whether they need to be translated, whether anything is missing and how long it will take to obtain the missing documents Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as visa fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Interpreters fees will be advised. This kind of application will normally require between 3-4 hours with an interpreter, depending on the complexity of your case.
  • Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. These are not required in many cases: we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary.
  • If there is an interview and we do attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.

The costs quoted here do not include:

  • Any Home Office fees for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process.
  • Where the Home Office refuse your application, advice and assistance in relation to any appeal

How long will my application take?
We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Read the current processing times.
We will normally be able to submit this type of application within 4 weeks of you instructing us, but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this.
Please note the anticipated number of hours and fees are an estimate based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

EMPLOYMENT

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal
Simple case: £3,000.00-£5,000.00 (excluding VAT)
Medium complexity case: £6,000.00 -£8,000.00 (excluding VAT)
High complexity case: £9,000.00 -£12,000.00 + (excluding 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 between £750.00 - £1,000.00 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1 - 2 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 £900.00 to £1,200.00 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 4-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 4 -8 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.

DEBT COLLECTION

Example for a business to business debt that is undisputed
Court Claims
We will charge at our hourly charge out rate of £275.00.
These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed.
From time to time it may be necessary for some parts of your matter to be dealt with by a Clerk, Paralegal or Assistant Solicitor, in which case their work will be supervised by a Partner.  Our hourly charging rate for a Clerk or Paralegal is £150.00 and £200.00 for an Assistant Solicitor.
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.
Please note that the current court fees that you will have to pay are £185.00 based on a debt of £3,000.00 - £5,000.00; £410.00 based on a debt of between £5,001 - £10,000.00 and 4.5% value of the claim if the debt is between £10,001 - £50,000.00

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • 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.

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • 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 Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 21 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

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

OTHER CONTENTIOUS AND NON-CONTENTIOUS MATTERS

Our standard fees for other Contentious and Non-Contentious matters will be as follows:

General Partners rate is £425.00 per hour
Assistant £285.00
Paralegals and Clerks £ 195.00 per hour
Specialist Franchise Law work is charged at £500.00 per hour

Please note that all fees referred to in the potential charges for services are liable to Value Added Tax (VAT) at the prevailing rate.

Our standard Client care letter will provide you with a more detailed estimate as to the likely costs for the service you require when you instruct us to proceed. Please note that as the terms set out in the client care letter are case specific, they will supersede the broad fee structure outlined above.

Akin Palmer Solicitors is the trading name of Akin Palmer LLP registered in England and Wales (OC345720)
authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA no. 521473).