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Probate 

Applying for the Grant of Probate

 We can apply on your behalf for the Grant of Probate to an estate. This applies to cases where:

  • There is a valid will.

  • The estate is below the nil rate band (currently £325,000).

  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC

  • All relevant information relating to the assets and liabilities of the estate are provided.

We will:

  • Meet with you to discuss the estate and your instructions

  • Prepare the probate papers including the oath, Revenue forms, and any necessary notices or affidavits.

  • Meet with you to arrange the signing of the probate papers.

  • Arrange for the submission of the papers to the probate registry.

Our fees for obtaining the Grant of Probate only are £950.00 plus VAT.  Our fees do not include correspondence with the institutions to obtain the necessary estate information and the administration and distribution of the estate assets.  Such work would be charged in addition, based on hourly rates of between £165 plus VAT and £230 plus VAT, based on experience.

We can correspond with the institutions to obtain the necessary estate information to apply for the Grant of Probate in cases where:

  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than six bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets

Applying for the Grant of Probate and obtaining the estate information

We anticipate that corresponding with the institutions will involve an additional 3 to 4 hours work in addition to the Grant of Probate application fixed fee of £950.00 plus VAT. The hourly rates of our fee earners range from £165.00 plus VAT to £230.00 plus VAT.  Our total costs (including the Grant of Probate fixed fee) are estimated at between £1,445.00 plus VAT and £1,870.00 plus VAT.  Our fees do not include the administration and distribution of the estate.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one bank account and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple bank accounts and a property, costs will be at the higher end.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of any disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Disbursements are not included in our fees and include:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00
  • Sealed copies of the grant of £0.50 each
  • Swearing of the oath by each personal representative of £7.00 each

Additional disbursements may be required depending on individual requirements.

Applying for the Grant of Probate, then Collecting and Distributing the Assets

 We can apply for the Grant of Probate on your behalf and then deal with the administration and distribution of the estate so as to handle the full process for you. Our stated fees apply for estates where:

  • There is a valid Will.
  • There is no more than one property.
  • There are no more than six bank or building society accounts.
  • There are no other intangible assets.
  • There are one to eight 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.

We will:

  • Meet with you to discuss the estate and your instructions.
  • Liaise with the relevant institutions to obtain the required information for the probate papers.
  • Advise on the appropriate inheritance tax reliefs that can be claimed.
  • Prepare the probate papers including the oath, Revenue forms, and any necessary notices or affidavits.
  • Meet with you to arrange the signing of the probate papers and arrange for the submission of the papers to the probate registry.
  • Liaise with the Revenue to check that all tax matters are up to date.
  • Collect in all assets and deal with the distribution of the estate.

This will ordinarily take between 12 to 25 hours work. The hourly rates of our fee earners range from £165.00 plus VAT to £230.00 plus VAT based on experience.  Our total costs are estimated at between £1,980.00 plus VAT and £5,750.00 plus VAT.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is only 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.

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.

Disbursements are not included in our fee and include:

  • Probate application fee of £155.00
  • Sealed copies of the grant of £0.50 each
  • Swearing of the oath by each personal representative of £7.00 each

Additional disbursements may be required depending on individual requirements.

Potential additional costs:

  • If there is no will, the estate consists of any shareholdings (stocks and bonds) and if there is further inheritance tax advice required (including claiming the transferable nil rate band) then there are 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 in our listed fees.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are usually distributed within 3 to 6 months from the Grant of Probate. Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate takes 6 – 8 weeks from your initial instructions to us.

 

Debt Recovery

Pricing for the different stages of Debt Recovery:

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Pre-Legal (not involving formal Court proceedings)

  1. Preparing and Sending A Letter Before Action - £15.00 plus VAT
  2. Upon recovery of your debt, we charge commission on the sum ranging from 7.5 – 12% plus VAT

These services and our fees include the following actions: 

  • Taking instructions & reviewing documentation
  • Sending a Letter Before Action
  • Follow up action by contacting the debtor by telephone and letter / negotiating settlement
  • Entering protracted correspondence if the debtor initially indicates there is a dispute

 Matters can usually take approximately 4-6 weeks from receipt of instructions to reach settlement.

County Court Claim 

If no payment is made following a Letter Before Action, we will issue a County Court Claim against the debtor.   

Debt Value

Court Fee

Our Fee (excl VAT)

Total (excl VAT)

Up to £300

£25.00

£50.00

£75.00

£300 - £500

£35.00

£50.00

£85.00

£500 - £1,000

£60.00

£70.00

£130.00

£1,000 – £1,500

£70.00

£80.00

£150.00

£1,500 - £3,000

£105.00

£80.00

£185.00

£3,000 - £5,000

£185.00

£80.00

£265.00

£5,000 - £10,000

£410.00

£100.00

£510.00

£10,000 - £100,000

4.5% value of the Claim

£100.00

TBC on value of Claim

Our fees are subject to VAT.

A Court fee is payable if a claim is issued and to obtain the actual Judgment, if the claim is not disputed by the debtor.

Fees may be recovered from the debtor if successful.

Judgment Entry Type:

Debt Value

Our Fee (excl VAT)

1.Judgment in Default

£1 - £5,000

£22.00

2.Judgment in Default

£5,000 +

£30.00

3.Judgment in Default of a Defence

£1 - £5,000

£25.00

4.Judgment in Defaultof a Defence

£5,000 +

£35.00

5.Judgment on Admission

£1 - £5,000

£40.00

6. Judgment on Admission

£5,000 +

£90.00

This process takes between 17-28 days depending upon how the debtor responds.

Fees may be recovered from the debtor if successful. 

Defended Actions 

When the case proceeds to a contested hearing, Yat Wong, a solicitor within the team will manage. Hourly rates are applied from start to finish with the following cost estimates applying:- 

  1. A Fixed fee of £2,000 plus VAT applies to debts below £10,000.
  2. The hourly rates of a solicitor at £220 per hour plus VAT apply for debts above £10,000.
  3. For debt claims over £10,000 but up to £100,000 that are issued at Court locally in paper, a Court Fee of 5% the value of the claim sum being pursued is applicable (as opposed to 4.5% for claims issued electronically up to £100,000).

The process can take between 10-18 months for the Court to list the matter for a final hearing. 

Fees may be recovered from the debtor if successful. 

Insolvency – Bankruptcy & Winding-Up Proceedings 

A quicker method of recovery can be by insolvency proceedings. Applying for bankruptcy of an individual or winding-up of a company to cease trading so it can discharge your debt. The following charges apply at the various stages of the insolvency matter: 

Bankruptcy:

  1. Statutory Demand to serve on the debtor - £100.00 plus VAT
  2. Process server fee to serve the demand - £85.00 plus VAT
  3. Bankruptcy Court Fee - £1,270.00
  4. Process server fee of Bankruptcy Petition - £85.00 plus VAT
  5. Advocate Agent Fee to attend Bankruptcy Hearing - £95.00 plus VAT
  6. Our Fee for preparation of the Bankruptcy - £450 plus VAT 

Winding-Up Proceedings:

  1. Winding-Up Petition Court Fee - £1,880.00
  2. Advertising in the London Gazette - £72.05
  3. Company Search - £10.00
  4. Process Server’s Fee - £85.00 plus VAT
  5. Agent Fee to attend the Hearing - £95.00 plus VAT
  6.  Our Fee - £495.00 plus VAT

It takes on average 2-3 months for final hearing at Court once a claim is issued.

Fees may be recovered from the debtor if successful. 

Enforcement of the County Court Judgment 

After obtaining the Judgment the key is to encourage the debtor to make payment. 

1. High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEO”) are the most common way and method to encourage the debtor to make payment

  1. Obtaining a Writ of Control from the High Court - £66.00
  2. Our fee for instructing the HCEO - £66.00 plus VAT
  3. Abortive Fees where unable to serve - £75.00 plus VAT
  4.  Fee for extending a Writ over 6 months: Court Fee - £66.00 / Our Fee - £66.00 plus VAT. 

It can take 2-3 months before the HCEO agent commences a payment arrangement with the debtor.

The average timelines for each method is approximately 3-4 months and all Costs are generally recoverable. 

2. County Court Bailiffs (debts below £600.00) 

  1. County Court Bailiff instructed via CCMCC  -  £110.00 Court Fee                                      
    £50.00 Our Fixed Fee plus VAT
  2. County Court Bailiff instructed via CCBC     -   £77.00 Court Fee
    £50.00 Our Fixed Fee plus VAT 

3. Charging Orders 

This is where the Judgment can be secured against a debtor’s property.

  1. Land Registry search fee - £3.00
  2. Our charges Fixed Costs -  £150.00 plus VAT  (£110 of this is recoverable from the debtor)
  3. Registering the Final Charging Order with HMLR – £40.00 

4. Application for a Third Party Debt Order 

A bank or building society may hold an interest and you can apply for funds from these accounts

  1. Court Fee - £110.00
  2. Our Fee -     £100.00 plus VAT

5. Application for an Attachment of Earnings Order

This is where you can apply to deduct earnings from the debtor’s salary.

  1. Court Fee - £110.00
  2. Our Fee -     £100.00 plus VAT

6. Additional Costs of Litigation

The following costs can apply and will depend upon the issues involved in the case: 

  1. Tracing Agent Fees - £65.00 plus VAT
  2. Our Fee - £55.00 plus VAT
  3. Process Server Fees Urgent - £130 plus VAT
  4. Standard Service of a Document - £85.00 plus VAT
  5. Attendance at Court Application Hearings - £90.00 plus VAT
  6. Attendance at Small Claims Hearing listed for 2 Hours - £175.00 plus VAT
  7. Any hearing listed longer than 2 Hours – £220.00 plus VAT

Any additional hearing charge for a barrister (Counsel) to attend trial on debt claims over £10,000 will be advised by your solicitor and will be on a case by case basis.

 

Immigration

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Immigration Applications – Type of Service

Fees Range (excluding VAT)

Consultation by appointment

£200-£645

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Investor)

£3225-£6450

Tier 2 and Tier 4 application under the points based system – initial application/further leave/indefinite leave to remain

£860-£1720

PBS Dependant's visa - applying separately from/with the main applicant)

£600-£1000

Family based application under Appendix FM for entry clearance/leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain

£1505-£1720

Private Life application/complex human rights/outside the Immigration Rules application

£1505-£2150

Application for indefinite leave to remain under the 10-year rule

£1505-£1720

Applications for an EEA residence card for a partner or child of an EEA national

£1075-£1290

Applications for permanent right of residence document

£1075-£1505

EEA application based on a retained right of residence

£1720-£2150

EEA application for an extended family member

£1935-£2580

Application for British citizenship

£860-£1290

Letter before claim

£645-£1075

Attendance at a local Premium Service Centre

£500

 

Court/Tribunal Work - Type of Service

Fee Range (excluding VAT)

Bail applications to the First Tier Tribunal

£1075-£1505

Representation at bail hearings (excluding advocacy)

£645-£1290

Lodging grounds of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal

£645-£1075

Court representation in the First Tier Tribunal (excluding advocacy)

£3225-£4,300

Applications for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (excluding drafting of grounds by counsel)

£430

Representation in the Upper Tribunal (excluding advocacy)

£860-£1505

 * The above prices are estimates based on our hourly rate of £215 per hour plus VAT.  This is the hourly rate of Associate Solicitor Louis MacWilliam. From time to time we may be assisted by a paralegal whose charge is £120 per hour plus VAT, or by an apprentice whose charge is £75 per hour plus VAT.

We have provided a range of pricing which reflects the fact that some cases take longer than others. For example, if your case is particularly complex and/or has a high volume of documents for us to read then our estimate is likely to be at the higher end of the range.  We may exceptionally give you an estimate outside of this range.

We will on occasion provide work for a fixed fee, within the above ranges.

Disbursements

You are liable for any disbursements which arise during the course of your case. A disbursement is a payment which we make to a third party on your behalf.  We normally ask for you to make a payment on account up front before we incur disbursement costs. Common disbursements are:

Home Office application fees

These vary greatly depending on the particular type of immigration application being submitted. You can see the current list of charges here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table

Fees range from £93 for a visit visa to £3250 for settlement as an ‘other dependant relative’.  If you are not sure which fee applies then please contact us and we can clarify this for you.

Counsel fees 

We use counsel (barristers) to complete certain aspects of our work. For example, we use counsel to present your case in the Tribunal or to draft grounds to the Upper Tribunal. The costs of counsel vary greatly depending on the seniority of counsel as well as the complexity of the case.

As a guide, counsel might charge from £750-£2000 plus VAT to prepare grounds of appeal and £1000-£3000 plus VAT to advocate in the tribunal. The cost of drafting grounds of appeal to the Upper Tribunal varies from £500 to £1500 plus VAT.

Interpreting and translation

You are responsible for the costs of translating any document which you need to submit as part of your immigration application or appeal. We use a number of language service providers who will provide a quote before undertaking any work.  Price generally relates to the word-count. As guide, language service providers typically charge 6-10 pence per word.

You may organise your own translation but you should check with us that the translation is adequate, for the purposes of any immigration application or appeal.

If you require an interpreter then you are also liable for these costs. Again, we can provide you with an estimate in advance of any appointment and the costs will be linked to the duration of the appointment. Typically interpreting will cost around £25-£35 per hour plus travel costs of around £10-£30.

Scope of work

Consultation

As part of the consultation we will either attend with you in person or by telephone or video link to take detailed instructions. We will review relevant documentation and then provide detailed advice orally and in writing. We will consider which routes are available to you and the relevant application process and supporting documentation required.

Immigration Applications

We will provide an initial consultation as above.  We will then assist you in the preparation and submission of the relevant application.  This includes reviewing supporting documents and the application, drafting representations and sending the documents to the Home Office.

Court/Tribunal work

Bail Application

Preparing the bail application and grounds of bail.

Representation at Bail Hearings

Preparing the bail application, including advising on required documents, reviewing documents and submitting documents to the tribunal. Also includes briefing counsel. Note that a separate fee will be payable to counsel.

Lodging grounds of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal

Completing the relevant appeal form and drafting separate grounds of appeal.

Court representation in the First Tier Tribunal

Advising and reviewing required documents, drafting witness statements, preparing bundle, briefing counsel and all work up to a decision from the tribunal.

Applications for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal

Preparing application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal and liaising with counsel. Note that a separate fee will likely be payable for counsel to draft grounds.

Representation in the Upper Tribunal

Preparing supplementary bundle and liaising with counsel.

Timescales

We are usually able to offer an initial appointment within a week and then provide written advice within a further week.  We are generally able to turn around urgent work within tighter timescale, as required.

The length of time taken to receive a decision on an immigration application depends on a number of factors: the type of application; where it was submitted (whether within the UK or from abroad); the complexity of the application; and whether any additional premium package has been paid for which allows for an expedited decisions.

As a guide, applications from abroad take from between two weeks and three months for a decision to be made. Applications submitted from within the UK can take anything from a two months to a year.

There are considerable delays in appeals being heard with appeals taking around 6 months to be listed.



Employment (Unfair or wrongful dismissal)

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

Simple case: £6,000 - £8,000 (excluding VAT)

Medium complexity case: £8,000 - £13,000 (excluding VAT)

High complexity case: £13,000 - £26,000 (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • The number of Claimants or Respondents;
  • 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 (people with no legal representation);
  • Making applications for witness orders;
  • Applying for medical records or a medical report;
  • Making or defending a costs application;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • Preparation of a complex schedule of loss (document detailing all claimed losses);
  • The number of witnesses and volume of documents;
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer; and no process has been followed by your employer.
  • Claims relating to shareholdings or company directorships;
  • Insolvency, TUPE or collective consultation related claims; and
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing based on the hourly rate of the fee earner with conduct of the litigation per day. Generally, we would allow 1 - 5 days depending on the complexity of your case.  Hourly rates range from £215 to £325 (plus VAT), depending on the experience and the level of the solicitor dealing with the matter. 

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.

Barristers’ fees for assisting with a matter are generally from £750 to £2,500 (plus VAT) per day (depending on their experience) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation for the Hearing).

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 ACAS Early Conciliation 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 (document detailing losses claimed);
  • 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 case list together with any supplemental documents required; and
  • 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 and will impact on price.

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 2 - 6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 2 – 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.