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Humphries Kirk Fees

Our Fees

Information Regarding Pricing and Services –Sales, Purchases and Mortgages of Residential Properties

1. What will the overall cost be?

The overall cost will depend on the type of transaction and will include some or all of the following:

  • Our legal fees for doing the work
  • Electronic transfer fees
  • Search fees and other disbursements
  • Land Registry fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Indemnity policy premiums
  • Landlords’ and managing agents’ fees for leasehold properties.

The total cost on a purchase of a freehold property can vary from approximately £1,450 for a low value property where no Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable to approximately £47,500 to a high value property.

2. How are our fees calculated?

Our fees are charged on the basis of our hourly rate i.e. depending on how much time we have to spend on the transaction. We will give you an estimate at the outset of the likely cost and inform you as matters progress if that estimate is likely to be exceeded.

2.1 Hourly Rates

The hourly rates will depend on the qualification and experience of the person acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £120 + VAT for a junior paralegal to £230 +VAT for a Partner. At the outset we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person/s handling your transaction.

2.2 Additional Charges

Certain transactions involve  additional work e.g. transactions involving flats and mortgages. We will include an element for this additional work in our estimate.

3. Other Costs

In addition to our fees, other charges may be payable to someone else on your behalf (disbursements) depending on the type of transaction involved. The likely costs are as follows: –

3.1 Freehold Purchases:

  • Search fees – this figure will vary according to the range of information requested. However for a normal residential purchase the likely cost for Local Authority, Water/Drainage and Environmental Searches is in the region of £300 including VAT.
  • Land Registry fees this fee is payable to the Government and will depend on the value of the property and whether it is already registered. We will let you know the exact figure at the outset of your transaction. The fees range between £40 and £910.
  • Electronic Transfer Fee – this fee is payable to our firm and covers bank charges and the time spent in processing the bank transfer. The current fee is £35 plus VAT.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or Land Tax in Wales

This is a complex area and the amount of tax payable will depend on a number of factors including whether you are a first-time buyer or you or anyone connected with you, will own another property on completion of your purchase. We are not tax specialists and in any transaction other than an apparently straightforward purchase we may advise you to seek advice from a specialist accountant. We will advise you of the likely cost of this if required. Further information can be obtained from the government website – www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax

The cost of preparing the SDLT return is not included in our estimate for acting in the purchase and in the case of straightforward returns we will charge a fee of £75+ VAT for this work. More complex returns will be charged at the hourly rate of the person doing the work.

  • Indemnity Policy Premium

It may be necessary for you to take out a single premium indemnity policy to cover a defect in the title of the property or where planning or building regulation issues are unresolved. Depending on the level of cover required the cost can range between £50 and £500 in normal cases. We will let you have an exact figure in advance of any policy being taken out.

3.2 Leasehold Purchases:

In addition to the charges which apply to a freehold purchase the following additional charges may apply:

  • Deed of Covenant with the Landlord – the landlord’s solicitors’ fees are generally in the region of £175 – 250 plus VAT
  • Registration of share in the Management Company- generally in the region of £75-150 including VAT
  • Notice of transfer/charge- generally between £50 and £250 plus VAT.

3.3 Freehold Sales:

  • Land Registry copy entries- £6 – further charges may apply if additional copies are required
    • Indemnity Policy Premium – please see freehold purchases above

3.4 Leasehold Sales:

  • Land Registry copy entries- £6 – further charges may apply if additional copies are required
  • Indemnity Policy premium – please see freehold purchases above
  • Obtaining information regarding the management of the building of which the flat forms part. This can vary considerably according to who is responsible but generally is in the region of £250-400. VAT may be payable depending on who provides the information.

3.5 Mortgages/Remortgages

  • Search Fees – lenders require us to carry out Local Authority, Water/Drainage and Environmental Searches. The likely cost of these searches is in the region of £300 including VAT
  • Land Registry fees – depending on the amount of the loan the fee will vary between £20 and £125. We will let you know the exact figure at the outset of your transaction.
  • Indemnity Policy Premium – please see Freehold Purchases above
  • Leasehold properties only – Registration of charge with the landlord/management company – generally between £50 and £250 plus VAT.

4. What services are included in our fees?

The following actions are included in the various transactions listed below:

4.1 Purchase of a Freehold Residential Property

  • Taking instructions and giving you initial advice
  • Checking the necessary finances are in place to fund the purchase and contacting lenders solicitors if applicable
  • Receiving and advising on contract documentation
  • Carrying out searches
  • Obtaining further planning documentation if required
  • Making any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Giving you advice on all documents and information received
  • Preparing a detailed property report
  • Advising you on the terms and conditions of your mortgage offer
  • Arranging for you to sign the final contract
  • Arranging for you to sign the Land Registry transfer and mortgage deed
  • Agreeing the completion date (the date from which you will own the property)
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you
  • Drawing down any mortgage advance and collecting any balance from you
  • Completing the purchase
  • Dealing with payment of SDLT/Land Tax
  • Registering the purchase at the Land Registry

4.2 Purchase of a Leasehold Residential Property

The same actions apply as for the purchase of a freehold property but the following additional work may be required:

  • Registration of your purchase with the Landlord/Management Company
  • Completion of a Deed of Covenant with the Landlord/Management Company
  • Arranging the issue of a new share certificate for the property.

4.3 Sale of a Freehold Residential Property

  • Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice
  • Obtaining your title deeds/Land Registry details
  • Arranging for you to complete Property Information Forms and Fittings and Contents List
  • Obtaining copies of Planning/Building Regulation and other Compliance documents
  • Preparing draft contracts
  • Sending the contract pack to the buyer’s solicitor
  • Responding to further enquiries from the buyer’s solicitor
  • Arranging for you to sign the contract and Land Registry transfer
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you and the Estate Agents
  • Obtaining a redemption figure if your property is mortgaged
  • Completing the sale and accounting to you
  • Discharging any existing mortgages

4.4 Sale of a Leasehold Residential Property

The same actions apply as for the sale of a freehold property but the following additional steps may be required:

  • Obtaining information from your landlord/management Company regarding the management of the building of which the flat forms part
  • Preparing any necessary Deed of Grant to be entered into by the buyer
  • Dealing with any Restrictions on the Land Registry title in order for the sale to be registered.

4.5 Mortgages/Remortgages

  • Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice
  • Receiving and advising you on your mortgage offer
  • Dealing with lender’s solicitors if applicable
  • Submitting necessary searches
  • Correspondence with your existing lender if applicable
  • Submitting a report on title to your lender
  • Drawing down the mortgage advance
  • Completing the mortgage/remortgage
  • Discharging any existing mortgages
  • Registering the new mortgage at the Land Registry
  • For leasehold properties serving notice of the new mortgage on the Landlord/Management Company

4.6 What Services are not included in our estimate?

    • Defects in Title- dealing with defects in title requiring additional correspondence and documentation. This work will be charged at the hourly rate of the person doing the work. VAT will be payable.
    • Indemnity Insurance Policies –  arranging any necessary Indemnity Insurance Policy to cover defects in title or the absence of Planning/Building Regulation permissions or other compliance certificates e.g. Fensa/Hetas. Our normal fee for arranging a straightforward indemnity policy is £95 plus VAT per policy but in the case of complex situations involving more than the usual amount of time it may be higher and we will advise you of the likely cost in advance.
    • Declarations of Trust – Depending on your circumstances we may advise you to enter into a Trust Deed setting out the shares in which you own the property and dealing with the interests of any other persons in the property e.g. parents or other relatives. We will advise you of the likely cost of this work at the outset but in general the fee for this is not less than £175 plus VAT.

5. Key stages and likely timescales

Residential sales and purchases

Key Stages

The purchase/sale of a residential property generally falls into two stages.

  • Prior to exchange of contracts:

When you make an offer to buy or sell a property, at that point the transaction is not legally binding. You are not legally bound to the purchase/sale until contracts have been signed and exchanged.

The time between an offer being made and contracts being exchanged can vary enormously depending on a large number of circumstances. However for most transactions the likely time between offer and exchange is four to six weeks.

  • Following exchange of contracts:

Once contracts have been exchanged you are legally committed to the sale/purchase and there are severe penalties if you fail to complete the transaction. On exchange contracts both sides will agree a completion date i.e. when the seller will move out of the property and the purchaser can move in. That date will be legally binding.

It is up to the parties how much time they want between exchange and completion. We would advise a minimum of two weeks in order to arrange removals and allow time for all the necessary arrangements to be put in place.

Factors which will affect how long the transaction will take:

  • The length of any chain
  • The readiness of other parties in the chain
  • The availability of mortgage finance to parties in the chain
  • Whether other parties in the chain are being truthful regarding their position
  • The existence of any defects in title affecting properties in the chain which require resolving

Mortgages and Remortgages

As there are no other parties involved in the transaction apart from the borrower, new lender and any existing lender, in the absence of any difficulties with the title to the property or absence of Planning or Building Regulation consents, we would normally expect a mortgage/remortgage to be completed within four weeks.

6. Who will carry out the work?

A property transaction will generally involve various members of our Property Department. Details of our teams, their experience and qualifications Can be found on our website under the section marked “HK People”

We will inform you in writing at the outset of your transaction who will be the main person responsible for your transaction and who will be their supervisor, together with details of any support staff.

The supervisors for our various offices are as follows: –

Katharine Jones (Partner)- Crewkerne

Emma Webster (Partner)- Bournemouth and Parkstone

Howard Yarnold (Partner)- Dorchester Swanage and Wareham

 


 

Information Regarding Pricing and Services –Employment tribunals (claims and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

1. What will the overall cost be?

The overall cost will depend on the complexity of the claim or defence and will include some or all of the following:
• Our legal fees for doing the work
• Counsel’s fees.

1.1. Fee Estimates – Complexity of Case -:

• A simple case may incur fees of around: £3,000- £5,000 (excluding VAT)
• A medium complexity case may incur fees of around: £5,000 – £10,000 (excluding VAT)
• A high complexity case may incur fees of around: £10,000 – £30,000 (excluding VAT)

2. How are our fees calculated?

The majority of our employment tribunal work is charged on the basis of our hourly rate i.e. depending on how much time we have to spend on the matter. We will give you an estimate at the outset of the likely cost and inform you as matters progress if that estimate is likely to be exceeded. The fees will depend on the complexity of the case.

2.1. Hourly Rates

The hourly rates will depend on the qualification and experience of the person acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £125 for a junior paralegal to £270 for a Partner. At the outset we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person/s handling your transaction.

2.2. Fixed Fees

We may be able to offer a fixed fee for some matters at the discretion of the Partner in charge.

3. Other Costs

In addition to our fees other charges may be payable to a third party on your behalf (disbursements) such as Counsel’s fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. The likely costs are as follows: –

  • Counsel’s fees are estimated between £150 to £200 plus VAT per hour, including:-
    • to provide an expert Opinion on the merits and prospects of the claim or defence;
    • to prepare the particulars of claim or grounds of response;
    • To prepare a Schedule of loss/ Scott Schedule or other Tribunal document;
    • To prepare for (and attend) a Preliminary Hearing.
  • Counsel’s fees are estimated between £500 to £1,250 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for representation at a Tribunal Hearing (excluding preparation).Counsel’s fees are estimated between £1,000 to £2,500 plus VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for representation at a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

4. Key Stages – What services are included in our fees?

The fees set out above cover the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Identifying the relevant facts including 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 a claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on a 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 bundles 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 a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
  • Post Hearing work

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fees may be lower. 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.

5. Likely timescales

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 4-8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26- 52 weeks. Generally, a tribunal hearing will be listed for 1-5 days depending on the complexity of the case.

6. 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

7. Who will carry out the work?

An Employment Tribunal claim will generally involve various members of our Employment Department. Details of our team, their experience and qualifications can be found on our website under the section marked “HK People”
We will inform you in writing at the outset of your transaction who will be the main person responsible for your transaction and who will be their supervisor, together with details of any support staff.
The supervisor for employment tribunal claims is: Darrell Stuart- Smith who is a Partner of the Firm and Head of Commercial based in our Dorchester Office.

 


Information Regarding Pricing and Services – Administration of Estates

1. What services do we offer?

We offer two separate services, Grant of Representation only and Full Administration.

Estate Administration (Grant of Representation only) – fixed cost

2. What is included in this service?

This is a fixed cost service where we would expect you to provide all the information required. We would then prepare the relevant Inheritance Tax (IHT) paperwork and the relevant Oath for the personal representatives to sign.

We would then submit the forms to HM Revenue and Customs IHT department and the Probate Registry as appropriate. When the Grant of Representation (Grant) is received we will forward the Grant (and any copies) to you to administer the estate yourself.

3. What is not included in this service?

Our instruction is limited to the production of documents only. We are not engaged to advise on the actions of the personal representatives or the testator. We would not settle any liabilities on your behalf and we do not hold any funds on behalf of the estate.

4. How much will this service cost?

The fixed cost will depend on the nature of IHT return required and whether IHT is payable. This is set out in the table below:

Grant only with no IHT to pay and only IHT205 to complete | £1,200 + VAT | £1,440 inc VAT @ 20%
Grant with no IHT to pay and IHT400 to complete | £1,800 + VAT | £2,160 inc VAT @ 20%
Grant with IHT payable and IHT400 to complete | £2,500 + VAT | £2,640 inc VAT @ 20%

 

5. Key stages and likely timescales

Timescales (Grant of Representation only)The timescale for obtaining the grant of representation will depend on whether an IHT application will need to be sent to HMRC first or whether it can be sent to the probate registry along with the application for the grant. We can only commence work when you have provided us with all the information required.

If the application needs to be sent to HMRC first then obtaining the grant of representation will typically take 8 – 12 weeks.

If the application does not need to be sent to HMRC first then obtaining the grant of representation will typically take 6 – 8 weeks.

Estate Administration (full service)

1. What is included in this service?

We will carry out the following:

  • Write to all the asset/liability holders
  • Notify any interested parties (e.g. pension and utilities) of the death
  • Submit statutory notices to protect the personal representatives from creditors
  • Prepare and file the Inheritance Tax return
  • Settle any Inheritance Tax due
  • Deal with any enquiries from HM Revenue & Customs relating to the IHT return
  • Prepare the Probate papers and arrange for them to be sworn
  • Make the application for Probate with the Probate Registry and obtain the Grant of Probate
  • Gather in all the assets including the sale of the property, holding funds on behalf of the Estate
  • Settle all debts, taxes and liabilities
  • Pay any pecuniary legacies and ensure specific gifts are gifted as instructed in the Will
  • Pay any interim distributions of capital with the agreement and indemnity of the Executors
  • Finalise the Income Tax account for the period up to the date of death and for the period of administration.
  • Prepare Estate Accounts and once approved, distribute the estate to the remaining residuary beneficiaries.

2. What is not included in this service?

  • If the estate becomes a contested estate case
  • Estates where the deceased was resident or domiciled outside of England and Wales or had assets outside of England and Wales.
  • Dealing with the transfer or sale of any property(ies) or business interest in the estate
  • Dealing with any Deed of Variation to the estate.
  • Dealing with any trust that relates to the estate

3. What will the overall cost be?

Our charges for a full service estate administration service will be between 2% and 3% of the gross value of the Estate as calculated as at the date of death. The cost will depend on the circumstances of the case and the amount of work required, as well as the hourly rate of the person carrying out a particular item of work. At the outset we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person/s acting on your behalf.

The rates vary from £140.00 +VAT for a junior paralegal to £240.00 + VAT for a Partner.

If the estate consists only of a bank account and one beneficiary then our charges will be at the lower end. If there are a number of beneficiaries, several properties and a number of individual holdings of stocks and shares then our charges will be at the higher end.

Our charges are calculated upon the amount of time spent on the matter and the value of the Estate, plus any disbursements incurred on your behalf.

Where the partners in Humphries Kirk do not act as personal representatives, the value element will be 1% of the gross value of the Estate as calculated as at the date of death, excluding the value of the main residence, where the rate will be ½ % of the gross value as calculated as at the date of death.

Where the partners in Humphries Kirk do act as personal representatives, the value element will be 1.5% of the gross value of the Estate as calculated as at the date of death, excluding the value of the main residence, where the rate will be ¾ % of the gross value as calculated as at the date of death.

VAT is payable on both the time and value charges.

4. Other costs not included in our fees

Disbursements (fixed costs and full service)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. In addition to the costs above, the following disbursements will be payable:

  • Personal representative swear fees (for each PR): £5.00 for the oath and £2.00 for each additional document. Where there is an oath and a will the cost for each PR will be £7.00.
  • Probate Court fee: £155.00. You will also need copies of the grant which have been certified by the Court to send to the different asset holders. These are £0.50 each.
  • Statutory notices in London Gazette and local paper. These protect the PRs against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. The typical cost is between £150.00 and £200.00.

Taxes (fixed costs and full service)

You may need to pay taxes in the administration of the estate in addition to the payment of our fees. A non-exhaustive list is set out below:

  • Inheritance Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Income Tax
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax

5. Key stages and likely timescales

The Administration of an Estate generally falls into two stages:

  • Obtaining the Grant of Representation (the authority to administer the Estate)
  • Administering the estate.

Timescales (full service)

Timescales for full estate administration can vary widely. The grant of representation is typically obtain in 12 to 18 weeks. The full administration of the estate is likely to take between 9 and 12 months.

There are a number of factors which can prolong and increase the cost of administering an estate, including but not limited to:

    • beneficiaries not being easily locatable and needing to be traced,
    • there is a property which takes a long time to sell,
    • there are prolonged enquiries from HMRC or other Government bodies, and
    • where there is no Will.

6. Who will carry out the work?

Obtaining a Grant and the subsequent administration of an Estate will generally involve various members of our Private Client Department. Details of our teams, their experience and qualifications can be found on our website under the section marked “HK People”

We will inform you in writing at the outset who will be the person primarily responsible for acting on your behalf and who will be their supervisor, together with details of any support staff.

The supervisors for our various offices are as follows:

Adam Scott (Partner)-  Bournemouth, Parkstone and Swanage.

Laura Staples (Partner)- Crewkerne,Dorchester and Wareham

 


Information regarding Pricing and Services – Debt Collection Matters up to £100,000

1. What will the overall cost be?

The overall cost will depend on the type of debt, how it arose, whether the creditor pays up immediately, whether Court proceedings are required in order to obtain judgment and whether enforcement will be required in order to obtain payment after liability for the debt is established.

2. How are the fees calculated?

The majority of our debt collection work is charged on the basis of our hourly rate i.e. depending on how much time we have spent on the transaction. We will give you an estimate at the outset of the likely cost and inform you as matters progress if that estimate is likely to be exceeded.

Hourly rates

The hourly rates will depend on the qualification and experience of the person acting on your behalf. The rates vary from £120 for a junior paralegal to £250 for a partner. At the outset, we will inform you of the hourly rate of the person(s) handling your transaction.

3. Other costs

In addition to our fees, other charges may be payable to someone else on your behalf (disbursements) depending on the type of transaction involved. These can be Court fees which can range from £35 for a claim up to £300 in value up to a maximum of £10,000. More information is available on the Government website (HM Courts And Tribunals Service Civil And Family Court Fees (EX50)).

If the Court has ordered someone to pay you a sum of money or to return your goods, property or land and they have not done so, You can issue enforcement proceedings. The Court fees payable to enforce a debt depend on what method of enforcement you use. However, to issue an application for a debtor to attend Court to provide information costs £55. To issue a warrant can cost between £33 and £121 depending on the type of warrant issued. If writs are issued in the High Court, the cost is higher. Further information is available from the Government website.

4. What services are included in our fees?

As set out above, we will charge based on the amount of time we spend on your matter and fees will include work done on taking instructions, giving you advice, considering any documentation provided by you or obtained from the other side, advising you in relation to any response received from the other side and advising you in relation to enforcement of any judgment obtained.

What services are not included in our estimate/fixed fee?

We do not include costs we have to pay third parties (disbursements) as set out above or VAT.

5. Key stages and likely timescales

If proceedings are required, then it can take up to 12 months from the date of issue of proceedings to have a final hearing. However, other transactions depend on the approach the debtor makes to your claim.

6. Who will carry out the work?

A debt claim will generally involve various members of our Civil Litigation Department. Details of our members, their experience and qualifications can be found on our website under the section marked ‘HK People’.

We will inform you in writing at the outset of your transaction who will be the main person responsible for your transaction and who will be their supervisor, together with any details of support staff.

The supervisor for our Dorchester Office is Victoria Pearson (Partner).

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