Fees and Funding

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It’s really important that you understand clearly what options you have to pay your legal costs. We are the 'Open Lawyers' and it’s important that we’re clear with you about how much you’ll pay.

There are a number of different options open to you to pay your legal costs. Some of these options are better suited to some types of legal cases, but your case handler will explain your options with you in detail and provide you the best possible options for your case.

Let’s look at some of the ways you could pay your legal costs.

Remember, not all of these options are available for all cases. It is our job to give you all the information and make sure that you understand all the options available for you to decide. If you are not sure about anything, please just ask.

You can see some examples of our Legal Fees here.

No Win, No Fee

You won’t pay any money upfront for your legal fees but you will have to pay for additional costs, known as Disbursements, like Court fees or expert reports fees. This can be covered by an insurance product called After the Event Insurance which would cover these costs for you. Your case handler will provide more detail about this.

You’ll sign a Conditional Fee Agreement or a Damages Based Agreement that says if you lose your case, you won’t pay our legal costs. If you win your case, the other side will pay for a proportion of our legal costs, but you may have to pay for some of these yourself from your damages. This is usually capped at a percentage agreed in advance.  

No Win, No Fee Agreements are often used in personal injury, medical negligence and some other case types. If this is available your case handler will inform you.  

Fixed Fees

Fixed fees are a great way to be clear about how much money you will spend on your legal costs so you can budget properly. We will outline what you will get and what it will cost providing cost certainty.

We have fixed fee options for Divorce, Wills and Trusts and for Conveyancing, amongst others.

When you are comparing our costs with other law firms, make sure the quotes are like for like. Often, the prices shown are excluding VAT or they don’t include all aspects of the transaction, meaning you could get a nasty surprise of additional costs at the end.

Hourly Rates

You simply pay your Solicitor or Lawyer for the time they spend on your case. This is how a lot of cases are run. We charge in units of 6 minutes, so each hour is made up of 10 units. How much you pay will depend on the experience of the Solicitor or Lawyer. You’ll pay more per hour for a Partner to run your claim than you would for a Solicitor. You will be kept up to date all the way so you are aware of what is being done and the costs involved in advance.

Your Solicitor can break your case down into stages. They can give you an estimate of how many hours each stage is likely to take so you can get an idea of your legal costs.

Legal Aid

Legal Aid is still available in some very limited case types such as Care Proceedings or some Judicial Reviews and access to it can depend on your financial circumstances. Your Solicitor will tell you if you can apply for Legal Aid. If it is possible we can make an application on your behalf.

Legal Expenses Insurance

This type of insurance policy covers your legal costs in some circumstances. You’ll normally buy this cover as an add-on to another insurance policy such as car or home insurance or perhaps as a customer benefit from your bank or credit card provider.

We’ll ask if you have a Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) policy in place when looking at ways to pay your legal fees.

Examples of Our Legal Fees

Here are some examples of the range of fees we charge for some types of work. This will give you an idea of what it might cost you but your Solicitor will give you a better idea once you talk to them about your individual circumstances.

Residential Conveyancing

We have a simple, free online Conveyancing Quote Calculator for you to use so you can see exactly how much it will cost to buy, sell or remortgage.

Our quotes break down all the costs included such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax return fee
  • Any additional fees such as Help to Buy costs or buying a leasehold property
  • Estimated cost of your searches
  • Electronic bank transfer fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax cost

How long would you expect your conveyancing matter to take?

The time it takes to complete these transactions vary depending on their complexity. It’s likely to be longer when dealing with the shared ownership scheme or leasehold properties. As a guide this would be:

  • Purchase or Sale - 6 to 10 weeks from receipt of contract from the seller’s solicitor
  • Remortage - 3 to 5 weeks

We’ll also break down your legal fees separately if you’re buying and selling so you can understand how the costs are split.

Get a free online Conveyancing quote now.

Exceptional Additional Fees for conveyancing

Our quotation calculator breaks down all the fees involved but there may be additional costs depending on your circumstances such as:

  • Under the terms of the Lease if a Deed of Covenant is required our fee for dealing with this is £180 (VAT included). We will advise if this fee is payable once we receive the contract papers and the Lease. If we are approving a new Lease an additional £180 (VAT included) will charged.
  • If you are receiving a gift such as a deposit, an additional fee of £90 (VAT included) will be charged to deal with the additional work involved.
  • On occasions, indemnity insurance may be required to protect you and your lender. When we receive the contract pack we will review the title and advise you of any issues such as a breach of a restrictive covenant. If indemnity insurance is required by you and/or your lender, an additional £60 (VAT included) will be charged.
  • We may be required to obtain planning permission and building regulations to comply with your Mortgage Offer. If this work is necessary, an additional fee of £84 (VAT included) will be charged.
  • Unregistered Homes – If your property is not registered with Land Registry more work would be needed costing £220 (VAT included).

Meet our conveyancing team who can help you. 

Probate

If you need help with Probate, there are 2 ways we can help you. They are a Grant of Probate Application or Administration of the Estate. The costs for each option are explained below.

Grant of Probate Application

We offer a fixed fee of £1,152 (VAT included) for the Application of the Grant of Probate, as long as you send us all the information we need.

Our legal fees include:

  • The help and advice of an experienced Probate practitioner to work on your case
  • Identification of the legally appointed Executors or Administrators and the beneficiaries
  • Identify the type of Grant of Representation you need – either Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration
  • Complete the application form for the Grant
  • Complete the correct HMRC inheritance tax forms
  • Prepare the Probate Registry Application form
  • Send off the Grant application to the Probate Registry (Court)
  • Get the Grant back and send you 2 copies

Additional Costs

You’ll need to pay some additional costs on top of your legal fees. These are called disbursements and include:

  • £155 Court (Probate Registry) fee. This Court fee is less because you are using a Solicitor
  • £13 for two certified copies of the Grant
  • £95.50 to enter a Trustee Act Notice in the London Gazette
  • Around £300 to put a Trustee Act Notice in a local newspaper

How Long Does a Grant of Probate Application Take?

It usually take about 16 to 20 weeks to get the Grant of Probate but it really depends on how busy the Probate Registry is when your grant application is made.

Meet the Team

You can meet the Probate team who will be helping you with your claim here.

Administration of the Estate

Our Administration of the Estate service includes applying for the Grant of Probate and includes collecting and distributing the assets.

Our Probate Solicitors charge on a time spent basis for the Administration of the Estate.

The hourly rate charged will depend on the experience and expertise of the Solicitor or Lawyer working on your case, typically these are between £140 and £230 per hour. We charge in units of 6 minutes, so each hour is made up of 10 units.

The exact cost of the Administration of the Estate depends on a number of things such as:

  • The number of beneficiaries
  • How many bank accounts or building society accounts there are
  • Whether there is a property
  • If inheritance tax is payable

As a guide to help you understand the range of costs involved, if it’s a Small Estate where there’s one beneficiary and no property, legal costs will be about £3,600 (VAT included).

Where there are multiple beneficiaries, property and multiple bank accounts you would expect to pay about £12,000 (VAT included). We will always discuss the amount of work involved beforehand and give you a fixed fee before we start work.

What’s Included

In this range of Probate Fees, it includes Estates in England and Wales where:

  • There’s a valid Will
  • There’s only one property
  • No more than 3 bank or building society accounts
  • There are 1 to 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between the beneficiaries
  • There are no claims made against the Estate

Additional Costs

You also need to pay some additional costs, which are called disbursements. These include:

  • £155 fee to the Probate Registry for the Grant of Probate. This is a reduced fee because you’re using a Probate Solicitor
  • £1.50 per certified copy of the Grant. You’ll normally need 1 copy per asset, such as a bank or building society account
  • £3 for office copies of the property title from Land Registry
  • £2 for each beneficiary to complete bankruptcy searches
  • £95.50 to enter a Trustee Act Notice in the London Gazette
  • About £300 to put a Trustee Act Notice in a local newspaper
  • Valuation fees for assets

What’s Not Included

There are some things that aren’t included in these costs and will cost more. They are:

  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the Estate
  • Where there’s no Will
  • If the Estate has any stocks, shares or bonds

We can provide an estimate of how much it will cost to deal with these additional items.

Remember, all figures quoted here include VAT.

Be careful when comparing our fees to another law firm, as many don’t include VAT on their website.

How Long Does the Administration of an Estate Take?

Usually around 9 to 12 months, with 16 to 20 weeks to get the Grant of Probate.

Meet the Team

You can meet the Probate team who will be helping you with your claim here.

Employment Law – Unfair Dismissal Claims

If you’ve been wrongly or unfairly dismissed by your employer, you may want to make a claim against them for compensation. If you are an employer, you may need to defend a claim for wrongful or unfair dismissal.

We’ve calculated a range of legal fees depending on the complexity of your situation. They are:

Simple Case - £4,000 to £6,000 (VAT included)

Medium Complexity Case - £5,500 to £8,500 (VAT included)

Highly Complex Case - £8,500 to £12,000+ (VAT included)

What’s Included

The range of fees above include:

  • Taking your initial instructions
  • Reviewing the case and any paperwork
  • Advising you on the strength of your claim and what compensation you can expect to get. We’ll continue to revisit this throughout your claim
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation to see if we can settle your claim before going to an Employment Tribunal
  • Preparing your claim
  • Reviewing and advising on the response from your employer
  • Exploring settlement throughout the process and negotiating settlement if it comes up
  • Preparing the 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 and agreeing their content
  • Preparing a bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other side’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, chronology or cast list
  • Preparation for and attendance at a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

Not all of these stages apply to all claims and your legal costs will be reduced if certain steps are not needed.

You could also decide to run the case yourself and just ask us to help you in certain parts.

We can be flexible about your needs and requirements, so call us to discuss your situation in more detail.

What’s Not Included

It can be difficult to understand what makes an unfair dismissal case more complex. It can include things like:

  • Having to make or defend applications to amend a claim or to give more information about an existing claim
  • Defending or making a costs application
  • Complicated preliminary issues which aren’t agreed such as time limit or jurisdictional issues
  • If automatic unfair dismissal applies
  • Any allegations of discrimination linked to your dismissal.

Additional Costs

You will need to pay some additional costs, which are called disbursements. This includes Counsel (Barrister) Fees to prepare for and to represent you at an Employment Tribunal.

Counsel Fees will be between £800 and £4,000 per day (VAT included). The amount you pay will depend on the expertise of the Barrister and how long the hearing will last. Counsel fees will cost more if a more experienced barrister is needed for a more complicated case and hearings always last longer on more complicated cases.

You should be clear when comparing these ranges with other law firms that these figures include VAT, where most law firms quote their fees without. This distorts the figures significantly.

How Long Will My Case Take?

How long an unfair or wrongful dismissal claim takes will depend on when your case is settled. If you settle during the ACAS Early Conciliation process, it will take around 4 to 12 weeks.

If your claim goes all the way to a Final Hearing, it will take around 24 to 48 weeks.

This is an estimate and your Solicitor will give you a more accurate timescale as your claim moves forward.

Meet the Team

You can meet the Employment Law team who will be helping you with your claim here.

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Southport.