Pricing

Debt Recovery Charges

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid debt, such as an unpaid invoice, which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. 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, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one-off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Letter before action

This is a letter that is sent to the other party making a formal demand for payment. It will contain a deadline for payment to be made. Our costs to send a letter before action will be £25 plus VAT.

If no response is received or payment is not made then Court proceedings may be commenced.

Our pricing for bringing proceedings for an unpaid debt is as follows:-

Debt value Court fee Our fee (inc VAT) Total
Up to £5,000 £25.00 - £205.00 £300 £325 to £505
£5,001 to £10,000 £410 - £455 £420 £830 to £875
£10,001 to £100,000 either 4.5% or 5% of the claim £600 £1050.04 to £5600

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that the VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor if they are themselves VAT registered.

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
  • Receiving payment and sending this on to you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing a claim.
  • Where no acknowledgment of service or defence is received, applying to the Court to enter judgment in default.
  • When judgment in default is received, writing to the other side to request payment.
  • If payment is not received within any stipulated period of time, providing you with written advice as to the next steps and likely costs

The above costs do not apply to any proceedings that are defended. This may arise if the debtor is of the view that they do not owe any money, either in full or in part, and that the debt is then disputed in full or in part. If this arises it will inevitably impact upon the likely legal costs of pursuing the debt. We will advise you at the time of the effect that this will have upon your legal costs so that you can make an informed decision of how you wish to proceed.

If a debtor responds to the letter before action swiftly, then, depending upon the extent of the debt, this may be paid within a matter of days or longer, particularly if a payment plan is required to make payment. If enforcement action is needed then the matter will take longer to resolve.

The fee earners with conduct of debt recovery cases within the practice are:

Sarah Lapsley – Solicitor and Head of Department – Date of admission as Solicitor 01/11/91

John Wroblewski – Solicitor and Director – Date of admission as a Solicitor 16/10/95

Sarah Rostamlou-Andrews – Solicitor and Director – Date of admission as a Solicitor – 15/01/08

The Solicitor who deals with your case will be supervised by another of the Solicitors listed above. Details of your Solicitor and their supervisor will be provided to you upon receipt of your instructions.

Probate Advice Charges

Ascertaining the values of assets, applying for the grant, collecting and distributing assets

We anticipate this will take between 5 and 15 hours of work at £220 per hour. Total estimated costs will therefore be between £1,100 and £3,300 (+VAT) dependent upon the complexity of the case.

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 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 5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no foreign assets
  • There are no more than 5 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of the assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs.
  • There is no inheritance tax to pay and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate.

Disbursements in addition to this fee:

  • Probate application fee £155 (The Government are planning to significantly increase their Probate fees in 2019)
  • Swearing of the Oath fee £7 (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy search fees £2 per beneficiary
  • Statutory Notices £250-£300 – optional if there is a lay executor, compulsory if we are appointed as executors.

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

In addition to our hourly rate, we will charge a percentage of the estate based on the Law Society Guidelines. This charge is 1% of the gross estate (excluding the property) and 0.5% of the property value.

 

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will, or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) or foreign assets or multiple properties, 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 50p per copy. One copy is usually needed for each asset.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of the property in the estate is not included.
  • If the estate is subject to inheritance tax.

 

How long will this take

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 3-4 months. Typically obtaining the Grant of Probate takes between 6-8 weeks (where there are no shares or bonds and one property). Collecting in the assets then follows, which can take between 4-6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can then distribute the assets to the beneficiaries, which normally takes 2-3 weeks.

 

Making an application for a Grant of Probate Only

If you simply wish for us to obtain the Grant of Probate then we will charge a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT plus disbursements (listed above). This is on the basis that all of the information regarding the values of the assets is provided to us. If you require us to carry out any additional work, this would be charged at an hourly rate.

The fee earners with conduct of probate cases within the practice are:

Jennifer Wilkinson – Solicitor and Head of Department – Date of admission as a Solicitor – 17/08/09

John Wroblewski  - Solicitor/Director – Date of admission as a Solicitor - 16/10/95

Liz Chestnutt – Solicitor/Director – Date of admission as a Solicitor - 16/06/75

Sarah Rostamlou-Andrews – Solicitor/Director – Date of admission as a Solicitor – 15/01/08 

The Solicitor who deals with your case will be supervised by another of the Solicitors listed above. Details of your Solicitor and their supervisor will be provided to you upon receipt of your instructions.

Residential Conveyancing Charges
SALE OF A PROPERTY Conveyancer’s fees:
Sale Fee  Bank Transfer Fee 600.00  35.00 
Total Fees: 635.00
Total VAT: 127.00
Total Fee and VAT: 762.00
In addition there will be the following disbursements*:
  • Official copy of the register and title plan: £6.00
  • If the property is leasehold, we will be required to obtain a copy of the freeholder’s title and title plan £6.00 and a copy of the Lease £3.00.
  • If there are any other documents mentioned in the title register, we will be required to obtain these at a cost of £3.00 each.
  • If the property is Leasehold, there may be a fee payable to the freeholder/managing agent to provide a sale pack, which will be required by the Buyer’s Solicitor.The average charge is approximately £360.00 including VAT but can vary depending on the Managing Agent or freeholder.
PURCHASE OF A PROPERTY

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration and 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.

Freehold Purchase Conveyancer’s fees:
Purchase Fee  Bank Transfer Fee SDLT / LTT Form Completion Fee 650.00  35.00 75.00
Total Fees:  760.00
Total VAT:  152.00
Total Fee and VAT:  912.00
  In addition there will be the following disbursements*:
  • Search fees:£00 (for the usual searches) please note this price could increase subject to the location of your property and the volume of searches required
  • Land Registry fee: this fee is payable to the Land Registry when we apply to register your ownership of the Property and depends on the price of the property.Please refer to HM Land Registry fee calculator. It also depends on whether the application can be made electronically or not.
  • Land Registry searches: £10.00 (bankruptcy and priority search)
  • Stamp Duty (this depends on the value of your property). You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using the HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.
  •  
Leasehold Purchase: Conveyancer’s fee
Purchase Fee  Bank Transfer Fee SDLT / LTT Form Completion Fee 700.00  35.00 75.00
Total Fees:  810.00
Total VAT:  162.00
Total Fee and VAT:  972.00
  In addition there will be the following disbursements*:
  • Search fees: £00 (for the usual searches) please note this price could increase subject to the location of your property and the volume of searches required
  • Land Registry fee – this fee is payable to the Land Registry when we apply to register your ownership of the Property and depends on the price of the property.Please refer to HM Land Registry fee calculator. It also depends on whether the application can be made electronically or not.
  • Land Registry searches: £10.00 (bankruptcy and priority search)
  • Stamp Duty (this depends on the value of your property). You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using the HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website .
Further Anticipated disbursements*:
  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee is chargeable if it is set out in the lease.The fee can vary but typically is between £0 and £250.00 plus VAT.
  • Notice of charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. He fee can vary but will typically be between £0 and £250.00 plus VAT.
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficulty to estimate. Often it is between £0 and £250.00 plus VAT.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – to be confirmed upon receipt of the lease as can range between £0 and £250.00 plus VAT.

Please note that these fees can vary from property to property and can, on occasion, be different to the figures 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 charges are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this information.

Please note that our fees quoted above assume that: (a) this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including (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 (b) the property is registered at the Land Registry. Whilst most properties are registered, some are not. If the property is unregistered additional work is involved which will incur a further charge of £50.00 plus VAT. (c) this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease (d ) the transaction Is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arises (e) all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from the third parties providing the documentation. (f ) no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

*Disbursementsare costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. There are certain disbursements which will be sent out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller’s solicitors.

If the matter becomes complex then there may be an additional fee, for example:

  • Where your mortgage lender instructs its own solicitor
  • If your lease purchase includes the purchase of a share of the freehold
  • Where a lease extension is involved
  • Shared ownership transactions
  • New build instructions
  • Missing or absentee landlords
  • Where a transaction is required to be expedited
  • Contract races
How long will my house purchase take?

How long will it take from your offer being accepted until you can move into your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 to 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 x weeks. However if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer. In such a situation additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund the purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of the seller
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Draft Transfer
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • 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 the lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry.
  •  
Referral fees

If you are referred to by an introducer we may pay them a referral fee. We will provide you with details of the arrangement and the fee we pay in the client care information that we send you at the start of your transaction. This fee is paid by us so that there is no additional charge for you to pay.

The fee earners with conduct of residential conveyancing cases within the practice are:

Mark Lloyd – Director, Solicitor and Head of the Property Department . Date of Admission as a Solicitor: 02/11/1992

Charles Lawrence – Solicitor. Date of Admission as a Solicitor : 01/06/1998

Andrea Cheesman – Solicitor. Date of Admission as a Solicitor: 01/09/1999

Amanda Johnson – Conveyancing Executive

The fee earner which will deal with your case will be supervised by another of the Solicitors listed above. Details of the person handling your case and their supervisor will be provided to you upon receipt of your instructions.

Employment Advice Charges

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

Simple case £2,000 to £3,000 (+ VAT)

Medium complexity case: £5,000 to £7,500 (+ VAT)

High complexity case: £10,000 to £15,000 (+ 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
  • The length of the hearing
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing a whistle on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to dismissal

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal hearing of £500 per day (excluding VAT). Generally, we would allow 1 – 3 days depending on the complexity of your case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are cost 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 smooth process. 

Counsel’s fees estimated between £750 to £1,500 (+ VAT) per day (depending upon the experience of the Advocate) for attending a Tribunal hearing (including preparation). 

Counsel’s fees for attending the first day of a Tribunal hearing will usually include general preparation for the trial and might range from £1,500 to £5,000 (+ VAT) depending upon complexity.

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 the merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Entering into a 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 statement
  • 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 the 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 a 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 around 12 – 24 weeks. 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.

The fee earners with conduct of employment cases within the practice are:

John Wroblewski – Solicitor, Director and Head of Department – Date of admission as a Solicitor 16/10/95

Sarah Lapsley – Solicitor – Date of admission as Solicitor 01/11/91

The Solicitor who deals with your case will be supervised by another of the Solicitors listed above. Details of your Solicitor and their supervisor will be provided to you upon receipt of your instructions.

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Our clients say...

  • Mr and Mrs H – Suffolk
    Thank you for the great service during our house selling/buying process. It is the 2nd time we have used you for a house move and once again you have been really easy to deal with, efficient, quick to respond to queries etc……So really I just wanted to say thank you to you and the team for making the process nice and stress free (and quick!) for us. It is much appreciated and we will continue to recommend you to friends.
    Mr and Mrs H – Suffolk
  • JB – Southport
    Thank you so much for dealing with my sale and purchase. I was very pleased with the way you dealt with my concerns and the online system was very impressive.
    JB – Southport
  • Miss B – Southport
    This is just a huge thank you for all your professionalism, hard work and total kindness during my flat purchase.
    Miss B – Southport
  • Miss B and Mr S – Southport
    As always the service we have received from Cook and Talbot has been first class. As you know this has not been the easiest and most straightforward of sales and purchases, and your prompt responses to queries and requests have been most helpful.
    Miss B and Mr S – Southport
  • Mrs K – Southport
    May I take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for dealing with all my transactions smoothly and efficiently and I am now very pleased to be in my new home at last.
    Mrs K – Southport
  • Miss P – Southport
    I just wanted to thank you for the efficient and excellent service we have received from you regarding the sale and purchase of our property. The experience was not at all stressful (which it has been in the past) and I´d like to extend our thanks to you for that!
    Miss P – Southport
  • Mrs M – Cornwall
    I wanted to thank you so much for overseeing my application for remortgage so brilliantly. From the beginning to completion you were consistently helpful, informative and reassuring and kept me up to date with each step of the process, which was greatly appreciated. I was really impressed and delighted that you made the whole thing so straightforward and painless especially as my previous legal experience when securing my original mortgage was anything but.
    Mrs M – Cornwall
  • Mr H – Bedfordshire
    Excellent service and advice as usual in what proved a slightly difficult case.
    Mr H – Bedfordshire
  • Mrs H – Bolton
    Thank you to all your staff for the smooth sale of my property……I would have no qualms about recommending your firm of solicitors to any of my friends…
    Mrs H – Bolton
  • Mortgage Brokers – Watford
    Thank you very much for the attention to detail and the speed in which you work for us…
    Mortgage Brokers – Watford
  • Mr and Mrs G – Southport
    We would like to say a huge thank you for all your efforts during our recent house purchase. Your professional service and constant updates has ensured that the process was as stress-free as possible and for that we are very grateful. We would have no hesitation in recommending your services for the future”
    Mr and Mrs G – Southport