Expert Legal Advisers to the Road Transport
Industry for over 30 Years

Transparency Notice on the Practice’s Services & Costs

Under the new transparency rules (“the Rules”) issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, law firms who provide particular types of services are required to publish information relating to those services including information about the lawyers who will be carrying out the work as well as certain costs information.

The rules aim to ensure that you have accurate and relevant information about us when you are purchasing legal services (or when you are considering doing so) and they aim to help members of the public and small businesses make informed choices, thereby improving competition in the legal market.

Services

Individuals

In relation to individuals, the Rules cover the following services:

  • The conveyance of residential real property or real estate which comprise:
    • freehold or leasehold sales or purchases; or
    • mortgages or re-mortgages;
  • The collection and distribution of assets belonging to a person following their death, where these are within the UK and the matters are not contested;
  • The preparation and submission of immigration applications, excluding asylum applications;
  • The provision of advice and representation at the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in relation to appeals against Home Office visa or immigration decisions, excluding asylum appeals;
  • The provision of advice and representation at the Magistrates Court in relation to summary only road traffic offences dealt with at a single hearing; and
  • The provision of advice and representation to employees in relation to the bringing of claims before the Employment Tribunal against an employer for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.

Businesses

In relation to businesses, the Rules cover the following services:

  • The provision of advice and representation to employers in relation to defending claims before the Employment Tribunal brought by an employee for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal;
  • Debt recovery up to the value of £100,000; and
  • The provision of advice and assistance and representation in relation to licensing applications for business premises.

Costs

Introduction

Most of the services that the Practice provides do not fall into any of the categories of service to which the Rules apply (see bullet points above) and we tend to be instructed to deal with serious matters which are complicated and which do not lend themselves to fixed fees.

We add VAT to all our charges and to all disbursements (for example the fees of experts and barristers who charge VAT on their fees).

We do not offer services under Conditional Fee or Damages Based Agreements.

Categories of Work

We do offer to provide some services which are covered by the Rules.

For Individuals:

  • The collection and distribution of assets belonging to a person following their death, where these are within the UK and the matters are not contested;
  • The provision of advice and representation at the Magistrates Court in relation to summary only road traffic offences dealt with at a single hearing; and
  • The provision of advice and representation to employees in relation to the bringing of claims before the Employment Tribunal against an employer for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal.

And for businesses:

  • The provision of advice and representation to employers in relation to defending claims before the Employment Tribunal brought by an employee for unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal;
  • Debt recovery up to the value of £100,000.

How much do we Charge and How are the Costs Calculated?

We charge by the hour and time is recorded in six minute units.

Directors of the firm and solicitors who have been qualified for at least 10 years may be charged out at between £200 + VAT per hour and £350 + VAT per hour.

Assistant solicitors who have been qualified for less than 10 years and other qualified lawyers (including Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) may be charged out at between £150 + VAT per hour and £275 + VAT per hour.

Non-qualified lawyers and trainee solicitors may be charged out at between £120 + VAT per hour and £185 + VAT per hour.

We will always confirm to you in writing the hourly rates that we intend to charge in relation to a particular matter and in appropriate cases we will provide you with a quote for work that you would like us to do on the basis that the quote is provided free of charge and with no obligation to you.

 

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

This work will usually be carried out by Roland Pelly who is a solicitor and a director of the Practice and who has been practising in this area for the last five years.  More information about Roland can be found on our website but if you have any particular questions about his experience and expertise please do not hesitate to contact us.

If we ask for assistance from a member of our team we will provide you with details of who will be helping, their experience and whether or not they are qualified.

We anticipate this type of instruction will normally take between 5 and 50 hours of work at £300 + VAT per hour and we estimate the total costs for our time at £1,500.00 = £15,000.00 + VAT.

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 and other assets, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you.  This quoted range 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 other substantial intangible assets
  • There are 1-4 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 either no inheritance tax payable or 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 are not included in this fee, and you should also expect to pay:

  • Probate application fee currently of £155.00 on estates of £5,000.00 or more but due to change with no fee on estates up to £50,000.00 and thereafter a sliding scale depending on the value starting at £250.00 for estates up to £300,000.00 and increasing to £6,000.00 on estates of £2 million or more.
  • £5.50 for swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£1 per beneficiary or named search)
  • Currently £84.60 to place post in The London Gazette – protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • Between £40 and £80 to 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.  VAT is usually added to disbursements but we will let you know whether VAT is applicable on each and every disbursement during the time that we are working for you.

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 (for each additional certified grant).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How Long will this Take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 2-4 months.  Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 4 weeks.  Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4-8 weeks.  Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 1-2 weeks.

 

Motoring Offences – for example:  Speeding, Drink Driving, Use of Mobile Phone and Careless Driving

This work will usually be carried out by Roland Pelly or Richard Pelly who are both solicitors and directors of the Practice.  Roland has dealt with these types of cases over the last 40+ years.  Richard has dealt with these types of cases over the last 10 years.

More information about Roland and Richard can be found on our website but if you have any particular questions about their experience and expertise please do not hesitate to contact us.

If we ask for assistance from a member of our team we will provide you with details of who will be helping, their experience and whether or not they are qualified.

We recommend that we meet with you to enable us to take your full instructions, consider the case against you and to advise you in relation to your options and the likely sentencing range in case you are convicted.  To include preparation time, this meeting is likely to last 1-3 hours not including time spent travelling to visit you.  The applicable hourly rate will depend upon the complexity and seriousness of the case and we will tell you what this will be so that you know the position before you are under any obligation to pay us anything.

Thereafter we will need to prepare the case for you which can take in the region of 3-10 hours. How long the case is likely to take to prepare depends on the individual circumstances of your case and we will usually be able to tell you what time is going to be needed after our initial meeting (as above).

This quote does not include the instruction of any expert witnesses, taking statements from any witnesses, advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing, preparation of an exceptional hardship submission or assistance in relation to any appeal, and it does not include attendance at court.

The time to attend court with you will depend on the type of hearing (is it a directions hearing, a guilty plea or a not guilty trial) and the location of the court.  A ‘not guilty’ trial will have a time estimate provided by the court.  A guilty plea or directions hearing ought to take 1-2 hours of court time to include waiting for the hearing to begin, in addition to the time spent travelling to and from the court.

Attendance at court does not include the costs of a barrister or an expert.  We will only instruct a barrister and/or expert if you approve of us doing so and if you approve of the costs of their involvement in advance.

In preparing your case we will go through everything you can supply in the way of evidence and also everything that the prosecution has which may be relevant, and we will provide advice to you.  How long this takes will depend on how many documents there are, but we will let you know when we have seen everything.

We will arrange to take any witness statements if necessary and we will advise you about the likely costs before we carry out this work.

We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.

We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.

We may not be able to provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.

We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the court.  We anticipate being at court for at least 1 hour including waiting time beforehand.

We will discuss the outcome with you.  If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost and we will tell you what this is likely to be before we incur a charge that we will ask you to pay.

In straightforward cases the costs ought to fall within a range between £1,000.00 + VAT and £3,500.00 + VAT but we will provide you with more information about your individual case when we know what is involved.

 

Employment Tribunal Cases

This work will usually be carried out by Roland Pelly who is a solicitor and a director of the Practice and who has dealt with employment issues during his career over the last 40+ years.  More information about Roland can be found on our website but if you have any particular questions about his experience and expertise please do not hesitate to contact us.

If we ask for assistance from a member of our team we will provide you with details of who will be helping, their experience and whether or not they are qualified.

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

  • Simple case: £3,500.00 – £7,500.00 (excluding VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £7,501.00 – £25,000.00 (excluding VAT)
  • High complexity case: over £25,001.00 (excluding VAT).

Factors that could make a case more complex or time consuming:

  • 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 £1,500.00 per day for a director or £750.00 for a legal executive/junior solicitor (excluding VAT).  Generally, we cannot estimate the number of days to allow which will always depend on the complexity of your case.  For relatively straight forward cases one day ought to be sufficient.

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 £400 to £1,500 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (excluding preparation, which would be charged at their published hourly rates).

Key Stages

The fees set out above cover all 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 if you are making the claim or your exposure if you are defending the claim (this is likely to be revisited through the matter and so may be 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 case 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 pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4-12 weeks.  If you claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26 – 52 weeks.  These are just estimates and the time that it takes will depend on the particular circumstances of each individual case.  We will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

 

Business to Business Debt Recovery

This work will usually be carried out y Roland Pelly who is a solicitor and a director of the Practice and who has been practising in this area for the last 40 years.  More information about Roland can be found on our website but if you have any particular questions about his experience and expertise please do not hesitate to contact us.

If we ask for assistance from a member of our team we will provide you with details of who will be helping, their experience and whether or not they are qualified.

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to 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.

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 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 is received, writing to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 28 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs.

Our fee does not include litigating the case beyond service of a defence and attendance at trial.

We estimate our costs will fall between a range of £1,150.00 + VAT and £15,000.00 + VAT for the work that we have stated as being included, as above.

Matters usually take 2-8 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.

 

Complaints

If you have any concerns, including any form of complaint about any aspect of the service that you received from us you should raise it with the person dealing with your matter, or with their supervisor.  If they cannot help or if you are not satisfied with the response that you receive you should raise the matter with a Director of the Practice.

If we act fo you then you have the right to challenge our invoices. If you do have any queries about our invoices you should contact either the person dealing with your case or a director of the Practice as quickly as you can.  You may also apply to the court for an assessment of our bill(s) under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.

If you do raise a formal concern with us, the first step that we will take is to let you know promptly (usually within 7 days) that we have heard from you and we will set out the process that we propose taking in order to try to help.

If you are an individual, small business, charity, club or trust you may also make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.  However, if you are not an individual, small business, charity, club or trust and you wish to take your complaint further please contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority at Ipsley Court, Berrington Close, Redditch, Worcestershire, B98 0TD.

Details Correct as at 6th December 2018