We have a range of funding and fee structures available to clients and pride ourselves on our flexibility to discuss, negotiate and agree fees and payment plans taking into account our clients’ circumstances. At the start of each matter, you can expect us to provide you an estimate or agreed/fixed figure of the total cost of your case. This will usually be detailed in the Client Care Letter that we will give you. We will also provide you with an outline of the disbursements that you can expect to incur.
SRA’s Price Transparency requirements
The Solicitors Regulation Authority now requires those they regulate under price transparency rules to detail charges and fee structures for certain types of work. We agree that the cost of a matter and the way we charge should be transparent to a client so that they can make informed choices and the best decisions about whether to instruct our firm or not. This is why we provide the following information to you.
Summary of our pricing
Mr Darshan Azad (Solicitor-Advocate) is the only qualified fee earner in our firm. He is supported by fee earning legal assistants and other non-fee earning staff. He can be supported by more than one fee earning legal assistant or non-fee earner on a matter.
As of 1 January 2019, Mr Azad’s charge out rate is £400.00 plus VAT (or £480.00 incl. VAT) per hour. The fee for legal assistants is as follows:
- £150.000 plus VAT (or £180.00 incl. VAT) per hour for a Legal Assistant; and
- £125.00 plus VAT (or £150.00 incl. VAT) per hour for a Junior Legal Assistant.
Our charging structure is that we charge strictly on an hourly basis for all matters at the above rates unless otherwise agreed or amended in writing by ourselves. Details of the charges that will apply to you will be stated in the Client Care Letter that we give you.
We charge for initial consultations. Our charge is based on £75.00 (including VAT) for every 15 minutes. This means a 30 minute consultation would cost you £150.00 (including VAT) and a 1 hour consultation would cost you £300.00 (including VAT). We will be happy to review any paperwork that you have which you can bring to an initial consultation. We may charge you a lower fee for an initial consultation depending on the type of work that you wish to instruct us on. We will always let you know before hand and ask you to sign our terms of business which set out the cost of the initial consultation before it starts.
The way we estimate fixed fees and agreed fees
Where possible or where agreed with a client, a fixed fee or an agreed fee (as defined below) may be provided. This means that the fee for a particular piece of work may be capped (subject to the work not entailing anything that we did not foresee when we provided you the fixed or agreed fee).
Where a fixed fee or an agreed fee is given, our policy is to use our hourly rates stated above as a starting point and take the following into account in determining the fee quote:
- the time it will take to undertake the work we are quoting on;
- the persons in our firm who will work on the matter;
- Mr Azad’s estimated time on the matter;
- the scope and nature of the work; and
- the complexity of the matter and whether any unexpected issues may arise.
Our hourly fee
The majority of the work that we do for our clients is charged on an hourly basis. We may ask for monies on account before we commence your work, which means that we shall hold this money in our client account for you until such time as we are authorised to withdraw it in accordance with our professional rules.
We can offer you agreed fees subject to the work that you instruct us on. The amount of an agreed fee is agreed in advance for a particular matter. The scope of the work covered by the agreed fee is also agreed. The agreed fee is not one that can be varied up or down. It is also usually payable whether or not the work completes. Agreement of an agreed fee is evidenced in writing between us. Payments to us of agreed fees shall be deposited into our office account as per our professional rules.
Fixed fees are similar to agreed fees, however, they are usually based on estimates and can be subject to the scope of the work involved, therefore, fixed fees may be varied up or down. Of course we will always ensure that we charge you the fixed fee agreed with you.
Conditional Fee Arrangements
In cases involving money claims, we may be able to offer a Conditional Fee Arrangement, which is similar to “no win-no fee”. Sometimes, we may charge you a smaller fee than usual instead of “no fee”. This means that we can offer to take our matter at an agreed fee or rate, but will also charge to an additional “success fee” if we successfully represent you. Conditional Fee Arrangements are subject to contractual agreement between us.
Where you are not able to pay our fees but hope to realise money at some point in the future, you may be able to defer payment of our fees until an agreed date.
Where applicable, we will always discuss with you whether or not you are covered for legal expenses in any existing insurance policy that you may have or can obtain following an event. Usually, in cases such as boundary disputes, employee-employer disputes, personal injury cases, disputes with planning authorities, we would advise you to check your home or contents insurance policies to check whether you are already covered.
We do not undertake Legal Aid work. If you are looking for solicitors who offer Legal Aid, the Law Society’s website may be able to assist you with a list of other solicitors.
Mediation and alternative dispute resolution
We appreciate that generally everyone wants to keep legal costs as low as possible. If you have a dispute with someone, before you expose yourself to legal costs, which can be high, we would encourage you to mediate and/or enter into alternative dispute resolution with the other side. Litigation can be expensive and costly in time, especially, litigation that reaches court. In our experience, mediation and alternative dispute resolution is cheaper overall. We can assist you in conducting this if you wish.
Prices for specific services
From 6 December 2018, the SRA’s price transparency rules mean we must display prices and service information for the specific areas below. The details below are given as a guide only for the purposes of meeting our regulatory requirements and our final fee agreement will be detailed in our client care letter.
- Conveyancing (residential)
- Probate (uncontested)
- Motoring offences (summary offences)
- Immigration (excluding asylum)
- Employment tribunals (unfair/wrongful dismissal)
- Debt recovery (up to £100,000)
- Licensing applications (business premises)#
- We do not usually undertake standalone residential conveyancing that is subject to a mortgage. We are not on the panel of any lenders. We typically only advise high net worth individuals, families, companies and businesses that want to purchase high value residential homes (or commercial properties) that are not subject to any mortgage. In the event that a mortgage is involved, we will only act where the lender is separately represented, in which case you may be liable to pay the costs of the lender in this respect. Occasionally, we advise on conveyancing if it is connected with another aspect of legal advice that we provide, for example estate planning or probate. Our typical prices for conveyancing will range from £1,600.00 to £2,000.00 plus VAT subject to the price of the property and complexity of the transaction. This is only an indicative price range and a better estimate will be provided to you in a client care letter which we will send to you. The estimate will take into account the specific nature of your transaction. In conveyancing transactions, there will usually be separate payments to be made for disbursements or additional costs subject to what the transaction entails. an indicative list is provided as follows: Property searches (£350-£450.00 typically), Land Registry fees (subject to value of transaction and nature of application), SDLT (subject to value of transaction), CHAPS or other banking fees (£15.00 typically), fee for filing SDLT return (£125.00 plus VAT), Land Registry priority searches and Land Registry office copies and title plans (£3.90 each). In some conveyancing transactions, it may be necessary to deal with leasehold issues, right to buy issues, shared ownership, bridging or other finance, compliance of court orders. These will typically increase the amount that you will pay overall. An estimate of how much you will be able to pay will be provided when you instruct us and we are aware of the nature of the exact transaction.
- We do undertake probate and estate administration activities. We are usually instructed by personal representatives. We charge on the basis of our hourly fees. In our experience, we have found that our fees at the end typically represent 1%-5% of the gross estate value subject to the scope of the work involved, complications and time spent on the work. It is not uncommon to pay thousands of pounds for probate. By way of example, an application for a grant of probate in an uncomplicated case for gross estate worth £500.000.00 involving nothing more than simple administration of the estate is likely to cost £10,000.00 plus VAT (i.e. 10%). This will include going through all the deceased’s paperwork, making contact with debtors and creditors, making any applications to HMRC and the Probate Department and liaising with executors/trustees on the administration of the will. Estates worth more than £1 million or where there are inheritance tax considerations to make will lead to higher costs incurred. You can expect to pay a higher fee where we spend more time on assisting with administration of an estate. You can choose to instruct us only to apply for a grant of probate and not administer an estate at all, in which case our fee payable would be lower. You can expect to pay between £2,000.00 to £2,500.00 plus VAT for an application of a grant of probate only where a full inheritance tax account is not required. Where inheritance tax is not required to be paid but an inheritance tax account is required you can expect to pay between £2,500.00 to £5,000.00 plus VAT for a grant of probate only. Disbursements are always chargeable on top of our fees. For example, probate application fees, cost of advertising a deceased person notice in the London Gazette and additional copies of grants. The overall fees that you pay may also increase where an executor or beneficiary lives abroad which may mean that we spend more time reporting back to them, or where there is more than one property or several assets that require supervision and clearance which means that we spend more time. Where we spend time communicating with HMRC on protracted correspondence, advising on the law on lifetime gifts, business property relief, complex asset structures in the UK or abroad then the overall cost is also likely to be higher. We will be able to provide a better breakdown of costs in a client care letter on you instructing us.
Motoring offences/road traffic offences (summary offences)
If you intend to plead guilty, our typical fee would be £2,000.00 plus VAT. Our fee would include:
- two hours attendance/preparation;
- considering evidence;
- taking your instructions;
- providing advice on likely sentence;
- attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court.
The fee does not include:
- instruction of any expert witnesses;
- taking statements from any witnesses;
- advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing;
- advice or assistance in relation to any appeal.
The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing.
Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
We will consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice.
Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost and our fee will be dependent on the time that we take with the witness and the number or witnesses).
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 cannot 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 to the court. The fee stated above takes into account a single day in Court. If we are required to be at Court for more than one day or there is more than one hearing then additional costs will be charged. Typically you can expect to pay £1,500.00 plus VAT for a further full single day in Court if attendance is required.
We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.
Immigration (excluding asylum)
Important note on value added tax (VAT): All the figures given below include VAT charged at 20% unless specifically stated. However, charging VAT in relation to immigration matters may depend on where you live and what immigration permission you have. We will confirm whether VAT (at a rate of 20%) is payable when you instruct us and we can work out if VAT is properly chargeable.
On average, this type of works takes between 5 to 10 ours to complete. Your work may be undertaken by our principle solicitor and legal assistants or a combination of both. This means that on average costs are between £1,200.00 to £3,000.00 plus VAT).
The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances in your case, such as:
- the amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider;
- which language(s) you speak;
- whether you are applying with other dependants.
If you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and clearly meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be at the lower end of this range. The work will involve:
- discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you;
- giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria;
- if you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how;
- considering the supporting evidence you have provided;
- where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;
- preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf;
- attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at an appropriate time;
- giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take.
*The amount of hours depends on the number of documents, whether they need to be translated, whether anything is missing and how long it will take to obtain the missing documents. Disbursements are payable in addition. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as visa fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process:
- interpreters fees which from our experience are around £40.00 plus VAT per hour.
- independent expert reports, eg medical experts. These are not required in many cases; we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary;
- if there is an interview and we do attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.
The costs quoted here do not include:
- any Home Office fees for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process;
- where the Home Office refuse your application, advice and assistance in relation to any appeal.
- Travel expenses, which may also apply where your appeal hearing is at a distance from our offices in West London.
- Photocopying charges will also apply as we have found from experience that several copies of bundles are required for our records, a client’s records and to send to the Home Office and/or tribunal. Photocopying charges are 14p per A4 page for black and white and 50p per A4 page for colour.
Employment tribunals (unfair/wrongful dismissal)
We charge based on an hourly rate which varies depending on the member of staff dealing with your matter. Our lowest hourly rate is £125.00 plus VAT and our highest hourly rate is £400.00 plus VAT The seniority of the members of staff dealing with your case will depend on its complexity. We will discuss this with you when you instruct us.
From our experience, we estimate the following costs:
Simple case: £1,500.00 plus VAT
Medium complexity case: £1,500.00 – £3,000.00 plus VAT
High complexity case: £3,000.00 -£6,000.00 plus VAT
Factors that could make a case more complex:
- if it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide 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 client is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
- the number of witnesses and documents;
- if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim, eg if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer;
- allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.
There will generally be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal hearing.
Disbursements are paid on top of our fees. These 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 are also paid on top of our fees.
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the 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 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 for and 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 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.
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 matter will be resolved quicker than for example if it were to proceed to a final hearing.
Fixed fee example for an application for a new premises licence (simple application)
We can charge a fixed fee of £3,000.00 plus VAT as a fixed fee and plus disbursements.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the application fee. Disbursements are paid on top of our fees, such as:
- application fee (payable to licensing authority)
- advertising fee;
- enquiry agent fees to display public notices;
- special delivery fee to serve the application;
- printing additional copies of plans if necessary.
These fees could vary depending on the individual premises and where it is located. We will give you an accurate figure for each item as soon as we are able to do so.
Our fees include:
- taking your instructions and advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application;
- advising you as to the type of plans you are required to submit with your application;
- completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans;
- providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority;
- preparing copies of the premises licence application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and service copies of the application on the responsible authorities;
- drafting the notices advertising the premises license application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper;
- arranging with you for you to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003;
- providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself;
- checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.
Our fee does not include:
- obtaining suitable plans;
- attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting;
- dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties;
- advice on varying the licence;
- attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate.
Debt Recovery up to £100,000.00
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 (eg if a one-off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.
|Debt value||Court fee||Our fee (incl. VAT)|
|Up to £5,000||£205.00 (maximum)||£96.00|
|£10,001—£50,000||5% of value of claim||£120.00|
|£50,001-£100k||5% of value of claim||£120.00|
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 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;
- sending a letter before action;
- receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim;
- where no Acknowledgement of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default;
- when Judgement in default is received, write to the other side to request payment;
- if payment is not received within [insert number] days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs.