Legal Fees and Complaints Policy
In accordance with the Solicitors’ Regulatory Transparency Rules we are required to ensure that members of the public have accurate and relevant information about a solicitor or firm when they are considering purchasing certain legal services. This page refers to the services provided by this Firm. The Firm does not provide legal advice on motoring offences (summary offences), employment tribunals (unfair/wrongful dismissal) nor conveyancing (residential).
Our Firm’s fees are charged upon an hourly rate. Our Firm’s fees are calculated by reference to the time spent in respect of any work done on your behalf. This will include preparation for, attendance at and follow up from meetings, reading and working on documents, correspondence, including emails and time spent travelling from the office when this is necessary. The hourly rate of Solicitor Cecilia Gozzoli, in line with legal executives with over 8 years' experience, is £280.00 + VAT.
Routine Telephone calls, letters and emails
We charge for all routine telephone calls. This includes routine telephone calls made out by our Firm and also routine telephone calls received by our Firm. This also includes routine telephone calls that you make to our Firm or routine telephone calls that we may make to you. Routine Telephone calls are charged at one tenth of the hourly rate. For example, if the hourly rate is £280.00 per hour, telephone calls are charged at one tenth of the hourly rate, which is charged at £28.00 per telephone call.
We also charge for all routine letters and routine emails that are written by our Firm, and these are charged at one tenth of the hourly rate as described in this letter. We also charge for routine letters and routine emails received by our Firm at one tenth of the hourly rate. This includes any routine letters or routine emails we may receive from you or from third parties are also charged at one tenth of the hourly rate.
Our fee for routine letters and routine emails is one tenth of the hourly rate. Thus, again if the hourly rate is £280.00 per hour, all letters and emails are charged at one tenth of the hourly rate, which is charged at £28.00 per letter and email. However, some letters, emails or telephone calls may be charged on the hourly rate, if they are not routine letters, telephone calls or emails, such as detailed letters of claim or detailed letters requiring significant time to be spent on the drafting, or require more than 6 minutes of time being spent on each letter, telephone call or email.
Our hourly rates and rates for telephone calls, letters and emails are reviewed every six months and if there is any change to the fee structure we will endeavour to make you aware of the change. These hourly rates have to be reviewed every six months to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
We wish to inform you that all of our fees, including the hourly rates, telephone and letter fees will have VAT added to it at the rate of 20%. Thus, if the hourly rate is £280.00 per hour, VAT will be added to this figure at the rate of 20%, which means you will be charged the sum of £336.00 per hour. Also, telephone calls and letters charged at, for example, £28.00 per telephone call and letter, which is one tenth of the hourly rate of £280.00, will also have VAT at the rate of 20% added to the figure. Thus, you will be charged the sum of £33.60 per telephone call and letter.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees and Counsel (Barrister) fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We would obtain Counsel's fees estimated for Tribunal Hearings, prior to instructing Counsel, and these will be additional costs that you will have to pay. Counsel's fees are usually estimated between £1,000 + VAT to £3,000 + VAT per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Hearing (including preparation).
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 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 or considering a schedule of loss
- Preparing for (and instructing or attending) a Preliminary Hearing
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Instructing on 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
- Instructing in preparating and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel
The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced.
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 1 to 3 months. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6 months to 1 year. 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.
Debt recovery fees (up to £100,000)
Our pricing for Debt Recovery matters
Our Firm’s fees are charged upon an hourly rate basis. Therefore, it is not possible to give an exact figure in terms of what the fees for a matter may be. However, the range of fees can found below.
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
- The number of witnesses and documents
- The value of the claim
- The complexity of issues in the claim
Debt Recovery Fees vary depending on the complexity of the case; for instance: simple case; from 1,000.00 to £5,000.00 + VAT + disbursements; Medium/High from £5,000.00 + VAT to £20,000.00 + VAT + disbursements; Very High from £30,000 + VAT + disbursements.
Probate Fees (uncontested)
Legal Fee Information for Uncontested Probate
Probate is the court-supervised process of gathering a deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and distributing what is left to those who are named as inheritors, in the Will.
Uncontested probate is where there is no dispute over the Will and distribution of assets.
Below we provide you with information on our Legal Fees, disbursements, and the length of time it will take to complete your matter.
Legal Fees and Disbursements
Legal Fees are the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from commencement of your case to conclusion.
Our average standard legal fee for an uncontested probate matter is between £1000- £3000 plus VAT (a total of £1200 – £3600 inc VAT). Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.
Should your instructions require us to take your matter out of the fixed fee rate (see below for what our fixed fee covers) we will charge an hourly rate of £280 plus VAT (£336 inc VAT)
We will handle the full process for you.
Our Standard Fee estimate above is for estates where:
- There is a valid will.
- There is no more than one property.
- There are no share portfolios.
- There are no other intangible assets.
- There are 1 – 2 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 no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC.
- There are no claims made against the estate.
If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.
Disbursements and Other Costs
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf, to ensure a smoother process.
You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount.
Typical disbursements will include:
- Probate application fee: £155
- Bankruptcy only Land Charges Department searches: £2.85 per person. International bankruptcy searches will vary depending on the location of the beneficiary.
- Advertisement (Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors): £200 inc VAT
- Additional copies of the Grant of Probate £1.50.
- Where the firm is required to undertake an Anti-Money Laundering search as part of our Client Due Diligence Process the firm will charge:
- £5.50 + VAT (£6.60 inc VAT) for an individual based in the UK
- £13 + VAT (£15.60 inc VAT) for an individual based overseas or a Corporate Entity
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 – 12 months.
Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6 – 8 weeks.
Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 16 – 32 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 32 – 48 weeks.
Stages of the Process
The precise stages involved in an uncontested probate vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction: –
- Providing you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter.
- Undertaking regulatory checks.
- Identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries.
- Accurately identifying the type of Probate application you will require.
- Obtaining the relevant documents required to make the application.
- Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms.
- Making the application to the Probate Court on your behalf.
- Obtaining the Probate and securely send two copies to you.
- Collecting and distributing all assets in the estate.
- Preparation of estate accounts.
Potential additional costs
Further potential costs may arise where 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.
Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
Immigration Fees (excluding asylum)
We have set out below the issues you need to consider in relation to Legal Fees and disbursements for the preparation and submission of immigration applications, excluding asylum applications and 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
Our Legal Fees cover all of the work required to handle your case from instruction to conclusion.
Legal Fees and action we will take
Legal Fees is the amount you will be required to pay for all the work performed by us in actioning your instructions from commencement of your case to conclusion.
The fees supplied below include the following services:
- Consideration of documents
- Client attendance
- Taking instructions and providing advice
- Preparing and submitting the application
- Advising on the outcome of the application
Typically, our work will be charged on an hourly rate basis due to the individual nature of each client’s matter. Solicitor Cecilia Gozzoli hourly rates are charged at £280 plus VAT (£336 inc VAT)
The average Fixed Charges we apply are:
- Consultation by appointment – £200 plus VAT (£240 inc VAT)
- Premium same day service to the Home office in Croydon – £450 plus VAT (£540 inc VAT)
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – £4,600 – £6,900 plus VAT (£5520 – £8280 inc VAT)
- Tier 1 (investor) – £4,600 – £6,900 plus VAT (£5520 – £8280 inc VAT)
- Tier 2 initial application/further leave or settlement – £1,380 – £2,760 plus VAT (£1656 – £3312 inc VAT)
- Tier 4 initial application or extension of stay – £920 – £1,610 plus VAT (£1104 – £1932 inc VAT)
- PBS Dependant’s visa (applying separately from/with the main applicant) – £1,380 – £1,840 plus VAT (£1656 – £2208 inc VAT)
- Dependants of EEA migrants other than spouse or child – £2,300 – £3,220 plus VAT (£2760 – £3864 inc VAT)
- Spouse visa applications/ further leave or settlement – £1,380 – £2,300 plus VAT (£1656 – £2760 inc VAT)
- Applications for leave to remain outside the immigration rules – £1,840 – £3,450 plus VAT (£2208 – £4140 inc VAT)
- Applications for indefinite leave to remain under the 10- year rule – £1,840 – £2,760 plus VAT (£2208 – £3312 inc VAT)
- Applications for leave to remain under the family or private life route – £1,840 – £2,760 plus VAT (£2208 – £3312 inc VAT)
- Applications for an EEA residence card for a partner or child of an EEA national – £1,160 – £2,000 plus VAT (£1392 – £2400 inc VAT)
- Applications for retained rights of residence – £1,610 – £2,300 plus VAT (£1932 – £2760 inc VAT)
- Applications for permanent right of residence – £1,150 – £2,000 plus VAT (£1380 – £2400 inc VAT)
- Applications for British citizenship – £1,150 – £2,300 plus VAT (£1380 – £2760 inc VAT)
- Lodging grounds of appeal to the First Trier Tribunal -£1,150 – £1,840 plus VAT (£1380 – £2208 inc VAT)
- Applications for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal – £1,840 plus VAT (£2208 inc VAT)
- Paper appeals for First Tier Tribunal – £1,380 – £2,300 plus VAT (£1656 – £2760 inc VAT)
We will charge the sum of £35 + VAT (a total of £42.00 Inc. VAT) for Electronic money transfers.
If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.
Disbursements and Other Costs
Disbursements may be incurred in the handling of the matter for you. Typical Disbursements may include:
Court representation at Case Management Review Hearings, First Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal will be chargeable at counsel’s rate. If Counsel is required to be instructed a quotation for their services will be obtained from them and discussed with your before they are instructed to ensure you are fully aware of the fees that will be charged.
Where an interpreter is required, you will be responsible for the costs at the interpreter’s hourly rate.
IHS Surcharge – additional fee levied by the Home Office to pay for the NHS and currently charged at £200 per person per year.
Further to our fees stated above, you will also be responsible for the Home Office Fees, which vary depending on your application.
Where the firm is required to undertake an Anti-Money Laundering search as part of our Client Due Diligence Process the firm will charge:
£5.50 + VAT (£6.60 inc VAT) for an individual based in the UK
£13 + VAT (£15.60 inc VAT) for an individual based overseas or a Corporate Entity.
How long will my matter take?
Provided all the relevant documents in a timely manner, we should be able to submit your application in 2-4 weeks. We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Please read the published processing times which are approximate.
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.
Licensing applications (business premises)
Your matter would be dealt with by Solicitor Cecilia Gozzoli whose qualification and experience can be found in the home page.
Fees and Charging Structures
The fee information set out in this document is indicative only. Once the full details relating to your particular matter are understood, we will provide a specific fee proposal which, upon confirmation of our instruction through a signed client engagement letter and terms of business, will form the contractual basis upon which we will deliver our services.
During the progress of any matter it is possible that fees may change, up or down, due to change in your instructions, or because it is necessary to reassess the level of complexity of the matter should new information come to light or circumstances change. Should this be the case, we would discuss this with you at the time and agree any changes before progressing.
The fees below are for a single application. We would be happy to discuss licensing for your estate and provide an indication of costs based on multiple applications.
Any additional services required outside those set out in the Services section would be quoted separately on an individual basis.
- New Premises Licence
- Variation (full) to a Premises Licence
Key stages in delivering our services
- Taking your instructions.
- Advising on how to promote the licensing objectives within the application.
- Advising on type of plans required to accompany the application and you arranging for provision of same.
- Establishing who will take on the role of the Designated Premises. Supervisor and that this person is suitably qualified for the role by being a personal licence holder.
- Completing and submitting the application including service on the responsible authorities.
- Making arrangements for the necessary advertising of the application.
- Following the conclusion of the consultation period ascertaining the outcome of the application and advising you.
- Receiving the premises licence and forwarding to you.
How long will my application take?
Matters usually take approximately 8-12 weeks from receipt of full instructions from you. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents and fees when requested promptly. Each application will involve a minimum 28 clear days consultation period during which time the public notice is published in the local newspaper and continuously displayed on site; any issues which cause a delay in dealing with either of these aspects can result in the consultation period being extended or the application being rejected. If your matter is more complex, for example if there is substantial opposition from interested parties or responsible authorities, if it is listed for hearing or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.
How we would charge for our services
We have set out below our range of fees, relating to differing complexities of application:
- Simple application (£1200-£2250)
A new restaurant application where alcohol is sold ancillary to a table meal with terminal hours not exceeding midnight and not within a special policy or cumulative impact area.
- Medium complexity (£2250-£2750)
An application for mixed use premises (both alcohol and food sold) with terminal hours not exceeding midnight and within a business or commercial area where there is no cumulative impact or special policy area identified within the licensing authority’s policy statement.
- Medium-high complexity (£2750-£3500)
An application within a sensitive area or cumulative impact area where careful consideration is required in drafting the operating schedule to promote licensing objectives taking in to account the licensing authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy and model conditions.
- Complex application (£4000-£8000)
This would include large scale events, outdoor musical events, events where an Event Management Plan (EMP) would be expected or where the premises have previously held a licence which has been revoked or has a history of troubles or issues, where issues relating to the proposed use or operator are likely to result in any application being highly contested.
Factors affecting complexity may include if there is a cumulative impact policy, the type and size of the premises, the type of licensable activities required, the hours of operation, if it is in a residential area, if there are representations and if the application goes to hearing. The price above does not include dealing with any representations, hearing or appeal.
What our fees include
- Taking instructions and keeping you informed primarily by email.
- Advice on how to promote the licensing objectives within the premises licence application and advising on council policy.
- Advising on the format of plans required to accompany the application. You must arrange for the preparation of plans and pay architects direct.
- For a new licence application, providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself.
- Completing the application form for a new premises licence or variation (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority together with your plans.
- Serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities
- Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice for publication in the local press.
- 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.
- Following up with the licensing authority at the end of the consultation period as to the outcome of the application and advising you of the same.
- Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.
- Forwarding certified copies of licence (or original if required) to the site with documentation and notes to assist with licensing compliance.
What our fees do not include
- Obtaining suitable plans, you must arrange this and provide plans.
- Attending on any site visit at the premises.
- Attending pre-consultation meetings with the licensing authority or responsible authorities, nor their fee for this meeting.
- Any ancillary or related planning advice or relevant planning investigation.
- Any advice relating to the property acquisition including terms of lease.
- Dealing with or advising you in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties.
- Attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the licensing 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.
- Third party costs in dealing with display of public notices and supporting documentation.
- Advice on appeal or any subsequent appeal made if the licence is refused or granted on unacceptable conditions.
Unless expressly stated otherwise, all of the fees and disbursements referred to would be subject to VAT, payable in addition, calculated at the standard rate of 20%.
Disbursements are additional costs related to your matter that would typically be incurred by us on your behalf to ensure that the matter progresses in an efficient manner and would be added to your bill for payment together with your fees.
The disbursements that you could expect to be charged in respect of these matters include:
- Licensing authority fees which are based on the non domestic rateable value (NDRV) of the premises. This can range from £70 – £635. If the premises are to be used primarily for the sale of alcohol or for a large scale event, the fees will be higher. We can provide you with the correct scale fee as soon as we are able to ascertain the NDRV.
- Enquiry agent fee to display public notice (if you are unable to arrange this yourself). This fee is variable dependent on the fees of a third party agent and we will need to obtain a specific quotation based upon the individual circumstances of the particular application. It is likely to involve payment of VAT.
The above fees vary depending on the individual premises and where it is located. The fees can on occasion be higher than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure for each item, if required, as soon as we are able to do so.
- That information and documentation requested from you is provided in a timely manner and in the format required.
- That you will deal with the display of the public notices on the site.
- That you already have a personal licence holder willing to be Designated Premises Supervisor.
- That the premises concerned are in England or Wales.
If you have any questions relating to our services and our fees, please contact us on 0203290 1980 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Firm’s Complaints Process
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we provided, then you should inform our Firm immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you are still not satisfied with the matter, you matter up with Ms Cecilia Gozzoli by way of a formal complaint.
If you are still not satisfied, you will have an opportunity to take up the matter with the Legal Ombudsman whose address is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Finally, we aim to offer all our clients a friendly and efficient service and understand that you will want to know the basis on which we act for you.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our office for further assistance.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
You may complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) if your complaint relates to our professional conduct.
Further information is available on the SRA’s website, https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor/, or by calling 0370 606 2555.
What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and
No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ