Our approach and charging basis
We aim to deliver a very high level of expertise at competitive rates. We offer fixed fees where appropriate or by agreement. Our default method of charging which still remains suitable for much of the work we do is to charge on a time-spent basis with reference to the level of seniority for the fee earner involved. Our charge-out rates are reviewed annually, and the rates excluding VAT as at March 2020 are as follows:
|NAME & ROLE||FEE|
|Graham Harvey (TEP Practice Director & Solicitor)||£350 p/h|
|Vanessa Cresswell (TEP Solicitor)||£300 p/h|
|Christopher Lawn (TEP SFE Solicitor)||£300 p/h|
|Krupa Pankhania (Chartered Legal Executive)||£200 p/h|
Wills – fees
The most important part of our work is providing the right advice in the first place and stress-testing your instructions so that you can execute your will knowing that you had fully considered all relevant aspects and made the best decision(s) possible.
In view of the above, we will normally charge a fee for the initial meeting, which covers 1 hour of costs and 30 minutes for the follow up advice, charged on a time-spent basis. Our costs for the subsequent work involved in preparing your will(s) and accompanying document(s) are then calculated with reference to our fixed costs found HERE.
Trusts – fees
We advise trustees on their duties, decision making, exercising the powers available to them, and preparation of trust paperwork including deeds and resolutions. We also advise beneficiaries when they need formal representation to uphold their rights under the terms of a trust. Our advice here is usually on a time-spent basis.
We also advise settlor(s) on the formation of trusts and we can usually offer a fixed fee which will include the trust deed, tax advice, and the letter of wishes. Our advice here is calculated with reference to our fixed costs found HERE.
Probate work (non-contentious) – fees
We are required by statute to provide guidance on our fees and we have explained the work that might be carried out and the likely range of costs for (i) straightforward estates please click HERE and (ii) complex estates please click HERE. Kindly note that if you would prefer to avoid paying on an hourly rate basis we may be prepared to offer a fixed fee as a percentage of the gross estate upon request.
Please see below guidance on our estimated costs depending upon whether we are dealing with a straightforward non-contentious estate or a complex non-contentious estate.
Lasting Powers of Attorney – fees
In by far the majority of cases we can work on a fixed fee basis in the preparation of Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and or Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. Our costs including details of the registration fees can be found HERE.
Estate Planning and IHT mitigation – fees
We normally undertake any such work on a time-spent basis with reference to the above charge-out rates. In some instances we also draw in the expertise of other suitably qualified professionals including counsel and Chartered Tax Advisors and if so we will provide you with full costs information.
Court of Protection – fees
Our costs are calculated on an hourly rate basis with reference to the charge out rate of the fee earner involved (see above) unless we agree a fixed fee.
Contentious work – fees
We often identify contentious aspects of our client matters in relation to probates, trusts, and Court of Protection that require the attention of a litigation specialist. In other instances we may receive new cases that fall directly within our Private Client scope of work, for example if there is a dispute over a will or a trust. In the first instance the case is likely to be dealt with by a member of our existing team, however we may assign the case within our firm to our Consultant Litigation Solicitor who is highly experienced and sits as a Deputy District Judge. We may also use suitably qualified counsel. Our costs would be for fee earner involvement as per above time-basis and the charge out rate for the Consultant Litigation Solicitor is £300 per hour excluding VAT. If counsel is instructed costs would be by agreement.
Other work – fees
We will not take on work that falls outside of our scope of competence but we are usually able to recommend you to a suitably qualified external solicitor who can handle your matter. If we can help with anything that is not listed above, our charges will be on a time-spent basis.