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Price transparency

Harper Macleod LLP is as transparent as possible regarding fees, outlays and costs for consumers of services that we provide. This is in line with guidance set out by the Law Society of Scotland with which the firm is registered, which applies to all firms in Scotland who offer legal services to clients.

You can find pricing information for specific services here.

This information is for guidance only and is not definitive as to what you will pay when instructing the firm*, as each matter may have a number of variables. Some types work have a fixed fee, others are calculated by a unit cost based on the time involved in completing the matter. Please contact one of our solicitors for the specific and detailed estimate/quotation of fees, as well as discussing the work to be done and any other preliminary matters. 

Pricing information

Pricing information for specific services

Dispute resolution

Overview

Our team of skilled Dispute Resolution solicitors act for both businesses and individuals in a wide range of disputes ranging in value from under £5000 to multi-millions. This guidance only relates to the fees we charge to individuals who instruct us in a dispute which arises wholly or mainly outside of that person’s trade, business, craft or profession.

Typical types of proceedings that we undertake for consumer clients include (but are not limited to):

  • court actions for payment of a sum of money
  • court actions to enforce a legal right or remedy
  • we also act in public law matters, for example judicial reviews of a public body’s decision or at public inquiries.
  • tenancy property disputes which are now mainly conducted through the Housing and Property Chamber, which is the
  • Tribunal responsible for dealing with rent or repair issues in private housing.

The details set out in this guidance is illustrative only and not to be taken as imparting legal advice to you. For legal advice on your actual circumstances, please speak to your usual Harper Macleod contact or else contact our dispute resolution team.

Costs – hourly rates

Our fees are charged on an hourly basis. Our current hourly rates range from £130 to £350.  These hourly rates are exclusive of VAT which is chargeable in addition at a rate of 20%.

Your case will always be handled by a member of our team at the appropriate level of seniority, under supervision of a more senior solicitor if necessary. If you request a more senior solicitor handle your case, then the cost of instructing us will increase.

We do not undertake any legal aid work.

Outlays

In addition to our fees you will also become liable for any outlays incurred. Typical court outlays include (but are not limited to) court fees, shorthand writer’s fees, sheriff officer fees or expert witness fees.

Court fees do not incur VAT, but all other outlays will require VAT to be added at the current rate of 20%. We will arrange payment of any outlays on your behalf, but we will typically require you to make a payment to us to cover more substantial outlays before they are incurred, such as an advocate’s fees or an expert witness’s fees.

Advocates

There are circumstances where it may be necessary or advantageous to you to instruct an advocate (also called a “barrister” (which is the English term) or “counsel”). Unless an advocate is necessary (e.g. because the action has been raised in the Court of Session), we will only ever so instruct their services with your agreement. Advocates are wholly independent from us and their fees are charged in addition to our own fees. We will provide you with an hourly rate or a day rate for the cost of instructing an advocate if the need arises.

Expert witnesses

Some cases may require the instruction of an expert witness. If your case requires an expert witness to be instructed, then we will discuss that with you before doing so.  Expert witnesses will be professional individuals who have a level of expertise in their professional field, for example an expert accountant or an expert surveyor. Like advocates, they are wholly independent from us. We will provide you with a quote for their fees prior to instructing them on your behalf.

Typical cost of a litigation

It is not possible to give an accurate assessment as to the cost of the litigation at the outset.  That is because there are a number of factors which may impact upon the cost.

Defended actions

If an action is defended, then the unpredictability of a litigation means it is not possible to accurately estimate the cost of a defended action in advance.

However, if we were to take as an example the following:

  • a straightforward action for payment of a debt of £50,000;
  • taking around a year to get to a full hearing;
  • with no procedural delays or technical legal arguments;
  • which does not require an advocate or an expert witness to be instructed; and
  • takes one day in court for the full evidential hearing

This may incur a typical fee of at least £20,000 exclusive of VAT at 20% and court and other outlays.

A complex case or even a straightforward case that requires more days in court will incur higher fees.  It would not be unusual for fees in a complex case to be a six-figure sum plus VAT at 20% plus outlays.

Procedural stages

All defended litigations progress in procedural stages.  We are therefore able to discuss with you at the outset of each stage, the costs of each expected procedural step.

Approaching a litigation in this manner allows us both to continuously assess the economic benefits of proceeding with the litigation.

Undefended actions

As a typical guide, an action commencing in the sheriff court which is not defended, may cost around £2000 plus VAT at 20% and court outlays to obtain the court order (judgement) for payment.  An undefended court order in the Court of Session will be more expensive as you may also need to pay for an advocate to undertake some of the work.

Court-awarded expenses

In court proceedings, the general rule is that whoever wins the litigation will be awarded the expenses of the litgation. These expenses are called “judicial expenses” as they are awarded by the court.

Judicial expenses are different to the legal fees and outlays discussed above, which you require to pay to us throughout the duration of your court action. The value of judicial expenses is around 50% to 60% of what you actually spend on your legal fees and outlays. This shortfall is deliberate as judicial expenses are set against a fixed judicial scale which means not all work undertaken by your solicitors will be recoverable as judicial expenses. In some cases, we can try to close the gap between your legal spend and the recovery from the other side, but that is not always an option and it depends on the circumstances of the case which we will discuss with you.

This means that even if you are successful in litigation, you are likely to still be out of pocket as you will not be able to recover all of your legal fees and outlays from the unsuccessful party.

The opposite is also true if you unfortunately lose the litigation. The award of judicial expenses against you is typically around 50% to 60% of what your opponent has spent, but the other party might also try to close that gap to make a greater recovery if the circumstances allow.

In some court proceedings and Tribunals, judicial expenses are not awarded which means that both parties need to pay for their own fees and outlays, or are capped at a fixed amount.

Payments to account

Where we are instructed by you for the first time, we typically require you to make a payment to account for future fees and outlays.

The level of the payment to account depends on the nature of your dispute and what you are instructing us to provide advice upon. Typical payments to account range from £500 exclusive of VAT at 20% to £5000 exclusive of VAT at 20% in cases where, say, urgent interim court orders require to be obtained on your behalf.

Details of any payment to account will be discussed with you during our initial meeting or call.  Our letter of engagement and service agreement will set out how such payment is to be paid and by when.

As discussed above under “Outlays”, we may require you to make further payments to account to cover on-going fees or outlays.  Again, we shall always discuss that with you in advance of requesting further payments.

Timing of payment of fees

We aim to issue interim invoices to you on a regular basis (usually monthly) in order that you are aware of the cost of the legal advice at all times. This allows you to keep on top of your legal fees and raise any issues with us at the earliest opportunity.

Employment law

Overview

Settlement agreements

Our Employment team regularly advises people on settlement agreements offered by employers.  These can be offered during or on termination of employment. Independent advice is required on the agreement and the employer always offers what is termed a “contribution” towards legal fees. It is custom for the employer to do this, because it is typically the employer who proposes the agreement and so proposes that the employee has to take legal advice.

One question we are commonly asked is whether that contribution will cover all of the fees involved.  Based on our last full calendar year, over 80% of all agreements that we advised on were covered by the contribution fee, with no excess payable by the employee.

Most agreements can be simple and straightforward and we are not instructed to negotiate changes to the proposed agreement. Where we are asked to do more than review and advise on the offer, such as when we are asked to seek increased value to the settlement or we are asked to negotiate other changes to the agreement, then we will usually also seek to agree an increased contribution fee, to cover our additional time and your cost. This can be particularly important if the matter is more complex. Sometimes employers won’t increase their contribution, or the work we are instructed to do is much more than the contribution. Often, when we are asked to, we will be able to negotiate and achieve increased value and important changes to the agreement you are asked to enter into, providing value to the steps taken.

Our average fee for advising on a settlement agreement is £595+vat.

This is an average, with the range of fees varying from £250+vat through to in excess of £5000+vat.  As noted above, over 80% of the agreements we advised on, the vast majority of the agreements we advise on, our fees were covered by the employer with no additional cost to be covered by our clients.

As an average, this covers and captures a wide array of different agreements, circumstances and disputes.  This represents the average total charged for each agreement (including employer contribution).

Should you instruct us in your proposed settlement agreement, we will always be clear and detailed about the fees you can expect to pay.  We will always act on your instruction, ensuring that you get the best value from your agreement, if you choose to enter into it.

For more information of settlement agreements, see Employee Settlement Agreements Advice Scotland (harpermacleod.co.uk.

Disputes

The basis of our work for people who are in disputes with their employer or ex-employer will be the time taken. We don’t typically offer fixed fees or capped fees, the reason being that too often these types of fees are difficult to predict and unsatisfactory, because either you pay too much when a fixed fee is offered, or you’re worried that not enough work is being done for you. We are very adept at estimating the costs involved in your work and we will be transparent with you around your bill, giving regular updates when requested and breakdowns with our invoices.

If we look at a typical unfair dismissal case and the typical case of this nature that we may handle, we will tend to be instructed from an early stage and if the matter proceeds to employment tribunal proceedings, we have to assist with early conciliation then entering an application and preparing for the eventual hearing. Some hearings are avoided with ACAS or similar settlements. Sometimes judicial mediation is successfully used to resolve disputes. A typical case can progress with steps such as these:

Initial discussion and taking a statement, before providing an initial assessment of the case

Assessing the value of the claim and predicting likely process, length of dispute and hearing

  1. Lodging a claim
  2. Reviewing the defence entered and discussion with you
  3. Ingathering and reviewing documents, creating a joint bundle
  4. Taking statements from witnesses
  5. Attending to case management like preliminary hearings, asking for further information or providing further information
  6. Preparing questions and submissions for any final hearing, attending and reporting back to you
  7. Throughout, engaging in settlement dialogue directly with the other side or via ACAS (*at all times to your instruction)

The time taken for an employment tribunal dispute to commence and close can vary considerably but this will typically be between 9 and 18 months.

As an indicative sum, the cost of a routine case of unfair dismissal will be circa £9000+vat for a one-day hearing.

This will be to take you through the process from inception of early conciliation and lodging a claim, to the conclusion of the hearing. If a two-day hearing is required, the cost would tend to be £11,500+vat, which is reflective of the rising complexity and preparation.

Complex cases before the Employment Tribunal can cover a wide range of subjects. There can be complex unfair dismissal cases, but typically cases become more complex in terms of the evidence that needs to be ingathered and presented, together with the legislation and case law to be applied, in areas such as discrimination, whistleblowing, health and safety disputes, and TUPE.

Various elements can influence the overall time and cost involved in any dispute. The seniority of solicitor representing you is relevant. Parties can be passive or active and very often the approach adopted is a significant influence on cost. The attitude and approach of the other side can be influenced by their representative, or a lack of a representative. The more valuable the dispute the more that parties tend to fight; the complexity of the law or the changes that can happen in disputes (such as the discovery of new information, change in case law) can also cause additional time and cost. Additional processes, including additional settlement dialogue, can increase cost. Sometimes, even simple directions of the tribunal can end up requiring considerable additional time and preparation costs. Lastly, unanticipated preliminary hearings can be required or additional days can be added to final hearings, where cases do not complete. This will typically influence overall cost.

Our solicitors are all specialist in employment law, experienced before the tribunals, we tend to conduct our own advocacy and we don’t “over lawyer” any situation. We can recommend and instruct advocates when required; there can be many different reasons for using an advocate but it is neither essential nor typical in employment tribunal proceedings in Scotland for counsel to be involved.

Disbursements are not typical in disputes before the tribunal save for travel costs, or the costs of expert reports, such as in cases involving medical reports.

We will also always advise you on to what extent we think your fees can be recovered either in a settlement resolution, or in an application to the tribunal should your claim(s) succeed.

Advisory work

Sometimes people will want to take our advice to get guidance on a contract of employment, either before they sign or if they are considering leaving their employment. We might be asked about business restrictive covenants or other protections employers seek. Sometimes we can be asked to give advice on rights around remuneration and performance reward, or rights under the Equality Act 2010, or family friendly provisions in law. There can be a wide variety of reasons people need advice from our employment and equalities lawyers.

Our basis of charging for this work is an hourly rate, which will vary depending on the seniority of the solicitor(s) who advises.  The hourly rates are available on further request.

People and quotes

We will always look to ensure you are supported by the right members of our team, aligning skills and experience to your needs.  Our practice is to be transparent and detailed in quoting for our services, so please get in touch with any of the partners in our team to discuss further.

Family law

Overview

The solicitors within our Family Law Team charge different hourly rates relating to their level of experience and seniority. It is not possible for us to offer a fixed fee in relation to family law work, therefore fees are charged in accordance with the solicitor’s hourly rate. Work is charged in accordance with the time spent working on a file with reference to that hourly rate.

In instructing any Solicitor within the Family Law Team at Harper Macleod you can be assured that careful consideration is given to the person best suited to help you. Family law can cover a vast array of types of case. Our solicitors work closely together to ensure best quality at a reasonable price whilst maintaining the highest standard of service. In order to help keep you on top of the financial aspects of your case, we will:

  • Send a monthly bill, so that there are no unexpected surprises at the end of your case.
  • A Partner will consider at the outset of the instruction which Solicitor within the team can competently and appropriately undertake your case, at the best rate.
  • Help you to find the right dispute resolution process for you, where appropriate bearing in mind that some processes tend to be more cost effective than others.
  • Indicate the cost of likely fees and outlays at your initial meeting with your Solicitor as far as it is possible to do so.
  • Set out, in a Terms of Business letter, information about how fees and outlays will be charged. We will also explain when and how court expenses may be dealt with.

Our experience has been that having an open dialogue with clients about costs at the outset and at regular intervals during the progress of their case can help to reassure clients that they are receiving best value for money. We will be happy to have a discussion with you about costs and service levels in response to any query you may have during the progress of your case.

There are many variables which can affect the progress and outcome of a case and which can affect cost.  These factors can include:

  • How the other party conduct their side of the case the availability of a sheriff to hear a Court case, with possible continuations or delays;
  • The nature and extent of any outlays chargeable, for example the cost of obtaining an expert witness report or a child welfare report in a children’s action;
  • The level of interaction which the client needs to have with their solicitor in order to make meaningful progress in their case.
    Outlays

Over and above the cost of time charged by the Solicitor looking after a case, there may be additional outlays. Outlays are charges and costs paid out by the firm on behalf of the client to other parties or agencies for example, the Sheriff Court, Registers of Scotland, local authorities and any expert witnesses (this list is not exhaustive). These charges are incurred by the client as a necessary part of the Solicitor’s work on the case. The firm makes no profit on outlays. The payment is passed on to the client.

Types of Work

When a family relationship breaks down there can be a whole host of legal matters to settle, including financial provision, arrangements for the care of children, and divorce. Family law also covers the provision of general advice in relation to the preparation of Cohabitation or Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Post-Nuptial Agreements, advice about family creation including surrogacy, adoption and assisted conception.

The process involved in resolving a case, and the level of conflict, can have a significant bearing upon costs.

In considering which firm to instruct it can be useful to consider a solicitor’s hourly rate and level of experience. It can be false economy to choose a solicitor who charges work at a lower hourly rate but has less experience.

If you have any questions about how work is charged, please do not hesitate to contact Amanda Masson, [email protected], 0141 227 9394.

Costs – hourly rates

The hourly rates charged by our family law solicitors range from £180 per hour to £300 per hour.

These rates are exclusive of VAT.

Personal injury

Overview

Our team of skilled Personal Injury & Reparation solicitors and paralegals act in both the pursuit and defence of injury claims. Your case will be handled by a member of our team at the appropriate level of seniority, under the supervision of a senior solicitor if necessary.

Pursuing

With pursuer cases we represent our clients both under the Pre–Action Protocol and through court actions in the Sheriff Court, All Scotland Personal Injury Court and the Court of Session. With these cases we work on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. Our team provide free legal advice and there is no upfront cost.

Defending

Our fees are charged on an hourly basis. Our current hourly rates range from £130 to £350. These hourly rates are exclusive of VAT which is chargeable in addition at a rate of 20%. Each case will be looked at on its merits and level of complexity and the rate fixed accordingly.

We do not undertake any Legal Aid work.

Wills, Powers of Attorney, Executries, Trusts & Estate Planning

Overview

Our private client team provides a wide variety of personal legal services, including the preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney. We have outlined below the fees our clients can expect to pay for our range of private client services.

Due to the nature of this work, the fees detailed below are intended to act as a guideline only, and actual costs must be determined on a case-by-case basis to suit the individual needs and requirements of each client, taking account of various factors including the urgency and complexity of the work that will be involved.

Some types of work will be carried out on a “fixed fee” basis, whilst others will be calculated by the amount of time spent on the matter, with reference to the hourly charging rates of the individual solicitor(s) or paralegal(s) acting on the client’s behalf.

Whenever a client instructs us to carry out a piece of work, costs (including fee structure, VAT and outlays) will be agreed with the client in advance and will be confirmed in writing in a Terms of Business Letter, which will be issued immediately before any substantive work is carried out, to give clients the opportunity to agree to the Terms, or to cancel their instruction.

Anyone who would like to instruct our private client team should contact one of our team to discuss the nature of the service(s) they require and to obtain a specific and detailed estimate of fees based on their requirements.

Outlays

In addition to our own fees, many types of work will incur additional costs or outlays which will be paid by the firm on behalf of clients to external organisations or companies. The firm makes no profit on these outlays, and they will form part of the overall cost whenever this is necessary as part of the work being carried out.

Wills

When instructed to prepare a Will, we will work with you to ensure all family, personal and financial circumstances are considered and as part of this, we will be able to indicate whether additional estate or succession planning would be beneficial from an Inheritance Tax perspective.

For a simple Will for one person, the cost would typically be in the region of £300 +VAT.  There would not usually be any outlays involved in the preparation of a Will.

Additional fees would be charged if a home or hospital visit is required. The amount would depend on the location although as a guide, the additional cost could be in the region of £100 +VAT.

Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust, possibly a family member or friend, to act on your behalf if you become unable to manage your affairs. For family members and friends, being granted Power of Attorney allows them to deal with banks, lawyers, care homes, and the government on your behalf. Without a power of attorney being in place, making legal decisions can be a difficult, expensive, not to mention stressful, process.

For a Combined Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney for an individual, the cost would generally be around £300 +VAT and outlays, being the cost of having the Power of Attorney registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.  This registration process must take place before the Power of Attorney can be used, and the cost of this is currently £81 per Deed (although this is reviewed annually).

Again, additional fees would be charged if a home or hospital visit is required.  The amount would depend on the location although as a guide, the additional cost could be in the region of £100 +VAT.

Guardianship or Intervention Orders

If instructed to assist in an application for Guardianship, the Terms of Business letter would typically state that all such work would be billed on the basis of time spent by the solicitor(s) carrying out the work. It is difficult to provide a fixed fee for this type of work as each case will be entirely unique to the adult and circumstances in question, and the overall cost will depend on a number of factors including the extent of the adult’s assets, their financial and welfare needs and family relations.

A possible fee may be in the region of £3500 +VAT.

Outlays would be incurred in any Guardianship or Intervention application and would typically include Sheriff Court fees of £185 and the costs of obtaining required medical and psychiatric reports.

Executry Administration

We can act as the estate administrator on behalf of the deceased and their Executor.

Our private client team instructs the services of a law accountant to determine what fees we are entitled to charge in an estate, which ensures all costs are fair and reasonable. The law accountant will review our files and all work carried out, and will determine what appropriate fee should be charged based on a number of factors including time spent, estate value, complexity, urgency of the instruction etc.

Typically, we would bill an executry matter at two stages: once at the approximate half way point once Confirmation has been obtained from the Sheriff Court, and again at the end of the estate administration.

An example of a fee that may be charged to the point of Confirmation would be in the region of £2750 – £3750 +VAT for a simple estate. For more complex estates, the cost to Confirmation could be around £8000 +VAT.  Fees from Confirmation to conclusion would generally be the same again.

Each estate is, however, different, and fees may vary significantly from one case to another.

Certain outlays will also be incurred in the administration of an estate, and these will depend on the work required.  The following outlays may be charged:

  • Scottish Court and Tribunal Fees to appoint an Executor – £19
  • Scottish Court and Tribunal fees for Confirmation – £266-532 (plus cost of individual Certificates at £8 each).

Any conveyancing work required as part of the estate, for example to sell a property or to transfer it into the name of a beneficiary, would be charged separately – please see the price guide in our Residential Conveyancing section.

Trusts

Our team has extensive experience in setting up and running trusts, which are a great way to protect your assets and your loved ones.

The cost of setting up a trust would typically be in the region of £1,150 + VAT to include all associated advice.  The Trust Deed, once prepared, would need to be registered with the Books of Council and Session which costs £20 per Deed.

We also routinely advise on the ongoing administration of Trusts once they have been established. If instructed to assist with ongoing Trust administration, the Terms of Business letter would typically state that all such work would be billed on the basis of time spent by the solicitor(s) or paralegal(s) carrying out the work. It is difficult to provide a fixed fee for this type of work as each case will be entirely unique to the trust and would depend on the make up of the assets in the Trust, who the beneficiaries are, what tax requirements must be met etc.

Costs for the annual administration of a Trust would generally be charged on a time spent basis with charge rates ranging from £90 – £185 per hour.

Estate planning

Whenever we receive a client instruction, we will consider whether the client would also benefit from further estate planning with a view to reducing or mitigating the amount of Inheritance Tax their estate may have to pay on death.

The work involved in any such estate planning will be very specific to each individual client and would usually be charged on the basis of time spent by the solicitor(s) carrying out the work.  Once any estate planning measures have been agreed upon, fixed fee quotes may be offered, for example, to set up a Trust, the costs outlined above would apply.

Certifying and Notarising Documents

We will be happy to assist clients in having documents certified and/or notarised. The cost would depend on the number of papers involved and would be determined according to the hourly charge out rate of the solicitor involved, which can range from £130-£195.

Residential property

Overview

Purchase of Residential Property (Conveyancing)

The Firm deals with transactions for clients buying a home, whether it is a flat, house, new-build property or plots of land to build upon. A typical transaction may involve: communications and advice by the solicitor with the client, correspondence with estate agents and the seller’s solicitor; drawing up a range of documents including a formal legal offer and further missives; examination of title; inspection of searches and reports; drawing of a new title deed (disposition) and mortgage security where necessary; arranging settlement (completion) of the transaction; obtaining and managing the funds from both client and mortgage lender; completion of Anti Money Laundering procedures; submission of LBTT (Scottish Stamp Duty) return and making payment of tax where due to Revenue Scotland; registration of new title (and mortgage security where funding  comes from a lender); reporting to client and lender after registration.

The range of fees that we charge for this type of work varies between £850* – £1500 * exclusive of VAT at the current rate of 20%.

The above range is based on hourly rates of between £100 and £235. The applicable hourly rate will depend on a number of factors including the complexity of your matter (which impacts on the qualifications and experience of those dealing with it) and the geographical location of the advisor working on your matter.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. Once we have more information about your matter we will be able to provide you with a bespoke fee estimate.

The ranges does not include any associated outlays (see below)

Assumptions:

Our fee range assumes that:

  • this is a standard transaction of a registered title and that no unforeseen matters arise (for example (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;
  • this does not include any crofting specific work;
  • the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise;
  • all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation or from the client providing instructions;
  • no indemnity insurance policies are required in lieu of, or as a result of, search findings.

Outlays

Outlays are (for a transaction with price of say £160,000 part-funded by a mortgage): £360 to Registers of Scotland for registration of the title; £70 for registration of the mortgage deed; £20 for Advance Notice for  mortgage; £300 for LBTT (though less if first purchase and more – payment of Additional Dwelling Supplement/ADS – if buying a second property). LBTT and title registration dues change on sliding scales according to the price of the property, so in the foregoing illustration some of the outlays are not applicable if the property is a different price.

Sale of Residential Property (Conveyancing)

The Firm deals with transactions for clients selling a home, whether it is a flat, house, or land to build upon. A typical transaction may involve: communication and advice by the solicitor with the client; correspondence with estate agents and the purchaser’s solicitor; drawing up a range of documents including a formal legal acceptance of the buyer’s offer and further missives; provision of title; ordering of searches and reports, which can include a level three plans report; revising of a new title (disposition) and discharging mortgage security where necessary; arranging completion/settlement of the transaction; managing the funds from buyer’s lawyer and redeeming outstanding mortgage to the lender; registration of discharge where necessary; reporting to and settling with the client.

The range of fees for this type of varies between £850-1500 exclusive of VAT at the current rate of 20%.

The above range is based on hourly rates of between £100 and £235. The applicable hourly rate will depend on a number of factors including the complexity of your matter (which impacts on the qualifications and experience of those dealing with it) and the geographical location of the advisor working on your matter.

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. Once we have more information about your matter we will be able to provide you with a bespoke fee estimate.

The range does it include any associated outlays (see below)

Assumptions

Our fee range assumes that:

  • this is a standard transaction of a registered title and that no unforeseen matters arise (for example (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;
  • this does not include any crofting specific work;
  • the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise;
  • all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation or from the client providing instructions;
  • no indemnity insurance policies are required in lieu of, or as a result of, search findings.

Outlays

Outlays are: £70 for registration of the mortgage discharge; £20 for Advance Notice for title; approximately £200 for title, property and mining searches; if a plans report is required it is charged at  £127.

Remortgage of residential property (Conveyancing)

The Firm deals with transactions for clients who are remortgaging a home. The work may involve: communication and advice by the solicitor with the client; examination of title; drawing up a range of documents, including a new mortgage security and a discharge of the old mortgage; ordering and inspection of searches and reports; obtaining  and managing funds from the new mortgage lender; redeeming outstanding mortgage to the old lender; registration of discharge arranging completion/settlement of the transaction; registration of new mortgage security; reporting to client and lender after registration.

The fixed fee for this work ranges from £400-600 plus VAT charged at current rate of 20%.

Outlays

Outlays are: £70 for registration of the mortgage discharge; £70 for registration of the new mortgage security; £20 for Advance Notice for the security; and approximately £200 for title, property and mining searches.

Please also note that if the re-mortgage involves registering the property onto the Land Register for the first time there will be additional fees of approximately £500.

Discharge of security

For those lucky enough to have paid off their mortgage, there is a legal /conveyancing process to update title deeds known as discharge of security. Security is the correct Scottish legal word for mortgage. The mortgage lender has a charge over the client’s title while the loan remains under repayment, and this can be removed once full redemption has been made and the bank or lender no longer has a claim over the property.

For a basic discharge of mortgage security the fixed fee may be £195 – £300 plus vat @20%

The outlay is a charge of £70 payable to the Registers of Scotland to register the discharge.

Estate Agency

In Scotland many firms of solicitors also provide property estate agency services. We offer this service via our estate agency in our Elgin, Inverness and Lerwick offices. The Firm’s work for a client who instructs us to market property may include: our staff consulting with the client; advising on value and marketing strategy/process; visiting and valuing the property; preparing a sale schedule; registering it on online property portals; arranging a Home Report; dealing with enquiries; arranging/conducting viewings; negotiating with prospective buyers and processing offers received. Commission may be based on a percentage of the sale price of the property or a fixed fee agreed beforehand.

We offer a fixed fee deal in all of our estate agency offices.*

Elgin and Inverness: fixed fee 995 including VAT*

Shetland: £995 for properties up to £200,000; £1495 for properties £200,000 – £300,000; £1750 for properties over £300,000. Prices include VAT.

(*Fixed fee applicable if conveyancing also being carried out carried out otherwise generally 1% of sale price +VAT)

Home reports

Outlays for selling a property include getting a Home Report. Examples below in the various regions:

  • Elgin: cost of a Home report for a property valued between £200,000 – £250,000 is £515 including VAT and £250,000 – £300,000 is £565 including VAT.
  • Inverness: cost of Home Report is  £590 inc. VAT for a property value of £200,000 to £250,000 and £675 inc. VAT for a property value between £250,001 and £300,000
  • Shetland: cost of Home report average cost c.£600 / £650 (inc vat).

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