Corfield Solicitors’ Fees
On the 6th December 2018 all firms who practice in England and Wales were required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the regulatory body for solicitors) to display on their websites prices and service information on selected areas of Law which, of relevance to us, include Probate work and Residential Conveyancing.
However, at our practice our ethos has always been to be transparent about how we charge for work and as a result you will find that we publish all our prices (not just the ones required by the SRA) to allow you to make an informed decision as to who you may wish to instruct in your matter. We do not believe that legal fees should be completely be hidden by a ‘Contact Us’ forms as may other firms do.
The fundamental principle of the practice has always been that we work to make a living rather than a fortune. When we started out in 2009, the hourly fee was set at £150 plus VAT. It was raised to £175 plus VAT five years later and to £195 plus VAT a couple of years ago.
The hourly rate for all three solicitors is £195 plus VAT, whatever area of law is being dealt with.
Commercial Property work, largely carried out by Jonathan is at the hourly rate; we feel that small businesses are having a hard enough time without a higher rate fee being charged by us, a family business, for their legal work. You can see more information on our fees for Commercial Property here.
Probate is dealt with either at a fixed fee or at the hourly rate depending on how much involvement you want us to have and we never charge a percentage of the estate – it just doesn’t seem ethical to us to do so. You can see more information on our fees for Probate here.
We offer a fixed fee for non-tax planning Wills, a category which covers the vast majority of Wills. This is £195 plus VAT for a single Will and £295 plus VAT for ‘Mirror Wills’ where the two Wills are largely similar, usually for couples. You can see more information on our fees for Wills here.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; the first is ‘Property and Finance’ and the second is for Health and Welfare’. As the information, attorneys, notified person, Certificate provider and discussions may be same or similar and often both members of a couple are seen at the same time, we were placed in a bit of a conundrum when deciding on our fixed fees.
Many firms keep it simple charging a set fee for each Lasting Power of Attorney, as if selling any other commodity. We didn’t feel comfortable with this. So, we work to the following:-
For one Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) our fee is £400 plus VAT
For the second LPA for the same person, our fee is £200 plus VAT
If, at the same time, their spouse or partner decides they also want either one or two LPAs, they are charged, in effect, at half price so:-
For that person’s first LPA our fee is £200 plus VAT and
For that person’s second LPA our fee is £100 plus VAT
For absolute transparency, I must also point out that the Office of the Public Guardian’s fee for registering each LPA is £82 per document but happily there is no VAT to pay. We do not charge anything above our fixed fee set out above for dealing with the registration process.
You can see more information on our fees for Lasting Power of Attorney here.
Finally, residential conveyancing; we offer a fixed fee for the straight forward buying and selling of both flats and houses, this is £1,000 plus VAT for properties selling for under one million pounds. ‘Straight forward covers the majority of transactions, ‘non straight forward’ would, for examples be problems with access, planning, non compliance with building regulations and management company issues in flats. In other words, problems arising with that particular property which takes it away from what could be reasonably expected. These problems are dealt with at the usual hourly rate of £195 plus VAT in addition to the fixed fee.
Properties selling for over a million pounds are charged at the usual hourly rate and not the fixed fee. A million pound sale is not unusual and as we usually have at least one on our books at any time, we are suitably insured.
You can see more information on our fees for Residential Conveyancing here.
We continue to offer free local home visits to those who need them, as well as to local hospitals and nursing homes. We remain flexible in appointment times, mindful that it can be really difficult to take time off for an appointment during normal office hours. We see babies, children and dogs coming to appointments as a bonus, not an inconvenience!
Two main benefits of our family practice for our clients, are that we are able to charge at a level we feel is honest and fair because as a family working together, we have a vested interest in keeping our clients happy; Corfield Solicitors is our livelihood and we live in the community we serve, so see clients in and out of appointments.
Additionally our clients value the fact that they are paying for a fully qualified solicitor, not a legal executive, paralegal or nebulously termed ‘lawyer’. Just as when they want specialist medical advice they like to see a fully qualified doctor, our clients see Jonathan, Charles, or Stuart happy in the knowledge that a fully qualified solicitor is handling their matter at all times.
We have just posted our annual Christmas cards which should be through your doors shortly. This year we introduced Rupert (Hilary and Jonathan’s new Labradoodle puppy) to appear alongside Lily on this year’s card. He found the whole process very novel and we did eventually get him to be still enough to get the picture! You can see the result of our efforts just above.
As a small practice taking any time off is difficult, we have therefore decided to have a break and not open between Christmas and New Year. We will close at 1pm on 21st December and re-open at 8.30 on Thursday 3rd 2019. Clearly if there are any last minute conveyancing problems Jonathan will of course deal with them during this time, oh the joys of running your own business!
Have a lovely Christmas and we look forward to acting for you in the New Year.