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The aim of the SRA Transparency Rules is to make sure consumers have the information they need to make an informed choice of legal services provider, including understanding what the costs may be.

The rules which came into effect on December 6th, 2018 require all regulated law firms, who publish as part of their usual business that they offer certain services, to put on their website information on the prices they charge with reagrd to certain areas. The following areas apply to Bonallack and Bishop.

For private client
• Residential conveyancing (Freehold sale or purchase, leasehold sale or purchase, mortgages and re-mortgages)
• Probate (uncontested cases with all assets in the UK)
• Motoring offences (summary only offences)
• Employment tribunal cases (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

For business clients
• Debt recovery (up to £100,000)
• Employment tribunals (defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

NB The SRA Transparency Rules also apply to the following two areas of work – but Bonallack and Bishop cover neither of these areas;
• Licensing applications for business premises (new applications or varying existing licenses)
• Immigration law

All prices listed on this page exclude VAT
Nothing on this page creates a binding quote

In line with SRA guidelines, nothing on this page or indeed this website, offers a binding quote for each and every scenario which we may deal with, for example, pre-empting unusual complexities or that a client may not follow our advice.

Additional charges
Please note that in certain circumstances we may need to make additional charges. That would apply, for example, if you required the work to be done in an exceptionally fast manner, which would not be normal for that particular transaction, or if a personal home or hospital visit is required.

In addition, when an unforeseen complexity arises or where the way in which a client asks us to proceed means additional work, we will inform the client of this and provide revised costs information.

Rest assured however, if we are going to make such additional charges, we will always notify you in advance of any such variation to our pricing.

Preferential rates and discounts
Please note that from time to time we may offer discounts or lower rates to particular groups. For example we offer a 10% discount upon all our charges for serving or retired members of HM Armed Forces as well as the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services and NHS staff. In addition we offer staff discounts.

Our lawyers
Please see below for a summary of who will be responsible for your work in each of the teams.

To read more about our individual lawyers, please click here to visit our About Us page

Residential conveyancing (Freehold sale or purchase, leasehold sale or purchase, mortgages and re-mortgages)

OUR RESIDENTIAL CONVEYANCING TEAM
Our property team has over 100 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to residential conveyancing and other property transactions.

In the last 20 years, we have helped around 10,000 people move home.

The team has particular expertise in lease extension and enfranchisement work, and has a specialist team set up to act for property investors.

Regardless of who works on your matter, the team is supervised by Louise Campbell, the head of the property team, a specialist property solicitor with over 10 years post qualification experience.

OUR RESIDENTIAL CONVEYANCING FIXED FEES
Our conveyancing fixed fees most commonly vary as follows;

  • For purchase of residential freehold property our prices range from £700 to £1500.
  • For sale of residential freehold property our prices range from £700 to £1400.

However there are a number of factors which may increase or decrease your legal costs (see below).

Discover your fixed price quotation now. Simply call us now on Freephone 0800 1404544 or on one of our 4 local office numbers (see the top or bottom of the page) or complete our free online enquiry form to discover your bespoke fixed price quotation, which will include not only our fees but the total you will need to pay – including stamp duty and other disbursements. We can also answer any questions you may have about the conveyancing process at the same time – with our free, no strings attached initial phone advice offer.

Factors that may increase or decrease your legal costs
These include;

  • The value of the property
  • Whether you are eligible for any of our discounts e.g. to the military, police, emergency services and our existing staff
  • Whether you are a first-time buyer
  • If a re-mortgage is involved
  • Whether the property is freehold or leasehold
  • It involves a new build purchase
  • It is the first registration of title
  • Whether a mortgage or not, or Islamic mortgage
  • In purchase cases, whether it is going to be your primary residence, or a buy to let or second/holiday home
  • There will be multiple owners
  • It involves a shared ownership scheme
  • You are using a help to buy scheme (including Forces Help to Buy), and whether it is an equity loan or ISA
  • Your purchase is under the right to buy
  • Your purchase is at auction
  • The property has been repossessed
  • If legal title is defective or part of the property is unregistered
  • If you discover building regulations or planning permission has not been obtained
  • If crucial documents you have previously requested from the client have not been provided
  • Whether a bridging loan is required

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)
The amount of what is known as SDLT depends on a number of issues including the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.

What are Disbursements?
These are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We will include these disbursements in your overall bespoke fixed price quote, with all the different payments and costs clearly broken down for you.
Among the most common disbursements which may apply in your case are the following;

  • HM Land Registry fee:
  • Search fees:
  • Electronic money transfer fee

This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on your particular circumstances.
Please note that these fees vary from property to property, and on exactly which searches are required for your particular property. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents.

Additional possible disbursements for leasehold property purchase only
Certain extra disbursement may apply depending on the term of the lease. These additional costs will be set out in the individual lease. We will update you on these specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller’s solicitors. However they may well include some or all of the following;

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged)
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease.

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of any leasehold property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge when we receive this information.

How long will my house or flat purchase take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average stage to exchange takes between 6-8 weeks.

However you do not own the property until completion is take place. In rough and general terms most straight forward residential conveyancing transactions take, on average, from instruction by you to completion, between 3 and 4 months.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, the purchase of your property is likely to take longer.

However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, often between 6 and 12 months. Please click here to read more about extending a lease  and how our specialist lease extension and leasehold enfranchisement team can help you. Our lease extension pages explain what additional charges apply.

Among the factors that affect the timescale of your sale and/or purchase are the following;

  • How quickly the other side and their solicitors respond to us (some law firms still persist in corresponding not using email routinely, which often causes significant delays)
  • Delays in obtaining local authority searches
  • Delays caused elsewhere in a conveyancing chain
  • Delays caused by mortgage lenders or other funding problems
  • Any complex legal issues that are involved e.g. with regard to access and public rights of way

Purchase of a freehold residential property

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Purchase of leasehold residential property
Our fees cover all the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property is in Wales.

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential leasehold property vary according to the circumstances. They are likely to include:

  • Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice
  • Checking that finances are in place to fund your purchase. We will and contact your lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receiving and advising on contract documents
  • Carrying out searches
  • Obtaining further planning documentation if required
  • Making any necessary enquiries of your seller’s solicitor
  • Giving you advice on all documents and information received
  • Going through conditions of mortgage offer
  • Sending the final contract to you for signature
  • Drafting the Transfer
  • Advising you on joint ownership (if appropriate)
  • Obtaining pre-completion searches
  • Agreeing a completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened
  • Arranging for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Completing purchase
  • Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Dealing with application for registration at Land Registry

Assumptions on which our conveyancing fixed fees are made
The fixed fee that we will provide you in your personal individualised written quotation assumes that:

a). this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including 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
b). the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
c). all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
d). no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.
e). (leasehold properties only) this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease

Referral fees
Occasionally at Bonallack and Bishop we pay referral fees for the referral to us of conveyancing work. That referral fee varies but never exceeds £100.

Our other specialist property services

In addition to conveyancing, please follow the links to find out more about our additional specialist property services;

Probate: our fixed fee and other costs

OUR PROBATE TEAM
Our wills and probate team has many years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating probate the administration of estates.

Regardless of who works on your matter, the team is supervised by Sarah Dixon, the Head of the Private Client team.

OUR PROBATE FIXED FEES – for applying for the Grant of Probate only

We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf on a fixed fee basis under the following circumstances;

  • Non-taxable estates – where there is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC and the executors provide documented evidence of the assets as at the date of death – £795 plus disbursements
  • Taxable estates – where the executors provide documented evidence of the assets as at the date of death £1,800 plus disbursements

We only offer probate fixed fees for all work up until the grant of probate. This fixed fee service does not cover collecting assets and distributing them.

These fixed fees are dependent on you providing us with all the information and relevant documents we require to successfully obtain grant of probate. In the event that you are not able to provide us with that information, and that requires further work by us, there will be additional charges, based on the additional time spent by us and charged at the hourly rates below.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send the copies to you

Disbursements which are NOT included in this fee include:

  • Probate application fee
  • Swearing of the oath (a fee per executor)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We will confirm the disbursements that are payable by the executors in advance and can be recovered from the estate once the Grant of Probate has been issued.

Other Fees for Probate Work – hourly charges

If you wish for us to deal with the entire administration of the estate, including the preparation of accounts, and collection and distribution of the assets, this will be charged on an hourly rate, a rate which depends on the experience of the fee earner involved.

Our hourly rates for probate work currently vary between £180 and £250.

By way of an indication on average our fees for handling the entire administration of an estate are likely to be between £3,000 and £8,000. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter.

For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs are likely to be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts and share portfolios costs are more likely to be at the higher end.

Among the many factors that can affect the work required to be done on any particular probate case and therefore on the final legal bill are the following;

  • If there is no will
  • The total value of the estate
  • The number of beneficiaries
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • The sale of shares or other assets of the estate
  • Enquiries from HMRC
  • The requirement by HMRC for valuation of specified property or other assets
  • Preparation of accounts
  • Complicated tax issues
  • Complications caused by dealing with banks and other financial institutions
  • The involvement of trusts in the probate process
  • Overseas property or investments forming part of the estate
  • Disputes between executors

Please be aware that some of these factors, including contested probate or inheritance claims, can increase the total legal bill substantially.
We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information of the particular circumstances of the probate in question.

Please click here to find out more about inheritance claims

PROBATE TIMESCALES
It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long the probate process will take because it depends on so many external factors, some of which are listed below.

However in general terms most straightforward probates take, on average, between 8 and 12 months to complete.

Typically, obtaining the Grant of Probate only on simple probate can take as little as between 10 and 12 weeks. Collecting and then distributing the assets then follows.

Among the factors that affect the timescale of your probate are the following;

  • Delays caused HMRC and answering their enquiries
  • The requirement by HMRC for valuation of specified property or other assets
  • Delays caused by correspondence with banks and other financial institutions
  • The sale of shares, property or other assets of the estate
  • The involvement of trusts in the probate process
  • Overseas property or investments forming part of the estate
  • Receiving any claims against the estate

INHERITANCE TAX
For more information about inheritance tax and what you may have to pay on the estate, click here to visit the relevant page on the HMRC website.

Motoring offences: Fixed fee

OUR ROAD TRAFFIC SOLICITOR
Trevor Line is a senior solicitor having qualified in 1981 and has specialised in criminal defence work and military law for over 30 years. In 1991 Trevor attained his Higher Rights Qualification which enables him to continue to represent Clients in all Higher Criminal Courts.

OUR MOTORING OFFENCES FIXED FEES
We are required to provide price information for assistance in relation to summary only motoring offences under Part I of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and s89 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Our fees for representation on motoring offences are normally dealt with on an hourly rate of £225 plus vat and disbursements per hour and range, on average, from £ 250 to £400 plus vat and disbursements for simple guilty pleas.

However in individual cases it may be possible to agree a fixed fee for representation  – which start as low as £250 for representation at court on a straightforward guilty plea for drink-driving or other motoring offences which are dealt with at one single hearing.

If we undertake such a motoring case on a fixed fee basis, the fixed fee will include:

  • Considering evidence
  • Taking your instructions
  • Explaining the court procedure to you
  • Providing advice in relation to plea and likely sentence
  • Where you cannot anticipate the likely sentence, advice on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
  • Where appropriate, advice on whether an exceptional hardship, or special reasons argument should be made
  • Representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court

That the level of fixed fee promoting offence will NOT however include

  • Taking statements from, and examination of witnesses
  • Advising on an appeal
  • Sourcing, instructing and paying for the advice of expert witnesses.

For motoring cases which are not standard guilty pleas dealt with in one single hearing and requiring representation only at that hearing, there are number of factors which affect our pricing including the following;

  • Not guilty pleas
  • Adjournments for sentencing – in cases where the court is considering a more serious penalty
  • Cases dealt with at the Crown Court
  • Taking statements from, and examination of witnesses
  • Advising on an appeal
  • Sourcing expert witnesses.

MOTORING OFFENCES TIMESCALES
Please note that we cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.

Been charged with a motoring offence? Click here to find out more about how we can help with driving offences.

Employment tribunal: Range of costs

OUR EMPLOYMENT SOLICITOR
Nigel Mills is a senior litigation solicitor with over 20 years of experience and a particular interest in employment law.
Nigel has successfully represented clients (both Claimants and Respondents) before both the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal, as well as speaking and writing on employment law topics. He has also advised both employers and employees on employment related matters.
Nigel is committed to adopting alternative dispute resolution strategies when appropriate having frequently represented clients at mediation.

OUR EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL FEES
We do not offer fixed fees for employment tribunal cases.
Our hourly rates for employment law work are currently £250 ph plus VAT.

How can I pay my Solicitor’s fees in an employment tribunal claim?

  • Our Employment Lawyers offer an initial FREE telephone consultation or you can see a Solicitor at our FREE legal surgery at our Salisbury office every Tuesday between 5.15 and 7pm
  • For claims worth £25,000 or more our Employment Solicitors may offer “No Win, No Fee” agreements – this means you only pay us if we recover compensation for you. If we cannot offer a “No Win, No Fee” agreement, you can pay us on an hourly basis.
  • Legal costs insurance, if available
    We will discuss your funding options with you at your first appointment with one of our team

Employment tribunal cases – our range of costs
It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long an employment tribunal claim will take because it depends on so many external factors, some of which are listed below.

However in general terms, our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal tends to result in the following average legal costs
Simple case: £5000 – £10000
Medium complexity case: £10000-£20000
High complexity case: £20000-£30000

Factors that could make a case more complex include the following:

  • 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 such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

In general terms and an average a Tribunal Hearing is likely to last one to two days, depending on various factors including the complexity of your case.

Disbursements
Disbursements 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.
If your case proceeds to final hearing, we are likely to recommend the appointment of a barrister to represent you at the tribunal hearing – you will also be responsible for the payment of your barrister’s fees as a disbursement.

Barristers typically, on average, charge between £750 and £1500 per day.

Key stages
Depending on your case and in particular on whether your matter goes to a final hearing, the following are key stages of a claim and the work we may have to do on your behalf:

  • 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 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 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.

EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL CLAIM TIMESCALES
It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long an employment tribunal claim will take because it depends on so many external factors, some of which are listed below.
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter also depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, a case is likely to take on average somewhere between four and eight weeks.

If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take much longer – typically between six months and one year on average. 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.

Among the factors that affect the timescale of your employment tribunal are the following;

  • Delays in the listing of your hearing by an Employment Tribunal
  • Delays caused by adjournments for whatever reason including lack of Tribunal resources
  • Availability of witnesses
  • The complexity of the case

Damages based arrangements for employment tribunals
In appropriate cases we may offer a damages-based agreement (DBA) for Employment Tribunal claims.

In doing so we will need to assess the viability of a case before deciding whether to offer a DBA. The cost of such an assessment is likely to be in the region of £250 plus VAT for a straightforward case.

A DBA will cover our preparation costs only. It will not cover advocacy before the Tribunal. It will not cover disbursements (payment to third parties such as expert’s fees, barrister’s fees etc) which will have to be paid as the case progresses. Barrister’s fees are typically between £750 to £1500 per day plus VAT.

The DBA works on the basis that, if the claim is successful, this firm will receive a share (normally 35%) of the damages recovered. Costs are not typically awarded before the Employment Tribunal. For this reason we do not offer Conditional Fee Agreements for Employment Tribunal cases, only DBA’s.

Click here to read more about how our employment lawyers can help you

Debt recovery: Our fees

OUR DEBT RECOVERY TEAM

Our debt recovery team has many years of collective experience in delivering high quality debt collection work.
Regardless of who works on your matter, the team is supervised by Neil Adams, a highly experienced Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.

OUR DEBT RECOVERY FEES
We do not offer fixed fees for debt recovery cases.
Our hourly rates for debt recovery work are currently £250ph.

However in general terms, our pricing for debt recovery tends to result in the following average legal costs
Simple case: £750 to £1,500
Medium complexity case: £750 to £3,000
High complexity case: £750 to £5,000

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 (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that the VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.

Depending on your individual circumstances and how you want to instruct us, our fee may include all or some elements of the following work:

  • 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 Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default
  • When Judgment in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 7 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

DEBT RECOVERY TIMESCALES
It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long a debt recovery case will take because it depends on a number of factors.

However in general terms most debt recovery cases usually take between 1 and 36 weeks. from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim.

This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Click here to read more about our debt recovery service

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