MLS COSTS

We know that costs are not the most important consideration when choosing your solicitor, but they do play a big role…

  1. We care about our clients.
    We would hate for you to put off taking legal advice, obtaining vital legal documents or worse obtaining the same from an unqualified “advisor” just because you are worried about scary solicitors’ costs. We understand that many people often assume solicitors are unapproachable and expensive and we would like to dismantle this myth. For one, here at MLS we are all qualified, regulated and experienced solicitors who believe that obtaining legal basics such as Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney shouldn’t be a luxury. What’s more we pride ourselves in providing a jargon free legal service often at fraction of a will drafter’s costs…
    Why not give us a call and find out for yourself? We are happy to meet with you either in person or via zoom. We will talk through your matter in order to give you a clear idea of costs and timescale involved whilst also making sure that we are able to work together.
  1. We shall provide you with costs information as soon as possible and BEFORE you commit to instruct us.
    No unexpected bills are allowed at MLS! Costs and timescales will be outlined to you at an early stage and then repeated in writing in our Terms of Business Letter. You can then decide whether or not you wish to instruct us.
  1. We love fixed fees!
    Unlike most of the solicitors, we prefer to work on a fixed fee basis and aim to offer fixed fees in the majority of our cases. We were more than happy to welcome the Solicitors and the Price and Service Transparency Ruleswhich state that solicitors (dealing with certain areas of the law) must publish information about the price of the services they offer. Although the type of work we currently carry out does not require us to comply with this requirement, we are strongly committed to cost transparency, nevertheless. Why not ask us about our charges today?
  1. No fixed fee? No problem.
    If, due to the nature of your case, we are not able to provide you with a set-in-stone fixed fee, we will aim at the very least to agree a clear price structure for the foreseeable work so you can budget and plan ahead with confidence

Will fees:

Individual clients

Single Simple Will – £300 plus VAT

One LPA – £275 plus VAT *

Two LPAs – £550 plus VAT *

Couple clients

Simple Mirror Wills: £500 plus VAT

Two LPAs – £550 plus VAT *

Four LPAs – £1,100 plus VAT *

* plus Office of the Guardian fee currently £82.00 per LPA

 

Probate fees: Example Uncontested Probate costs

Our charges:

Our overall fees vary depending upon how complex your case is and what you would like us to do. For a free quote specifically tailored to your circumstances please email hello@my-local-solicitor.com or phone 01244 478 730. We would be more than happy to discuss your case.

To give you an idea of how we charge however, and to comply the SRA price transparency rules, we have set out below details of our fees.

Our charges are made up of:

  1. our fees for the legal work;
  2. ‘disbursements’ – disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to other people, such as probate application fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Where VAT is referred to below please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate, which is currently 20%.

How much do we charge?

Our fees

Standard probate work

Applying for a ‘Grant of Probate’ and collecting and distributing assets in a ‘simple’ matter is the most common type of probate work which we deal with. Namely, where someone has passed away leaving a valid will which is not disputed, the beneficiaries can be easily ascertained and there is not a very large or complex estate to divide up.

Our fees for this work will either be agreed with you as a fixed sum at the start of our work together or based on how much time it takes to deal with your case. Our standard hourly rates are £250.00 plus VAT for one of our solicitors and £300.00 plus VAT for a Director / Partner.  Normally this sort of matter takes between 15 and 25 hours work at between £250.00 per hour (plus VAT at 20%) to complete. Total costs therefore tend to be in the region of £3,750.00 and £6,250.00 (plus VAT at 20%).  Fixed fees would typically fall within these ball park estimates also. We may also charge an additional fee to reflect the complexity and value of the matter.  This is usually 0.5% of the value of property held by the estate and 1% of the value of other assets in accordance with Law Society guidelines.

The total costs will depend upon how straight forward or complicated the case is. For example, if someone has died leaving only one beneficiary in an undisputed will and no property, then costs would be at the lower end of the range because it will be simple to administer. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts however, costs will be at the higher end even if the will is still not disputed.

We would still be delighted to work with you in more complicated matters but would need to give you a quotation for the work tailored to your individual circumstances. Please contact us to learn more.

Disbursements

Disbursements are payments that we make to third parties on your behalf. These are separate payments for which the estate is liable in addition to our costs as described above.

Typical disbursements in Probate matters are:

  • Probate application fee, which is currently: £173.00 plus £1.50 for every extra office copy of the Grant of Probate which you require;
  • Land registry search fees: £depends on value of property
  • Legal notice which requires posting in The London Gazette (this can help protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors): £73.20

Other costs to consider

Please note that the costs estimates above do not include any additional costs incurred in disposing of estate assets such as the sale or any property or business

How long will this take?

Generally speaking, ‘simple’ estate matters such as those described above can normally be dealt with within 6-12 months. This is broken down into the following stages, with rough time estimates for each stage as follows:

  • applying for the grant of probate: 4 to 6 months;
  • notifying asset holders and place legal notices: 6 to 8 months
  • distributing the assets: 8 to 12 months;
  • Preparing the estate accounts.

Key stages of your case

The precise stages involved vary according to the circumstances. The guidance on our fees above covers the work in relation to the following key stages a ‘simple’ probate process:

  • Identifying the executors and beneficiaries
  • Checking 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 for probate
  • Obtaining the Probate and distributing copies as necessary
  • Collecting and distributing the assets of the estate

It would not normally be necessary to undertake other work or incur costs other than those described above. However, we would be very happy to provide you with a more tailored quote for all stages of your particular case once we know about your specific circumstances.

Who will be dealing with my matter?

Your probate matter will be handled by a trusted member of our experienced probate team.  Once we know who will be handling your case for you we will introduce you to them and provide you with full details of their background and qualifications.  Full details of the experience and qualifications of our team are available on our website https://my-local-solicitor.com/our-team/ including the types of work normally undertaken.

Regardless of who is working on your case the matter will be supervised by our principal solicitor Marta Williamson.

Debt Recovery Price Transparency Statement

Our charges:

Our overall fees vary depending upon how complex your case is and what you would like us to do. For a free quote specifically tailored to your circumstances please email hello@my-local-solicitor.com or call us on 01244 478 730. We would be more than happy to discuss your case.

To give you an idea of how we charge however, and to comply the SRA price transparency rules, we have set out below details of our typical charges.

Our charges are made up of:

  1. our fees for the legal work; and
  2. ‘disbursements’ – disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to other people, such as fees for bailiffs. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Where VAT is referred to below please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate, which is currently 20%.

Our fees

In debt recovery work the legal fees often vary depending upon how much work we need to do to recover the debt. We therefore tend to charge fees for each stage of the recovery process and only charge clients for the parts they need:

  • Letter before action

A Letter Before Action is a letter which formally demands payment from the person who owes you money (the ‘debtor’). This is the first step for any debt recovery process before starting court proceedings.

This is charged at a fixed cost of £550.00 (plus VAT) and includes:

  • Taking instructions and undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Arranging for the payment to be made, where applicable

Some cases may be more complicated and require us to charge on a different basis and may take longer than usual. Contact us for a quote tailored to your circumstances.

  • Issue Court Proceedings

If the debt has not been paid following the letter of action, we will draft and issue court proceedings on your behalf. Our standard fees for issuing a court claim are below:

Debt Value

Court Fee

MLS fee (plus VAT)

£3,001 – £5,000

£205.00

£ 350.00

£5,000 to £10,000

£455.00

£ 450.00

£10,000 to £50,000

5% value of the claim

£650.00

£50,0001 to £75,000

£75,0001 – £100,000

5% value of the claim

5% value of the claim

£850.00

£950.00

Some cases may be more complicated and require us to charge on a different basis and may take longer than usual. Contact us for a quote tailored to your circumstances.

A defendant will have 14 days from receipt of the claim form and/or particulars of claim in which to respond by filing an acknowledgement of service or a defence. If the defendant does not respond in time you can request judgment for the claim debt in default. If an acknowledgement of service is filed within 14 days of service of the claim form, the defendant then has a further 14 days to file a defence to the claim. If the defendant then fails to file a defence, judgment can be entered in default.

Court fees do not have VAT. MLS fees do not include counsel’s fee for the hearing(s) please see “disbursement” section below.

  • Enter Judgement

If there is no response, we may be able apply to the Court to ‘obtain Judgment’ for you. This means you would have a court order which you can enforce to reclaim your money because the claim was not responded to. Our fees would be:

Value of Claim

Our Fee (plus VAT)

Up to £5,000

£250.00

Over £5,000

£400.00

If we are successful in obtaining judgment for you but payment is still not received then we will advise you on the next steps at that time, such as enforcement action and what the likely costs would be (see below).

Some cases may be more complicated and require us to charge on a different basis and ma take longer than usual. Contact us for a quote tailored to your circumstances.

  • Defended Claims and more complex cases

If a debtor submits a defence to your claim or the case is otherwise more complicated, we will normally charge you an hourly rate for the time which we spend on your case. The hourly rate depends upon the experience of the fee earner handling the matter usually £205 per hour (plus VAT)

Timescales for defended and more complex cases are more difficult to predict. Sometimes matters can be resolved within a matter of weeks but others can take much longer. Contact us for more tailored guidance on your circumstances.

Disbursements

You will need to pay for ‘disbursements’ in addition to our costs as described above. In a debt recovery matter the most common disbursement is the Court fee and the cost for these are listed above. If we need to go to Court then a barrister (sometimes called ‘Counsel’) is often used to deal with the hearing. We will guide you on this as and when such costs need to be incurred.

Other costs to consider

The costs set out above do not include enforcement action such as for bailiffs to go out and collect the debt on your behalf.

Key stages of your case

The costs described above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages a debt recovery process:

  • Discussing your case with you and, where appropriate, reviewing documents you provide
  • Performing relevant checks and searches
  • Sending a letter before action (see above)
  • Receiving payment and forwarding payment to you or, if a debt is not paid, drafting and issuing court proceedings
  • If no response is received, applying to the Court for Judgment in Default, subject to the additional costs for doing so as detailed above being paid
  • If Judgment in Default is received, writing to the other side to demand payment
  • If payment is still not received within the specified timescale, providing you with guidance on the next steps and likely costs

It would not normally be necessary to undertake other work or incur costs other than those described above. However, we would be very happy to provide you with a more tailored quote for all stages of your particular case once we know about your specific circumstances.

How long will my case take?

Please see time estimates above for the timescales in each stage of the process.

In terms of the overall time the debt recovery will take, if a debt is not disputed, we find that it typically takes about 6-8 weeks from sending the letter before action (see above) to receive a Judgment in Default.  A debtor with sufficient funds to do so will very often pay upon being sent the Judgment in Default and so matters can quickly be resolved after obtaining a Judgement in Default.

If the debt is disputed, defended or enforcement action is required, the matter will ordinarily take longer than this to resolve and involve additional costs which will be discussed with you in advance.

Who will be dealing with my case?

Your case will be handled by a trusted member of our experienced team who are, generally speaking, qualified as a solicitor or as a barrister. Once we know who will be handling your case for you we will introduce you to them and provide you with full details of their background and qualifications.  Full details of the experience and qualifications of our team are available on our website including the types of work normally undertaken.

Regardless of who is working on your case the matter will be supervised by our principal solicitor Marta Williamson

MLS OFFER: OUR SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE FOR COMPANIES

MLS commercial debt recovery package is a service whereby we chase up to five commercial debts per month for a fixed and low monthly payment. This service equates to only £360 plus VAT pcm and includes our experienced solicitors taking your instructions and drafting up to five letters chasing commercial debts on your behalf. The said letters are not ‘letters before action’ (see above) however, they are professional, bespoke and send out to your debtors on our firm’s letterhead. We find this service very effective and it is often seen as less intrusive.

In addition, if the debt remains unpaid, all MLS commercial debt recovery package subscribers will receive10% discount on MLS’s costs should they wish to bring the matter to the court through MLS. Contact us on 01244 478 730 or email hello@my-local-solicitor.com to find out more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW 

We understand that navigating a claim of unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal can be overwhelming. Rest assured, we are here to assist you in a friendly and professional manner. Here are the key stages you can expect in your claim:

  1. Initial consultation and review of your papers to assess the prospects of success and likely compensation, which may be revisited throughout the case.
  2. Pre-claim conciliation via ACAS.
  3. Preparation of your Claim or Response.
  4. Review and advice on the claim or response from the other party.
  5. Exploration of settlement and negotiation throughout the ET process.
  6. Preparation or consideration of a Schedule of Loss.
  7. Preparation for and attendance at a Preliminary Hearing.
  8. Exchange of documents with the other party (disclosure).
  9. Agreement on the contents of a bundle of documents for the full hearing.
  10. Taking of witness statements, drafting statements, and agreement on their content with witnesses.
  11. Preparation of bundles of documents for the final hearing.
  12. Review and instructions on the other party’s witness statements.
  13. Agreement on a list of issues, a chronology, and/or cast list.
  14. Instruction of a barrister for the final hearing.
  15. Preparation for the final hearing, including attendance at any pre-trial conference with counsel.

 

Please note that these stages are indicative, and if some are not required, it may result in lower fees for you.

The cost of your claim will be composed of our fees for legal work, disbursements (related costs payable to other people, such as barrister’s fees, which we can handle on your behalf), and expenses (e.g., printing charges). Barristers’ fees for attending the ET usually range from £500 to £2,500 per day, depending on experience and the complexity of the case, and are subject to VAT at the applicable rate of 20%.

For hourly rate-based matters, we will always provide an estimate of costs before incurring any charges and keep you updated on budget utilization. Our hourly rates for our Employment team are as follows: Associate Directors & Heads of Department (£500/hour), Senior Solicitors (£300/hour), Junior Solicitors (£250/hour), and Trainees/Paralegals (£175/hour). Additionally, there may be an additional charge of around £1,400 per day for our attendance at an ET hearing, which is typically expected to last 2 to 3 days for simple cases of unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Based on the complexity and time spent on your case, our total costs for defending or bringing a claim of unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal, from taking instructions to the full hearing (if not resolved before), are estimated to be in the range of: £10,000 – £25,000 for a simple case, £25,000 – £35,000 for a medium complexity case, and over £35,000 for a high complexity case. However, we always keep proportionality in mind and will provide you with a cost/benefit analysis, particularly if your potential damages are low or your claim is for wrongful dismissal only, in which case the compensation cap of £25,000 applies. In such cases, we will advise you about other avenues for bringing your wrongful dismissal claim, such as a claim in the courts.

The duration of your case depends on various factors, including when it is resolved and the availability of the ET and key witnesses, which are difficult to predict. Settlement can be reached at any stage, and if it is reached early, such as during the ACAS Early Conciliation process, it may take around 4 to 6 weeks. If your case proceeds to a full ET hearing, it could take up to around 6-12 months, depending on factors such as the parties