Our Fees

At Woodfines, we pride ourselves on being transparent and clear on fees, and providing our clients with as much information upfront as possible.

As such, we have provided an indication of costing information for a range of legal services below. For a more precise quote for your matter, please contact the relevant team.

For individuals:

  • Residential Conveyancing
  • Probate
  • Motoring Offences
  • Employment Tribunals

For business:

  • Debt Recovery
  • Employment Tribunals
  • Licensing applications for business premises

For Individuals

Residential Conveyancing

If you are thinking of moving, we’d be pleased to assist you. Since there are many variables when calculating the legal fees, it is always best to contact us for a bespoke quote or use our online quoting system. Our prices depend on the price of property in question.

Your matter will be handled by an experienced legal expert, and details of our teams can be found on our Meet the Team page. The work is overseen by:

David Webster is the Head of Woodfines’ Residential Conveyancing department.

To make an enquiry, please get in touch by telephone, or via email at mail@woodfines.co.uk

Alternatively, you can obtain an instant, competitive quote for our trusted services here.

We pride ourselves on offering a very competitive and transparent price, and have outlined below three examples detailing the costs for a typical transaction:

  • Purchase of a freehold residential property for £500,000
  • Purchase of a leasehold residential property for £500,000
  • Sale of a residential property for £500,000

 1.       Purchase of a freehold residential property for £500,000

Our fees cover all of the work* required to complete the purchase of a property, including dealing with the 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 in Wales.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter, that are payable to third parties – such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Legal fee:                                          £910
  • Search fees:                                      £350 (this is designed to cover standard local, drainage and environmental searches, and may vary slightly as some local authorities charge differently to others).
  • Land Registry fee:                             £135 (this can increase to £270 if the property is not already registered at the Land Registry)
  • Electronic money transfer fee:          £35
  • Acting for mortgage lender:              £150
  • Preparation and submission of Stamp Duty return to the Inland Revenue: £75
  • VAT:                                                   £234 (not all fees are applicable for VAT)
  • Subtotal:                                            £1,814

Referral Fee:                                                    £0

We neither pay nor receive referral fees.

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase):

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using the HMRC’s website, or if the property is located in Wales, by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website here.

Estimated total:                                        £15,000 (the stamp duty figure does vary depending on a number of circumstances).

Grand Total:                                             £16,986 (inc. vat, where applicable)

How long will my house purchase take?

How long the purchase will take from your offer being accept until you can move into your new house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes six to twelve weeks.

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, it could take longer. Also, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer. In such a situation, additional charges would also apply.

Stages of the process

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

  • 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

    2. Purchase of a leasehold residential property for £500,000

Our fees cover all of the work* required to complete the purchase of a property, including dealing with the 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 in Wales.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements:

Disbursements are costs related to your matter, that are payable to third parties – such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

  • Legal fee:                                                                             £1,260
  • Fees for acting on behalf of the mortgage lender:               £150
  • Search fees:                                                                         £300 (this can depend on the Local Authority searches)
  • HM Land Registry Fee:                                                        £135 (this can vary in certain circumstances)
  • Electronic money transfer fee:                                              £35
  • Preparation and submission of Stamp Duty return:              £75
  • VAT:                                                                                       £304 (not all fees are applicable for VAT)
  • Subtotal:                                                                               £2,259

Referral Fee:                                                                              £0

We neither pay nor receive referral fees.

Anticipated Disbursements**

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee, if chargeable, is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £10 and £120.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £10 and £120.
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £100 and £200.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range from £60 and £100.

**These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the estimates given above. We can provide an accurate figure once we have seen the documents for your specific purchase.

You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout the ownership of your property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as we receive this information. It may be necessary to ‘apportion’ these items at completion to ensure that neither you nor the seller are left out of pocket at completion.

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase):

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using the HMRC’s website, or if the property is located in Wales, by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website here.

Estimated total:                                              £15,000 (the stamp duty figure does vary depending on a number of circumstances).

Grand Total:                                                    £17,346 (inc. vat, where applicable)

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential leasehold property vary according to the circumstances. However, in addition to the stages listed previously for a freehold purchase, they include:

  • Serving notice of change of ownership on the landlord
  • Dealing with any further formalities required by the lease, such as a provision of a Deed of Covenant.

    3.   Sale of a residential property for £500,000

Our fees cover all the work* required to complete the sale of a property, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements:

  • Legal fee:                                                                                 £920
  • Transfer of Completion Monies                                                £35
  • VAT:                                                                                          £191
  • Subtotal:                                                                                   £1,146

Referral Fee:                                                                                  £0

We neither pay nor receive referral fees.

*Our fee assumes that:

  1. 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
  2. This is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease
  3. The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise
  4. All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  5. No indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

In addition to the charges and disbursements set out above, and to ensure transparency, please note that we will levy an additional fee for dealing with certain items, of which the following are the most common (all charges subject to the addition of VAT):

  • Gifted Deposit:                                                £50
  • Dealing with an unregistered title:                  £150
  • Help to Buy ISA:                                              £50
  • Help to Buy Scheme:                                      £500
  • Trust Deed:                                                      £125

For further information, or to obtain a tailored quote for your requirements, please email mail@woodfines.co.uk.

Probate

For all new probate matters, our charging structure is as follows:

i)  A fixed 2% of the gross value of an estate up to £650k which is subsequently tiered as follows:

  • The next £650k-£1.5m: 1% plus VAT
  • The remaining amount above £1.5m: 0.5% plus VAT

ii)  For those clients where option i) is not appropriate either in terms of value and/or complexity or where for example the client only wants us to obtain the grant of probate we will be able to offer the client the alternative of being charged on a time spent basis subject to a minimum fee of £2k plus VAT.

For further information, please contact our Private Client team on mail@woodfines.co.uk

Motoring Offences

Our solicitors conduct the full range of motoring offence representation and can support you from the first notice from the police to the Court proceedings. Our pricing structure will be set out at the outset of any matter. 

Our hourly rates range between £250 – £300 + vat.  

Whilst requirements vary dependent on circumstances, we would anticipate that standard advice on plea for a basic Summary (non-Crown Court) motoring offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 would require 2 to 4 hours for advising in a meeting and drafting a letter of advice following assessment of the evidence.

If a written plea were to be drafted, this would require between 1 and 3 hours. This range would include advising on sentencing options as our advice is based on the SGC guidelines and its application to the facts and evidence.

Representation at a single hearing would require between 3 and 6 hours, including court attendance / conference plus advocacy.

Please note that these examples are solely based on a conclusion at the first hearing. Any adjourned hearing will require a further 1 to 3 hours.

Our team covers Courts across England, and therefore travel time may be included at an hourly rate or negotiated inclusively (subject to court location). This decision will be communicated with the client at presentation of the case circumstances.

Due to the variables involved, it is difficult to advise on a precise cost until a matter is initially discussed. However, this will be provided once the case has been discussed allowing for full transparency on costs, and enabling any new client to assess our fee ranges and make an informed decision on whether to instruct.

The above fee example does not include:

  • instruction of any expert witnesses
  • taking statements from any witnesses
  • advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing
  • advice or assistance in relation to any appeal

Stages of the Process*

*based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing

  • Meeting with a designated solicitor to provide instructions on the facts of the case
  • Considering initial disclosure, and any other evidence, and providing advice
  • Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost)
  • Explaining the court procedure so that the client knows what to expect on the day of the hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court
  • Conducting any further preparatory work, obtaining further instructions from you if necessary, and answering any follow up queries
  • Attending court on the day and meeting with the client before going before the court (although we cannot provide a timescale of when the hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day)
  • Discussing the outcome with the client. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.

For further information or to instruct our team in relation to motoring offences, please email: transport@woodfines.co.uk

Employment Tribunals

Prior to hearing the exact details of your matter, it is not possible to provide an exact indication of costs but below is a general guide to costs for each stage of an Employment Tribunal claim:

  1. Preparation and submission of a claim: £1,500 to £2,000
  2. Reviewing the response form when a claim has been made against you (ET3 response): £250 to £500
  3. Preparation for and attendance at a Pre Hearing Review: £1,000 to £1,500
  4. Dealing with disclosure of documents, to include drafting a list of documents and agreeing a bundle of documents: £2,000 to £3,000
  5. Drafting and exchanging witness statements
    - Claimant’s main statement: £2,000 to £3,000
    - Additional witness statements:    £500 to £1,000
  6. Drafting a statement of issues and/or chronology: £1,000 to £2,000
  7. Preparation for and attendance at a one day hearing: £4,000 to £5,000

Estimated Grand Total: £12,250 to £18,000                        

Please note that all of the above estimates are exclusive of VAT and disbursements (including court fees listed below), Counsel’s fees and travel expenses, etc.

The above estimates do not include correspondence with other parties which, if excessive, can increase costs significantly. To give you an idea of total costs for a typical Employment Tribunal matter involving a one day hearing, you can usually expect to incur around £20,000 as a minimum.

We also normally request that you make a payment on account of fees at the start of your matter which is usually around £2,500 (+ vat).

In the Employment Tribunal, rules about the payment of costs generally mean that each side will pay their own costs whether they win or lose. This rule is made more complicated where there are issues about of the conduct of the parties, or whether an unreasonable claim has been pursued.

Many claims do not progress all the way to a final hearing as they are settled beforehand, although we cannot guarantee that this will happen in your case.

It is always advisable to check whether you have the benefit of legal expense insurance.  It is usually offered as an additional benefit on insurance policies that you already have in place, such as house contents insurance, credit card insurance, etc. If you do have such cover, this may mean that all, or at least some, of your legal fees will be paid by your insurers.  However, you should note that your insurers will most likely make it a condition of cover that you instruct their panel solicitors. 

Alternatively, if they consent to you continuing to instruct our lawyers to deal with your claim, their rates may not cover their hourly rate and consequently there may still be a shortfall which you will be liable to pay.

To obtain a bespoke quote, please contact a member of our Employment Law team on employment@woodfines.co.uk

For Business

Debt Recovery

Woodfines offers a tailor-made commercial debt recovery service. Please see our Commercial Debt Recovery Proposal for further information on our service, pricing and how to instruct us.

For further information or to instruct our lawyers to recover an uncontested invoice debt, please email: debtrecovery@woodfines.co.uk

Employment Tribunals

Prior to hearing the exact details of your matter, it is not possible to provide an exact indication of costs but below is a general guide to costs for each stage of an Employment Tribunal claim:

  1. Reviewing the claim form outlining your case and the nature of the dispute (ET1 response/particulars of claim): £750 to £1,000
  2. Preparation and submission of the response form when a claim has been made against you (ET3 Defence): £1,500 to £2,000
  3. Preparation for and attendance at a Pre Hearing Review: £1,500 to £2,000
  4. Dealing with disclosure of documents, to include drafting a list of documents and agreeing a bundle of documents: £3,000 - £4,000
  5. Drafting and exchanging witness statements (per witness statement): £1,500 – £2,000
  6. Drafting a statement of issues and/or chronology: £1,000 to £2,000
  7. Preparation for and attendance at a one day hearing: £7,000 - £8,000

Please note that all of the above estimates are exclusive of VAT and disbursements (including court fees listed below), Counsel’s fees and travel expenses, etc.

The above estimates do not include correspondence with other parties which if excessive can increase costs significantly. To give you an idea of total costs for a typical Employment Tribunal matter involving a one day hearing, you can usually expect to incur around £25,000 as a minimum.

We also request that you make a payment on account of fees of £2,500+VAT prior to preparation of the ET3 Defence.

In the Employment Tribunal, rules about the payment of costs generally mean that each side will pay their own costs whether they win or lose. This rule is made more complicated where there are issues about of the conduct of the parties, or whether an unreasonable claim has been pursued.

Many claims do not progress all the way to a final hearing as they are settled beforehand, although we cannot guarantee that this will happen in your case.

To obtain a bespoke quote, please contact a member of our Employment Law team on employment@woodfines.co.uk

Licensing Applications for Business Premises

When applying for a new premises licence or to alter an existing licence, the costs will vary based on the merits, location and history of behaviour at the premises. The licensing authority involved will also have different local policies, which can again lead to varying fees and scales. Therefore, any fee indication given would have to be on the basis of initial research, but the following range can be applied:

  • Simple application: approximately 3-4 hours at an hourly rate of £250 - £300, plus vat
  • Medium complexity: approximately 4-5 hours, at an hourly rate of £250 - £300, plus vat
  • High complexity: approximately 5-10 hours, an hourly rate of £250 - £300, plus vat

The complexity of a matter will be decided on receiving the details of the matter, and it is worth noting that in some cases that the complexity of a particular local authority of the location of the premises being applied for may be of a high degree, despite the application itself appearing initially straight-forward.

Further, if the matter is required to be heard by a sub-committee, it should be noted that the hours required for this could be extensive and would be impacted on by the presence of objectors, including the responsible authorities, and whether they are represented or calling witnesses.

If this were to happen, preparation for a contested hearing may require between 3 and 15 hours, followed by a similar number of hours for advocacy, depending on the nature of the case.

Stages of the Process

  • Taking the client’s instructions and advising as to how they can promote the licensing objectives within the application
  • Advising on the type of plans that are required to submit with the application.
  • Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with the instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans provided by the client.
  • Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.
  • Preparing copies of the premises licence application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application on the responsible authorities.
  • Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper.
  • Arranging with the client to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.
  • Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by the client.
  • Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

The fee does not include:

  • Obtaining suitable plans
  • Attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting.
  • Dealing with or advising the client in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties
  • Advising on varying the licence
  • Attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at an hourly rate.

How long will my application take?

Matters usually take 6-8 weeks from receipt of full instructions from the client. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and the client being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly.

If the matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents required, it may take longer.

For a precise quote, please contact a member of our Licensing team on mail@woodfines.co.uk