Our fees

This page gives you an idea of the fees that might be charged for some of the services we offer. They only provide an indication and are not necessarily the fee you will pay. Your lawyer will always discuss potential costs with you before your matter begins.

For individuals

For businesses

For individuals

Residential conveyancing

Our conveyancing fees are simple – we charge 0.30% of the price of the property, with fees starting at £1500 plus VAT. Our fees cover all the work required to complete the sale or purchase of a property. Unlike the majority of firms, Birkett Long does not pay referral fees to third parties. 

Other disbursements, which are costs that relate to your matter are also payable to third parties. Such as Stamp Duty Land Tax, search fees and electronic money transfer fees. Please see below further anticipated charges. 

No property transaction is the same and our fees will reflect the nature and particular requirements of your situation. We will give you a cost estimate at the start and inform you as early as possible about any changes during the course of the transaction. We want to avoid any nasty surprises. 

Our starting fees depending on the nature of your matter are as follows:

Freehold Sale – £1500 plus VAT 

Freehold Purchase – £1500 plus VAT

Leasehold Sale - £1800 plus VAT

Leasehold Purchase -  £1800 plus VAT

Freehold New build -  £1800 plus VAT

Leasehold New build - £2000 plus VAT

Transfer of Equity with remortgage - Freehold £1300 plus VAT, Leasehold £1600 plus VAT

Remortgage - £900 plus VAT

Sale/Purchase of piece of land: £1200 plus VAT

First Registration: £800 plus VAT

Anticipated Disbursements

Purchase:

 Fee
Local and other searches (estimate)                  £400
Bankruptcy searches                                       £4 per person
Land Registry search                                          £3 per title
Land Registry fee, based on the purchase price and 
dependent upon whether the property is registered at Land registry 
From £20 - £910
Telegraphic Transfer fee                                   £36 inc VAT
Stamp Duty 1Based on the value of the property

1The amount of stamp duty payable depends on the value of the property and the purchasers individual circumstances, for example if you are a first time buyer, own another property in the UK or abroad or a company. For more information on the amount you will need to pay please visit the HMRC website.

Sale:

 Fee
Official Office Copy Entries      £3 per document
Telegraphic Transfer fee                                   £36 inc VAT

Leasehold Purchases – In addition to the anticipated disbursements for a purchase, as noted above. Please note that you are expected to pay further charges. We will only be able to inform you of the exact costs once we have had sight of the lease and management pack.
To give you an indication of the additional charges and costs these are:

 Fee
Notice of Transfer fee usually between £30-400
Notice of Charge fee usually between £30-400
Deed of Covenant fee or a Licence to Assign usually between £300-£1,500
Certificate of compliance usually between £50-400
Application of membership  usually between £50-150

For Transfer of Equity and/or Remortgages, the disbursements are similar to above. For a full break down of all costs please contact us. 

An example purchase/sale

For example, here are the figures for two people buying a freehold house that costs £600,000:

 FeeFee including VAT
Legal fees£1,800£2,160
Local and other searches (estimate)1£400 
Bankruptcy searches (2 per person)£8 
Land Registry search£3 
Land Registry fee, based on the purchase price2£540 
Office copy entries3£3 
Stamp Duty, based on purchase price4£20,000 
Telegraphic transfer fee£30£36
TOTAL £23,150

If completion is more than 6 months away, we will need to re-do searches
2 or £270 if registered
3 Certified copies of the land or charge certificate that confirm ownership of a property
4 Stamp Duty Land Tax is calculated at the current rate. However, that rate will be different if it is a first-time buyer or if it is a second home or a buy to let

Special offers

  • By arrangement, we can complete within seven days of exchange for an additional fee of £180 including VAT.
  • It’s worth giving us a call to discuss your position – we often run special offers, which might be cheaper than our standard fees.

How long will my matter take?

In our experience, a straightforward freehold transaction should take between 6 to 8 weeks, and a leasehold transaction should take 8 to 10 weeks from receipt of papers to get to an exchange of contracts. However, there are several factors which may extend that timetable, such as the length and security of a chain, delays in receiving essential information from a third party or the other party’s solicitor, problems with the title that may be identified during our investigations and delays in the provision of mortgage offers. Whilst we will do our utmost to assist you in meeting any particular timescale you have, there may be instances where it is not possible to do so because of factors completely outside our control. We will be in frequent contact with you during the contract.

The period of time between exchange and completion is a matter of negotiation between the parties and may vary from anything between one week to several months.

Our team

You will be allocated a dedicated property lawyer. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by one of our Residential Real Estate Team Leaders, who are in turn supervised by the Head of the Real Estate Department.

Back to the Property pages.

Probate (uncontested)

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing assets

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs should be lower. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This example is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 4 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • Up to 4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate
 FeeFee including VAT
Fixed legal fee£2,500£3,000
Disbursements included in this fixed fee  
Probate application fee£155 
Swearing of the oath (per executor)£7 
Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (per beneficiary)£2 
Post in The London Gazette and local papers – this protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors, if requested by you.Up to £300 
TOTAL £3,000

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.

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost 50p per sealed copy.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

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
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • 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 two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

How long will my matter take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6 to 9 months.

Our team

You will be allocated a dedicated probate lawyer. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by one of our Wills, Trusts & Probate Team Leaders, who are in turn supervised by the Head of the Private Client Department.

Back to the Following a Bereavement pages.

Motoring offences (summary only offences)

We understand it can be distressing when you are suspected of a motoring offence, let alone charged and formal proceedings are issued against you. Therefore, when you elect to instruct us to act on your behalf you will also, logically, have some concern in respect of the legal fees you incur. Therefore, we are committed to providing you with clarity regarding our fees and service. 

The details here provide you with our fee structures should you decide to instruct us to act for you in proceedings that are contemplated, or due to come, before a Magistrates Court pertaining to an alleged motoring offence. In the event, you are alleged of a ‘non-summary only’ offence or required to appear before a Crown Court (or elsewhere), we have expertise and experience in dealing with such matters. Should you be faced with any such situation, we will discuss the position with you and provide you with a separate fee estimate.

Download our motoring offences pricing information here.

Employment tribunals (claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal:

Simple case: £3,600 – £9,000 including VAT

Medium complexity case: £9,000 – £15,000 including VAT

High complexity case: £15,000 – £30,000 including VAT

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • 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

There will be no additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing. Generally, we would allow 3 – 5 days depending on 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.

Counsel's fees may be incurred. These are estimated between £1,250 and £3,000 per day (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • 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.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2 - 8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 26 - 52 weeks. 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.

Our team

You will be allocated a dedicated employment lawyer. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by our Employment & HR Team Leader, who is in turn supervised by the Head of the Commercial Department.

Back to the Resolving Disputes with Employers page (for employees)

Back to the Resolving Employment Disputes page (for employers)

For businesses

Debt recovery (up to £100,000)

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.

Letters before action

Value of the claimPrice for straightforward letter before claim
£0 - £1,000£48
£1,000.01 - £10,000£84
£10,000.01 +£120

The above fees include VAT. Please be aware that the above fee includes the letter before claim only. All other advice, correspondence or time spent on your matter will be charged in accordance with the advised hourly rate(s).

Issue of County Court proceedings

Our charge for the issue of court proceedings is based on the value of the claim. Please note that all costs are exclusive of VAT, court fees (see table below) and other small disbursements.

Debt value£25 - £500£501 - £1,000£1,001 - £5,000£5,001 - £10,000£10,001+
Our fees on issue£108*£132*£180*£204*£240*
Our fees on judgment in default£26.40**£26.40**£26.40**£26.40**£36**

Above fees include VAT
* This is made up of the costs recoverable on issue and the fixed charge which will be claimed pursuant to Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
** These are the same as recoverable on entering Judgment.

Court fees

Amount of claimElectronic feePaper fee
Up to £300£25£35
£300.01 - £500£35£50
£500.01 - £1,000£60£70
£1,000.01 - £1,500£70£80
£1,500.01 - £3,000£105£115
£3,000.01 - £5,000£185£205
£5,000.01 - £10,000£410£455
£10,000.01 - £100,0004.5% value of claim5% value of claim
£100,000.01 - £200,000N/A5% value of claim
Greater than £200,000.01N/A£10,000

 

How long will my matter take?

Letter before claim:

  • If you are an individual sending a letter before claim, the timescale provided to the debtor to make payment will be 14 days unless the matter is complex.
  • If you are a business sending a letter before claim to either an individual or another business, the timescale provided to the debtor to make payment will be 30 days.

Issue a claim:

Once the above timescale has elapsed, you may wish to issue a claim against the debtor. This will provide them with 14 days, once service has been effected, to respond, after which time Judgment may be entered.

Once Judgment has been obtained, the method of enforcement chosen will determine how long the matter will proceed.

Our team

You will be allocated a dedicated lawyer who will have conduct of your matter from the start of the dispute through to conclusion, unless exceptional circumstances arise. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by one of our Dispute Resolution Team Leaders, who is in turn supervised by the Head of the Commercial Department.

Back to the Recovering Debts pages.

Notary Public

Fees for our notary services are available on our Notary Public page. 

Licensing applications (business premises)

If you are planning to sell or supply alcohol, provide regulated entertainment or supply late night refreshments you need to apply for a licence to do that activity under the Licensing Act 2003.

The sale or supply of alcohol includes both on sales (pubs, bars, restaurants), and off sales (off licences, supermarkets, convenience stores) as well as registered clubs (where alcohol is supplied). In addition to requiring a premises licence for the sale of alcohol, individuals may also be required to obtain a personal licence.

The provision of regulated entertainment is defined as specific activities that takes place in the presence of an audience for the entertainment of that audience and are provided with a view to profit. Licensable activities are likely to include plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing and wrestling, live and recorded music, entertainment similar to music and dance, late night refreshments as well as the sale and supplies of alcohol.

The provision of late night refreshment is the sale of hot food and/or hot (non alcoholic) drink whether for consumption on or off the premises (this includes mobile units and stalls) to the public between 11pm and 5am. This includes takeaways, restaurants and petrol stations that sell hot food. Authorisation to carry out some or all these licensable activities is contained in a single premises licence, club premises certificate or temporary event notice. This is issued by the licensing authority and authorises the premises or location where the activity is to take place. These licences may be permanent, for a limited period, or for one off events.

Download our licensing applications pricing information here.