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 0.25% of the price of the property, with fees starting at £950 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.

These prices cover a freehold sale or purchase, a leasehold sale or purchase or re-mortgages. Other disbursements are also payable to third parties, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax, search fees and electronic money transfer fees. If you are buying a new build, leasehold or help to buy property other charges will apply – an additional £225 plus VAT on top of the 0.25% of the price of the property.

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.

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£1,500£1,800
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 £22,790

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 4 to 6 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)

Speeding, drink driving, failing to provide a specimen offences, guilty plea

Fixed fee £1,800 including VAT

Fee includes:

  • 2 hours’ attendance/preparation:
    • considering evidence
    • taking your instructions
    • providing advice on likely sentence
  •  Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court

The fee 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

Key stages

The key stages of your matter are based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing.

  • Provide us with instructions on what happened.
  • We will consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice.
  • Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost of £360 including VAT).
  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
  • We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any queries you have.
  • We will arrange for you to be represented by a barrister on the day and the barrister will meet you before going into court. We anticipate you and the barrister being at court for half a day.
  • We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.

How long will my matter take?

It is difficult to provide an accurate timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day, but usually the matter will conclude within six months.

Our team

You will be allocated a dedicated 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.

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 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.