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Price transparency rules
As from the 6 December 2018, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) made it compulsory for solicitors to display prices and service information if you work in particular areas. Conveyancing is one of them.
The rules stipulate that price information must be presented in a clear and easy to understand format. It must also:
- Provide a total cost, if this is not possible provide an average or range of costs
- Explain the basis of your charges, including any hourly rate or fixed fees
- Highlight likely disbursements, and their costs
- Be clear on whether VAT is included
- For conditional or damages-based fees, explain when clients may have to make payments
For service information we must:
- Explain what services are included for the quoted price
- Highlight any services not included within the price, which a client may reasonably expect to be included
- Include information on key stages and typical timescales of these
- Publish the qualifications and experience of anyone carrying out the work and of their supervisors.
This has been interesting from a conveyancer’s viewpoint and we have taken the time to look into and consider other firms’ fees.
What has become apparent to us is that our legal fee includes many aspects of a transaction that other lawyers charge additional legal fees for. Examples of this are Help to Buy involvement, Help to Buy ISA’s, new build properties, gifted deposits from family members, submitting the Stamp Duty Land Tax return and acting for mortgage lenders. Many of these extra costs will only become apparent during the course of a transaction, once the client is committed. This means the client may not have budgeted for these additional costs.
We pride ourselves on being competitively priced and accurately quoting clients for the work we carry out. We are upfront in our legal fees and our fee is fixed. There will be no “hidden extras”.