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The following information is designed to assist clients and potential clients of the firm in understanding our pricing structure in various regulated areas.

Services for You

Residential Conveyancing

Our Residential Conveyancing Team is headed up by Emma Amat the partner in charge, she is assisted in our Leek office by Jim Hickey, Solicitor and Emma Gould, Paralegal. Heather Reynolds deals with residential conveyancing at our Festival Park office and Katie Nixon deals with residential conveyancing at our Eccleshall office, where she is assisted by Lisa Cockbill, our Uttoxeter office is staffed by Elizabeth Delf and Danielle Newbon, further details of their experience can be found in the “Our Team” section of the website.

No two property transactions are exactly the same, and we deal with a wide range of property from Leasehold Flats, new built properties, existing housing stock and larger semi-rural properties. Each transaction is treated individually and by way of example, dealing with a new build property or a listed building may well have additional complications meaning that a transaction would cost more than dealing with existing housing stock.  As a result, in order to be able to give you a reliable estimate of cost, we would have to have details of your intended transaction and to obtain a detailed quote we recommend that you utilise our online quote service which can be accessed here.

Our fees range from approximately £400 for a simple or some low value transaction up to figures in the region of £3,000 for significant property transactions. Also depending upon how a purchase is being funded there will be a range of disbursements relating to search fees which may need to be incurred and additional expenses such as Stamp Duty Land Tax and Land Registry fees, will also be incurred, these have wide ranging values and for this reason we recommend that you use our quote system.

Our quote system will give you a detailed indication of the expected price for a purchase that does not have unexpected complications, of course if one of our cases does have unexpected complications, our terms and conditions of business require us to inform you of that immediately, and we would fully discuss the potential consequences before any additional charges were incurred. A simple stand-alone cash transaction could complete in 2 weeks, but other factors may mean some cases can take two or three months.

Probate (where the deceased’s estate consists of assets based in the UK and where the administration of the estate is uncontested)

Our Probate Team consists at our Leek office of Ian Naylor, Senior Partner, and Tim Bailey, solicitor assisted by Janet Howson and Rob Fearnley (Partner) at our Uttoxeter office. Details of their background and experience are available in the “Our Team “section.


Our fees for a typical Will for a single person with absolute gifts of their estate would range from £150 plus VAT up through more complex Wills for example giving a life interest trust where the price might increase to £400 plus VAT with more complex Wills with discretionary trusts and other advice ranging up to £700 plus VAT or more if greater assistance is needed.  These figures may vary in cases with special complications and for this reason we would always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction taking into account the actual features of your estate. Additional fees may apply where a couple wish to make wills.

These can be completed fairly swiftly.


Again, each estate will vary from person to person and our fees range accordingly.  Probate fees to obtain a Grant and submit tax papers would begin at £650 plus VAT and the necessary fees, and average full-service administration of an estate including a Property would commence at £3,000 plus VAT and any disbursements incurred.  The price is however, not based on value, but on the time taken to undertake the necessary work, and as a result, figures may vary and again, we would always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction, which may be either a fixed quote where possible, or a fee range guide.

Time scales vary for each estate.

Services for you and for business

Employment tribunals – Claiming/Defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Our fees for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal depend on the complexity of the case.   No claim is the same and our fees will reflect the complexity of the claim being defended. We will always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of any instructions, after considering the actual features of the claim.

  • Simple case: £3,500 – £6,000 (excluding VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £7,000 – £10,000 (excluding VAT)
  • High complexity case: £11,000 – £50,000 (excluding VAT)

Our fees can be calculated either based on hourly rates or as a fixed fee agreed in advance.   All VAT is payable at a rate of 20%.

What is included?

The above cost-estimates would include the following:

  • Taking your instructions and understanding the background to the claim in detail, which includes 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 a claim or response to a claim
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response to claim from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • 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 for the Final Hearing including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are indication and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee may 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 to suit your individual or organisation’s needs.

Factors that could make a claim 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
  • Preparation for and attendance at hearings when the Tribunal sets down a timetable for preparation for a full hearing
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed between the parties), whether the claim has been issued within the relevant time-limits
  • 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


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.

The range of prices does not include advocacy at the hearing itself as we usually instruct external barristers with specialist advocacy experience.  For a hearing before the employment tribunal, you may incur the fees of a barrister.  Such fees start from £350 (plus VAT) per day and cases typically last 1 to 2 days.  On average, in cases which reach a final hearing before a tribunal which are reasonably straightforward, barristers’ fees are around £800 – £1,000 (plus VAT).

How long will my matter take?

The time 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 is likely to take 2 – 4 weeks.  If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take between 3 and 6 months, but some cases can take a year or even longer.  This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information as the matter progresses.

People who may carry out work

  • Tim Wolley – 30 years’ post-qualification experience specialising in employment law matters
  • Catherine Whittles – 20 years’ post qualification experience in dealing with employment law matters
  • Clare Thomas – 12 years’ post-qualification experience specialising in employment law matters
  • Heather Reynolds – 3 years’ post-qualification experience specialising in employment law matters

Debt Recovery (up to value of £100,000)

Please contact us for full details of the likely costs and disbursements of any debt collection matter you wish to pursue. The guidelines below have been prepared to give you the approximate range of costs and disbursements you will incur.

These guidelines are prepared on the assumption that work will be undertaken on an hourly rate basis.

Our standard hourly rates are as follows; these rates vary depending on the experience of the person:

Partners & Solicitors of over 8 years post qualification experience £300 plus VAT
Associates and Solicitors of over 4 years post qualification experience £275 per hour plus VAT
All other solicitors £200 per hour plus VAT
Trainee Solicitors, Paralegals and all other Caseworkers £130 per hour plus VAT

We review these rates annually and they are subject to change.

The sums set out below are not fixed fees. Cost estimates will be given on a case-by-case basis and we may exceed the guidelines if the estimated or actual costs of your matter are higher than the amounts set our below. Vat is applicable to all amounts unless otherwise stated.

The range of likely costs and disbursements of our debt collection services are as follows:


Work type Costs (exclusive of VAT) Disbursements (exclusive of VAT unless court fees or Land Registry fees which are not subject to VAT
Tracing £26 – £555 £65 – £1,500
Pre-Sue Reports £70– £555 £250 – £1,500
Chasing Letter £100-£200 £65 – £1,500
Protocol Letter £250-£750 £250 – £1,500
Further correspondence, investigation and preparation, settlement and other pre-action work £250 – £7,500


Work type Costs (exclusive of VAT) Disbursements (exclusive of VAT unless court fees or Land Registry fees which are not subject to VAT
County Court Claims (undefended claim up to judgment) £250 – £750 Court issue fees from £35 to £20,000 depending on claim value

Barrister’s Fees £300 – £2,000


If a debtor submits a defence to your claim or the case is otherwise more complicated, we will charge for our work at the hourly rates set out above for the time which we spend on your case.

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. Please contact us for more tailored guidance on your circumstances.


In a debt recovery matter the most common disbursement is the court fee and the costs for these are listed in the tables above. If the matter proceeds to a court hearing a barrister (sometimes called counsel) may be instructed to represent you at the hearing. Barristers typically charge at hourly rates which vary according to their seniority. However, in a typical case the barrister’s fee may be the in the region of £300 to £45,000 plus VAT at 20% for each day. We will however guide you on this as and when such costs need to be incurred.


The examples of typical costs above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of debt recovery litigation:

  • Discussing your case with you and advising you throughout.
  • Obtaining and examining any evidence and advising you on it.
  • Performing any searches required, for example bankruptcy searches on the debtor.
  • Sending a letter of claim.
  • Receiving payment and forwarding payment to you or, if the debt is not paid, preparing and issuing court proceedings.
  • If no response is received, applying to the court for judgment in default (at the additional costs detailed above).
  • If judgment in default is received, writing to the debtor to demand payment.
  • If payment is still not received within the specified timescale, providing you with guidance on the next steps and likely costs.

The costs set out above do not include enforcement action, for example instructing bailiffs to go out and collect the debt on your behalf. If this becomes necessary in your matter, we will advise you on the enforcement action available to you and the likely costs at that time.

In an undisputed claim where enforcement action is not required 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.

*Complex claims could result in higher costs and disbursements

Factors that could make a claim more complex

The costs of our debt recovery service may vary according to several factors including

  • the size of the debt;
  • trading status and location of the debtor;
  • choice of debt collection method;
  • whether enforcement proceedings are necessary;
  • what type of enforcement proceedings will be used.
  • complexity of the matter
  • whether the debt is disputed
  • Your instructions to us

How long will my matter take?

The time 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 payment is made or settlement is reached pre-action, then typically it will take 6 weeks.  If proceedings are issued but not defended between 1 and 4 months. If defended at least 6 months but some cases can take a year or even longer.  This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information as the matter progresses. It is not possible to estimate enforcement tiles with any accuracy as it would depend on individual cases.

People who may carry out work

  • Tim Wolley – 30 years’ post-qualification experience of debt collection matters
  • Lucy-Anna Jones – 1 and a half years’ trainer experience of debt collection matters

Licensing Applications for Business premises

Our fees for acting in respect of an application for a Premises Licence, will depend upon the complexity of the case and the type of Licence which is required i.e., sale or supply of alcohol, provision of public entertainment or provision of late night hot food and drink, and will also depend upon the extent to which the applicant has experience in the sector and whether or not this is a new Licence an update of a Licence or a transfer of a Licence and whether or not designated supervisors are in place.

In addition to the fee payable to us, there will be a fee payable to the Local Authority which will depend upon the rateable value of the property and the Local Authority concerned.  Each case will vary on its complexity and in each case, we would be happy to supply a fee indication which can be calculated either based on an hourly rate or as a fixed fee agreed in advance in either case VAT would be payable together with disbursements in relation to Local Authority fees.  As an indicative range fees are likely to range from £800.00 plus VAT to £3,000.00 plus VAT dependant on the nature and extent of the work required and the complexity of the case.

This work would be carried out by Catherine Whittles (Partner at our Festival Park office). For details see “Our Team “ page.

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