Price Transparency

Introduction


We, Messrs Elliot & Company WS, Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. The Law Society of Scotland requires member firms to provide information to our clients and to potential clients about fees, outlays and costs. This is called Transparent Pricing.

For your information and to comply with this requirement, we provide here some examples of pricing for the range of services which we offer. What we have provided here are illustrations rather than definitive costs. The reason for this is that the work which we do on a client’s behalf is unique to that client. No legal case or matter is an exact replica of another. Therefore the fees charged for each matter are specific to that matter.

Solicitors can charge for different aspects of work by either charging:

  1. fixed fees; or
  2. fees calculated by unit cost (varied by time or other effort appropriate for the completion of the transaction); or
  3. fees calculated by scale cost (varied by time or other effort appropriate for the completion of the transaction).

Outlays are charges paid by the firm, on behalf of a client, to other agents, companies, offices, organisations or contractors. (For example, charges are paid to the Office of the Public Guardian, the Registers of Scotland, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, local councils, and search companies). These charges are incurred on behalf of a client as a necessary part of the work being done. Such charges are passed on to the client at the cost charged. It is our practice (where possible) to seek the most reasonably priced outlays for our clients.

We have set out some examples which, we hope, may be helpful to you. These examples outline the kind of charges which might apply in respect of certain areas of work. We qualify this by stating that it is highly unlikely that these examples will replicate exactly your own case or instructions.

Should you instruct us to act on your behalf we shall send you a letter of engagement (along with our terms and conditions of business). The letter of engagement will set out a costing for the work instructed.

If you are a client or a potential client please contact us for a specific discussion of the costs of the work which you wish to instruct.


Areas of Work


  1. General Advice and Business

    We take on a range of clients and cases. Sometimes we are instructed to undertake work with no specific legal designation. Such work might include correspondence with other parties or solicitors and the drafting of deeds and documents.

    An example of such work might be:

    Offering advice and corresponding about a dispute between neighbours: our fee may be based on an hourly rate of £230 with VAT thereon of £46. An agreement might be made to restrict the initial work to a limit of say £330 with VAT thereon of £66.

    Outlays, should they be required, are particular to each case.

  2. Separation (settlement out of court)

    When a marriage breaks down there are a number of matters which require to be agreed between the spouses. These matters might include: the division of property; sharing of pensions; sharing of other financial assets; residence and contact with children; financial maintenance; and any other matters which the parties wish to make clear. Such agreements are recorded in a Minute of Agreement. Reaching this agreement will normally involve negotiation between the parties’ legal agents. The agreement will then be signed by parties and recorded.

    An example of such work might be:

    Meeting the client, offering advice, corresponding with the other party’s legal agent and drafting an agreement in respect of a Minute of Agreement on Separation. This work might be charged on a time and line basis (the letter of engagement having set out a time and line/hourly/unit rate) at a fee of £1,955 with VAT thereon of £391. Clearly this is just an example as each case will be different.

    Outlays might include say registration dues of £22 for two registered copies of the Minute of Agreement (or registration dues of £11 for one registered copy of the Minute of Agreement) or possibly £750 to Pension Administrators/ Trustees (a pension share implementation fee).

  3. Private Client

    1. Will

      A Will is a very important document. The Scottish Law of Succession is based on Roman Law. It may require a degree of explanation to those without legal training. The circumstances and assets of each client will require detailed discussion. Inheritance Tax may be an issue which may require to be explored in detail. (Such work might be extensive and might involve additional charge). A Will will then be drafted, based on these discussions. The draft itself may then require to be further revised. The Will then requires to be signed.

      An example of such work might be:

      Meeting the client, offering advice, drafting and revising a single Will might be charged at a fee of £200 with VAT thereon of £40.

      Outlays would be unusual in respect of a straightforward Will.

    2. Power of Attorney

      There are different types of Power of Attorney. The most frequently drafted is a Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney (or Combined Power of Attorney). This type of Power of Attorney is granted by the client to those that he or she trusts most (such as family members, friends and solicitors). Should the client become physically or mentally incapacitated this type of Power of Attorney allows those appointed by the client to act in the client’s interests. A discussion would take place with the client as to his or her requirements and as to the nature of the Power of Attorney. Instructions would be taken. A draft Power of Attorney would be drawn up by the solicitor. This draft might require revisal. The deed then requires to be signed by the client before a witness. The solicitor requires to be present and to sign a certificate confirming that the client was in a mentally fit condition to grant the Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney will then require to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

      An example of such work might be

      Meeting the client, offering advice, drafting and revising of a single Power of Attorney. This might be charged at a fee of £300 with VAT thereon of £60.

      Outlays might include dues of £81 for registration to be paid to the Office of the Public Guardian.

    3. Executry

      When someone dies their executors may instruct solicitors to wind up the estate. Each person’s estate is different. The following matters have to be considered:

      1. is there a Will?;

      2. what are the assets? (Has sorting been done already to discover the extent of the deceased’s assets before the papers are submitted to the solicitors? Are the papers in good order?);

      3. how extensive are the assets?;

      4. where are the assets located?;

      5. is there inheritance tax to be paid?;

      6. to whom are the assets to be left?;

      7. are there beneficiaries to be located?;

      8. are legal or prior rights involved ?;and

      9. many other factors.



      We can never know in advance how much work each of these factors might take to resolve. The work might include:

      1. collating the assets;

      2. meetings and telephone calls with the executors (and the family);

      3. paying the debts of the estate. Telephone calls and correspondence in relation to this; (The debts might include funeral directors, credit card companies, local councils, care homes, the Department of Work and Pensions, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and many other institutions);

      4. correspondence and telephone calls with those holding the assets on the deceased’s behalf. (This might include banks, building societies, registrars and many other institutions);

      5. drafting of court documents (Confirmation);

      6. drafting of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs documents in respect of inheritance tax;

      7. in gathering of assets. (This might include the transfer or sale of heritable property (for example the family house). Our fees (and outlays) for this aspect of the executry would be charged at our estate agency and conveyancing rates);

      8. distribution of the estate;

      9. possible search for beneficiaries;

      10. calculation of prior or legal rights;

      11. accounting to the executors for our administration of the estate (a document called an Account of Charge and Discharge); and

      12. There may be many other matters to be dealt with which we have not listed here.



      It is therefore difficult, and usually impossible, to predict an accurate level of fees. Therefore, our letter of engagement may set out a time and line/hourly/unit rate.

      An example of such work might be:

      The fee for winding up a particular estate might be £2760 with VAT thereon of £552. Outlays might include Court Confirmation dues of £261 with a further £8 thereon for every Confirmation certificate required.

  4. Conveyancing


    1. Purchase of Residential Property


      Clients instruct us to conduct the purchase of residential property (flats, houses, new build properties, plots of land for the purposes of house construction) on their behalf. Our work in this regard might involve:

      1. meetings, telephone calls and correspondence with our client;

      2. telephone calls and correspondence with estate agents and the seller’s solicitors;

      3. drawing up an offer or receiving “builders missives” and adjusting qualified acceptance and subsequent formal letters to concluding the bargain;

      4. examination of title;

      5. inspection of searches and reports;

      6. drafting the disposition (and a standard security where necessary);

      7. arranging settlement;

      8. managing client funds ( and those supplied to the client by the provider of a mortgage);

      9. completion of anti money laundering procedures;

      10. submission of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax return. (This is a client responsibility often undertaken by us, by agreement, on the client’s behalf);

      11. paying Revenue Scotland (and possibly recovering rebates from Revenue Scotland in due course);

      12. registration of the new title (and where necessary of a Standard Security);

      13. reporting to the client and lender following registration; and

      14. other matters with which we may require to deal.

      An example of such work might be:

      The purchase of a modest property in Perth. The fee might be £550 with VAT thereon of £110.

      Outlays might include Registration dues for the Disposition of £120, Registration dues for a Standard Security of £60 and £20 dues for Advance Notice of Standard Security.

    2. Sale of Residential Property


      Clients instruct us to conduct the sale of residential property (flats, houses, new build properties, plots of land for the purposes of house construction) on their behalf. Our work in this regard might involve:

      1. meetings, telephone calls and correspondence with our client;

      2. telephone calls and correspondence with estate agents and the purchasers’ solicitors;

      3. receiving offers and sending a qualified acceptance;

      4. sending titles to the purchasing solicitors;

      5. ordering of searches and reports;

      6. revision of the draft disposition;

      7. discharging of standard security (where necessary);

      8. arranging settlement;

      9. managing funds received from the purchaser;

      10. redeeming standard security (where necessary);

      11. registration of discharge (where necessary);

      12. reporting to and transferring funds to the client; and

      13. other matters with which we may require to deal.

      An example of such work might be:

      The sale of a modest property in Perth. The fee for this work might be £550 with VAT thereon of £110.

      Outlays might include £130 for a multi search, £70 to register the discharge of a Standard Security and £20 for an Advance Notice.

    3. Discharge of Standard Security


      When the final payment of a Mortgage (secured by a Standard Security) is made then the client (the former borrower) should have the borrowing registered against their title discharged (removed). This shows that the bank or lender no longer has a claim over the property. This work would involve:

      1. Meetings, telephone calls and correspondence with the client;

      2. correspondence with the lender;

      3. drafting of the Discharge;

      4. registration of the Discharge;

      5. reporting to the client; and

      6. other matters with which we may require to deal.

      An example of such work might be:

      The Discharge of a standard security over a modest residential property. The fee for such work might be £150 with VAT thereon of £30.

      Outlays might include registration of the Discharge £70.

  5. Estate Agency

    If instructed by a client to market property our work may involve: consulting the client; visiting the property; taking measurements; arranging photographs or videos of the property; instructing a Home Report and, possibly specialist reports; advising about the value of the property, advising on the marketing strategy in respect of the property; preparing a schedule of sale; placing the property in the Perthshire Solicitors Property Centre; dealing with all enquires; arranging and conducting viewings; negotiating and dealing with offers. Commission may be based on a percentage of the sale price of the property or an agreed fixed fee.

    An example of such work might be:

    Marketing a residential property in Perth at a sale price of £300,000, the commission might be 1%, and therefore our fee might be £3,000 with VAT thereon of £600.

    Outlays might be include Surveyors Home Report fee of say £650 and a Perthshire Solicitors Property Centre insertion fee of £99.