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Our fees

Our pricing is transparent and in line with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s guidance. These are some examples of how we charge for employment tribunal and debt recovery services:

Employment Tribunal       +

The Employment and HR team acts on behalf of individuals and employers on a range of legal issues, such as unfair and wrongful dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal.


Our fees to represent you in an ordinary unfair or wrongful dismissal claim typically range between £15,000 + VAT and £35,000 + VAT. This does not include bringing or defending a group action, appealing the outcome of a claim, or cases that involve discrimination or whistleblowing. We charge in line with our hourly rates, and the following will influence the overall cost:

  • the complexity, especially in cases of discrimination or whistleblowing
  • the volume of documents
  • the number of parties and witnesses involved
  • if the claim is against more than one potential employer
  • defending claims by litigants in person
  • applications for costs

You’re also responsible for any other disbursements like barrister’s fees.

Fee bands

  • £15,000-£20,000 + VAT – simple or straightforward cases that are not factually complex or document-heavy.
  • £20,000-£25,000 + VAT – cases with complex elements, or that are document-heavy or involve a factual background spanning a significant length of time.
  • £25,000 – £35,000 + VAT – complex cases involving several strands, a number of witnesses, and are document-heavy or span a significant length of time.

Duration and case progression

The duration of a claim depends on many factors, such as whether we reach a settlement or not, how proactive the other party is, and how busy the Employment Tribunal is. If we’re unable to settle the dispute and proceed to a final hearing in the Employment Tribunal, it usually takes 12 – 18 months to complete.

These are the typical case stages:

  • Initial discussions – Discussing the claim or defence with you, reviewing relevant documents, and giving you initial advice and information, including an estimate of the likely costs and potential compensation if we win. We’ll also advise you on the ‘pre-claim conciliation’ process with ACAS.
  • Claim or response – Drafting the claim or response, and finalising the document for the Employment Tribunal with you. We’ll also review the claim or response from the other party, and advise you on any changes.
  • Settlement – Exploring and negotiating a settlement. We´ll advise on or prepare the terms of a ‘schedule of loss’ outlining the compensation being claimed.
  • Documentation – Preparing for and attending any preliminary hearings on your behalf, by phone or in person. We’ll list relevant documents for the hearing and review documents with the other party. We’ll then advise and agree relevant documents for the final hearing.
  • Witnesses – Meeting with you and your witnesses to draft your witness statements, reviewing their contents and exchanging them with the other party.
  • Hearing – Agreeing and producing documents for the hearing, such as a chronology, skeleton arguments or cast list. Preparing for the final hearing and instructing a barrister to advocate for you at that hearing.
  • Costs – Potentially applying for costs against the other party.

Debt Recovery       +

The Disputes team helps clients recover debts they are owed. For claims worth less than £100,000, we charge in line with our hourly rates, and the following will influence the overall cost:

  • the value of the claim
  • the complexity and volume of documentation
  • the number of parties and witnesses involved
  • number of court hearings taking place


For undisputed debt, our fees are:

  • £500 to £1,000 plus VAT – for claims up to £10,000
  • £1,000 to £2,500 plus VAT – for claims between £10,000 and £25,000

Negotiating a settlement or payment plan with the debtor would be charged additionally, and in line with our hourly rates.

If the debtor chooses to defend the claim, we’ll give you a cost estimate for every stage of the proceedings. You’re also responsible for court and barrister’s fees.

Duration and case progression

The duration of a debt recovery claim depends on many factors such as whether the other party contests the debt or not, whether we can reach a settlement, and how busy the courts are.

In the best case scenario, it takes approximately 2 to 4 months from the date we send a letter of claim to the debtor to you receiving a judgment.

If we need to issue court proceedings it can take up to 18 months to get to a final hearing if the debt is disputed.

Residential Conveyancing       +

The vast majority of the work carried out by members of the property team relates to commercial transactions, so residential conveyancing only forms a small part of their work and typically less than 10% of their work in any year. However, the team does act for a number of developers who develop and sell residential properties, as well as acting in the purchase and sale of higher end residential properties and in property matters arising out of probate, so are familiar with the issues that might arise in any residential transaction. The property team is used to dealing with more complicated residential transactions which might involve issues involving private rights of way and water supplies, construction and warranty issues, agricultural issues and unregistered titles.

The team comprises the following people:


Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale or purchase of your home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (LTT) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.

Mortages and re-mortgages

As the majority of the work we do is commercial, we are not some of the residential lenders’ conveyancing panels and will not be able to act for some lenders. We will tell you if that is the case. If we do act on a mortgage of re-mortgage then our fees cover all of the work required to complete the mortgage or re-mortgage, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry

Likely fees and disbursements

Our legal fees will be calculated at 0.6% of the sale or purchase price with a minimum fee of £1250 for a freehold sale or purchase and £1750 for a lease sale or purchase. If the work relates to a mortgage or re-mortgage then the fee will be 0.5% of the mortgage advance with a minimum fee of £1250 whether freehold or leasehold.

Search fees: These vary depending on the location of the property but likely fees will be in the region of £350 to £600. These are normally only required on a purchase.

HM Land Registry fee: This depends on the price paid but are likely to be between £20 and £200. These will normally only apply on a purchase but we will need to incur Land Registry fees on a sale to obtain official copies of your title or other documents. On a sale they will normally not exceed £50 and will normally be much less.

Electronic money transfer fee £30 for each guaranteed same day transfer.

VAT is payable on our fees, money transfers and search fees (currently at 20%)

So on a typical freehold purchase for £400,000 our fees could total in the region of £3500 to include VAT and disbursements but excluding any SDLT or LTT.

We do not pay referral fees to third parties for introducing business to us.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Stamp Duty or Land Transaction Tax (on purchase)

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8-12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you purchasing an existing property and there are no other parties involved other than the seller and you have funds available then it could take considerably less than 8 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 4 months. In such a situation additional charges could apply to deal with freeholder’s and management company’s costs to provide information needed on a sale or purchase.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of SDLT/LTT
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Leasehold Purchases – Flats and Houses – Additional Costs payable to Third Parties

There will be additional costs with a leasehold purchase such as:

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £25-£75.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £25-£75.
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £100 and £250.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £100-£250.

These fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents. You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as this we receive this information.

Flats and Houses – Additional Work not included

Some property transactions are more complicated because some unexpected issue arises. Although we will normally try to include any additional costs within our fees sometimes that is not possible as some issues will involve a considerable amount of additional work.

Our fees above assume that:

the sale, purchase or re-mortgage is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction

where a leasehold title is involved that this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease (except where the leases is a standard lease produced by a housebuilder which cannot be amended)

the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise

all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation or in dealing with enquiries

no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required to insure against the some title defect (e.g. lack of a right of way) or failure to comply with some statutory requirement (e.g. lack of building regulations approval for building works)

Probate Services       +

At such a difficult time as bereavement, it is important for you to have transparency and certainty regarding the costs you could incur, should you instruct us to administer an estate of someone close to you. The following will help you to understand our services and related fees which apply when we support you with dealing with the administration of an estate.

Administration of the Estate

We will take care of the full process with you. Usually, this will involve:

  • Identifying and liaising with the ‘Personal Representatives’ who are either the executors (where there is a will) or administrators (where there is no will or where the executors of a will are unwilling or unable to act) and beneficiaries of the estate
  • Identifying and valuing assets and liabilities by contacting and instructing various 3rd parties such as banks, building societies, utility companies and estate agents.
  • Completing the Probate Application and the relevant HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) forms
  • If the estate is taxable, arranging payment of Inheritance Tax (IHT)
  • Considering whether a post-death variation to the will or rules of intestacy would be appropriate and/or acceptable
  • Producing the Statement of Truth for the Personal Representatives to sign
  • Making the application to the Probate Registry on behalf of the Personal Representatives
  • Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
  • Gathering all assets of the estate
  • Paying the debts and liabilities of the estate
  • Preparing estate accounts for your approval/approval of all Personal Representatives and residuary beneficiaries
  • Distributing the assets in accordance with the provisions of the will or, if there is no will, in accordance with the rules of intestacy

What are the likely costs?

It is difficult to estimate the costs of the administration of an estate as each estate is different. It often depends on the complexity of the circumstances. We estimate fees of between £1,200 – £6,000 (+20% VAT) for straightforward estates where there is:

  • A valid Will
  • One property
  • Up to three bank or building society accounts
  • Up to two or three beneficiaries
  • No IHT payable and/or the Personal Representatives do not need to submit a full IHT account to HMRC

Disbursements are costs related to the estate which are payable to third parties, such as the Probate Registry and Land Registry. We deal with the payment of the disbursements on your behalf.
Disbursements which may be included are:

  • Probate Registry application fee – £273 (plus £1.50 for each copy of the Grant)
  • Bankruptcy searches – £2 (+VAT) per Personal Representative and beneficiary
  • Statutory Advertisements in the London Gazette and a local newspaper (which protect Personal Representatives against unexpected claims from unknown creditors) – approximately £350
  • Land Registry copies (for estate properties) – £3 (+VAT) per property

Complications and Further Costs

Some estate can be quite complicated and, if so, there are likely to be increased costs which could vary significantly depending on the nature of the estate and how it is to be administered. We can give you a more accurate estimate once we have further information but some examples of situations which can lead to additional costs are where:

  • There is an intestacy (no Will)
  • There are missing or unidentified beneficiaries
  • The original Will cannot be found
  • The deceased owned shares, bonds or complex investments
  • There are assets, Personal Representatives and beneficiaries abroad
  • There is a dispute between beneficiaries and/or a claim is made against the estate. If such a dispute arises, our Contentious Probate team can assist you
  • Tax affairs are complicated
  • There is a sale or transfer of one or more freehold or leasehold property
  • There is/are (a) trust(s) included in the estate.
  • A deed of variation in relation to the estate is to be completed (often to reduce IHT liability and/or to redirect inheritance to a beneficiary with a greater/specific need)

How long will the process take?

On average, estates take between 8-12 months to complete.
However, where the factors outlined above under the heading ‘Complications and further Costs’ affect the estate, it can take 18 months or longer to complete the administration.

Darwin Gray Team
Catherine Burke
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Damian Phillips
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Fflur Jones
Managing Partner
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Gareth Wedge
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Mark Rostron
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Nick O’Sullivan
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Owen John
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Rhodri Lewis
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Stephen Thompson
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