Pricing

We are required by our regulator to publish information about our charging structure for the following two types of work:

  1. Administration of estates, specifically, the collection and distribution of assets belonging to a person following their death, where these are within the UK and if the estate is not contested; and
  2. Debt recovery – where the debt being recovered is up to £100,000.

We have provided more information below about what may need to be done to administer an estate or reclaim a debt.

How we charge for this work will depend on the complexity and scope of the work required. We will always work with you to agree a fee that fairly reflects the work which needs to be done. In appropriate cases we will discuss working on a contingent fee basis.

If you wish to discuss our pricing please contact Damon Parker on 0207 539 4740 or by email dparker@harcus-parker.co.uk.

Administration of Estates

Our fee structure for the administration of an estate will be:

  1. A fixed fee for the establishment of probate;
  2. A percentage of the probate fee for the collation and distribution of the assets of the estate;
  3. A fixed fee of £500 if a partner of this firm is appointed as the personal representative of the estate.

Our fees will depend on the size and complexity of the estate. We will agree our fees with you at the outset of the instruction.

The table below sets out our typical fees for acting in the administration of an estate.

Estate ValueFee for Establishing ProbateFee for collaboration and distribution of assets
Under £250,000£7,500£2,250
£250,000 – £1m£12,500£3,750
£1m to £2m£17,500£5,520
£2m – £5m£30,000£9,000
Over £5m1% of the value of the estateTo be agreed, but the starting point will be 1% of the estate.

In some cases, we may wish to agree an additional fee over and above the fixed fees and percentage fee outlined above, which will be calculated by reference to time spent. Our partners charge between £425 and £600 per hour; other qualified staff charge between £250 and £325 per hour. Our paralegal rate is £130 or £175 per hour. Trainees are charged at £175 per hour. These rates are exclusive of VAT, which will normally also be chargeable. Individual rates are set according to the seniority and experience of each fee-earner. The work of our secretaries and other support staff is incorporated into the firm’s overheads and will not be charged on to you separately.

The size of the estate will dictate the amount of Inheritance Tax (‘IHT’) that is payable, if any. If no IHT is payable, this usually simplifies the administration of the estate and we will reflect that in our fee proposal.

We will provide the Personal Representatives with an estimate of any additional charges as they arise and we will update them on the likely overall cost throughout the administration. We will provide a tailored quotation once we have a sense of the nature of any additional work that is required.

Please note that our firm will not directly handle any conveyancing required in the administration of an estate.

We will pass on the cost of any third party expenses (disbursements) to you at the price they are charged to us. Typically the following disbursements are incurred in the administration of the estate:

  • Probate application fee of £155 plus £1 per copy grant
  • £5 per executor for the swearing of the oath plus £2 per executor for each Will and codicil exhibited
  • £1 per additional copies of the grant
  • Bankruptcy search – £1 per beneficiary
  • £84.60 for publicising the administration in London Gazette and/or a fee for publicising in local/national newspapers to protect the estate against unexpected claims

VAT may be added to some disbursements.

The charges above do not include taxes that may be payable by an estate, the person who has died and their PRs or beneficiaries. These may include inheritance tax, capital gains tax or income tax depending on the assets of the estate. We will set out our view of the likely taxes within our tailored quotation.

Debt Recovery

Our firm is able to assist with all aspects of debt recovery, from pre-action correspondence through to enforcement, including subsequent insolvency proceedings if necessary.

We have considerable experience in dealing with debt recovery involving foreign debtors.

Typically our fees are charged on a time spent basis. Our partners charge between £425 and £600 per hour; other qualified staff charge between £250 and £325 per hour. Our paralegal rate is between £130 and £175 per hour. Trainees are charged at £175 per hour. These rates are exclusive of VAT, which will normally also be chargeable. Individual rates are set according to the seniority and experience of each fee-earner. The work of our secretaries and other support staff is incorporated into the firm’s overheads and will not be charged on to you separately.

The amount of time we spend on a matter will vary significantly depending on the approach which is taken.

In a straightforward matter in which you seek a county court judgment for the sum claimed and the debtor does not dispute that the amount is owed, we would not expect to charge more than £5,000 plus VAT. This would include sending pre-action correspondence, drafting your claim, filing and serving the claim and dealing with any administrative matters arising.

It is more expensive to bring debt recovery proceedings where there is a dispute between you and the debtor about what is owed. Here, the costs will vary from case to case. A typical case might cost £30,000.

In addition to our fee we will pass on any third party costs, principally court fees and, where appropriate, barrister’s fees.

Where court proceedings are required, court fees for claims between £10,000 and £100,000 will be 4.5% of the value of the claim.

Barrister’s fees are set in line with their seniority and we will obtain quotations on your behalf and agree them with you before committing you to them. These are also likely to be on a time spent basis, however they are often lower than solicitor’s fees in light of their substantially lower overheads. In simple matters uncontested matters a barrister is unlikely to be needed.

The time frame for disputed claims will vary considerably depending on individual court workloads, though in most debt recovery claims the matter will be concluded within a year to eighteen months.

Contingency Fee arrangements

There are two types of conditional fee arrangement:

Damages Based Agreement: this is an arrangement whereby your solicitors are not paid unless you win or settle your case, in which case they receive a pre-agreed percentage of the money recovered; and

Conditional Fee Agreement (‘CFA’): this is an arrangement whereby your solicitors reduce their bills during the course of the case by a percentage (up to 100%) on condition that if the claim succeeds, they will be repaid the discount, plus a success fee.

The terms of a CFA are decided on a case by case basis. We will discuss the options with you and the financial ramifications if you win or lose your case.

During the course of your case, we will issue you with regular invoices. These will contain our fees plus any expenses and disbursements (for example barrister’s fees). Our fees will be discounted by the percentage which we agree. If you win your case, you will pay us the amount discounted from our fees plus a success fee. If you lose your case then you will not have to repay the discount or pay us a success fee.

If you win your case, the court may order the other side to pay you a proportion of your legal costs. However, the court will not order the other side to make a contribution to our success fee.

Timescale for Agreeing a Conditional Fee Arrangement or Damages Based Agreement

Before we can agree to enter into a CFA or DBA with you, we will need to consider the merits of the claim. The amount of time needed to make this assessment will vary from case to case. We will agree a timescale at our first meeting with you. This may take us anywhere between 24 hours to three or four months depending on the size, nature, and complexity of your claim.