Our Fees

January 2023  

We always strive to be as open and transparent about our fee structure and the length of time your matter is likely to take as possible.

As you will no doubt appreciate each transaction is unique and there are many factors which can contribute to the complexity and time involved in any particular case. As such, all fees which are quoted (save where stated in your terms of engagement letter) are best estimates and the same applies to any timescales given. We will always notify you if it appears that costs will exceed our initial estimate and you will be given the option to cease instructions if you are unhappy to continue to incur additional charges.

If you wish to discuss the circumstances of your particular case please do not hesitate to give us a call or email us at enquiries@horwoodjames.co.uk and we explain our costs and timescales as clearly as possible.

Click on the tab to reveal related costs


Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets in an uncontested estate.

We anticipate this will take between 6 and 10 hours work at £265 per hour (£318 VAT inclusive). Total costs estimated at between £1,590 and £2,650 (£1,908 and £3,180 VAT inclusive).

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  •  There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts
  •  There are no other intangible assets
  •  There are 1-2 beneficiaries
  •  There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  •  There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  •  There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  •  Probate application fee of £300
  •  Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  •  Approx £83 Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  •  Approx £145 Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

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.

Potential additional costs

  •  If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  •  If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £1.50p (1 per asset usually).
  •  Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

Completing an Income Tax Return is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, applications for Probate in estates such as those above are made within 2-3 months of instructions being received. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8-16 weeks from submitting the application. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-4 weeks depending on how quickly the banks respond. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 weeks.

If you would like any more information please contact Greg Falcon, Head of the Probate Department.


Our employment partner is Jonathan Warbey, who has over 25 years of experience in dealing with the full range of employment tribunal matters. His complete profile can be found under the “People” section of this website. His charging rate is presently £250 (£300 VAT inclusive) per hour.

Our pricing for employment tribunal matters is as follows :

  1. Settlement Agreements (for employees)A typical Settlement Agreement charge is between £350 (£420 VAT inclusive) and £500 (£600 VAT inclusive), but this does vary depending on the complexity of the document. However, this cost is almost always met by the employer, and we would only add additional charges where there is a particular complexity or prolonged negotiation, which leads to an improved settlement. In those circumstances, we will discuss those charges with your first.
  2. Bringing or defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal (for employees and employers)Simple case – £1,000 – £2,000 (£1,200 – £2,400 VAT inclusive). This is where matters settle between instruction and either before or during pre-claim conciliation (the procedure before the actual issue of employment tribunal proceedings).Medium complexity case – £5,000 – £10,000 (£6,000 – £12,000 VAT inclusive). This would be where tribunal proceedings are issued, and the matter proceeds to no more than a one-day case in the Employment Tribunal. High complexity case – £10,000 – £20,000 (£12,000 – £24,000 VAT inclusive)
    This would be a case which lasted two to three days at an employment tribunal.

Factors that could make a case 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

Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)

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.

Counsel’s fees are estimated between £1,000 – £5,000 per day (depending on the experience of the advocate) for attending a tribunal hearing (including preparation). We would, of course, discuss with you the level and experience of any barrister and their cost before instructing the same.

Key stages
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim

    •  Taking your initial instructions, 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 claim or response
    •  Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
    •  Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
    •  Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
    •  Preparing for (and attending) a preliminary hearing
    •  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 on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
    •  Preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to counsel. The stages set out above are an indication, and if some of the stages above are not required, the fee will 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 on your individual needs.

How long will the 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, your case is likely to take six to eight weeks.

If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 26-52 weeks. This, unfortunately, is very much dependent upon listings at an employment tribunal, the complexity of the matter and the number of days required for a final hearing. This is, therefore, just an estimate, and we will, of course, be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

3. Discrimination claims

These claims tend to be more complex than straightforward unfair or wrongful dismissal claims and often will involve preliminary hearings. Our range of costs would usually be

Simple case – £1,000 – £2,000 (£1,200 – £2,400 VAT inclusive). This is where matters settle between instruction and either before or during pre-claim conciliation, the procedure before the actual issue of employment tribunal proceedings.

Medium complexity case – £5,000 – £10,000 (£6,000 – £12,000 VAT inclusive)

High complexity case – £10,000 – £30,000 (£12,000 – £36,000 VAT inclusive)

The factors which could make a case more complex are the same as for unfair or wrongful dismissal, but in addition, the case is more likely to have more preliminary issues to be decided and can involve hearings beyond three days.

We are, on occasions, able to offer what is known as a “Damages-Based Agreement” (DBA), which is a no-win no, fee agreement where our costs are taken as a percentage of any settlement or award achieved in your favour. If you wish to consider such an arrangement, we would take 2-4 weeks to carry out an assessment as to whether we would be willing to act under such an arrangement and upon what terms.

There are also further ways of funding matters, and you should always check the terms of any insurance policy, bank account, or credit card for which you, your spouse or immediate family and/or company may have to see if bolted on to the same as any legal expenses insurance which may assist you and provide indemnity to you in respect of your costs. You should also check whether you can seek payment of your costs from another person, such as your employer (such as in a Settlement Agreement) or if you are a trade union member.


Our litigation partner is Jonathan Warbey, who has over 25 years of experience in dealing with the full range of debt recovery and/or commercial landlord and tenant and general civil litigation work. His complete profile can be found under the “People” section of this website.

The cost of a business-to-business debt recovery claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary.

A disputed debt will usually involve defended court proceedings at the hourly rate of £270 (£324 VAT inclusive). For general undisputed claims, our fees are as below :

  •  For debt value up to £5,000, the fee payable to the court is £35 – £205 together with our own fees of £270 (£324 VAT inclusive)
  •  For debt value £5,001 – £10,000, the fee payable to the court is £455 together with our own fees of £540 (£648 VAT inclusive)
  •  For debt value £10,001 – £50,000, the fee payable to the court is 5% value of the claim together with our own fees of £720 (£864 VAT inclusive)

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that :

In an undefended claim, the debtor will only be ordered to pay the court fee and fixed costs, which will usually be less than the fees quoted above.

The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding with a higher cost.

The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

Our fee includes the following:

Taking your instructions and reviewing the documentation

Undertaking appropriate searches

Sending a letter before action

Receiving payment and sending it to you, or drafting and issuing a claim if the debt is not paid.

Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default

When Judgment in default is received, write to the other side to request payment.

If payment is not received within 14 days, providing you with advice on the next steps and likely costs.

Matters usually take 4 – 8 weeks (but sometimes longer depending on the time taken by a court to deal with a claim), from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.



Our Fees: £600 – £1100 (£720 – £1320 VAT inclusive) plus disbursements, depending on the lender and whether the remortgage is with the same lender or not.


Land Registry Fee: based on the amount charged if fixed or if not fixed, the maximum amount that can be advanced or owed. These fees range between £20 and £150 for most transactions.

Land Registry Search Fees: £5 plus £2 per additional borrower and £3 if additional property is registered under a separate title.

Searches: this will depend on whether the lender requires full searches (i.e. Local Authority Search, water and drainage search and environmental search). The cost of these searches is likely to be £270.

Most lenders will accept no search indemnity insurance as an alternative to full searches, although this won’t include insurance for environmental searches which will need to be commissioned. The approximate cost of this (environmental search) is £60.00.

No search indemnity insurance will depend on the monies involved with the remortgage and the one off premiums range between £14 and £155 in relation to values of £100,000.00-£3million.

Bank transfer Fee: £36

Work involved includes:

Acting on behalf of your lender, reviewing the offer, their conditions and reporting to them if there is anything about the transaction which doesn’t accord with their instructions and notifying you of the same. Reviewing the search results and reporting any adverse matters to the lender. Reviewing the title and taking your instructions as to whether there have been any breaches of the title covenants (if any). If the property is a buy to let, reviewing any tenancy agreement in place to ensure that it accords with your lender’s requirements. Contacting your current lender and obtaining a redemption statement for the date of completion, repaying the current lender and drawing down funds on the new mortgage. Completing the mortgage and making the requisite application to the Land Registry. Dealing with any requisitions raised by the Land Registry and reporting to you and the lender once the Land Registry application has been successfully completed. Depending on the lender, we may be required to schedule certain title deeds and documents and send them to the lender for safekeeping.

Transfer of equity- our fees would be £500-£1000 (£600 – £1200 VAT inclusive) depending on whether the transfer of equity takes place simultaneously with the remortgage. The above fees include the cost of dealing with the remortgage.
Declaration of Trust: £275-£400 (£330 – £480 VAT inclusive) depending on the complexity of the document.

At Horwood & James Solicitors, we understand that the thought of running up large legal bills can be worrying.

So, to make things easier to understand, we offer an initial fixed fee family law meeting with one of our experienced family law solicitors at our Aylesbury office, for only £80 plus VAT.

Your initial fixed fee family law meeting at our Aylesbury office should last for approximately an hour.

At this meeting, one of our experienced family lawyers will listen to your individual circumstances and offer preliminary advice as to the legal options open to you.

We will ask for details about your personal situation both before and during the meeting, in addition to giving you legal advice at the meeting.

Divorce solicitors’ costs and Divorce fees

Divorce costs are often based on the individual case and usually differ from situation to situation. Our family law solicitors will talk with you about your situation, the divorce, and the potential financial situations that might occur as a result of your divorce.

Usually, the difficulty of the divorce case determines the divorce solicitors’ costs charged, but we will confirm this with you before commencement.

To issue an application for divorce, there is a court fee of £593.00. If you are on a low income, have limited savings or are in receipt of certain benefits, an application can be made to the Court for Help with Fees. It is then at the discretion of the Court as to whether you pay the court fee or whether the fee can be reduced.

If a Joint Application is being made, Help with Fees is only available where both parties have limited savings, get certain benefits or are on a low income. If this only applies to one party, then Help with Fees will not be available unless a Sole Application is made.

Most of our services are offered on an hourly rate basis, and as many of our clients’ matters are complex and often involve multiple parties, there is rarely a typical case. Our clients are given an estimate of costs after our initial meeting or as part of the engagement process. There are some areas where we are able to be more indicative, and, as in accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) guidance on price transparency, we have published our price and service information where it is possible to be upfront about charges without knowing all the details of the matter.

We render regularly invoices in relation to family law matters to enable clients to keep a close review of the fees that are being incurred in respect of their matter, and we advise of any disbursements upfront and ask for these to be paid on account ahead of incurring any such costs i.e. court fees, barristers charges, expert fees.

We have set out the hourly rates for solicitors at different levels.

The below rates and fee estimates are exclusive of VAT and disbursements. Professional fees will be subject to VAT at 20% where this is applicable.

Solicitor: £250 (£300 VAT inclusive)

Paralegal: £170 (£204 VAT inclusive) – £210 (£252 VAT inclusive)

Trainee Solicitors: £120 (£144 VAT inclusive)

These rates are subject to annual review.