Services and costs information

Our services and prices guidelines.

RESIDENTIAL CONVEYANCING

We at John Howe & Co have a great deal of experience in undertaking residential conveyancing matters, that is assisting clients to purchase, sell or re-mortgage their properties

Our Conveyancing Team

John Howe

Managing Director and COLP

John Howe studied law in Newcastle and Leeds and worked for various practices around West Yorkshire before establishing the firm in his home town, Pudsey.

Having qualified as a solicitor in 1988, John has gained experience in a variety of different areas of law including all aspects of residential conveyancing for the last 32 years.

Jenna Howe

Director and COFA

Jenna has been undertaking residential property transactions at John Howe & Co since 2013 and qualified as a solicitor in 2018.

Having qualified as a Solicitor at the beginning of 2018 following her training contract overseen by her father and Managing Director John Howe, Jenna now intends to follow in John’s footsteps as a general practitioner, providing common sense legal advice on a variety of different subject matters in a way that people can easily understand.

Paul Jacobson

Solicitor

Paul was admitted as a solicitor in 1981 and operated his own practice for around 13 years before joining John Howe and Co in 2011.

Paul has been undertaking Residential Conveyancing for almost 40 years.

Isobel Stirk

Trainee Solicitor

Isabel competed her law degree at Leeds Beckett University in 2018 followed by the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in 2019 and she commenced her Training Contract with the firm in August 2019 such training being overseen by Managing Director John Howe whereby she assist in residential conveyancing transactions.

Bob Howe

Trainee Solicitor

Following the completion of his law degree in 2013 Bob began his career with the firm in 2014 as a Conveyancing Executive. Beginning his Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in 2021, Bob commenced his Training Contract with the firm in 2021 such training being overseen by his Father and Managing Director John Howe whereby he assists in residential and commercial conveyancing transactions.

Bryn Rees

Trainee Solicitor

Having completed his law degree in 2015, Bryn subsequently began his career as a Compliance Officer in Scotland before joining the firm in 2021 to commence his Training Contract. Such training being overseen by Managing Director John Howe whereby he assists in a variety of matters including commercial and residential conveyancing transactions.

Our costs and information as to the service we provide are as follows :

Purchase of a freehold residential property

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

Our fees can be dependent upon the complexity and value of the transaction to be carried out. However our fees are generally based upon the following criteria.

Value of House 

Cost

VAT

up to £250,000  

£850.00

£170.00 

£250,001 - £500,000

£1000.00

£200.00

£500,001 - £750,000

£1200.00 

£240.00

£750,001 - £1,000,000

£1500.00

£300.00

Over £1,000,000

A bespoke quote will be given

In addition to the above fees you will also have to discharge certain expenses which are commonly known as disbursements. These include such costs as searches land registry fees and tax in the form of stamp duty. Such disbursements will differ from property to property often based upon its location within the County and the amount of the sale/purchase price.

When your purchase or re-mortgage has been completed it will need to be registered at HM Land Registry whose fees can be found at the following link - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees

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.

We will provide you with an estimate of the Stamp Duty/Land Tax with our initial quote based upon the information you provide.

We may have to charge you an additional fee where extra work is required in relation to the following:

Please Note: If any of these apply, we will notify you of the additional fees. In addition, there may be exceptional circumstances which require additional work. In these cases we will notify you of any further fees before carrying out the work.

All prices below are subject to the addition of VAT at the prevailing rate at the time of billing.

Dealing with a New Build property purchase

£150.00

Dealing with a Help to Buy Equity Loan purchase (in addition to New Build fee)

£150.00

Dealing with a Leasehold transaction

£150.00

Preparing a Declaration of Trust

£180.00

Preparing or approving a Deed of Covenant (simple/complex)

£120.00

Preparing or approving a Key Undertaking

£50.00

Acquiring an extension in the term of an existing Lease

£495.00

We can provide a detailed quotation upon being provided with the details of the transaction including the value of the purchase price and the location of the property

As an example, a freehold purchase at £175000 in Leeds should approximately cost as follows.

  • Legal fee £850
  • Search fees £240
  • Chancel Insurance £15.79
  • HM Land Registry fee – £190.00
  • Electronic money transfer fee £12.50
  • VAT payable £170.00
  • Estimated total £1478.29

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, some of the key stages are as follows

  • 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 Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Purchase of a leasehold residential propert

Our fees for a leasehold purchase are the same as a freehold purchase with the addition of £150 plus vat as set out in the additional legal services fees. There are certain additional disbursements on a leasehold purchase which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.

*These fees vary from property to property significantly. 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.

Residential Sales

Our fees for sales are the same as for purchases

Value of House 

Cost

VAT

up to £250,000  

£850.00

£170.00 

£250,001 - £500,000

£1000.00

£200.00

£500,001 - £750,000

£1200.00 

£240.00

£750,001 - £1,000,000

£1500.00

£300.00

Over £1,000,000

then an individual quote will have to be calculated

The following disbursements will apply :-

Electronic money transfer fee £ 15.00 Inc VAT

Land Registry Fees £ 6.00

AML checks £ 5.90

Re-Mortgages and Transfers of Equity

Reduced fees are available for Re-Mortgages and Transfers of Equity. Please note: these fees are representative of typical matters and additional fees may be applicable in atypical/non-standard cases.

 

Cost

VAT

Transfer of Equity

£550.00

£110.00

Re-Mortgage

£550.00

£110.00

Please be aware that we consider finance from sub-prime and boutique lenders as 'non-standard' for fee purposes.

PROBATE

Our Probate service involves the administration of the estate of a deceased person and often involves a formal application to the Probate Registry and the completion of the relevant Tax Forms. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets Such work is provided by Jeremy Atkinson Paul Jacobson and Jenna Howe

Jenna Howe

Director and COFA

Jenna has been undertaking residential property transactions at John Howe & Co since 2013 and qualified as a solicitor in 2018.

Having qualified as a Solicitor at the beginning of 2018 following her training contract overseen by her father and Managing Director John Howe, Jenna now intends to follow in John’s footsteps as a general practitioner, providing common sense legal advice on a variety of different subject matters in a way that people can easily understand.

Paul Jacobson

Solicitor

Paul was admitted as a solicitor in 1981 and having been employed in several well known Leeds law firms over the years undertaking a variety of work including criminal law, he set up his own successful practice in 1998.

In 2011 Paul retired his practice and commenced employment as a Full time Consultant solicitor with John Howe and Co undertaking Probate work amongst other areas. Paul has been undertaking Probate work for 38 years and is supervised by Jenna Howe.

How much does this service cost?

A fixed fee of £750.00 plus the relevant percentage of the value of the estate as detailed below. VAT is then applicable on the total. The minimum fee for administering an estate on a fixed charge basis is £2,000.00 plus VAT (inclusive of the fixed charge of £750.00 plus VAT) if we are not the executors and £2,500.00 plus VAT (inclusive of the fixed charge of £750.00 plus VAT) if we are acting as the executors.

The percentage charge is divided into two parts; the deceased person’s home (The value of the deceased person’s home, or as much of it as he or she owned e.g. if owned jointly the value will be reduced by half) and the value of the rest of the estate (including but not limited to bank/building society accounts, proceeds of insurance policies, benefits under pensions even if falling outside the estate for IHT purposes)

If John Howe & Co are not acting as the executors the following percentages will be charged:

Value of gross estate less residence 1.75%
Value of residence 0.75%

If John Howe & Co are acting as the executors the following percentages will be charged:

Value of gross estate less residence 2%
Value of residence 1%

When dealing with high value probate cases guidance suggests that there should be regressive charging regime. In relation to the value of the gross estate less the residence the following charges will apply to high value cases:

 

John Howe & Co as executors

John Howe & Co not acting as executors

Up to £1 million

2%

1.75%

On the next £1 million (maximum value £2 million)

1%

0.75%

On the remainder

0.66%

0.25%

(Please note that we reserve the right to amend this indication of costs depending on the complexity of the estate and whether additional and unexpected work and documents are required. If the cost indication needs to be amended wherever possible you will be informed in advance.)

There will be a beneficiary fee of £50 plus VAT per beneficiary to cover the time and professional advice associated with dealing with the beneficiaries and distributing any gift or legacy in their favour.

There are additional fees associated with Probate in terms of Court fees and disbursements and these will be additional to our fees outlined above.

Disbursements (£X in total):

  • Probate court fee of appx £160.
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor).
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
  • £300 - Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

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.

Any other third party costs will be charged to the estate such as estate agents costs and additional costs involved in dealing with the sale or transfer of any property.

If additional work is undertaken such as work in relation to a contested Probate matter our firms charges will be based on an hourly rate of £250 plus VAT for a Director dealing with a matter and £220 plus VAT for an assistant solicitor.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

On average, estates are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 8 and 12 weeks but this is dependent on how quickly the assets can be identified and the tax return completed and if applicable Inheritance Tax paid to HMRC. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 4 and 6 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 1-2 weeks.

Please note that in certain larger estates Inheritance Tax may be payable and these costs will be will be additional to the price displayed. We will try to provide an estimated figure of the tax payable at the outset but this cannot be calculated until all of the assets and reliefs available have been identified.

MOTORING

There are an increasing number of ways for the motorist to fall foul of the criminal law system, ranging from simple speeding offences and using a mobile telephone to causing death by dangerous driving.

It is vital that you have an expert advocate to mitigate on your behalf and reduce the potential risk of a loss of licence or in some circumstances imprisonment.

Should your case go to court we can help you prepare for any appearance at Magistrate or Crown Court (and if necessary, The Court of Appeal). Our services include finding and instructing a Barrister, where required.

John Howe would provide the advise and representation at court and he has some 30 years of experience in acting for Clients in respect of Road Traffic Matters, including mitigation, exceptional hardship and special reasons.

His charges are based upon the time he spends on preparing the case and attendance at court which in turn largely depends upon which court the offence is to be heard. His hourly charging rate is £280.00 per hour

At an initial meeting John can

    • Consider the appropriate evidence
    • Provide advice in relation to plea and likely sentence
    • Where it cannot be anticipated the likely sentence, advice on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
    • Where appropriate, advice on whether an exceptional hardship, or special reasons argument should be made

The costs of the initial meeting will be £50.00 plus VAT whereupon further cost information can be given once the full effects of the case are known

The key stages of your matter are.

  • Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
  • We will consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice.
  • Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost depending on the time involved).
  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
  • We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
  • We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.
  • We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the court.
  • We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.

At each stage of the proceedings John will be able to provide you with an estimate of the likely costs to be incurred.

In the event that Counsel or expert evidence is required then costs estimates will be obtained on your behalf before any firm instruction is given.

EMPLOYMENT CASES

Our employment Team

Leighan Banks

Solicitor

Leighan Banks is a Solicitor in the firm who qualified in 2013 and has a great deal of experience in acting for both employees and employers.

Our pricing range for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal is as follows:

Simple case: £3,000 - £4,000 (excluding VAT)

Medium complexity case: £6,000 - £10,000 (excluding VAT)

High complexity case: £12,000 - £25,000 (excluding VAT)

Factors that could make a case more complex include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The number of Claimants or Respondents
  • 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 (persons with no legal representation)
  • Making applications for witness orders
  • Applying for medical records of a medical report
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • Preparation of a complex schedule of your losses as a result of the claim
  • 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
  • Insolvency, TUPE or collective consultation relates claims

The above range is based the hourly rates of the fee earners which range from £200 - £250 per hour (plus VAT), depending on the experience and level of the solicitor dealing with the matter. There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal hearing based on the hourly rate of the fee earner with the conduct of the litigation. Generally, cases are listed for 1 to 5 days depending on the complexity of the case.

For individuals, there may be other funding options available. You may have cover under an existing insurance policy you hold, and this will be explored at your first appointment. We can also consider undertaking the work on an agreement whereby you are only responsible for our costs if the case is successful and these costs are capped at 25% of any damages that you are awarded. This agreement is known as a Damages Based Agreement and are only offered where we assess your case as having a 60% or more chance of being successful.

Disbursements

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 £500 and £2,500 per day (depending on experience of the Barrister) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation for the hearing).

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all 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 through ACAS to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing the claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on the 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 bundles of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at the final hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of 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 and will impact on the price outlined.

Likely Timescale

The time that 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 4-12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a final hearing, your case is likely to take 20-34 weeks. This is 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.

DEBT RECOVERY (UP TO £100,000)

Our litigation department consisting of Leighan Banks and Jenna Howe, who are all Solicitors, also conducts many forms of litigation including debt recovery.

We charge £50 plus VAT for an initial appointment regarding debt recovery.

The following costs apply where your 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, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Debt Value

Court Fee

Our fee (incl. VAT)

Up to £5,000

£35 - £205 dependent on value of case

£1,200

£5,000.01 to £10,000

£205

£2,400

£10,000.01 to £50,000

5% of the value of the claim

10% of the value of the claim

£50,000.01 to £100,000

5% of the value of the claim

5% of the value of the claim

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor if costs can be reclaimed at all.
  • 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:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within the timescale specified by the Court, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

We charge commission on any sum recovered prior to the commencement of legal proceedings. If a debt is paid by instalments and we collect these on your behalf we charge commission or £20, whichever is higher, on each instalment we collect.

Debt Value

Our fee (incl. VAT)

£0 - £1,000

15%

£1,000.01 - £10,000

10%

£10,000.01 +

5%

If you decide to withdraw your instructions, or the debt is not payable we charge an admin fee of £75 or half of the commission (whichever is higher). Once legal proceeding have been instigated then the costs will be as follows.

All work outside of the fixed fee is based upon a time spent basis based on the charging out rate of the person providing the advice and representation. Leighan Banks costs are based upon a charge out rate of £200 per hour and Jenna Howe is based upon a charge out rate of £180 per hour.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees which are dependent on the value of the case as outlined above. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

In addition we may need to carry out the appropriate searches on any potential debtors, for example a land registry search to establish if property is owned by the debtor for which the fees are £3 per property.

Likely Timescale

Matters usually take 4-26 weeks 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 Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.