Contact us

BBS Law Ltd
First Floor
The Edge
Clowes Street
Manchester M3 5NA

T: 0161 832 2500
F: 0161 834 4826
DX: 14321 Manchester 1

Commitment

The Partners of BBS Law are committed to conduct business in compliance with the highest professional standards and to complying with all laws, regulations and other requirements which govern us.   We are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships.  We acknowledge that we may not always get it right and so if something has gone wrong, including in relation to the bill, we ask that our clients tell us.

Scope

The scope of this policy embraces partners, all permanent and temporary employees, consultants and anyone who has any interests in the firm.

Approach

The company has set out the following approach in relation to complaint handling:

  • A complaint can be made in writing (by letter, fax or email) or verbally by telephone to our complaints partner Dov Black whose contact details are:

Dov Black,
Managing Partner
BBS Law Ltd
First Floor
The Edge
Clowes Street
Manchester M3 5NA
Telephone 0161 832 2500
Email: dov@bbslaw.co.uk

  • To help us understand your complaint, and in order that we do not miss anything, please tell us:
    • Your full name and contact details
    • What you think we have got wrong
    • What you hope to achieve as a result of your complaint
    • Your file reference number if you have it
  • If you require help in making your complaint we will try to help you
  • We will record your complaint on our central register
  • We will write to you within five working days acknowledging your complaint, enclosing a copy of this policy
  • We will investigate your complaint.  An investigation will usually involve:
    • Reviewing your complaint
    • Reviewing your file(s) and other relevant documentation
    • Speaking with the person who has dealt with your matter
  • We may require further information or documentation from you.  We will ask that you provide the information to us within an agreed time period.
  • We will update you on the progress of your complaint at appropriate times.
  • We may also, if appropriate, invite you to a meeting to discuss your complaint.  You do not have to attend if you do not wish to or are unable to do so. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you on the telephone.
  • We will write to you at the end of our investigation to tell you what we have done and what we propose to do to resolve your complaint.  Although we have up to eight (8) weeks in which to investigate and respond to a complaint, wherever possible we aim to do this within twenty one (21) days of the date of our letter of acknowledgement to you.
  • If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation please first let us know and we will review the matter.
  • You can also discuss your matter with our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
    • By Post to SRA Report, The Cube, 199 Wharfside St, Birmingham B1 1RN
    • By telephone 0370 606 2555
    • By email at report@sra.org.uk
  • If you are still unhappy you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to look into your complaint. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman:

Alternative complaints bodies exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.   We agree to use Small Claims Mediation (UK) Limited, details of which are:

  • Small Claims Mediation (UK) Limited, 33 Leicester Road Blaby Leicester LE8 4GR
  • Telephone: 0116 284 8100
  • Website: www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk

If you have engaged our services online you can also submit your complaint via the European Commission Online Dispute Resolution Platform at http://ec.europa.eu/odr.

What will it cost?

We will not charge you for handling your complaint.

Please note, if we have issued a bill for work done on the matter and all or some of the bill is not paid, we may be entitled to charge interest on the amount outstanding.

Both The Legal Ombudsman and Small Claims Mediation services are free of charge.

Review

This policy will be reviewed at least annually by the Partners or following changes to legislation in order to gauge its effectiveness and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.  

Correct as at 1st January 2019.

In order to deal with assets in an estate, the Personal Representatives of the estate will often need to apply for a Grant of Representation. This is a legal document issued by the High Court which authorises the Personal Representatives to administer the estate of a deceased person.

If there is a Will, the Grant is called a Grant of Probate. If there is no Will the Grant is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Most financial institutions require sight of a Grant before releasing any funds. If the deceased owned a property or shares, a Grant will definitely be required.

BBS Law offers two levels of service:

Grant only Service; and

Full estate administration service

Grant Only Service

Our Grant only service can be a cost-effective way to obtain a Grant for an estate where the Personal Representatives are willing to be responsible for dealing with all the assets and liabilities of the estate themselves.

Using this service, BBS Law will draft an application for a Grant using information provided by the Personal Representatives. Once the Grant has been obtained, the Personal Representatives will be responsible for dealing with the estate.

Cost

Our Grant only fees are:

  • Where a simplified estate form (IHT205) is submitted – £1,800.00 including VAT plus disbursements
  • Where a full estate form (IHT400) is submitted, and we are not organising the payment of Inheritance Tax – £3,000.00 including VAT plus disbursements

Disbursements

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

Typical disbursements include, but are not limited to:

  • Swear Fees: typically, £7 per executor
  • Probate application fee: £155.00
  • Additional copies of Grant: 50p per copy
  • Post in the London Gazette: typically, £90
  • Post in a Local Newspaper: typically, £90

The total cost of the disbursements is likely to be in the region of £345.00

What BBS Law will do for you

  • Provide you with initial advice
  • Identify the Probate application you require
  • Obtain the relevant information required to make the application
  • Place a notice in the London Gazette, and if necessary, a local newspaper (this helps to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors)
  • Draft a legal Oath for the Personal Representatives to swear
  • Complete the relevant HMRC form(s)
  • Make an application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain and send the Grant (and any copies) to the Personal Representatives

Timescale:

Typically, obtaining a Grant can take anywhere between 4-12 months. There are many variables that can affect the time it takes to obtain a Grant. Such variables include:

  • Difficulties in valuing assets
  • Time waiting for instructions or information from the Personal Representatives
  • Time taken for HMRC to give permission for Grant to be obtained (where the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax)
  • Time taken for Probate Registry to seal the Grant
  • If an investigation is required because the estate is not as straightforward as initially thought, e.g. an investigation by the DWP
  • Difficulty selling property

Full Estate Administration Service

Using this service, BBS Law will draft an application for a Grant using information we obtain from the various banks and other institutions. Once the Grant has been obtained, BBS will then wind up the estate on behalf of the Personal Representatives.

The cost of dealing with the full administration of an estate will vary depending on the terms of the Will (where there is one), the size and complexity of the estate and the type of assets involved.

Cost

The cost for administering is determined by a number of factors. The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. Factors that may influence the cost of administering an estate include:

  • Number of beneficiaries
  • Number of bank accounts and investments
  • Complexity of tax calculations
  • How much work the Personal Representatives wish to do themselves
  • Number of shareholdings
  • Number of properties
  • Foreign, business or agricultural assets

As a guide, the fees for full estate administration typically start from £3,000 – £5,000 including VAT for a very straightforward estate whilst fees for complex estates can exceed £20,000 including VAT.

What BBS Law will do for you

  • Provide initial advice
  • Gathering the necessary evidence needed for the probate application
  • Applying for the Grant
  • Collecting in assets
  • Settling debts and tax liabilities
  • Placing notices in the London Gazette and a local paper
  • Notifying third parties, such as banks, utility companies and share registrars
  • Dealing with HMRC
  • Preparation of full estate account and tax returns
  • Paying legacies and distributing the residue of the estate in accordance with the Will or Intestacy Rules (if there is no Will).
Timescale

Typically, administering an estate can take anywhere between 6-18 months. Several factors can impact upon the length of time it takes to finalise an estate. Potential factors can include:

  • Difficultly in valuing assets
  • Time waiting for instructions or information from the Personal Representatives
  • Time taken for HMRC to give permission for Grant to be obtained (where the estate is subject to Inheritance Tax)
  • Time taken for Probate Registry to seal the Grant
  • If an investigation is required because the estate is not as straightforward as initially thought, e.g. an investigation by the DWP
  • Difficulty selling property
  • Difficulty in locating share certificates
  • Time taken to settle Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains liabilities and obtain finalisation from HMRC
  • Difficulty in locating beneficiaries
  • Difficulty in locating assets

Qualifications

Our Probate team is made up of qualified solicitors including Julie Bell TEP who qualified in 2006 and a number of assistants.

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

Simple case: £5,000 – £7,500 (excluding VAT). Medium complexity case: £7,500 – £10,000 (excluding VAT). High complexity case: £10,000 plus (excluding VAT)

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 applications prior to a final hearing
  • Making or defending a cost application
  • Dealing with disputed Preliminary issues
  • The number of witnesses
  • The volume of documentation

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing of approximately £750 – £1,500 per day (excluding VAT) where required. This depends on the complexity of a case and the seniority of the fee earner involved.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such medical or, court fees.

Counsel’s fees are estimated between £1,000 – £2,500 (excluding VAT) per day for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation (depending on experience of the advocate, and the location of the hearing). (Additional sums in respect of travel expenses may also be payable, charged at the actual costs).

Key stages

The fees set out above cover 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 is subject to change depending on the progression of the matter)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation via ACAS, (unless already competed) which is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a Claim or Response
  • Reviewing/advising on the Claim, or Response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Complying with all Orders/Directions given by the Employment Tribunal, to include:
    • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
    • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing, where required
    • Exchanging documents with the other party and preparing document lists
  • Preparing a bundle of documents Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list, if directed to do so
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication of the usual stages of the Employment Tribunal process, however, dependant on the complexity of a case, not all stages will be necessary, and as such fees will be reduced accordingly.

If you wish to handle the claim yourself, and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages, this can be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

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 approximately 2 – 8 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 20 – 52 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. Again this will be dependent on various factors, including the type of case being pursued and its complexity.

Qualifications

Our employment team is made up of a number of solicitors, all of whom have at least 6 years’ experience, and is supervised by a partner who has over 25 years’ experience.

These 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 valueCourt feeOur fee (plus VAT)Total
Up to £5,000£205£350£555
£5,001 – £10,000£455£500£955
£10,001 – 50,0005% value of the claim£750£750 + court fee

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • 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.
  • The costs quoted above do not include disbursements such as counsel’s fees or other necessary fees for preparing your claim at court.

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, either drafting and issuing claim or instructing counsel to draft the court papers
  • 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 14 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 4-6 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.

For proactive, lateral thinking and efficient, cost-effective advice, contact us to discuss your needs.