Under The Council for Licensed Conveyancing Regulatory Arrangements, all firms of Licensed Conveyancers are required to provide the following information to prospective consumers:-
- Service Information;
- Cost Information;
- Regulatory Information;
- Complaints Information.
The aim of the new requirements is for consumers to have the information they need, when they need it, to help them make an informed decision about which legal services provider to choose.
The philosophy of Adams Kaye is to endeavour, at all times, to provide a bespoke and responsive service to you (including in respect of fees and costs/disbursements – see below). This is highlighted in the “Our Vision” statement section of our website. We believe we are at the forefront of the legal property services sector, not just because of the quality of our work, but the friendly and responsive approach we aim to provide to all of our clients, irrespective of the value of the property. All of our clients are extremely important to us and we want to provide you with the best possible care and attention, at all times, so you come back to us (and hopefully recommend us), in the future. At the core of our business is “personal service”, which is why so many clients are personally recommended to us. In turn, we have people we like to recommend as well, including accountants, surveyors, even removal companies, electricians, plumbers and other solicitors (i.e. an area of law with which we do not practice) – we only recommend people we have direct experience of dealing with, whose quality we can personally vouch for.
In every single case, irrespective of the ease or complexity of any particular matter, property type or any other factor, all work will always be directly supervised by a Director, who is a qualified Licensed Conveyancer.
- How long will my transaction take?
Typically, from the moment your offer is accepted, to the moment you get the keys (or hand over the keys on a sale), the average time frame is 6-8 weeks. This can be less (or more) depending on how straightforward (or complex) the matter is. You will be informed of all key developments and be made aware of any complexities or problems, at the earliest possible opportunity. We believe openness and transparency leads to a smoother (and less stressful) conveyancing transaction. There can be many factors which can cause a matter to be delayed (or even go abortive), including such things as unauthorised alterations to a property (e.g. absence of local authority planning permission or building regulation approvals), defects in a Lease, an adverse survey or even adverse search results. This is just a small sample but we will notify you immediately of any problems we may encounter, and aim to give you a best estimate of how long it will take to resolve, or in the absence of a timeframe, what is required to resolve any particular issue.
- Who will handle my transaction and what is their qualification?
You will be notified in our client care letter as to who will have day-to-day conduct of your matter and the name of the Director who will have direct supervision. Full details of our staff can be seen on our website, under the section “Our Team”. Details of their expertise, experience and qualification will be as stated on their individual profiles.
- How do we deliver our service to you?
Our main reception opening hours are 9.00am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. However, you will probably find us working longer hours than this! The Directors rarely “switch off” and offer free out of hours and weekend contact.
You will have a dedicated lawyer (fee earner) specifically assigned to you.
We require to meet all new clients, in person, with original proof of identity (i.e. an up to date passport and driving licence) and proof of address, and proof and source of wealth (bank statements). Where clients are not “local” and unable to attend at our office in the City, alternative arrangements will need to be made with local lawyers to undertake these identity checks, on our behalf.
Some of our staff speak other languages and their talents are stated on their individual profiles on our website.
Due to our office being in the City of London, we have no office parking facilities. Full details of how to find us are stated on our “Contact Us” page.
The total cost of the service we will provide will always be itemised in a detailed quote for you, as there are many factors that will feature as to how much our fees will be. We do not operate an online “cost calculator”, as all our quotes are individually tailored to you, your needs and your property. No property is ever the same (not even in a block of flats). For example, whether the property is a flat or a house, or Grade II Listed or in a rural location, or perhaps with outbuildings. Other factors include whether the property is a new-build or a new conversion, a flat (or even a house) with a short lease, or with a lease extension, sale, purchase or re-mortgage.
We have one extra benefit to you in that we do not charge any hourly rates at all. Our fees are 100% fixed fee, in 100% of all cases. Nor do we have any internal “time recording”, nor any billing targets. Our staff are not driven by targets, or time recording (because we do not have such targets!) - we are driven by quality and service only. We will only take on work where we have reasonable capacity (or knowledge) to do so. We would rather turn work away, than take on too much work and be too busy, where quality can suffer. We are not (and never will be) a “volume” conveyancing firm, but something quite unique to the City of London. Every single person is unique, and we want to tailor our service to your needs and requirements. The only costs that are payable in advance, on all matters (especially purchases) is the cost of local authority, drainage and environmental searches (including planning and chancel). These are disbursements that are payable to a third party provider and as such non-repayable, as they are not charges levied by us. On a sale, the non-refundable disbursements will include official copies of your title from The Land Registry, together with costs for obtaining a management pack (in respect of a leasehold property).
The Informed Choice Regulations require us to display cost information on our website, including the total cost of the service or, where not practicable, the average cost or range of costs. As stated above, all of our legal costs are individually tailored to your specific needs and the type of property transaction involved. The value of two properties may be identical (e.g. £250,000.00), but the type of work involved could be significantly different, with the examples given above. For this reason, an itemised quote will be given to you, upon request, usually within an hour of speaking with you, but usually no later than 24 hours later.
For the purpose of the regulations, we are able to provide you with an average cost or range of costs, as follows.
Costs estimate (excluding disbursements, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty etc)
|Value of Property||Base fee scale range
|Up to £500,000.00||£695.00 - £1,265.00|
|£500,000.00-£850,000.00||£1,265.00 - £1,625.00|
|£850,000.00-£1,000,000.00||£1,625.00 - £1,915.00|
|Above £1,000.000.00||Information available upon request|
We never like to lose a client and in certain circumstances some corporate discounts may be applicable (via our corporate introducers) or even seasonal or other discounts, to try and win your business! If you receive a lower quote, do please let us know. The above quotes are merely an illustration of our standard published fee scale, for ultimately the Directors will have the final say over all quotes and have the power to offer flexibility.
Other costs, fees and disbursements:-
- Getting a Mortgage
There will be other costs as well, again depending on your particular circumstances. For example, if you are obtaining a mortgage and we are on the panel of your chosen lender (we are on the panel of all the major lenders, meaning we can act for both you and your lender), we would charge an additional fee of £195.00 plus VAT to deal with all the legal mortgage aspects, to advise you on the borrowing and to liaise with your lender, and to act for your lender as well. There will be rare occasions that we are not on the panel of certain lenders and in those circumstances another law firm will need to be instructed to act for the lender, where we are unable to. This is called “dual representation”. In those rare circumstances, the other law firm will charge a small fee to act for the lender only and we will of course let you know their costs, as soon as this is known to us. Their fees usually range from £250.00 plus VAT to £350.00 plus VAT, but we will let you know as soon as possible. Typically, when we are providing you with a quote at the very beginning, we will ask you who will be your chosen lender and at that stage we will be able to tell you if we are on their panel or not. A full list of the panels we are on can be provided, upon request.
- Getting a gift
You may also receive a gift from family, towards the purchase. If you are obtaining a mortgage as well, this may need to be specifically reported to the lender, but we would have to undertake enhanced due diligence in respect of all gifts of money you are to receive, for which we usually charge an average of £200.00 plus VAT in respect of each gift. If you are to receive two or more gifts, we will always seek to be reasonable with these charges, but a full quote will be given to you, at the very outset. Gifts from non-family members may not actually be permissible by your lender, including some gifts from overseas. Our advice is to always check with your lender at the earliest possible stage (i.e. at the pre-application stage) to check they will have no problem with this.
- Help to Buy ISA
If you have a qualifying Help to Buy ISA, we will charge a maximum fee of £50.00 plus VAT to deal with these aspects and claim your government bonus for you. Full details of these particular arrangements (and advice) are available upon request.
For a purchase, local authority, drainage, environment and chancel searches need to be obtained, in every case. The total cost of these is always £327.09 plus VAT. This cost is the only aspect that is non-refundable, once the searches have been ordered. We always ask for £400.00 on account, at the start of any matter, to cover the cost of these searches, in order to leave a small balance in our client account (which balance is your “client” money), and any surplus will be credited toward the final balance due on completion.
- Stamp Duty
Stamp Duty is the government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax, payable on a purchase or in circumstances, on a transfer of equity. The amount of stamp duty payable will depend on many factors, which we will always discuss with you at the outset. For example, you may be entitled to claim first time buyer relief, or you may already own other property (even globally) which could increase the cost of the standard amount of stamp duty. The stamp duty is tiered and will therefore increase depending on the value of any property, or whether you own other property or you are not a first time buyer. When we take details from you to provide a quote, we will then state the total amount of stamp duty payable in our full quotation document.
On a purchase, a stamp duty form needs to be drafted and then submitted to HMRC. We charge a standard fee of £95.00 plus VAT in this respect, in all cases.
We have set out below some examples of Stamp Duty payable on a £250,000.00 purchase, £500,000.00 purchase and £2,0000.000 purchase:-
|1st Time Buyer||Not a 1st Time Buyer||Owner of other property (globally)|
|Stamp Duty payable:||£0.00||£2,500.00||£10,000.00|
|1st Time Buyer||Not a 1st Time Buyer||Owner of other property (globally)|
|Stamp Duty payable:||£10,000.00||£15,000.00||£30,000.00|
|1st Time Buyer||Not a 1st Time Buyer||Owner of other property (globally)|
|Stamp Duty payable:||£153,750.00||£153,750.00||£213,750.00|
The above examples are valid as at 1st December 2018. Upon supplying you with a quote, the Stamp Duty stated in that quote will be correct, as at that date. Here is a link to a Stamp Duty calculator https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro
- Land Registry
Land Registry fees are also payable on a purchase. H.M. Land Registry has a fee scale, depending on the value of a transaction. By way of example, for a purchase price of £250,000.00, the Land Registry fee will be £135.00 (no VAT), if submitted electronically. If the property is a new build, this may have to be lodged manually, for which the fee will be £270.00 (no VAT). The correct amount of Land Registry fee payable will be stated in our full quotation document.
- Other costs and disbursements
We also charge £25.00 per telegraphic transfer plus VAT.
A bankruptcy search is £2.00 per name.
A Land Registry search fee is £3.00 per title.
We conduct an electronic lawyer check to verify seller’s solicitor’s bank details, which is £10.00 plus VAT.
We will also conduct an electronic AML (anti-money laundering check) of £3.50 plus VAT per name.
Total cost of the service
A final cost for a £250,000 freehold purchase for a first time buyer with no gifts will be £1,760.95 including VAT.
By way of further example, the final cost for a first time buyer leasehold purchase at £500,000.00 will be approximately £2,430.95 (excluding Stamp Duty).
We do always try to offer some flexibility with our fees, to meet your budget, so if you receive a lower quote to the one provided by us, do please let us know. We do not wish to lose you as a client.
For a leasehold purchase, the landlord or managing agents may levy an administration charge to register you as the new owner, upon completion. We are unable to say at this stage what the fee will be, but it can range from as little as zero, to circa £200.00. We will of course let you know their fees as soon as the information is provided.
Unfortunately, it is possible that some complications may arise during any conveyancing transaction, as that is the nature of buying (or selling) a property, where every single property is different, throughout the country. However, we believe that with good communication, we can work together to resolve these issues, to achieve the best possible outcome for you. The most important aspect of all is that we communicate with you, at all times, which is why we do not operate a “call centre” or “online” business, but an individual lawyer assigned to you, with their direct phone and email, to hold your hand throughout. In addition, a Director is always supervising and you can of course always speak with any of the Directors, at any time – that is what we are here for.
In accordance with The Council for Licensed Conveyancers Code of Conduct, we are under a duty to inform you that in certain cases we may receive a referral fee or pay an introducer of work a referral fee. Full details of these arrangements are always stated in our client care documents, which will always be sent to all clients. Referral fees in those instances are paid by us (Adams Kaye) to the introducer and never paid by you. Please note that this payment is not dependent on the transaction proceeding, as there is no direct interest between the Referrer and Adams Kaye Ltd, to ensure the transaction proceeds. We will always act in your best interests. We would also add that there is no restriction upon you to instruct us and you have full liberty to “shop around”, to employ another law firm if you wish. In cases where a referral fee is payable, full details of this (including the amount paid) will always be set out clearly, in our client care letter. This fee usually starts at £100.00 and can increase, depending on the value of the transaction involved. But, to reiterate, this fee is not payable by you.
Sometimes, a third-party company may pay a referral fee to us. This can include search providers, surveyors, accountants and even other firms of solicitors. We are always happy to provide full details to our clients, upon request. The average referral fee we may receive will be approximately £100.00 and this is a payment to Adams Kaye.
We are committed to providing a high quality service in all respects and keeping you advised regularly of the progress of your matter. If you have any queries or concerns about our work for you, (including any complaint about our charges or bills) please raise them in the first instance with the Client Director. We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints, which is available upon request. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within the timescales in our complaints procedure, you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman. If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO BOX 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (telephone 0300 555 0333; email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to consider the complaint. Normally, you will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint or alternatively 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago).
As well as your right to complain about any of our bills under our complaints procedure, you can also apply for the bill to be assessed by the court
Our regulators are The Council for Licensed Conveyancers and our practice licence number is 3517.
We have professional indemnity insurance up to a limit of £3,000,000.00 (three million pounds).