Fees and Expenses
Details of the estimated quotation for your individual transaction are included in our accompanying letter. The amount of fees and disbursements will only be varied in the following specific circumstances: –
- If you fail to complete after exchange of contracts an additional charge will be made dependant on the amount of additional work involved.
- If you fail to provide full or correct information on tenure and/or Lender details at time of instruction.
- In the event of your matter requiring additional work to that of a standard transaction. We will notify you in advance (Fees such as expedited completions) within our report to you of the amount of additional fees found in our legal services document shared with you from the initial instruction therefore giving you the opportunity to consider whether you want to proceed to incur the additional fees before the work is commenced.
- Government determines Land Registry fees and stamp duty and these, together with the cost of local authority and other searches are subject to change. These items will be charged at the rates in force at the time of the search, registration or completion.
- All money transfers will be subject to a charge, as detailed in our Illustration of Fees and legal services document.
- Where you are selling a property, which is subject to a mortgage and/or a secured loan, we will redeem the amount(s) owing by money transfer.
- Any Stamp Duty Land Tax payable will be settled via money transfer direct to HM Revenue & Customs and a money transfer fee will be charged, however if you would prefer to settle this yourself please let us know prior to completion.
Bespoke Law Services (BLS) does not and will not advise on the availability and accepts no liability or cause for Multiple Dwelling Relief (bulk purchase relief) of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). The SDLT is a personal tax and you should seek professional financial advice in relation to it, BLS will not advise you on this and will not accept any liability in relation to the amount of SDLT that is paid to HMRC.
- On completion, we will conduct an online fraud check to ensure the solicitors on the other side of your transaction are a valid law firm and the cost of the check will be £12.00 plus vat which will be charged to you on completion.
Covid 19 specific
BLS, in line with Government guidance on temporary reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) applicable to residential properties, will continue to act as efficiently as possible. However, it should be noted that if a property is not completed in time to qualify for any reduced rate of stamp duty, for any reason whatsoever, BLS will not accept any liability in this regard.
If the property you are buying is leasehold you will be responsible for the payment of Ground Rent and Service Charges on the property during your ownership. We will provide you with as much information as we can with regard to the service charge. Estimates for services charges for the future are usually based on previous accounts and should not be taken as definitive indication of future service charge costs. If you have any further enquiries in this regard, you should make enquiries directly with the management company.
Where you were introduced to us by a third party we may pay a referral fee from our legal fees.
We will provide you with an estimated quote of our fees at the outset of your transaction and this estimated quote will be based on the knowledge that we have of your transaction at the time. We will also provide you with a legal services document that relates to other aspects of conveyancing outside of the normal conveyancing process and if any of these items arise during the transaction we will charge the amount detailed on the legal services document and make this clear in our report to you.
If any other work is required that is not covered in either the initial estimated quote or the legal services document, then we will provide you with the information and related fees within our report to you.
If after being instructed the matter proves abortive, we will only charge for the work carried out and if the transaction is in its very early stages no charge will be made however if considerable work (which we cannot use on another transaction) has been carried out we will make a charge for the work done in line with BLS abortive fee policy. You can request a copy of the abortive fee policy.
If you are due a refund because your transaction becomes abortive, then we will require your ID prior to refunding any money. We will not be able to refund without your satisfactory ID.
You will be provided with a completion statement showing the balance, either due to yourself after completion or, the balance required from you for completion. Any and all sums shown as due on the completion statement must arrive at this office at least FOUR WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO COMPLETION to allow for clearance into our bank. Alternatively if you prefer or if time is short we will liaise with you as to alternative methods of payment but in all cases the balance required to complete must be cleared in our bank account by the day before completion at the latest. If your money arrives after this time you will be subject to additional charges which will be reported to you at that time but will be subject to a minimum of £150 plus VAT. Any extra charges incurred, as a result of alternative payment methods will be at your expense. Please be aware that all payments in excess of £1000.00 must be made by telegraphic transfer directly to our bank account.
Unless otherwise agreed, in writing, you will be personally responsible for the settlement of any and all fees and third party payments and expenses incurred on your behalf.
We reserve the right not to complete your transaction until all outstanding amounts are credited to your account.
In the event of payments required to be made to third parties, such as payments for mortgage redemptions or estate agency commissions, we will send the figures to you and pay them on your behalf unless we hear from you to the contrary.
BLS disclaims any liability for client money lost through default of our bank. Please note that to ensure that the there are no delays to completion it is our policy to request mortgage funds the day before, this means that you will pay an additional days interest on your mortgage.
Please note that our banking details will not change during the course of your transaction. Our banks details will not be emailed to you. If you are sending money to us it is your responsibility to check that the bank details you are using to send money to us are correct before sending your payment. If in any doubt at all about transferring money, consult your conveyancer. There have been a number of instances of internet banking fraud in the legal industry and the policy of BLS is to request that when making electronic payments you telephone our office first and speak to your conveyancer to check that the bank details you are using are correct before sending any payment. BLS will not take any responsibility for any loss or consequences if you transfer money to a wrong or false bank account.
Please note we will never send our bank details by email, if you receive an email purporting to be from BLS containing any bank details you should disregard it and contact us immediately.
In the event of any invoice balance/debt being unpaid and outstanding for more than 7 days of demand/request, we may cease acting for you, and will be entitled to charge interest at the rate of 4% above the base rate set by the Bank of England, including third party debt collection fees and recovery of legal costs.
BLS will carry out your conveyancing transaction according to your instructions, subject to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers rules and to any relevant statutes or regulations.
Once instructed, BLS will represent you in your conveyancing transaction until you advise us in writing that you do not wish us to continue, or until we write and advise you that we will no longer represent you, which we may do at our discretion. Fees will apply in line with the BLS abortive fee policy. You can request a copy of the abortive fee policy. BLS will not tolerate any aggressive, abusive or inappropriate behaviour towards its staff. In the event that you conduct yourself with behaviour that is deemed, by us, to be unacceptable then we reserve the right to stop representing you with immediate effect and charge fees applicable to abortive matters.
It is standard practise to commence working as soon as we have your signed questionnaire form. If searches are required on your transaction, and you have provided us with money on account, we will order these at the earliest opportunity unless you instruct us otherwise. Money spent on third party disbursements, including searches, is not refundable and will be deducted from any money due back to you in the case of your file not proceeding.
Conveyancing files for sale or re-mortgage transactions will be kept for 6 years, purchase transaction files will be kept for 6 years after which time, unless we receive your instructions to the contrary the file will be destroyed.
Until contracts have been exchanged, the completion date is not fixed for definite and the agreement to sell or buy a property is not binding.
You will need to have buildings insurance in place to enable you to exchange contracts.
Throughout your transaction up to the stage of exchange of contracts, we may well discuss with you, tentative completion dates in readiness for exchange of contracts. Until you hear from us with confirmation that we have exchanged contracts, you must not take any estimated/tentative dates as final confirmation of the completion date.
As soon as we have exchanged contracts we will telephone and/or write to you confirming that exchange has taken place and the completion date agreed. Until this time, we would advise against making firm arrangements to physically move, which is why we also suggest you allow enough time between exchange of contracts and completion to organise removals etc and allow us to put in hand arrangements to complete.
We endeavour to provide an outstanding level of customer service and to do this we aim to be available for clients when they telephone as far as possible and to process work or your behalf as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, in order that we can provide this high level of service to our clients we sometimes need to enforce a ‘fair use policy’ on the rare occasions that a client seeks to impose a demand on our time that compromises our ability to provide a level of customer service to our other clients.
- To comply with anti-money laundering regulations, to prevent fraud and for your security, we require a utility bill or bank/building society statement less than three months old, for each client, showing names and addresses as they appear on the application form.
- A certified copy of a current, valid passport or photo ID driving licence (both parts) for each client. The documents can be certified by a Solicitor, or at a Main Branch of the Post Office (if you do not have a passport or photo ID driving license please telephone us to discuss available alternatives).
- To meet Money Laundering Regulations, we will carry out an online identity check to validate the identity and residence documents provided for each client, please refer to your Statement of Fees for current charges.
- If your transaction includes either a re-mortgage or a purchase, remember to provide the requested cheque made payable to BLS
- BLS has an obligation to report any suspicious activity and will not be able to inform the client when such a situation has arisen.
We will not normally discuss your case with anyone who telephones on your behalf unless we have your written authority to do so. This is to protect your confidentiality and security and, for the same reason, we may on occasion record calls.
By signing your application form you give us authority to discuss with and give details of your case to lenders, estate agents and other parties necessary to your transaction, unless you revoke this authority in writing.
In the interest of maintaining high quality service and compliance with defined service standards, we may allow work providers to inspect our files by way of an audit. Auditors will only be allowed access to files introduced to us by their respective organisation.
Professional Liability Insurance
BLS has the benefit of professional liability insurance in respect of conveyancing and Wills and Probate services provided in England and Wales with Howden UK Group Limited who may be contacted at 16, Eastcheap, London, EC3M 1BD. The limit of our indemnity is £2 million per transaction and by instructing BLS to act for you then you are accepting that this is the maximum limit of any potential claim.
Our aim is to provide an efficient and responsive service.
If after following the review process you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of our handling of your complaint, you may contact directly the Legal Ombudsman to ask them to consider the complaint further.
Legal Ombudsman, Edward House, Quay Place, Birmingham, B1 2RA.
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Unless it agrees there are good reasons not to do so, the Legal Ombudsman will expect you to allow us to consider and respond to your complaint in accordance with the procedure set out above in the first instance. You can refer your complaint up to 6 months after you have received our final written response to your complaint. You can also use the Ombudsman service if we have not resolved your complaint within 8 weeks of us receiving it. A complaint can be referred to the Legal Ombudsman up to six years from the date of the act or omission or up to 3 years after discovering a problem. The Ombudsman deals with service-related complaints; any conduct-related complaints will be referred to the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
Alternative complaints bodies (such as Promediate) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme.
We do not agree to use Promediate.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers regulates the conduct of Licensed Conveyancers. Council for Licensed Conveyancers, We Work, 131, Finsbury Pavement, London, EC2A 1NT.
In addition to the above, if you make a valid claim against us for a loss arising out of work for which we are legally responsible, and we are unable to meet our liability in full, you may be entitled to claim from the Compensation Fund administered by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (from whom details can be obtained).
Data Protection Act 1998
We will act as a Data Controller relevant to the details that you provide during the property sale/purchase/re-mortgage. Where we pass details on your behalf to carefully selected Companies who may provide related products or services, we will act as a Data Processor.
Consumer Credit Act 2013
You are afforded a 14 day cool down period and instructions can be withdrawn without charge except for any disbursements you have expressly instructed us to pay on your behalf in terms of pre-exchange searches and Anti Money Laundering checks.
BLS will hold money on your behalf in our client account which may accrue interest at the base rate of HSBC. It is the policy of BLS to pay interest to you on money held on your behalf if the total accrued interest exceeds £20.00.
We offer a fair, reasonable and straightforward refund policy when it comes to matters becoming abortive.
If the matter goes abortive at an early stage and little or no work has been done, the client/customer will not be charged any legal fees. If the matter is at a later stage, we will charge in line with our abortive fees. For more information on our abortive fees, please contact us.
Delivery of Service
Once we have received your instruction, you will be assigned to a solicitor. You will receive their details in your welcome pack email. The welcome email will also contain attachments, some of which you will need to complete and return to us.
Payment and Currency
We accept payment in Pound Sterling (£) GBP via Worldpay on our website or you can make a telephone payment by calling 0345 373 2030. Alternatively you can make a bank transfer payment. Please note that we will never email our bank details for security purposes. To obtain our bank details, please contact us on the number above.