Price Transparency Guidance

Introduction

These price guidelines apply to our clients and potential clients who are instructing us as individual consumers and not to those who are instructing as a business or instructing us on behalf of their business. Business clients can obtain estimates or rates from the solicitor they are dealing with directly.

BBM Solicitors Limited (BBM) is a firm of solicitors registered with the Law Society of Scotland. BBM has offices in central Edinburgh and Wick. Our regulator, the Law Society of Scotland has issued guidance on “Transparent Pricing” and therefore, we wish to make information readily available to clients and potential clients about fees, outlays and costs that may be incurred when instructing us. This guidance is in place for all firms in Scotland that offer legal services to consumers.

Below are some examples of pricing for legal services that we offer. These are provided only as illustrations and not as definitive costs. The time spent on the instruction impacts significantly on the price. More complex instructions will require more time. Some types of work will carry a fixed or estimated fee, which can be quoted at the outset. Others need to be calculated by a scale or unit cost varying with the amount of time, expertise or other efforts appropriate for the completion of the case or transaction.

Over and above fees, outlays are charges and costs paid by us on behalf of a client to facilitate a transaction/matter. These outlays tend to be payable to organisations such as Courts, Registers of Scotland, Searching Companies, Surveyors and Local Authorities.

We will now go on to outline various examples of how we fee and we hope they are helpful in showing how we calculate the charges for work we do for you. Before accepting any instruction we will issue a specific Terms of Engagement Letter to you. This will set out the hourly rates you will pay. An estimate of the fees and outlays we will charge for non-contentious transactional work can also be provided to you by email at this time, where giving an estimate is possible.

Sale of a Residential Property

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale of your current property, including dealing with any offers and subsequent missives, ordering searches, repaying any secured loans and registering any deeds at Registers of Scotland and paying any funds to you.

Fees and outlays

• Legal fee £950.00 (assuming a sale of property in Land Register valued at between £100,000.00 – £150,000.00)

• VAT payable £190.00

• Property Search fees £145.00

• Registers of Scotland – fee for registering Discharge £70.00

• Advance notice registration fee for Disposition £20.00

• Electronic money transfer fee £20.00

• Coal report (if applicable) £55.00

Estimated total: £1,430.00

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. They will include taking your instructions and giving you initial advice. Carrying out required Anti Money Laundering checks. Receiving offers on property and taking your instructions. Obtaining redemption statements from current lender. Ordering Title Deeds. Receiving and advising on missives. Carrying out property searches as required. Obtaining further planning documentation if required. Revising draft documents received from purchasers’ solicitors, concluding missives, issuing completion statements and completing sales. Taking steps to repay any mortgages and paying any outlays due. Preparing the discharge of the standard security, submitting this to the Registers of Scotland and paying any surplus funds due to you.

Purchase of Residential Property

We deal with transactions for clients buying a home, whether it be a flat, house, new-build property or land to build upon.

Fees and outlays

• Legal fee £790.00 (assuming a purchase of an already built property in the Land Register at between £50,000 – £100,000)

• VAT payable £158.00

• Registers of Scotland – for registration of the title £130

• Registers of Scotland – £70.00 for registration of the mortgage,

• Registers of Scotland – £20.00 for Advance Notice for mortgage if required,

• Estimated total: £1,168.00

(If the purchase price were higher than in the example LBTT may also be payable and if the property is a second home Additional Dwelling Supplement may also be due)

Stages of the process

The work may involve communications and advice by the solicitor with the client, correspondence with estate agents and the seller’s solicitor, drawing up a range of documents including a formal legal offer and further missives, examination of title, inspection of searches and reports, drawing of a disposition and mortgage security where necessary, completion/settlement of the transaction, obtaining and managing the funds from both client and mortgage lender, completion of Anti Money Laundering procedures, submission of LBTT return and making payment of tax where due to Revenue Scotland, registration of new title and mortgage security where funding comes from a lender, reporting to client and lender after registration.

Remortgage of residential property

BBM deals with transactions for clients who are remortgaging a home.

Fees and outlays

• Legal fee £600.00 (if value under £250,000)

• VAT payable £120.00

• Registers of Scotland – £70.00 for registration of the mortgage discharge

• Registers of Scotland – £70.00 for registration of the new mortgage security • • £35.00 for title and personal searches. ,

• Estimated total: £895.00

Stages of the process

The work may involve advice from the solicitor to the client, examination of title, drawing up a range of documents, including a new mortgage security and a discharge of the old mortgage, ordering and inspection of searches and reports, obtaining and managing funds from the new mortgage lender, redeeming outstanding mortgage to the old lender, registration of a discharge, arranging completion/settlement of the transaction, registration of new mortgage security, reporting to client and lender after registration.

Discharge of Standard Security

Once you have paid off the balance of your mortgage, there is an exercise to update title deeds.

Fees and outlays

• Legal fee £250.00

• VAT payable £50.00

• Registers of Scotland £70.00 for registration of the mortgage discharge,

• Estimated total: £370.00

Stages of the process

Drafting a discharge of Standard Security and sending it to your lender for signing and thereafter registering the discharge.

Simple Wills

Single Will (for the estate of one person) £225.00 (exclusive of VAT)

Mirror Will (identical wills drafted for two persons) £250.00 (exclusive of VAT)

If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, a Mirror Will may only be appropriate where neither you nor your partner has children from a separate relationship.

Complex Wills

There are many reasons a Simple Will may not suit your requirements. Take, for example, those cases where specific and more detailed consideration and advice on legacies or limiting the inheritance of, or disinheriting, beneficiaries is required. Our advice can also take into account the consideration of businesses.

Single Will £400.00 (exclusive of VAT)

Mirror Will £750.00 (exclusive of VAT)

Stages of the process

Our prices above for both simple and complex Wills include taking your instructions, providing advice as appropriate to your requirements, providing advice on legal rights, considering how you hold title to your home, preparing a draft Will for you to review, making changes following review, complete execution of the Will, storage of original Will in our secure storage facility andproviding you with two copies of your Will.

Our fixed price will not include work associated with lifetime trusts such as drafting trust deeds, advice and work associated with bankrupt or otherwise vulnerable beneficiaries, advice on inheritance tax (but excluding therefrom basic confirmation of Inheritance Tax thresholds),preparing the transfer of heritable property into a trust and the preparation of a Power of Attorney

Note: This fixed price will only cover the services mentioned. Your case may require additional work that is not included. We will discuss this with you at our first meeting. If additional costs arise due to matters related to your own personal circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in price that may arise.

Power of Attorney

There are various kinds of Power of Attorney (POA). The most-used is a document that supports a person who may or may not be incapacitated mentally and/or physically to undertake his/her normal business and/or personal care – known as a Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney. It allows a trusted friend or family member or multiplicity of people to do what is needed, armed with full legal rights conferred by “the Adult”, as the granter of the POA is known under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. The document is lengthy and complex and must be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the Adult.

Our price includes :-

• A meeting and consultation as between you and one of our solicitors,

• The drafting of the POA document,

• Execution (i.e. signing and witnessing) of the finalised POA document – it must also be certified by the solicitor, and then registered with the Public Guardian Scotland (OPG)to take effect.

For a basic single POA, the fee may be £350.00 (exclusive of VAT at 20%). There may be an additional fee if a home or hospital visit is required. The outlay is currently £81.00, charged by and paid to the OPG to register the POA, although this is reviewed periodically by the Scottish Courts & Tribunal Service.

Executry Services

Executry administration is the term used by solicitors for the work required in winding up the estate of someone who has died. It is an area where it is difficult, and often impossible, to give accurate levels/estimates of fees in advance.

Normally estates dealt with by BBM are fee’d by reference to our Schedule of Charges which is available on our website by an independent auditor using our hourly rates scale which will be set out in our Terms of Engagement Letter.

It also makes a difference to the amount of work required whether or not there is available a valid Will signed by the deceased. More work and other costs are likely if there is no Will. The work may involve meetings and consultations between the family/executor and the solicitor, collating and valuing the assets and liabilities of the estate, corresponding with financial and other institutions

(e.g. banks, building societies, share registrars, employers/pension administrators, DWP, HMRC, council tax departments, factors, mortgage lenders and more), preparing court documents and forms for Confirmation, dealing with the Sheriff Court processing the forms, ingathering the financial estate, accounting to the executor and liaising with and distributing the bequests and shares of estate among beneficiaries. There may also be a home to sell or settle. That work is not included in this example as it is a conveyancing process, nor is calculating and dealing with Inheritance Tax, which affects only a limited number of estates and generates considerable work.

The fee for winding up a simple estate (and assuming there are no tax or other complexities) may be around £5,000.00 plus VAT of £1000.00.

Outlays may include Court Confirmation dues of £266.00 (for an estate worth over £50,000.00 but less than £250,000.00) plus £8 for each individual asset certificate if needed. Confirmation dues are reviewed periodically by the Scottish

Courts & Tribunal Service. Further outlays will be incurred if assets need to be independently valued.

If an individual dies without leaving a Will there may be additional outlays and these vary from case to case and can be confirmed with your point of contact should you instruct us. It may be necessary to raise an insurance policy known as a Bond of Caution and the price for that will be dictated by the gross value of the estate.

Divorce – simplified divorce procedure / dissolution of civil partnership.

A simplified divorce procedure may be appropriate only where there are no outstanding financial matters to resolve between the parties and there are no children of the marriage or civil partnership under 16 years of age.

Initial meeting

We will first meet with you to consider and discuss if the simplified procedure is appropriate for your case. This may require us to gather information so we can be sure that the simplified procedure is appropriate. For this first meeting our fixed fee will be £120.00 inclusive of VAT at 20%, for up to 30 minutes of a fee earner’s time.

Our fixed price includes:

• Meeting with you, taking instructions and providing advice on the simplified divorce procedure

• Collecting information from you about your position, your finances and family circumstances

• Assessing if the simplified procedure is appropriate in your case and advising you on next steps

If the simplified procedure is appropriate, then our fixed fee for completing a simplified divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership will be:

• £300.00 plus VAT of £60. This excludes outlays (fees which may need to be paid to third parties).

The outlays will include:

• Court fees: These increase annually. The current fee is £128.00.

Our fixed price includes:

• completing the application to the court and arranging for you to sign it

• notarising the application to court

• lodging application and any supporting documents with the court

Note: This fixed price will only cover the services mentioned. Your case may require additional work that is not included. We will discuss this with you at our initial meeting. If additional costs arise due to unforeseen circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in price that may arise.

Where it is not possible to conduct your case in this manner, the price to you will vary depending on the complexity of the case and would be chargeable at the hourly rates set our in our Terms of Engagement Letter. The time spent on your case also impacts significantly on the price. More complex cases will require more time.

Factors which could impact on the complexity of the case include:

• Number of witnesses

• Allegations of a particular nature

• Any delay in the case proceeding to a hearing

• Failure to agree issues

Separation

When a marriage or domestic partnership breaks down there may be a range of legal matters to consider and settle. These may include property sale/transfer, sharing of financial assets and pensions, residence of and contact with children and financial maintenance. This kind of work cannot be costed exactly in advance as each case. Much will depend upon your spouse’s, or partner’s reaction, as to what we ask for on your behalf, and frequently, this will be difficult to predict. These matters, if the negotiation between ex-partners via solicitors is successful is captured in a legally binding Minute of Agreement signed by both parties and registered.

If a Minute of Agreement can be negotiated without too much difficulty, then a possible outcome is a fee, based on time of £1000.00 plus VAT of £200.00.

There may be other conveyancing expenses to pay, however, if the Minute of Agreement provides for the subsequent title transfer of any property that you own together.

If a case cannot be negotiated successfully, there may be no option but for you to make an application to Court in order that there be a judicial decision issued to say what is a fair and reasonable outcome. The costs involved will rise considerably if court is needed, because the amount of time we have to spend on your file will increase. Generally, it is extremely difficult for us to give any indication of the total cost to you at the outset for work of this nature. Cases can sometimes be brought to a conclusion after very brief negotiations, after a full Court hearing occupying several days, or at any point in between. In almost all cases the extent of our fees will depend on the amount of time spent on your case by way of preparation, discussions, negotiations or Court appearances. The other aspect of cost to you is the necessary outlays to be incurred for work of this nature. For example, we may require to pay expenses to the Court, or to obtain reports from other Specialists, Advocates fees, or fees for registering Agreements. Please note that we will normally ask you to put us in funds before any large outlays are to be incurred. You should also be aware that sometimes in court cases you may become liable for some legal expense of the other party. This risk can be discussed with your solicitor when instructed.

General advice and business

BBM takes on a range of clients, cases and transactions. Sometimes the work is preliminary advice, or assistance with a minor or brief legal issue requiring correspondence with other parties or solicitors, and/or creating of legal documentation.

There really is no limit to the range of needs of clients when it comes to legal services and processes. We do not generally offer a preliminary consultation without charge and we reserve the right to charge for all services and advice for example.

For notarising and certifying documents a fee may be £85 (inclusive of VAT) for up to three documents. Charges will escalate if more than three documents require to be certified.

Hourly rate based on fee earner

Hourly rate examples

Depending on the nature and complexity of your legal matter, the legal work undertaken by us may be completed by one or several members of our legal team.

Below we have set out an example of hourly charging rates for each of our fee earners. The hourly charge stated excludes VAT, which is charged at 20%

We have a number or hourly rate scales dependant on the complexity a type of work. We also have a Schedule of Charges also available on our website, which sets out the way some types of work may be charged.

We have a number of hourly rates scales depending on the work being done. Some examples are below.

For low value non-complex work done in the Highland and Islands our hourly rates may be:-.

Fee earner Hourly charging rate (excluding VAT)

Partner £265.00

Associate Solicitor/ Consultant £240.00

Solicitor £225.00

Trainee Solicitor £190.00

For significantly higher risk and or very high value work our hourly rates may be

Fee earner Hourly charging rate (excluding VAT)

Partner £500.00

Associate Solicitor/ Consultant £475.00

Solicitor £450.00

Trainee Solicitor £390.00

The number of hours spent on your case will be determined by the complexity and the unique circumstances of your case. If possible and appropriate, we will discuss the likely cost of your case with you at our initial meeting. If additional costs arise due to unforeseen circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in costs that

may arise. The hourly rate does not include any outlays that may be required. These are variable depending on the nature of the case. Your solicitor will discuss what these may be at an initial meeting.