PRICING

We appreciate that often client’s can be cautious and worried as to the overall expenses included in a legal claim. As a firm, we will always endeavour to quote our client’s honest and competitive fee’s and ensure transparency on overall fees and services provided on each individual claim. We include herewith details of prices and services included within certain areas of law and claims (N.B This is not an exhaustive list and the actual pricing will often depend on the individual circumstances). 

Clients are respectfully asked to note that all fees are subject to change and we encourage all clients to contact us for further information in respect of prices and services, in particular on areas of law and claims not covered below. We will always look to offer all clients a fee structure that suits them, whether that be a fixed fee, conditional fee arrangement (no win no fee), or any other type of fee arrangement.

Please note our current hourly rates for our staff:

Grade A: £330 – Solicitors and legal executives with over 8 years’ experience

Grade B: £275 – Solicitors and legal executives with over 4 years’ experience

Grade C: £220 – Other solicitors or legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience

Grade D: £135 – Trainee solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners.

We review the hourly rate in May each year and we will notify clients of any change in the rates in writing.

Further information on costs will be provided to all clients at the initial consultation and on the initial formal instructions.  

IMMIGRATION

Our Immigration team has over 15 years of collective experience in delivering high quality service to clients. The team comprises of Aysha Javed (an Immigration Solicitor) and Tuhel Ahmed (an Immigration practitioner and caseworker who previously worked under instructions from the Home Office). Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Jawad Baig, who is our Senior Partner.

Applications for naturalisation or registration under the British Nationality Act 1981

Prices for the above are from £750 (fixed fee and not inclusive of VAT, or any disbursements)

N.B: Any VAT charges in relation to immigration matters can be complex as it depends on where a client lives and what immigration permission they have. We will therefore confirm whether VAT (at a rate of 20%) is payable when we have been instructed.

The exact number of hours/time it will take for such applications depends on the circumstances of your case. Such as (non-exhaustive list):

• The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider;

• Which language(s) you speak; and

• Whether you are applying with other dependants and the circumstances of your case

If you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be lower than that quoted. 

What services are included

The work will involve: 

• taking initial instructions, discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you; 

• giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria, as well as timescales.

• if you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how; 

• considering the supporting evidence you have provided, which we anticipate will take up to 2-4 hours*;

• where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;

• preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf, which we anticipate will take up to 5 hours*;

• Attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time. 

• giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take. 

*the actual amount of hours depends on the number of documents; whether they need to be translated; whether anything is missing; how long it will take to obtain the missing documents., and any other issues within the claim. 

Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):

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

• Interpreters fees. This kind of application may require some time with an interpreter, depending on the complexity of your case. We can recommend interpreters to clients, but they do not have to use them and we are happy to review any other interpreters the client may choose themselves.

• Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. These are not required in many cases: we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary. 

• If there is an interview and we do attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.

The costs quoted here do not include:

• Any Home Office fees (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table)  for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process.

• Where the Home Office refuse your application, advice and assistance in relation to further steps and any appeal routes 

How long will my application take?

We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Read the current processing times –  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk

We will normally be able to submit this type of application within 2 weeks of you instructing us, but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this.

Please note the anticipated number of hours and fees are an estimate based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

Applications due to Brexit, applications on behalf of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family members under the applicable EEA Regulations or Immigration Rules, including applications for permanent residence, residence cards, and registration certificates and others.

Prices for the above are from £1,000 (fixed fee and not inclusive of VAT)

N.B: Any charges pertaining to VAT in relation to immigration matters can be complex as it depends on where a client lives and what immigration permission they have. We will therefore confirm whether VAT (at a rate of 20%) is payable when we have been instructed.

The exact number of hours/time it will take for such applications depends on the circumstances in your case. Such as:

• The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider;

• Which language(s) you speak; and

• Whether you are applying with other dependants and the circumstances of your case.

If you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be lower than that quoted. 

What services are included

The work will involve: 

• discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you; 

• giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria.

• if you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how; 

• considering the supporting evidence you have provided, which we anticipate will take up to 3-6 hours*;

• where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;

• preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf, which we anticipate will take up to 5 hours*;

• Attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time. 

• giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take. 

the actual amount of hours depends on the number of documents; whether they need to be translated; whether anything is missing; how long it will take to obtain the missing documents, and any other issues within the claim.

Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):

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

• Interpreters fees. This kind of application will normally require some time with an interpreter, depending on the complexity of your case. We can recommend interpreters to clients, but they do not have to use them and we are happy to review any other interpreters the client may choose themselves.

• Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. These are not required in many cases: we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary. 

• If there is an interview and we do attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.

The costs quoted here do not include:

• Any Home Office fees (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table) for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process.

• Where the Home Office refuse your application, advice and assistance in relation to further steps and any appeal routes 

How long will my application take?

We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Read the current processing times –  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk

We will normally be able to submit this type of application within 3 weeks of you instructing us, but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this.

Please note the anticipated number of hours and fees are an estimate based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

Applications under the Immigration Rules, including:

• student and work experience visas

• visit visas (for tourism, or visiting friends / family) 

• spouse and partners applications, including fiancé(e)s or proposed civil partners

• applications for work, business or study under the Points-Based System;

• dependent relative and family reunion applications

• ancestry visas

• other categories, such as applications on the basis of long residence

Prices for the above are from £1000 (fixed fee and not inclusive of VAT)

N.B: Any charges pertaining to VAT in relation to immigration matters can be complex as it depends on where a client lives and what immigration permission they have. We will therefore confirm whether VAT (at a rate of 20%) is payable when we have been instructed.

The exact number of hours/time it will take for such applications depends on the circumstances in your case. Such as:

• The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider;

• Which language(s) you speak; and

• Whether you are applying with other dependants and the circumstances of your case

If you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be lower than that quoted. 

What services are included

The work will involve: 

• discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you; 

• giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria.

• if you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how; 

• considering the supporting evidence, you have provided, which we anticipate will take up to 5-10 hours*;

• where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;

• preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf, which we anticipate will take up to 10 hours*;

• Attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time. 

• giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take. 

the actual amount of hours depends on the number of documents; whether they need to be translated; whether anything is missing; how long it will take to obtain the missing documents., and any other issues within the claim.

Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):

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

• Interpreters fees. This kind of application will normally require some time with an interpreter, depending on the complexity of your case. We can recommend interpreters to clients, but they do not have to use them and we are happy to review any other interpreters the client may choose themselves.

• Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. These are not required in many cases: we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary. 

• If there is an interview and we do attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.

The costs quoted here do not include:

• Any Home Office fees (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table) for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process.

• Where the Home Office refuse your application, advice and assistance in relation to further steps and any appeal routes 

How long will my application take?

We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Read the current processing times – –  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk

We will normally be able to submit this type of application within 3 weeks of you instructing us, but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this.

Please note the anticipated number of hours and fees are an estimate based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

EMPLOYMENT

Our Employment Law team has over 20 years of experience in delivering high quality service to clients. The team solely comprises of James Severs (a litigation executive). James will be supervised by Jawad Baig, who is the senior partner.

Our charges

Our overall fees vary depending upon how complex your case is and what you would like us to do. For a free quote specifically tailored to your circumstances please email info@bentleysterling.co.uk or call us on 020 3500 1122. We would be more than happy to discuss your case.

We will always seek to explore if there are any other funding options available to our clients, such as cover under an existing legal expense insurance policy that you may have or on a no win no fee agreement known as a Damage Based Agreement – see below. 

We will ensure that we fully explain: 

How we calculate our fees; 

The likely costs involved to prepare and run your case; 

Any additional costs that may be incurred; and

Any costs that may be recoverable from, or payable by you to the other party. 

Depending on your issue we may offer the following options: 

Damage based Agreement (commonly known as No Win No Fee)

With this option there is no financial risk to you. If you lose your case you will not have to 

pay for Solicitors fees and this is the risk we take on your behalf. If we win your case we take 

a percentage of the damages (up to 35%). 

Fixed fee 

On some matters we have fixed fee options available. This means that a lawyer will assess

your situation and provide you with a fixed fee to assist with your case. This gives you a level

of cost certainty to get you to a particular resolution. For some areas we are able to do this

in stages of your case which gives you even more flexibility. 

Agreed hourly rate

This is the traditional fee structure which means that a lawyer will assess your case and

provide a fully flexible option on an hourly basis. We will provide information about the

likely overall cost of your matter and you will be updated as to these costs. 

Legal expense insurance 

We will investigate the possibility of funding your case through a legal expense insurance

policy. This is a service which comes with some insurance policies and other financial

products. It can be used to cover part or all of your costs. We will always discuss this with

you at the beginning of your case and explore if this option if it is available to you. 

Union and other organisations

Union and some other membership organisations may offer legal cover within your benefits.

If you are a member of such an organisation you should inform us so that we can discuss

that with you.  

We set out below details of our typical hourly rates for:

Employment law 

Breach of contract 

Constructive and unfair dismissal 

Discrimination in the workplace 

Harassment in the workplace 

Redundancy 

Settlement agreements 

UK employment laws 

Whistleblowing

Where VAT is referred to below, please note that this will be charged at the applicable rate, which is currently 20%.

Our fees

Our standard hourly rates are £275 plus VAT for one of our lawyers and £330 plus VAT for a Director.

To give a very general idea of how much our fees (excluding disbursements – see below) tend to be where an employee brings an employment claim the ranges tend to be:

• Simple cases: £3,000 (excluding VAT);

• Medium complexity cases: £5,000 (excluding VAT); and

• High complexity cases: up to £10,000 (excluding VAT).

As can be seen from the above, the time spent on a case and our costs can vary significantly depending upon how complex a case is.

A case is likely to be more complex (and so incur more time) if:

  • It is necessary to attend a long hearing;
  • 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 a costs application;
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • 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, and
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of 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 where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;

• Preparing claim or response;

• Reviewing and advising on 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 bundle of documents;

• Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;

• agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list; and

• Preparation and attendance at 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.

Disbursements

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

Expert medical fees.  In some cases, it may be appropriate to obtain expert medical evidence and the cost of the expert will vary depending on the expertise required.  Typically, a report from a GP would cost in the region of £300 plus VAT but a report from a psychiatrist would on average be in the region of £1,500 plus VAT. 

The estimated barristers fee for preliminary hearing will be in the region of £1,500 plus VAT and for a final hearing the fees will range from £2,000 to £20,000 excluding VAT, charged at 20% depending on experience of the advocate and how many days the final hearing is listed for and would include any preparation work for the hearings.

On occasions it may be appropriate to seek a written advice from the barrister or have a conference (a meeting) with them. The estimated cost of that would range from £750 to £3,000 plus VAT.

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 4-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 3 months – 2 years (depending on the complexity of the case). 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.

Settlement agreement advice

We offer a free 30 minute interview to where we will discuss your situation and provide coherent advice on the options available to you, ensuring that you get the maximum benefit from the 30 minute session. 

We aim to provide you with advice to enable you to make informed decisions on how to proceed and in particular:

The issues in your case, the application of the law and how the case could be argued; 

What action you can take against your employer by providing you with clear options and the way forward;

Time restrictions that you may face in bringing a claim against your employer; 

How much it will cost to pursue the claim and any funding options that may be available to you; and

Practical advice on the merits of your case.

PROBATE

Our team that deals with Probate matters has over 10 years of experience in delivering high quality services to clients. The team comprises of Aysha Javed (a Solicitor) and Tuhel Ahmed (a legal consultant). Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Jawad Baig, who is the senior partner.  

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

We anticipate this will take between 10 and 30 hours work at £275 per hour plus VAT at 20%. Total costs estimated at – £2,750 – £8,250 (+VAT at 20%).

The exact cost will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

• There is a valid will;

• There is no more than one property;

• There are no more than 2 bank or building society accounts;

• There are no other intangible assets;

• There are 1-2 beneficiaries;

• There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs; 

• There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC and

• There are no claims made against the estate.

Disbursements included in this fee (where applicable VAT is included at 20%):

• Probate application fee of £215 (for any estate over £5,000), plus £1.50p for each copy of the grant;

• £10 – Swearing of the oath (per executor);

• Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary);

• Approximately £200 for a Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.

Disbursement

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. 

Potential additional costs:

• If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information. • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50p (1 per asset usually). 

• Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included. 

How long will this take? 

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 2-4 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-4 months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes a further 2-4 months. We must stress that the time scales will vary dependent upon each case.

Probate (fixed fee)

For a fixed fee, we can provide assistance by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets. 

How much does this service cost?

TOTAL: £5,000 fixed fee (incl. VAT).

This includes: obtaining the grant, collecting assets and distributing them. 

Breakdown of costs: 

Legal fees £4,166.67 

VAT on legal fees £833.33. 

Disbursements (Approximately £430 in total plus VAT at 20% where applicable): 

• Probate court fee of £215 (for any estate over £5,000), plus £1.50p for each copy of the grant. 

• £10 Swearing of the oath (per executor). 

• Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary). 

• Approximately £200 for a post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors. 

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.

As part of our fixed fee we will:

• Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate lawyer 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; and

• Collect and distribute all assets in the estate 

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 2-4 months. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 2-4 months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 2-4 months. We must stress that the time scales will vary dependent upon each case.