Discreet Law LLP Price Information

General Information

We manage our clients’ legal affairs and instruct global industry experts. Whatever legal issues confront our clients, be it individuals or corporate entities, as general counsel we dedicate ourselves to providing comprehensive advice, which is specialised, cost-effective and responsive. As the primary point of contact for all our clients’ legal matters, we ensure our clients’ business is prioritised and managed in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Each client has different requirements and requires different levels of service and involvement. Some clients may only want us to make an introduction, while others are only interested in seeing the final result.

This model of work means that most fees that you can expect to pay will be paid directly to third parties whom we assist by managing them and communicating with them. Consequently, fees charged for the entirety of the transaction will vary from one client to another and will depend first and foremost on the third party chosen and the degree of involvement the client wants us to take in each particular transaction.

Where we introduce you to, or instruct, other solicitors in the UK on your behalf, who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, you will be able to look on their websites for details of their prices, details about their service, their terms of business and how to make complaints. The agreement which you enter into with other UK solicitors, or which we enter into on your behalf will usually be set out in a detailed Client Engagement Letter which will also make clear who will be doing the work on your behalf, their seniority and level of expertise.

We may receive payment from the third parties for our introduction of the work to them, however we will always tell you about this and you can find out more about our obligations in this regard here. Any payment we receive will not affect the price you are quoted by the third party and you will always have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to instruct us or any of the professionals we introduce you to.

When you instruct us to assist you with your matter or to oversee your legal affairs, depending on the level of service you require and what you have instructed us to do, our agreement with you may include a fee for our services. We will advise you what this is likely to be at the outset and we will either quote you a fixed or agreed fee, or we will charge you based on our hourly rates.

We offer fixed fees for the majority of the work that we provide. A fixed fee is an agreed fee, which will not be varied up or down and is not dependant on the outcome of your matter. Any disbursements or expenses (costs that we incur on your behalf or for the purposes of carrying out our work) are payable in addition to our fees. In the event of your instructions being withdrawn prior to the conclusion of your matter, the fixed fee, together with any disbursements and expenses, will remain payable in full.

We also work at hourly rates. Depending on the work you instruct us to do, we may charge by the hour. The rate that we charge or bill per hour is dependent on the seniority and expertise of the person undertaking the work. It may be cost-effective to have a range of people on differing rates working on your matter, having more junior people doing the basic, routine work and a more qualified person making the strategic decisions and overseeing the work of the juniors. Below is a guide to the hourly rates we charge for people of differing seniority and expertise.

Our hourly rates for our professionals are set out below.

Name

Hourly rate

Principal Partner

£800 plus VAT – £1000 plus VAT

Senior Solicitors or Head of Private Client

£400 plus VAT – £500 plus VAT

Senior Consultants

£550 plus VAT

Solicitors

£250 plus VAT – £400 plus VAT

Consultants

£250 plus VAT – £275 plus VAT

Trainee Solicitors

£200 plus VAT

Paralegals

£150 plus VAT – £200 plus VAT

Media Researchers

£150 plus VAT

Translators

£65 plus VAT – £85 plus VAT

Where we agree to charge you hourly rates

At the start of each instruction, we will provide an estimate of how many hours we expect will be spent working on your matter and we will give you an estimation of the cost. It is always difficult to accurately gauge the costs of a case where we charge by the hour as this can vary depending on new information, underlining issues, complexity of the matter etc. In these cases we will try to provide you with estimates for each stage. Where we provide an indicative fee range or estimate, it operates as a guide and not a cap. Estimates will be based on a number of assumptions and if we encounter unforeseen work or complexity this may cause our fees to increase above any fee range or estimate provided. You must not consider them to be maximum or fixed-fee quotations.

We will give you the best information we can about the likely overall cost of the matter at the outset and at other appropriate times. We will always inform you of who will be working on your case and their hourly rate. Please note that we record and charge for our time in 6-minute increments.

Details of the experience and qualifications of people carrying out the work on your matter can be found on the pages of this website dedicated to Our Team.

Factors which could increase the overall cost of your case

This applies where a fixed fee is quoted, or where the amount charged is based on the hourly rates of the people doing the work.  Some examples are:

  • Unexpected circumstances relating to your matter, personal circumstances, or financial status which we were not aware of at the outset;
  • Delays in obtaining information requested;
  • Information provided being inaccurate, out of date, inadequate or requiring translation; or
  • Where there are short deadlines.

More complex matters may attract higher fees, and we will always advise you on this.

Factors which could decrease the overall cost of your case

This applies where a fixed fee is quoted or where the amount charged is based on the hourly rates of the people doing the work.   Some examples are:

  • Where we have undertaken work on your behalf in the past and your history is familiar to us; or
  • Where we do work on multiple matters for the same individual, organisation or family; or

Although we offer assistance across the broadest range of issues, there are some areas of work, where we are able to provide accurate fees guidance and this is set out below. Please note however that unless specifically stated, the following additional costs are not included in the fees in our guide.

Value added tax (VAT)

All of the prices quoted exclude VAT. This is charged at the prevailing rate (currently at 20%) and is payable on our fees and on most expenses which we are likely to incur on your behalf. There may be some situations in which VAT is not payable. We can provide guidance on this, however you are advised to seek your own independent tax advice in this regard.

What is included in the prices in the guide

These fees represent our professional fees; in other words, this is the amount that we will charge for the legal work that our firm will undertake on your matter.

Due to the individual nature of each matter, the services provided to each client may differ. Generally in each standard matter, our services will involve advising you about the relevant law and procedures, preparing the necessary documents on your behalf, liaising with you and third parties (where necessary) on your behalf and generally dealing with your matter to its conclusion.

What is not included

Any costs which we may incur on your behalf are not included in our professional fees. These can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Payments made on your behalf, such as application fees;
  • Payments made to third parties on your behalf, such as HM Revenue & Customs, HM Passport Office or to the Land Registry etc.;
  • Counsel fees. In the event of us seeking the advice of a Barrister (Counsel) you will be responsible for their fees which vary depending on seniority. We will discuss with you options and costs in relation to Counsel before instructing them on your behalf and we shall keep you informed as to the hourly rate of any barristers that are instructed in your matter;
  • Fees payable to Courts or Tribunals;
  • External Translation fees;
  • Costs of Experts or Agents instructed on your behalf;
  • Notary Charges;
  • Apostille Charges;
  • Visa Application Fees;
  • Insurance Fees;
  • Other potential fees and disbursements;
  • Non-routine postage or courier charges;
  • Travel and meeting expenses.

We also charge for other services that we can provide on your behalf. These may include:

  • Photocopying and print room services;
  • Bank charges;
  • Document Certification Fees;
  • In-house Translation Fees. In the event that any translation work is required to be done on your matter, in-house translation work will be charged at an hourly rate of £65.00 plus VAT per hour and £85.00 plus VAT per hour for any translation done outside of our normal working hours.

General guidelines on fees and procedures in key practice areas.

While the precise fees we quote to our clients will differ based on various factors, below is a generalised summary of them. Each potential client will be provided with a fee estimate or a fixed fee quote based on their individual circumstances.

1- Property Transactions

We are often asked to assist in property transactions and our involvement can be limited to managing an agreed transaction or can include finding a property and conducting negotiations for its purchase. This will of course affect the time spent by us on the matter and, consequently, our fees.

Fees

Our Fees are for monitoring and facilitating the effective work of other solicitors and third parties who will undertake the work,  and the range of our quotes could be anywhere between £5,000 plus VAT and £25,000 plus VAT.  The cost to you will depend on the complexity of the purchase, the value of the property, the purchase structure chosen and the quick availability of the source of funds documentation.  Once you have selected a conveyancing solicitor, we will discuss what level of involvement you will require from us and we shall agree a fixed fee, or agree to work at an hourly rate based on the hourly rates set out above.

Below is an example of our costs on an hourly rate arrangement, depending on the services you require from us:

Instruction Approximate Timescales Anticipated hours required Approximate cost
Advising agent to search for property and assisting in negotiations for the chosen property This would depend on how long it would take to find the correct property and would be in the hands of the client or the purchaser 8 -12 hours of work by a solicitor at an approximate cost of £300 per hour £2400 – £3600 plus VAT
Instructing Conveyancing Solicitors to obtain property searches and obtaining  tax advice where necessary Within 2- 3 days of the property being chosen 1-2 hours work by a solicitor at an approximate cost of £300 per hour £300 – £600 plus VAT
Instructing Conveyancing solicitors and providing them with all the supporting documentation Within a week of the property being chosen 2-4 hours work by a solicitor at an approximate cost of £300 per hour £600-£1200 plus VAT
Overseeing the work of the Conveyancing Solicitors and ensuring smooth completion This would depend on, among other factors,  the purchaser’s circumstances, the conditions of the purchase and the number of other parties in the chain 5-10 hours work by a solicitor at an approximate cost of £300 per hour £1500- £3000 plus VAT
Ensuring all post completion formalities are concluded Usually one to two weeks after purchase for most of the post completion formalities to be concluded 4-6 hours work by a solicitor at an approximate cost of £300 per hour £1200- £1800 plus VAT
What is excluded

As we will be overseeing your purchase and monitoring the conveyancing solicitors you chose to instruct, those costs are excluded from our costs, however the solicitors you instruct will provide you with a detailed breakdown of their costs, so you will always know what those costs will be what they are for, what is excluded and what you will be required to pay for each stage of the process.

Depending on the solicitors you chose to instruct the likely cost of a conveyance can be:

Legal Fees are estimated to be between  £2,000-£ 20,000 plus VAT

These fees will be entirely dependent on the value or complexity of your matter, but the conveyancing solicitors you instruct will provide a more accurate cost estimate.

Disbursements – these are costs related to your matter, which the conveyancing solicitors will pay on your behalf.  The amount payable is dependent on the value of the property you purchase and the conveyancing solicitors will provide you with more accurate costs estimate once they know the value of the property you are purchasing.

Search Fees £500 – £5,000 plus VAT

Obtaining Surveyor’s report (where requested) £4,000 – £10,000 plus VAT

HM Land Registry Fee £20 – £910 plus VAT

Electronic money transfer fee – £40 plus VAT

Stamp Duty Land Tax – You should use the Stamp Duty calculator to establish what you will need to pay depending on a number of circumstances.

Link: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

Timescales

The time scales in a property purchase are dependent on a number of factors including ;

– Whether or not the purchaser requires a mortgage or

– Whether or not the purchaser has a mortgage offer, or a mortgage in place

– How many other parties there are in the chain, and what their individual circumstances are

– Whether or not you are purchasing a new build property

– Individual factors relating to freehold and leasehold properties

Below you will see how our services will typically be structured on a residential property transaction.

2- Employment Law

Claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the employment tribunal

Commonly, employees bringing unfair and/ or wrongful dismissal claims will also make additional claims (i.e., discrimination or whistleblowing claims) at the same time. For work undertaken regarding unfair and/ or wrongful dismissal claims, our fees are based on the individual circumstances of each case and it is not usually possible to provide a fixed fee to clients.

Our fees will therefore usually be based on an hourly rate or, where possible, a fixed or capped fee, but depending on the facts of each case. Tribunal claims can range from £3,000 plus VAT for a simple claim, to in excess of £100,000 plus VAT for complex and lengthy Tribunal claims. We would discuss fees at the outset with our clients.   Disbursements in Tribunal claims are usually limited to administrative costs (copying, couriers for example) and Counsel’s fees.

Fees

Costs for bringing or defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal can vary, but  for simple cases we estimate  our fees to be between £5,000 plus VAT and £15,000 plus VAT, for more complex cases our fees would be between £15,000 plus VAT and £25,000 plus VAT, and for highly complex matters in excess of £25,000 plus VAT, escalating as high as £100,000 plus VAT.

It is very difficult to estimate the costs at the outset, however there are a number of factors that would make a claim more complex;

– The complexity of the matters at hand;

– If the dismissal is automatically unfair;

– If matter are complicated by preliminary matters, for example if the claimant is disabled;

– Whether or not it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims, or to provide information about an existing claim;

– The number of witnesses necessary and what documentation is available;

– Whether or not the defendant is a litigant in person;

– If there are allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

What is excluded

Costs of attending a Tribunal Hearing are excluded from our initial costs estimate and will vary depending on the seniority of the professional attending, we usually allow of between £1,000 plus VAT and £1,500 plus VAT per day of the Tribunal Hearing. We usually allow for a Tribunal hearing to last between 5 and 10 days.

Disbursements are costs which we will pay on your behalf and are also not included in the fees estimate, however, we will always give you an estimate of disbursement costs once we are able to assess your matter more accurately.

Administrative Costs (copying/ couriers etc.)-these costs will depend on the volume of documents involved you your matter.

Counsel’s fees. Usually, in anything but simple matters Counsel is usually instructed.  We will discuss this in advance and advise you of the likely costs.  Counsel’s fees can range from £300 plus VAT and £1,000 plus VAT per hour for preparation, and Counsel’s daily rate is estimated to be between £2,000 plus VAT and £5,000  plus VAT, dependent on the seniority and the nature of the case.

Timescales

It is very difficult to assess how long your matter will take to resolve.  Employment Tribunal matters are sometimes resolved in advance of the Tribunal Hearing, however, this is different in every case. If we are able to settle your matter in advance of a Final Hearing, it could be resolved within 6-18 weeks.  If, however, your matter proceeds to a Final Hearing, this can take a lot longer -anything up to a year. However, due to delays brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, this could be much longer. On instruction, we will advise you as to the likely timescales based on the current position.

Applications for visas to enter countries other than the United Kingdom

1- United States Visas

Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, some visas may not be available to persons travelling from the UK.

We are often asked to assist with preparing applications for US B1/B2 and F1 visas. We have a significant amount of experience in both categories and are eager to help our clients with those applications. Any visa application has two stages: preparation (when we fill in the forms, obtain the support documentation and provide clients with a clear list of outstanding requirements) is the first stage.

Our fee for the preparation of the documentation pack for the B1/B2 visa is £2,500 plus VAT, for the F1 visa it is £3,500 plus VAT, unless there are circumstances that require additional work to be carried out (previous refusals, trips to higher-risk regions etc.).

The second stage is the physical submission of the application to the Embassy. The client may choose to receive our assistance during the submission process. If the client chooses to request our assistance, this would incur an extra fee of £250 plus VAT.

Fees

A typical example of a US B1/B2 visa is as follows:

Instruction Approximate Time Scales Cost
Obtaining instruction from the client and collecting all information required This would be dependent on the client and how quickly the client would be able to provide the required information £2500 plus VAT
Completing the application form along with supporting documentation and preparing cover letters, making an appointment at the embassy. This would usually take 2-4 days, but would depend on the availability of the client’s information and if there are any complex issues.
Submitting the application at the embassy – Collecting the client’s passport at the embassy once the decision is made This would be dependent on the time frames advertised by the embassy £250  plus VAT

A typical example of a US F1 visa is as follows ;

Instruction

Approximate Time Scales

Cost

Obtaining instruction from the client and collecting all information required This would be dependent on the client and how quickly the client would be able to provide the required information

£3500 plus VAT

Completing the application form along with supporting documentation and preparing cover letters, making an appointment at the embassy. This would usually take 2-4 days but would depend on the availability of the client’s information and if there are any complex issues
Submitting the application at the embassy – Collecting the client’s passport at the embassy once the decision is made This would be dependent on the time frames advertised by the embassy

£250  plus VAT

What is excluded

Any disbursements or costs we are required to pay on your behalf are not included in the above prices.  We will always advise you in advance what these fees are likely to be.

Cost Description
Visa fees These are as charged by the embassy and vary from time to time and are also dependent on the number of applicants and other services which may be required
Agency Fees If it is necessary to use an Agency to assist with the application, we will obtain their costs up front  and advise you in advance
Travel Cost In the event that one of our representatives has to travel to the embassy to submit the application or assist the client on the day reasonable travel costs from our office to and from  the embassy will be charged
Timescales

We are usually able to submit a visa application within one week of having received the client’s instruction, depending on the availability of the client’s information and the complexity of the issues. The embassy has different processing times for different visas and these processing times can change from time to time.  On instruction, we will always advise you what the current anticipated processing times are.

Below you can find a summary of key steps in preparing an application:

2- Schengen Visas

We can assist with a range of Schengen visas with our typical rate being £2,500 plus VAT per application. This may vary based on the complexity of an application (past refusals) and the amount of supporting documentation that needs to be re-issued/produced. The fee will also differ for various categories of Schengen visas – longer-term visas can often require more work and be more expensive, while visas for EU citizens’ family members typically require less work and will, therefore, often incur a lower fee. Should the client choose to receive our assistance during the submission process, this would incur an extra fee of £250 plus VAT.

A typical example of a Schengen visa is as follows ;

Instruction Approximate Time Scales Cost
Obtaining instruction from the client and collecting all information required This would be dependent on the client and how quickly the client would be able to provide the required information £2500 plus VAT
Ensuring client has made all the necessary arrangements and assisting if necessary This would be dependent on the client’s circumstances and requirements
Completing the application form along with supporting documentation and preparing cover letters, making an appointment at the embassy. This would usually take 2-4 days but would depend on the availability of the client’s information and if there are any complex issues
Submitting the application at the embassy – Collecting the client’s passport at the embassy once the decision is made This would be dependent on the time frames advertised by the particular embassy £250  plus VAT
What is excluded

Any disbursements or costs we are required to pay on your behalf are not included in the above prices.  We will always advise you in advance what these fees are likely to be.

Cost Description
Visa fees These are as charged by the embassy and vary from time to time and are also dependent on the number of applicants and other services which may be required
Booking Fees Depending on the client’s circumstances it may be necessary for us to assist in ensuring all relevant reservations are in place
Agency Fees If it is necessary to use an Agency to assist with the application, we will obtain their costs up front  and advise you in advance
Travel Cost In the event that one of our representatives has to travel to the embassy to submit the application or assist the client on the day reasonable travel costs from our office to and from  the embassy will be charged
Timescales

We are usually able to submit a visa application within one week of having received the client’s instruction, depending on the availability of the client’s information and the complexity of the issues. The embassy has different processing times for different visas and these processing times can change from time to time.  On instruction, we will always advise you what the current anticipated processing times are.

Below you can find the key steps in preparing an application.

3- Russian Visas

Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, some visas may not be available to persons travelling from the UK.

We can assist with all types of Russian visa applications and pride ourselves on being able to deliver an extremely expedient service. Our typical rate is £2,500 plus VAT per application for a multi-entry one-year-long visitor or business visa. This can increase if a visa is requested for a longer period, under a different category, or in shorter than standard time frames. For this type of visa submission assistance is included in the fixed price.

A typical example of a Russian visa is as follows:

Instruction Approximate Time Scales Cost
Obtaining instruction from the client and collecting all information required This would be dependent on the client and how quickly the client would be able to provide the required information £2500 plus VAT
Ensuring client has made all the necessary arrangements and assisting if necessary This would be dependent on the client’s circumstances and requirements
Completing the application form along with supporting documentation and preparing cover letters, making an appointment at the embassy. This would usually take 2-4 days but would depend on the availability of the client’s information and if there are any complex issues
Submitting the application at the embassy

Collecting the client’s passport at the embassy once the decision is made

This would be dependent on the time frames advertised by the particular embassy
What is excluded

Any disbursements or costs we are required to pay on your behalf are not included in the above prices.  We will always advise you in advance what these fees are likely to be.

Cost Description
Visa fees These are as charged by the embassy and vary from time to time and are also dependent on the number of applicants and other services which may be required
Booking Fees Depending on the client’s circumstances it may be necessary for us to assist in ensuring all relevant reservations are in place
Agency Fees If it is necessary to use an Agency to assist with the application, we will obtain their costs up front  and advise you in advance
Travel Cost In the event that one of our representatives has to travel to the embassy to submit the application or assist the client on the day reasonable travel costs from our office to and from  the embassy will be charged
Timescales

We are usually able to submit a visa application within one week of having received the client’s instruction, depending on the availability of the client’s information and the complexity of the issues. The embassy has different processing times for different visas and these processing times can change from time to time.  On instruction, we will always advise you what the current anticipated processing times are.

Below you can find the key steps in preparing an application.

Service information

At the outset we will provide you with a Client Engagement Letter, which sets out the work which you have instructed us to undertake and the anticipated cost, as well as any other costs that we expect will be associated with your matter. We are always happy to explain the various steps and how the total costs have been calculated. Once you have received our letter, there is no obligation on you to instruct us further if you do not wish to. If you do agree with our terms, you will be asked to return a signed copy of the letter to us.

Our Client Engagement Letter will also set out when our fees are due, and when you will have to pay any other fees or costs. In most cases you will pay those fees to us and we will pay them to third parties on your behalf.

It is important to note that our Client Engagement Letter clearly sets out the scope of the work we have agreed to do for you and the price quoted is for our services up to the point that we have set out in the Client Engagement Letter. If there are further steps you would like us to take, we will provide you with a further quotation for those services.

The Client Engagement Letter will also set out all the other terms of our arrangement with you and wherever possible we will also provide you with an estimate of how long it will take to conclude the work you have asked us to do.

What services are included within the displayed price?

  • Discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming which is the most suitable course of action for you and what other options may be available to you, based on the information you have provided us with;
  • Providing advice and assistance about the relevant legal principles and legislation applicable to your matter;
  • What problems we foresee and our advice as to how these could be overcome, and the likely time and cost involved in this;
  • Considering the supporting evidence provided. Depending on your circumstances and the information provided, in hourly rated cases this can increase the cost;
  • Where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records, the opinions of experts). The costs associated with obtaining this evidence are usually in addition to any fixed fee, or hourly rated estimate we may provide.

If your matter is unsuccessful and you need to make further applications or submissions in order to achieve your aim, we will advise you on the additional costs before undertaking any further work on your behalf. To be clear, the costs of appeals, administrative or judicial reviews are not included in the price guide provided below.

Estimating the time your matter will take

We will always provide you with our estimate of how long it will take to deal with your matter. This will be dependent on various factors, such as the complexity of the matter, courts or tribunals involved and jurisdictional issues. Of course, time frames can vary, and if we foresee that the process will take longer than initially anticipated, we will keep you updated at all times.

Complaining about the service you receive at Discreet Law

Complaints information

At Discreet Law we are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it so that we can resolve the problem and continually improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please contact our Practice Manager, Diana du Bruyn (diana@discreetlaw.com) or Roger Gherson our Principal (roger@discreetlaw.com). They can be contacted by email or at the address below:

17a-19 Harcourt Street

London W1H 4HF

UK

What will happen next ?

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman (contact details below) to consider the complaint.

Please note the limitation dates for the Legal Ombudsman;

– Normally you will need to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint, and

– No more than six years from the date of act or omission; or

– No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint 

Legal Ombudsman ( enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk ) 03005550333

P.O Box 6806

Wolverhampton

WV1 9WJ.

Complaining to the Solicitors Regulation Authority about us

For some types of complaints about solicitors you may contact the Solicitors Regulation Authority, (SRA) this is the regulatory body which authorises and regulates UK law firms. The SRA can help you if you think a solicitor might be dishonest or you have complaints about their behaviour, for example:

  • Shutting down their law firm without telling you;
  • Dishonesty or deliberately overcharging you;
  • Taking or losing your money;
  • Treating you unfairly because of your age, disability or other characteristic.

If you have a complaint that relates to the breach of an SRA principle, that complaint should be made to the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority). Contact details are below:

Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN,  telephone 03706062555 or more information can be found at https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/

Complaining to the Legal Ombudsman or the SRA about us.

You must always complain to us first and in most cases you will not be able to take your complaint any further if you have not done so. Please use the process set out above to complain to us about the service you have received. We will always try to resolve your complaint as quickly and satisfactorily as we can.

More information about how to complain to the Legal Ombudsman or the SRA can be found on the SRA website.