The Firm is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. The Law Society has issued guidance on what is called “Price Transparency”. This relates to information which should be made available to clients and potential clients about fees, outlays and costs that may be incurred when instructing a solicitor. The guidance is in place for all firms in Scotland that provide legal services on a private client basis.
Please note that Middleton Ross does not offer Legal Aid for any service.
We aim to be open with all clients regarding the costs incurred for the services provided by the Firm. At the point of providing instructions, or when considering whether to instruct our Firm, a solicitor will always endeavour to provide a clear indication of the likely costs to be incurred. We will always provide a Letter of Engagement (LOE) at the point of engagement which will provide the following information:
- An outline of the work to be done;
- An estimate of the total fee or the basis upon which the fee will be charged including VAT and outlays;
- Details of any contribution towards Legal Advice and Assistance or Legal Aid and details of the effect of preservation or recovery of any property if relevant;
- Who will do the work; and
- Who the client should contact if they have any concerns or complaints.
We can also provide illustrations of the potential costs which can be incurred, but it is important to always bear in mind that every legal case is different in its requirements and difficulties.
It is always important to remember that VAT has to be charged on top of fees. Please note that the VAT element is not kept by the Firm but is simply passed on to the Government. Additionally it may be a reasonable anticipation that outlays will be incurred, for example, court costs, the costs for registration fees etc. These costs are a necessary part of the work to be done. We will do our best to identify them to you in advance and will notify you of any costs to be incurred before we incur liability for them on your behalf.
Should the amount of work required mean that fees are likely to increase significantly or additional outlays are due, your Solicitor will advise in advance of work being undertaken.
HOURLY RATE PER FEE EARNER
The number of hours spent on your case will be determined by the complexity and the unique circumstances of your case. 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 cost 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. We will discuss what these may be at our initial meeting.
The specific hourly rates charged by different roles within the firm are set out in our Conditions of Business.
In some types of work, eg Executry Estates and Commercial Conveyancing, the fees charged by the firm are independently assessed by a Legal Auditor or Auditor of Court. An Audit Certificate is produced for the client, providing a summary of the work involved and a reasonable fee to be charged by the firm.
Where an Audit Certificate is produced, the fee payable to the Auditor is met by the client.
CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
Our Conditions of Business includes our table of fees, hourly rates and further detail on our specific price structure.
The most recently published Conditions of Business can be downloaded from here:-
The rates for our services are based on the value of the property being purchased or sold. Upon client request we will present a fee estimate that will outline the professional fees including VAT at 20% and any outlays that may be incurred during the transaction. Outlays incurred include registration fees to Registers of Scotland and search reports against the property/individuals involved in the transaction.
Where the work involved goes beyond what was originally anticipated, particularly outwith any estimated fees, the Solicitor will advise on any re-valued estimate. In some cases an Audit Certificate may be requested.
Conveyancing for commercial property is charged based on an hourly rate and value of the property. In most cases an Audit Certificate will be produced.
EXECUTRY ESTATES AND TRUSTS
This work is charged based on the time involved, the value of the estate and the degree of complexity. Any fee estimate given for the professional fees element will include VAT at 20%. Outlays will be required and noted in advance of any work being undertaken. In most cases, the final fees charged by the firm are based on an Audit Certificate. Interim fees may be charged by the firm without the requirement for an Audit Certificate, but an interim Audit Certificate may be requested either by the client or the firm where it is deemed necessary to do so (usually where there is a degree of complexity involved).
Legal Aid is available for Guardianship applications where there is a welfare element. Please note that this firm does not offer any services under Legal Aid.
Where we carry out work for a Guardianship application, we ask that our fees are paid from the Adult's estate. The fees are assessed by Audit Certificate in the same manner as with Executry Estates and Trusts. Outlays will be required and noted in advance of any work being undertaken, but will include fees for procuring medical reports, Court fees for submitting the application, fees to an insurance company for obtaining a Bond of Caution (where necessary), to Registers of Scotland and the Office of the Public Guardian for registering the guardianship order.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY (POA)
Preparation of a POA would normally incur a fixed fee (including VAT). If a husband and a wife or other civil partners wish POAs in similar terms it is likely that a reduced charge will be made for the second POA. There is an outlay for registering the POA with this Office of the Public Guardian that will be charged in addition to the fixed fee. We can arrange home visits although additional charges will be incurred.
RURAL PROPERTY & CROFTING LAW
This is an extremely specialist area of Law. Your solicitor can provide a fee estimate for consideration, noting the professional fees including VAT at 20% and any outlays that are anticipated. The same process will be followed as noted in the introduction. Where cases are particularly complex an Audit Certificate may be requested by either the firm or the client.
Preparation of a Will would normally incur a fixed fee (including VAT). If those in a committed relationship wish Wills in similar terms (mirror Wills) it is likely that a reduced charge will be made. We can arrange home visits although additional charges will be incurred. There are usually no outlays incurred in the preparation of a Will, but sometimes outlays are charged for property or title deed searches.