Price Transparency and Legal Fees

We are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. The Law Society has published guidance to promote price transparency and encourage law firms to publish information to clients about legal fees, outlays and costs that may be incurred when instructing solicitors. The Guidance covers all firms in Scotland offering legal services to consumers and private clients.

Full details of the guidance can be found here >

Below are some examples of the legal fees we charge for the range of services we offer. These are illustrative and not definitive. They represent an average or typical price. The final fee depends on the circumstances of each case. Other factors may arise which influence the final cost.

Some areas of work involve a fixed fee. Others are calculated by a scale or unit cost based on the amount of time and expertise spent on the case. Outlays are charged over and above legal fees and are paid out by MacDonald Lynch on behalf of the client to other companies, offices, organisations including Registers of Scotland, searching companies, local authorities etc.

These charges are incurred on behalf of the client as a necessary part of the work being carried out. No profit is made by the firm on outlays, they are simply passed on to the client at whatever cost is charged to us.


Wills

A Will is a legally binding document that expresses your wishes when you die. It allows you to determine who should receive your estate when you pass away. Not having a Will can result in a protracted and costly legal process and your estate will be distributed according to an arbitrary set of rules under the Scots law of inheritance. The law can be complex and, in many cases, family members who might ordinarily expect a share of the estate may be disappointed.

When you instruct us to draft a Will, we will discuss the range of options available to you. We shall consider, amongst other matters, your family circumstances, your assets, and any implications for Inheritance Tax.

The legal fee for the preparation and completion of a single Will is £200.00 plus VAT. If your estate is more complex, we reserve the right to charge an increased fee.

We shall store your Will for safe keeping free of charge (many firms charge an additional fee for this service).

Generally, there are no outlays associated with drafting a Will.


Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) allows you to appoint another person(s) to make decisions regarding your welfare and financial affairs/property matters should you become incapable. We strongly advise that everyone has a Power of Attorney.

In the absence of such a deed, a Guardianship Order may be required if an individual becomes incapable. This involves a lengthy court procedure and is significantly more expensive.

A POA is a substantial document and must be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. The process of instructing a POA includes:

An initial meeting and consultation with a solicitor

- Drafting the POA
- Completion and signature
- Certification by a solicitor

Application for registration with the Office of the Public Guardian

For a single POA, the fee is expected to be £250.00 plus VAT. If a more complex POA is required, there may be an additional charge to reflect this.

There may also be an additional fee for a home or hospital visit.

A POA incurs a registration fee, currently £81.00, charged by and paid to the Office of the Public Guardian.

Residential Conveyancing

Property Purchase

We typically charge a fixed fee based on the value of the property. In all cases, our prices may vary if there are complexities in the case. Clients will be made aware of such complexity as soon as matters arise.

Our work involves:

- Communicating with and advising the client
- Liaising with estate agents
- Correspondence with the seller’s solicitor
- Drawing up a formal legal offer and further missives
- Examination of title, searches, and reports
- Arranging settlement of the transaction
- Obtaining and managing funds from both client and mortgage lender
- Completing Anti Money Laundering procedures
- Submitting LBTT returns and making payment of tax to Registers of Scotland
- Registration of Title and Mortgage Security
- Reporting to client and lender after registration

For properties valued up to £80,000.00, we charge a minimum of £600.00 plus VAT.

For properties valued between £80,000.00 and £300,000.00, fees on average are £695.00 plus VAT.

For higher priced properties as well as those which involve greater legal complexities, the price will be individually quoted.

Additional Costs of Purchasing a Property:

Legal fees cover only part of the cost of buying a property. There are additional outlays involved such as Registration of Title and payment of LBTT. These depend on the value of the property. We have no control of over these costs. They are set by government or regulatory bodies.

LBTT is a tiered tax applied to residential transactions. The tax is proportionate to the actual price of the property. The percentage rate for each tax band is applied only to the part of the price over the relevant threshold and up to the next threshold. If you buy a property for less than the threshold, no LBTT is payable. A relief for first-time buyers is available, which increases the residential nil rate band of LBTT to £175,000.00.

The rates and bands for LBTT on can be viewed here >

In some circumstances, an additional tax known as Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) will be applied; for example, if you are purchasing a new home but have not sold your existing property, ADS will apply. Once you sell your existing property, you can then reclaim the ADS you have paid.

ADS is charged at 4% on the full purchase price of the house and is payable in addition to LBTT.

Registration of Title involves the registration of the deed that transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer. The cost of registration in the Land Register of Scotland is on a sliding scale based on price. The fees are set by the Registers of Scotland and full details of their charges can be found here >

If you are taking out a mortgage, you will also incur the cost of registering the mortgage deed, currently charged at £80.00. An Advance Notice may need to be registered in the Land Register of Scotland, incurring an additional charge of £20.00.

See below an example of the costs associated with a property purchased at the price of £165,000.00:

Legal Fee £695.00

VAT @ 20% £139.00

Land and Building Transaction Tax £400.00

Registration of Title £400.00

Registration of Mortgage £80.00

Advance Notice £20.00

Total £1,734.00 


Sale of Property

When selling a house, we charge a fixed fee for our legal services according to the value of the property. There are sometimes situations beyond our control that mean we must carry out additional work to help you sell your property.

Our work generally involves:

- communicating and advising the client
- liaising with estate agents
- correspondence with the seller’s solicitor
- drawing up a formal acceptance and further missives
- revising purchaser’s drafts
- ordering searches and reports
- redeeming and Discharging mortgage security
- arranging settlement of the transaction
- obtaining and managing funds from purchaser’s solicitor
- reporting and settling with client.

For properties valued up to £80,000.00, we charge a minimum of £600.00 plus VAT.

For properties valued between £80,000.00 and £300,000.00 fees on average are £695.00 plus VAT.

For higher priced properties as well as those which involve greater legal complexities, the price will be individually quoted.

See below an example of the costs associated with a property being sold at the price of £165,000.00:

Legal Fee £695.00

VAT @ 20% £139.00

Property Searches £140.00

Advance Notice £20.00

Discharge of Mortgage £80.00

Total £1,074.00

Re-mortgage of residential property

Our work generally involves:

- communicating and advising the client
- examining the title
- drawing up a range of documents
- drawing up a new mortgage security
- discharging the old mortgage security
- ordering searches and reports
- redeeming and discharging outstanding mortgage
- arranging settlement of the transaction
- registration of new mortgage security
- reporting and settling with client.

The fixed fee for this work may be £450.00 plus VAT.

Below is a breakdown including outlays:

Legal Fee £450.00

VAT @ 20% £90.00

Property Searches £140.00

Advance Notice £20.00

Discharge of old mortgage charge £80.00

Registration of new mortgage charge £80.00

Total £860.00

Discharge of Mortgage Security

Once your mortgage has been repaid in full, the charge (security) registered in favour of your mortgage lender can be removed from your title deeds. This will show that the bank or lender no longer has a claim over the property.

The fixed fee for a Discharge of Mortgage Security may be £200.00 plus VAT.

A breakdown of fees and outlays is as follows:

Legal Fee £200.00

VAT @ 20% £40.00

Discharge of old mortgage charge £80.00

Total £320.00 

General Advice and Business

We are sometimes asked for general legal advice or invited to carry out work that is outwith our normal range of services; in these cases, we apply an hourly rate. How long your case lasts will depend on the circumstances and complexity of the case. We are unlikely to be able to give you an indication of the time involved from the outset of the case. However, as matters progress, we will keep you fully informed. We will provide our best estimate of the length of time your case will take to reach a resolution. You should also remember that we may have to deal with third parties, not all of whom may be cooperative, and this can sometimes delay resolution.

We charge an hourly rate of £200.00 plus VAT for this type of work.

For notarising/certifying documents, a fee of £50.00 plus VAT may be charged for each document.

Estates

When a person dies, their estate (property, money and possessions) must be ingathered and distributed. This is called ‘administering the estate’ or ‘executry administration.’

The work shall involve:

- Meeting with the family/executor
- Collating and valuing assets and liabilities of the estate
- Corresponding with financial and other institutions (e.g. banks, building societies, employers/pension administrations, DWP, HMRC, council tax department, factors, mortgage lenders etc.)

- Accounting to the executor
- Drawing court forms for Confirmation (Scottish equivalent of Probate)
- Dealing with the Sheriff Court
- Ingathering and settling the estate
- Paying bequests to the beneficiaries
- Filing Inheritance Tax returns

Generally, we charge an hourly rate of £195.00 per hour plus VAT plus outlays. Once we have established the degree of complexity, we may be in a position to offer a fixed legal fee. You will be required to meet all outlays including court fees and copy deeds and we request that sufficient funds are lodged in our client’s account before we incur costs on your behalf. Outlays will include Court Confirmation dues of £261.00 plus £8.00 for each individual asset certificate, if needed. 

Divorce and Separation

We provide practical advice to create a separation agreement with a view to saving time and money. It is a legally binding contract providing certainty about your financial position and arrangements for children and enables you to plan more effectively for the future. With a line drawn under your legal relationship, a divorce or dissolution at a late date can be relatively simple.

The work shall involve:

- taking instructions on your situation
- advising you about your options
- contacting your spouse or partner’s solicitor
- setting out your proposals
- negotiating with your spouse or partner’s solicitor
- drafting the Separation Agreement
- having the Separation Agreement executed and sent for registration in the Books of Council and Session

Generally, we charge an hourly rate of £195.00 per hour plus VAT plus outlays.

Once we have established the degree of complexity, we may be in a position to offer a fixed legal fee.

Outlays involve the cost of registration (£40.00 plus VAT for two extract deeds).

Should you later choose to divorce/dissolve your civil partnership, the outlays include the application for divorce/dissolution of civil partnership of £128.00 payable to the Sheriff Court plus £13.00 Sheriff Officer’s fee.

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