FAQ’s

The process in which ownership of a property or a plot of land is transferred from one person to another.

The legal process does not require you to attend our office in person. So long as you are well organised we can provide documents to you electronically or by post, which you can sign and then return to us via post. This allows us to act for both local and national clients without delaying the moving process.

However should you wish to visit our office we would be happy to meet and discuss your matter with you.

An average property transfer takes around 6-8 weeks. This timeframe is not from when you return your documents to your solicitor but starts from when the buyer’s solicitor receives the legal contract documents. However this timeframe can vary greatly and can be affected by a number of factors such as the size of the chain and the type of property being transferred. 

Everyone involved will be working to process your move quickly but we believe it is prudent not to set a date until all legal arrangements are finalised. It does help to have a date to aim towards but we would recommend you do not rely on this date until your solicitor tells you everything is ready. This is to try and avoid you serving notice on any current rental property or booking a holiday from work, only for you to experience difficulties if this date is not then achieved.

Once contracts are exchanged your move date will become legally binding on everyone involved. At this stage the date cannot be changed without your agreement and you can secure your removal arrangements. If you make your removal arrangements before there is a binding contract, you do so entirely at your own risk.

When buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage your solicitor usually acts on behalf of the lender at the same time. Your solicitor has to provide your lender with a report on the property before they will release the mortgage loan funds. Your mortgage lender has a list of the solicitors they will allow to act for them, known as their Lender Panel. Please do not be concerned if we are not currently on their panel as it is likely we can apply quickly to be added to this list. Please contact our office to discuss this issue with us.

Our professional rules, the requirements of the Land Registry and in the interest of fraud prevention we are required to carry out identity checks on all our clients. We require original or certified copies of your identification and proof of address documents before we can proceed further with your property matter. We carry out electronic identity checks on all our clients based on the documents you provide to us, but such checks will have no impact on your credit rating.

We require bank statements or equivalent evidence from all clients showing the source of all funds they intend to send to us. These checks are carried out on every client. We are required by law to collect this evidence to try and determine whether such funds have be acquired through proceeds of crime or funds in support of terrorism. Failure to comply with this requirement would be a criminal offence by our firm.

Searches are carried out early in the process of buying a property and are paid for by the buyer. Once ordered the searches take on average 2-4 weeks to be received, depending on the turnaround time of the local council. If you are buying the property with the assistance of a mortgage it is likely these searches will be compulsory. If you are buying the property with your sole money you can decide whether you consider these necessary before you proceed. Examples of standard searches include a Local Authority Search, Water and Drainage Search, Environmental Search and Coal Mining Search; which each providing certain information relating to the property.

As the legal process is worked through you will be provided with copies of all documents along with Reports helping to explain the content of the documents. We will prepare these Reports which will usually relate to your mortgage, searches and the legal title of the property. Once you have received the reports if you still have any questions we would be happy to discuss these with you in more detail.

Once all the legal work has been finalised and you have received all your reports you will be ready to proceed. We will contact you to pay your deposit and once it is cleared in our client account we will be able to exchange contracts.

Exchange of contracts is the process where the contract is made legally binding. On exchange the agreed completion date is inserted into the contract, setting the date your move will take place. Until this happens any completion date you have discussed is not which has been discussed is not definite. You do not need to be present at our office for the exchange to take place. Exchange is carried out via telephone between the solicitors, with the signed contracts and evidence of exchange being then swapped via post. However we will require you to contact us via telephone on the date of exchange to provide us with your authority to proceed.

Our prices vary depending on the type of property matter such as whether it is a sale, purchase or re-mortgage, aswell as the individual details of the property and your transaction such as whether the property is freehold or leasehold, registered or unregistered, etc.

For a swift and concise process please use our Quote Calculator on our website to obtain a basic Fees Estimate for your matter.

For a more detailed quote process please contact our offices via telephone and we will discuss your matter in detail and happily provide you with a full Fees Estimate breakdown for your consideration.

For a basic straightforward Will our fees start from £150.00 plus VAT.

Additional fees will apply where further terms need to be included or where the will is more complex. 

Our fees to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, in strictly application submission only matters and where there are no requirements on us to assist with the administration of the Estate our basic fees start from £500.00 plus VAT and disbursements.

Our average fees to administer an Estate vary depending on the complexities of the case and the assets involved from from £1,500.00 plus VAT to £10,000.00 plus VAT. We would recommend contacting our offices to discuss the nature of your Estate where we will provide you with a written Fees Estimate breakdown for your consideration before you decide whether to instruct us.

Upon the conclusion of your matter you would be provided with an Accounts Summary confirming all funds received, paid out, fees, VAT and disbursements upon the conclusion of the administration of the Estate for your approval.

 

Typical disbursements you could incur:

Probate Registry’s fee £155

Official Grant copies £1.50 per copy

Swear/Affidavit fees £5.00-£7.00 per Executor

Creditor’s Notices £150.00 – £250.00

Land Registry Title documents for property £6.00 per property

Bankruptcy Searches £2.00 per name

Whilst we aim to act for clients using a range of fixed fee options, in the event of complications or in the event your matter does not proceed and an abortive Invoice becomes required we charge for the legal work we do on a time recorded basis using an hourly rates system.

Our charging rate is based upon the seniority and experience of the file handler working on your case as follows:

  • £217.00 per hour plus VAT – Solicitors or CILEX with at least 8 years post-qualification experience (PQE);
  • £192.00 per hour plus VAT – Solicitors, CILEX or Costs Lawyers with at least 4 years PQE;
  • £161.00 per hour plus VAT – Solicitors, CILEX or Costs Lawyers with up to 4 years PQE and other staff of equivalent experience;
  • £118.00 per hour plus VAT – Non-Qualified Case Handlers, Paralegals, trainees, administrative staff or equivalent

As well as our costs there will also be expenses such as disbursements specific to your matter which beomce payable at the time they are incurred.

More specific information is contained within our initial Welcome Pack Instruction documents or should you wish to have a more detailed discussion we would recommend contacting us via telephone prior to instructing us to act for you.

Our Complaints Policy

Axis Legal are committed to
providing a high quality level of legal services to all our clients and associated third parties. When something goes wrong or where we are not meeting the service levels required we need you to tell us. We always seek to work in co-operation with our clients as this will help us to improve and maintain our standard levels.

 

Our Complaints Procedure

If you have a complaint, please provide us with the full details, preferably in writing.

 

What will happen next?

1.            We will write to you acknowledging your complaint and may ask you to provide further details if necessary. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within 14 days of us receiving your complaint but we will always try and acknowledge your complaint with you as soon as possible. 

 

2.             We will record your complaint in our central register within 14 days of receiving your complaint.

3.      Once we receive your complaint we will start to investigate your concerns based on the information you have provided to us. This process will typically involve the following steps:-

a)    We will pass your complaint to Tom Shuttleworth, our client care partner, within one week. 

b)    We will ask the member of staff who acted for you to comment on your complaint within two weeks.

c)    We will then consider your complaint, the comments of the relevant member of staff and examine your file. We will, where necessary, speak to the member of staff who acted for you. This will take up to two weeks from receiving their comments and the file review.

4.            Tom Shuttleworth will then write to you with a detailed response to your complaint. This will include our findings upon investigating the matter and our suggestions for resolving the matter. We will do this within eight weeks of our acknowledging your complaint.

5.        Upon the conclusion of our findings and our suggestions to resolve the issues raised and your concerns if you remain unhappy with our response then you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), an independent complaints body established under the Legal Services Act, who can investigate complaints about the legal service you have received from us.

The Legal Ombudsman can investigate complaints up to six years from the date of the problem happening or within three years of when you became aware of the problem.

 

If you wish to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman this must be done within six months of the date of our conclusions and final response letter.

 

You can contact the Legal Ombudsman by visiting www.legalombudsman.org.uk contacting them on 0300 555 0333 or by email on enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.

 

 Or you can write to them at;

 

 Legal Ombudsman of PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

Your right to complain is not restricted simply to our conduct but also about the amount of our bill. In addition to your rights to complain about our bill under our Complaints Procedure and to the Legal Ombudsman, you may also have a right to object to the bill by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part 3 of the Solicitors Act 1974. We are obliged to inform you that if all or any part of the bill remains unpaid, we may be entitled to charge interest upon it.

In addition to directing a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LEO) you will be able to refer your dispute for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). There are three Institutions available to deal with disputes in the legal services sector, namely the Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation.  If required, we will provide contact details for those mediation services.

 

You also have the right to make a report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the event the your complaint relates to;

  • A breach of a Principle of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and/or;
  • Allegations of dishonesty or discrimination. 

To make a report see http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page or contact the SRA at 

Solicitors Regulation Authority of The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN Tel : 0370 606 2555