Services

 

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SRA Transparency Rules – Fee Guidelines for certain areas of law we provide services in

 

Please note the below does not constitute a binding offer but is provided for the purpose of providing information only and to comply with the SRA Transparency Rules.

Please further note, that we deal with several additional areas of law which are not stated in the table below. You can check the full list of areas of law on our webpage under “Areas of Law”.
 
Hourly Rates, VAT and Fee Earners
 
Our hourly rates we charge are between GBP 180 - 300 (excl. VAT) and depend on the fee earner (depending on the area of law and seniority) working on the case as well as the complexity of the matter.

The current hourly rate for Rechtsanwalt/Solicitor Mr Zimmer (Senior Partner) is GBP 300/hour [Grade A] plus VAT. For Rechtsanwalt/Solicitor Ms Liebe (Partner) the hourly rate is GBP 280 [Grade B]. The rates for other colleagues are as follows; depending on experience: GBP 240 [Grade C], GBP 220, and GBP 180 plus VAT. Hours worked are measured in 6-minute units.

VAT is in all areas of law currently 20% of the rate which you need to pay additionally if it is required in your case.

We may not issue VAT if the client is VAT exempt and is able to provide us with a VAT number or if it should not be required due to the location of the residence/registered office of the client (for instance, if based in the EU and outside the UK).
 
Depending on the complexity and nature of the matter, we will choose a suitable fee earner based on their experience and seniority to deal with your matter, for instance, Gunter Zimmer is a Grade A Fee Earner with more than 18+ years’ experience and Katharina Liebe is a Grade B Fee Earner with 10+ years’ experience. The lawyer working on your case may be assisted by another colleague in our firm whom we consider suitable for this task, for instance a Paralegal or Trainee Solicitor.

ZIMMERs Team consists of the following lawyers and paralegals which are working in different areas of law. The following list only considers the areas of law as required under the transparency rules of the SRA. The qualifications of each employee can be found on our webpage under Firm:

Gunter Zimmer, the Senior Partner and Owner
(Probate, employment, debt enforcement, motoring offences)
Gunter has over 20 years’ experience in a wide range of different areas of law and all of the above stated. He represented a wide range of clients and represented not only private individuals but also commercial clients. He has a particular expertise in dealing with complex litigation matters, also before employment tribunals representing employees and employers. He is the partner dealing regularly with probate and inheritance matters and does so in support with one of the other firm’s lawyers.  

Katharina Liebe, Partner
(employment, motor offence, debt recovery, personal injury)
Katharina has over 10 years' experience as a lawyer acting in a wide range of commercial and private clients. She has a particular expertise in dealing with personal injury cases (Road traffic Accident, Negligence), drafting contracts in employment law,  as well as in civil litigation. She further is specialized in cross border debt enforcement cases (pre and after obtaining a judgment), recently succeeding before the High Court and Court of Appeal concerning the registration of a foreign judgment to commence enforcement in England.

Foteini Lada
(probate, motoring offence, debt recovery, employment)
Foteini is a foreign lawyer who has been working for ZIMMERs since September 2020. In 2022 she qualifies as a Solicitor. She is supporting the Senior Partner (under his supervision) in all relevant areas of law.

Clara Bowater
(motor offence, probate, debt recovery)
Clara is a foreign lawyer and has been admitted to the bar in Germany since 2009. She is qualifying as a Solicitor in 2022. She is supporting the Partner and Senior Partner (under their supervision) in all relevant areas of law.

Laura Vialon
(motor offence, debt recovery)
Laura completed her studies in law in Germany and France in 2019. Since early 2020 she has been working for ZIMMERs. She is supporting the Partner and Senior Partner (under their supervision) in above stated areas of law.

Sophia Bauer
(motor offence, debt recovery)
Sophia completed her studies in law in Germany 2020. Since early 2022 she has been working for ZIMMERs. She is supporting  mainly the Partner (under her supervision) in above stated areas of law.

 

 

Estimated Time Exposure depending on area of law
 
The time estimated for the work stated in the table below is only a rough estimate and obviously depends on the matter (in particular the complexity, the volume of the
documents, the claim value and the other side’s conduct).
 
This means the time frames given below can be less or more hours of work. It is advisable to contact our office to discuss your case and any funding arrangements.

 

 Area of law

 

Probate

These costs apply only to probate work in relation to uncontested cases where all the assets are in the UK or in the EU and the case is relatively straight forward. This includes both testate and intestate and taxable and non-taxable estates.
  Drafting Statement of assets    
calculate Inheritance Tax and prepare Inheritance Tax Report and send to HMRC
prepare Application for Grant of Probate and send to Probate Registry and  processing after grant: sending grant to banks and receiving assets incl. sale of shares
  Circa 5 hours Circa 10 hours Circa 15 hours and additional circa 5 hours

 

 

The time estimates concerning incurring costs are for estates where;

  • There is a valid original will which is not being contested
  • 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 1-4 beneficiaries all of whom are traceable
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets.
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate
  • The Executors and Beneficiaries are prompt and well organised in responding to our request for papers and information

 

Part of the work covered by the above stated key stages are:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor 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
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

 

How long will take your matter?


As generally for all cases applicable, the processing time depends on the individual case.
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-12 weeks whereby the time the probate register takes to work on the matter cannot be calculated. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-6 months; this depends on the time other parties need, e.g. banks, estate agents etc. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 4weeks.


But please note these are only estimates and even a simple case in probate can be extremely lengthy. This applies in particular if a will is contested (the costs above are only for an uncontested will). Then a case can take many years.

 

 

Taxes payable in probate cases:


Any taxes that will be payable will be additional to the prices displayed here. These taxes are VAT which might be payable on our hourly rate (being 20% as stated above) or, for instance, Inheritance Tax (please follow this link which could assist with the calculation of inheritance taxes  How Inheritance Tax works: thresholds, rules and allowances: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk))  . We cannot guarantee that other taxes might apply like CGT in special and unusual cases.

 

 

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 £X (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.


Unexpected fees and disbursements which could arise:

  • If disputes between beneficiaries arises.
  • If a beneficiary cannot be traced and we need to apply for a court order (called Benjamin Order), approximate additional fee would be around GBP 1,200 plus VAT

 

  Attendance on client (considering evidence, taking instructions providing advice on sentence (commencement of work and providing advice approx., 7 days after initial instruction) Attendance and representation at a single hearing at the Magistrates Court Not included work ZIMMERs could do or could become relevant in such cases depending on development of case
Motoring Offences
Driving Offences (RTA causing Death/ Injury by dangerous driving) such as motoring offences under Part I of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and s89 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Circa 2 hours Time depends on length of hearing, complexity of case  and court where hearing takes place (but usually approx. 4 hours)   
  • instruction of any expert witnesses
  • taking statements from any witnesses
  • advice and assistance in relation to a special reasons hearing
  • advice or assistance in relation to any appeal

 

 

The key stages of your matter in representation for motoring offences are based on the presumption that you have entered a guilty plea and have a date for your hearing.

  • Meet with your solicitor to provide instructions on what happened.
  • We will consider initial disclosure, and any other evidence and provide advice.
  • Arranging to take any witness statements if necessary (this will have an additional cost, of X).
  • We will explain the court procedure to you so you know what to expect on the day of your hearing, and the sentencing options available to the court.
  • We will conduct any further preparatory work, obtain further instructions from you if necessary and answer any follow up queries you have.
  • We cannot provide a timescale of when your hearing will take place, as this depends on the court listing for that day.
  • We will attend court on the day and meet with you before going before the court. We anticipate being at court usually for half a day but this really depends on the particular case and court.
  • We will discuss the outcome with you. If advice is required on appeal, this will carry an additional cost.


How long will your matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions and providing first advice on likely sentences until the hearing depends on the point of time you are instructing us and other factors which cannot be influenced by our work. You can usually expect to receive a hearing date within 6 month after the offence occurred.  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.

 

 

  Simple case
(for all key stages)   
Medium complexity case (for all key stages)    High complexity case
(for all key stages)
Employment work (bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal)    Circa 36 – 42 hours,
plus additional charge for attending a tribunal Hearing of 8 hours / day   
Circa 45 hours – 60 hours plus additional charge for attending a tribunal Hearing of 8 hours / day    Circa 65 - 200 hours
plus additional charge for attending a tribunal Hearing of 8 hours / day

 

 

Factors which could make your case more complex:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.


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 12-24 weeks. 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 and know the tribunal’s capacity utilisation.

  Taking instructions, reviewing documents, initial advice, undertaking of searches (commencement of work within 7 days of received instructions)    Drafting and serving  Letter of claim
(another 7 days after initial advice)   
Issuing proceedings(completing claim documents and reviewing relevant documents)(Depending on pre-action conduct of other side, usually possible after 28 days after receipt of pre-action letter. Drafting documents will be completed within 7-10 days after instruction to do so.)
Debt Recovery
(Enforcing a debt business to business or consumer to consumer/business that is undisputed)
Circa 1 hour    Circa 1-2 hours    Circa 2-4 hours
  Part 36 Offer/ Instalment Agreement
(first draft completed within 7-10 days of instruction)
Applying for Judgment in Default if Defendant does not defend claim
   
Serving Judgment (in Default) to other side, request for payment and sending payment onto you After issuing proceedings – Court procedure if no Judgment in Default and claim disputed

(procedure complying with CPR and court directions: directions questionnaire, disclosure, witness statements etc.)

Court will issue claim usually within 12 working days after receipt. Service to Defendant is completed afterwards within 14 days. Depending on reaction of other side it could take 3-14 month until case is heard by court which is final step of court procedures.
  Circa 1-2 hours     Circa 1 hour Circa 1-2 hours    See note below concerning estimate of time/costs

 

 

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding to calculating court fees
  • The costs/ hours stated above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.
  • Court claims: If the other party disputes your claim and further procedural work is required, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with (revised) advice and information about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed. Please also note that for a hearing a counsel will be instructed to attend the same, see below under disbursements the costs which ill incur additionally to our Solicitor fee.

 

Our fee includes (as also stated in columns above):

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within X days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters of undisputed debts usually take 3-15 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

 

 

Other factors and Disbursements

In addition to our fees, other costs will arise during the matter that are payable to third parties. These costs are called 'disbursements' and are likely to include court fees, Land Registry search fees from £3 per search, asset traces for £155 +VAT, process serving from £75 +VAT, or counsel fees., for instance for postage, barrister, expert reports, address search, Liquidity Asset checks, Enforcement proceedings or court fees. We will discuss the additional expenses in advance with you. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. You are required to reimburse us for all expenses incurred on your behalf.

Other matters can be taken into account when calculating our fees such as the speed of response required, the size, complexity and novelty of the work and any specialist knowledge required or place of performance. We always charge a lump sum of GBP 35 for postage and communications.

Disbursements are always shown separately in the invoice.

 

 

 

Description and information about likely disbursements (excl. VAT if applicable)

 

  Posting and telephone Tracing of other side’s details and/or asset tracing Translations Court fees for and after issuing proceedings Expert report Fee for Counsel Fee to be paid to authorities or others
Motoring offences GBP 35,00 GBP 45-90

Circa GBP 50

if German documents relevant

na Obtaining expert report about liability and/or damages:
GBP 600-2500
for criminal law advocate GBP 600 – 1200 / half day (excl. VAT) depending on experience To trace insurer via MIB:
GBP 10,00
Employment GBP 35,00 Usually na Usually na

Tribunal: none

Civil courts:
See current version of Form EX 50

  for attending Tribunal Hearing:
Circa GBP 1800/ day (excl. VAT) depending on experience of advocate
 
Debt Recovery GBP 35,00   

GBP 45-90


GBP 250    

Circa
GBP 100
if German contract or order/

judgment

See current version of Form EX 50, depends on claim value   for attendance court hearing  after issuing a claim in cases the debt is disputed  :
Circa GBP 600 / half day (depending on claim value and complexity)
Land registry charges: GBP 3 search

 

 

Unexpected disbursements in above areas of law could be:

Court fees do not only incur for issuing proceedings but during the court procedure additional fees will incur, for instance the hearing fee, all also stated in the current version of the EX50 Form. Fees in the Civil and Family Courts – main fees (EX50) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Unexpected could be fees and disbursements related to a disclosure application which would be necessary to seek information about a claim needed to make a claim and/or issue proceedings. Costs including court fee would amount to approximately GBP 1500 plus VAT if applicable.

Fees and disbursements for a cost barrister should a cost recovery/assessment court procedure follow after the initial claim is decided by the court. Depending on the claim value the fees and disbursements could vary but they will amount at least to GBP 1,200 plus VAT if applicable.

 



Description and information about likely disbursements in Probate cases (excl. VAT if applicable)

 

  Tracing party and7or assets Translation Land registry check Probate application fee and swearing of the oath Post London Gazette and local newspaper Court Fee Counsel Fee
Probate GBP 50 - 250 GBP 50 – 750
Depending on volume of documents
GBP 3.00/ beneficiary/ search GBP 273 plus GBP 1.50 per copy of grant, swearing oath by ZIMMERs £300 GBP 69.50
Plus GBP 90
(Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.)
GBP 100 GBP 1000

 

 

We will always keep you updated on these expenses throughout the matter and let you know in advance before they are incurred. We will also inform you if additional exceptional expenses are required.


Queries about costs

If you have any queries about our costs and we cannot deal with your query to your satisfaction, you have the right to refer the query to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society established by the Office for Legal Complaints.
You may also have the right to have your costs assessed by the court under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Please refer to the Solicitors Act 1974 for more information.