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Charging for our Services: Commercial Property

Our aim is to be as transparent as possible about the way in which we charge for our services. Due to the wide variation of the nature of transactions and clients, we offer varied prices ranged to accommodate the nature of the transaction and advice given.
With this in mind:

We will always advise you as to our fees and price ranges/options in advance and do not charge for the initial discussion.

We understand that some transactions are more complex or bespoke and require tailored advice which will not always fit into a set price range. For such transactions, we will advise you of our estimated costs (including the hourly rates of those working on your transaction) at the outset, and to work within an agreed budget where possible

As an example, the costs for applying or varying an existing Premises Licence are detailed below

we will keep you regularly updated of any relevant developments as we go along

You can contact Alex Mitchell ( Head of our Commercial Property Team) at any time on 01293 596990.

When working to an estimate, traditionally, lawyers charge for their services by reference to an hourly charge out rate, depending on the experience and seniority of the lawyer concerned.

Charge out rates

Our rates +

Our team’s normal hourly charge out rates are currently £395 plus VAT for Director, Alex Mitchell, £275 plus VAT for our assistant Solicitor, Rodney Peters and £175 plus VAT for trainee solicitors. Hourly charge out rates for other lawyers on other Teams who may where appropriate work on your matter will vary. We will set out and obtain your agreement as to whom in the team could be working on your matter and their rates, in advance.

Contact us to find out more; or fill in our online enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

In addition, you may require assistance with a new premises licence application or a variation of an existing premises licence.

Licensing Costs

Due to the frequent changes in Licensing legislation, it can sometimes be challenging to keep up and comply. Our department will be delighted to guide and assist you through the process. We act for a wide range of clients, from the sole trader to the multinational corporate entities.

Our fees for dealing with a premises licence application will vary depending on the type and complexity of the application.

Our fees +

Our costs will fall into the following ranges (please note this excludes disbursements):

•    Simple application (includes minor variations): £750 - £1,500 plus VAT (based on 2 – 5 hours at hourly rates of £225 - £375 plus VAT)
•    Medium complexity: £1,500 - £2,500 plus VAT (based on 4 - 8 hours at hourly rates of £225 - £375 plus VAT)
•    High complexity (includes major variations): £2,500 - £3,750 plus VAT (based on 10 - 15 hours at hourly rates of  £225 - £375 plus VAT).

These fees vary depending on site-specific issues and licensing history of the premises and where it is located. The fees can on occasion be higher than the ranges given above. We will give you an accurate estimate once we are aware of the issues involved and how we can help meet your objectives.

In addition, you will have to budget to pay the disbursements.

Likely disbursements  +

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as the application fee. We will obtain these third party’s fees from you and pay the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

•    Application fee (payable to licensing authority) and is based on the non-domestic rateable value of the property – to find the appropriate fee for your premises click here
•    Advertising fee (which range in average from £120 - £350 plus VAT);
•    Enquiry agent fees to display public notices;
•    Special delivery fee to serve the application (£7.30 - £20.96 depending upon size);
•    Printing additional copies of plans if necessary (£50 - £100 plus VAT typically, but depends upon volume/size);
•    Counsel’s fees in the case of a panel hearing (typically £1,500 - £3,500 plus VAT depending upon the nature and complexity of the application and estimated length of the hearing).

The Fee includes all the likely costs on an average application. There are occasions when additional fees become due.

What our fee covers +

Our Fee includes all the main steps in the process:

•    Taking your instructions and advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application
•    Advising you as to the type of plans you are required to submit with your application.
•    Completing the application form for a new premises licence (including the operating schedule) in accordance with your instructions and submitting this to the local licensing authority alongside suitable plans. You must provide suitable plans.
•    Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the licensing authority.
•    Preparing copies of the premises licence application for disclosure to the responsible authorities and serving copies of the application complete with notification letters on the responsible authorities.
•    Drafting the notices advertising the premises licence application and submitting the notice to the local newspaper.
•    Arranging with you for you to display the notice(s) advertising the premises licence application and advising as to where and how this should be done by you in order to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.
•    Providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by yourself.
•    Checking the licence once granted and correcting any errors with the licensing authority.

The fee does not include:

•    obtaining suitable plans or any related surveyor’s fees
•    attending pre-consultation meetings with the Licensing Authority or Responsible Authorities, nor their fee for this meeting.
•    dealing with or advising you in relation to objectives, queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or other interested parties
•    advising on varying the licence
•    attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the responsible authority. If representations are received and attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee is required then we  will provide a separate fee estimate for this work which will be charged at our agreed hourly rates
•    dealing with/preparing for any panel hearings following objections from interested parties
•    Preparing instructions to counsel and liaising with counsel in advance of any hearings

For the above, we will provide an estimate based on our hourly rates, please contact us for further information.

How long will my licencing application take +

Matters usually take 6 - 12 weeks from receipt of full documentation and instruction from you. This is on the basis of the application being relatively straightforward and you being able to provide all the necessary documents promptly. If your matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties, or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it is likely to take longer.

We can also assist with the transfer of existing Premises Licences including the transfer of the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), following a purchase. Our fees for this service are fixed at £500 plus VAT plus the licence fee of £23.00.

Who to contact to learn more

Our Property team is one of the most experienced in the South East. Contact us to find out more, or to see what we can do for you; or fill in our online enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.