Transparency rules

As per the guidance of transparency rules introduced by the SRA and which is in effect from the 6th December, we display below our price and service information.

We wish to first of all inform out of the areas of law the SRA has mentioned, we only practice Conveyancing (Residential), Probate (uncontested), Immigration and licensing application (only liquor licence).

We wish to however inform we also practise all areas of immigration law including asylum, Conveyancing (including residential and commercial), Family Matrimonial, Wills & Probate and Landlord and Tenant matters.

We are registered for VAT, registration number 542 2202 92 and all our service fees attract VAT save in immigration cases where the applicants do not have Leave To Remain when VAT is not charged.

Conveyancing


Our Team


Kulanayaki Ratnapalan – Partner


Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales for more than 20 years, Mrs Ratna has been spearheading this firm since its inauguration.

With considerable experience in all aspects of Property Law, Mrs Ratna is an invaluable asset to the firm.

Mrs Ratna is also fluent in Tamil.


Duv Ratna - Associate Solicitor


Admitted as a Solicitor in 2009, Duv provides an efficient service in all aspects of Property Law under the supervision of Kulanayaki Ratnalalan.

Duv has substantial knowledge and is committed to going the extra mile on behalf of his clients and providing a first class service.


Duv is also fluent in Tamil.


Bradley Grant – Trainee Solicitor


Bradley is a trainee with Ratna & Co. He assists Duv in all aspects of Property Law.

Bradley has a friendly approach and is always happy to help.


Our Service


Residential conveyancing and licencing applications are primarily managed by our Duv Ratnapalan who is supervised by Mrs K Ratnapalan, a Solicitor and a Partner in the Firm who is ultimately responsible for your matter.

Duv has 10 years of active practising experience of both residential and commercial conveyancing. We aim to offer our clients high quality legal advice with a personal service at a fair cost.

He is assisted mainly by Bradley Grant (trainee solicitor) who does the initial work of AML requirements, sending searches, raising enquiries, obtaining landlords consent (in commercial transactions) and ensuring that all draft documents are in the file to be passed to Duv Ratna for perusal and reporting.

Bradley is also responsible for checking Anti money laundering in each file. We are a team who handles all the files as a team so that there is another person who can respond to a client in case of a query. Therefore, in our firm it is not that only one person can reply to a query from the client.

If a conveyancing matter has been passed to Duv Ratna and as he will have the full conduct of that matter, if a client telephones during his absence, Mrs K Ratnapalan can check the file and update the client. The above applies during annual holidays of colleagues where another colleague is able to handle the file. This is very useful to all our clients and they are advised at the inception of the matter as to at least minimum two staff that would be able to handle their case in case a colleague is not available.

Stages of a Transaction

In conveyancing, key stages are exchange of contract and completion. Our terms of business letter is very clear as to when we will be advising or seeking instructions to exchange contracts and the time limit between drafting contracts and the completion date and the time limit our client will have in case completion is delayed.

Timescale (estimate)

An average residential conveyancing with or without mortgage takes between 3-5 weeks (provided of course we receive search results in time and there are no delays in communication).


Cost


Our starting fees for residential conveyancing where we have to peruse all the relevant documents are a sum of £580 and which increases with the consideration of the transaction to a sum of £980. The rest of the fees are fixed, i.e. acting for the lender, post completion charges, acting in a leasehold transaction, contributions towards bank charges, postage, telephone and fax.

The usual disbursements in a conveyancing transaction is Stamp duty (if applicable), Land Registry fees (as per the schedule of the Land Registry), Bank charges which is normally £10 per transaction, Land Registry search fees which is £3 per search and bankruptcy search fee which is £3 per person.

Local land charges fees are in accordance with each individual’s council where the property is located and their fees are available on the council’s website.

We always give a written quotation to our client’s whether they seek one or not which is sent with our client care (terms of business) letter and we strictly adhere to the said quotation when we send the bill of cost prior to the completion of a matter. Should however the transaction requires more perusal time than expected, then we explain the same to the client and if agreed we increase our fees by £150-£200.

Conveyancing Fees

Immigration


Our team


Kulanayaki Ratnapalan – Partner


Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales for more than 20 years, Mrs Ratna has been spearheading this firm since its inauguration.

Mrs Ratnapalan is in her 30th year of practice (practice certificate holder for 30 years) and we can proudly say she has extensive and vast experience in dealing with all areas of Immigration law. She was also twice accredited by law society (after passing the accreditation exams with more than 50% pass marks) as an accredited supervisor in Immigration law. She was also practicing Immigration law under the legal aid scheme for about 23 years and therefore has the practice of applying the quality mark expected by the Legal Aid board in all her cases.

Mrs Ratna is the supervisor with considerable experience in all aspects of Immigration, is an invaluable asset to the firm.

Mrs Ratna is also fluent in Tamil.


Manjula Sooriyakumar - Partner


After qualifying in Sri Lanka as a Foreign Lawyer, Manjula has vast experience in all aspects of Asylum and Sponsorship Applications.

Manjula has more than 10 years’ experience of preparing for Immigration appeals. She also handles immigration work from the inception of seeing a client and until the time of sending the applications to the Home office. Sabiha Jawad primarily does applications to the Home office and the settlement and visitor’s Entry clearance applications. She also has extensive experience in dealing with immigration cases.


Manjula is also fluent in Tamil & Sinhalese. - Associate Solicitor


Sabiha Jawad - Practice Manager /Legal Executive


A member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Sabiha has considerable experience in handling all aspects of Immigration.


Sabiha is also fluent in Urdu, Hindi & Punjabi


Anusha Rajasundaram – Paralegal


Anusha is a Paralegal with Ratna & Co has and is experienced in handling all aspects of Immigration.


Anusha is also fluent in Tamil.


Immigration: Hourly rate


Application for leave to remain

Hourly rate: £150 plus vat

On average, this type of work takes between 6-10 hours to complete. This means that on average costs are between £900 and £1200. All figures exclude VAT unless specifically stated. The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances in your case. Such as:

• The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider

• Which language(s) you speak

• Whether you are applying with other dependents

If you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and clearly meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be at the lower end of this range.

What services are included

The work will involve:

• discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you;

• giving you advice about the requirements of the Immigration Rules and whether you meet the criteria;

• if you do not fulfill certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how, which on average takes 2 hours;

• considering the supporting evidence you have provided, which we anticipate will take 2 hours;

• where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses;

• preparing your application and submitting it on your behalf, which we anticipate will take 2 hours;

• Attendance at a Home Office interview: if the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time. This could be between 6 and 8 hours of work;

• giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take;

*the amount of hours depends on the number of documents, whether they need to be translated, whether anything is missing and how long it will take to obtain the missing documents Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as visa fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

• Interpreters fees (we do not use interpreters as we speak the language required by most of our clients;

• Independent expert reports e.g. medical experts. These are not required in many cases: we will let you know as soon as possible if we consider an expert report is necessary;

• If there is an interview and we do attend with you, there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.

The costs quoted here do not include;

• Any Home Office fees for making the application. You will pay this to the Home Office directly as part of the application process;

• Where the Home Office refuse your application, advice and assistance in relation to any appeal;


How long will my application take


We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application. Read the current processing times.

We will normally be able to submit this type of application within 2 weeks of you instructing us (since the time of receiving all the documents we need which we would have informed you soon after receiving your instructions by sending you a list of documents), but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this. We will however let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than 2 weeks to submit your application.


Please note the anticipated number of hours and fees are an estimate based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course, we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

Licence Applications


Our Team


Kulanayaki Ratnapalan – Partner


Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales for more than 20 years, Mrs Ratna has been spearheading this firm since its inauguration.

With considerable experience in all aspects of Property Law, Mrs Ratna is an invaluable asset to the firm.


Mrs Ratna is also fluent in Tamil.


Duv Ratna - Associate Solicitor


Admitted as a Solicitor in 2009, Duv provides an efficient service in all aspects of Property Law under the supervision of Kulanayaki Ratnalalan.

Duv has substantial knowledge and is committed to going the extra mile on behalf of his clients and providing a first class service.


Duv is also fluent in Tamil.


We only assist clients in relation to liquor licence applications.

Fixed fee for an application for a new premises licence (new premises application) –  £720 including VAT but excluding disbursements such as ;


1. Application fee payable to the licensing authority


2. Advertising fee depending on which paper we advertise


3. Enquiry agent fees to display public notices which again varies


4. Special delivery fee to serve the application depending on how many applications we should serve


5. Printing additional copies of plans if necessary, whim again depends on how many applications we need to do

Fee includes:


• Taking your instructions and advising you as to how you can promote the licensing objectives within your application


• Advising you as 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 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;


• 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 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 an hourly rate.


How long will my application take


Matters usually take 6 - 8 weeks from receipt of full instructions 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 may take longer.

Our specialised probate team


Ratna and co has over 30 years of experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to wills and probate. We have two members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Mrs Kulanayaki Ratnapalan, Senior Partner and Head of firm.


Kulanayaki Ratnapalan- Solicitor and senior partner


Mrs Ratna was admitted as a solicitor in 1989 after which she established this firm, becoming a Partner in the firm at the same time. She has more than 30 years experience in private client work, specialising in wills and probate. Mrs Ratna has been working in this area since she qualified and has helped thousands of families and individuals. She has been the Senior Partner at Ratna and co Solicitors since its inception and has developed a loyal client base and leads our East Ham office. Nominated by staff for law society’s excellence awards Mrs Ratna heads our Civil Litigation, Immigration, Property and Probate teams and is the Firm’s Compliance Officer for Legal Practice.


Sabiha Jawad-Associate


Sabiha joined the firm in September 2011 as paralegal and qualified as a Chartered legal executive in December 2015. She was appointed as an associate in January 2012. Having achieved distinction in this area of law whilst studying with the Chartered Institute Of Legal Executives, Sabiha specialises in all matters pertaining to the private client department including Will writing, advising on Lasting Powers of Attorney and matters with regards to the Court of Protection. She has gained significant experience in this area, successfully advising on more than 200 probate and estate matters since qualifying. Her language skills of speaking Urdu, Punjabi & Hindi has assisted with helping many of our local clients.


Whether you are an Executor, personal representative or a beneficiary, Ratna and co Solicitors can deal with the grant of probate of both testate (Will) and intestate (no Will) estates. We can assist you to obtain grants of probate or letters of administration and also provide further services I.e. if you wish to sell property during estate administration and liaise with the beneficiaries.

How much does this service cost


TOTAL: fixed fee of £1200 (incl. VAT).


This includes: Preparing the estate report and obtaining the grant.


Breakdown of costs:


Legal fees £ 1000


VAT on legal fees £200


Disbursements not included in the above fixed fee (approximately £700-800 in total):


• Probate court fee of £215 (nil vat);


• £10 (nil vat) Swearing of the oath (per executor);


• £10 (nil vat) per beneficiary to conduct Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department search;


• £70- 95.50 plus vat to Post notice in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors;


• £ 250-350 plus vat to Post notice in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims;


• £1.50 (nil vat) per extra copy of grant of probate;


• £1.50 (nil vat) per extra copy of grant of probate required for international purpose.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.


As part of our fixed fee we will:


• Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor/legal executive to work on your matter;


• Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries and 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 and make the application to the Probate registry on your behalf;

• Obtain the Probate and send the same ( with any copies) to you securely;


Additional costs


• If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there may be additional costs which could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with at which time we will give you a more accurate quote after having all the information at hand.


• Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.


How long will this take


Typically, obtaining the grant of probate can take about 8-12 weeks. 

Complaints Handling Procedure

Our complaints policy


We are committed to provide a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.


Our complaints procedure


If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details.


What will happen next?


1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of us receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.


2. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care partner, (Mrs K Ratnapalan), who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.


3. Mr K Ratnapalan will then invite you to meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. She will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.


4. Within three days of the meeting Mr K Ratnapalan will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you.


5. If you do not have a meeting and it is not possible, Mrs K Ratnapalan will send you a detailed written reply to you complaint, including her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.


6. At this stage if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another partner or someone unconnected with the matter at the firm, another local solicitor or mediation to review the decision.


7. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.


8. The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. Most of the time, complaints about the service you have received should be sent to the Legal Ombudsman. If the Legal Ombudsman is of the opinion that your case involves a breach of the SRA Principles, the Legal Ombudsman will refer your case to the SRA. 


The SRA may investigate matters such as complaints of dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic or if you think our firm has breached an SRA Principle.


http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page


Phone

0370 606 2555 inside the UK (Call costs guide from Ofcom)

International callers

+44 (0)121 329 6800


Postal address

Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN (map of location) or DX 720293 BIRMINGHAM 47 


Our aim is to offer all clients an efficient and effective service and we are confident this will be the case. If there is any aspect of our service you are unhappy with, please raise the matter with Mrs K Ratnapalan and she will be pleased to investigate in accordance with our written complaints policy. A copy of this is available on request.


If you are dissatisfied, you are also entitled to complain about the Firm’s bill. If you remain dissatisfied you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman who can consider your complaint. You normally must do this within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us. Usually they will not consider any complaint brought outside this time period


You can contact the Legal Ombudsman;

By telephone at; 0300 555 0333

Or by writing to; PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ,

 Or by email at; [email protected]


 Any complaint to the Legal Complaints Services about our services must usually be made within six months of the end of the work we did for you or of you finding out there was a problem. If your complaint is about our conduct, you should contact the Legal Complaints Services within six months of the conduct taking place. For further information you should contact the Legal Complaints Services (0845 608 6565 or refer to www.legalcomplaints.org.uk)


If we have to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.