The Solicitors' Code of Conduct (the SRA Code) sets out specific rules as to the way in which solicitors should publicise charges.
In addition to this, the practice note 'Publicising Solicitors Charges' and The Conveyancing Handbook provide guidance for solicitors in order to assist them in adhering to the code of conduct.
Clients should not be led to believe that costs are likely to be less than they will be. When giving an estimate or quotation for charges, solicitors are expected to make it clear to their clients whether or not VAT and disbursements are included in the quotation.
Quotes should be as comprehensive as possible and should clearly cite any disbursements that are routinely included in quotes, such as telegraphic transfer fees, land registry charges and official copy entries obtained from the Land Registry.
For Licensed Conveyancers, the CLC’s Estimates and Terms of Engagement Code requires that your conveyancer states the fees and disbursements (plus any VAT) that they propose to charge you, and how fees for abortive work (if your property sale/purchase falls through) will be calculated. The purpose is to avoid any misunderstanding about the level of costs which will need to be paid and how they are made up.