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Terms of Business

GENERAL

We are a Solicitors’ Practice authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England & Wales (SRA).  Our registration number is 59804.  The professional rules applicable to the work we do are set out in the SRA Handbook and Code of Conduct.

It is important you provide us with all relevant information to represent you and provide our services, and that all information provided is, to the best of your knowledge, complete, accurate and up to date.

Where we act for two or more clients jointly it is on the clear understanding that we are authorised to act on instructions from either, both or any of them.

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, third parties and employees.  Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Policy.

SCOPE

We will agree the scope of the work required with you at the outset.  We are not responsible for matters that are outside the scope of the work agreed, or for anything that would not normally be considered part of a Solicitors’ duty in relation to that work.

As we do not usually have access to a client’s full financial circumstances we do not provide taxation advice.  We rely on you to seek independent advice relating to any taxation questions that arise out of a transaction that you propose to enter into.

DUTY OF CARE

We have a duty to act on your reasonable instructions, subject to our legal and professional duties as Solicitors.  We will keep you regularly informed of progress.

LIMIT OF LIABILITY & PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE

Our total liability to you, whether arising as a result of a breach of our responsibilities or our failure to take reasonable care or otherwise, shall not exceed the £2 million restriction on limiting liability prescribed by the SRA, unless we expressly state a higher amount in the letter accompanying these terms of business.  We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect, exemplary or other damages, costs or losses, or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.  If others are responsible for your loss, our liability is limited  to such lesser sum as it would be just and equitable for us to pay having regard to the extent of our responsibility for the loss or damage and we shall not be liable to pay you the proportion which is due to the fault of another party.  You agree that our liability shall not be increased by your inability to recover any sum from any other person, or your decision not to recover any sum from any other person.

We carry professional indemnity insurance to cover these liabilities.  Details of our qualifying professional indemnity insurers and a copy of our policy is available on request.  This insurance covers our Practice carried on from our offices in England & Wales and will extend to acts or omissions wherever in the world they occur.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

We have procedures in place to ensure that conflict checks are carried out on every matter as soon as practicable so, if an issue arises, it can be discussed with you and dealt with as soon as possible.

IDENTITY & DATA PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS

In order to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 we are required to obtain from all clients, even where existing or known to us (and sometimes even people related to you), satisfactory documentary evidence not only as to their identity but also their current address.   Please note that we can refuse to act for any client who refuses to undergo identity checks as required by the Money Laundering Procedures.

Every attempt will be made to meet you in person, to verify the details provided, however, if that is not possible, your identity documents should be signed as verified by another professional. Clients are discouraged from sending valuable or important documents through the post in case they are stolen and used fraudulently. Similarly we will not use ordinary post for this reason

We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis to help us manage our firm, statutory returns and legal and regulatory compliance.

Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality.  Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers.  You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you.

CASH

We restrict the amount of cash that we are prepared to receive from clients.  Our limit is currently £500.00 in connection with any one transaction.

Where we have to pay money to you it will be paid by cheque or, subject to payment of our current fee, by bank transfer.  We cannot transfer money to you until it has cleared the banking system. If you require monies to be sent to you electronically we will only so upon your production of an original up to date Bank statement for the account funds are to be transmitted to.  We will not pay you in cash or, without suitable written authority, to a third party.

Please note that we accept all major credit/debit cards, although terms and conditions may apply.  A copy of our Accepted Payments Policy will be sent to you at the outset of any retainer or can be obtained by request.

CHARGES AND EXPENSES

Our professional charges are based on the time we spend dealing with a case.  In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors, which include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge that the case requires, and, if appropriate, the value of the property or subject matter involved.  The rates may be higher if, for example, the matter becomes more complex than expected; we will notify you of this.  The amount of time spent on a matter is often greatly influenced by the manner in which you respond to any request for information.

We may ask you to make payments on account of anticipated/future charges and expenses.  This helps avoid delay in progress of the matter.  If we request such a payment then you must pay it within 14 days of our request, or immediately for urgent matters.  We may, but are not obliged to, commence or continue work if we are awaiting payment or clearance of funds requested or paid on account.

It is often not possible to estimate the cost of a matter in advance and if difficulties are encountered costs can increase rapidly.  If you wish to set a limit on costs to be incurred, please let us know in writing.

BILLING ARRANGEMENTS

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, we have the right to deliver bills monthly or at other intervals we regard as proper in the circumstances of any particular case.  Any money we hold on your behalf, including payments on account and damages or costs recovered from another party, may be offset against bills we have delivered to you.

We will send a final bill after completion of the work.  If, for any reason, the matter does not proceed to completion, we will charge you for work done and expenses incurred.  We must emphasise that our charges are not contingent upon the result of your case, they are payable whatever the outcome.

You may be entitled to have our charges reviewed by the Court.

INTEREST POLICY

We aim to pay interest as required by Rule 22 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2011 and refer you to our Interest Policy, as detailed in our full Standard Terms of Business.

COMPLAINTS

All firms of solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise any concerns you may have with us. Your instructions are valued and we would not wish to think you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our work.

We have a procedure in place that details how we handle complaints and, if required, you can request a copy of our Complaints Procedure. If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you may be able to ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the matter. The contact address is PO Box 6808, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (T: 0300 555 0333 E: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk).

Please do contact us should you require any clarification on the matters set out above.