Funding Terms & Conditions
The issues mentioned below are not a comprehensive indication of the terms and conditions upon which we do business as particular types of case, for example court work, require additional terms to deal with the circumstances of that work. We send out more detailed terms if you instruct us and we will explain these in more detail, depending on the type of case.
For some of the work we do, we are able to give you a figure for our charges in advance based on our assessment of the work that will be required. This figure will be an estimate and may be subject to review in the circumstances set out in our Client Care letter. In cases such as this, the above provisions will not apply unless we advise you otherwise and our charges will be based on the estimate figure, subject to review where appropriate.
- Calculation of fees
- How you can help us help you
- Proof of identity
- Data Protection Act
- Payment of fees
- Information pursuant to The Consumer Protection
Calculation of fees
We calculate our fees based upon the time spent in dealing with the matter. We record the time spent working on this matter on your behalf, including attendances, interviews, preparation of documents, e-mails, letters and telephone calls and necessary travelling. This time is then charged to you at the rate for the fee earner/s working on your file. We will advise of this rate when we start the matter for you.
We are required to add Value Added Tax at the current rate to the above figures. In addition we will add - unless you have paid for them in advance - the cost of any out-of-pocket expenses which we have incurred on your behalf such as agents’ fees, search fees, oath fees Land Registry fees, court fees, travelling expenses, international telephone calls, photocopying, fees payable to others, including barristers and experts, etc.. Except for minor expenses we will advise you of the cost of these before incurring them.
Please note that the above fee calculation covers the work we do in the normal course of dealing with this matter on your behalf and if we have given you an estimate it covers the work which we foresee might be required. However if any unforeseen work becomes necessary we reserve the right to charge for this in addition to any estimate given. Please note that under the terms of this agreement, unless mentioned otherwise, any estimate given does not cover conveyancing work. Please note also that under the terms of this agreement any estimate given does not cover any litigation, whether in court or any other tribunal, which would be dealt with under different terms of business.
If we have given you an estimate already please note that we may have to change this from time to time, depending on the amount of work required to complete this matter for you. It is sometimes very difficult to estimate the amount of time a matter may require. There are always a number of matters outside our control, including the attitudes of any other people we may be dealing with on your behalf. Therefore we must emphasise that although any estimate is based on the best information we have at the time it may not turn out to be that accurate. If, whilst dealing with the matter, we come to believe that the estimate is likely to be considerably exceeded we will inform you and advise you of the options available to you. You may then decide how or whether you wish to proceed further.
If we have not given you an estimate we will bill you periodically and at the end but we will try to estimate the total amount this is likely to come to if this becomes possible during the transaction.
How you can help us help you
It is essential that we have all relevant information from you so that we can best advise you. If we ask for documents or information please provide this as soon as you can, otherwise delay can creep into the matter which neither you nor we would want.
We will endeavour to obtain all necessary contact details from you at the beginning of the matter. If your contact details change or if you intend to absent for any length of time (e.g. holidays) please give us as much notice as you can so that we can stay in touch with you.
In certain circumstances, if we cannot contact you or obtain the necessary information, etc. from you, we must reserve the right to stop acting for you. If this happens we will write to you at the last known address we have for you and from the date mentioned in that letter our relationship will cease. However this does not affect your obligation to pay any costs, VAT and expenses which you may still owe us at the date of termination.
Proof of identity
The law requires solicitors as well as banks, building societies and others, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients. Please contact us on receipt of this letter to arrange a mutually convenient appointment for you (if there is more than one client this will apply to all of you) to attend in person at our offices with either of the following:-
- your current photocard driving licence, correctly showing your current address, or
- your passport, plus an item of evidence to prove your address, such as a recent utility bill, recent council tax demand or bank statement.
If you cannot provide such evidence please tell us and we will advise what alternative evidence may be acceptable.
Please do not send us any funds until the identification procedures have been carried out.
We may use electronic identification service providers to confirm your identity, and that of any beneficial owners. It is a condition of our retainer that you consent to us doing so, on your behalf and that of beneficial owners.
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception. Legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing places solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering the solicitor may be required by law to make a money laundering disclosure. If that happens, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it because the law prevents “tipping off”.
Data Protection Act
The work we do for you and the advice we give you is confidential and we would not disclose details of it or any personal information relating to you to a third party unless we have your consent or we are required to do so by law. Occasionally we are required to give confidential or personal information to others in order to carry out your instructions (e.g. instructing a barrister, expert, independent financial adviser, public authority, etc.) and by signing this letter you authorise us to give such information to such persons for the purpose of carrying out your instructions.
Please note that we are normally only able to accept cash up to a limit of £200 in any 28 day period. If clients circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of the funds.
Payment of fees
Our normal practice is to send interim accounts as the work progresses and to deliver our final account at the conclusion of our work. We also reserve the right to ask you for payment in advance of any substantial out-of-pocket expenses or disbursements which we may need to pay on your behalf.
If it would be easier for you we can provide you with a standing order form so that you can make regular payments on account to keep things under control. Please ask if you would like to use this facility.
In the usual way we reserve the right to (a) take any fees or payments due to us out of monies which we may be holding for you and (b) charge interest at 8% per annum on any accounts for fees or disbursements which may remain unpaid after one month from delivery of our account or request for payment.
While we hope that you will be pleased with our work, if you should at any time become dissatisfied with any aspect of the way in which we are handling your business please refer the matter either to the fee earner dealing with you matter or, if he or she is not able to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, then to our Mr M E Barrett or Mr N A P Walsh. If you are still dissatisfied after this procedure you have the right to refer a complaint to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
Information pursuant to The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling Regulations) Regulations 2000 (as subsequently amended) – Right to Cancel
There is information that we are required as a matter of law to supply to clients at the outset of a transaction. Part of that information is contained elsewhere in this letter but we set out below some important information on your legal right to cancel your contract with us and how that is affected if, with your agreement, we have started to carry out work for you.
If your instructions have not been given to us at a face to face meeting you may have the right to cancel those instructions without any cost to you within seven working days of your written instructions being received by us. You would be able to cancel the agreement by either delivering or posting a note to this office cancelling your instructions or by sending it by fax or email. However you may not cancel the instructions once we have, with your permission, started to do work on your behalf. By signing and returning the enclosed copy of this letter you are agreeing that, to avoid any delay in the transaction, we may start work on your behalf immediately and that we do not have to wait for the cancellation period to expire.