General Terms and Conditions of Business
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The purpose of this document
To ensure that your matter is as quick, straightforward and stress free as possible and to provide you with an efficient and effective service at all times.
Identification for limited companies:
In addition, all directors are required to comply with personal identification from Lists A and B above.
Normal Charge Basis
Conditional Fee Agreements or Contingency Fee Agreements
Free Initial Interviews
Taxes and Expenses
Fees and Expenses of Other Parties or Prosecuting Authorities
18. Billing arrangements (contentious matters only)Costs normally form three components:
There are three types of disbursements:
Statement of Truth
Attendance at hearings and meetings and complying with the requirements of the Court
Settlement of Dispute before or during Proceedings.
In conveyancing matters, we have a duty of care to your mortgage lender (if any) and you authorise us to disclose to them any information they require which is held by us regarding your proposed borrowing.
It is your responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of any mortgage offer letter.
If you are repaying an existing mortgage, please enquire of your lender whether there is any redemption or penalty fee for early repayment.
In conveyancing matters we use an agency for searches, which is usually more efficient and less expensive. The agency is covered by adequate insurance. Occasionally a lender will require that we make a search direct of the local authority and this may result in an additional cost to you.
We are not qualified to give you advice on the result of Environmental searches and we will refer you to the appropriate agency should you have any queries as a result of entries on a search.
In conveyancing matters, we aim to complete all returns prior to the finalisation of a matter but occasionally these are sent by post after finalisation. There are strict guidelines for payment of duty (currently 30 days). If payment is not made on time through your delay the Revenue will charge interest and/or penalty which is payable by you. The Revenue service may raise queries on any return up to nine months after finalisation.24. Storage of papers, deeds and other items
After finalisation of your file, we are required to keep all papers and documents while there is any money owing to us. In addition, we will keep paper and electronic files and records for not less than six years. After that, we will destroy them after such period as we consider reasonable. We do not destroy deeds, wills or securities that you ask us to place in safe custody. Presently, we do not make a charge for this service, although we reserve the right to do so in an appropriate case.25. Termination of instructions
You may terminate your instructions to us at any time in writing. If we decide that we are unable to act for you, we will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing.
We are entitled to refuse to act for you if you fail to supply appropriate proof of identity.26. Complaints Handling
In the event that you feel your transaction has not been handled appropriately or if your experience in dealing with our firm is considered to be unsatisfactory by you, you as our client are entitled to make a formal complaint to us about our services, including a complaint about our firms invoice. The person holding responsibility to deal with your complaint will have been highlighted to you in our firm’s client care letter.
We have an internal complaints procedure, in accordance with which all complaints are handled; a copy of this is available upon request. We aim to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, promptly and effectively.
If after going through our internal complaints procedures, there still remains a dispute you have a right to refer that matter to the Legal Services Ombudsman within 1 month of completion of our internal procedure. Contact details for the ombudsman can be found on your Complaints procedure document.27. Communication
You may choose the method that we communicate with you. Many papers have to be sent by normal post but otherwise we will be happy to use fax or email. We cannot however be responsible for the security of correspondence or documents sent by any method. If receiving communication by email we recommend that you install a virus checker. We do not accept service of documents by email unless we give you specific authorisation.28. Data protection
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you are entitled to a copy of any personal information held by us on payment of a fee. We may hold and process your personal information by computer or otherwise. Your personal information is disclosed to our insurers; sub-contractors and agents to the extent that they need this information in order to provide a service to you. Your personal information is held on an accounts database. We may use this information to send you information regarding our services that we think may be of benefit or of interest to you.29. Consumer protection
If the contract that we have made with you is not ‘in person’ then the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 may apply. Please note that the period of time for concluding the legal services we intend to provide to you may exceed thirty days and you have the right to cancel this contract for services. To do so you must give us written notice within seven working days (the ‘Cancellation Period’) starting from the day after you receive these terms. If you wish us to commence work before the expiry of the Cancellation Period you must let us know but if so you will then lose your right to cancel.30. Governing Law and Jurisdiction
The law of England and Wales will apply to any interpretation of this agreement and exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute is given to the courts of England and Wales.