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Andrew Jackson Terms & Conditions
These terms and conditions of business set out the basis on which our services are provided. Once you receive these conditions they will apply to the contract between this firm and you, if you continue to instruct us. If there is any conflict between any part of these conditions and our client care letter, our client care letter will apply. Please let us know if you have any queries or don't understand any aspect of these conditions.
We hope that this document will help you to understand how we operate and enable you to use our services to your best effect.
Our Service to You
Upon receipt of your initial instructions we will confirm in writing:-
– your instructions;
– scope of work;
– charges and expenses likely to be incurred;
– the people responsible for your work, their status and hourly rates.
We aim to:-
– offer an efficient and effective service;
– conduct our services in a competent and professional manner;
– respond promptly and keep you well informed;
– keep a record of all action taken.
Scope of our services to you
We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to refer you to an independent financial advisor/person authorised by the Financial Services Authority.
We are also not able to provide advice in respect of taxation matters unless otherwise agreed in the scope of work or on any point of foreign law.
Your dealings with us
To assist us in providing our services in this way, you will appreciate the importance of providing us with information when we ask for it to enable us to act and continue to act efficiently in carrying out your instructions.
Such information may include:-
– a change in details;
– any critical dates;
– giving us as much notice as possible of changes in time scales;
– information in respect of timescales and changes to them;
– any changes in instructions;
– letting us know if you do not understand any aspect of the work;
– correct communication details.
Communicating with you
We may communicate with you by e-mail, post, fax and phone. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume that you are happy for us to communicate by e-mail or fax, even though we cannot guarantee security or confidentiality of any e-mail communications.
Unless otherwise agreed our charges will be calculated by reference to the time actually spent dealing with your matter.
Routine letters are charged as 6 minute units of time and we charge for the time spent on making and taking telephone calls in 6 minute units.
Time spent on your matter may include:-
– considering, preparing, reading and working on papers;
– dealing with correspondence and telephone calls.
We usually calculate our charges using hourly rates which are set according to the level of seniority of the person(s) dealing with your matter. We may also take into account any or all of the following:-
– the complexity of the issues;
– tight timescales at which action must be taken;
– out of normal office working hours in which action must be taken;
– the value of the transactions.
Our hourly rates are subject to review (from time to time) and we will notify you of any changes to our hourly rates.
Any estimate of charges can only be approximate and must not be regarded as a fixed quotation.
However for certain work, fixed charges or charges up to a maximum level can be agreed in advance of any work being undertaken.
An estimate of the additional charges will be given where:-
– unexpected difficulties arise in your matter which will involve greater charges being incurred;
– you instruct us to spend additional time on your matter (by attending extra meetings or by considering an extra element in your matter for example);
– you require us to undertake work beyond the scope of work set out in our client care letter.
If for any reason whatsoever the matter does not proceed we will charge for the work already undertaken and any expenses incurred on your behalf.
If you instruct us to act on your behalf in circumstances where your insurers might pay your costs, disbursements and VAT under the terms of your policy with them, you will remain liable to pay our costs, disbursements and VAT in the event that your insurers refuse to pay these or are only prepared to pay a proportion of them. In the case of the latter event, you will be required to pay any outstanding costs, disbursements and VAT which have not been paid by your insurers, the details of which we will provide to you. If you are registered for VAT you will be liable to pay the VAT in any event.
In addition to our charges there may be certain other expenses necessarily incurred in carrying out your instructions which we will require you to reimburse us now in full.
These expenses are known as disbursements and may include by way of example:-
– search fees;
– court fees;
– travel costs and courier fees;
– barristers and other expert's fees.
Value Added Tax
Any estimates we provide are exclusive of VAT unless otherwise specified. VAT will be charged as applicable on our charges and on those expenses and disbursements that are liable for VAT.
Any of your money that we hold will be held in a separate client account. Where we hold money on your behalf we will account for interest in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2011 unless otherwise agreed.
We are committed to ensuring that an appropriate rate of interest is payable under Rules 22 and 23 of the Rules. The Rules require that where we do hold money on your behalf, we must account to you for any interest above the sum of £20.00 when it is fair and reasonable to do so. This is calculated on the basis of the whole period that we hold your money apart from clearance dates.
The monies which we hold on your behalf are deposited in our client account with HSBC Bank plc, Whitefriargate, Hull. This is an instant access account, as we will need access to these monies in order to conduct your matter. The rate of interest credited by HSBC varies from time to time as it is linked to the Bank of England base rate. This means that you will be unlikely to receive the same rate of interest if you would have been able to invest the monies yourself in a high interest account which does not provide for immediate access.
We will not pay interest on sums held in our client account where the amount is less than £20.00.
A copy of our policy on the payment of interest on monies we hold on your behalf can be obtained from the firm's Compliance Solicitor, Steven Sprakes.
We may send you interim bills at regular intervals or at an appropriate stage in the conduct of your matter. Any interim bill shall be paid by you in accordance with the provisions contained in Condition 10 and at all times we reserve the right to take action to recover any outstanding charges or expenses.
– We reserve the right to request payment on account of charges, expenses and disbursements;
– We will send you a final bill on conclusion of the work. We have the right to exercise a lien over your file of papers in relation to our unpaid bill(s).
If you have a query relating to any bill that we send to you, then you should contact as soon as possible the person who has dealt with your matter to discuss it with them. If you are unable to resolve your query regarding your bill with them, then they will refer it to the firm's Managing Partner who will deal with the matter under our complaints handling procedure.
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, then you may refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Telephone number 0300 555 0333 (calling from overseas telephone number +44 121 245 3050) E-mail: email@example.com, Website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
You may also be entitled to have our charges reviewed by the court, this procedure is known as a "detailed assessment of your costs". This procedure is contained in sections 70,71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and in Part 48 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998.
We are entitled to interest on unpaid accounts including disbursements and VAT, in accordance with Article 5 of the Solicitors' (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009.
Payment is due to us within 30 days of the date of the bill (unless otherwise agreed) and we reserve the right to charge you interest on the bill (including any interim bill) from the date of the bill in cases where payment is not made within 30 days of delivery by us of the bill. Interest will be charged at the rate payable for the time being on court judgement debts. We reserve the right to claim interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
You will be responsible for paying our bill. If you expect someone else to pay your bill, you must let us know as soon as possible. You remain responsible if they do not pay.
You will also remain responsible for paying our bill even if you have a right under an indemnity or a court order for an assessment of your costs.
To comply with Money Laundering Regulations we are required to implement procedures to guard against the risk of money laundering.
These procedures require us to:-
– obtain formal evidence of your identity;
– check documents relating to any company for whom we may act and officers of that company;
– gain evidence as to the source and/or destination of funds;
– report any evidence or suspicion of money laundering to the relevant authorities. We are prohibited from notifying you of this fact;
– We will not normally accept payment in cash but where we do the limit is £2,500.
Data Protection and Privacy
We will hold information of a confidential nature about you and your affairs in the strictest confidence. We will not disclose personal information to any third party without your consent unless we are required to do so by law.
However, where we undertake work for you in conjunction with third parties who are also providing services to you or us in connection with your matters, we will assume that we have your authority to discuss relevant confidential information with them unless you indicate otherwise.
We will put your details on our databases and computer systems to assist us in providing our services.
If you consent we may use your details to send you information which we believe will be of interest to you (including newsletters, publications and details of seminars).
We aim to provide a high quality service. If, however, you have any comments or concerns about our service including any bills we have sent to you, please raise them with the person dealing with your matter or alternatively contact our Managing Partner, Rob Penrose or our Compliance Solicitor, Steven Sprakes.
We will endeavour to deal with your complaint promptly, fairly, openly and effectively.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint, you have a period of 6 years from the date of the act/omission that you wish to complain about to refer it to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Telephone number 0300 555 0333 (calling from overseas telephone number +44 121 245 3050) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Alternatively, you are also entitled to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman three years from the date when you became aware that you had grounds for making a complaint and in the event we are unable to directly resolve it with you. The Legal Ombudsman may not accept a complaint where the act or your date of awareness of your right to complain goes beyond 6 October 2010. If you have any concerns about whether you are within the time limit for making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, you should seek his guidance by contacting him at the telephone numbers or e-mail address above.
The maximum amount the Legal Ombudsman can award in compensation is £50,000.
Termination of Instructions
You may withdraw your instructions at any time by written notice to us. However, we reserve the right to send you a bill for charges and expenses incurred on your behalf up to the date of termination of your instructions. We will not release any papers to you until our bill has been paid in full as we have the tight to assert a lien over them.
We may withdraw our services at any time where there is reason to do so. Such reasons may include:-
– work which would result in a breach of the law or which would infringe the principles of our Code of Conduct;
– difficulty in obtaining clear instructions;
– a serious breakdown in confidence;
– where a conflict of interest arises;
– where we consider that it would be in your best interests that we cease to act.
We may withdraw or suspend our services where you:-
– do not comply with our request for payment of costs on account or expenses required to conduct your matter; and/or
– fail to pay our outstanding bills.
After completing the work, we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.
We will keep our file of papers for a minimum of eight years (except for any of your papers which you ask to be returned to you). However, we reserve the right to:-
– destroy the file of papers after eight years unless you request that we hold the file in safe custody;
– convert the file into an electronic format for storage and destroy the physical file upon its conversion;
– charge for the retrieval of any stored file of papers.
We offer a free service to our clients for the safe storage of deeds, wills, share certificates and other securities but reserve the right to charge for this service. Wills are stored on the basis we are under no obligation to keep them under review.
We shall not be liable to you for any pure economic loss, loss of profit, loss of business, depletion of goodwill or otherwise, in each case whether direct, indirect or consequential, or any claims for consequential compensation whatsoever (howsoever caused) which arise out of or in connection with our services.
Under no circumstances shall we be in breach of these conditions or incur any liability to you for any loss, damage or delay arising out of the firm's compliance with any statutory or regulatory requirement.
Our total liability in contract, tort (includng negligence or breach of statutory duty), misrepresentation, resitution or otherwise, arising in connection with the performance or contemplated performance of our services may be limited in our client care letter in relation to an individual matter. This will never be below £2,000,000 or such other amont as required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority from time to time.
Andrew Jackson Solicitors will not be liable for any loss or damage which you suffer whether actual or consequential in both contract and/or negligence, howsoever arising from the failure of the bank/financial institution with whom we have our client account and in which we hold monies on your behalf in connection with any matter we are conducting for you.
In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is International Insurance Company of Hannover Limited, 1 Arlington Square, Bracknell, RG12 1WA. The territorial coverage of this policy is worldwide.
Contract (rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
Unless expressly stated nothing in these conditions confers any rights on any person pursuant to the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
Our relationship will be governed and construed in all respects in accordance with English law. The courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with the relationship between us.
Financial Services/Regulated Activities
Sometimes conveyancing, family, probate or company work involves investments. We are authorised by the Financial Services Authority and so may refer you to someone who is authorised to provide any necessary advice. However, we can provide certain limited services in relation to investments, provided they are closely linked with the legal services we are providing to you, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If you have any problem with the service we have provided for you then please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly and operate an internal complaints handling system to help us to resolve the problem between ourselves. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, then we are regulated by the Solcitors Regulation Authority and complaints and redress mechanisms are provided through the Legal Ombudsman (see paragraph 13.3 above for the Legal Ombudsman's details).
This firm is not authorised by the Financial Services Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Services Authority website at www.fsa.gov.uk/register/.
The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been seperated from the Law Society's representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority i sthe independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers.
Equality and Diversity
Andrew Jackson is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all its dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact the firm's Compliance Solicitor, Steven Sprakes, at Marina Court, Castle Street, Hull, HU1 1TJ if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.
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