TERMS OF BUSINESS
This document sets out this Firm’s normal terms of business, which apply to all matters dealt with by us, subject to the provisions of any accompanying engagement letter which will prevail in the event of any conflict. No other terms of business apply, unless agreed in writing by a partner in the Firm.
Limited Liability Partnership
Jayes Collier LLP is a limited liability partnership and is a body corporate which has “members”. We retain the traditional titles of ‘Firm’ for the LLP and ‘partner’ to describe members of the Firm. There is however no partnership between the members or employees or between the members or the employees of this Firm. A reference in these terms or elsewhere (whether in writing or orally) to a person being a “partner” is a reference to that person in their capacity as a member of this Firm.
Any advice given to (or other work done for) you by a member, employee or consultant of this Firm is give to (or done) by that person on behalf of this Firm and not in his or her individual capacity and no such person assumes any personal responsibility to you for the advice or other work. All correspondence and other communications sent to you in the course of our work, whether signed by a member, consultant or employee will for all purposes be treated as having been sent on behalf of this Firm.
You agree that, to the extent permitted under any applicable law, if, as a matter of law, a duty of care, or any other duty, liability or obligation, would otherwise be owed to you by any member, employee or consultant of this Firm, such duty is excluded and you agree that you will not bring any claim – whether on the basis of breach of contract, tort (including without limitation negligence), breach of statutory duty or otherwise howsoever – against any member, employee or consultant of this Firm in respect of any loss or damage that you or any person or company associated with you suffer or incur, directly or indirectly, in connection in any way with any advice given to or other work done for you.
Accordingly, any claim that you wish to make can only be made against Jayes Collier LLP and not against a member, employee or consultant of this Firm.
This Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org.uk/code-of-conduct.page under registration number 499528.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the governing body of Solicitors. Professional rules laid down by it require that clients of Solicitors be informed of certain terms of business which are set out in these Terms of Business.
You will be informed of the partner having overall responsibility for your affairs and, if different, of the identity and status of the partner or other member of staff handling any matter on a day-to-day basis. We seek to maintain personal and individual client contact: our experience shows that clients wish to know with whom they are dealing and, so far as practicable, to deal throughout with that person. Subject to the necessary involvement of different partners or staff according to their respective skills, we will endeavour to ensure that this personal contact is maintained. If, however, there are any material changes, you will be kept informed. We will not, however, advise you of any changes in the partnership that do not otherwise affect you.
Client Care Policy
We have a Client Care Policy which is available from our website and upon request.
The scope of our work will be as discussed with you and/or as set out in our engagement letter. As the matter progresses, we will endeavour to keep you regularly informed of issues arising, action taken and progress achieved, and we will also endeavour to explain clearly all relevant aspects and to communicate with you in plain language. We will let you know as and when action is needed by you and, where we can, the likely timescale involved in the matter. We will also make it clear when the matter is concluded or when no further action is required.
In acting for you, we will endeavour to exercise all reasonable care and skill consistent with our legal and professional duties and to put your interests first when representing you. We will treat all clients fairly and without discrimination and maintain confidentiality in respect of your affairs (except as required by law) and generally will discharge our obligations as set out in these Terms of Business. These are the extent of our responsibilities to you and, in so far as permitted by law, we do not accept any further liability to you.
To the extent permitted by law, our aggregate liability in acting for you will in any event be limited to the maximum sum set out in our engagement letter which is currently 3 million GBP. In addition, we will not be liable for any indirect or consequential loss. This limitation will not apply in relation to death or personal injury arising from any fault for which the Firm may be liable or in relation to any fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation. Any claims arising from our advice may only be made against the Firm and may not be made against any individual employee of the Firm.
Our advice is given for your benefit alone, on such terms as may be agreed from time to time: it may only be used for the purposes for which it has been prepared and may not be distributed to any third party except with our prior written consent. All intellectual property rights are retained by us in our advice. Our advice does not and is not intended to create any enforceable rights for the benefit of, and we accept no responsibility to, any third party, so that the provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 do not apply to our agreement with you.
How you can help us
We have explained above the approach that we adopt for all our clients and we will use every effort to bring any particular matter to a satisfactory conclusion. Our role is to act as legal adviser and you will be solely responsible for all commercial, financial or business decisions that you make.
For your part, you can help us to achieve this and to save time and costs by giving us the clearest possible instructions promptly as and when needed and by responding quickly to any points that we may refer to you. We also ask that you safeguard any documents relevant to your matter from the outset. Further you must tell us as soon as possible if matters are or become particularly urgent or require action by a specific time.
In normal circumstances we would expect to keep you up to date with any matters upon which we are instructed as we consider appropriate in the circumstances. If you require more regular or periodical updates you can simply request that.
We do not have any arrangements with third parties to introduce business and do not share fees with any third party.
We will use all reasonable care in recommending or arranging the engagement of third party advisers if we are required to do so, but we do not accept any responsibility for the advice, opinions or fees of those or of any other third party experts, consultants or advisers. In any event we will only accept liability to you for that proportion of any loss or damage for which we would have been liable if you had not agreed to limit the liability of any such third party experts, consultants or advisers.
In relation to any searches made by us or commissioned by a third party agent with any governmental, statutory or local authority registries (including H.M. Land Registry, Companies House and any Court registries) we will conduct such searches with due diligence and care or, if we engage third party agents to make such searches, will use all reasonable care in the selection of such agents. We will not, however, be liable for any errors or omissions committed by any such registries or for any errors or omissions by any such third party agents which are outside our knowledge or control.
Where we use the services of lawyers qualified in other jurisdictions to assist us in providing our services to you, we will instruct those lawyers as your agent. You will accordingly assume direct liability for their fees, in addition to any fees charged by us for the work which we carry out on your behalf, and to the extent permitted by law you will not hold us liable for any claims arising from their advice.
Our charges are based predominantly on time spent dealing with a matter. Time spent will include meetings with you and/or others; considering, preparing and working on papers; writing and receiving letters and making and receiving telephone calls.
We will charge you hourly rates for work carried out by a fee earner.
Our current hourly rates are as follows:
Qualified Assistant: £275.00
Routine letters or emails sent and received and routine telephone calls made and received will be charged in units of 1/10th of an hour. Other letters and calls will be charged for on a time basis.
We will periodically review the hourly rates to take account of changes in our overhead costs and notify you in writing of any increased rate as and when they are made.
In addition to time spent, we may take into account a number of factors which include the complexity of issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge that the matter requires and, if appropriate, the value of the property or subject matter involved. On the basis of the information currently available, we expect these factors to be adequately covered by the hourly rates set out above. The rates may be higher if, for example, the matter becomes more complex than expected. If so we will notify you of this.
In the course of any matter, where possible we will give you the best information possible about the likely overall costs, including a breakdown between fees, VAT and disbursements. This will normally involve either agreeing a fixed fee, or giving a realistic estimate, or giving a forecast within a possible range of costs, or explaining to you why it is not possible to fix, give a realistic estimate or forecast of the overall costs and giving instead the best information possible about the cost of the next stage of the matter. In appropriate cases, we will explain to you that you may set an upper limit on the Firm’s costs for which you may be liable without further authority, beyond which you will not be liable without your consent. Where any estimate, quotation or other indication of cost is given, this will be done in good faith but will not be binding and will not amount to a fixed estimate or quotation.
In the event of on-account payments received by you such monies will be paid into our client account however we reserve the right to process interim invoices from time to time and transfer the equivalent funds to our office account for our own benefit and will issue a receipted VAT invoice to you periodically for such sums.
In common with other firms of solicitors, our charges are required to be fair and reasonable having regard to all relevant circumstances. In particular our fees will take account of factors including the time spent, the size and complexity of the issues, the speed with which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge required and, where appropriate, the value of the property or subject matter involved. So far as the time factor is concerned, each person involved in the Firm has an hourly charging rate dependent on seniority and experience and you will be advised of the relevant rates that will apply. These rates cover all necessary activities and are subject to minimum time units. They are reviewed periodically and accordingly may vary during the course of a matter. Where possible, we will endeavour to estimate the time likely to be spent on any matters to which the hourly rates may be applied.
We will also endeavour to keep you properly informed about the costs incurred as a matter progresses. This will include advising you of the position at regular intervals of not more than six months and where appropriate rendering interim bills, advising you of any changed circumstances which are likely to affect the amount of costs or the degree of risk involved or the cost benefit to you of continuing with the matter and informing you as soon as it appears that a costs estimate or agreed upper limit may be exceeded.
Unless otherwise agreed, our charges will be payable whether or not any particular matter proceeds to completion.
Any hourly charging rate or other figure quoted in respect of our fees will be exclusive of VAT and disbursements.
In the course of acting for you we may incur various disbursements and other expenses in acting for you for which you will be liable. Disbursements are sums spent or to be spent by us on your behalf and may include, but not be limited to, the cost of counsel’s fees, Court fees, couriers, search fees, substantial photocopying, bank charges, travel, external typing and other out of pocket expenses. We will explain what disbursements or other reasonably foreseeable payments that we may have to make on your behalf and for which you may have to put us in funds.
In the event that we consider that Counsel should be instructed on your behalf, we will so far as practicable seek your specific authority to do so, explain the costs implications and seek to negotiate a reasonable fee.
Other relevant factors
We will also, where appropriate, discuss with you whether and to what extent your liability for our own or any third party’s charges may be covered by any form of insurance or by another party, or whether, in contentious matters, a conditional fee arrangement may be appropriate. You should in any event check any relevant insurance policies and notify us if you are covered for legal or other costs.
In addition, we will, where appropriate, discuss with you whether the likely outcome in a matter will justify the expense or risk involved.
(a) Public Funding
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) replaced the Legal Aid Board on 1 April 2000. Under the Access to Justice Act 1999 the Legal Services Commission (LSC) runs two legal aid schemes – the civil scheme for funding cases as part of the Community Legal Services and the Criminal Defence Service, a scheme for funding criminal cases.
From 1 January 2000, only organisations with a contract with the LSC have been able to give initial help in any civil matter. From that date also only contracted organisations could provide any level of publicly funded service in family and immigration cases and the same applies to personal injury cases still included within the funding schemes from 1 April 2000. However, from 1 April 2000 most personal injury cases (except clinical negligence) have not been funded by the LSC and have been brought under “conditional fee agreements” between solicitors and clients. From 1 April 2001 the civil contracting scheme was extended to cover all levels of service for all types of cases.
Whilst it may be the case that individual (as opposed to corporate) clients may be entitled to legal aid to assist with litigation depending on their level of disposable income and capital, this Firm is not contracted with the LSC. It is not this Firm’s practice to seek to obtain public funding.
If you think that you may qualify for public funding and wish to apply for it you should discuss this with the fee earner advising you at the earliest opportunity, since delay may prejudice your rights and may involve unnecessary costs.
We reserve the right to decline to act further for you if you require public funding in an ongoing matter.
It may be the case that cover for litigation funding is provided by one or more of your domestic insurers (or the insurers of someone connected to you, e.g. a family member) and we therefore recommend that you check any policies you (or anyone connected to you) may hold (such as home contents insurance, buildings insurance, motor insurance, etc.) to establish whether this is the case. If you believe that you may be covered by an insurer on a ‘before the event’ basis for some or all of your legal costs incurred with us you must advise us of this at the earliest possible opportunity and provide us with a copy of the relevant policy and cover note for our consideration.
By signing this letter you acknowledge that the onus is on you to disclose details of any relevant insurance policies to us at the outset of our retainer and you hereby waive any entitlement to dispute payment of our professional charges on the basis that we have not investigated the extent of the legal expenses cover (if any) that you may hold.
General Points Regarding Litigation
Where we are conducting litigation on your behalf, you should particularly note the following points
· It is important to remember that once commenced it is sometimes not possible to stop proceedings without incurring the liability of paying costs to your opponent. You will be liable for our costs whether or not any outcome is successful or whether your opponent can pay any Judgment or order for costs. In addition to paying our fees, it is likely that you will have to pay your opponent’s costs if an application before trial is unsuccessful. These costs are likely to be payable within 14 days of the hearing and if you do not pay them then your opponent can enforce payment as a Court Judgment and your proceedings may be jeopardised or struck out.
· The Courts usually award costs to the successful party in litigation although there may be limits on the amounts that you can claim from your opponent and the amount that you recover may be varied and affected by the manner in which the litigation is conducted and even conduct prior to the commencement of proceedings. Costs are usually in the discretion of the Court, however, and the costs recoverable are rarely sufficient to repay in full the fees and costs incurred by the successful party. There are specific limits on the amount of costs recoverable in cases allocated to what is known as the “Fast Track” and the general rule is that no costs can be recovered for cases allocated to the “Small Claims Track” (we will be happy to supply further details about allocation of cases upon request).
· By signing this letter you acknowledge and agree that the charges we make may and can be greater than any costs recoverable from your opponent. Furthermore, in certain circumstances interest may be recoverable on damages and costs payable to you by your opponent and in some cases that can be substantially above base rate. Any interest on damages which we recover shall be yours, but you acknowledge and agree that we shall be entitled to keep any such interest on costs as may be awarded to you and recovered by us. Even if you succeed in litigation, you are likely to find that you have to contribute towards your own legal costs. You are responsible for paying our bills when rendered, but upon payment of all our costs the benefit of any costs recovered from the other side will be passed on to you, less the costs of recovery.
· Preparation of a Solicitor’s bill of costs is a specialised task and other than in respect of simple matters we will instruct a third party costs draftsman to do so. Our fee rates do not include allowance for our costs draftsman’s fees which will be charged to you at cost.
· If you are unsuccessful, you are likely to be ordered to contribute to the successful party’s legal costs as well as paying your own.
· We will generally instruct Counsel or other professionals such as foreign lawyers, accountants or other experts or agents (if appropriate) commensurate to the type of matter and responsibility of the case, but if you have preferred Counsel or third party agents, we are willing to consider your suggestions otherwise we will use our discretion. If we agree to instruct Counsel or third party agents on your behalf, you shall be responsible for payment of their fees although we shall, unless otherwise agreed, include such fees in our invoices to you.
Invoices will normally be rendered on completion of a particular matter or stage or, where there is continuing involvement at appropriate intervals.
In dispute resolution and some other matters we will seek advance payment on account of costs and disbursements to be incurred. Any such payments will be held on our client account and payments from this account will be made only to discharge fees and disbursements, applied against the final invoice to be rendered in respect of the particular matter, or towards settlement of any interim invoice or invoices.
In respect of all matters, if you are dissatisfied with the amount of our charges, you may be entitled to complain or object to your bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (details below) or if by applying to the court for an assessment under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
Details of your rights to an assessment and are set out in the notice printed on the reverse of all our invoices and which are also set out below:
a) You may have a right to object to this bill by way of the firm's complaints procedure (set out fully in our Terms of Business) and/or by making a complaint to the Legal Complaints Service, and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
b) If you intend to apply for assessment of the bill, you should do so within one month from delivery of the bill (although the Court has power to assess a bill on our application or yours made after one month but within twelve months from the delivery of the bill). After twelve months, or if you have paid the bill, or in other circumstances specified in Section 70 of the Act, the Court will accept your application only in special circumstances. The Court has no jurisdiction under the Act to assess the bill after twelve months from you having paid it. The Act contains other detailed provisions about the procedures and costs of the assessment of bills and the rights of third parties.
All interim and final accounts are to be paid in full within one month after the date of delivery and, if this is not done, we reserve the right, where applicable, to charge interest both before and after judgment on the sum outstanding at the rate payable under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, as if such Act applied and whether or not it is necessary for us to issue proceedings for recovery of any amount due.
In the event of delay in payment, we reserve the right to suspend work on the matter and on all other matters on which we may be acting for you, until payment has been made in full. We also reserve the right to terminate our retainer altogether, in which case any sums held on account will be applied towards any outstanding fees and disbursements and you will remain liable for any balance.
Any sums for which the Firm is due to account to you will be paid at your risk by cheque, unless you instruct us in writing otherwise. Payments will not however be made in cash or to any third party.
Where appropriate the Firm will account to you for interest on amounts held by us in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998. Please refer to our Client Interest Policy which is available on request.
Storage of papers and deeds
Our correspondence with you and other documents received from or generated for you (including copies) remain our property. We shall at your request provide copies of any relevant documents provided all our invoices have been paid.
After any matter is completed or our instructions terminate for any reason, we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while any fees and disbursements are owing to us.
We will keep our file of papers (except for any which are yours and which you ask to be returned to you) for such period not less than 6 years, after which we reserve the right to destroy the file other than any documents that you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
If you request us to retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to a concluded matter and we have previously given you notice of our intention to store the relevant file then you may be subject to our standard carriage charge (currently £100.00 plus VAT), and retrieval may take some time. We may also charge for reading correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by or on your behalf.
Although we take precautions to protect our electronic networks, we cannot guarantee the security or integrity of such communication, and cannot accept any liability for degradation, viruses or other infections. You nevertheless agree that we may communicate with you by fax and e-mail unless you instruct us that you specifically not to do so.
E-mail communications to and from our members, employees and consultants may be monitored, intercepted or read as part of the management of our business before or after their receipt or transmission to the intended recipient.
Confidentiality, copyright, third parties and data protection
The Data Protection Act 1998 imposes obligations on any UK organisation which obtains or processes data relating to individuals (“personal data”). The Act defines processing widely to include holding, organising, using or disclosing personal data.
The Act requires that we tell you that any personal data that we receive about you or your employees or from you about other individuals may be processed by us for the purpose of performing our services for you and any compatible supporting functions.
Our advice to and correspondence with you may be legally privileged in certain circumstances. We may however be under a statutory duty to disclose certain facts or information to third parties and to co-operate with any official investigations or enquiries relating in whole or part to any work we have done for you. In that case our statutory duties may override our duties to you. We will endeavour, where practicable and unless precluded by law, to notify you immediately of any such event and to take reasonable and proper steps to protect your interests pending your further instructions.
Except where otherwise agreed, the fact that we act for you professionally will not be deemed confidential and may be disclosed to clients or prospective clients.
We retain copyright and other applicable intellectual property rights in all processes and materials developed by us either before or during the course of our work for you. These materials may be used by you in and during the course of the project, transaction or case which is the subject of the agreed services but are not to be further used or reproduced in any form without our prior written consent. You agree that any documents or materials provided to us in the course of the agreed services may be copied and stored electronically.
Communications from us to you should not be disclosed or passed on to any third party without our prior written consent where marked confidential or where it is apparent from the circumstances that such communication is intended only for you. We accept no liability for any disclosure by you to any third party without such consent and will require you to make good to us any costs or liability incurred in dealing with any claim from any such third party.
As we may have professional obligations in relation to information that we hold, you recognise that we hold any personal data as data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998.
You agree that we may disclose, for the purposes of dealing with any complaint, claim or potential claim arising out of our services, information relating to you or details of a matter or matters on which we are or have acted for you, when we are required to do so by our insurers, a court or regulatory body, or otherwise where we consider it appropriate to do so.
If we are required to take specific steps to comply with data protection, privacy or freedom of information laws in relation to information obtained in the course of providing our services to you, you agree to pay additional fees in respect of the time spent by professional staff, as well as expenses reasonably incurred, in taking such steps.
Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
The Firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority for the purposes of this Act, so that we may where appropriate refer you to a third party who is authorised to provide any necessary advice. However the Firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and we are able in certain circumstances, as members of the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, to continue to offer a limited range of investment services to clients where they are an incidental part of the professional services that we have been engaged to provide.
In arranging any restrictive covenant or defective title indemnity policy for you it is unlikely that the Firm will recommend more than one company to provide the contract of insurance. We are not contractually obliged to conduct insurance mediation activities with one or more insurance companies or underwriters. We will provide details on request of the insurance company or underwriter from which the Firm selects or with which the Firm deals in arranging any such policy for you.
In respect of funding or financing arrangement or agreements whilst we will take all reasonable care to ensure that the arrangements and agreement fulfil their intention and meet your requirements we do not give financial advice regarding such matters and the suitability of any financing arrangement or agreements is not within our scope of advice or expertise and you should seek specialised advice in respect of any matters.
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
The Firm is prohibited by this Act from acting for or advising a client in relation to the acquisition, retention, use or control of the proceeds of any crime or any attempt to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer any criminal property or to remove it from the jurisdiction, or from being involved in arrangements relating to such activities. The proceeds of crime and criminal property are widely defined for these purposes to include any activity (including tax evasion) carried on anywhere which would be illegal if carried on in the UK.
The Firm has a legal obligation to report to the relevant authorities any person, including a client, suspected of involvement in activity covered by the Act. As a result we reserve the right to make all such disclosures required by law, without informing you that we have done so, and if appropriate to cease acting for you without giving any specific reason. These obligations override our normal duty of confidentiality to you. We will not accept any liability for any loss or damage that you or any third party may suffer or incur on any account for any action taken, or not taken, by us in good faith with a view to complying with this Act or any related legislation.
In addition, where such consent is required and you do not advise us otherwise in writing, you consent to our disclosing information to the relevant authorities at our discretion to enable us to comply with our legal obligations under this Act and any related legislation and accept that we may do so in circumstances where we do not notify you of our report or of the information disclosed.
The Firm may also require confirmation from you of the source of any funds, in particular any remitted from overseas, and of whether all necessary tax has been paid and all necessary returns made in relation to any such funds. The Firm reserves the right to require further information and supporting documentation as appropriate.
Money Laundering Regulations 2007
In order to enable the Firm to satisfy its obligations under these Regulations and related legislation, it will almost always be necessary for you to supply appropriate proof of identity before we are able to act or continue to act for you or for any principal whom you may represent. We will also not be able to receive any funds from, or pay any funds to, you or on your behalf unless all necessary identification and other procedures have been satisfied for the purposes of the Regulations.
For individuals and partnerships, proof of identity will be (i) a current valid passport, showing your full name, date of birth and photograph and (ii) a current driving licence, utility bill or equivalent confirming your address. For companies and LLPs, we will usually require a certificate of incorporation or audited statutory accounts together with personal identification as above in respect of some or all of the company’s directors or the LLP’s members. In the case of a company incorporated outside the UK, there should also be a certificate from lawyers qualified in the relevant jurisdiction to the effect that the company is properly incorporated and authorised to do business.
If you do not have a current passport, we will prescribe what alternative proof of identity we require, including evidence as to whether or not you are a UK national and resident in the UK.
In the light of the Regulations and for insurance reasons we do not normally accept cash payments from or on behalf of clients and then only in special circumstances and for limited amounts.
Whilst we have a discretion to give advice to you about the application of the Regulations, we are not obliged to do so and may instead withdraw from acting for you.
Whilst every effort will be made to ensure that each matter is handled satisfactorily in all respects, if for any reason you have a problem with the service provided, you should make this known promptly to Anthony Jayes. We will endeavour to resolve any complaint internally through the Firm’s complaints handling procedure, details of which are available if required. The result of our investigation will be made known to you, with a view to resolving any difficulty as quickly as possible and in no longer than 8 weeks.
If for any reason we are unable to resolve any problem between us, the Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, if you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling their helpline on 0300 555 0333.
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it).
Please note that not all clients will be entitled to have their complaint considered by the Legal Ombudsman as the service is only available to members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. You should contact the Legal Ombudsman direct to clarify whether you can bring a complaint to them.
Conflicts of Interest
It is possible that an adverse relationship may arise in the future between you and one of our other clients. Provided we are not representing you in the matter in which you and our other client have an adverse interest and the matter is not significantly related to a matter on which we are engaged by you and provided that we do not in doing so use information obtained from you to your detriment, then you agree that we may represent the other client.
Third Party Rights
These terms of engagement are not intended to and do not confer any right on a third party under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
In the advice that we give and the transactions undertaken we do not give or purport to give any advice about tax or the effects thereof on any transaction or matter. You should obtain competent independent advice from an accountant or other qualified financial advisor relating to financial matters and tax.
We are required to supervise the witnessing of any will prepared by us and you will be required to attend these offices for such purpose. It is very important for a will to be witnessed properly as failure to do so may invalidate it. If notwithstanding the foregoing you require us to issue a will for signature by you then you must accept that you will be responsible for ensuring that it is completed and witnessed satisfactorily and we shall not be responsible for any deficiencies in the completion or witnessing of any such will.
You may terminate your instructions to us at any time. We, in turn, reserve the right to stop acting for you but only with good cause, including, for example, a conflict of interest or a failure to make a payment on account as requested, or to pay an interim bill, or failure to take advice given to you. Where possible we will give you reasonable notice and explain the reasons why we are terminating the retainer. In either event, we will retain the right to charge for work done up to the time when we cease to act and will retain our lien over any monies, papers, documents or other items held by us pending settlement of any outstanding fees and disbursements.
We will not be liable to you or any third party if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control. If any such event should arise, we will notify you as soon as reasonably practicable.
Proper law and jurisdiction
Our contract with you is governed by English law and the Courts within the London postal districts have exclusive jurisdiction if you are resident or incorporated within the UK, or non-exclusive jurisdiction if you are not so resident or incorporated, in relation to matters arising between us. Any proceedings in relation to our contract with you will be conducted only in the English language. Our address for service is as set out below and no notices or proceedings may be served by e-mail or fax.
We reserve the right to vary these terms of business at any time and from time to time in order to take account of any legal or regulatory changes or as otherwise appropriate.