Terms and Conditions of Business

Practice Standards

 

In order that we provide a quality service and demonstrate that we regard your matters as important to us we have set standards that we endeavour to meet at all times save when circumstances beyond our control prevent us.

 

We will communicate with you in plain language, keeping you regularly informed of the progress with your matter and explaining to you in writing the legal work which is required as your matter progresses.

 

We endeavour to use IT technology to expedite all matters both in the conduct of the matter and communicating with you.

 

You will be given details of our charging rates with an indication of likely cost, you will be kept informed of costs as the matter progresses.

 

You will get a risk/benefit analysis for any matter where there is no fixed fee and the outcome is uncertain.

 

We will confirm your instructions in writing and you will be given details of what action we will be taking, likely time scale of those actions and any material changes in those estimates.

 

We will advise of any delay and explain the reasons.

 

We will account to you at the end of the matter and remit any monies due to you together with our fees account and a breakdown of those charges.

 

We will encourage our clients to ask at anytime about any matter of which they are uncertain or require further explanation.

 

You will need to provide us with clear and timely instructions. You will also need to provide us promptly with the information and documents required to progress the matter.

 

Costs and Expenses

 

The basis for our charges will be set out in our client care letter sent to you with these terms and conditions.

 

 

VAT

 

Expenses and VAT are payable in addition to costs. We shall add VAT to our charges at the rate that applies when the work is carried out (presently 20%).  We shall also add VAT to any other expenses or disbursements incurred, including payments we make on your behalf, such as court fees, travelling expenses etc.

 

Payment of Expenses in Advance

 

Where we have to make payments to third parties to cover expenses such as court costs or fees for expert reports, we can ask you to pay us first. This will help prevent delays in your matter. As we become aware of payment which will need to be made we will write to you to ask you to send a cheque to us to cover the payments as the matter progresses.

 

When we send you bills, we will make sure we include the amounts you have already paid. If there are any advance funds left over, we will put them against our fees which need to be paid. You should note that the total bill for expenses may be greater than the amount which you have paid in advance.

 

Payment Terms

 

We will send you an interim bill for our fees and expenses every one to three months while the work is in progress. This enables you to budget as the work progresses. We will send a final bill after completion of the work.

 

You may also set a limit on the fees and expenses we can incur in relation to your matter dependent on the fee structure agreed prior to commencing work. This means that you have to pay our fees and expenses up to this limit, but we must ask your permission to continue working on your matter if it looks like you will have to pay us more than the limit you have set. We will write to you before we reach the limit, and explain why your matter is likely to cost more, review our estimate of how much your matter is likely to cost and ask you to agree a new limit, before we do more work on your matter.

 

If the matter does not proceed to completion, we will charge you for the work done and for expenses incurred.

 

We are entitled to pay your bill from monies received by us on your behalf and to retain your file papers or other property until payment is made.

Disbursements: save for minor disbursements we ask for cleared funds before they are expended.

 

On account costs: quite often we ask clients to make a payment on account of costs at the start of a matter.

 

All bills are due 14 days from the date of invoice unless otherwise stated. Interest is charged on all bills not paid within 14 days. The rate charged is 5% above LIBOR.

 

If we are holding client monies then any costs due will be deducted from the amount held before remitting them to you.

 

After completion of the work we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents until money owed by you to us is paid. You can terminate your instructions to us at any time in writing, but we may retain the papers until you have paid all charges and expenses owing. We reserve the right to stop acting for you in certain circumstances for example, where you cannot give proper instructions or you lose confidence in us or do not pay an interim bill. We will give you reasonable notice of this and you must then pay sums owing.

 

Recovering Costs – Litigation Matters

 

If your matter is successful, you may obtain an order from the court for the payment of your costs by another person. However, in practice this usually results in only a part of the costs being recovered for you, because of the way in which the court measures the costs.

 

You have to pay our charges and expenses in the first place and any amounts which can be recovered will be a contribution towards them. If the other party is in receipt of legal aid without costs entitlement or is uninsured, they simply may not be able to pay.

 

Other Parties’ Costs – Litigation Matters

 

If you are unsuccessful in your matter, it is likely that the court will order you to pay your opponent’s costs in addition to our costs. Your opponent’s costs can be assessed by the court to see if they are reasonable so you will have the opportunity to review the costs and ask the court to reduce them.

 

Storage

 

At the completion of the work we will send you any original documents and an electronic copy of your file. We do not store physical files.  The file will be held electronically by us for six years following which it will be deleted.

 

Client Money held by Us

 

If we hold client monies we are required to account to you for interest earned. The guidelines are that we are to pay you whatever we receive.

 

Save if the amount earned is under £50 then the de minimis provisions will apply and we will not account to you for any sum earned less than £50.

 

The overall guideline for the payment of interest is what is fair and reasonable having regard to the circumstances.

 

The amount of interest we pay is 2.5% below the base rate of the Bank of Scotland.

 

Any monies placed in a designated deposit account will earn interest at the appropriate rate for such an account and we will account to you for all interest earned. Monies are only placed into such an account when it is anticipated that the monies will be held for more than the minimum periods shown above.

 

Financial Matters

 

It is our practice’s policy not to accept cash payments from clients.

 

If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly with our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds.

 

Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.

 

If you send funds to us by way of multiple payments, we may charge £10 per receipt to deal with the extra administration involved in tracking your payments. We do not accept cheques.

 

Limit of Liability

 

Under the Professional Indemnity Rules firms are required to take out and maintain qualifying insurance. Details of Selig + Partners’s insurance can be found at our office or you can contact us to request this information.

 

This firm’s liability to clients is limited to £3 million UK pounds sterling for each and every claim, save for contentious business where such liability may not be limited by s60 of the Solicitors Act 1974. Nothing in this agreement shall benefit any third party and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply.

 

Office Hours

 

The office is open from 9.00am to 5:30pm each weekday.  When the office is closed you can contact us on our mobile number which is 07775 520197. There is an answer phone facility on that number if busy or unavailable.

 

Complaints

 

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you receive we need you to tell us about it. This will also help us to maintain and improve our standards as well as seeking to resolve your problems.

We have devised a simple and quick procedure to resolve any problems. Our complaints procedure is as follows:

If you have or wish to continue with a complaint, please let us have the full details in writing.

 

What will happen next?

 

  1. We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within five days of our receiving the complaint, enclosing a copy of this procedure.

 

  1. We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to the principal, Justin Selig, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.

 

  1. Justin Selig will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and, it is hoped, resolve your complaint. He will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

 

  1. Within three days of the meeting, Justin Selig will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions he has agreed with you.

 

  1. If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Justin Selig will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.

 

  1. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again to explain why you remain unhappy with our response and we will review your comments. Depending on the matter we may at this stage arrange for another member of staff to review the decision.

 

  1. We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

 

  1. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman Scheme (‘LOS’) via PO Box 15870, Birmingham B30 9EB about your complaint. Any complaint to the LOS must usually be made within a reasonable time of your becoming aware of the problem, or within a reasonable time from the end of the matter. The LOS has a Complaints Acceptance Policy which sets out the timeframes in which they would expect you to raise any complaint with them. For further information, you should contact the LOS on 0300 555 0333 or refer to www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

 

Data Protection Act

 

The law requires us to be registered under the above Act where, in the case of individuals, we record on our files and also on our computer system certain personal details. We are registered and you are entitled at any time to ask for a copy of the information that we hold about you or your business. We will not pass on these details to any third party without your expressed consent unless it is essential to do so in the course of dealing with the matter you have instructed us upon.

 

We will place your name on our mailing list but if you do not wish to receive information from us about our services please let us know and we will immediately remove you from our mailing list.

 

Confidentiality

 

Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception: recent legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Criminal Intelligence Service. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If this happens, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits “tipping-off”.

Our practice is subject to audit or quality checks by external firms or organisations. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.

 

Financial Services Authority

 

We are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority. However, we are authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority with regards to the provision of investments advice.

 

Equality and Diversity

 

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 equality and diversity policy.

 

Jurisdiction

 

The agreement between us is subject to English law and the English courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any dispute.

 

Acknowledgement

 

If you have any queries or want to discuss any term contained in this letter further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Your continuing instructions in this matter will be taken as acceptance of these terms of business.

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Selig + Partners is a London firm of senior lawyers, specialists in business and property law.

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© Selig + Partners Limited (Company Number 05714058 registered in England and Wales) whose registered office is at 7a Wellington Road, London NW10 5LJ is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 598990) | Selig + Partners – 7A Wellington Road, London, NW10 5LJ