The following terms and conditions shall apply in relation to any engagement of the firm of Ann L Humphrey:
1. Service standard
The firm will exercise due skill, care and diligence in carrying out legal work in accordance with the client’s instructions, will keep them informed of progress and will deal promptly with any queries.
2. Limitation of liability
The firm shall have no liability in any circumstances to any person other than its client and any third party to whom the firm’s advice is expressly addressed.
In any event, the liability of the firm shall only arise in respect of claims against which the firm is insured pursuant to the requirements of the Law Society under the Solicitors’ Indemnity Insurance Rules and only to the extent of such insurance. Further information about the extent of the cover taken out by the firm is provided in the client engagement letter.
Any advice given by the firm is for the benefit of the client and no other person. Copyright and all other intellectual property rights (including rights of confidentiality) in all advice given by the firm remain with the firm. Accordingly, such advice may not be copied, published or disclosed to any third party without the express consent of the firm (except that copying is permissible for the client's internal circulation only). In the case of any publication of any advice, the form and content of such publication shall be subject to the prior written consent of the firm, and due acknowledgement as to authorship shall be included.
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation is subject to a statutory exception: recent legislation on money laundering and the prevention of terrorism has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (‘SOCA’). 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, the firm may not be able to inform the client that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.
From time to time we may be subject to a quality audit undertaken by independent inspectors for Lexcel (the Law Society’s quality mark scheme) or by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. By accepting these terms and conditions you consent to the disclosure in the these circumstances on the basis that the third parties will be subject to confidentiality agreements.
Email carries some inherent risk, namely potential lack of security and lack of authenticity, however the vast majority of email is secure and prompt. The firm will communicate by email unless the firm has received a written indication from the client that email communication is not acceptable.
5. Data protection
In the course of acting for you the firm may obtain and process personal data about you. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 the controller of that data is Ann L Humphrey.
The firm will use your personal data to provide you with the legal services you request from us. We may also contact you to provide you with information about relevant legal developments and other services (such as seminars) which we offer. If for any reason you do not wish to receive this information, please let us know.
The client may terminate their instructions by writing to us at any time.
The firm is entitled to determine its retainer if it considers it inappropriate for any reason to continue acting and will give the client such notice as is reasonable in the circumstances, but such notice shall not be longer that 28 days. The firm will have no liability to undertake any work on the client’s behalf once the period of notice has ended. The firm will release the client’s papers once all fees for which you have become liable have been paid in cleared funds.
7. Investment business and client money
The firm is not authorised to conduct investment business and will not hold monies on behalf of a client.
8. Fees, disbursements and expenses
Fees will be charged and billed on the basis agreed in advance in writing, together with any out of pocket expenses, VAT (where applicable) and disbursements.
If it becomes necessary to incur significant disbursements (for example, barristers’ or overseas lawyers’ fees or air fares) the firm reserves the right to require you to pay those disbursements directly. However we will not incur any such disbursements without first agreeing this with you.
No charge will be made for faxes, postage or copying unless, in the case of copying, it is more than 50 sheets in total. No charge will be made for the cost of travel within London.
9. Document destruction policy
Papers relating to a matter will be held by the firm for a period of six years after the matter is completed. After that time the papers will be destroyed.
All invoices are payable within 30 days of the date of issue.
Interest and compensation for late payment pursuant to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 will be claimed on any invoice outstanding for more than thirty days to which that Act applies.
In all other cases, interest will be charged on the whole or outstanding part of any unpaid invoice with effect from thirty days after the date of issue. The rate of interest will be equal to that payable from time to time in respect of judgment debts.
11. Failure to pay
In the event of non-payment by the client of any amount, the firm reserves the right to take appropriate recovery action, to decline to act further, and to charge to the client the full amount for any further work done which was not included in the unpaid invoice. Until all outstanding invoices have been paid we have the right to retain documents and papers belonging to you.
12. Complaining about or challenging invoices
A client who is unhappy with an invoice can complain using the firm’s complaints-handling procedure. A client may also be entitled to make an application for an order for the assessment of the costs under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
More information on how to apply for assessment of costs and remuneration certificates is available from the Legal Complaints Service (http://www.legalcomplaints.org.uk/how-we-handle-complaints/about-your-solicitors-bill.page).
13. Complaints-handling procedure
The firm aims to provide a high-quality service at all times and to act with proper care and skill. If you have any complaints about the service you receive from the firm please contact Ann Humphrey in the first instance.
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction it can be taken up with Steven Loble of Finers Stephens Innocent LLP with whom the firm has a complaints’ handling arrangement. Mr. Loble’s contact details will be provided on request.
If your complaint remains outstanding or you are still not happy with our service please contact the Legal Complaints Service (http://www.legalcomplaints.org.uk).
14. Governing law
These terms and conditions are governed by English law.
21st May 2013
Printed on 21/05/2013