1 – Paddle & Cocks LLPv.10
1.1 – Paddle & Cocks LLP, practising under the name of Paddle & Cocks Solicitors, and / or just Paddle & Cocks, is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales under Number OC419377. Its registered office is at Charles House, 18-21 Charles Street, Truro TR1 2PQ. A list of the members of Paddle & Cocks LLP may be inspected at its registered office.
1.2 – These terms of business apply to all work done by Paddle & Cocks LLP for the client (the Terms of Business) to whom the accompanying engagement letter is addressed (“the Engagement Letter”). These are the terms referred to in that letter. You will be considered to have accepted these terms and the Engagement Letter, (together with any other accompanying documentation), if we advise you or if we do work for you either before or after you have received them.
1.3 – References in this document and in our Engagement Letter and other accompanying documents to “we”, “our” and “us” “the Firm” are references to Paddle & Cocks LLP “you” “your” “it” are references to the client. We use the term “partner” to refer to a member of Paddle & Cocks LLP (all of whom are solicitors or barristers), or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. No reference to a “partner” is to imply that any person is carrying on business with others in partnership for the purposes of the Partnership Act 1890.
2 – Legal Services
2.1 – We will provide legal services upon the terms set out below and contained in our accompanying Engagement Letter and documentation. Paddle & Cocks LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and we must comply with the SRA’s requirements in force from time to time, including the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. Both documents can be accessed via the SRA’s website at: www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/. The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society of England and Wales, our professional body.
2.2 – The contract between you and us for the provision of any services by us shall comprise of the Engagement Letter sent to you by us in relation to any specific matter together with any appendices or supplements or written variations thereto; and these Terms of Business (together “the Contract”). In the event of any conflict between the Engagement Letter and or accompanying documents and these Terms of Business, the Terms of Business shall prevail.
2.3 – If we have commenced the provision of services (for example by gathering information or giving initial advice) prior to your receiving our Engagement Letter and or these Terms of Business, then notwithstanding that the Contract is made after the provision of such services, the Contract and the terms therein shall be deemed to apply retrospectively from the commencement of such services.
3 – Responsibilities
3.1 – Our responsibilities include advising you on the law, following your instructions, reviewing your matter regularly, and discussing with you whether the potential outcomes justify the expense and risks involved with your matter. However, the nature of many types of legal work is such that it is not possible to guarantee a particular outcome.
3.2 – We do not advise on financial, investment, surveying, valuation, commercial viability, trading or marketability issues. The advice we give is confidential and for your exclusive use. We do not accept responsibility to any third party who is not our client for the advice we give to you.
3.3 – We rely on you for the accuracy of the information and documentation that you provide to us. We shall not be liable for errors or losses which arise as a result of false, misleading or incomplete information or documentation or which result from any act, delay or omission by you or by any third party. You need to provide us with clear and timely instructions, the information and documents required for us to do our work, and funds required.
4 – Your Affiliates
4.1 – Our client is only the person or entity designated in our engagement letter, and not its affiliates (whether shareholders, parent, subsidiaries, partners, members, directors, officers or otherwise). Accordingly, for conflict of interest purposes, we may represent another client with interests adverse to your affiliates. Our engagement for you does not create any rights in or liabilities to any of your affiliates.
5 – International Work
5.1 – Where advice or assistance is required in other jurisdictions, or in areas of law in which we do not practise, we will discuss with you the selection of appropriate advisers and will engage them as agent on your behalf. You will be directly liable to them for their fees and expenses in accordance with the terms agreed with them. Unless otherwise agreed, our advice will relate to English law only.
6 – Email and Fax
6.1 – Unless you tell us otherwise, you agree to us communicating with you, including sending bills and other confidential information, by normal, unencrypted email or fax, using the email address(es) and/or fax numbers you have given us from time to time. You should be aware that there is a risk that emails (in particular when unencrypted) may be intercepted, delayed or corrupted or may fail to be delivered.
6.2 – We may contact others by email or fax during the course of the work we carry out for you. This may include providing details of your email address to others where we think this will be of assistance to your matter, or when forwarding emails. We do not accept responsibility for the security or consequences of correspondence and documents sent by email or fax. We also do not accept responsibility or liability for malicious or fraudulent emails purportedly coming from the Firm. We make reasonable attempts to exclude from our emails any virus or other defect that might harm a computer or IT system. You undertake to act likewise with any electronic communications you send to us. You also undertake to ensure that any emails coming from the Firm are genuine before relying on anything contained within them. We shall not have any liability to you in respect of any claim or loss arising in connection with such a virus or defect in an electronic communication.
7 – Conflicts of Interests
7.1 – It is our practice to check for any conflicts of interests before taking on engagements. We provide a variety of legal services to clients and cannot be certain that we will identify all situations where there may be a conflict with your interests. Please notify us promptly of any potential conflict affecting our appointment of which you are, or become aware.
8 – Payment
8.1 – It is a condition of our retainer that all bills, interim and final, are payable upon receipt. If a bill is not paid in full on the due date we may charge you interest on any amount outstanding from the due date until the date the bill is paid at the rate of interest prescribed for judgements from time to time. In the case of commercial debts we reserve the right to claim interest and recovery costs pursuant to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
8.2 – In most cases, and particularly when litigation is involved or when we may need to incur substantial expense on your behalf, we may require you to provide a payment on account of the future likely costs and disbursements.
8.3 – If instructions for a piece of work are given by more than one person or company, we may recover our fees, disbursements and Value Added Tax (VAT) from any one or more of them. This includes situations where one person or company instructs us on behalf of another.
8.4 – When we accept instructions from a corporate entity (such as a limited company or limited liability partnership) we may require personal guarantees in relation to our fees and disbursements from appropriate directors, members or shareholders (or other individuals or companies).
8.5 – We also reserve the right to charge an administration fee to cover our costs associated with recovering outstanding invoices in the sum of £100 per invoice, for any invoice which remains unpaid for thirty days or more.
8.6 – All sums payable to us under these Terms of Business in respect of any outstanding invoice shall be paid together with all the expenses and costs on an indemnity basis, incurred in enforcing our right to payment.
8.7 – Where an account is overdue we are entitled to retain any files and documents belonging to you which are in our possession until our account is settled. We also reserve the right to cease working on this and any other matters on which we are acting for you.
8.8 – If arrangements are made for a third party to pay any of our fees or disbursements, or a Court order, you remain liable to pay them to the extent that the third party does not pay them when due.
8.9 – If you have legal fees insurance that may cover your legal costs for your matter, you should confirm this to us as soon as possible. You should also be aware that insurers rarely pay bills before completion of the case, and you will remain liable to pay our bills when rendered during and at the end of the case, even if you have not yet been paid by your insurers.
8.10 – You are entitled to submit a complaint to us about your bill if you are dissatisfied with it (see Complaints section below) and you may object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. The Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the Court for an assessment of the bill.
9 – Costs
9.1 – Unless we have agreed otherwise, our charges will be based on the time spent on your matter, applying our hourly charging rates as applicable from time to time. Details of current hourly charge out rates for any given matter are stated in our Engagement Letter.
9.2 – We reserve the right to recover any additional costs that may be incurred in file opening and undertaking anti-money laundering searches or other enquiries. Where indicated in our correspondence with you, the factors set out in The Solicitors’ (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009 may be taken into account in calculating our fees; namely complexity, specialised knowledge (including know-how), value or urgency and an additional mark up added to the time charged.
9.3 – We also reserve the right to charge separately for photocopying, printing, telephone calls, faxes, electronic funds transfers, catering and other support services, and travel, courier, conference facilities, banking and other incidental expenses, which will normally be charged at cost.
9.4 – Where applicable, we will charge VAT on our charges and expenses. Our VAT registration number is 292 2817 86.
10 – Changes to Charge-Out Rates
10.1 – Our hourly charge-out rates are reviewed with effect from 1st January each year. We will notify you of the rates if they change and you will then be bound by them. If you do not accept the new rates after review, we reserve the right not to continue acting for you.
11 – Costs Estimates and Arrangements
11.1 – Any costs estimate we give at any time is a guide to assist you in budgeting and may not be regarded as fixed and binding and are subject to periodic review, unless otherwise agreed. It is not intended to be fixed, unless that is specifically agreed in writing.
11.2 – Any fixed fee, capped fee or other fee arrangement we agree with you, or any costs estimate we give you, is based on the scope of the work anticipated and our assumptions about the matter at the time it is agreed or given. If the scope of the work changes or the assumptions change, it will no longer apply. In that case we will discuss a revised fee arrangement or estimate with you.
12 – Billing
12.1 – Unless agreed to the contrary we will normally bill monthly for the work performed to date together with any disbursements we have incurred on your behalf. Where the work is urgent and / or time sensitive we may bill you sooner.
12.2 – Unless otherwise agreed in writing, all interim bills will be final accounts for our fees for the work undertaken during the periods to which they relate (known as interim statute bills). These are not final accounts in relation to disbursements that we have incurred on your behalf.
12.3 – If an account remains unpaid and we commence legal proceedings against you in order to recover the sums you owe us then we will be entitled to recover from you the legal costs that we incur in connection with those proceedings at our standard hourly rates, together with all disbursements (including fees of counsel and any other lawyers engaged by us in our attempts to recover payment from you).
13 – Payment on Account
13.1 – It is our policy to ask you for a reasonable sum to hold on account in respect of incurred or anticipated fees or disbursements (e.g. land registry fees, court fees, experts’ fees), out-of-pocket expenses or on account of costs of a third party where you are liable to pay these. We have no obligation to make or commit ourselves to incurring such fees or making such payments unless you have provided us with funds for that purpose. If the requested payment is not paid within the time specified we might cease to act for you.
14 – Contentious Matters
14.1 – You will be responsible to us for our fees and disbursements regardless of any order obtained for payment of your costs by another party. Our costs are likely to exceed the sum which you could recover from any other party to the proceedings. You should also bear in mind that you may be ordered to pay the costs of the other party.
15 – Cash
15.1 – We only accept cash up to a limit of £500 in any 28 day period. If clients circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of the funds.
15.2 – Please note cheques take 8 working days to appear in our account as cleared funds. All transactional completion monies must be paid to us by bank transfer, not cash or cheque.
16 – Ending Our Services
16.1 – You may end your instructions to us at any time by letting us know.
16.2 – We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, if you do not provide us with funds on account, pay an interim bill or there is a conflict of interest. We will give you reasonable notice if we decide to stop acting for you. If we do have to stop acting for you we will explain your options for pursuing the matter and will work with you to minimise disruption to your matter.
16.3 – However, if we stop acting for any reason you will be required to pay for the expenses we have incurred and for the work we have done, even if the original agreement or understanding had been that we would only bill you on completion of the matter, calculated where there is no other applicable basis by reference to time spent together with all expenses and disbursements incurred to date.
17 – Termination of Services
17.1 – Our lawyer-client relationship will be considered terminated upon our completion of the specific services that you have retained us to perform, or if open-ended services are to be provided, when more than six months have elapsed from the last time we furnished any billable services to you.
17.2 – The fact that we may inform you from time to time of developments in the law which may be of interest to you, by e-mail, newsletter or otherwise, should not be understood as a revival of a lawyer-client relationship. We have no obligation to inform you of such developments in the law unless we are specifically engaged to do so.
18 – Force Majeure
18.1 – We shall not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control.
19 – Interest On Funds We Hold For You
19.1 – We will normally credit you with interest on any funds we hold in our client account on your behalf in accordance with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. Our policy on the payment of interest is as follows:
- Interest will accrue at the rate payable by our bank on instant access deposits. This may be less than the rate at which you could have invested the money yourself;
- We will credit you with interest if the amount of interest involved is more than £20;
- If we hold sums of money for you in relation to different matters we will normally treat the money relating to each of the different matters separately;
- We will not account for interest on money held for the payment of a professional disbursement, once the intended recipient has requested a delay in settlement. Nor will we account for interest on money held for the Legal Services Commission, monies held as stakeholders in lieu of a charge by us for this service, payments to third parties incurred or to be incurred;
- Where money is deposited by you with us in our client account, we will ensure that the money is held with an authorised clearing bank or building society in accordance with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. We are, however, unable to guarantee the safety of your deposit. Accordingly, in the event that any bank or building society with whom we have placed deposits is unable to repay or delays repayment of any monies, you agree that you will not bring any claim or proceedings of any nature (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) against us in respect of or in connection with the deposit of monies with us or the choice of bank or building society holding the said monies;
- Monies deposited with us and amalgamated with other monies in our client account may not be subject to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Unless specifically requested by you, we will take no further action to protect monies deposited with us;
- You should be aware that we will not open individual client accounts to protect your money unless requested. Any limit of compensation will apply to an individual client’s total amount deposited with a particular bank or building society either by us or you. Banks and building societies may operate under several brands and a single compensation limit may apply to that bank.
20 – Joint Clients
20.1 – If we are instructed by joint clients then all clients are jointly and severally liable for our fees, notwithstanding any agreement between you as to how you will share the costs. This means that we will be able to look to one client only or to each of our clients to pay the whole of or any balance of any unpaid fees.
20.2 – Instructions are understood to be for the purposes of all of those instructing us. We will act on instructions from any one of those clients unless you instruct us otherwise, although it is usual for you to appoint one person to provide the instructions on behalf of the others. In that case instructions received from that appointed individual will bind the others unless we are notified to the contrary in writing. Liability to pay our costs, however, is joint (all the clients together) and several (each may be liable for the whole amount) and will remain so.
20.3 – If instructions are given on behalf of a client, we are entitled to assume that the person giving the instructions has lawful authority to instruct us. If not, then that person will be liable to us as if they were our client.
21 – Your Documents
21.1 – We endeavour to run a paperless office to the extent this is possible. However, there may be some papers which we need to keep in respect of your matter. After the end of the relevant matter please let us know if you would like us to send any such papers or electronic files to you. Otherwise we will aim only to keep an electronic file of your matter in storage unless there is a reason for us to retain certain documents in hard copy. We will normally destroy any papers / paper file we are required to keep after six or 12 years depending on the subject matter, and electronic files will be kept for the same period after the date of the final bill we send to you for the matter without further reference to you, and by agreeing to these terms you authorise us so to do. We will not destroy documents you ask us to hold in safe custody, such as deeds, wills and other important original documents.
21.2 – Where we are required, as set out above to retain a document(s) and or file papers or as agreed with you, either electronically or in paper form, we will take care of them as long as they remain in our possession. However, should any of them be lost or damaged as a result of events beyond our reasonable control we will not be liable for their replacement or for any resultant loss.
21.3 – If we retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However we may charge you for time spent retrieving, reading, copying or working on such papers, whether held electronically or in hard copy, where that is to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers.
22 – Review of Files
22.1 – From time to time our practice may be audited or checked by our accountants or our regulator, or by other organisations. These organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.
23 – Outsourcing
23.1 – Sometimes we ask other companies or people to do typing, photocopying, administrative and other work on our files to ensure this is done promptly. We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with these outsourced providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.
24 – Data Protection Privacy Notice
24.1 – We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:
- updating and enhancing client records;
- analysis to help us manage our practice;
- statutory returns;
- legal and regulatory compliance.
24.2 – Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, data protection law and our duty of confidentiality. For further information as to how we use your personal data you may request a copy of our Privacy Standard.
24.3 – Please note that our work for you may require us to pass on such information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers, including sometimes advisers appointed by another party to your matter. We may also give such information to others who perform services for us, such as typing or photocopying and general administration. Our practice may be audited or checked by our accountants or our regulator, or by other organisations. We do not normally copy such information to anyone outside the European Economic Area, however, we may do so when the particular circumstances of your matter so require. All such third parties are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.
24.4 – You have a right of access under data protection law to the personal data that we hold about you. We seek to keep that personal data correct and up to date. You should let us know if you believe the information we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.
24.5 – You agree that we may carry out credit reference checks using online or other databases as we may decide. These agencies may keep a record of that search.
24.6 – Our Data Protection Officer is Penny Paddle.
25 – Data Protection in Respect of Money Laundering Checks
25.1 – Any personal data we receive from you for the purposes of our money laundering checks will be processed only for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, or as otherwise permitted by law or with your express consent.
25.2 – You consent to us retaining such data for longer than the five year statutory period, unless you tell us otherwise.
26 – Data Protection – Your Obligations
26.1 – If you send us personal data about anyone other than yourself you will ensure you have any appropriate consents and notices in place to enable you to transfer that personal data to us, and so that we may use it for the purposes for which you provide it to us.
27 – Money Laundering
27.1 – We are required under the Money Laundering Regulations to identify and verify the identity of our clients and, in certain circumstances, other persons such as directors or beneficial owners, and to keep that information updated.
27.2 – You agree that we may make checks using online electronic verification systems or other databases as we may decide. We are also required under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 as amended to report to official agencies any information which may come to our attention whilst dealing with a matter on your behalf which gives rise to money laundering or terrorist financing concerns. We may be prohibited from notifying you of any report we may have to make or from either confirming or denying that a report has been made. If we make a report to the National Crime Agency or other authority, we may not be able to continue with your work while the authorities undertake their own investigations; and we may be told to stop your work altogether. In those circumstances, we do not accept responsibility for any resulting loss or inconvenience. You agree to reimburse us for any costs we reasonably incur in complying with any disclosure requirement referred to above.
27.3 – We will not be liable for loss, damage or delay arising out of the firm’s compliance with any statutory or regulatory requirements.
27.4 – The Money Laundering Regulations require us to examine the source of funds received from you or any third party in connection with a transaction and we reserve the right to reject payments which are not from you personally and/or where the source of the funds have not been verified to our satisfaction.
27.5 – If you are buying property you will need to provide evidence of where the funds have originated from. We must therefore ask you to answer the questions and provide any documentation requested. Please provide as much information as possible as if we have to make further enquiries it may delay your transaction. If you are using funds from a third party we will need to look at the third party’s bank statements and/or accounts and carry out identity checks. In the event that this is required we reserve the right to charge an additional fee based on the additional time such checks take at the relevant lawyer’s hourly rate.
28 – Mortgage Fraud
28.1 – If we are also acting for your proposed lender in this transaction, we have a duty fully to reveal to your lender all relevant facts about the purchase and mortgage. That includes any differences between the mortgage application and information we receive during the transaction and any cash back payments or discount schemes that a seller is giving you.
29 – Referral Fees
29.1 – You may have been recommended to us by an ‘introducer’ with whom we have a financial arrangement to pay a fee for your introduction as a client. If we know that to be the case when we take your instructions we will inform you of the sum which we will be liable to pay to the introducer. In that case this will be set out in our engagement letter. We can assure you that your estimated fees are in no way increased to account for such payment, the referral arrangement will not operate in any way to your detriment as a client, and no part of the fee is payable by you.
29.2 – We confirm that any advice we give will be independent and that you are free to raise questions on all aspects of the transaction. We also confirm that no confidential information will be disclosed to the Introducer without your consent. Your acceptance of our terms of business will, however, entitle us to assume that we have your consent to communicate information which appears to us to be essential to the proper progress of your transaction, but we will at all times act in your best interests. You should feel free to raise with us any issue of concern which may arise during the transaction.
29.3 – We have a duty to ensure that no conflict of interests will occur between ourselves and the Introducer. If that should happen we may be obliged to cease acting and will advise you accordingly in that event.
30 – Distance Selling and Cancellation of Contracts
30.1 – Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, where you are an individual not acting for your trade, business, craft or profession and where this is deemed to be a distance contract, you may have the right to withdraw without charge within 14 days of when the retainer is entered into. If you so cancel within that period we will promptly reimburse to you all payments received from you, unless you gave us your consent to start work within that period, in which case you will have to pay for the work done up to the date of cancellation.
30.2 – Under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, where you are an individual not acting for your trade, business, craft or profession and where we visit your home, your place of work or elsewhere off our premises for the purpose of you signing a retainer with us, we will be obliged to give you a written notice of your right to cancel your contract with us. If so, you will be entitled to cancel the contract within 14 days of receiving our engagement letter and these terms and conditions of business, by serving upon us a cancellation notice. If you so cancel, we will promptly reimburse to you all payments received from you, except for sums due as a result of you requesting us to start work.
31 – Professional Indemnity Insurance
31.1 – Under the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules we are required to take out and maintain qualifying insurance. Details of our insurance are available on request.
32 – Limitations on our Liability
32.1 – We limit our liability to you for claims for breach of contract, breach of duty, negligence and for claims otherwise arising out of or in connection with our engagement or the services we provide, in the ways described below.
32.2 – Our liability to you shall be limited to £3 million or such higher amount as is set out in the letter accompanying these Terms of Business.
32.3 – This liability cap will apply to our aggregate liability to you together with any associated party for whom you are acting as agent in relation to the relevant matter on any basis.
33 – Proportional liability
33.1 – In addition, to the other limitations in this document, where we and/or third parties are responsible for any loss (to includes damages, costs, interest and loss (whether direct, indirect or consequential) incurred by or otherwise affecting you or any third party and whether arising under contract, in tort or otherwise) suffered by you, our liability for that loss will be limited to a fair proportion of your total loss calculated by reference to the extent of our responsibility. If you have engaged others to represent or advise you on a matter in which we are involved and you agree with any of them that their liability to you will be limited, in order that our position is not adversely affected by any such limitation of their liability, you agree that our liability to you will not exceed the amount which would have applied in the absence of that limitation.
34 – Third party liability
34.1 – If you start proceedings against us for loss or damage and there is another person (for example, another adviser) who is liable (or potentially liable) to you in respect of the same loss or damage, then you will (if we so request) join them into the proceedings. This is subject to any legal prohibition against your joining them in that way.
35 – No claim against individual employees/partners
35.1 – We have an interest in limiting the personal liability of employees, consultants and partners. Accordingly you agree that you will not bring any claim against any individual employee, consultant or partner in respect of losses which you suffer or incur, arising out of or in connection with our engagement or the services we provide. In particular, the fact that an individual member, representative, employee, officer, agent or consultant signs in his or her own name any letter, email or other document in the course of carrying out that work does not mean he or she is assuming any personal legal liability. The provisions of this paragraph will not limit or exclude the firm’s liability for the acts or omissions of our employees, consultants or partners.
35.2 – You agree that you will not bring any Claim against any representative, member, officer, agent, employee or consultant of Paddle & Cocks LLP in respect of or in connection with services provided to you under the Contract or otherwise. In this regard, each and every representative, member, officer, employee, agent or consultant shall be entitled to the benefit of the provisions under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
35.3 – The provisions of the above paragraphs are intended for the benefit of our employees, consultants and partners but the terms of our engagement may be varied without the consent of all or any of those persons.
35.4 – Various searches carried out by us (at, for example, the Register of Companies, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Land Registry, the Central Winding Up Registry) are carried out online using recognised providers. We accept no responsibility or liability arising from reliance upon the results of such searches, if they should subsequently be found to be inaccurate or incomplete.
35.5 – We will not be liable to you for any delay or failure in providing services, where that delay or failure is caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control. We will not be liable for advice provided over the telephone.
36 – Limitation on exclusions
36.1 – The above exclusions and limitations will not operate to exclude or limit any liability which cannot lawfully be limited or excluded. In particular they do not limit liability for fraud, nor for causing death or personal injury by negligence, nor for negligence in contentious business, insofar as the Solicitors Act 1974 s 60(5) precludes the exclusion of such liability.
37 – Concerns About Our Service
37.1 – As explained in our accompanying engagement letter, if you are not happy with our service or the bill, we hope to be able to resolve the matter to your satisfaction. If you have any complaint or concerns about our work or about the bill, please raise them in the first instance with the person dealing with the matter. If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, or you would prefer not to speak to the person dealing with the matter, then please contact the partner with overall supervision of the matter. If the problem has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, please contact our Risk and Compliance Partner by telephone, post or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then provide you with details of our complaints procedure.
37.2 – However, if you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you may be able to ask the Legal Ombudsman (address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk, Telephone: 0300 555 0333) to consider your complaint.
37.3 – 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.
37.4 – Note that the Legal Ombudsman service cannot be used by businesses or most other organisations, unless they are below certain size limits.
37.5 – As well as your right to complain about any of our bills under our complaints procedure, you can also apply for the bill to be assessed by the court under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974, in which case the Legal Ombudsman may not consider your complaint.
37.6 – We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) and so are subject to the provisions of the SRA Code of Conduct and the SRA Handbook. Copies can be obtained from the SRA website, http://www.sra.org.uk.
38 – Concerns About Barristers or Others
38.1 – Any barrister or other professional we instruct on your behalf, who is not a consultant, partner, or employee of this Firm, should have their own complaints process. So if you are not happy with their service you can complain to them direct, but please let us know. We can tell you how to make your complaint, if they have not given you that information themselves.
39 – Third Parties
39.1 – Our advice is for your benefit only. Save as expressly set out, our agreement with you is not intended to confer rights on any third parties whether pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise.
40 – Investment and Insurance Advice
40.1 – Paddle & Cocks LLP is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”), which is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society of England and Wales. If you are unhappy with any investment advice or insurance advice you receive from us you should raise your concerns with the SRA.
Financial Services and Markets Act (“FSMA”)
40.2 – If while we are acting for you, you need advice on investments we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised to provide the necessary advice. However, we may provide some limited investment advice services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you. This is because we are regulated by the SRA, which is a designated professional body for the purposes of the FSMA.
40.3 – Our role in any transaction is that of legal adviser and it is not part of our function to give advice on the merits of any transaction in investments. When providing our services we will assume that you have decided or will decide to negotiate or enter into any such transaction solely on the advice you may receive from a person authorised under the FSMA. No communication from us is intended or should be construed as an invitation or inducement to you or to anyone else to engage in investment activity.
40.4 – We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution 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 SRA. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register.
41 – Severability
41.1 – If any provision in these terms of business or our accompanying engagement letter is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable then it shall, to the extent required, be severed and shall be ineffective and the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected in any way.
42 – Governing Law and Jurisdiction
42.1 – This agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by the law of England and Wales, and the Courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any such dispute or claim.