The purpose of this document is to confirm the arrangements between us. Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to your acceptance of these Terms of Business.
Our office hours are between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday. We may be able to arrange appointments outside of these hours. We are closed on all bank holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
You are a client of Anderson’s Law Limited (the “Firm”). We are acting only for you and if there are joint instructions, we require instructions from each individual. We will act only in your best interests. We are also bound by a duty of confidentiality and as such, if you wish us to discuss your case with a relative or friend, you must give us express consent to do so.
The Firm is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Evidence of Identity
The Firm is required to obtain evidence of your identity and address to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017. We cannot undertake any work on your behalf until you produce and verify your identification.
Please do not post your original identity requirements to us. We will not be held responsible for original documentation.
If you are not able to produce satisfactory evidence of your identity within 7 days, we can instruct an outside agency to undertake all necessary checks. There is a charge for this service, and it will appear as a disbursement on your invoice. We will advise you of how much the fee will be if this becomes necessary. By signing our client care letter, you are providing your express authorisation for us to undertake such checks as are necessary to establish your identity.
We cannot accept funds from any source unless the source has previously been identified to our satisfaction. If payment is made in breach of this provision, the funds will be frozen until their source and provenance have been established. This may delay your case.
We are professionally and legally obliged to keep your affairs confidential. However, the Firm may be required by statute to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period and may not be able to tell you why.
We shall not be liable for any loss arising from or connected with our compliance with any statutory obligation which we may have, or reasonable belief we may have, to report matters to the relevant authorities under the provisions of the money laundering legislation.
Money laundering is widely defined and includes owning money (however small the amount) which has been acquired because of crime, such as benefit fraud or tax evasion.
What you can expect from the Firm
We will act on your instructions, and to do so we will:
meet with you when necessary to take instructions, advise and progress your case
correspond/communicate by telephone with you, other parties, the Court if necessary, and any third parties
provide legal advice to you as needed
draft any necessary documents
take all necessary steps to progress your case to a conclusion
where relevant to your matter take all necessary steps
In performing our services, we will fulfil our legal and professional responsibilities towards you. For example, we will:
Act in your best interests, subject to our duty
Identify your objectives
Explain the issues and your options
Give you the best information possible about the likely costs of your case
Give you regular progress reports, unless you would prefer us not to
Communicate with you in plain English
Perform our services within a reasonable time
If a meeting is necessary, give you an appointment as soon as we can arrange this
What the Firm expects from you
We expect you to:
respond to communications from us, either by letter or telephone, promptly
give us instructions so that we can carry out our work properly
to let us have any information or documentation we request necessary to conduct your case
safeguard all documents that are relevant to your case (these may have to be disclosed to your opponent)
to keep us informed as the case progresses of any relevant information or documentation that we should have to conduct your case
to ensure we have your up-to-date address and contact telephone number so that you may be contacted urgently if required
How long will it take?
We will communicate to you separately about the length of time your matter is estimated to take. We have no control over third parties and therefore any communications about time frames are estimates and they may change from time to time. We will try to keep you updated as your matter progresses.
Third-Party Professional Advice
During your case, it may be necessary for you to take the advice of another professional adviser e.g., a specialist, doctor, accountant, or financial adviser. We will advise you if such advice may be needed and can recommend suitable advisers from our professional contacts.
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Certain matters, however, involve investments and we may refer you to someone who is authorised to provide any necessary advice. The firm can provide certain limited services in relation to investments, provided they are closely linked with the legal services we are providing to you.
How We Charge
The fee basis on which we will invoice you is variable. We may charge on a time basis or a fixed fee basis.
Where we charge on a time basis, the time spent on your matter will be the total of all time reasonably spent dealing with your case whether in attendance with you or any third party or witness, writing emails/letters, reading emails/letters, considering, and drafting documents, preparing file notes, considering your case, preparing instructions, representing you during meetings or at Court hearings including any time spent waiting and travelling.
All time recording is in 6-minute units, rounded up. Short letters/emails and telephone calls are charged at 10% of the effective hourly rate. Longer letters/emails are charged by the time spent reading, drafting, and checking them.
If during the matter it becomes apparent that more time is likely to be spent than anticipated, we may need to revise our estimate or charge an additional fixed fee for work that was not anticipated at the time the fixed fee was agreed upon. If you are charged by the hour, you can also ask for a revised estimate at any time. However, our failure to issue you with a revised estimate does not prevent us from charging more than the original estimate if we have properly spent the time on your matter in accordance with your instructions.
If we have agreed to a fixed fee and subsequently you change your mind about continuing with your matter, we will apportion our fixed fee commensurate with the work undertaken prior to your change of instructions.
Our hourly rates are reviewed, and we reserve the right to increase the above rates before the end of your case. We will notify you in writing if this happens. Any increase will not exceed the rise in the retail prices index.
The total costs incurred in each billing period will vary depending on the amount of work done and the expenses incurred in the period in question.
Invoices should be settled within 14 days. Interest will be charged on bills that are not paid within that time at the rate payable on judgment debts. In the event of a payment not being made we reserve the right to decline to act further and we will exercise a lien over the file to which the bill relates until such time as our account is settled.
Please note that when we bill your matter, each bill provided is final. It will not be revisited at any later stage and is not simply an on-account demand.
We are entitled to keep your documents, and any other property of yours we are holding, until all money due to us is paid. This is called our “lien”.
As well as this Firm’s charges, where relevant to your matter you will also be responsible for paying disbursements such as specialist fees, Court fees and incidental expenses such as photocopying and travel charges.
Each Department charges different rates however where routine photocopying is included in the calculation of our hourly expense rates it will not be charged as a separate disbursement.
All postal correspondence is sent by Royal Mail. Routine postage charges are included in the calculation of our hourly rate. However, if any post is sent recorded, special delivery or by courier, the additional charge for these services will be passed on to you.
If we attend meetings on another office journey on your behalf and in accordance with your instructions, then you will be responsible for our reasonable travel expenses. We will not seek your permission to incur these costs in advance and mileage is charged at 65 pence per mile.
It is not always possible to include in a particular bill all expenses incurred up to the date of the bill. For example, we may not have received an account from a third party whom we asked to undertake work on your behalf, or if received, we may not agree with the account provided. Accordingly, those disbursements listed on your bill will only be those for which we have received and agreed on an account during the period of the bill. Disbursements notified or agreed upon later will be included in subsequent bills. If we do not receive the amount requested within 14 days, we may decline to take any further steps in the matter.
Money on Account
This Firm requires monies from you, paid in advance, to be held in our client account towards payment of our fees and disbursements which we will incur on your behalf. The amount we request from you will bear a reasonable relationship to the amount of work done or to be done and/or to the size of the disbursements incurred or to be incurred.
Please note that we require cleared funds from you before incurring any disbursements on your behalf. As we require this money on account prior to the instructions being sent.
We can only accept monies on account of costs and disbursements once we have verified your identification. Monies paid on account by cheque should be made payable to Anderson’s Law Limited, or if you wish to transfer the funds into our client account you can request our bank details and you will be able to transfer the monies after your identification has been verified by ourselves. For this reason, the money must come from you. If you want a third party to pay this money, you must communicate this to us and explain the rationale for this together with ensuring that this person also provides suitable and acceptable identification.
If you fail to, or are unable to, pay monies reasonably requested on account of our costs, and/or if you fail to, or are unable to, pay a bill of this Firm, then this Firm reserves the right to take no further steps in your case until payment is made.
If you are paying by cheque, please note we must wait for the monies to clear prior to commencing work.
Our policy is to only accept cash up to £500. 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 must pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.
Please be aware that we do not notify changes to important business information, such as bank account details, by email.
We will pay interest on monies held for you in our general client account. However, as the calculation of this interest is often a time-consuming process (for which we are entitled to charge) we will not calculate and pay interest unless the amount is likely to exceed £100.
This is our policy on the payment of interest.
Please be aware that should you wish to transfer funds electronically to the Firm, you need to ensure that you have the correct account details. Fraudsters have been known to instigate last-minute changes of account information by a practice known as “spoofing” and “phishing” where a client is sent an email that on the surface appears to come from the Firm but is in fact a fraudster giving them a link or details of an account to which criminals have access and from which they are able to steal the funds or requesting your details.
It is unlikely that our bank details will be varied, and you should treat any email or other correspondence that purports to come from us changing our bank account details with suspicion.
Please telephone or speak to your solicitor in person to verify the account details before transferring any funds. The Firm cannot accept any liability if you are the victim of such fraud.
The most common Cyber Security issues are:
email modification fraud – where criminals intercept and falsify emails between a client and the firm, leading to bank details being changed and money being lost
phishing and vishing – where criminals email or phone to obtain confidential information, such as a password
malware – harmful software that includes viruses and ransomware programs, which encrypt files and demand a ransom in return for decrypting the files
CEO fraud – where criminals impersonate a senior figure at the firm through hacking or having a very similar email address, to impose authority and order money transfer
identity theft – where bogus firms copy the identity and brand of the firm
Please remain alert to such security issues and if you have any queries or concerns, please contact us.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
We have professional indemnity insurance giving cover for claims against the Firm. Details of this insurance, including contact details of our insurer and the territorial coverage of the policy, can be inspected at our office, or made available on request.
To comply with our regulatory obligations and the terms of our professional indemnity insurance, we may disclose relevant documents and information to insurers, brokers, and insurance advisers on a confidential basis. This could include details of any circumstances arising from our work for you that might give rise to a claim against us. Unless you notify us to the contrary, you agree to such disclosure by us even if the documents and information in question are confidential and/or subject to legal professional privilege.
Limit of Our Liability
We confirm that our liability to you for a breach of your instructions is limited £2,000,000 to cover claims and losses. We confirm we maintain professional indemnity insurance cover of at least this sum. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect, or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs, or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.
We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. We cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.
In accordance with the Provision of Services Regulation 2009, we display the required details of our Professional Indemnity Insurance in each of our offices.
The information and documentation you provide us are confidential and subject to legal professional privilege unless:
we advise you otherwise during your matter
We cannot absolutely guarantee the security of the information communicated by email or mobile phone. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will assume that you consent for us to use these methods of communication.
Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.
Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so. Generally, we process your personal data:
to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations
for the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering a contract; and or
for our legitimate interests or those of a third party
Please note that in addition to other electronic forms of communication, we use Royal Mail to send your information. Should you require us to send certain information relating to your matter by an alternative method you can request this from us. Where there is an additional cost for this alternative postal method this cost will be payable by you.
We may use your personal data to send you updates (by email, text, telephone, or post) about legal developments that might be of interest to you and/or information about our services, including exclusive offers, promotions, or new services. You have the right to opt-out of receiving promotional communications at any time, by contacting us by email at email@example.com.
Termination of Instructions
You may terminate your instructions in writing at any time; however, this Firm is entitled to retain your papers and documents if any bill remains unpaid by you.
There may be circumstances in which we are forced to take the decision to stop acting for you, but we must give you reasonable notice of this decision. We will only do this with good reason, for example:
If you do not pay a bill
If you fail to or are unable to, comply with a request to make payment on account of costs
If you do not give us, clear or proper instructions
If circumstances arose in which we would be in breach of conduct in continuing to act for you
If there is a breakdown in our relationship or loss of trust and confidence
Any other substantial or compelling reason
If you are instructing this Firm on more than one matter at a time, we cease acting for you in relation to these instructions, the Firm reserves the right to stop acting for you in all matters.
If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, you are liable to pay our charges up until that point. These are calculated on the basis set out in our letter confirming your instructions.
If you are not happy with any aspect of the service provided by the Firm, you should at first instance contact our Manager, Faye Sharon Anderson of 20 – 22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU.
If you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of the service provided by the Firm, you should in the first instance write to us and we will acknowledge your letter within 5 working days of receipt and investigate the circumstances of your complaint. We will then respond within 28 days of initial acknowledgement. If the complaint cannot be resolved to our mutual satisfaction, you may choose to escalate the complaint using the IPWADR (“IPW Alternative Dispute Resolution Service”). Please note you MUST raise your complaint with the Firm before you can access the IPWADR. The contact details for IPWADR are:
IPWADR, Trinity Point, New Road, Halesowen, B63 3HY
These complaints procedures do not prevent you from seeking other means of redress.
Any dispute or legal issue arising from our Terms of Business will be determined by the law of England and Wales and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.
Unless otherwise agreed, these Terms of Business will apply to all future instructions you give us on this or any other matter.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or concerns about your matter.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for becoming a client of the Firm.
Authority to commence work within the Cancellation Policy
I/we acknowledge The Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008 that we have a right to cancel the contract within fourteen days of the date of receipt of a notice of the right to cancel. However, should you express or imply to us to commence work on your behalf within the cooling-off period of fourteen days, this will be taken as an instruction to commence, and any work carried out will be invoiced to your account accordingly.