This document explains the terms and conditions on which we will carry out all work necessary in your case.
People responsible for your work
The individual responsible for carrying out the majority of the work on your matter will be Peter Wright, unless otherwise stated to you in writing. Peter Wright is the Managing Director of DigitalLawUK and works unsupervised on a day to day basis. However, the firm does have a rigorous internal audit system to provide quality oversight. Peter Wright may utilise the assistance of nondirector employees or private contractors to carry out some of the work on your matter. Any such delegated tasks with be supervised by Peter Wright. Please contact Peter Wright or his assistant should you have a need to discuss your matter at any time.
We will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work but, if this cannot be avoided, we will inform you promptly who will be handling the matter and why the change has been necessary.
Peter Wright or his designee will explain to you the issues raised in your matter and will keep you fully informed of progress.
Should you have any reason to make a formal complaint, the matter will be investigated by Managing Director Peter Wright. Any initial complaint will receive an acknowledgement within 24 hours of being made from Managing Director Peter Wright. Any subsequent investigation will be concluded within 7 days of any complaint being made. Any adjudication of your complaint will be made by Managing Director Peter Wright.
Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint and the response that you have received or should Managing Director Peter Wright deem it to be necessary in the first instance the matter will be reviewed by our designated complaints officer who is not a director or staff member at DigitalLawUK. Please allow 14 days for this process to be completed.
Should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman (LeO).
The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted on email at email@example.com
You can view the Legal Ombudsman website at http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
The address of the Legal Ombudsman is:
PO Box 6806
The Legal Ombudsman can be called on 0300 555 0333
This firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority no. 607745
Scope of our Work
We shall not be responsible for any failure to advise or comment on any matter which falls outside the scope of your instructions to us. Advice rendered by us is provided for the purpose of the instructions to which it relates and for your benefit. It may not be used or relied on for any other purpose or by any person other than yourself without our prior agreement.
Conduct of your Case
We understand the question of costs is important to our clients. We address specifics of cost in a separate written “Explanation of Costs”. We also want to assure our clients receive the services needed on their matter in a timely matter. We will therefore work directly with you to determine the appropriate time-line for completion of any matter for which we are instructed.
Charges and expenses
It is our goal that the costs for our services are accessible and transparent to our clients. To that end we provide a majority of our services on a flat rate basis. For hourly or other rate services we will strive to provide an accurate estimate of the overall costs at the outset of the matter. However, because all matters are unique and estimates may not cover all eventual costs. We will do our best to keep you up to date and informed as the matter progresses if it appears the costs will exceed the original estimate.
Please see our separate Costs Information for details of our charging procedures.
To help you budget, we will usually submit interim bills on a regular (often monthly) basis. For Flat Fee services we reserve the right to request up to 100% of the fee up front or 50% up front before proceeding with work with the remainder due upon completion or as otherwise agreed to in writing. In hourly rate or other fee type services we may request payments on account of anticipated costs and disbursements. We will send you a final bill for our charges and expenses after the transaction has
If we hold sufficient funds on your behalf and we have sent you a bill, we will deduct our charges from those funds unless other arrangements for payment are made in advance.
Payment is due to us within 7 days of our sending a final bill. We will charge you interest on bills that remain unpaid at 5% above standard bank lending rates or 10% per annum whichever is the higher from the date of the bill on a daily basis.
If you do not pay an interim bill in full within 7 days (or within such shorter period as we reserve the right to specify) we have the right to cease carrying out any further work on your behalf.
When we receive instructions from, or on behalf of, more than one person or company to deal with any particular matter, each person or company for whom we are acting will be separately responsible for payment of the full amount of our fees and disbursements.
If you have any query about your bill please contact the individual dealing with your case.
You are entitled to request a breakdown of our charges on hourly rate matters but you must do so within 60 days of the date upon which the invoice in question is sent out to you. Provided that your request is made within that 60 day period a breakdown will be provided. Flat rate fee matters do not have a separate breakdown of charges aside from the description of the matter to be handled which is provided at the outset.
If you wish to make payment by bank transfer, the account details that you will require are as follows:-
Sort Code 30 – 97 – 51
Account Number 55265960
Storage of papers and deeds
After completion, we are entitled to keep your papers and documents while there is money owing to us. We will keep our files, except for any of your papers which you ask to be returned to you, for a minimum of six years and possibly longer. After the retention period the files will be securely destroyed in accordance with our Data Protection/Privacy policies. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
If we have to retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions from you we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may make a charge based on time spent sending stored papers/documents to you or another at your request or the cost of reproduction of file documents as necessary. We may also charge for reading correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the present instructions given by you or on your behalf.
You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.
It may also be necessary, under some circumstances, for us to stop acting for you. We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason. Examples of good reasons include:- should you not pay an interim bill or comply with our request for a payment on account, should some conflict arise between you and another third party in the matter which means that our professional rules prohibit us from taking your matter any further forward, should you fail to give us clear and proper instructions as to how we are to proceed or should it be clear that there has been a breakdown of confidence between us. Should this be the case we will give you reasonable notice of our intention to cease acting for you. If you or we decide that we will no longer act for you, you will still need to pay any charges that have fallen due.
Raising queries or concerns with us
We are confident of providing a high quality service to you in all respects. If you have any queries or concerns about our work for you please raise them in the first instance with the person dealing with your case. If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction or if you prefer not to speak to the individual concerned then please contact Peter Wright, who deals with any complaints in relation to matters dealt with by the firm. All Solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that may arise with their services. It is therefore important that you immediately raise any concerns you may have with us. We value your business and would not wish to think that you have any reason to be unhappy with us.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, we have notified the Information Commissioner that we hold data relating to clients which is subject to the data protection principles in that Act. We are committed to upholding the statutory data protection principles and to comply with our statutory objectives with regard to the protection of client data.
Sometimes legal work involves investments. We are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority and so may refer you to someone who is authorised to provide any necessary advice.
The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.
Money Laundering Regulations
For the protection of all our clients we operate a money laundering reporting procedure. All law firms have a duty to report to the appropriate authorities whenever they have knowledge of or suspect criminal activity. Therefore in certain circumstances information will be revealed by us to those authorities where we have any suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing. It is also the firm’s policy not to accept cash payments.
Additionally, and in common with all other professional establishments, it is the firm’s policy to request identification information from all clients at the beginning of a matter and before any financial transaction occurs. Please would you therefore provide the information requested as soon as possible if you have not already done so.
Client account funds
We will not be liable for any loss or damage which you suffer whether direct or consequential in both contract and/or negligence, however arising, from the failure of the bank/financial institution with whom we have our client account and/or in which we hold monies on your behalf in connection with any matter which we are conducting for you.
If we send or receive, on your behalf monies relating to the matter(s) for which we are instructed to act on your behalf, these sums are held by us in a Client Account subject to the duties that are imposed upon this firm by the Solicitors Accounts Rules.
All monies held by us on your behalf in our Client Account are clearly identified to our bank as belonging to you. This means that, if the bank fails, you will be entitled to apply for compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (‘FSCS’) operated by the Government up to the limit of £85,000.
Please note that if you hold personal accounts with the same bank that we use for our Client Account, then the limit of compensation that you will be able to claim under the FSCS will remain £85,000 even if the total of monies we hold on your behalf in our Client Account, and the monies held in your other accounts with the same bank exceeds this amount.
The bank with whom we have our Client Account is Lloyds Bank. We do reserve the right to change our bank without notice to you. Should you wish to verify which bank we hold our Client Account with at any given time please contact a member of our Administration Team.
Some deposit institutions/banks have several trading names. This may mean that, although you may hold accounts with what appears to be several banks/financial institutions, it may be that they all belong to the same bank. This will affect the amount you may be able to recover under the FSCS and may restrict the sum payable to the £85,000 limit of this scheme. We recommend you check with the following, to see if you hold several accounts with the same bank/financial institution trading under
(i) your bank(s)/financial institution(s); or
(ii) the Financial Services Authority (‘FSA’); or
(iii) your Financial Advisor
The obligation of confidentiality which we are required to observe as your solicitors means that if, in the event of a bank’s failure, you wish to make a claim under the FSCS, we need your express consent to provide your details to the compensation scheme’s administrators.
A sum in lieu of interest will be paid on funds held by DigitalLawUK in our general client account on the following terms. The rate of interest used to calculate the sum paid will be not less than the higher of:-
(a) the rate payable on a separate designated deposit account, or
(b) the rate payable on the amount held if placed on deposit (at the bank where it is held) by a member of the business community.
The sum in lieu of interest will be calculated from the date the funds are received to the date they are paid out. The amount will usually be calculated at the end of the matter but for amounts held for longer periods will be credited twice annually (March and September). No amount in lieu of interest will be paid if the sum calculated is less than £20.00. If Client funds are placed on a separated designated deposit account then all interest received will be paid to the Client.
From time to time we may be required to produce all or part of our file of papers to external assessors or auditors as part of our quality assurance system or as part of the work done by our auditors to report on compliance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules. If you do not wish your file to be inspected as part of such a process, please let us know as soon as possible.
Equality and Diversity
We are committed to providing equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. If you would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy please ask us.
We ask you to consider carefully the contents of this document and the documentation attached and to raise any difficulties you have regarding the same with the person dealing with your case without further delay. Please appreciate that your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to your acceptance of the terms and conditions of business.
We hope that by sending this document we have addressed your immediate queries about the day-today handling of your work and our terms of business. If you still have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the person dealing with your matter.
This is an important document. Please keep it in a safe place for future reference.