We set out in this statement the basis on which we will provide our professional services. We are Murria Solicitors Limited trading as Murria Solicitors. You are the client. We are authorised, unless otherwise agreed, to take such action as we think necessary to obtain the required result. We shall not refer to the client for specific instructions every time we take a step. If, therefore, there is a limit to what we are required to do, or a limit to expenditure, we must be notified of this in advance.
People Responsible For Your Work
Your matter will be dealt with by a director, assistant solicitor, legal executive or other qualified member of staff as outlined in the Client Care Letter. The letter also gives the name of the supervising director.
Sometimes, however, work will be delegated to another member of staff where we deem it appropriate to expedite matters or to minimise expense. All support staff are closely supervised and the practice takes complete responsibility for their work.
Charges and Expenses
Our fees are outlined in the Client Care Letter. Items of a ‘routine’ nature, e.g. telephone calls solely to make appointments, letters of acknowledgement, etc., are not normally charged for.
The time recorded is costed according to a formula, which gives a charging rate or cost per hour for undertaking work on clients’ behalf, according to the level of fee-earner allocated to the client’s matter (the ‘charging rate’).
We will notify you in writing if for any reason we feel it necessary to vary our fees and will explain to you why we need to do so. Any additional work will be charged at an hourly rate outlined in the Client Care Letter.
We will add VAT to bills at the rate that applies when the work is done. At present, VAT is 20 per cent. VAT is payable on certain disbursements.
We have no obligation to pay disbursements unless you have provided us with the funds for that purpose. We shall require such a payment in advance of disbursements and other costs.
Where, for any reason, a matter does not proceed to completion, we will be entitled to charge you for work done on a time spent basis and for expenses incurred. Any charge made will not exceed the amount of our estimate even if the time spent would justify a higher fee.
Murria Solicitor’s policy is only to accept cash up to £1,000 per transaction. 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.
Our rates are normally reviewed on 1st January each year.
We acknowledge that we will be liable to you for losses, damages, costs and expenses including interest (“losses”) caused by our negligence or the negligence of a Director or employees, subject to the following provisions.
- (a) We shall have no other liability of any nature, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise, for any losses whatsoever and howsoever caused, arising from or in any way connected with the matter.
- (b) We shall not be liable if such losses are due to the provision of false, misleading or incomplete information or documentation or if and to the extent such losses are due to any act or omission of any person other than us.
- (C) Unless otherwise agreed between us in writing, our aggregate liability, whether to you or any third party, for any losses incurred by you as a result of or in connection with any breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty or tort (including negligence) on the part of Murria Solicitors Partners or employees shall not exceed £2 million which is the minimum level of cover required by the Solicitors’ Indemnity Insurance Rules for a policy of qualifying insurance.
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.
Safety of Money on Deposit
We hold money on deposit with Barclays Bank. Under the deposit protection scheme your funds will be protected up to £75,000 but any funds you hold in your own name with Barclays Bank will be aggregated to the funds that we hold on your behalf in calculating this total. We shall not be liable for any losses incurred by you as a result of the company’s bank or banks becoming insolvent and not able to repay its full deposits.
Any money received on behalf of clients will be held in our client account. We maintain an instant access account to facilitate a transaction but in consequence the amount of interest earned will usually be less than would be earned if the money were held in a deposit account. Interest will be calculated and paid to the client at the rate from time to time payable on Barclays Bank Plc’s instant access accounts. The period for which interest will be paid will normally run from the date(s) on which funds are received by us until the date(s) of issue of any cheque(s) from our client account. We may retain the first £20 of each amount of interest as and when calculated to help us cover the administrative expenses of arranging these calculations and payments. By signing these terms and conditions you agree to this.
Where the client obtains borrowing from a lender in a property transaction, we will ask the lender to arrange that the loan cheque is received by us a minimum of four working days prior to the completion date. If the money can be sent by CHAPS, we will request that we receive it the day before completion. This will enable us to ensure that the necessary funds are available in time for completion. Such clients need to be aware that the lender may charge interest from the date of issue of their loan cheque or the transfer of the payment.
Communication between You and Us
We will aim to communicate with clients by such method as they may request.
We do not accept service of documents by e-mail.
We may need to virus check discs or e-mail
Unless instructed otherwise, we will communicate with others when appropriate by e-mail or fax but we cannot be responsible for the security of correspondence and documents sent by such media.
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires us to advise clients that their particulars are held on our database. We may, from time to time, use these details to send information which we think might be of interest to our clients. We do not make such information available to any other provider of products or services.
We ask that you work with us in the following ways
- that you respond to any requests for payment and pay our fees and all disbursements without delay
- that you respond to our request for information and instructions
- that you respect all staff of the firm in how you deal with or speak to them
- that you give full and accurate instructions and information during the course of the matter
- that you tell us promptly of any approach by or discussions with any other party involved with the matter
- that you tell us promptly of any change of circumstances or progress in any aspect of the matter that you have to deal with
- that you tell us promptly if there is anything that you do not understand or that troubles you
Financial Services and Insurance Contracts
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are, however, included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we may carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on and selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.gov.uk/register.
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
After completing any work, we are entitled to keep all papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.
Storage of Papers and Documents
Concluded files will in our discretion be stored for a period of 6 years. After that, storage is on the clear understanding that we have the right to destroy papers after such period as we consider reasonable or to make a charge for storage if we ask the clients to collect the papers and they fail to do so.
We will not destroy any documents such as wills, deeds and other securities, which we have been asked to hold in safe custody. No charge will be made for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given of a charge to be made from a future date which may be specified in that notice.
If we retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we will normally make a charge based on time spent for producing stored papers or documents to the client or to another party at the client’s request.
Data Protection and Outsourcing
We, as a data controller, are bound by the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. More information is available at www.ico.gov.uk
Where appropriate, you acknowledge that we are entitled to obtain, use, process and disclose your personal data to enable us to discharge the services which we have agreed to provide, and for other related purposes including carrying out credit checks in relation to you, updating client records, analysis for management purposes, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance. We may use the personal data for the purpose of notifying you of changes in the law and for other marketing purposes. Please notify us if you would rather not receive this material
In respect of other uses of your personal data, we shall seek appropriate permission as applicable.
We need to inform you that some of your data will be accessible to third parties in order for the efficient running of IT systems and software. All such access is controlled by confidentiality contracts, systems of support and limited wherever possible. The firm’s typing is also outsourced to a third party and again we have a confidentiality agreement in place with our supplier.
All third parties who have access to your data have been assessed as to their trustworthiness and you can rest assured that we give the issue of your confidentiality the highest priority.
Identity, Disclosure and Confidentiality of Business
All advice given to clients is entirely confidential, but
- Money laundering regulations may require disclosure of confidential information by law. Please note that we accept no responsibility for any loss arising from compliance with the money laundering provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and any amending legislation howsoever caused.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority and other supervisory bodies may call for a file which is the subject of a complaint.
- A court order can compel disclosure of confidential material in certain circumstances
The law now requires solicitors as well as banks, building societies and others to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their client. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their client can be used by criminals wishing to launder money. In order to comply with the law on money laundering we will need to obtain evidence of your identity as soon as practicable.
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of the client 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 Crime Agency. 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, while we are acting for you, it becomes necessary to make a money laundering disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.
Everything on your file will be kept confidential. As part of the quality check on our work, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Lexcel auditors may ask to see your file but they will keep the contents confidential too. I may write to other agencies but this will be with your consent. If you would prefer to withhold consent please put a line through this section in the Terms and Conditions of Business and return to us.
Instructions may be terminated at any time. Termination of instructions must be in writing, to be effective.
We will be entitled to keep all papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.
Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, for some nonbusiness instructions, you may have the right to withdraw, without charge, within fourteen working days of the date on which we were asked to act. However, if a client asks us to start work within that period, you loses that right to withdraw. Acceptance of these terms and conditions of business will amount to such consent. If it is sought to withdraw instructions, notice should be given by telephone, e-mail or letter to the person named in these terms of business as being responsible for your work. The regulations require us to inform clients if the work involved is likely to take more than 30 days.
When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company, we may require a director and/or controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of this practice. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and to require immediate payment of our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out earlier.
As a firm of Solicitors we have to provide information about the standards and requirements that we have to comply with, as found in the handbook from our regulator, the SRA. This is available to view at www.sra.org.uk/handbook/
Tax and Planning Advice
Any work that we do for clients may involve tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies. Any responsibility to advise on the tax implications of a transaction that we are instructed to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising, cannot be implied and must be the subject of specific and express agreement.
Any work that we do for clients may involve tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies. Any responsibility to advise on the tax implications of a transaction that we are instructed to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising, cannot be implied and must be the subject of specific and express agreement. In relation to purchase matters only we will not advise you on the planning implications unless specifically requested to do so by you in writing, other than by reporting to you on any relevant information provided by the results of the ‘local search’.
In relation to purchase matters only we will not advise you on the planning implications unless specifically requested to do so by you in writing, other than by reporting to you on any relevant information provided by the results of the ‘local search’.
Complaints will be dealt with under the following procedure.
In the event of a complaint, you should raise the concern in the first place with the person dealing with the particular matter.
If this does not resolve the problem you should then contact the supervising director, whose name will have been notified at the outset of the transaction.
The complaint does not have to be put in writing, although setting out clearly the issues and the action you wish us to take may help us to resolve your concerns more quickly.
If these steps do not resolve the problem you should contact the client care director, by telephoning or writing. He is Mark Reynolds.
A full copy of the practice’s complaints procedure is available on request.
If the complaint is still not resolved at the end of this complaints process you have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ; telephone: 0300 555 0333; website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
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 or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it)
We shall notify you if we pay or receive a referral fee.
Equality and Diversity
Our Equality and Diversity Policy is intended to exclude all forms of discrimination in our dealings with staff, clients and third parties. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Terms and Conditions of Business
If you require clarification on any of these points please do not hesitate to let us know.
Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of then current hourly rates, these terms and conditions of business shall apply to any future instructions given to this practice.
Although continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these terms and conditions of business, it may not be possible for us to start work on your behalf until one copy of the Client Care Letter has been returned to us for us to keep on our file.