Terms of Business
References in these Terms of Business to “we”, “us”, “our”, “the firm”, the “Partnership” or comparable expressions are references to Nash & Co Solicitors LLP (company number OC326240).
If you do not sign and return the Case Fact Sheet to us but you continue to instruct us to act for you in the matter, you will be deemed to have accepted our terms of business and to have entered into a retainer with us.
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.
You need to co-operate with us and not deliberately mislead us or ask us to act in an improper or unreasonable way. You must provide us with clear and timely instructions, the information and documents required for us to do our work, and funds required. In contentious matters you must also co-operate with experts and attend Court or Tribunal hearings when required. If you do not co-operate with us or we have to send you reminders seeking clear instructions or funds then this will add to the costs that you will have to pay us.
In contentious matters, please ensure that all evidence relating to the case is kept safely. Evidence is not only paper documents but is also anything that is relevant to this matter and contains information of any kind. Evidence which is relevant to the case may also be in the form of emails, photographs, video or electronic data all of which should be carefully preserved. Failure to do so may prejudice your case.
The person responsible for dealing with your matter is the person whose name appears in your retainer letter. The retainer letter also sets out the assistant or secretary who may be able to help with your enquiries and who will be pleased to take any message for you. We will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work but if this cannot be avoided, for example in the case of absence due to holidays, illness or parental leave, we will tell you promptly of any change and why it may be necessary.
Our switchboard telephone number, 01752 664444, is usually answered by a telephone receptionist between 8.00 a.m. and 5.15 p.m. Messages can be left on the telephone answering service outside those hours. You can send us faxes on 01752 667112.
In addition, the person dealing with your work has a direct dial telephone number, with voicemail, which is identified in our letters and emails to you. If you require confirmation of receipt of an email then you should either telephone our offices or send the information in the post or by fax to ensure receipt.
We will aim to communicate with you by such a method as you may request. We may communicate with others when appropriate by email or fax, unless you withdraw consent for us to do so, but we cannot be responsible for the security of correspondence and documents sent by email or fax.
Unless you tell us otherwise, you agree to us communicating with you, including sending bills and other confidential information, by normal, unencrypted email, using the email address(es) 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. We may also send you communications via SMS text messaging.
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. Neither you nor we shall have any liability to each other in respect of any claim or loss arising in connection with such a virus or defect in an electronic communication other than where such claim or loss arises from bad faith or wilful default.
Please note that it is not always possible to respond to emails on the same day that they are received due to the fact that our lawyers and other staff have a number of commitments but, nevertheless, we will do our best to respond as soon as we reasonably can. This will usually be within two working days.
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.
From time to time we may arrange for some of the work on your matter to be carried out by persons not directly employed by us; such work will be charged to you at the hourly rate as if we had done the work ourselves.
In some cases we may also take into account a number of factors including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours, the complexity of the issues, the value and benefit to you of the matter, the speed at which action has to be taken, any particularly specialist expertise when the case may demand. Where a charge reflecting any such factor is to be added we will explain this to you first.
We reserve the right to charge separately for photocopying, printing, telephone calls, faxes, electronic funds transfers, catering and other support services, and travel, courier and other incidental expenses. Should we do so we will agree such charges with you in advance.
Where applicable, we will charge Value Added Tax on our charges and expenses.
Should this matter not be carried through to a completion, a charge will be made in respect of the work that has already been undertaken and you will be liable for any disbursements incurred.
In fixed-fee matters, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee by reference to the standard hourly rate if the matter aborts or if you terminate the retainer before completion, such amount not to exceed the total amount of our costs agreed for completion of the matter.
Our hourly charge-out rates are reviewed on or after 30th April 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.
Any costs estimate we give at any time is a guide to assist you in budgeting. It is not intended to be fixed, unless that is specifically agreed in writing.
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.
In all cases we are entitled to issue invoices on an interim basis as the matter proceeds. 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.
In property transactions we may send you our bill before completion and payment is required on a purchase before completion and on a sale at completion. If sufficient funds are available on completion and we have sent you a bill, we will deduct our charges and expenses from the funds.
Unless we have agreed otherwise, 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.
It is a condition of our retainer that all bills, interim and final, are paid within seven days. If a bill is not paid in full within that period 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 judgments 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.
In some 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.
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 from any one or more of them. This includes situations where one person or company instructs us on behalf of another.
If arrangements are made for a third party to pay any of our fees or disbursements, or a court orders a third party to pay any part of our fees or disbursements, you remain liable to pay them to the extent that the third party does not pay them when due.
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).
Where an account is overdue we are entitled to retain any files and documents belonging to you (on any matter) which are in our possession until our account is settled. We also reserve the right in our complete discretion to cease working on this and any other matters on which we are acting for you.
When acting for a limited company or limited liability partnership or other limited liability entity, we may if we consider it appropriate at any stage of the retainer require one or more directors or other controlling parties to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of our charges and expenses. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting for you and will be entitled to the immediate payment of our charges and expenses incurred to that time.
You are encouraged to make payments to us by telegraphic transfer or BACS, though we also accept certain credit and debit card payments. Please contact our accounts team for further details. We do not usually accept payments in cash and in any event not for more than £250. We reserve the right to charge for any checks that we may deem appropriate or necessary regarding the source of the funds, including where cash is deposited directly with our bank.
In most cases it is not a legal requirement to use a Solicitor, for example, you may wish to conduct your case yourself or use other providers of legal services. You may end your instructions to us at any time by letting us know in writing.
We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, if you do not pay our bills when due or fail to provide us with funds on account or if there is a conflict of interest. We will give you reasonable notice if we decide to stop acting for you. If we do stop acting for you we will explain your options for pursuing the matter, and will work with you to minimise disruption to your matter.
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.
Unless already terminated as above, 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.
The fact that we may inform you from time to time of developments in the law which may be of interest to you, by email, 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.
References in this policy to “we”, “us”, and “our” are references to Nash & Co Solicitors LLP (company number OC326240). References to “you” and “your” are to the client or other person on whose behalf we are holding the relevant funds.
If we hold money in a separate designated client account, we will account to you for all the interest actually earned on that account regardless of the amount of the interest. This is in addition to any interest payable on other money held on your behalf in our general client account or on the same money for any period when it is in our general client account rather than the designated account.
General Client Accounts
If we hold money in a general client account on your behalf, or should have been but for whatever reason was not, we will pay as interest an amount calculated as provided below.
The amount of interest payable will be calculated by applying the same rate or rates as reflects the published market rate of interest paid on an instant access current account by Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) over the period or periods during which the money was or should have been held in the general client account. The rate will therefore vary from time to time and details of the current rate payable are available by contacting our accounts team on 01752 664444 or email: [email protected]
The relevant period will start from the day after we receive the money in cleared funds in our account and end either on the date when we send the money out by electronic transfer or the date 3 days after issuing a cheque.
If the amount calculated is less than £20 we will not account to you for interest. If money is held for varying periods, the interest will be calculated for each period but added together before determining if the amount exceeds £20.
We will also not account for interest where the money to which the interest relates is held for the Legal Aid Authority or on any amount advanced by us to cover any payment in excess of monies held by us on your behalf (i.e. to make up a shortfall pending receipt of the balance from you) or where you have agreed that this interest policy is not to apply.
Timing of interest payments
We may account to you for interest during the course of your instruction but usually interest will only be calculated and paid to you once your matter has been concluded or the designated account is closed as appropriate.
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.
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. Liability to pay our costs is joint (all the clients together) and several (each may be liable for the whole amount).
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.
After the end of the relevant matter please let us know if you would like us to send your file of papers to you.
If we store your files it is on the clear understanding that we have the right to destroy your files after such period as we consider reasonable or to make a charge for storage if we ask you to collect your papers and you fail to do so, and by agreeing to these terms you authorise us so to do. We will not destroy any documents such as wills, deeds, and other important original documents which you ask us to hold in safe custody. No charge will be made to you for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given to you 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 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 where that is to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers and may pass on any charges incurred by us with our storage providers for the retrieval at your request of your papers or documents other than in connection with a continuing or new instruction.
You consent to us carrying out an electronic identity verification check on you and you consent to our keeping your anti-money laundering identification records beyond the statutory five year period.
Nash & Co Solicitors LLP is committed to providing high quality legal advice and client care. However, if you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about our charges please contact our complaints and managing partner, Jon Loney on 01752 827080 or by email at [email protected]
If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ or by email: [email protected]; website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk; telephone 0300 555 0333 to investigate the complaint. Alternatively, you may be able to apply to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974, in which case the Legal Ombudsman may not consider your complaint.
Please note that certain businesses, charities and trusts are not eligible to use the Legal Ombudsman service. Businesses with more than 10 employees OR having an annual turnover or balance sheet of €2 million or more, charities and clubs and other unincorporated organisations with a net annual turnover of €1 million or more, and trustees where the trust asset value is €1 million or more cannot use the service.
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 (provided we have complied with the Ombudsman’s rules) and within six years of the act or omission complained of or three years from the date you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint.
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.
Our liability to you shall be limited to £8 million or such higher amount as is set out in the letter accompanying these Terms of Business. 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.
Under the Indemnity Insurance Rules we are required to take out and maintain qualifying insurance. Details of our insurance are available on request and details of our professional indemnity insurers can be found at www.nash.co.uk/insurance
No claim against individuals
We have an interest in limiting the personal liability of employees, consultants and members. 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. 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.
The provisions of the above paragraph 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.
No claim for complying with legal duties
We exclude all liability to you in whatever form (including in negligence, contract, misrepresentation and breach of duty) for any loss, financial or otherwise (including loss of profits and loss of opportunity), where this has arisen from our complying with any statutory or regulatory duty.
Limitation on exclusions
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.
We will not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control.
We will not be liable to repay any money that we hold for you in our client account which is lost as a result of a failure of the bank.
Our advice is for your benefit only. Save as expressly set out including the limitation on claims against individuals, 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.
Any work that we do for you may have tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies. We may not be qualified to advise you on the tax implications or tax planning strategies, or the likelihood of them arising, in relation to any matter that you may instruct us to carry out. We will not provide you with tax advice unless we have expressly agreed to do so in writing. You are strongly recommended to speak with a qualified accountant or other tax advisor on such matters.
Nash & Co Solicitors 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 2000 (“FSMA”)
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.
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.
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 The Law Society. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk.
If we have not yet met you and you are an individual acting for purposes which are not wholly or mainly in relation to your trade, business or profession, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply to our agreement with you. That means that you have the right to cancel our engagement without charge at any time within 14 days of your acceptance of our engagement terms. If you wish to do so you must inform us of your decision to cancel in writing. This applies even if we have, with your agreement, started to provide our services but you may be liable for a proportion of the fees for the services provided before you cancel.
Notice of cancellation must be given to us in writing (we do accept electronic mail for this purpose) and is deemed to be served as soon as it is posted or sent to us or, if personally delivered, at the time of delivery. You are advised to take a copy of the cancellation notice before sending it to us. Notice should be sent to us at Nash & Co Solicitors LLP, Beaumont House, Beaumont Park, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 9BD or by email to [email protected].
As a regulated law firm, we are a controller of the personal information we process in connection with our engagement under this letter.
In our capacity as data controller, we are responsible for ensuring that we process personal information in accordance with data protection law. We take these responsibilities seriously.
Current data protection laws afford you with certain rights. If you would like further information on this subject then please see our Privacy Notice which can be found at our website at: www.nash.co.uk/legal-notices/privacy-notice/ Our managing partner, Jon Loney, is the person in this firm with overall responsibility for data protection.
Alternatively, if you would like a paper copy then please contact Jon Loney and he will arrange to send you a copy.
From time to time our practice may be audited or checked by our accountants or our regulator, or by other appropriate organisations. These organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.
We may contract to transfer all or a substantial part of our business to another person or organisation (a “successor”). In accepting these terms of business you agree that notwithstanding any other provision in these terms of business in the event of any such transfer then all of our rights and obligations under all contracts between us will be novated to our successor and these terms of business and all other documents to which they relate will then be construed as if reference to us was to that successor. To the extent that any law or contractual provision renders such novation ineffective then we will be entitled to hold the contract on behalf of the successor and the successor will be entitled to perform our obligations until the novation has been perfected.
If any provision in these terms of engagement or our accompanying 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.
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.