Laurus Law Limited – General Terms and Conditions of Business
It is important that you are fully informed about how your matter will be handled. These pages set out the firm’s Terms and Conditions of Business. Please read all of this document carefully, together with the Engagement Letter. Please keep these safe for your future reference as together they set out the terms under which the firm and your Legal Advisor shall be acting for you and they also form the basis of our retainer with you. It covers the various ways in which our fees are calculated. It also covers other important financial related information and conditions. These Terms also contain details of your right to challenge our fees and what steps you should take if you have a complaint.
2. Glossary and definitions
The use of the singular in these Terms and Conditions may include the plural and vice versa.
The term ‘Terms’, ‘Terms of Business’ or ‘document’ refer to these Terms and Conditions of Business,
The terms ‘we’ or ‘us’ or ‘our’ or ‘the/this firm’ refer to Laurus Law Limited.
The term ‘Engagement Letter’ includes the letter sent to you at the outset of this matter.
The term ‘(your) Legal Advisor’ refers to the person with the day to day conduct of your matter unless otherwise advised.
The term ‘costs’ refers to the firm’s charges plus Value Added Tax (VAT).
The term ‘disbursements’ refers to any expenses that are subject to VAT which the firm incurs on your behalf, including any third party fees.
The term ‘expenses’ refers to any non-VAT chargeable expenses the firm incurs on your behalf.
3. Application and Prevailing Terms
These Terms and Conditions of Business supersede any earlier Terms and Conditions of Business we may have previously agreed with you.
If there is a conflict between these Terms and Conditions of Business and any specific terms agreed with you in relation to an individual matter (for example, any terms set out in the Engagement Letter or subsequent terms agreed with you in writing) then the specific terms within the Engagement Letter and those agreed with you in writing will prevail.
It may be necessary to amend these Terms and Conditions of Business from time to time. We will notify you of any such proposed changes and, unless we hear from you to the contrary within 14 days following such notification, the amendments and/or new terms will come into effect from the end of that period.
4. Explanation of Terms
If you are unclear as to the nature and/or extent of either our or your obligations under these Terms and Conditions of Business, or you require further information, please contact the person responsible for your matter before signing the Acceptance Form accompanying the Engagement Letter.
5. Acceptance of the Terms and Conditions of Business
Whilst your continuing instructions constitute acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business, the Acceptance Form accompanying the Engagement Letter should be signed where indicated and returned to our offices at your earliest convenience. It is the firm’s policy that we are unable to commence work on your matter until these Terms and Conditions of Business have been accepted. By signing the Acceptance Form, you are deemed to have read, understood and accepted the terms of both these Terms of Business and the Engagement Letter in their entirety except where they have been varied in writing with our agreement.
Laurus Law Limited is a company with registered number 9960870, having its registered office at 5 St Johns Lane, London EC1M 4BH. Laurus Law Limited is regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) under registration number 628202.
We confirm that, at all times, we will observe and act in accordance with all of the standards and requirements set out in the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Handbook. A copy of the SRA handbook can be found using the following link: http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/welcome
7. Authority to give instructions
We may only accept instructions from our clients. Where we are instructed by more than one person or legal entity or any other company or partnership, the Legal Advisor with conduct of your matter may accept instructions from any party who has signed the Acceptance Form, without consultation and/or approval from the other(s). We may require a signed guarantee from all constituent members to allow an individual client to provide us with instructions on behalf of the legal entity, company or partnership. Should the letter be signed by only one party, we shall not be able to accept instructions by any other party, irrespective of whether the said party is a constituent member and shall require authorisation from the signatory to act upon such instructions. In order for the firm to accept instructions on your matter from a third party, we shall require written authority from our client(s).
8. Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and Combating the Financing of Terrorism
We are required by law to get satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and sometimes people related to them and/or any third parties involved in your matter. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their clients can be used by criminals wanting to launder money.
To comply with the law, we need to get evidence of your identity as soon as possible. Our requirements in this respect are set out in the Identity Information Form sent to you upon instruction.
Please note, the identification requirements referred to herein may vary depending on the matter type and the individual circumstances of the case. We therefore reserve the right to request further documentation should we deem it appropriate in order to satisfy the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (the Money Laundering Regulations) and any other such governing regulations and/or legislation.
Where instructing us on behalf of a limited company or limited liability partnership, the identification requirements shall be as above but we may also require the identification of any other constituent member(s).
We do of course appreciate that not everyone has access to some of the forms of identification as accepted by the firm. It is therefore imperative that you speak to your Legal Advisor immediately at the onset of your matter if you are unable to meet the identification requirements, as otherwise we may be unable to act for you, as to do so may be contrary to the Money Laundering Regulations and/or the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (or such other legislation that may currently be, or come into, force).
We have a professional and legal duty to keep your affairs confidential. However, should an occasion arise where any of the firm’s Legal Advisors suspects that a transaction during your matter may involve money laundering or terrorist financing, it will be reported to our Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), Mr Robert Gray, which may result in a disclosure to the National Crime Agency (NCA) and we may be unable to inform you of the disclosure. We may have to suspend work on your matter for a period of time and/or even terminate the retainer and we may not be able to notify you as to the reason why.
9. Duty of Care
For the purposes of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, it is confirmed that our services are provided solely for the benefit of you as our client and our Terms and Conditions of Business are enforceable only by you and us and not by any third party. Laurus Law shall not be under any duty to, nor have any responsibility towards, any other person in connection with any matter (unless that person is also a client of Laurus Law in relation to the matter), even if the objective of the client’s instructions is to confer a benefit upon such a person.
Upon receipt of the signed Acceptance Form, you will be notified of the identity of the person who will be handling your matter on a day to day basis and the person who will have ultimate responsibility for your matter. The person with responsibility may assign specific tasks or the handling of your matter to someone within their team, but will maintain overall responsibility for your matter.
We try hard to avoid changing the staff who may be dealing with your matter, but if this becomes unavoidable, we will promptly notify you of any changes in personnel.
11. Place and Hours of Business
The Legal Advisor responsible for the conduct of your matter is based at the office from which you normally receive correspondence. Our usual hours of opening are between 09:00 and 17:30.
12. Service Standards
We will endeavour to update you with the progress of your matter and will explain to you the legal work required as your matter progresses. At the outset we will confirm to you in writing your instructions and our advice about what steps should be taken and explain to you the issues involved. We aim to communicate with you in plain language.
Where applicable and reasonably practicable, we shall update you on the likely costs of your matter as it progresses, which shall include updates on the likely timescales involved for your matter and any important changes to those estimates.
We are of course happy to receive calls and encourage communication by email wherever possible. Within reason, our aim is for calls and emails to be dealt with within 24 hours. Occasionally however, due to work commitments, it may not always be possible to revert back to you within the desired timescale.
It is important to understand that we will usually only contact you where it is necessary for us to do so, for example where we are in a position to update you on your matter. We shall therefore not normally contact you where there is nothing to report.
In turn, we require you throughout your matter to provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions, together with all required documentation to complete your matter in a timely manner. We shall also require you to safeguard any documents that are likely to be required for disclosing and also to keep us updated with any key information that may be required by us, for example your home address and/or telephone contact numbers.
We aim to provide high quality advice and excellent client care. We recognise that, on occasion, things can go wrong. To raise a concern or make a complaint about our services or a bill, please in the first instance raise it with the person who is handling your case on a day to day basis. If you do not consider this appropriate, or they are not able to resolve the problem to your satisfaction, please contact the person who has been identified as having ultimate responsibility for your matter or thereafter, the Compliance Officer for the Legal Practice, Nicholas Addyman, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We want the opportunity to put the matter right; we hope and expect to be able to reach a satisfactory solution with you. In the initial contact, you will be sent a copy of our Complaints Handling Procedure and your complaint will be dealt with in accordance with that procedure. We have 8 weeks to try to resolve your complaint under the procedure. However, if you are still not satisfied then you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV19WJ or on 0300 555 0333 or email email@example.com
Please be aware that you have 6 months from the date when you receive your final written response from us to raise your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman or you will need to bring the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 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). After this time the Legal Ombudsman may not be able to deal with your complaint. For further information, please contact the Legal Ombudsman directly or refer to: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
A copy of our Complaints Handling Procedure is also available on request.
We have procedures designed to prevent our acting for one client in a matter where there is or could be a conflict with the interests of another client for whom we are acting, or may have previously been acting. If you are aware, or become aware of a possible conflict of this type please raise it immediately with us. If a conflict of this nature arises, then it will be up to us, taking account of legal constraints, professional rules and your and the other client’s interests and wishes, to decide whether we should continue to act for both parties, for one only or for neither and whether written permission is required to enable us to continue to act. If permission is required, you will be contacted.
Telephone calls and emails may be monitored or recorded in order to:
- improve our service;
- prevent and detect fraud;
- ensure legal and regulatory compliance;
- address complaints; and
- assist with training (we confirm that all identifying information will be removed from any training material).
All our employees have email addresses. Unless otherwise directed by you, we may correspond by means of electronic mail. Our email is not encrypted. We each agree to accept the risks of using electronic mail, including but not limited to the risks of viruses, interception and unauthorised access.
We each agree to use commercially reasonable procedures to check for commonly known viruses in information sent and received electronically, but we recognise that such procedures cannot be a guarantee that transmissions will be virus free.
If you do not wish us to send confidential information by email, please notify us in writing.
16. Outsourcing & Audit
Laurus does outsource certain services but always in accordance with the SRA Code of Conduct, 2011. Laurus has for instance entered into an outsource agreement with The Cashroom Limited for the provision of certain services. The services supplied by The Cashroom Limited include the handling of accounting transactions and other cashiering services.
As a quality law firm we may have to submit ourselves to audit and that may include allowing the auditors access to personal data. In each case the auditor has to maintain confidentiality.
17. File Retention and Retrieval
After completing the work, we will be entitled to retain all papers and documents relating to your matter while there is money owed to us, which shall include any outstanding disbursements or expenses and any monies owed on any other file of yours.
As a general rule, we shall store your file of papers for a minimum of sevenx years from the date of the final invoice, depending on the matter description, except those papers that you ask to be returned to you. You are entitled to any of your papers upon request. Unless we hear to the contrary, we keep files on the understanding that we are authorised to destroy them after this time. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody and shall store certain files indefinitely.
In the event that you require us to retrieve a file from storage or send any of your papers to you or any third party, we may levy a charge for the service. This is done to reflect the time spent in retrieving the file and to cover any postage and/or photocopying costs that we incur. We may also levy a charge where your instructions in relation to the retrieved file of papers involve perusing, corresponding or any other such work. We shall not usually make a charge for retrieving files that relate to a continuous or new matter.
Should you require us to send your file of papers to you in the post, we shall require such postage costs to be paid on account in advance of releasing the papers. We shall not release any file of papers to any third party unless we have your written consent to do so. The party collecting the file on your behalf will need to supply us with photo identification and a copy of the same will be retained for our records. We require a signed ‘form of authority’ in order to release a file to another firm of solicitors.
18. Data protections and Confidentiality
Generally speaking, all information supplied to us by you shall be treated as confidential at all times, unless we are required to disclose and/or discuss your information upon your instructions (implicit or actual), by an Order of the Court, under current legislation, updated legal and/or regulatory compliance or by way of any other statutory exceptions. Your personal information is stored by us in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) and from 25 May 2018 under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and any other subsequent data protection legislation.
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and other related purposes, including analysis to help us manage our practice and for updating and enhancing client records. Our use of such information is subject to your instructions, the DPA 1998, the GDPR and our duty of confidentiality. You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the information we hold about you.
For further information as regards your rights of access and what we do with your personal data we refer you to our Data Privacy Statement.
It may be necessary for the successful and efficient conclusion of your matter for us to occasionally disclose personal information that you have provided us to third parties; for example, to mortgage lenders, experts or barristers. Our firm may be subject to audit or quality checks from time to time by outside organisations and your information may also be passed to Authorities in the event of any disclosures. Your acceptance of these Terms shall be treated as appropriate authority for us to pass on such details unless we hear to the contrary in writing beforehand. All external organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.
If we hold any sensitive personal data (as defined in the DPA 1998) or special category personal data (as defined by the GDPR) such as medical records, you must provide your permission before we may disclose it to third parties. Laurus also undertakes not to sell your personal data or make it commercially available.
19. Calculation of Fees, Charges and Expenses, Annual Hourly Charging Rates and Time Records
For matters where we have not already agreed with you a fixed price, our fees are generally calculated principally on the basis of all the time spent dealing with your matter. Our fees will be charged in accordance with the hourly rate(s) of the Legal Advisor(s) working on your matter. We charge time in six minute units. Minutes are rounded up to the subsequent unit; by way of example to help you understand, time spent up to six minutes’ amounts to one unit. The fees calculated include attending you and others, time spent on the telephone (including telephone calls made and received), preparing and reading or considering documents (including letters in from an opponent and/or third parties), travelling and waiting time, correspondence, research, preparatory work, retrieval of papers and obtaining information from a stored file, preparation of invoices, statements and other accounting work, typing, word processing and other secretarial/clerical work and generally supervising, perusing, reviewing and administering your file. We shall notify you of any other fees calculated that are not mentioned in these Terms as and when appropriate to your matter.
The hourly charging rate of the Legal Advisor with conduct your matter will be specified in the Engagement Letter. The rate is reviewed annually and may be increased with effect from the 1st January every year. We shall notify you in advance of any increase in rate. If at any time any other Legal Advisor is required to undertake work on your matter, you will be advised of their hourly rate.
All time spent working on your matter is recorded save for certain matters where the fee is agreed in advance. Copies of our records are available on request.
It is often the case that there are disbursements and expenses that the firm is required to incur on your behalf, which shall be payable by you in addition to our costs in advance of incurring such expenditure. Certain disbursements and expenses may be charged for separately; by way of example, these may include postage and packaging costs where they exceed the price of a first class stamp, telephone calls (especially long distance calls), photocopying and/or any travelling charges (such as courier fees or taxi charges to and from court), search and court fees. Such charges will not exceed a reasonable amount to reflect our own costs in this regard.
The fees charged by solicitors are subject to the Solicitors’ (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009.
20. Other factors taken into account
In accordance with the Solicitors’ (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009, we may also take into account other factors in calculating the charge made to you and an additional charge may be made where a case is complex, urgent, of special importance to you or where your Legal Advisor is required to work on your matter outside office hours. In matters not involving Court proceedings, we may in addition to the hourly charging rate charge a value element which will be based on the value of the transaction as a whole. We will have previously agreed this with you in writing. The addition of a value element will not apply where a fixed fee quotation has been given.
In the event of emergency work, such as work on emergency injunctions, or where there are tight deadlines to comply with, we may charge an uplift to the applicable hourly rate. We will notify you of this in writing beforehand.
All quotations, estimates and hourly charging rates are exclusive of VAT. If you or the organisation you represent is exempt from VAT, we shall require written evidence to support the same within 7 days from the date of delivery of any bill. Any failure in this regard may result in the bill(s) including VAT.
Please note that VAT is chargeable on disbursements, such as photocopying, postage and telephone and travel expenses. Third party fees, such as barristers’ fees are also subject to VAT, although the figure we require from you may include the applicable VAT. This is a requirement under the Solicitors Accounts Rules and the VAT treatment of solicitors’ overheads by HM Revenue & Customs. We will not charge VAT for expenses such as Court or Land Registry fees. If you have any queries in this regard (including your residency in the UK) please raise this with the Legal Advisor with conduct of your matter as soon as possible.
Please note that we do not have expertise to offer any financial or tax planning advice. We suggest that you speak to your financial advisor/accountant for further information in this regard.
22. Instructing Third Parties and their charges
Where we consider it appropriate to obtain specialist advice and/or services from third parties such as Stockbrokers, Surveyors, Accountants, Barristers, Expert Witnesses, Process Servers, Bailiffs, Search Agents, Costs Draftsman etc. we will let you know and seek your instructions. Your acceptance of these Terms shall be treated as sufficient authority for us to incur such expenditure and we also reserve the right to terminate the retainer in the event that you unreasonably refuse to authorise us to incur such fees.
In the event that you instruct us to obtain such third party services, it shall be your responsibility to settle all of their costs, plus any applicable VAT, prior to formal instruction of the expert. We shall notify you of the third party’s estimate where appropriate and as a general rule will require the estimated costs to be paid to us on account (in addition to any monies held on client account at such time) as a pre-condition to instructing that third party. Where no estimate can be provided for practical or any other reasons, such as due to shortness of time or the urgency of the situation, we shall request an amount we deem appropriate or a contribution thereof. Please note however, in circumstances where it is not possible to obtain an agreed fee quote with the third party, the actual costs may exceed any previous request and/or estimate and you shall remain liable to reimburse us for the balance of such fees.
Unless otherwise advised, all third party charges must be settled through the firm. Please note, although we shall endeavour to instruct well established third parties, we cannot be held responsible for the quality of their work or advice or the level of their charges.
It is often very difficult to predict the costs, disbursements and expenses involved to the conclusion of a matter. However, for matters where we have not already agreed with you a fixed price, where it is appropriate and reasonably practical, we will provide you with an initial estimate. Given the difficultly in calculating the estimate, it is often the case that such estimate relates to completion of work up until a certain stage of the matter. Further estimates will be provided as the matter progresses and when your Legal Advisor has more of an idea as to the likely costs, disbursements and expenses to be incurred. Please note, such estimates shall be exclusive of any applicable VAT and there may be occasions, where, due to factors beyond our control, such estimates may have to be revised. If any factors affect your estimate, for example if the matter becomes more involved than initially set out, then your Legal Advisor will endeavour to write to you with an updated estimate.
It is important to understand that an estimate is exactly that and can be very hard to predict. The actual costs incurred will always replace any estimate provided, unless otherwise advised.
24. Payments on Account
Often at the outset of a matter, we are required to incur expenditure on your behalf; by way of example search fees and other disbursements and expenses. Therefore, unless advised to the contrary, we shall require from you at the outset of a matter, an interim payment on account to authorise the firm to incur such expenditure on your behalf. For matters that we have not already agreed a fixed price with you, we shall require from you monies on account in respect of our on-going costs. In such cases, disbursements and expenses may be requested separately. The amount required may vary between departments and the individual circumstances of each case but will be specified in the Engagement Letter.
Where we require one-off payments to cover expenses on your behalf, these shall be requested from you separately where there are insufficient funds on account to reimburse the firm.
It is important to understand that our requests for monies on account (including requests for disbursements and/or expenses) are exactly that and therefore, unless otherwise advised, do not constitute any form of estimate.
We may retain any funds held on account upon conclusion of your matter to contribute towards settlement of any costs, disbursements or expenses owed on any other file(s) belonging to you and your acceptance of these Terms shall authorise us to debit such monies.
25. Responsibility for costs disbursements and expenses
If you are instructing us as an individual, it shall be your responsibility to settle all the legal costs, disbursements and expenses that we incur throughout your matter. Where we are instructed by more than one person or legal entity to represent their joint interests, those instructions are considered to be joint and several and thus we reserve the right to look to either party for settlement of any outstanding costs, disbursement and expenses.
If you are instructing us as an owner/director/partner on behalf of a partnership or company, it may be a condition of our instructions that you must provide, upon request, a signed personal guarantee at the outset of the matter confirming personal liability for all the costs, disbursements and expenses that the firm incurs throughout your matter, should we be unable to retrieve such costs, disbursements and/or expenses from the partnership or company. If you are providing instructions as a representative on behalf of a partnership or company, we shall require, upon request a signed personal guarantee from at least one partner/director/owner confirming his/her personal liability to settle any costs, disbursements or expenses owed to the firm which cannot otherwise be recovered.
We shall accept undertakings from separate parties where such costs, disbursements and expenses are to be settled by that party. However, notwithstanding any written agreements (e.g. undertakings or guarantees) in place on your matter, it is a condition of our instructions that should any circumstance arise whereby the said third party dishonours its agreement, it shall be the personal responsibility of the firm’s client(s) to settle any outstanding costs owed, which we have not otherwise been successful in recovering from the third party.
26. Terms of Payment, Recovering our Fees, Interest and Your Right to Challenge Our Fees
Invoices we render are due 14 days from the date of delivery. All other costs, disbursements and expenses are due 14 days from the date of delivery or request, whichever is the earliest, save for any third party fees and expenses which are required in advance unless otherwise agreed.
Apparent failure to comply with the above timeframes may result in the firm ceasing to act for you and if, after 30 days from the date of delivery or request, any costs, disbursements or expenses remain outstanding, the firm reserves the right and may begin to issue formal legal proceedings against you in order to recover any sums due. We also reserve the right to accrue daily interest on the outstanding sum at a rate of 8% per annum after 30 days. We would urge you to contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss with us any difficulty you may have in making payment.
If at any time you are unhappy with the level of our fees, you should in the first instance contact the person responsible for the day to day conduct of your matter. Please refer to paragraph 13 for further guidance in respect of any complaint you may want to bring against the firm.
You may also be entitled to challenge any outstanding sum on an invoice by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill(s) under Part III, Sections 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974 provided the application is made within one month from the date of delivery of the bill(s).
27. Client Money
Unless we agree otherwise with you, any money that Laurus Law holds for you will be deposited in a client bank account in a clearing bank in accordance with the requirements of the SRA Accounts Rules.
We will not be responsible for any loss due to any mistake or failure by the relevant institution, or by reason of the insolvency of the relevant institution and/or the loss by the relevant institution of any necessary license, authorisation or permission required to carry on banking or deposit taking activities under applicable law.
With the increased risk of criminal activity and in particular fraud, identity theft and cyber-crime, it is your responsibility to be very vigilant. When you transfer or pay money into our bank account it is your responsibility to ensure that you use our correct bank details (name of account, account and sort code numbers). We do not accept any liability for any delays or loss in relation to transfers and/or payments made by you into our bank account.
Where a third party seeks to deposit money into our client bank account in connection with our work for you, we may need to satisfy anti-money laundering requirements in respect of the third party before the money can be accepted by us.
We shall have no liability for any loss that may be caused as a result of a failure to supply information or documentation that we need to satisfy those requirements.
We may apply any money that Laurus Law Ltd holds for you towards the discharge of our outstanding accounts, provided the money is not held for a specific purpose.
28. Interest on client monies
We hold monies belonging to or relating to our clients’ matters in a separate client account. The term ‘monies’ in this sense refers to all monies which may be accountable to interest in accordance with the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules 2011 and shall include monies received in respect of deposits in conveyancing matters. Subject to certain minimum amounts and periods of time set out in the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules, monies held by us on your behalf may earn interest. We shall account to you any interest when it is fair and reasonable to do so, however, please note that we may levy a charge for the administrational costs of calculating the interest, which can often be a complicated procedure and the cost of such may often exceed any interest sum due. The retention of interest by this firm will usually be treated as a full discharge of the safekeeping of holding such monies.
In any circumstance where interest is payable to you, it shall be calculated from the date the (cleared) monies were received to our client account until the date the monies were/are released.
29. Receipts and Payments
We accept the following methods of payment:
- Faster Payment
- Telegraphic Transfer (TT)
In common with most other solicitors, we charge a fee for transferring funds through the banking system. A charge will also be made where a charge credited to your account with us is dishonoured.
Where we are required to 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. We shall only ever pay money to our client(s) (or other person(s) on whose behalf the money is held).
Please note that rarely, but on occasions and without fault on our part, funds may not arrive from their source in time for an appointed day. This can lead to contractual liabilities for you, however, the firm cannot accept any responsibility for any problems that may consequently arise thereof. Where we can anticipate such problems we will let you know as soon as possible.
When you transfer or pay money into our bank account it is your responsibility to ensure that you use our correct bank details (name of account, account and sort code numbers). With the increased risk of criminal activity and in particular fraud, identity theft and cybercrime, we urge you to be very vigilant. We do not accept any liability for any delays or loss in relation to transfers and/or payments made by you into our bank account. Please note that Laurus Law’s bank account details will not change during the course of a transaction
In accordance with our normal practice, where we are in possession of any monies due to you, we would expect to deduct any costs, disbursements and expenses owed in respect of the relevant matter or any other matter belonging to you from such funds and your acceptance of these Terms shall be treated as sufficient authority for us to do so.
30. Cancellation; the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
In circumstances where the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”) apply to your matter, the following provisions regarding your right to cancel are applicable. If your Engagement Letter does not contain a cancellation form you can assume that the Regulations are not applicable to your retainer with us. If you are unsure as to whether the Regulations do apply, please telephone us and we will confirm the position.
If the Regulations do apply and if you decide you no longer wish to instruct the Firm to provide you with our services, then you have the right to cancel your contract with us, within 14 calendar days from the date we enter into the contract with you. You are not required to provide any reason, and will not incur any liability during the cancellation period. The cancellation period will expire after 14 calendar days from the day you receive your Engagement Letter. To exercise your right to cancel, you must inform the firm of your decision by providing us with your clear instructions that you no longer require us to act on your behalf and provide you with legal services.
To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired. Once notification to cancel has been received, we will acknowledge your request in writing. As soon as we receive formal notice from you of your intention to cancel the contract, within the relevant period, the contract, and any obligations on both parties to the contract, will come to an immediate end. You will not be charged for or receive any invoices or bills from us, if you choose to cancel within the 14-day period.
If you decide to cancel your contract with us, we will reimburse to you all payments received from you, where applicable. We will make the reimbursement without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel the contract. We will make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement.
If within the 14-day period you have expressly given us permission to commence work on your matter, then we reserve the right to render a fee, if applicable.
You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time. We may decide to stop acting for you but only ever when we have good reason to do so and where we have provided you with reasonable notice.
In the event of either party suspending or terminating instructions or work on your matter, we reserve the right to retain your file of papers, together with any other documents or property we may be holding on your behalf as a lien pending settlement of any outstanding costs, disbursements or expenses.
If you notify us that you no longer wish us to act on your behalf, there may be further work that we are required to carry out on your matter even though you have requested us to cease acting for you. In such circumstances, the time spent on the matter shall be kept to a minimum and you shall personally be liable for the costs we incur.
Please note, where we have stopped acting for you, you shall personally be liable for any outstanding costs, disbursements or expenses owed up until the date thereof and any work in progress costs shall be billed.
For the purposes of the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules, our qualifying insurers are QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited, who can be contacted via Griffiths & Armour Professional Risks, Drury House, 19 Water Street, Liverpool L2 0RL. The insurance covers our practice carried out from offices in England and Wales and will extend to acts or omissions wherever in the world they occur.
33. Limitation of Liability
Your relationship is solely with Laurus Law and Laurus Law has sole legal liability for the work done for you. No partner or member of staff at Laurus Law will have any personal legal liability for that work whether in contract, tort or negligence. Even if that individual signs in his or her own name any letter or other document in the course of carrying out that work, it does not mean he or she is assuming any personal legal liability for that letter or document.
As a client of our firm you have the benefit of our compulsory professional indemnity insurance identified in paragraph 32 above.
We will, when appropriate, and by giving written notice to you, limit our liability to the extent the law and our regulator allow. We will not accept liability for any consequential, special or indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses, or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities. We will not accept liability for delays or loss in relation to transfers and/or payments made by you into our bank account. Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the terms above.
34. Status Disclosure
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, we are included on the register maintained by the FCA which can be accessed at www.fca.org.uk. We are registered so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity which is broadly the advising on, and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the SRA. The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society of England & Wales. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If you are unhappy with any advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of those bodies. If you wish to raise a complaint, this should be done, initially, in accordance with our internal complaints handling procedure (please refer to paragraph 16 in these terms and conditions of business for further information), prior to being raised with the Legal Ombudsman.
35. Equality and Diversity
Laurus Law operates a policy of equality throughout the Firm and does not discriminate against any person on the grounds of sex, race, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, pregnancy, maternity or paternity, disability, age, religious or other beliefs. A copy of the policy operated by the Firm is available on request.
If any provision of our agreement with you is invalid or unenforceable for any reason, it will not affect the remainder of our agreement with you.
37. Force Majeure
It is understood and agreed that neither of us will be liable to the other for any delay or failure to fulfil obligations caused by circumstances outside our reasonable control.
38. Governing Law and Disputes
The contract between you and Laurus Law is deemed to be made in England and is governed by English law. Unless any alternative dispute resolution procedure is agreed with you from time to time, any dispute between Laurus Law and you shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.