In these terms, the following words shall have the meanings below:
“Services” – acting on your behalf in relation to the legal services that we provide to you;
“Terms” – these Terms & Conditions of Business;
“We”, “Us”, “Our” – Thorneycroft Solicitors Limited; and “You”, “Your” – (client) We will give your work proper and professional skill, care and attention in accordance with these terms and with the rules and regulations of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the governing body of solicitors) which can be accessed at www.sra.org.uk/code-of-conduct.page.
We will provide Services on the terms set out below which form part of our client care pack which includes our Initial Letter to you, an Information Schedule and Conditional Fee Agreement (if applicable) which form the basis of our retainer and contract with you.
Our head office is located at Bridge Street Mills, Bridge Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6QA. We also have a branch office located at 23 Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DU. Normal hours of opening are between 9.00am and 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Friday and 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Appointments can be arranged outside these hours when essential. We are open during the lunch hour, but the person you wish to speak to may not be available between 12:00pm and 2:00pm.
Information in relation to the person who has conduct and overall supervision of your claim is set out in the Information Schedule or Initial Letter which will be updated as and when appropriate throughout your claim.
All our employees should meet certain standards with regard to client care. These standards include:
We will keep you updated of all developments throughout your claim and advise you of any important matters that could affect the outcome of your matter.
We will inform you about the progress of your claim at appropriate intervals.
We will write to you using plain language.
If it is necessary for you to come into our office, an appointment will be given to you as soon as is practicable.
We will advise you of any relevant changes in the law.
You will provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions. You will provide requested documentation pertaining to the matter in a timely manner.
You will safeguard any documents that are likely to be required for disclosure to the other side.
You will not ask us to work in an improper or unreasonable way;
You will observe the utmost good faith in all your dealings with us, disclosing all information relevant to your claim, and never providing us with information which is misleading or untrue;
You will co-operate with us;
You will go to any expert examination or court hearing;
You will provide us with all reasonable assistance to recover costs from your opponent.
Our charges are calculated in accordance with the information provided in the Information Schedule and/or our initial client care letter under the Section ‘Our Agreement with you for Funding your Claim’ and the remaining clauses of this Section of our Terms.
Our estimate of the costs and disbursements and our hourly rates are set out in the Information Schedule or initial client care letter. This will be updated throughout your claim as and when appropriate. We review the hourly rate 3rd January each year and we will notify you of any change in the rate in writing.
Basic Charges are calculated for each hour (or part thereof) in six-minute units. Routine letters and telephone calls will be charged as units of one-tenth of an hour. Other letters and telephone calls will be charged on a time basis. There will be no charge for short incoming letters, but longer incoming letters will be charged on a time basis.
You are always responsible for our fees and will be ultimately responsible for them if they are not recoverable from the opponent or covered by an insurance policy.
In the unlikely event you wish to change solicitors, your file will be transferred only on receipt of a valid solicitor’s undertaking to pay our costs and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of our Agreement with you.
Money held by us for you, whether on account or otherwise, will be held according to the Solicitors Account Rules in a client account. We will calculate interest at a fair and reasonable rate taking account of the prevailing rates of interest and if the calculated amount of interest exceeds £20 we will account to you for it.
We will only hold such money on your behalf in accordance with your instructions and/or any written terms of agreement between us.
If you fail to pay any of the fees due to us and in respect of which we have sent you an invoice, we will charge simple interest on the unpaid amount at a rate of 8% per annum, starting from the 31st day after the date of the date of our invoice.
We will communicate with you by any method which you specifically request, failing which by any method we consider appropriate. We may need to check discs and e-mails for viruses. When we consider it appropriate, we will communicate with others by fax and e-mail as appropriate on your behalf unless you inform us that you do not wish us to do so.
We cannot accept responsibility for the security of correspondence sent by e-mail or fax.
On occasion we may use the services of Complete Medical Services Ltd. (‘’CMSL’’) to obtain the medical reports we need, and United Assistance Limited (‘’UAL’’) to provide hire cars for those who need them.
CMSL, which is owned exclusively by family members of the directors in this firm, is also able to help with your rehabilitation, providing physiotherapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy treatment, where appropriate.
UAL is part owned by the senior partner Mr. Thorneycroft.
As a firm of Solicitors, we have a professional duty to act in your best interests at all times and to give you independent advice. Any relationship with these companies will not affect this duty or our independence.
Due to the criminal sanctions now imposed by the government on law firms for failing to report suspicions of money laundering, we are required to check the identity of all Clients and are therefore bound to refuse to act for you if you fail to supply appropriate proof of identity for you or for any principal whom you may represent. Where the necessary evidence is not produced we will be unable to act for you further. By signing these terms and returning them to us, you authorise us to complete Sanction and Client Identity checks on you including obtaining electronic verification, if necessary.
From time to time we may provide evidence of your identity or the identity of other connected parties so that we may comply with our obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). If you fail to comply with your obligation to provide evidence of identity or we suspect that you or any other party connected with you is involved in activities proscribed by POCA then we may terminate the provision of any service to you, or be instructed to do so by the relevant authorities.
Our policy is not to accept cash from clients. If you circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge you for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of funds.
We operate a money laundering reporting procedure as under legislation we are bound to assist the authorities with the eradication of money laundering, tax evasion an
d proceeds of serious crime. In certain circumstances, information will be revealed by us to the appropriate authorities in relation to any suspicion of money laundering. We may need you to provide us with additional information in relation to the source of any monies provided by you or how a business, company or trust is funded. We are also under an obligation to report, without telling you, any activities that we suspect may involve proceeds of crime. This may result in us being unable to undertake any further work for you until consent to proceed has been issued. By confirming our instruction to act for you, you will be providing us with express authority to carry out such a notification and compile a report for the relevant authority should we feel it necessary to do so. This will not be deemed to be a breach of our duty of confidentiality to you.
We may use your personal information together with other information, for providing legal services, marketing, administration and training. We may also keep your information for a reasonable period for marketing purposes in order to contact you about our services, though you may decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive marketing material. If you give us information about another individual for business purposes, you do so on the basis that the individual has agreed, and has consented to the processing of his or her personal data including sensitive personal data.
In order to provide our Clients with the best possible advice, we may keep a copy of any Counsel’s opinion obtained on your behalf along with details of advice given. All references to you or any other party relating to your claim will be removed from such documents. The use of this information will not breach any obligations of confidentiality which we have with you or any provisions of the data protection legislation.
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services for you and for related purposes including:
Carrying out financial status checks and updating and enhancing records your records
We may from time to time send you information that we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information please notify our office in writing.
At the end of your claim our paper file and all original documents received will be transferred to an archiving/storage facility where it will be held for not less than six years before being destroyed. If you require any original documents, please notify us prior to your claim being concluded so that we can arrange to send this to you for safe keeping. All items of outgoing correspondence and file records which are held within our computerised case management system will be transferred to our archive database upon conclusion of your claim.
If you require us to retrieve a file from our archives, whether our archived database, in paper format or the actual file itself after conclusion of your claim, we will charge you £80 for this facility.
Thorneycroft Solicitors is committed to providing high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of our service or about your bill please contact our Client Care Manager on 01625 503444. We value our clients and take complaints very seriously. We will provide you will full details of our complaints procedure on request.
We have 8 weeks to consider and resolve your complaint. If we do not resolve the complaint within this timescale or if at the conclusion of our complaints handling procedures you are not satisfied with the outcome you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO). Normally you will need to take your complaint to the LeO 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 within three years of you becoming aware of it). The address of the LeO is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, telephone number 0300 555 0333. Alternatively you can e-mail on [email protected] Full details can be found on the LeO website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
You may also challenge your bill and can apply for assessment of your bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. This process is called ‘detailed assessment’ and it is subject to time limits and other special rules. Where you have applied to the court for detailed assessment, the LeO may not consider a complaint about our charges.
If during this transaction you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, as we are not. However, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we may be able to provide certain limited investment services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you.
Under authorisation from the FCA, we are permitted to advise on and arrange non-investment insurance policies, specifically After the Event (ATE) insurance for which we currently recommend products from several insurers but the product recommended will probably be provided by one of the companies with whom we have made contractual arrangements. We do not conduct an analysis of the insurance market.
Sometimes we ask other companies or people to do typing/photocopying or other work on our files to ensure this is done promptly. We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with these outsourced providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.
Your file may be examined by external auditors, including your insurance funders. If you do not consent to these inspections, you must clearly tell us in writing. Nothing in this clause will preclude inspection of your file by any government or regulatory authority entitled by law to inspection of the same, or which is required by law to be disclosed by us, provided that, where permissible, we will notify you when such requirement to disclose has arisen.
Our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to £3 million, unless we expressly state a higher amount in the letter accompanying these terms of business. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses, or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities. We will not be liable for services or advice given by third parties whom we instruct on your behalf including, without limitation, legal or other professional advisers. We shall not be liable for any failure to fulfil our obligations caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control.
We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or fraud.
Any monies that we hold for you or on your behalf, whether in your name or our name or joint with any other person, firm or company and whether or not mixed with other client monies, shall be held by us as agent for you and otherwise in accordance with your instructions, and you accept that provided we comply in all material respects with the requirements of the Solicitors’ Accounts rules in relation to such monies, we shall have no liability to you in respect of any loss of any such monies in the event of the insolvency or other failure of any bank at which such monies may be held.
Our professional indemnity insurance has worldwide coverage excluding USA and Canada and is with AIG Europe Limited, The AIG Building, 58 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4AB.
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealing with clients, third parties and employees. Please let us know if you would like a copy of our policy.