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 two branch offices located at 23 Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DU and 16A The Square, London Road, Holmes Chapel, CW4 7AB. 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.
Interest on all cleared client funds will be paid, calculated at the rate at which the firm is paid by its bankers, during the matter: this is subject to a de-minimus of £20.00, below which no interest is payable.
If you fail to pay our bill within 30 days of its issue, we may charge interest at 8% plus the Bank of England base rate.
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.
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.
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.
We are legally obliged to comply with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and as such are required to check the identity and address of all clients. Dependent upon your legal matter, you will be asked to provide identification documentation and/or permission to verify your identity through online credit checking agencies.
Please note that we cannot proceed with your matter until your identification has been verified.
Please note that any information you provide to us for the purposes of preventing money laundering or terrorist financing will only be processed for that purpose unless you give us your consent to use it for other purposes or it is permitted by law. Our Data Protection Director (DPD) is Rachel Stow.
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.
It is the policy of the firm to only accept cash up to £500. 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. Such charges are not subject to the CFA or overall cap.
Where we have 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 operate a money laundering reporting procedure to assist the authorities with the eradication of money laundering, tax evasion and 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. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we will not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter and may not be able to tell you why. By confirming our instruction to act, you will be providing us with express authority to carry out 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 owe you a duty of confidentiality and anything you tell us is confidential. This applies to most client information. However, we trust that you are aware that our duty of confidentiality may need to be overridden in exceptional circumstances. Specifically, where we have reason to believe a crime is about to be committed, if the Proceeds of Crime Act or Money Laundering Regulations apply, where required by other Order, Statute or Law or ordered by the Court.
In order to progress your claim, we will be required to collect and process your personal data and some more sensitive personal data. Please read our Privacy Notice HERE, which covers this and your rights.
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 an outsourcing agreement, which covers confidentiality, 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 where appropriate providers of After the Event insurance. These external auditors are required to maintain confidentiality. If you do not consent to these inspections, you must clearly tell us in writing. Nothing 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 subject to our ability to so, notify you when such requirement to disclose has arisen.
We record our calls for your protection.
We are entitled to keep all your papers and documents whilst there is money owed to us for fees and expenses. We will keep the file for as long as we are required and in line with our data retention periods. Our retention periods differ dependent upon the type of legal matter and the details for which can be found within your Client Care Letter and/or Terms of Business, under the heading ‘File Retention’.
Any original documents provided throughout your claim will be returned to you once they have been scanned onto our electronic system or upon conclusion of the matter.
For the retrieval of your file from archive, we may charge you for time spent producing stored papers that are requested. Further, we may also charge for reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers. We will exercise the right to retain some documents in line with the proprietary rights of documents. We can provide further detail regarding the class of documents if you require the same.
If we take papers or documents out of storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we will not normally charge for such retrieval.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service and we hope we will meet your expectations of us. However, if a problem arises we need you to tell us about it. In the first instance your file handler or their supervisor may be able to resolve the matter for you informally. However, if you wish to make a formal complaint please contact our Compliance Department on 01625 503444 or email [email protected]. Our complaints procedure can be downloaded from our website. Alternatively, a copy will be provided upon request.
You should allow us 8 weeks to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. If we have not resolved it within this time or you are not satisfied with the outcome you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman who can be contacted in writing to PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, by phone on 0300 555 0333 or by E-mail on [email protected]. Full details can be found on the LeO website www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Normally you will need to take your complaint to the LeO within six months of receiving a final written response from us 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). However, it should be noted that some clients may not have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. For example: businesses, charities and/or clubs with a turnover of more than £2,000,000.
If your complaint is in respect of our fees, you also have the right to challenge the fees by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
If you are a client and we have made a contract with you by electronic means you may be entitled to use an EU online dispute resolution service to assist with any contractual dispute you may have with us. This service can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/odr.
If during this transaction you require advice on investments, we may have to advise you to seek the same from 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. We are permitted to advise on and arrange non-investment insurance policies. We do not conduct an analysis of the insurance market.
Our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to £10 million, unless we expressly state a higher amount in the letter accompanying these terms. 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.