Terms and Conditions
Our Aim and Our values.
Our aims are to be client focused, provide you with straight forward, transparent, honest and consistent legal advice, to be cost transparent and to listen to our clients’.
Our Commitment To You.
To treat you fairly, be inclusive and listen to you from the start of instructions (also see our Equality and Diversity Policy). A hard copy can be requested by you.
From the onset to provide you with straight forward advice for you to be informed as to the best and most proportionate way to proceed given your circumstances. From the beginning we will be transparent in our relation to costs and as your matter progresses update you in relation to on going costs.
We will be confidential.
We will give our advice in a straight forward manner.
We will explain to you the legal work that will be required and the prospects of a successful outcome.
We will inform you of likely timescales for each stage of your matter and of any important changes in relation to those timescales.
You will be regularly but proportionally informed of progress on your matter.
Your queries will be dealt with promptly. It is our aim to return telephone calls on the same day this may be out of office hours so please do let us know if you do not want to be contacted after 5pm.
Hours of business
Our hours of business are between 8:30 am and 5pm on weekdays. We have a telephone message service where you can leave message for us outside these times.
We can undertake home visits for wills probates and Lasting Powers of Attorney during and out of these hours if required. There is no additional charge for such home visits in Hethersett, Watton, Wymondham or surrounding areas within a 5 mile radius of the office at 41 Great Melton Road Hethersett
We hope that our work for you will be handled to your satisfaction however if you do have a complaint please raise it with the person in charge of your work immediately. They will then investigate your concerns and endeavour to resolve any issues as soon as possible. In the event you do not feel a resolution has occurred please contact our Principal Solicitor Salena Dawson, or at email@example.com, who will seek to resolve the matter in line with our complaints procedure.
If you are not satisfied with our handling of the complaint and you are a member of the public, trader or a charity club or trust you can ask the legal ombudsman at P.O. box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ to consider your complaint. You will have six months from the date of our final decision letter to raise a complaint with the Legal Ombudsman. Further details can be found at the legal ombudsman website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk .
If you have a complaint about your bill and the matter cannot be resolved between you and the firm you may have the right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Office of Legal Complaints and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under part of 3 III of the solicitors 1974 and you will not be charged for the cost of this firm handling a complaint.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Our professional identify insurers are Aon. If you require details of our professional indemnity insurance, then please contact the Principle Solicitor Salena Dawson, or at firstname.lastname@example.org . We confirm our liability to you for a negligence of breach of your instruction is limited to £2 million.
Charges and Expenses
We will provide to you details of your costs in a letter called “Terms of Engagement” which is sent to you after receiving your initial instructions. This letter is also known as the “Client Care letter” A legal adviser will endeavour to send out that correspondence within 48 working hours of receiving your initial instructions.
We will provide you with details of our indicative costs with a sensible estimate if there are changes to this cost estimate then you will be notified as to the full reasons why and be given an opportunity to agree further works that are undertaken.
We will review whether there are alternative methods in which your matter may be funded. Dawsons Law is a private client firm however we will advise you if public funding is available and will make suggestions of alternative firms who may offer such funding otherwise known as Legal Aid. We will give a general assessment as to whether or not you may be entitled to public funding and sign post you to local firms who we believe may provide public funding please note this sign posting does not indorse the quality of the legal advice (within the suggested firms).
If we have quoted you a fixed fee and you have asked us to carry out additional works which are not covered by the quotation or unforeseen circumstances arise or your requirements or circumstances change significantly this will usually result in additional charges. We will seek to agree an amended fee with you. However, if such agreement cannot be reached then we will not do any further work and we will charge you a fair proportion of the agreed fixed fee.
From time to time, Dawsons Law may offer free appointments for family or Employment (employee only) matters. These will be in allocated weekly slots.
Certain matters such as Employment Law you may be entitled to have the matter conducted on a Damage Based Agreement (no win no fee). Each case will be assessed upon its merits.
We will discuss with you if you have legal expense insurance which may pay partly or wholly for your legal fees. We will advise as to the likelihood of you securing legal costs from an opponent authored party (this depend upon matter).
Our charges will be calculated on the time spent on your matter. Time includes meetings with you, meetings with other parties upon your behalf, reading and working on papers, letters and emails sent and received, telephone calls, attending Court or Tribunal and preparation of costs calculations and travel time away from the office when this is necessary. From time to time, the work may be conducted on your file by another person at Dawsons Law. You will be advised on that person’s hourly rate within your client care letter.
Each letter and email sent are charged as a six-minute unit of time and we try and charge for the time spent on making telephone calls in six-minute units. From time to time there will be consideration of more lengthy correspondents or the preparation thereof. Such correspondence will be charged at time spent on consideration or preparation.
We may have to pay out various disbursements upon your behalf. We have no obligation to make such payments unless you have provided us with funds. Disbursements may include Court fees, Land Registry charges, photocopying costs, mileage, car-parking fees. Some disbursements may have VAT attributed to them we will advise you accordingly.
If your matter is being conducted on a fixed fee basis we will advise you within your client care letter as to the amount to be placed upon your Client Account. We will only conduct work upon your behalf once clear funds have been received.
For matters conducted on an hourly basis we will bill for work conducted each calendar month. Payment is required within fourteen days or prior to your next attendance or with the person dealing with your matter (which ever the sooner). If the payment has not received by the sooner point work will cease upon your file until full payment of the invoice has been received.
When dealing with Administration of an Estate, we will submit an interim bill at regular stages, usually quarterly during the administration starting with obtaining the Grant of Administration or our confirmation to you a Grant is not required. The final account will be prepared when the estate accounts are ready for approval or upon the last beneficiary or liability payment being administered from the estate funds.
In certain circumstances, for matrimonial matters we will accept a standing order with final payment being made from the Matrimonial Settlement. The solicitor dealing with the matter will discuss this payment method matter with you and will advise within your client care letter as to the required monthly payments. If you miss a payment, for whatever the reason, the full amount owed to the firm will become immediately due. No further works will be conducted until full payment is made by you.
Payment of Invoices are due to us within fourteen days of the date of the Invoice. Interest will be charged at a daily rate at 4% over Lloyds Bank base rate (as in existence from time to time) at the date the bill was rendered to where payment is not made within the fourteen days of delivery by us of the bill.
We are entitled to retain any money, papers or any property belonging to you which has properly come into our possession pending payment of our costs, whether or not such property is acquired in connection with the matter for which our costs incurred. This is known as a general lien. We are not entitled to sell property held under a lean however, we are entitled to hold such property other than money even if the value of it greatly exceeds the amount due to us in respect to the costs.
We accept payment of our fees by cash (not exceeding £500.00), cheque, debit and credit cards, made either direct at the office or via telephone. VAT payments account details will be included upon all invoices rendered to you.
We do not accept your account details via email and we do not accept any changes to your account details via email.
If we are due to pay moneys to you from the Client Account we require from you a copy of your bank statement showing your sort code and account number. Moneys will only be paid into that account. In the event that you cannot physically bring in a bank statement to us we will request a certified copy is provided.
Our VAT registration number is 940 6655 15.
Other parties’ charges and expenses
In some matters, you may be entitled to the payment of costs by a third party. However there may be circumstances where other person may not be required to pay ALL the charges and expenses which you incur with us. You will be required to pay our charges and expenses in first place and any amount which can be recovered by the third party will be a contribution towards them.
If the other party is in receipt of public funding no costs are likely to be recovered.
You should note that the other person (unless insured) may not be capable of paying whatever costs he or she has been ordered to pay you.
The third party will not be liable to pay the VAT element of your costs if you were able to recover the VAT yourself.
If you are successful with your claim and the court orders that another party is required to pay some, or all of your charges and expenses interest can be claimed from the other party from the date of the court order. We will account to you for such interest to the extent that you have paid our charges or expenses of any account, but we are entitled to retain the rest of that interest.
Please note if you require our services for enforcing the costs order there will be additional charges and you will be provided with an updated Client Care advising you of ongoing costs
If you are unsuccessful in a court case, you may be ordered to pay the other party for their legal charges and expenses. This money would be payable in addition for your liability to pay our charges and expenses.
There are circumstances where insurance may be taken out to cover costs liability such as legal expenses if you believe you hold a legal expense insurance which will cover third party legal charges and expenses along with ours please advise from the onset of your claim.
Equality and diversity
We are committed to providing equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients third parties and employees.
Please refer to our equality and diversity policy.
Money Laundering and Confidentiality.
We are required to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and at times the people related to them. To comply with statutory requirements, we will request from you evidence of your identity as soon as practicable. You will be advised upon making your first appointment to bring with you proof of your ID. This should contain a photograph showing a true likeness of you, either being a driver’s licence or passport.
We will also require evidence of where you live being a recent utility bill or bank statement. If you do not bring this along to your first appointment, we will remind you within our Client Care correspondence to you. However, we will not be able to take works until we are provided with satisfactory identification.
We confirm that this firm’s money laundering compliancy officer is David Howell.
We are under a professional a legal obligation to keep your affairs confidential. However, we may be required by statute to make discloser to the national crime agency where we know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in respect of your matter, we will not be able to tell you that the disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.
We will not be liable for any loss damage or delay arising out of our firm’s compliance with any statuary regulatory requirements.
Financial arrangements between you and us
We will not accept payment in cash from anybody else but you of any sum or sums exceeding £500.00 during the course of your matter. Except for payment of your own legal costs and disbursements.
Upon conclusion of your matter any moneys due to you will be paid by cheque or bank transfer such monies will not be paid to a third party (please see above in relation to our policies regarding the requirement of bank statements and not accepting account numbers via emails).
Communication between us
If instructed by you, we will correspond with you via email. We however, will not open attachments that you send if we reasonably believe they could cause harm to our systems i.e. virus.
We do not except for any reason what so ever service by way of email.
Any money received on your behalf will be held in our client account. Interest will be calculated in accordance with our interest policy.
Tax or financial advice
Any work we take for you may involve tax or financial implications. We are not financial advisors and we are not regulated to provide tax or financial advice. If we identify that you require tax or financial advice, we will inform you of the need to gain such advice and if requested by you can sign post you on to local financial advisors, of whom we are aware. Please note we do not endorse the advice given and make no warranties as to appropriateness of the advice given to you.
Instructions from limited companies or partnerships
When accepting instructions to act on behalf of the Limited Company or Partnership, we will require a direct or controlling Shareholder or Partner to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect to the charges and expenses of this firm. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and require immediate payment of our charges and expenses as set out in our client care letter.
If you instruct us on behalf of the partnership or company, we will assume that we are entitled to take instructions from any partner director or company secretary unless you inform us in writing that we may not do so.
If we receive conflicting instructions from directors, we will write to all directors informing them and request one spokesperson from the company to be our primary contact and provide instructions to us.
Documents we prepare for you belong to us and you are licensed to use them only for the purpose that which they were prepared.
Please note that any documents we prepare for you and are amended by you are not covered under the fixed fee arrangement and therefore if you require advice and assistance in relation that to the amendments additions you have made without our input and additional charge may be payable to you. Please not that there may be changes to documentation that you may make of your own fusion and without our approval will be redeemed as work undertaken by us and therefore will not be covered under our professional indemnity for any damages that may occur to you in the use of the document.
Your right to cancel instructions
If you are a private client and not a business client, you have the right to cancel your instructions due to certain circumstances.
If we have met, you in a place other than Dawsons Law premises and the consumer contracts regulations 2013 apply. You would therefore have the right to cancel your instructions to us within fourteen working days of either your receipt of your client care letter (where we have not met) or within fourteen days of our meeting (within the office premises). You can cancel your instructions to us by contacting by post or email.
If you want us to commence work within the fourteen-day period, please let us have a full written confirmation by post or email. We will take your post or signing and returning of the client care letter within the fourteen days period to be your expressed request for us to commence work before the expiration of the fourteen say calling off period.
If you have instructed us to start immediately and then decide to end your instruction before the calling off period, you will be charged for any work undertaken upon your behalf and any disbursements paid out on your behalf prior to receipt of such cancellation.
If you can sort this contact, we will reimburse to you all payments received by you minus any payments owed to us under the above.