Terms of Business
Commercial Terms of Business
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HQ Law Limited – Commercial Terms of Business 2020
This document confirms the arrangement between HQ Law Limited and the client. Although your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to acceptance of these Terms of Business, we ask that you sign, date and return one copy for our file. Unless otherwise agreed, these Terms of Business will apply to all future instructions you give us on any matter.
Business Hours and Contact Information
We are open between 09:30am and 17:30pm, Monday to Friday. We are not open bank holidays as defined under UK Law. The main contact number of the company is 01293 734592. For general inquiries, the best email address to use is email@example.com.
Our Responsibilities and Services
HQ Law Limited is a limited company providing legal advice and services and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). We will update you regularly by telephone or in writing with progress on your matter in plain language. We will explain to you the legal work required as your matter progresses. We will update you on the cost of your matter regularly and if there is a material change in circumstances, and whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks. We will update you on timescales where possible. We will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded. Unless we have current and/or specific instructions from you in writing to review the law and report to you from time to time or to deal with the matters in question immediately prior to a critical date, we will not remind you of changes in the law which might affect you or future critical dates.
Documents or Information
We use your information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including, updating and enhancing client record, analysis to help manage our practice, statutory returns and legal and regulatory compliance. Our use of that information to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality. Our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. You have a right under data protection legislation to access personal data that we hold about you. We will keep our file of your papers for up to 6 years, except those papers that you ask to be returned to you. Files retained by us will be destroyed 6 years after the date of the final bill. We will not destroy documents you specifically ask us to deposit in safe custody. If we take documents or papers out of storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we may charge for such retrieval. We may charge you for both the time spent producing stored papers that are requested and reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers.
You will provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions, provide all documentation and information that we reasonably request in a timely manner, safeguard any documents that may be required for your matter, including documents that you may have to disclose to another party, and pay our bills upon receipt of an invoice. The client must at all times act in good faith and honestly throughout the progression of their matter. Failure to comply with any of your obligations may result in HQ Law Limited ceasing to act for you, due to a need to uphold its standards and obligations to professional conduct. HQ Law Limited has an overriding obligation to the court which cannot be compromised. This will not remove your obligation to pay bills already issued and work completed and to be billed.
Limit of Liability
Details of our professional indemnity insurance giving cover for claims against us can be inspected at our office or made available on request. Our maximum liability aggregate liability to you in this matter (excluding liability for death and personal injury caused by negligence) will be £3,000,000 including interest and costs. 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 profit or opportunity. HQ Law Limited is a limited company. Please ask if you would like us to explain the consequence of the this. No partner or member of staff will have any personal liability for work undertaken for you. It should be understood that there is an inherent risk that any litigation or dispute may not be resolved in your favour. The reason for this can be outside the control of us or yourselves. In such circumstances, the firm cannot be held responsible for any loss that may be suffered as a result thereof.
Payment of Interest on Client Money held by HQ Law Limited.
We are not required to pay to you any interest on money held for you in our client account unless the amount of interest accrued exceeds the sum of £100 in any calendar year.
Information and documentation, you provide us is confidential and subject to legal professional privilege unless stated otherwise in this document or our letter confirming your instructions. We cannot absolutely guarantee the security of information communicated by email or mobile phone. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, you consent for us to use these methods of communication.
Termination your Instructions
You may terminate your instructions to us at any time by giving us a week’s notice in writing of you intention to do so. HQ Law Limited may keep all of your papers and documents while our charges and disbursements are outstanding.
The firm is entitled to determine this agreement for a ‘good reason’, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing we shall be entitled to terminate the agreement if you instruct us to take any course of action which we advise is inappropriate, you decline to accept our advice, we consider that the potential outcome does not justify the expense being incurred or that it is not in your best interests for us to continue to act, or you are in breach of any of the responsibilities listed in the section Your Responsibilities; or you make unwarranted complaints about the firm or the level of service or it is evident to us that the necessary mutual trust and confidence no longer subsists. Further, we may terminate this agreement in the event of any of our accounts being outstanding for longer than is permitted by the Our Bills. We will give you such notice as is reasonable in the circumstances to determine this agreement, but such notice shall be no longer than 28 days. We shall have no liability to undertake any work or actions on your behalf once the period of notice has terminated. We will release papers relating to your matter once all fees for which you have become liable have been paid by means of cleared funds. If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, you are liable to pay our charges up until that point.
For the avoidance of doubt, the following non-exhaustive list are examples of ‘good reasons’ which warrant determination of this agreement:
- Instructing HQ Law Limited to take action before a relevant deadline has passed;
- Instructing HQ Law Limited to provide false, misleading or disingenuous, documents or information;
- Instructing HQ Law Limited to pursue a remedy in the courts or by another method, despite the fact the client has been advised the remedy is inappropriate;
- Instructing HQ Law Limited to discriminate against other legal professionals or when suggesting other professionals who may aid the client;
- Conduct by the client which leads HQ Law Limited to believe that a claim or matter is not genuine.
Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
The law requires solicitors to give evidence of the identity of their clients and sometimes people related to them due to the risk of wanting to launder money through solicitor accounts. We need evidence of your identity as soon as possible. Our practice is to examine your passport or driving licence and a utility bill. If you cannot provide us with the identification requested, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss other ways to verify your identity. We may be required by law to make a disclosure to the Serious Organised Crime Agency where we know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure, we may not be able to tell you. We may be required to stop working on your matter, and cannot inform you why.
If unhappy about any aspect of the service or about the bill, please contact Chris Hough on 01293 734592 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to our registered office. Our complaints policy details how we handle complaints and is available upon your written request. We have 8 weeks to consider the complaint. If the complaint is not resolved within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ Tel: 0300 555 0333. Normally, you need to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving our final written response or within 6 years of the act or omission which you are complaining occurred (or if outside of this period, within 3 years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it).
Unless agreed otherwise, you are liable to pay our fees based on £275 per hour for a senior solicitor; £170 per hour for a qualified solicitor; and £125 per hour for other staff together with disbursements: all hourly rates are plus VAT as are disbursements where applicable. We may deliver monthly on-account bills to you to be paid within 14 days. We do not accept cash. We may charge additional fees on overdue bills in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998. Where an interim on-account bill remains unpaid after 30 days or if our reasonable request of payment on account of costs is not met, these shall be considered ‘good reasons, for use to terminate our agreement with you. You have the right to challenge or complain about our bill. Please see Complains section above. The procedure for challenging a bill varies depending on whether it relates to a matter involving court proceedings. You may apply to the High Court within 28 days of the issue of one of bills for it to be assessed, and 28 days has elapsed you must first make an application to the court asking for leave to have the bill assessed. A final bill will be delivered at the conclusion of the matter or earlier if agreed.
Insurance Distribution Activity and Investment Advice Services
We are not authorised to provide advice by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We are on the register maintained by the FCA, meaning we may carry on insurance distribution activity, which includes broadly advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. Where we do not have the relevant expertise, we will seek the advice of a regulated insurance broker. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The register can be accessed via FCA website at https://register.fca.org.uk/. The Law Society of England and Wales is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns either of those bodies.
Regulated Services and Company Information
HQ Law Limited is a registered company in England and Wales with its registered address at Unit 6C Lyons Farm Estates, Lyons Farm, Slinfold, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 0QP. The Director is C.J Hough, and the company number is 10070811. HQ Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Ipsley Court, Berrington Close, Redditch, B98 0TD. This means that we are governed by a Code of Conduct and other professional rules, which you can access on the SRA’s website www.sra.org.uk or by calling 0870 606 2555.
These Terms of Business are governed by the law of England and Wales. The English and Welsh courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction. Any failure to enforce at any time one or more of these Terms of Business shall not be a waiver of them or the right at any time to subsequently enforce all applicable Terms of business.