conveyancing, house purchase and houes sale, home information packs by GB Solicitors of Fareham Hampshireproperty purchase and property sale, conveyancing and home information packs - GB Solicitors, Fareham Hants

 

Terms of Business (2011 edition)

1.

Interpretation

1.1

In these Terms of Business the following words and phrases have the meaning set out below:
"Accounts Rules" means the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 or any later rules replacing or amending them
"Solicitors" means the legal practice of GB Solicitors Ltd and any successor practice

1.2

Whenever the Client consists of more than one individual or organisation any obligations or responsibilities of the Client are obligations and responsibilities of those persons or organisations separately all together or in any combination

2.

Engagement of Solicitor

2.1

The Client agrees to employ the Solicitors to act as his solicitors in respect of the work for which the Solicitors are engaged in accordance with these Terms of Business

3.

Costs

3.1

The Solicitors estimated costs for work will be advised to the Client as soon as practicable. If additional work is requested by the Client which is not covered by the original estimate then the Solicitors are entitled to charge and be paid an additional amount to reflect the cost of the additional work. The Solicitors will provide an estimate of that additional cost as soon as practicable

3.2

If any transaction is not completed the Solicitors shall be entitled to charge payment by reference to the amount of work actually undertaken.

3.3

Any bill of costs may be issued to the Client at the clients last known address and will be treated as received by the Client two days after posting to that address

3.4

All estimates of costs exclude VAT which is payable in addition

4.

Disbursements

4.1

The Client agrees that the Solicitors may reclaim the cost of any disbursements incurred on behalf of the Client from any monies held for that Client whether in his sole name or jointly with any other person or organisation

5.

Methods of Payment

5.1

The Client agrees to make all payments to the solicitor in sufficient time to allow cleared funds to be available before the money needs to be used

5.2

In conveyancing transactions the Solicitors estimated fees and disbursements and all other necessary funds must be held by the Solicitors as cleared funds on or before the day of completion. In the absence of any such cleared funds the Solicitors will be entitled to refuse to act for the Client in completing the transaction

5.3

Personal cheques will be treated as cleared five working days after being made available for banking or, if later, when the Solicitors bank can confirm that the cheque has cleared

5.4

Cheques or drafts drawn by building societies or banks will be treated as cleared three working days after banking

5.5

Subject to any contrary written instructions from the Client all payments due to the Client from the Solicitors may be made by cheque drawn in favour of the Client and may be posted to the Client's last known address. If any cheque remains uncleared after a period of six months then the solicitors can charge the Client a sum (but not more than the value of the cheque) for the cost of tracing the uncleared cheque to the Client's matter and reviewing the matter to which the cheque related

6.

Banking and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

6.1

The Solicitors bank with National Westminster Bank plc and money held by the Solicitors on behalf of clients will be held in an account at that bank unless alternative arrangements have been indicated to the Client in writing.

6.2

Individuals and small businesses (but not larger businesses) may be entitled to the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for funds deposited in the Solicitors' client account as if the funds were deposited by the Client direct with National Westminster Bank plc. If the Client holds other money in any deposit taking institution covered by the same banking licence as National Westminster Bank plc then this may affect the entitlement of the Client to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

6.3

Where the Solicitors have complied with the requirements of the Solicitors Act 1974 in depositing funds in a client account at a bank or building society they will not be held responsible by the Client for any loss caused by or resulting from the collapse of the financial institution holding that money.

6.4

Where the Solicitors have provided a professional undertaking on behalf of the Client in reliance on funds held for that Client in a Solicitors' client account and the funds are not subsequently available to the Solicitors due to the collapse of the financial institution holding that money then the Client will as soon as reasonably practicable provide replacement funds to the Solicitors and compensate the Solicitors for any costs interest and other expenses that may have been incurred by the Solicitors in seeking to honour their professional undertaking in the absence of sufficient funds from the Client

7.

Trivial balances

7.1

The Client and Solicitors acknowledge that minor variations to payments can lead to the Solicitors having a credit or deficit in relation to transactions for the Client where it is not economic to pay or request the sum involved in view of the costs of postage and bank charges

7.2

The Solicitors agree not to claim payment from the Client for any balance less than £10 outstanding after completion of a transaction if the Client has fully paid the amounts previously requested by the Solicitors

7.3

The Client agrees that if the Solicitors are holding a credit not exceeding £10 following completion of a transaction then this balance may be treated as additional costs and taken by the Solicitors from the Solicitors client account in respect of costs

8.

Interest

8.1

The Solicitors agree to account to the Client for interest on cleared funds held by the Solicitors in their general client account when the total interest accruing exceeds a sum of £20 and interest is required to be paid under the Accounts Rules

8.2

The Solicitors will be entitled to deduct £15 plus VAT from any interest payable to the Client in connection with the costs involved in calculating and paying interest

9.

Stakeholder

9.1

Where the Solicitors are required or requested by any person to hold money as stakeholder for or on behalf of one or more persons then the Solicitors shall be entitled to retain any interest accruing on such funds (so far as this does not exceed a fair and reasonable sum for the Solicitors role and responsibilities as stakeholder) and treat this as additional costs due to the Solicitors

10.

Commissions

10.1

Occasionally work may lead to the Solicitors receiving a commission from an insurance company or similar organisation. Where appropriate the amount of any such commission will be disclosed to the Client in writing. The Solicitors general costs are calculated on the assumption that any such commissions will be retained and the Client agrees that any such commission may be retained by the Solicitors

11.

Insurance Contracts

11.1

The Solicitors are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority. However, the Solicitors are included on the register maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that they may carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. The register can be accessed via the Financial Services website at www.fsa.gov.uk/register. This part of the Solicitors’ business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority..

11.2

The Law Society of England and Wales is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society.

12.

Confidentiality

12.1

The Client acknowledges that the Solicitors must in handling the Client's affairs liaise with solicitors acting for other parties, estate agents, lenders and other people who may be directly or indirectly involved in the transaction and may be obliged to report aspects of a transaction to the appropriate authorities to comply with anti-money laundering regulations or to comply with other legislation.

12.2

The Client authorises the Solicitors to discuss the Client's affairs by telephone or in writing (including post, fax and email) with any other person or professional where the Solicitors believe it to be appropriate

12.3

Unless in all the circumstances it is or appears to be appropriate or reasonable to divulge information the Client's affairs should remain confidential

12.4

In connection with any bank or building society loan, whether it is to be secured on a property or not, the Client authorises the Solicitors to disclose any aspect of the transaction or the Client's circumstances to the bank or building society whenever required according to normal conveyancing practice, the specific instructions of the lender or where the Solicitors believe that it is or may be appropriate in view of the Solicitors responsibilities to the bank or building society

13.

Data Protection - Deeds, Wills and files of paper

13.1

The Solicitors and Client acknowledge that it is a principle of the Data Protection Act 1998 that data shall not be kept for longer than is necessary. In pursuance of that principle the Client authorises the Solicitors to destroy any paperwork whenever the Solicitors have reasonable cause to believe that it is no longer necessary for the data to be kept

13.2

The Solicitors will retain any original will or deeds left or deposited with them until either the document ceases to be effective or is requested by the Client

13.3

The Solicitors may destroy their file of papers and records relating to the current transaction or any previous transaction for the client at any time after the expiry of 3 years from the date of completion of the transaction. After the expiry of that period any papers that have not been destroyed shall be treated for all purposes as the Solicitors own papers and may be retained or destroyed at the Solicitors discretion

13.4

The Solicitors are entitled to charge for reviewing any old file and for copying documents from it.

13.5

The Solicitors shall be entitled to withhold any papers or deeds from the Client whilst any payment due from the Client to the Solicitors remains unpaid

13.6

In connection with Client's affairs involving the creation, repayment or variation of any mortgage the Solicitors are irrevocably instructed by the Client to withhold from the Client the file of papers relating to that transaction provided that the Solicitors may release the file of papers to the Client if authorised in writing to do so by the mortgage lender concerned before the expiry of three years from the date of completion of the transaction

14.

Complaints

14.1

The Solicitors aim to provide a highly competitive and effective legal service. It is recognised that sometimes a Client may not be satisfied and for these situations the Solicitors operate a complaints procedure. Details of this procedure are available on request.

14.2

In the event of a problem a Client is entitled to complain. This could include a complaint about the Solicitors' bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Services Ombudsman and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors' Act 1974. If all or part of the Solicitors' bill remains unpaid the Solicitors may be entitled to charge interest.

14.3

Any complaint should be made initially in writing addressed to the fee earner handling the matter to which the complaint relates or, if the Client prefers, addressed to the Managing Director at any office of the Solicitors.

15.

Equality and Diversity

15.1

The Solicitors follow a strict Equality and Diversity policy which requires us not to discriminate in our dealings with clients, staff and third parties. We will be pleased to provide a copy of our policy upon request.

16.

Indemnity Insurance

16.1

The Solicitors are obliged to put in place professional indemnity insurance to cover the legal advice that they provide. Cover is renewed each year and the applicable insurer may change from year to year. Details of the current insurer are available on request from the Solicitors.

17.

Professional Rules and Code of Conduct

17.1

The Solicitors are bound by the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2007 which is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Solicitors' Code of Conduct is available on the Solicitors Regulation Authority's website (www.sra.org.uk).

18.

Applicable Law

18.1

These Terms of Business and all other express terms of the contract shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales

18.2

No person or party is to gain any right or benefit whatsoever under the contract between the Solicitors and Client save for the Solicitors and Client themselves. The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 shall not apply to this contract.

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