Download our terms in a word document.
1. These terms apply to everything the lawyer does for a client in the present matter and in all future matters, including those that have not yet arisen. Each time the client gives the lawyer any instructions it will be on the basis that the client accepts that these terms apply and that acceptance shall be effective for all future work done by the lawyer for the client whether or not the client expressly reaccepts these terms each time.
2. The client agrees that the lawyer will act at all times according to the principles of the law and professional and personal conduct and ethics, whether or not it corresponds to the instructions of the client, subject only to the overriding judgement of the lawyer in the individual case.
3. The lawyer is entitled to decline to act, or to act further, without being obliged to assign any reason, and agreeing to act or continue does not oblige the lawyer to accept further or new instructions at any time or to to assign any reason for declining to do so.
4. A lawyer is not bound to accept instructions given on behalf of someone else without prior authority but may do so if he does so in the belief there has been authorisation, and in any event may act on their own initiative at any time without prior authority if the lawyer believes it is in the best interests of the client to proceed.
5. A lawyer does not have to do all the work for the client in person but can allocate work to colleagues instead (caseworkers), who may be more or less qualified and/or experienced than the lawyer and will be charged at the rate applicable to the caseworker concerned.
6. All lawyers and caseworkers act for the client solely as representatives of their firm and not in any personal capacity. They do not undertake any personal legal responsibility for the services rendered to the client. This legal responsibility rests solely with the firm. This applies even if the caseleader or caseworker concerned is a partner in or member or director of the firm. In these terms 'the lawyer' means the firm, acting through its lawyers and otherwise.
7. The client accepts and understands that the lawyer has a duty of confidentiality and independence but this is subject to limitations set by law and otherwise.
8. If there are two or more clients the client agrees that the lawyer may accept instructions from any one of them on the client's behalf, and will indemnify the lawyer against any consequences of doing so.
9. A lawyer will communicate with a client, and anyone else involved (including opponents), by any method available, eg mail, fax, email, text message, phone. The client accepts no method of communication is absolutely 100% guaranteed to be secure.
10. A lawyer may sometimes communicate with a client in relation to other matters that are not to do with the matter for which the lawyer is engaged (eg promotional offers & information & updates). If the client prefers not to receive these communications please inform the lawyer in writing.
11. A lawyer will aim to deal with incoming communications in order of arrival irrespective of mode of arrival (letter fax email etc). If particular urgency is required please ring or visit, and an extra charge may apply.
12. The lawyer accepts no duty or liability of any sort whatsoever other than to the client and solely for the client's own personal pecuniary benefit, and in any event strictly limited to the extent of the lawyer's insurance applicable to any claim. No person other than the lawyer and the client are entitled to benefit from this contract or make any claim or have a claim made for them to any direct or indirect benefit under it and the client cannot hold benefits under this contract on trust for or otherwise for anybody else.
13. The lawyer will provide services to the client and nobody else. The client must not attempt to pass on directly or indirectly, verbally or in writing or in any other way, the benefit of the lawyer's services to anybody else. No duty is owed to the client or anybody else by, and no claim will be made by the client or anybody else against, anybody except the practice of the lawyer. In particular no claim will be made against any of the practice's staff or members. The lawyer and the practice will in their discretion indemnify any such person against the full cost of any such claim, including the costs of defending or discouraging it, and whether or not they do so the client must indemnify the practice and them in relation to any such claim or anticipated claim.
14. Your lawyer will just do what you have asked your lawyer to do, not advise on it or consider or advise on any side effects (eg re tax), unless the lawyer has specifically accepted instructions so to do.
15. The client authorises the lawyer to act as they think appropriate in any circumstances where the lawyer cannot get instructions (eg because of an emergency or where the retainer has ended). This includes making or concluding agreements or giving undertakings for the client, or signing documents for the client (including any document by which the lawyer is retained or evidencing confirming or otherwise touching upon such retainer). The client will reimburse and indemnify the lawyer against any expense incurred in doing this and in complying with any obligation to the lawyer or any other person that is thereby incurred.
16. In a no win no fee case the definition of success is that a claim is successful if any court tribunal or other body or any opponent or other party rules concedes or makes any award or offer in favour of a client on any dispute, or would reasonably be expected to have done so but for misbehaviour non-cooperation or early termination by the client.
17. In a no win no fee or deferred fee case if the lawyer writes to advise that in their view no success can be reasonably expected (success here including full recovery of the client's legal costs by the lawyer on an own-client indemnity basis), or that the risk of the case to the lawyer has in their view increased, then the lawyer shall not be obliged to continue with the case.
18. In a no win no fee case and in spite of anything to the contrary said in the agreement itself, the success fee shall not exceed such of the following limits as may be applicable, namely:
18.1 In a damages based agreement (DBA) (that is to say, an agreement where the success fee is stated to be a percentage of amounts recovered):
18.1.1 In a first instance Employment Tribunal claim, 35% of amounts recovered.
18.1.2 In a first instance personal injury claim, 25% of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and for pecuniary loss (but not future pecuniary loss) net of recoupment of benefits.
18.1.3 In any other first instance case, 50% of amounts recovered.
18.2 In a conditional fee agreement (CFA) (that is to say, an agreement where the success fee is stated to be a percentage of non-success fees):
18.2.1 In a first instance personal injury claim (other than a diffuse mesothelioma case), 100% of non-success fees and further capped at 25% (if it would otherwise exceed that figure) of damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and for pecuniary loss (but not future pecuniary loss) net of recoupment of benefits.
18.2.2 In any other case, 100% of non-success fees.
18.3 All these limits include VAT. They also include counsels' fees except in an Employment Tribunal case. But they do include other expenses, which can be charged separately.
19. In a DBA in an Employment Tribunal claim:
19.1 If the agreement is terminated, the lawyer may not charge the client more than the lawyer's costs and expenses for the work undertaken in respect of the claim, in spite of anything else in the agreement or these terms.
19.2 Without prejudice to any right of either party under the general law of contract to terminate the agreement:
19.2.1 The client may not terminate the agreement after settlement has been agreed, or within seven days before the start of the tribunal hearing.
19.2.2 The lawyer may not terminate the agreement and charge costs unless the client has behaved or is behaving unreasonably.
20. The lawyer will interpret the client's instructions, verbal or written, in good faith and without being responsible for any genuine misunderstanding.
21. Lawyers' services are provided in four categories, namely Fixed Services, Packages, Bespoke and Miscellaneous.
22. Fixed services are payable in advance and must be accompanied by all the information etc the lawyer needs to provide the service. The fee is not refundable under any circumstances. Where the fee is fixed and for any reason the lawyer does not complete the work, or for any reason does extra work (calculated by hourly rates) over the amount that would be covered by the fixed fee, then the lawyer has the right to charge you for the work actually done at the hourly rates.
23. Fixed services will commence immediately upon receipt of order, and we aim to complete it within 28 days of receipt of completed order. We often do it quicker, but if you want a guarantee of a quicker turnaround we can often do that on payment of an expedition fee.
24. Packages are combinations of fixed service items to each of which and to the whole the preceding clauses apply.
25. Bespoke services may be billed by way of one bill or of a series of interim bills, at the lawyer's discretion, and payment will be due on the date stated on each bill. If at any time the lawyer holds funds of the client the client authorises the lawyer to take payment from those funds.
26. Miscellaneous services will be charged according to details of such charges to be published from time to time.
27. Services are not provided free except soley to the extent specifically and expressly stated. The lawyer will have no liability of any nature whatsoever to any person whomsoever arising wholly or partly from free services.
28. Discounts or offers cannot be combined.
29. There is no entitlement to any refund, eg if the service cannot be provided due to lack of information, and no entitlement to part of the service, or to the produce of any part of the service that is done.
30. To the extent that any fee is calculated by reference to an hourly rate, a charge will be made for each 1/10 of an hour or part thereof spent on the matter by each caseworker involved, rounded upwards. Letters that a lawyer writes or receives and routine telephone calls that a lawyer makes or receives will be chargable as units of 1/10th of an hour per page or per 6 minutes or part thereof respectively, plus actual drafting and consideration time. E-mails, texts and any other form of communication will be treated for fee calculation purposes as if they were letters. Any traveling and waiting time will also be charged for. Where more than one caseworker is involved simultaneously or otherwise the time of each will be charged for including handover and/or liason time.
31. VAT and any expenses will be added to all lawyers' fees. Where an amount of any expense is notified to the lawyer by a third party the lawyer has the right to rely on that notification in good faith without checking it unless specifically instructed otherwise.
32. Any booking of a lawyer's time will be for a period starting at a specified starting time and ending at a specified ending time. This time will be charged for even if not used (eg because the client is late or does not attend). The first and last 5 minutes of any such period shall be changeover periods (ie from one such period to the next).
33. Any award of costs to the client, or prospect of one, is (at most) of reimbursement only and does not affect the obligation of the client to pay the lawyer themselves and on time. Enforcement action to recover such costs from the client or the other party concerned is chargeable as extra services under these terms whether or not it succeeds, and this extra cost may not be recoverable by the client.
34. Joint clients are all jointly and severally liable for all of the bills.
35. In any case where the client does not sign personally (eg corporate client (companies LLPs etc) or attorney or agent on behalf of donor or principal client or parent on behalf of child client) then for the purpose of enforceability of bills (but only for that purpose) the service supplied by the lawyer will be deemed to be supplied to the individual signatory(ies) as well as the client and accordingly those individual signatories accept personal responsibility for payment of the bills along with that of the client. The signature of any such signatory shall be for the individual signing as well as for the client. Those signatory(ies) by that signature personally guarantee the payment of the lawyer's fees. The lawyer is entitled to call for any guarantee or further guarantee at any time and will be entitled to stop working if it is not provided to the lawyer's entire satisfaction.
36. Any amount shown due on a bill must be paid by the date stated in it. Otherwise interest and late payment charges will be added and your lawyer will be entitled to stop work on the matter.
37. The rate of interest will be determined by your lawyer from time to time, may vary from time to time, and is not guaranteed to be linked to any other interest rates.
38. Any preferential or reduced rate chargeable will no longer apply after any payment becomes overdue; the full rate will become chargeable for all work.
39. Any deposit requested against future legal bills must be paid on demand. Otherwise the lawyer will be entitled to stop work on the case.
40. If a bill remains unpaid then your lawyer is entitled to retain any documents or property of yours until it is paid. This right extends to anything the lawyer is owed and any documents or property of yours irrespective of whether they have come into the lawyer's possession or control before or afterwards, or whether or not they relate to the same case, or whether or not they are yours beneficially. This right is not lost if there is a break in the lawyer's possession of papers with or without the lawyer's consent.
41. The client is entitled to terminate the lawyer's instructions to act at any time. The lawyer must acknowledge this in writing, and the termination takes effect when they do. But once your lawyer has begun to provide a service with your consent termination cannot be retrospective. Termination does not terminate the client's responsibility to pay for the work done before the termination. The amount due for this will depend on the terms of the contract with the lawyer.
42. If and when the lawyer stops acting, for whatever reason, they will continue to be authorised for the purpose of signing and serving on your behalf a Notice of Acting in Person and in relation to any other notification of any similar sort or other similar outstanding matter of professional or other obligation or ethics (including any document by which the lawyer is retained or evidencing confirming or otherwise touching upon such retainer), all at the client's expense.
43. If the lawyer is instructed in relation to a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority under 'no win no fee' terms, and the client subsequently decides to sue in court, then that 'no win no fee' agreement will then be of no effect and instead the client will agree to be liable for fees based on hourly rates for the work done prior to the new agreement to issue court proceedings.
44. If the lawyer delays exercising their rights, or exercising them fully or at all, this does not mean the lawyer cannot ever do so or is in any other way restricted from doing so, either in that instance or more generally.
45. As against the client the lawyer will have full ownership and copy and other intellectual property rights in any document idea or creation to the drafting or preparation or creation of which the lawyer has wholly or partly contributed. The client cannot amend or edit anything without the lawyer's prior written approval.
46. The client must must never reveal to anybody that a lawyer is acting without the lawyer's prior consent in writing.
47. The client must not use the lawyer's name or logo etc without the lawyer's express written permission.
48. Under the Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008, where they apply, the client hereby requests the lawyer to begin any work that they instruct or have instructed the lawyer to do as soon as possible even if any cancellation period applicable by virtue of those regulations has not expired. Under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 the client acknowledges having been informed, and is hereby informed again, that that the work that they have instructed the lawyer to do is likely to take more than 30 days.
49. Cancellation or termination signed by one client does not apply to other clients.
50. During the course of acting for a client, a client may hand to a lawyer certain documents or other items for use in connection with the matter. From time to time the lawyer will dispose of such items that are not needed any more. The lawyer may or may not keep copies, including copies in an electronic format. The client indemnifies the lawyer against any claim or possible claim by any person in relation to them or their custody copying or disposal of them, including costs. The lawyer has the right to make a charge for the retrieval of items from storage.
51. The latest version of these terms always overwrites earlier ones including for existing matters, and the terms can be varied by the lawyer on an individual basis at any time.
52. The client cannot assert that there are any other inconsistent terms or conditions of the contract with the lawyer, or any variation of it, unless the lawyer has set it out in writing as an expressed variation of these terms specifying by number the term(s) varied. Nor can the client rely on anything said to the client (verbally or in writing) before the contract was entered into to contradict or modify anything in it.
53. These terms apply on acceptance of instructions irrespective of signature. Lawyers' services are only supplied on the basis that the client agrees with all these terms in full.
54. In the event of any concerns or comments about any aspect of a lawyer's services, please telephone and ask to speak to our Feedback officer. All feedback is appreciated and will receive individual attention.
Accepted: Date:.................................................... Signed:.................................................. Name:.................................................... Address:................................................. ......................................................... Client/Case no:..........................................