HANOVER LAW LIMITED
GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
We take pride in trying to provide all our clients with a professional and effective service. Accordingly, we want you to understand the terms on which we will act for you. These terms will prevail unless otherwise agreed with us in writing.
- PLACE AND HOURS OF BUSINESS
1.1 Our office is located at The Chambers, 13 Police Street, Manchester, M2 7LQ.
- The normal hours of opening are between 9.00 am and 5.30 pm on weekdays. Appointments can be arranged outside those hours when essential to the interests of a client.
- RESPONSIBILITY FOR WORK
- My name is David McCann and I will carry out all of the work in this matter. I am the Director primarily responsible for the conduct of your transaction or case.
- At times when I am unavailable, for example due to holidays, court commitments or meetings, it may be necessary for others to deal with your case. This could be a Solicitor, a Legal Executive, or a Paralegal. Your continued instructions indicate that you authorise and consent to such other person dealing with your case when necessary.
- We aim to offer all clients a friendly and efficient service. We hope that you will be pleased with the work we do for you. If, however, any difficulty should arise or there is any aspect of our service with which you are unhappy, you should firstly raise the matter with me. Then, if you are not satisfied you can raise your concerns by making a formal complaint in writing. We are required to have a procedure in place detailing how we handle complaints which is available on request.
- Although we do our utmost to resolve any complaint, there may be times when you may not be entirely satisfied with the outcome. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or by telephone on 0300 555 0333 or by internet at legalombudsman.org.uk in relation to legal matters or The Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR in relation to financial services advice.
All firms of solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise your concerns with us. We value you as a client and would not wish you to have any reason to be unhappy with us.
- FINANCIAL MATTERS
Our practice’s policy is that we do not normally accept cash from clients unless otherwise agreed with you. If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly with our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds. 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.
If the payment is made by bank transfer, then a service charge of £30.00 plus VAT of £6.00 amounting to £36.00 will be made for each transfer
- CONTACT BY EMAIL
If you give us your email address or correspond with us by email, we will assume that we can send emails and other documents to you unless you tell us otherwise. Please remember that the internet is not completely safe and some confidential and sensitive material is best sent by other means. We will also communicate with others involved in your case by email from time to time.
- OUR SERVICE AND RESPONSIBILITY TO YOU
We will review your matter regularly and keep you informed of the progress of your matter either by telephone, letter or email at regular intervals and copy you into any relevant documents and correspondence as soon as practicable after we receive it.
We will communicate with you in plain language and avoid legal jargon.
We will explain to you the legal work required as your matter progresses, and keep you informed of the likely timescales for the work and any important changes in those estimates.
We will update you at least every three months of the costs on your matter.
We will keep you advised as to whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in circumstances.
We will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter could be funded.
We will advise you on the law and any changes which occur.
- YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO US
You provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions.
You will provide us with all documentation required to complete the transaction in a timely manner.
You will obtain and safeguard any documents which are likely to be required by the Court or the other party/parties and provide them to us when requested.
- EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
Hanover Law Limited are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealing with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.
- DATA PROTECTION
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:
- Updating and enhancing client records
- Analysis to help us manage our practice
- Statutory returns
- Legal and regulatory compliance
Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998/GDPR and our duty of confidentiality. Please note that 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 of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you. With these terms are attached a privacy notice setting out how we deal with your personal data.
We may from time to time send you information which we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information, please notify our office in writing.
- MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS, IDENTITY, PAYMENTS AND CONFIDENTIALITY
We are obliged to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients (unless supplied in the last 3 years and the details are the same) and sometimes others connected or involved in the transactions or cases we are dealing with. These checks are a mandatory element of the government’s controls over money laundering and terrorist financing and we are required to conduct them by law. Our usual practice will be to ask to see your original passport or photo driving licence and a recent utility bill or bank statement no more than 3 months’ old. If you (or where necessary, any others connected or involved with the transaction or cases) do not supply the requested information within timescales advised then we may have to decline from acting any further. If is not practicable for us to meet you at an early stage of the work, we are handling for you we may ask you to obtain certified documents from another lawyer or financial professional elsewhere and submit these certified copies to us in the post. Our usual practice is also to commission an electronic database search in which case the fee of £18 will be charged to you as expenses unless we agree otherwise.
Please note that any such searches and copy documents will be securely maintained on the paper and electronic file for your matter in pursuance of our data protection policy. The uses that will be made of this data will be to provide confirmation of the identity of the person(s) providing it only. The law requires us to maintain such data for the period of five years from the end of the matter we are handling for you or from the date at which you cease to be a client of this firm. However, you agree to our retaining the forms and any other data for our usual file retention period of six years from the date of the file being archived, or longer than this if necessary, as when litigation has arisen or may be pending, and the checks have or may become relevant in any such proceedings.
In all other respects the data and papers collected for these purposes will be retained in accordance with our file storage procedures.
If you intend to obtain funding for the transaction from a third party (apart from recognised banks, building societies or other financial institutions) we will need to obtain evidence of the identity of that third party. Without that identification, we will not be able to continue to act for you.
When making payments to us please note the following: –
- We can only accept payment from you through your own Bank/Building Society.
- We are unable to accept payment through a third party unless we agree otherwise.
- Whilst we accept personal cheques, we reserve the right to seek payment by way of Bankers draft or direct Bank transfer due, for example, to time taken for cheque clearance.
- Any payments which we need to make to you can only be made to you and not to a third party.
- We are normally unable to accept payment of money in the form of cash.
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception. Legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed Solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Crime agency. Where a Solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the Solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If while we are acting for you it becomes necessary to make such a disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or the reasons for making it; nor will a disclosure affect your liability for our costs. Where the Law permits us to do so, we will tell you about any potential money laundering problem and explain what action we may need to take.
- PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY
In the interests of clients, Hanover Law Limited maintain professional indemnity insurance through Global Professional Risk Solutions, The St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AG.
- Unless and until either a) an alternative fee arrangement has been agreed and confirmed in writing by us; or b) a client is entitled to have the fees of Hanover Law Limited paid by the Legal Aid Agency, the basis for calculation of our fees is described below and is mainly by reference to the time spent by the director and staff dealing with the transaction or case; the time charged being all time spent on the client’s affairs. This will include attendances upon the client and perhaps others; advocacy and representation at Courts, tribunals or similar; any time spent travelling; considering, preparing and working on papers and correspondence; making and receiving telephone calls; preparation of any detailed costs assessments.
- We may issue bills electronically rather than by post, but we need your agreement to do so. By confirming these terms, you agree to bills being delivered by this method. If you prefer for bills to be sent by post, please strike out this clause in the copy returned to us.
- Each director’s, solicitor’s and executive’s time is recorded each day at an hourly rate as set out below.
- Routine letters are charged as six-minute units of time and we charge for the time spent on making and taking telephone calls in six minute units
- The current hourly charging rates are set out below. These rates do not include VAT which will be added when an invoice is prepared.
|Fee Earner Status||£|
|Associates, Consultants, Senior Solicitors, Financial Services Adviser||250.00|
|Solicitors, Senior Legal Executives & Senior Litigation Executives||200.00|
|Trainee Solicitors & Other legal assistants||150.00|
- When preparing a note of charges, Hanover Law Limited will also take into account a number of factors, in addition to time spent, including where the instructions of the client require that interviews take place, or other work is carried out, necessarily outside Hanover Law Limited’s normal office hours, where the issues are particularly complex, the speed at which action has to be taken, and any particular specialist expertise when the case may demand. In property transactions, in the administration of estates, and in transactions involving a substantial financial consideration or benefit to the client, fees may be calculated both by reference to the time spent, and also by reference to a value element based on, for example the price of the property, the size of the estate, or the value of the financial benefit. The value element reflects the importance of the transaction and the consequent responsibility falling on the firm. Where a charge reflecting any value element is to be added, we will explain this to you.
- The hourly expense rates set out above are normally reviewed annually to take effect from the 30th April and take account of changes in salary and other overhead costs. Details of any revision of rates occurring during the continuance of a case or transaction will be supplied to a client on request. These rates may not be appropriate in cases of exceptional complexity or urgency. Where it becomes apparent that such circumstances exist, Hanover Law Limited reserve the right to terminate the retainer unless revised rates are agreed in substitution.
- If there are issues with your bill which cannot be resolved with the firm, you have the right to apply to the court for an assessment of your bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974
- “Disbursements” include payments made by Hanover Law Limited on behalf of the client e.g. for such items as court fees, counsel’s fees, fees for medical reports, search fees, Land or Probate Registry fees, etc. Hanover LawLimited have no obligation to effect such payments unless funds have been provided by the client for that purpose. VAT is payable on certain disbursements. We are authorised under these Terms and Conditions to incur disbursements which are relatively small without your specific instructions where we consider this necessary in connection with your case. If you do not wish for this to happen then let us know in writing.
- Fees are payable whether or not a case is successfully concluded, or a transaction completed. If any case or transaction does not proceed to completion for any reason during the period in which Hanover Law Limited are instructed, then Hanover Law Limited shall be entitled to charge for work done on the basis set out above.
- In lengthy matters interim bills and a costs update will be delivered at least every three months or sooner if an earlier estimate is likely to be exceeded, unless otherwise agreed.
- We will add VAT to our fees at the rate that applies when the work is completed. Currently VAT is charged at 20%.
- ARRANGEMENTS FOR PAYMENT OF FEES
- Property transactions: An account will normally be rendered following the exchange of contracts and payment is required prior to or upon completion. Where sufficient funds are payable to the client upon completion, amounts due to Hanover Law Limited shall be deducted from such funds unless otherwise agreed.
- Administration of estates: It is our usual practice to deliver interim accounts at intervals during the administration. An interim bill will normally be submitted when the Grant has been obtained. If it then transpires that it will take some time to complete the administration, further interim accounts will be rendered periodically, and the final account will be presented when the estate accounts are delivered for approval.
- Other cases or transactions: It is normal practice to ask clients to pay sums of money from time to time on account of the fees and disbursements which are anticipated in the following weeks or months. We can ask you to meet these costs/disbursements before we actually incur/ pay them. It is helpful if clients meet such requests with prompt payment to avoid any delay in the progress of their case. In transactions or cases likely to continue for more than one month, interim accounts covering the work already carried out will normally be rendered at least every three months. This procedure enables clients to budget for costs as the matter progresses and to be kept informed of the legal expenses which are being incurred. If it assists you, we can agree an upper limit on the costs we may incur without obtaining your further authority or agree a limited level of service. We will contact you in writing when this upper limit is being approached to discuss your costs and agree an increased upper limit. In the event of any account or request for payment on account not being paid within 14 days of such request, Hanover Law Limited reserve the right to decline to act further in the case and any other matter we are dealing with on your behalf. The full amount of work done up to that date will be the subject of a final account rendered and will be a debt due from the client.
- We are entitled to pay any bill or outstanding disbursements from any money received by us on your behalf.
- In all cases while there is money outstanding for payment of our charges, disbursements or expenses we will be entitled to keep all papers and documents until paid in full.
- COSTS RECOVERED
In some litigation cases a successful client may be entitled to the payment of costs by some other party to the proceedings. However, it is rare for the system of “assessment” of costs, as it is known, to result in the other party having to pay the full amount of the costs incurred by the client with their own solicitor. If the other party is in receipt of Legal Aid no costs are likely to be recovered from them. In the event that a client is successful, and costs do fall to be paid by the other party, interest can be claimed on those costs against the other party as from the date on which the order for costs was made. To the extent that any of the fees and disbursements of Hanover Law Limited have been paid on account by the client, Hanover Law Limited will account to the client for interest but only in accordance with clause 14 of the Terms and Conditions Clients must note that the primary liability for costs incurred with Hanover Law Limited is that of the client even in a case where it is expected that an order for costs will be obtained against another party. Further, the costs of seeking to enforce any such order for costs against another party have to be met by the client. Clients should also bear in mind that even if the costs are ordered to be paid by the other party it may be that the other party will not have the means to pay, and notwithstanding the order for costs, the client will remain personally liable for the payment of the costs incurred.
- INTEREST PAYMENTS
- Money on a client’s behalf is normally held on the basis that it is instantly accessible unless we are given specific instructions to invest the money for a longer period. If we are instructed to invest money in an account requiring notice or a fixed term deposit account, this will restrict the ability to withdraw the money or part of it depending on the bank’s terms and conditions.
- We will do our best to obtain a reasonable return taking into account the interest rate available from the bank at the relevant time and taking into account any requirement for immediate access to that money.
- In accordance with the firm’s written policy on interest payments no payment of interest will be made in the following circumstances: –
- where the total interest is less than £20.00; or
- where the funds deposited are more than £10,000 but less than £20,000 and are held for less than 14 days; or
- where the funds deposited are less than £10,000 and held for no more than 28 days.
- In addition, interest will not be paid on money that is paid to us on account of professional disbursements or on money held for the Legal Services Board.
- Interest will continue to accrue on money held on a client’s behalf until the date a cheque is issued or until the funds are paid by some other means.
- Interest will be calculated at the conclusion of a matter unless a specific request has been made and agreed by us.
- In some circumstances, we may agree to you “contracting out” of payment of interest but any such arrangement must be previously agreed in writing (this may be required, for example, for tax reasons or for religious beliefs).
- So far as tax is concerned unless we are otherwise instructed, interest will normally be paid net of basic rate tax for individual clients or Trusts. If you are entitled to receive interest gross, you should advise us accordingly in writing. Interest that accrues on money held on behalf of a Limited Company will be paid on a gross basis.
- If Hanover Law Limited hold money on a client’s behalf, then, subject to the terms of this paragraph interest will be calculated and paid to you in accordance with the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. Subject to paragraph 14.3 interest will be calculated on a daily rate and paid at the rate from time to time payable on Handelsbanken’s Business Account on deposits equal to the amount held by Hanover Law Limited on behalf of the client. The period for which interest will be paid will normally run from the date(s) on which the fund are received by Hanover Law Limited until the date(s) of issue of any cheque(s) in discharge thereof.
- Where clients obtain borrowing from a lender Hanover Law Limited will request the lender to arrange that the advance cheque is received by Hanover Law Limited a minimum of four working days prior to the completion date to ensure that cleared funds are available in time for completion. Clients should note that the lender may charge interest from the date of issue of the cheque.
- FINANCIAL SERVICES
Currently Hanover Law Limited do not carry out financial services.
- STORAGE OF PAPERS AND DEEDS
- Following the conclusion of a transaction or case on behalf of a client, Hanover Law Limited will retain the client’s file of papers for such a period as they shall deem appropriate in their absolute discretion. We keep files on the understanding that we can destroy those six years after the date of the final bill. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
- Hanover Law Limited provide a safe custody service to clients in respect of wills, deeds and other securities and no charge will be made to the client for such storage.
- Where stored papers, wills, deeds or securities are retrieved from storage by Hanover Law Limited in connection with continuing or new instructions to Hanover Law Limited to act in connection with the client’s affairs, normally no charge will be made for such retrieval. However, Hanover Law Limited reserve the right to make an administration charge based on time spent in retrieval and any perusal, copying or correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by or on behalf of a client or former client for whom papers, wills, deeds or securities are stored.
- You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell us this clearly in writing.
- If we decide to stop acting for you, for example if you do not pay an interim bill or comply with the request for a payment on account, we will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing.
- If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, you will be liable to pay our charges and any outstanding disbursements up to that point.
From time to time we may need to outsource various elements of our work on your behalf. If this occurs, you authorise us to do so. We will always gain a confidentiality agreement with the outsourced service provider. Should you not want any element of your file to be outsourced please tell us as soon as possible.
- LIMITED COMPANIES
When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company, we may require a director and/or controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of this firm. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and to require immediate payment of our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out earlier.
- REVIEW OF FILES
Our practice is subject to audit or quality checks by external firms or organisations. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.
- OFF PREMISES CONTRACT
If you are a consumer (as defined by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 and we did not meet with you at our offices when we received instructions from you (for example telephone, fax, email, and internet or at your home address) then the above regulations apply to this work. This means you have the right to cancel your instructions within 14 days of receiving these terms. You can cancel by contacting us in writing. A form is attached for you to do so if you wish. The effect of the above regulations is such that we will not start work on your case until the cancellation period has expired. However, you can ask us to commence work before the cancellation period expires. If you do this, we can charge for work done and any expenses incurred even if you then decide to cancel within the cancellation period. If we complete the work to be done within the cancellation period, then the right to cancel is lost. In order to request us to carry on with your case before the cancellation period expires you must do this in writing. If you have not already done this then you can do so by indicating the same on these terms and conditions and returning one copy endorsed with your consent to us. Remember until we actually receive the consent we will not be in a position to start the work.
- DIGITAL CONTENT
Whenever we send to you documentation in a digital format it will be either in word, excel, pdf, jpeg or tiff format by way of e mail attachment in English and the attachment will identify the size of the file. The e mail itself will be in html format. Where relevant to the above and separately where the digital content of any e mail attachment is anything other than documentation we will advise you as to the functionality of the same including, where applicable, details of the language, duration, file type, access, updates, tracking, internet connections, geographical restrictions and of any additional purchases required.
- LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
Our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to £3 million or such higher amount as expressly set out in the letter accompanying these terms and conditions. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs or losses attributable lost profits or opportunities. These limitations only apply to the extent that they are permitted by law and, in particular, do not apply to our liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence.
- APPLICABLE LAW
Any dispute or legal issue arising from our terms and conditions will be determined by English law and will be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
- FUTURE INSTRUCTIONS
Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of the current hourly expense rates, these Terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to Hanover Law Limited.
Although your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these terms and conditions of business, it will be helpful if you will please sign and return one copy of them for us to retain on your file.
I have read, understood and accept the terms and conditions of business set out above.
Even though I did not meet you at your offices when I gave you instructions in this case and in the full knowledge that as a consumer I can cancel the instructions within 14 days of the receipt of these terms and conditions nevertheless I wish to instruct the firm to commence work immediately. I acknowledge that in doing so any work done or expenses incurred during the above cancellation period will be payable. If the service to be provided to me is concluded within the cancellation period, then the right to cancel is lost.