GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Service standards
During the time we are acting for you, we will endeavour to adhere to the following standards:-
• Keeping you regularly informed of progress;
• Communicating with you in plain language;
• Explaining to you the legal work that is required to progress your case;
• Advising you of the likely timescales involved.
We will sometimes agree a fixed fee with you. This will cover time spent by Purely Probate on your matter but does not include out-of-pocket costs such as probate fees.
We will inform you if the scope of the work goes beyond what is covered by the agreed fee. When dealing with the administration of estates it will not cover the excluded work listed in our client care letter.
We will issue invoices periodically and normally deduct the balance of our fees from the assets of the estate (probate matters). We will normally deduct the first interim fee when we submit the application for a grant of probate or letters of administration and the balance when the bulk of distributions from the estate are made but we reserve the right to raise and pay invoices at other times, particularly where the estate is slow to wind up for reasons beyond our control, such as length of time to sell an asset or difficulty communicating with executors or beneficiaries.
If all or part of our bill remains unpaid we will be entitled to charge interest at 6%.
If you have any concerns about our service, please contact Judith Derbyshire in writing, by phone on 01458 850146, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, who will endeavour to resolve your concern internally. You are also entitled to complain to us about any bill which we render to you.
You may also have the right to complain about our service and/or object to the bill rendered by us by making a complaint to the Legal Complaints Service (or the Office for Legal Complaints) and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of our bill under Part III of the Solicitors’ Act 1974. (The Legal Complaints Service can be contacted at www.legalcomplaints.org.uk).
Purely Probate’s internal complaints procedure is the appropriate starting point for any concern or complaint.
4. Equality and diversity
The firm is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees.
If you have any need in relation to your ability to give us instructions or to understand our advice and services, please inform us immediately so that we can make reasonable adjustments to facilitate this.
Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will assume that you agree to be contacted by e-mail. However, please note that e-mail may not be as secure as other means of communication.
6. Money laundering
(i) Proof of identity
The law requires solicitors to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their client. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their client can be used by criminals wishing to launder money. In order to comply with the law on money laundering, we will need to obtain evidence of your identity as soon as practicable.
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of the client 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 Criminal Intelligence Service. 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 a money laundering disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits “tipping-off”. Where the law permits us, we will tell you about any potential money laundering problem and explain what action we may need to take.
We shall not be liable in any way for failure or delay in performance of your instructions if the failure or delay is due to causes beyond our reasonable control.
Where other advisers or third parties are involved, the extent to which any loss or damage will be recoverable by you from Purely Probate, its employees and consultants or any of them will be limited so as to be in proportion to our contribution to the overall fault for such loss or damage, or as agreed in advance with those other parties. Further if Purely Probate’s ability to claim contribution from a third party is prejudiced by any limitation of liability agreed by you with that third party, Purely Probate will not be liable to you for any amount that Purely Probate would have been able to recover from that third party but for that limitation of liability.
Purely Probate accepts no liability or responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the acts or omissions of any experts, consultants, foreign lawyers or other third parties instructed on your behalf.
Our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to £250,000, unless we expressly state a lower amount in the letter accompanying these terms of business. 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 profits or opportunities.
We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.
Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the terms above.
8. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Our Data Protection Policy is in our website: www.purelyprobate.co.uk/data-protection-policy
Please ask if you would like a printed copy.
9. Distance Selling
The Consumer Contracts (Information,Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 may apply to this contract. If this agreement is off-premises, for example if we do not meet in our business premises or where your instructions have not been given at a face to face meeting you generally have the right to cancel those instructions without any cost to you within 14 working days of you returning our client care letter to us. To cancel the instructions, you must deliver or post a letter, or email us with such a cancellation.
You may not cancel the instructions once, with your permission, we have started work on your behalf. By signing and returning our client care letter you are agreeing that to avoid delaying the transaction we may start work straight away and we do not have to wait for the 14 working days’ cancellation period to expire.
Any interest relating to an estate will be paid into our office account and interest of up to £25 per month earned from money in relation to your matter may be retained by Purely Probate. If interest in your matter exceeds £25 in any month you will receive the entire amount, including the first £25 earned.
Interest over £25 per month will be calculated to the date estate accounts are prepared, and that amount will be included in the accounts for distribution to beneficiaries. Any interest following the preparation of the final estate accounts will be retained by Purely Probate.
11. Termination of Instructions
You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time.
We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, if you do not pay an interim invoice, comply with our request for a payment on account or provide instructions. We will always give you reasonable notice that we intend to stop acting for you.
12. Professional Indemnity Insurance
Our professional indemnity insurer is Axis Specialty Europe SE policy number B0621PPURL000123. The territorial coverage of our professional indemnity insurance is worldwide and the limit of our cover is £3 million in any one claim.
13. Acceptance of these Terms
The relationship and contract between you and Purely Probate is governed by English law and you submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Court in respect of any dispute between us.
You shall be solely responsible for the work and fees of any third party engaged by you to participate in this matter regardless of whether such third party was introduced to you by us.
Your continuing instructions will amount to acceptance of this firm’s terms and conditions of business.
We have already asked you to sign and return a copy of our client care letter to you, which acknowledges that you have received a copy of these terms and conditions.