TERMS OF BUSINESS
1.1 These terms of business are the general terms of business of the legal practice of Tony Morris-Davies (“the Practice”).
1.2 The contract between the client and the Practice will be governed by these general terms as well as the client engagement letter.
1.3 Your continuing instructions will confirm that you accept these terms and any engagement letter I send you.
1.4 These terms as read with the engagement letter will apply to any future instructions you give me.
1.5 I may review these terms from time to time, and will notify you of any changes.
2. PRACTICE INFORMATION
2.1 I am regulated by the following bodies:
2.1.1 The Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”).
2.1.2 The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”).
2.1.3 The Society of Will Writers and Estate Planning Practitioners (“SWWEPP”).
2.2 I am a freelance solicitor authorised by the SRA to carry out reserved activities other than notarial work.
2.3 The main business of the Practice is private client work, in particular will writing, inheritance tax planning, lasting powers of attorney, trusts and non-contentious probate.
2.4 PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE (“PII”)
2.4.1 I carry professional indemnity insurance for the areas of work mentioned in 2.3 above with a cover limit of £2,500,000 per claim.
2.4.2 As a freelance solicitor, I am not required to meet the minimum terms and conditions of PII prescribed by the SRA. However, alternative insurance arrangements are in place as specified in 2.4.1 above.
2.4.3 My clients are not eligible to apply for a grant from the SRA Compensation Fund.
3. FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS
3.1 Other than for probate work, my charges are based on time spent at an hourly rate of £120 per hour, inclusive of VAT.
3.2 In most cases, I will agree a fixed fee in advance based on the scope of the instructions which will be recorded in the client engagement letter. Alternatively, I will provide full details of my charges including hourly rates and expected disbursements which will also be recorded in the client engagement letter.
3.3 Further fee information can be found on my website:
3.4 I may request a deposit in advance to cover my expected fees for non-probate work.
3.5 As well as my fees, I may charge for disbursements and other expenses if these apply. Examples of disbursements include OPG registration fees, Probate Registry fees, counsels’ and experts’ fees, travel expenses and search fees. If you agree that I can instruct other people (for example, foreign lawyers, experts, barristers, accountants or other professionals) to help provide the service to you, I do this as your agent and you are responsible for paying their fees and expenses. You will reimburse me for any fees and expenses that I pay on your behalf.
3.6 At present I am not registered as a VAT operator. Should I be required to register then VAT will be payable in addition to my fees.
3.7 Unless otherwise agreed, payment of my invoices is due within seven days. I reserve the right to charge interest at 5% per annum on overdue accounts.
3.8 Disputed invoices – in the unlikely event of a disagreement over my charges, the options available to you include:
3.8.1 raising the matter with me;
3.8.2 making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman if I are unable to settle your complaint and as long as you meet certain conditions (Please note that the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about an invoice if you have applied to the court for an assessment); or
3.8.3 applying to the court for your invoice to be assessed under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
4. NOTICE OF THE RIGHT TO CANCEL
4.1 In this Clause 4, each of the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed thereto:
4.1.1 “Cancellation Form” means the form attached to these Terms of Business as Schedule 1.
4.1.2 “Cancellation Notice” means the notice attached to these Terms and Conditions as Schedule 1 or such other written document containing the same information, produced by the Customer.
4.1.3 “Cancellation Period” means a period of 14 calendar days calculated from the day of signature of the Letter of Engagement by the Customer or the day of receipt of this notice, whichever is the later.
4.1.4 “Contract” means the contract for the provision of the Services under the Letter of Engagement and these Terms of Business.
4.1.5 “Customer” means the individual or individuals purchasing the Services from the Seller who shall be identified in the Letter of Engagement.
4.1.6 “Letter of Engagement” means the letter signed by the Seller and the Customer which sets out particulars of the Services to be rendered by the Seller to the Customer, the applicable fees and ancillary matters.
4.1.7 “Services” means the services which the Seller is to provide in accordance with the Letter of Engagement and these Terms of Business.
4.2 The Customer has the right to cancel the Contract within the Cancellation Period in terms of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
4.3 The Seller is Tony Morris-Davies.
4.4 For the purposes of the Cancellation Notice, the reference number to be quoted in all communications is the Customer’s name.
4.5 The Customer may be required to pay for Services rendered if provision of the Services has commenced with the Customer’s written agreement prior to the end of the Cancellation Period.
4.6 In the event that the Customer chooses to exercise their right to cancel within the Cancellation Period, the Cancellation Form attached to these Terms of Business as Schedule 1 should be completed in full and returned to the Seller at the address provided in sub-Clause 4.7.1 below.
4.7 A Cancellation Notice must be sent or delivered to the Seller as follows:
4.7.1 A Cancellation Notice sent by post or delivered by hand must be sent to the Seller at 22 Burleigh Road, Sutton, SM3 9NE.
4.7.2 A Cancellation Notice sent by email must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.8 A Cancellation Notice shall be deemed to have been served upon the Seller:
4.8.1 In the case of a Cancellation Notice sent by post, at the time of posting; and
4.8.2 In the case of a Cancellation Notice sent electronically, on the day it is sent.
4.9 Use of the Cancellation Form is optional; however all Cancellation Notices, in whatever format, must be in writing and must contain all information included in Schedule 1.
5. CLIENT MONIES
5.1 As a freelance solicitor, I am not authorised to hold client monies.
5.2 My clients are not eligible to apply for a grant from the SRA Compensation Fund.
5.3 I utilise third-party managed accounts (“TPMA’s”) to hold client monies when required.
5.4 The SRA permits the use of TPMA’s by freelance solicitors.
5.5 The institutions who operate TPMA’s are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and carry appropriate indemnity insurance. Their fees will be payable by the client.
6. MONEY LAUNDERING
6.1 As a solicitor, I am required to get satisfactory evidence of the identity of my clients, and sometimes of people related to them. By law, I must get evidence of a client’s identity before starting work, and I must keep these records up to date.
6.2 I may carry out identity checks, including by electronic means, on databases kept by other organisations. By giving me personal information and accepting these terms, you agree to my using that information for such purposes.
6.3 While I as a solicitor am under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential, there is legislation which, in certain circumstances, places me under a legal duty to give information to the authorities. If this happens, I may not be able to tell you that I have done so or my reasons for so doing.
7.1 For disputes regarding my charges, please see 3.8 above.
7.2 If you have any concerns or complaints about any aspect of my services, please speak to me in the first instance. I will endeavour to resolve complaints.
7.3 I want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service I have provided then you should inform me immediately, so that I can do my best to resolve the problem through dialogue and mediation.
7.4 As a freelance solicitor, I do not have a formal complaints procedure. You are welcome to put your complaint to me in writing and I will do my best to resolve it.
7.5 What to do if I cannot resolve your complaint
7.5.1 The Legal Ombudsman can help you if I am unable to resolve your complaint. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how I handle your case.
7.5.2 Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with me first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
22.214.171.124. Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint; and
126.96.36.199. No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
188.8.131.52. No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
7.5.3 If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them. Their contact details are:
• Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
• Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00.
• Email: email@example.com
• Postal: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
7.5.4 What to do if you are unhappy with my behaviour
184.108.40.206. The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about my behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
220.127.116.11. Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
18.104.22.168. If I am unable to settle your complaint you may refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.
7.6 Alternatively, as I am also regulated by STEP and SWWEPP, you have the right to lodge a complaint with one of those organisations. For their respective complaints procedures, see either:
21 July 2022
This Cancellation Notice is set out in the form required by Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
If you wish to cancel the contract you MUST DO SO IN A CLEAR STATEMENT and deliver personally or send (which may be by electronic mail) this to the Company at their address below. You may use this form if you want to but you do not have to.
(Complete, detach and return this form ONLY IF YOU WISH TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT.)
To: Tony Morris-Davies
By post: 22 Burleigh Road
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I/We (delete as appropriate), the undersigned, hereby give notice that I/we (delete as appropriate) wish to cancel my/our (delete as appropriate) contract.
Ref: ________________________________________ (Customer’s Name)
Date Contract Commenced: _____________________
Name and Address