Fidelity Law Client Terms and Conditions April 2013
1.1 Unless agreed otherwise, our fees will be charged at the rate quoted per hour, plus disbursements (expenses) and VAT where applicable (rates will be reviewed annually on 1 April in each year and we will notify you of any changes). If no hourly rate is agreed, our standard rate of £300 per hour will apply.
1.2 We do however endeavour to charge on a fixed fee basis, or on a ‘risk-sharing’ basis wherever it is in your interests, and reasonable for us, to do so. We will also endeavour to provide you with costs estimates, including of expenses, wherever possible, although this is not always possible and estimates will not be binding.
1.3 We will normally issue interim bills as a matter progresses (usually monthly), in respect of our own fees and disbursements. We may ask for these interim bills to be paid, or money paid on account of future costs, before continuing to work for you. If an interim bill is not paid, or money provided on account (without reasonable justification), we may suspend the provision of our services to you or terminate the retainer on reasonable notice to you (charges will accrue until the notice expires).
1.4 Our bills are due on delivery, but we do not charge interest where bills are paid within 28 days of the date of issue. Interest is charged on a daily basis at 10% per annum or under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (the “Late Payment Act”). Time spent in recovering bills more than 28 days old will also be charged at our standard rate (plus VAT and disbursements) as set out above. Alternatively, under Section 5A of the Late Payment Act, if our reasonable costs in recovering the debt are not met by the fixed sum (as defined), we shall also be entitled to a sum equivalent to the difference between the fixed sum and those costs.
1.5 We do not conduct publicly funded work, and you should tell us if you consider you may be eligible for it or if you have legal expenses insurance.
1.6 In contentious matters you may be entitled to recover all or part of your costs from another party or you may be liable for others’ costs. In either case, you will remain responsible for payment of our fees. 1.7 We will discuss with you whether the potential outcomes of any legal case will justify the expense or risk involved including, if relevant, the risk of having to pay others’ costs; the risk of not recovering any payments, including costs, which you are awarded; and whether you may be able to obtain insurance against the risk of paying others’ costs (and, in appropriate cases, where you may have insurance in respect of our own costs).
1.8 If you recover interest on your costs, we will account to you for it to the extent that you have paid our costs.
2.1 In the event of a problem, you are entitled to complain (this could include a complaint about the firm's bill). You should do so in writing to Richard Brown. We have a formal complaints procedure, a copy of which is available on request. You have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman at the conclusion of your complaint process - the timeframe for doing so and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman are set out in the complaints procedure. You may also have the right to complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
2.2 There may also be a right to object to a bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
3.1 You may terminate the retainer at any time in writing. We may terminate the retainer for non-payment of charges, as set out above, or for other good reasons by giving you reasonable notice in writing. 3.2 Files will generally be stored for six years, and then destroyed. We may charge for this, or for recovery of files from storage.
3.3 We are entitled to a lien, namely to keep all papers and documents, while there is money owed to us.
4.1 We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”).
4.2 We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or by the Financial Conduct Authority but we can provide a limited range of financial services to you because we are regulated by the SRA, and are registered as an exempt professional firm on the Financial Services Register (LS 552122).
4.3 We are obliged to comply with anti-money laundering legislation. This means that we have to verify your identity; and report any suspicious activities to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, without notifying you.
4.4 Unless you instruct us otherwise, we may hold information about you for purposes other than as required by our retainer.
5. Limitation, governing law and jurisdiction
5.1 You agree that our individual shareholders, directors, employees, agents, consultants or subcontractors do not accept any personal or direct duty of care to you, and that we shall not be liable to you for any loss of profit, anticipated profits, revenues, anticipated savings, goodwill or business opportunity, or for any indirect or consequential loss or damage. Save for any liability which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law, you agree that you will not make or suffer or permit any other person to make any claim against any such individuals, and that the aggregate liability to you (if any) in respect of claims based on or arising out of or in connection with this agreement or the services provided by us to you under this or any collateral contract, whether in contract or tort (including negligence) or otherwise, shall in no circumstances exceed £3,000,000.
5.2 This agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. The parties irrevocably agree that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with this agreement or its subject matter (including non-contractual disputes or claims).