Terms & Conditions
1.1 Our office is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Please be aware that Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days. The last working day of the month is also very busy. In order for us to help you most efficiently please restrict non-essential telephone calls or emails to other times where possible.
1.2 We are only able to progress matters on your instructions. We will keep you informed, if necessary, by copying relevant correspondence and documents to you and writing explanatory letters. In return, we ask that you promptly provide instructions and information to us and that if there are periods during which you will not be available, you warn us in advance.
1.3 If two or more persons are instructing us jointly on the same matter then, unless you advise us in writing to the contrary, we shall be entitled to assume that any one of them has the authority to give instructions for all. Everyone jointly instructing us will be individually responsible for the payment of all our fees.
1.4 Dack Pearson is a Partnership registered in England and Wales with registration number 606592. The registered head office is Boathouse Business Centre, 1 Harbour Square, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 3BH. The firm is regulated by the Law Society.
2.1 Unless you have been provided with a written fixed quotation our fees are charged wholly or partly by an hourly rate. This hourly rate depends on the type and complexity of the work involved. You will be advised of the hourly rate at the outset of your matter. This rate is the rate you pay. No hidden uplift will be charged to you. The hourly rate is subject to change from time to time. You will be advised of any changes in the hourly rate. In most cases brief letters and telephone calls made and received are charged at a tenth of the hourly rate. Longer calls and letters are charged at the hourly rate.
2.2 Certain services may be charged for separately. These include facsimile transmissions, photocopying, international and long distance telephone calls, postage and courier charges, bank transfers and deposit account facilities and company registration services. If you have been given a written fixed quotation this will include all these items.
2.3 Whenever possible we will offer fixed price quotations. In certain types of work, for example court proceedings, this will not be possible. In these circumstances we will provide you with an estimate of what we expect our fees to be. However, factors beyond our control mean that these may have to be revised and in some situations separate estimates may have to be given for each stage of the proceedings. Quotations and estimates are only valid if confirmed in writing. Unless accepted, quotations expire one month from the date the quotation is given.
2.4 In many cases it will be necessary for us to incur or pay fees and expenses on your behalf to progress matters. These include search fees, court fees, counsel fees, expert witnesses fees and expenses, courier fees, travel expenses and stamp duty. We will normally require you to pay the amounts of such fees before we incur liability to pay them on your behalf. All disbursements will be shown and itemised on your bill separately. Some disbursements will be subject to vat.
2.5 If, for any reason, we cease to represent you or if a matter does not proceed to completion you will be responsible for our fees for all work done up to that date and any disbursements incurred on your behalf unless we have agreed otherwise in writing beforehand.
2.6 In most matters, it is our practice to require that payments are made to us on account of anticipated fees and disbursements. In these circumstances, it is a condition of our agreeing to act, and of our continuing to act, that clients promptly meet any request for payments on account.
2.7 If your matter is to be completed in a very short period of time, it will be invoiced on completion. In other matters, it is our standard practice to submit interim invoices. Interim invoices may not cover all aspects of the work done to date.
2.8 Fees and disbursements invoiced to you are due for payment immediately on delivery of our invoice. Interest will be charged from that date on any amounts not paid within 30 days of delivery of the bill, calculated on a daily basis at 4%above the base rate from time to time of National Westminster Bank plc. If any invoice remains unpaid after 30 days from the date of delivery, we reserve the right to terminate our retainer, that is to suspend work on your files and, ultimately, to refuse to continue to represent you.
2.9 In accordance with our normal practice, where we are in possession of any monies due to you, for instance damages recovered for you or the proceeds of sale of a property, we would expect to deduct any fees and disbursements due to us from those monies.
2.10 In certain types of matters such as property purchases, we shall require payment from you of our fees and disbursements and Stamp Duty and Land Registry Fees prior to legal completion taking place. Payment means our having cleared funds.
2.11 In carrying out certain types of work, particularly property work, we may have to make substantial payments on your behalf to third parties. Such payments may include, for example, purchase monies or mortgage repayment. In these cases, we are only permitted by our professional rules to make these payments from cleared funds. You must allow five working days for cheques to clear.
2.12 If you have a complaint concerning your legal costs you have the right to ask the court to assess or “tax” the costs. In respect of work which has not involved court proceedings (including all conveyancing work) the Law Society can provide a Remuneration Certificate stating whether the fees are reasonable and if not, what would be a reasonable amount. A request for taxation or a Remuneration Certificate should be made to us within one month of the delivery of the invoice.
3. Holding Client’s Money
3.1 Our professional rules require that we hold all our clients’ monies separate from our own funds. We do so by crediting these to a special client’s account at our bank (or another suitable financial institution). Naturally, we keep separate accounting records in respect of all client funds.
3.2 The Solicitor’s Accounts Rules provide that under certain circumstances, interest may be payable to clients in respect of money that we hold for them. Interest is generally paid at the same rate as that which is paid to us by Barclays Bank plc from time to time. The interest rates which are in operation from time to time are available on request.
3.3 In addition to maintaining separate accounting records in respect of clients’ funds, we are also obliged to maintain records in respect of interest earned on these funds in accordance with our professional rules and as required by the Inland Revenue. Where we hold monies on which interest is to be paid we make a charge for calculating the interest and maintaining the required records.
3.4 If a client instructs us in writing, monies on which interest may be payable can be held in separate deposit accounts exclusively related to that client and designated by the use of the client’s name. Where clients require us to open separate deposit accounts, we will do so. Naturally this involves additional administrative work and a charge for opening and operating such an account will be made. Transfers between designated deposit accounts and our general clients account will also be subject to a charge for each transfer. If you wish us to hold funds in this way please instruct us in writing. We will not open such an account on our own accord due to the large volume of client matters we deal with on a daily basis.
3.5 All calculations of interest to clients are on the basis that seven days notice of withdrawal is required and receipts (other than cash or bank transfers) will take five working days to clear. We will retain the first €25.00 of interest earned in all cases to cover administration costs of calculating any interest due.
3.6 In common with most other Solicitors and Banks, we charge a fee for transferring funds through the banking system (telegraphic transfers or other such payments) and for the provision of bankers drafts. A charge will also be made where a cheque credited to your account with us is dishonoured. This does not apply to cheques drawn by debtors in our favour in respect of debt recovery matters which we are handling for you. If you wish to make large cash payments please let us know in advance.
4.1 If you have a complaint regarding any aspect of our services please request a copy of our Complaints Procedure. All efforts will be made to resolve complaints to our mutual satisfaction as quickly as possible. If you are still dissatisfied you have the right to contact the Law Society’s Consumer Complaints Service and/or the Legal Ombudsman. If your complaint concerns the level of your legal costs please refer to clause 2.12 of these Terms & Conditions.
5. Other Terms and Conditions
5.1 Unless we agree otherwise, Dack Pearson retain copyright in all written material prepared for or supplied to our clients. Our clients may, of course, use the material but only in respect of the matters in respect of which this firm is instructed and for which the material was specifically prepared. This firm accepts no responsibility for the consequences of clients using such material in any other circumstances.
5.2 Once a particular matter has been conclude we cannot accept ongoing responsibility for reminding clients of changes in the law which might affect them or of critical dates in respect of such matters as rent reviews, lease renewals, the exercise of options, court proceedings and the like. We will only do so where we have accepted specific instructions in writing from you to advise you upon specific changes in law or to deal with the relevant matters immediately prior to the critical date in question.
5.3 In the interests of efficiency, much of the information that you give us will be recorded on word or data processing systems. By instructing us, you are deemed to have consented to this. Our firm is registered under the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Information held by us is confidential and will not be disclosed by us to a third party without your consent unless we are required to do so by law, including but not limited to, under the rules of professional conduct, following a request by the police or other law enforcement organisations or under Money Laundering Regulations that we are obliged to comply with from time to time. In instructing us you give us consent to disclose such information as may be necessary for the successful and efficient conclusion of the matter upon which your instructions are based.
5.4 It is important that you tell us in writing of any change in your address as soon as possible but in any event within seven days. Unless you do so we shall be entitled to treat your last address known to us as your address for all purposes including correspondence, notices and proceedings.
5.5 Our failure to enforce at any time or for any period any one or more of these terms shall not be a waiver of them or of the right at any time subsequently to enforce all or any applicable terms and conditions.
5.6 By instructing or continuing to instruct us, you are deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions can only be altered in writing.
5.7 On termination of the relationship between us you must pay us for all work we have done and expenses and liabilities (for example, under an undertaking) we have incurred on your behalf but not then invoiced or paid by you. You will also be responsible for and pay us for all work we do and expenses we incur in closing our file and ceasing to act for you. Where the courts are involved you must consent (or if you do not you will be deemed to consent) to an application to the court for the name of our firm to be removed from the record and must pay all costs and expenses incurred. We have and shall retain a lien on all your papers, deeds and documents until all monies owing to us or for which you are responsible are paid to us.