Our hours of business
Our normal office opening hours are between 9:00am and 5:30pm on weekdays. Messages can be left on the answerphone outside those hours. We do operate a flexible hours working policy between the hours of 9:00am – 10:00am and 4:00pm – 5:30pm, which may mean the relevant caseworker will not always be available outside the hours of 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Payment for our services
It is not possible to run a professional service without proper remuneration. Like every other business, we are subject to commercial pressures, and it is essential therefore that we have due regard to cash flow and profitability. By being successful, we assist you by being able to give a better and more efficient service. Our policy is to ensure that we have a level of fees sufficient to provide an excellent service to you.
All amounts of our charges are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate at the time the account is rendered (VAT no: 328585918). All monetary amounts stated in these terms and conditions are subject to review from time to time and the actual charge made will be that prevailing at the appropriate time.
Our charges are subject to the limitations and to your rights as set out in the Solicitors Remuneration Order 1972 and Solicitors Act 1974.
Storage of papers and documents
Our files are managed electronically. Any paper documents we receive will be scanned onto our computer system as soon as practical and destroyed or returned to you. We will not destroy any documents you have specifically asked us to retain.
If you request your file following closure of your file, a handling charge shall be made, currently £25.00 plus VAT. Please note that if the physical file is destroyed a CD will be supplied with images of the papers in PDF. These can be read by any machine using Adobe Reader. We can arrange for a file to be printed but there will be an additional charge based upon the number of copies.
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 still money owing to us for our costs and expenses. This is called a lien, which we are entitled to exercise.
We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason. Please see some of the reasons in “What We May Expect From You” and “Our Advice” in your client care letter. Subject to what is said there we will give you reasonable notice before we terminate our retainer. The Legal Aid Agency specify other instances where we must stop acting under Legal Help.
You may make representations to the Legal Aid Agency about the withdrawal of Legal Help. We will tell you how to do so if the situation arises.
For your protection
We have a compulsory professional indemnity insurance policy currently in the sum of £3,000,000 with Endurance Worldwide Ins Ltd. This policy covers loss resulting from the performance or failure to perform legal services in England, Wales, or worldwide.
Our accounts are annually audited in accordance with the Law Society rigorous standards. In dealings with us, therefore, you are completely protected.
Valuable documents sent to you will be at our discretion by insured post.
We are members of the following schemes for referral work and we have entered into a financial arrangement with each of them for referrals. Please note that there is therefore a financial interest for these organisations to refer clients to their panel members such as ourselves.
Andrew Liddell Consultancy
Top Brief Consultancy Ltd.
Solicitors’ Financial Services
Sometimes conveyancing, family, probate or company work involves investments. We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and so may refer you to someone who is authorised to provide any necessary advice. However, we can provide certain limited services in relation to investments, provided they are closely linked with the legal services we are providing to you, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If you have any problem with the service we have provided for you then please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly and operate an internal complaints handling system to help us to resolve the problem between ourselves. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, then we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Complaints Service.
The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Complaints Service is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry out insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority’s website at https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register.
The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints handling body.
In the first instance please contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. If you would like to make a formal complaint this will not affect how we handle your case.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome following discussions with the caseworker, you can request that your complaint be referred to Jane Cowdrey, Director, who will confirm the company’s final decision.
If the complaint still remains unresolved internally, only then may you take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. We have 8 weeks to consider your complaint. If for any reason we are unable to solve the problem between us within that time frame, then you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. Please be aware that any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within 6 months of your having received a final written response from us about your complaint. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman must usually be made within 1 year of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring, or within 1 year from when you should have known about or become aware that there were grounds for complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman www.legalombudsman.org.uk can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help if you are concerned about our conduct, such as alleged dishonesty or alleged discrimination etc. Visit their website www.sra.org.uk to see how you can raise your concerns with them. Please note that the SRA only deals with complaints regarding alleged breach of their principles. They do not deal with complaints regarding your case or the service received.
Acceptance of our advice
We have pledged to deal with your matter in a professional and expeditious manner. We think carefully about our advice before we give it. We give our considered advice even if it is not what you wanted to hear. We hope you will agree with the advice we give to you, and if you do not we hope you will discuss your concerns with us. However, if you do not accept our advice and want the matter dealt with in another way, you must note that we reserve the right to terminate our retainer. This is particularly so for publicly funded matters where your instructions may prolong matters or increase expense. However this may be the case for other matters where we believe that your instructions may, for example, place you at risk of loss, or increase expense for you or another, or where your instructions preclude us from affording fellow professionals the usual courtesies, such as responding to their communications. Please note this is not intended to be a comprehensive or exhaustive list, but only a few examples. We will not in any event accept instructions to act in an unprofessional, discourteous, improper or illegal manner.
Identity, Disclosure & Confidentiality
We are entitled to refuse to act for you if you fail to supply appropriate proof of identity.
Subject to statutory exceptions, we are under a professional and legal obligation to keep client information confidential. We may undergo audits or quality checks and we may also outsource work for example for photocopying and costing services. Information from your file may therefore be made available to third parties in such circumstances, however we aim to obtain a confidentiality agreement with such third parties.
The Data Protection Act requires us to advise you that your particulars are held on our database.
Please inform us if you would like us to contact you to advise of other services we are able to offer or promotions that we consider may be of interest to you.
We are obliged to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and often others 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. If it is not practicable for us to meet you at an early stage of the work we are handling for you we ask you obtain certified documents from another lawyer or financial professional elsewhere and submit these certified copies to us in the post. We might also commission an electronic database search in which case the fee will be charged to you as expenses.
Please note that any such searches and copy documents will be securely maintained on the file of your matter in pursuance of our data protection policy. The uses that will be made of the data will be able 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 your matter we are handling for you or from the date at which you cease to be a client of this firm. In most cases, we will retrain the forms and any other data for our usual file retention period of six years from the date of the file being archived. The data might be stored for longer than this if necessary, however, as when litigation has arisen or may be pending, and the checks have or may become relevant in any such proceedings. You agree to this longer storage period when we deem it to be necessary.
In all other respects the data and papers collected for these purposes will be retained in accordance with our file storage procedures.
All clients must take part in these checks no matter how long your solicitor has carried out business with you or what the nature of their relationship with you may be.
For some transactions, such as purchasing a property, another important part of the process is for your solicitor to ask you to confirm where the money that you provide will be coming from, for example a UK bank account, overseas transfer or money from a third party and how you have obtained that wealth, e.g. by savings, sale of property or inheritance.
These checks ensure that the anti-money laundering rules are followed in accordance with the law.
We may transfer all rights and obligations under any contract with you to any successor to the firm in the context of its business in the event that such a successor, whether it be a partnership, limited liability partnership, or body corporate takes on the business of Anthony King Solicitors. By continuing to instruct us having been notified of these Terms of Business you agree to the future novation of any contract you have with us in favour of the successor entity.