Introduction & Scope
- These terms explain the basis in which Family Law in the City (FLC) will carry out all legal work to comply with your instructions.
- FLC are authorised and regulated by the SRA (No. 8001666).
- FLC is the trading name of Family Law in the City Ltd, company no. 14313473 with registered offices at Octagon Point, 5 Cheapside, London EC2V 6AA.
- These terms will apply to all dealings between us, unless otherwise agreed in writing, or supplemented or varied by other terms issued by us.
- We reserve the right to revise or amend these terms at any time to reflect changes to our business or changes in the law.
Compliance with money laundering regulations
- We are required by UK anti-money laundering legislation to identify and verify the identity of our clients by reference to appropriate documentation at the outset of our business relationship, and to keep the information we have about the identity of our clients up to date.
- Identity will be verified by (i) a passport or (ii) photographic driver's licence, while your address may be verified by reference to (i) a recent utility, (ii) council tax bill or (iii) bank statement bearing your name and current address. We would expect to review the originals of these documents at our first meeting or otherwise by arrangement, or over video link.
- Where specific background information is available, we will give you the best indication possible about the likely costs that could be incurred, to include a breakdown of fees, VAT and disbursements such as barristers or experts fees. We will provide you with an anticipated cost estimate at the commencement of your matter and at regular stages throughout your engagement with us, this will include a review of any estimate given each month when we provide you with our monthly invoice.
- Any cost estimate given will be based on the information available at the time and will be subject to revision as your matter progresses. It is not a fixed quote. We will advise you immediately that it becomes apparent that a fee estimate is likely to be exceeded.
- If at any stage you become aware that you will be unable to meet our fees, you must notify us immediately.
- Our charges are based on the time we spend dealing with your matter and is recorded in six-minute units (1/10th of an hour).
- Time spent on your matter includes meetings, telephone attendances, written communications (including reading and sending emails), considering, preparing and working on papers and the strategy for your case. It will include time spent liaising with you, the other side, and potentially third parties such as the court, experts and barristers.
- Our hourly rates are reviewed annually, usually with effect from 1 November each year to take into account increases in our costs, promotions and the development of our solicitors. We will notify you at least 30 days before implementation of any changes in our hourly rates.
- We charge a £30 plus VAT administrative cost when taking on an instruction to cover the set up costs, to include complying with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
- Other expenses that may be incurred which will be charged for include but are not limited to photocopying, reasonable travel expenses, meeting room hire.
- It may be necessary to instruct a barrister or an expert during your instruction of us. We will obtain your prior agreement to the instruction of any such third party and you agree that you will place us in funds to cover their fees before we become professionally and contractually bound by that instruction. We will provide you with an estimate of their likely fees and a range of options, if available.
Monies on account
- We cannot accept an instruction without money on account. Full details are provided in our letters of engagement. We shall be entitled to apply any monies held on your behalf to discharge professional fees and disbursements properly incurred on your behalf. We will notify you before doing so.
- Due to anti-money laundering legislation, we may not be able to return any unused funds held by us to anyone other than the person who sent the funds to us.
- We will invoice you monthly and a final bill will be issued on completion or conclusion of you matter once the full amount of all the costs applicable is known and/or realised.
- Every invoice will contain an itemised breakdown of the work we are charging you for.
- All bills issued are payable upon receipt and interest is payable after fourteen days at the rate of the current Bank of England base rate plus1.5% for any amount unpaid. If you have any query on a bill you should raise this with us immediately.
- Payment can be made by credit or debit card, or by bank transfer.
- For any bills not paid, we are entitled to terminate the engagement and take such steps as we consider appropriate to recover any outstanding bills and interest thereon, including but not limited to initiating court or insolvency proceedings against you. You agree to indemnify us in respect of the costs of and incidental to those proceedings.
Disclosure of arrangements with third parties
- We will disclose to you any relationship we have with a third party, such as a funder or litigation loan provider, which may affect the steps we can take on your behalf. We will explain any constraints or conditions which may affect you and how these may affect our engagement with you.
People responsible for your work
- You will be assigned a senior solicitor at the outset of your engagement with FLC who will have responsibility for overseeing and leading your matter. They will work with other team members as appropriate. It will be usual for you to work with two solicitors and the companies Practice Manager throughout your engagement with FLC.
- Please refer to our Complaints procedure
- Save where the law provides otherwise, or we agree otherwise with you in writing, FLC will retain the intellectual property rights of all documents and other material produced by us.
Storage of papers & documents
- We will not store hard copy documents or retain hard copy original documents. If sent to us, these will be returned to you at the conclusion of your matter. We shall store documents electronically only and retain an e-file for your matter which will be electronically stored for a period of 7 years before being deleted.
Use of Personal Information
- Throughout our engagement, we are a data controller in respect of any personal data you provide us. This is due to the legal and professional obligations we are under which oblige us to take responsibility for the personal data we hold. This may require us to disclose information to third parties in compliance with these obligations, for example, in relation to any money laundering concerns.
- We will process all personal data in accordance with data protection law and will inform you if we believe that implementing your instructions would cause us to breach data protection law.
- If you agree to be included on one of more of our mailing lists, we may contact you from time to time with information about our team and our services. If you later decide that you do not wish to be contacted in this way, please let us know.
- You consent to us carrying out a credit reference check at the commencement of our engagement.
Sharing of information
- We may be required to share information with third parties for regulatory purposes, where required by law, the court or by our insurers. You agree that we may release any personal or other information about your instruction as may be required for such regulatory or compliance purposes, or where necessary to discharge the services agreed under our engagement.
Communication & use of email
- Unless you instruct us otherwise, we will communicate with you by post, telephone and email. Where we communicate by email, you acknowledge that email is insecure and gives rise to a risk of transmitting viruses, and that the confidentiality of email cannot be guaranteed. Unless you ask us, we shall not encrypt or password-protect any email or attachment sent by us. We shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from the unauthorised interception, redirection, copying or reading of emails including attachments, or from the affect on any hardware or software arising from any email communication between us.
Use of our Website
- Use of the Website includes accessing it, perusing it, or using any of the functionality offered via it.
- When using this Website (and our online communications infrastructure including any enquiry forms that we may offer users) you agree that:
- any information you submit is accurate, truthful and up to date;
- not to impersonate other people;
- not use obscene or vulgar language;
- not to submit information or content that is unlawful or otherwise objectionable including, but not limited to, content that is defamatory, abusive, offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic, threatening, vulgar, obscene, hateful, content which promotes or incites violence or is otherwise inappropriate;
- to refrain from using our Website and online communications systems for unauthorised mass-communication such as “spam” or “junk email”; and to only use this Website for lawful purposes.
- Information on this website should serve as a guide only and is no substitute for obtaining independent professional advice.
- You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time.
- We are entitled to stop work or terminate our engagement for the following reasons:
- Non-payment of our invoices;
- A breakdown of the working relationship between us;
- Where you require assistance that is outside our area of expertise; or
- Where a conflict of interest arises.
- Where either you or we decide to terminate the engagement, we are entitled to render a final bill in respect of our outstanding work in progress and any disbursements or expenses.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
- FLC maintains professional Indemnity Insurance in compliance with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
- FLC’s professional and contractual relationship with you will be governed by the law of England and Wales.