watersrule solicitors, will be pleased to act on your behalf in connection with your business.
We aim to provide a comprehensive and competent Legal Service with advice given in a professional and friendly manner. If you are unable to contact the person dealing with your transaction, please do not hesitate to ask to speak someone else who will be more than happy to assist.
We hope you will find the following information to be of interest and that it will help both to explain our role and to explain what we hope to achieve for you.
1. Quality Service
We strive to attain a high quality of legal general practice, while maintaining a friendly 'personal family solicitor' approach. In order to provide a legal service a whole network of people and facilities are required to back up the individual solicitor. There is the office itself, typing, cash room and clerical staff; computers and electronics; books and periodicals to keep abreast of legal changes; professional indemnity insurances and other overheads. A legal service has to be paid for, but we hope that you will find that our fee represents good value for money.
Instructions may be given to us in writing or verbally. We may ask you to confirm verbal instructions in writing. Email is not a secure form of communication. All instructions sent to us by email must be confirmed by you in writing or directly with the solicitor concerned. A 'read receipt' should not be treated as confirmation that we have received and acted upon your email. Any amendments to your instructions should be notified to us immediately they arise. You agree that we may retain your correspondence files electronically and that we may dispose of your files after the minimum retention period advised by the Law Society of Scotland from time to time.
3. Money Laundering
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and the Money Laundering Regulations require us to be satisfied as to the identity of our clients and as to the source of any funds passing through our hands. In order to comply with these stringent regulations, we must have proof of your identity on our files. We reserve the right to withdraw from acting for you if you fail to provide us with the information requested of you within seven days. We must know the source of funds, and so you must tell us at the outset of your transaction where all monies are coming from and we may require proof. If the source of funds changes, it may lead to a delay in your transaction of seven days. There may be circumstances where we will have to withdraw from acting for you. We can no longer accept cash payments greater than £500.
Except where otherwise agreed, fees are rendered based on chargeable time spent in carrying out the work (presently £160 per hour) plus other factors such as value, urgency, complexity and responsibility. We reserve the right to increase our charge rate from time to time. Where we are instructed to act by a limited company, the directors will be personally liable for our fees and outlays.
5. Fee Quotes
Any quote that may be given will be a probable fee based on our experience of the work involved in a typical transaction of the kind that you envisage. If the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than we anticipated then we might have to increase our estimate in line with this. There are many instances where we can spend much time and effort on your behalf that could not have been foreseen at the time the original quote was given. If we have to increase our fee we will tell you as soon as possible.
6. How long will it take?
When we discuss your requirements at the outset, we will also discuss time scales. Often, however, the speed at which we can complete a piece of work is directly affected by the co-operation we receive from other people outwith our control. It is in our interest as much as yours to complete a piece of work as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, it is your business; if you haven't heard recently from the person dealing with your work then please ring us and ask.
7. Accounts, Outlays and Client's Funds
Usually, we will issue our account shortly before the end of the matter. Unless otherwise agreed, payment is due when the account is issued or at settlement, whichever is later. Where we pay expenses on your behalf we will require you to reimburse us within seven days of you receiving a request for payment of the appropriate sum. We reserve the right to deduct any fees and outlays due by you to us from any funds held by us on your behalf. When we hold funds for outlays for you, we will not be required to account to you for interest on those funds. Generally, when we hold money to your order, it will usually be held on your behalf in a Global account (our client account). Interest on the client account may be paid to us, which we will retain. If, having regard to the amount of such money and the length of time for which it or any part of it is likely to be held, it is reasonable that interest should be earned for you, (presently £500 per annum) we shall as soon as practicable place such money or, as the case may be, such part thereof, in a separate interest bearing client account in the title of which your name is specified and shall account to you for any interest earned thereon Any funds held for you will be deposited with the Clydesdale Bank plc. If you wish your funds to be deposited in a different bank you will need to give us specific instructions to that effect.
8. Post Completion matters
If we are holding cleared funds due to you following completion of your business, we will try to have these funds sent to you no later than the third working day thereafter. If you wish us to transfer funds to you or we require to pay third parties by BACS transfer, a fee of £24 will be charged to you.Third parties are not always able to tell us the cost of a particular service until after settlement and we may have to contact you some considerable time thereafter either to ask for additional funds/ information or to refund an overpayment. If we no longer have an up-to-date address or other contact details for you and the balance held for you is equal to or more than £10 (or such other amount as the Law Society of Scotland may from time to time prescribe) (the prescribed minimum) and less than £50 (or such other amount as may from time to time be prescribed) ("the prescribed maximum"), we may either remit the balance to the Office of the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer or to a registered charity of our choice (presently Children's Hospice Association Scotland). If the balance held for you is equal to or more than the prescribed maximum, we shall use reasonable endeavours, having regard to the actual amount of money held, to trace you. We may charge a reasonable fee for work undertaken to trace you. If, having used reasonable endeavours we cannot trace you, we shall remit the balance (after deducting any permitted fee) to the Office of the Q.L.T.R. Whether or not we have an up-to-date address or other contact details for you, and where the balance held for you is less than the prescribed minimum, we may take that balance to a fee.
9. Third party advice and payments
Your business may have taxation and financial consequences for you. Unless you inform us otherwise, we will assume you have obtained independent tax and financial advice. Any tax advice that we give is of a general nature only and you should seek specialist advice. We are authorised to provide Incidental Financial Business only. We can introduce you to specialist tax advisors or an Independent Financial Adviser. We may receive commission from such introductions, which we will retain. If you have been directly referred to us by a third party, we may pay an introduction fee to them. Details will be made available upon request.
If you have any concerns about the manner in which the work is being carried out on your behalf, please contact our Client Relations Director, Stephen Rule, or the other Director who will be happy to discuss your concerns. A copy of our procedure for handling complaints is available on request. You agree that our liability in any one transaction will be limited to the level of cover available to us from time to time under the compulsory master policy (presently 2 million).
11. Whole agreement
These terms and conditions, unless modified by the terms of any letter accompanying them, constitute the whole agreement between us and may be relied upon by either party.
*Additional specific Terms of Engagement may be issued at the time of Instruction dependant on the category of work to be undertaken.