a. Anti-money laundering and compliance: We’re required under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 to identify and verify the identity of our clients and, sometimes, other individuals such as directors and persons having significant control over our clients. You agree to us making such checks using online databases. We’re also required under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and similar laws to report any information which gives rise to money laundering or terrorist financing concerns to the National Crime Agency or other similar agencies. We may be prohibited from continuing work on any related matters while any investigation is ongoing and from telling you whether we’ve had to make such a report.
b. Client account deposits: As we don’t have any control over the financial stability of our bank, we can’t be responsible for the failure of our bank or monies lost due to such failure. In such circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
c. Communication: We prefer to avoid using paper where we can and will generally communicate by email and phone or your other preferred channels. If you’d prefer us to encrypt all emails with you, please let us know, otherwise all emails will be unencrypted. We’ll do what we can to ensure that all communication with you is secure but can’t guarantee that they always will be secure. We recommend that you run anti-virus software when opening any attachments sent by us.
d. Compensation: The SRA operates a discretionary compensation fund for clients that have suffered loss due to a solicitor’s personal dishonesty or hardship due to a solicitor’s failure to account for money they’ve received. Obviously, we don’t anticipate such problems arising, but if you’d like to learn more about this fund you can do so on the SRA website.
e. Complaints: If there’s any issue with the service we’ve provided, please let us know and we’ll respond to it in line with our Complaints Procedure. In the unlikely event that we’re unable to resolve any issue between us at the end of our complaints process, you may be entitled to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
f. Conflicts of interest: If we become aware of any actual or potential conflict of interest between your interests and the interest of any other client or this firm, we may not be able to continue acting for you in a matter. If this happens, we’ll discuss it with you to agree the best way forward.
g. Confidentiality: We’re required by the SRA Standards and Regulations to keep the affairs of current and former clients confidential, unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or you consent to such disclosure. We may be required to disclose confidential information to the SRA as our regulator, our insurers for underwriting purposes and the National Crime Agency, the police, or other law enforcement agencies, if we reasonably suspect the commission of a criminal offence or a risk of harm to you or anyone else. Where we’re concerned that we can’t accept your instructions without disclosing or using any confidential information of someone else, we may have to terminate our agreement with you.
h. Copyright: We own the copyright and any other intellectual property rights in all documents we create for you. Provided you’ve paid all invoices relating to the creation of any documents, you’re free to copy, modify and use such documents for the specific purposes for which they were created. If you want to use any documents for any other purposes, you must ask us for permission to do so.
i. Files and original documents: We store all emails and documents electronically and are required to keep copies for a period of 7 years after a matter is closed. After that time, we may delete them. We don’t hold onto original documents and either forward them to you, or delete them, at your request.
j. Marketing: If you’re a corporate client, you to agree to us using your name and logo (including any registered trade mark) on our website and marketing materials. If you’d prefer that we didn’t use your name and logo, please let us know.
k. Non-solicitation: In order to protect our legitimate business interests, you agree that you won’t, directly or indirectly, solicit, entice or induce (or endeavour to solicit, entice or induce), any person who was employed or engaged by us at any time in the previous six months in a legal role, without our prior written consent. If we don’t provide our consent and you subsequently employ or engage such person, you agree to pay us, by way of liquidated damages, an amount equal to 20% of that person’s gross annual remuneration (excluding benefits or bonuses). This will be without prejudice to our right to seek damages or claim injunctive relief.
l. Severance: Each paragraph of these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.
m. Transferring this agreement to someone else: We may transfer our rights and obligations under our agreement with you to another organisation. We’ll always tell you in writing if this happens and we’ll ensure that the transfer will not affect your rights under our agreement with you.
n. Waiver: If we delay or fail to exercise any right, power or remedy that we may have by law or under the terms of our agreement with you, this doesn’t mean that we waive such right, power or remedy now or in the future. Similarly, if we only exercise any right, power or remedy once or partially, this doesn’t mean that we’re prevented from exercising such right, power or remedy in full now or in the future.
o. Governing law and jurisdiction: The agreement between us will be governed by English law. If any dispute arises, such dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts; however, we may pursue any claim for unpaid fees or expenses in any appropriate jurisdiction.