Transition Law - Client Terms of Engagement
1.1 This page contains details of the Terms and Conditions under which Transition Law will engage with you as our Client.
1.2 You should read the following carefully, We have been meticulous in writing these details in plain English but please ask us immediately about anything you do not understand.
1.3 We advise that these ‘Terms of Engagement’ together with any other document which refers to them such as an email or letter form part of our agreement with you.
1.4 No party other than our Head of Practice has the power to vary the agreement between us whether orally or in writing.
1.5 Unless separately agreed these ‘Terms of Engagement’ apply to any future instructions you give to us.
2. About Us
2.1 Transition Law is a Paralegal Law firm. We are Legal professionals but we are not Solicitors or Barristers. We are qualified in Law and experienced in giving clients advice in the areas of Law in which we practice.
2.2 We do not work in any area of Law where we do not have the necessary professional expertise or experience. Neither do we engage in 'Reserved Legal Activities' as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007.
2.3 We operate under the laws of England in the United Kingdom. We do not give legal advice for the laws of any other jurisdiction, Country or State, such advice must be obtained separately from Lawyers qualified in the relevant jurisdiction.
2.4 We are a Fellowship Member of the Institute of Paralegals (IOP). Our Registration Number is i208663. We adhere to their Professional Code of Conduct, Ethics and Professional Competency Standards which can be found HERE
2.5 Our Contact details telephone number Email and Postal addresses can be found on our Website: HERE.
3. Scope of Work
3.1 Usually, we will have a preliminary discussion with you as our prospective client by telephone or video call to establish your legal requirements and to determine that we can help. We then discuss with you how best to proceed. The initial discussion is usually conducted without cost unless we have agreed otherwise.
3.2 If you wish to engage our professional services we will email a confirmation of our preliminary discussion to you, which includes directions to these Terms & Conditions our agreed costs or hourly rate as applicable and an Invoice for payment. The email is our agreement to provide you with the legal services listed in the email for the price stated on the Invoice.
3.3 The Services listed in the email are based upon our introductory discussion when we agreed what your objectives or requirements are, the issues involved and the options available to you, together with what we believe is the most appropriate course of action.
3.4 Please tell us immediately if the email does not give a complete and accurate list of the services you expect us to provide for you.
3.5 Once you are in receipt of our confirmation email, you can then decide to engage us as discussed, choose not to engage us at all or discuss with us an alternative course of action for the next steps in your case.
3.6 Our client will be named in the Confirmation email. All our invoices for work done will be addressed to the named client.
3.7 Any work done by us will be on behalf of the named client and no one else and our only responsibility will be to look after the interests of the named client and no one else.
3.8 Unless instructed otherwise (and in writing) we will only give out information about this case to the named client.
3.9 We will only accept instructions and changes or updates to the instructions from the named client.
3.10 Where the named client is a Limited Company, we will consider any Director of the Company to be authorised to act for the client unless we receive written instructions to the contrary.
3.11 Where the named client consists of two or more individuals they will be considered to be joint clients or co-clients and each of such individuals may provide alter or amend our instructions. It is expressly agreed hereby that such joint clients or co-clients bear joint and several liability for any and all of our fees.
3.11 To help us keep in touch, please let us know as soon as possible if you change your address, telephone number or email so that we can keep our records up to date.
We are always transparent with clients about our costs.
4.1 Fixed Fee Basis
4.1.1 We will always work on a fixed fee agreed and paid in advance wherever possible.
4.1.2 The cost of completing your work will be part of our preliminary discussion and your invoice for the full amount agreed will be dispatched with our confirmation email.
4.1.3 You will be considered to have accepted these Terms if we do work for you after you have agreed the terms of our Confirmation email.
4.1.4 References in these Terms to a Confirmation email shall include any letter, document or email sent to you which sets out, amongst other things, the scope of the work we will be carrying out for you, any assumptions we have made about the scope, any exclusions from the scope, the anticipated timescale, who at Transition Law will be carrying out the work for you and an estimate or proposal in respect of fees we will charge for the work undertaken on your behalf.
4.1.5 When we work on a fixed fee basis our invoice must be paid in full prior to the commencement of the work unless otherwise agreed with our Head of Practice.
4.2 Time Spent Basis
4.2.1 Where we calculate our Fees on a Time Spent Basis the Fees are based on the amount of time taken to complete the work required. We charge in units of 6 minutes rounded up to the nearest unit of 6 minutes as appropriate. there are 10 units of 6 minutes in an hour. For example, if a telephone call lasts 15 minutes you will be charged for 18 minutes. However we may charge an additional amount if, for example, members of staff have to work outside normal working hours, or if your matter involves a complex, difficult or unusual aspect.
4.2.2 We shall charge you for any time spent by our executive staff (i.e. Legal advisers not secretaries etc.) working on your file. This includes things like advising you, meeting you or others, dealing with papers, correspondence, document assessment, all telephone calls, travelling and waiting time, etc.
4.2.3 We pride ourselves on keeping the client at the heart of everything we do. We intend to be transparent about our fees and we list them on our website, so clients know what we will charge them, from the outset.
4.2.4 Fees will change depending on the qualifications and experience of the person completing the work. Fees for work competed by our Head of Practice are as follows.
Introductory Discussion for new matters - £100 for 30 Minutes of telephone advice.
General Legal Advice - £250 per hour.
Letter/Email writing - £210 per hour.
Document Reading - £185 per hour.
We also arrange Custom Pricing packages for specific work - As agreed with the client.
4.2.5 When we work on a Time Spent basis We will deliver bills to you at regular intervals for the work, usually at the end of each week or when the work is completed. Such bills are due for payment immediately or in any event within Seven days. This should also help you budget for costs.
4.3 Costs - Payment on Account basis
4.3.1 We may ask you to pay for our services by placing an amount of money with us i.e. On Account, against which we will issue invoices until the amount is depleted, whereupon we will ask for further monies to be placed with us to be set against future bills. We may therefore ask you to put us in funds at the outset or prior to incurring costs or expenses on your behalf. If we want you to do this we will write to you with the details.
4.3.2 Please be aware that if we request monies before undertaking work for you we will not commence our work until those monies have been received by us in cleared funds.
4.3.3 If we ask you to work in this way, we will hold the money 'on account' securely until it is used.
4.3.4 Any unused part of the money held 'on account' is returnable to you on request, subject only to deductions of any outstanding bills owed to ourselves.
4.3.5 By returning our engagement email or by continuing your instructions, you authorise us to use any money held on account and any additional money you deposit with us.
4.4. Costs - General
4.4.1 We will always give you an estimate of the likely time to be spent on your instructions unless an estimate is not possible due to the complexity of the case or other reasons.
4.4.2 In any event You may place a limit on the amount of fees to be incurred without your prior approval. We will not incur costs beyond the approved figure without gaining additional approval from you.
4.4.3 We may require you to confirm both the initial and subsequent approval in writing to avoid confusion.
4.4.4 Please note that, once a fee has been agreed, we will charge for the work we do regardless of whether the matter is successful or not.
4.4.5 We shall also charge for the work we do whether or not the matter reaches completion.
4.4.6 Any quoted fixed fee may be reduced if the matter is not completed and you will only be charged for the work we have completed and/or the time spent on the matter.
4.4.7 We hope you understand that in the event of a payment not being made, we must reserve the right to refuse to do any more work for you (either permanently or temporarily).
4.4.8 We must also reserve the right to charge for unpaid work already done. Please feel free to discuss this point with us if you want to understand it in more detail.
4.4.9 Our bills should be paid prior to the release of documents or any face to face (or video conference) appointment. Alternatively, by agreement they may be paid immediately upon receipt or within Seven days of you receiving them.
4.4.10 Interest can be charged on unpaid bills after 14 days. The interest accrued will commence from the date the invoice was issued. We charge interest at 8% above the base rate of the National Westminster Bank (taking into account that it varies from time to time) or, if the amount is recovered following the issue of court proceedings, at the rate applicable on judgment debts.
4.4.11 We may offer a Commercial Discount on our usual fee structure, in such a case the Commercial Discount is an incentive for prompt payment. Prompt payment in these cases means payment prior to the release of any documents or conduct of any relevant consultation and in any event within seven days of the date of the invoice.
4.4.12 It should be noted that any Commercial Discount offered in accordance with clause 4.3.10 above will be withdrawn and the full fee reinstated if the terms of payment are not adhered to by the client. In such cases we will advise you in writing that this has occurred.
4.4.13 We may ask you to make a payment to us on account of anticipated disbursements (that is, fees and expenses paid by us on your behalf) such as Land or Probate Registry fees, court fees, experts fees and counsels fees including VAT where applicable.
4.4.14 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. Please be aware that we have no obligation to make such payments unless you have provided us with cleared funds for that purpose. We will not accept responsibility for any loss or additional expenses incurred by you as a result of your failure to provide cleared funds which we have requested from you.
4.4.15 If we are in possession of any monies due to you, for instance settlement from a divorce, damages recovered for you or the proceeds of sale of a property, we will deduct any fees and disbursements due to us from those monies.
4.4.16 If we are in possession of any monies due to you, for instance damages recovered for you, we will deduct any fees and disbursements due to us from those monies.
4.4.17 Please also note that after ending our contract with you we are entitled to keep all papers and documents until all outstanding bills have been paid.
4.5. Costs - Retainers
4.5.1 If you wish to engage our services on a retainer basis, such as for DPO Services or similar work we will prepare separate documentation covering the details of our agreement and how payment will be made for the work.
4.5.2 Retainers usually consist of a regular monthly payment for an agreed amount of work or the availability of legal advice during a period of time, whether the advice is called upon or not.
4.6. Costs - Cancellations of Appointments
4.6.1 All appointments with legally trained personnel require preparation and the work is timed and costed, the cost being included in our fees. However, changes to planned appointments, especially at late or no notice causes havoc with our Administration systems and prevents other clients taking advantage of the time slot. Consequently, our cancellation policy is as follows:
4.6.1.a Appointments cancelled more than 48 hours before the day of the appointment - No additional fee
4.6.1.b Appointments cancelled less than 48 hours before or on the day of the appointment including for Client actions such as non payment of fees - £100 Admin Fee
4.6.1.c Missed Appointments or those cancelled on the day of the appointment will incur the full agreed Fee to cover preparation for the matter and the time allocated to the appointment.
4.6.1.d A discretionary re-booking fee may be charged to cover additional administration costs.
4.7. Payment Methods Accepted
Please Note the following information regarding payment methods:
4.7.1 Payments made by Bank Transfer are preferred.
4.7.2 Payments made through our Website in excess of £100 must be authorised in advance by ourselves.
4.7.3 Before accepting Payments in cash we may require evidence of the source of the money.
4.7.4 Payment by Cheque will incur an administration charge of £10 and must be authorised in advance.
5. Contact Person
5.1 Our Head of Practice, Mr Robert Linford, F.inst.Pa, LLB (Hons) will have overall responsibility for the supervision of the services we provide to you. Please contact him on 0330 2233 506.
5.2 If any of our other staff will be carrying out your work this will be made clear in your confirmation email.
6. Working on Your Case
6.1 Once your case is underway we will keep in touch with you, usually by email or telephone as it progresses.
6.2 Any important letters or documents that need to be sent will first be shown to you for approval. We will always answer/return your telephone calls and emails promptly. However because of work commitments, both in and out of the office during the day, your call may not be returned or email answered immediately.
6.3 Alternatively it may be dealt with by another member of our staff if that will allow your enquiry to be dealt with as quickly as possible.
6.4 Please do not visit us without arranging it first. We cannot see people without an appointment.
6.5 We will endeavour to update you with regards to the progress of your case at least once every 7 days. There may be occasions where this may not be appropriate however.
6.6 We will work diligently and promptly on your case. If we need additional information or clarification from the client we will usually request this by email or telephone.
6.7 Where additional information has been requested and the work on your case cannot proceed without it we will email and/or telephone to remind you to provide us with the necessary information.
6.8 If a matter is partly completed and further or additional work is needed to complete it but you inform us that you do not intend for us to complete the extra work or you inform us that the work will likely not be completed as originally planned or if you simply change your mind about any further or additional work needed to complete the matter, we will archive your file for your protection.
6.9 In any event, if after one month from the date of our last contact with you, we have not received a response or we cannot get in touch with you the work on your case will be halted and the file will be archived securely.
6.10 Although archiving a file is a relatively rare situation, it is done to protect Clients confidentiality. If the file is later required or the work restarted an additional Fee of £100 will be required to recover the file from archiving and to cover the time spent to re-familiarise ourselves with the case before recommencing work on the matter.
7. Communication, Suggestions and Complaints
7.1 We aim to offer an efficient and effective service to you and we are confident that we will do so. However, if you are unhappy with any aspect of our service please discuss your concerns with your main contact person first.
7.2 If the matter is still unresolved then you can always raise the matter with our Head of Practice on the phone or via email.
7.3 You will not be charged for time spent handling any complaints. We aim to resolve such complaints as quickly and professionally as possible.
7.4 We are members of, but not regulated by, the Institute of Paralegals. You may contact the Institute if you are unhappy with any aspect of the service we provide - their contact details are HERE
7.5 In order to assist us with the smooth handling of your case, you will need to provide us with full instructions and respond to our requests for information, documents, etc as quickly as reasonably possible.
7.6 We are able to communicate with you by e-mail as well as by post and telephone. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume that you are happy for us to communicate by e-mail, even though email communications are not as secure as letters sent through the post.
8. Legal Documents and Case Papers
8.1 Until your instructions are complete or your case is resolved, it is extremely important that you keep safe all and any documents and papers relevant (or even just possibly relevant) to your case.
8.2 It is an express term of business between us that we own the copyright to any work that we create and this copyright will not be transferred to you. However, we grant you our licence to use our work solely for the purpose it was created. We have the right to be identified as the author of the work and object to any misuse of it. Specifically, you may not copy and share any work we have created for you with another person, Organisation, firm or similar private or commercial operation. 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 expressly prepared. We accept no responsibility for the consequences of clients using such material in any other circumstances.
8.3 The copyright of any work we create may be purchased from us at our discretion under a separate agreement providing such an agreement is reached between us prior to the use or assumption of any of our rights in the copyright are exercised.
8.3 You will not own any case papers created by us for our own internal use in managing your matter.
8.4 We will generally keep your file for five years at most. However please note that security/storage issues may at some point force us to copy all old files electronically, and dispose of the physical versions after copying.
8.5 This agreement gives us the authority to destroy your legal documents and case papers automatically without discussing the matter with you further.
8.6 If you choose to leave them with us you can still ask for them at any time, subject to the above five-year maximum retention policy and the possibility that we may only have retained scanned copies, not the originals.
8.7 We reserve the right to keep record copies of all documents and case papers returned.
8.8 If it becomes necessary to retrieve papers or other items from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act on your behalf, then we would not normally charge for getting them. However in other circumstances we may make a charge, based on the time spent and costs incurred in retrieving your stored documents and case papers and forwarding them to you.
8.9 We might also charge for reading correspondence and any other work necessary to comply with your instructions on this issue.
8.10 Please note that it can take up to 7 working days to retrieve your stored documents and/or case papers.
8.11 Please also note that we do not offer a safe custody deposit service. If your documents and/or case papers contain important items then you are very strongly advised to take them once your matter is completed.
8.12 We do not accept responsibility for loss arising to you from the loss of or damage to documents or other items held by us after the completion of your case.
9.1 We will treat your affairs as strictly private and confidential.
9.2 However please note that in certain limited circumstances, the law obliges us to notify the authorities if we have suspicions that serious criminal activity is taking place or about to take place.
9.3 This obligation does not cover past criminal activities, in respect of which we can advise in complete confidence.
9.4 The one exception to this is where we have reason to believe that money-laundering is or has occurred. In such circumstances we would be obliged to notify the authorities about our suspicions.
10. Ending this Agreement
10.1 You may end (i.e. terminate) this agreement at any time, ideally in writing.
10.2 You do not need to have or give any reason or advanced warning, although we would like to know if our service has fallen short so we can improve things.
10.3 Upon receiving a termination notice from you we will automatically issue a bill to you in respect of any unbilled time costs, expenses and disbursements.
10.4 Your termination of this agreement does not automatically cancel any unpaid bills or work done but not yet billed for.
10.5 If we are holding money on account for you then please contact us to discuss its return.
10.6 Equally, We are also entitled to terminate this agreement at any time and for any reason without advance warning. If we do so then we will notify you in writing.
10.7 The main reasons we would consider stopping acting for a client are when they do not pay our bills; if we can no longer assist them as they need; if we cannot get clear or proper instructions on how to proceed or where the client is abusive or too difficult to work with.
10.8 We are aware of the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Money Laundering Regulations and Anti—Terrorism Legislation, we will report any offender who we suspect has any monies which are the proceeds of criminal conduct and/or own any property which is the proceeds of criminal conduct. We cannot be held responsible for any losses which you incur as a result of our making such disclosure to the police or relevant authorities.
10.9 We will not be liable for any loss; damage or delay arising out of our compliance with any statutory or regulatory requirement.
11. Governing Law, Jurisdiction and Waiver
11.1 English law governs the terms of this agreement, and any dispute arising out of its terms will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
11.2 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.
12. Data Protection
12.1 Our Privacy Notice is available Online HERE