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 retainer with you.
1.4 No party other than our Head of Practice has the power to vary our retainer 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 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
2.4 Our Contact details telephone number Email and Postal addresses can be found on this 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 confirmatory 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 Confirmatory 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 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 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. 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.
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. This should also help you budget for costs.
4.3. Costs - General
4.3.1 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.
4.3.2 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.
4.3.3 We may require you to confirm both the initial and subsequent approval in writing to avoid confusion.
4.3.4 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.
4.3.5 We shall also charge for the work we do whether or not the matter reaches completion.
4.3.6 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.
4.3.7 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).
4.3.8 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.
4.3.9 Our bills should be paid within 14 days of you receiving them or prior to any face to face (or video conference) appointment, whichever comes first. Interest can be charged on unpaid bills after 14 days. We charge interest at 4% above the base rate of the NatWest Bank (taking into account that it varies from time to time).
4.3.10 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.
4.4. Costs - Cancellations of Telephone/Video Appointments
4.4.1 All appointments with legally trained personnel are timed and costed, the cost being included in our fees. However, changes to planned appointments, especially at late or no notice cause havoc with our Administration systems and prevent other clients taking advantage of the time slot. Consequently, our cancellation policy is as follows:
4.4.1.a Appointments cancelled more than 48 hours before the intended starting time - No additional fee
4.4.1.b Appointments cancelled less than 48 hours before the intended starting time - £100 Admin Fee
4.4.1.c Appointments cancelled less than 48 hours before the intended starting time but rebooked within one week - £50 Admin Fee.
5. Contact Person
5.1 Our Head of Practice, Robert Linford, F.inst.Pa, LLB. 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 confirmatory 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.
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.
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 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.
11. Governing Law and Jurisdiction
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.
12. Data Protection
12.1 Our Privacy Notice is available Online HERE