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Terms of Business
1. Quality of Service: In all our dealings with our clients we aim to provide a high quality service, to find out what our clients want, and achieve it. We try to work quickly and efficiently, and we hope you find us friendly and approachable. At the end of the transaction we hope you will think our fee represents good value for money.
2. Contacting Us: We are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Our telephones are answered during opening hours. If the person concerned is unable to take your call, or if we are closed for a local or statutory holiday, you can leave a message on our Answering Machine service. It may not always be possible to return telephone messages on the day they are left but they will certainly be returned the following day. Our FAX line is open at all times and we can also be contacted on our E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Initial Meeting: We will be happy to have an initial telephone discussion or meeting with you to decide whether we can be of assistance to you.
4. Instructions: Instructions may be given to us in writing or verbally. We may well ask you to confirm in writing the terms of verbal instructions given to us. If there is any change in your instructions you must notify us immediately. If you wish anyone other than yourself to give us instructions or information, we may require confirmation in writing. Where acting for one or more parties to a transaction we will take instructions from either or any of the parties and not all of the parties unless we receive express instructions otherwise. Where we do act for more than one person, each person for whom we do work is equally responsible for the instructions given to us and for payment of our fees and outlays in connection with that matter.
5. Conflict of Interest: In general, we cannot act for two or more parties if they have conflicting interests. Please advise us at the outset if you are aware of potential conflicts which may arise. If we decide that we can still act (i.e. if you are one of the exceptions to the general rule) we will confirm this to you in writing.
6. Private Limited Companies: If we are given instructions by a private limited company then, unless otherwise agreed in writing in advance, it is a condition of our accepting these instructions that the Directors are jointly and severally liable along with the Company for payment of our fees and costs and any interest thereon.
7. Confidentiality: Information passed to us is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties unless authorised by you or required by law.
8. Copyright and Third Parties: All copyright in documents we produce is reserved to us. Advice given and documents prepared are for your use only and may not be copied or used by any third party without our express written consent.
9. Law Society of Scotland: Like all Scottish Solicitors, we are members of the Law Society of Scotland and subject to its professional rules at all times.
10. How Long Will It Take: The nature of legal work often makes it difficult to estimate precisely how long something will take to complete. Please remember that quite often the speed at which work can be completed is affected by the co-operation (or lack of it) we receive from other people outwith our control.
11. Costs: The basis on which we shall charge you fees for a particular matter will be a lump sum, or will depend on the time spent carrying out the work or on some particular scale of charges appropriate to the type of work. In assessing the fees we take into account a number of important factors, including: the value of the transaction, the complexity and difficulty of the matter, the skill, knowledge and responsibility involved, the urgency of the matter and the place where we are required to carry out the work. In executry cases, our fees will be assessed and certified by the Auditor of Court. VAT is payable by you on all fees.
12. Estimates: Any estimates that may be given will be a probable fee based on our experience of the work you have asked us to do. If the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than we anticipated then we may require to increase our estimate to take account of this. We will inform you as soon as possible about this.
13. Accounts: We will issue an account either at the end of a matter or at regular intervals. Payment is due within thirty days of the date of account. If not paid within this time we reserve the right to charge interest on the amount overdue at 4% over the Clydesdale Bank plc Base Rate. If you do not pay our account on time, we reserve the right to stop working for you and to charge you fully for the amount of work we have done for you.
14. Deduction of Fees and Outlays at Source: Where we receive sums which belong to you we shall be entitled to deduct from those sums all outstanding fees and outlays before sending you the balance.
15. Sales and Purchases of Property: When you are selling property, we will deduct all outstanding costs together with our fees from the sale proceeds as soon as practicable after the date on which the sale is completed. When you are buying property, fees and costs will be payable by you by no later than five working days prior to the date on which you are to become the new owner of the property.
16. Costs Paid on Your Behalf: Where fees, outlays or expenses are to be paid by us on your behalf, we will endeavour to give you details of these in advance in order that you may place us in funds before payment is due. If, however, we are unable to do so, we will require to be repaid by you within seven days of your receiving a request for payment of the appropriate sum.
17. Independent Fee Assessment: The Auditor of Court is available to provide a completely independent assessment of a fair fee for any piece of legal work carried out for a client. On occasions, to ensure that a file has been correctly charged, we may voluntarily send the file to the Auditor. Unless otherwise agreed with you beforehand, we will in that event be responsible for payment of the Auditor’s fee. Should you at any time be dissatisfied with the amount of a fee charged by us, then you are entitled to ask us to have the Auditor review your file and set an appropriate level of fee for the work done. If the Auditor reduces the amount of our original fee we will only charge that reduced amount and we will pay the Auditor’s costs. If, however, the Auditor confirms that our fee is correct or undercharged, then you will be responsible for the Auditor’s costs.
18. Outstanding Monies: You are entitled to change Solicitors at any time but you are responsible for the fees and any other outstanding payments due to us until the time of change. We are entitled to hold any title deeds, files or other papers until payment.
19. Dissatisfaction: If for any reason you are unhappy about the quality of service provided, or the amount of our fees, then you should take the matter up with Mr. Tom Queen who will ensure that any such complaint is fully investigated, and that you receive a detailed response within ten working days. If you are still dissatisfied you are always entitled to take the matter to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG
20. Applicable Law: These terms and conditions are governed by the Law Society of Scotland and are subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.