Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions

  1. Introduction

These Terms of Engagement (Terms of Engagement) contain the terms and conditions upon which the firm of Steinfeld Law LLP (we or the firm) provides its services and outline the steps you should take if, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with the service we provide. They should be read in conjunction with our accompanying letter of engagement (our Engagement Letter). Words and expressions defined in the Engagement Letter shall have the same meanings in these Terms of Engagement.

Your acceptance of our Engagement Letter and your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these Terms of Engagement which comply with standards recommended by the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). If you provide our firm with further work concerning matters other than the engagement, these Terms of Engagement will be deemed to continue to apply to any new instructions from you.

These Terms of Engagement supersede any prior representation, arrangement, understanding or agreement between us relating to services undertaken by this firm, whether written or oral.

These Terms of Engagement are intended to explain to you as clearly as possible the basis upon which we will act on your behalf.

You should note that your relationship is with Steinfeld Law LLP and not directly with any individual member, employee or consultant of Steinfeld Law LLP.

  1. Professional Rules and Regulations

As Solicitors we are at all times governed by our professional Code of Conduct and the Rules of the Court.  We are authorized and regulated by the SRA, registration number 508044. The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. You can obtain a copy of the SRA Code of Conduct from the SRA’s website www.sra.org.uk.

  1. Responsibility for your work

Our Engagement Letter will inform you of the name and status of the person(s) who will act for you on the engagement and the name and status of the person who will have overall responsibility for the engagement.  In some instances, this person might be one and the same.  It may be appropriate for work on your behalf to be carried out by other members of the firm, such as a trainee solicitor, but all work by other members of the firm will be carried out under appropriate supervision.

  1. Payments on account of fees and disbursements

In certain cases, and particularly when you are a new client or litigation is involved or when we may need to incur substantial expenses on your behalf to third parties (disbursements), we may require you to provide a payment on account of our future costs and disbursements anticipated in the following weeks or months. Payments on account will be applied against any bill issued to you.  We will inform you when a payment on account is to be deducted from a bill issued and inform you of the outstanding amounts due.

Monies paid on account will be credited to you in our general client account. If monies are received in a currency other than sterling we will convert into sterling on receipt unless otherwise agreed.

It is essential that monies on account, especially for disbursements, are paid promptly by you as failure to make payment may delay the carrying out of the engagement.

Examples of likely disbursements include, but are not limited to, Land Registry and Companies House fees; search fees; Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Land Tax (and similar taxes); fees charged by experts, agents and barristers; courier fees, court fees; travel expenses and subsistence; international telephone calls; and telegraphic money transfer fees. VAT is payable on certain disbursements, which you will need to pay in addition.

  1. Unpaid bills and interest

It is a condition of our retainer that all bills, interim and final, are paid promptly. If a bill is rendered and not paid within one month, we reserve the right to terminate our retainer on this and any other matters on which we are acting for you, on giving reasonable written notice to you.

We may also charge interest and recovery costs on the outstanding amount.  The interest and recovery costs on the outstanding amount will be at the rate specified at the time under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, calculated from the date of the bill to the date payment is received and both before or after any judgment we may obtain against you.

We shall also have the right to exercise a lien against and set off any outstanding amounts (together with accrued interest) against any amounts or property we may be holding for you.

  1. Client Account Money


Clients’ money is held by us in a general client account with our bank, currently C. Hoare & Co., in accordance with the SRA Account Rules.

If we hold monies for you we shall account to you for interest, calculated on the basis of the amount we hold for you in cleared funds as if it were placed in a current account with our bank.    However, no interest will be payable where the total amount of interest, calculated on the balance held, is less than £20, as the cost of administering this payment exceeds the amount payable.

If we have acted reasonably in dealing with your monies we hold on account for you we will have discharged our duty to you as trustee in relation to those monies.

Liability for Bank collapse

We are not responsible and therefore exclude any and all liability whatsoever in the event that our bank fails to repay any or all of the monies or collapses, becomes insolvent or enters any scheme of arrangement with its creditors, even if the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (or any such other scheme) fails to award full compensation to our clients with monies in that general client account. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Small amounts

If at the end of the engagement we hold £6 or less of your monies on our client account, we will, to save the administrative costs of dealing with such small amounts, donate the monies to our chosen charity without any need to notify you or obtain your consent.

Client Balances

Where we hold funds due to you (for instance the proceeds of sale of a property or shares in a company) we will, unless we have otherwise agreed with you, account to you for those funds having deducted in full all our outstanding fees, disbursements and VAT.

Foreign currency

If we do not have a client account for the currency received from you, we may convert to sterling unless specifically instructed to hold the monies in a separate client account in that currency in which case we may make a reasonable charge.

  1. Tax Matters

We do not generally provide any tax advice.  Accordingly, we shall have no liability to you in failing to advise on any relevant tax matters (including alternative structures to minimize tax and the availability of reliefs) unless otherwise specifically referred to in our Engagement Letter.

  1. Contentious Matters

You will be responsible to us for our fees and disbursements, regardless of any order obtained for payment of your costs by another party. In any event, most orders against other parties for payment of costs enable recovery from them of only a proportion of the actual costs and depend on the ability of the other party to pay.  You should also bear in mind that if your proceedings fail at any stage you may be ordered to pay the costs of the other party as you go along and at the end of the proceedings.

  1. Exclusions and Limitations on our Liability

Losses” in the following paragraphs mean all demands, claims, actions, proceedings, damages, payments, losses, costs, expenses or other liabilities.

Proportional liability

There is a risk that we will be prejudiced by any limitation or exclusion of liability which you agree with any other person (for example, another adviser) in connection with a matter in which we are advising you.  This is because such a limitation or exclusion of liability might also operate to limit the amount which we could recover from that other person by way of contribution if we were required to pay you more than our proper share of the liability.  Accordingly, in order that our position is not adversely affected by any limitation or exclusion of another person’s liability, you agree that we will not be liable to you for any amount which we would have been able to recover from the other person by way of indemnity, contribution or otherwise but are unable to recover because you agreed, or are treated as having agreed, with them any limitation or exclusion on their liability.

Third party liability

If you start proceedings against us for loss or damage and there is another person (for example, another adviser) who is liable (or potentially liable) to you in respect of the same loss or damage, then you will (if we so request) join them into the proceedings.  This is subject to any legal prohibition against your joining them in that way.

Maximum Liability

The firm’s maximum liability to you in relation to the provision of our services, howsoever arising, in relation to the engagement will not exceed £3 million.

Liability cap

We may, from time to time, agree with you that our aggregate liability to you in relation to a particular matter is limited to an amount specified in the relevant Engagement Letter (a “Liability Cap”).  Where a Liability Cap is agreed it will apply to our aggregate liability to you (together with any associated party for whom you are acting as agent in relation to the relevant matter on any basis (including for example contract or negligence) for all Losses arising from or in connection with our services in relation to the relevant matter.

Specific exclusions

We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses, or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.

No claim against individual members or employees

You accept that we have an interest in limiting the personal liability and exposure to litigation of our employees, consultants  and members and that we are a limited liability entity. Accordingly, in instructing us you agree that you will not bring any claim personally against any individual employee, consultant  or member in respect of Losses which you suffer or incur, directly or indirectly, in connection with our services.  The provisions of this paragraph will not limit or exclude the firm’s liability for the acts or omissions of our employees, consultants  or members.

The provisions of the above paragraph are intended for the benefit of our employees, consultants  and members but the terms of our engagement may be varied without the consent of all or any of those persons.

  1. Limitation on exclusions

The above exclusions and limitations will not operate to exclude or limit any liability for fraud or reckless disregard of professional obligations or for liabilities which cannot lawfully be limited or excluded, such as death or personal injury caused by our negligence.

  1. Insurance

We maintain professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the rules of the SRA. Details of the insurers and the territorial coverage of the policy are available at our offices. The minimum level of insurance cover that we are obliged to carry under the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules is currently £3 million and we consider that an adequate level of cover for this firm to carry. For this reason, we believe that the limitation on our maximum liability, referred to in paragraph 9 above, is reasonable.

  1. Conflicts of Interest

Where a conflict of interest arises or may arise (for example, where we find that the other party to your proposed transaction is or has been, a client of the firm), we may not be able to accept or continue working on your matter.  We search our records to ensure at the outset of the engagement that there is no actual or potential conflict of interest so as protect you from conflicts of interest. If there is an actual or potential conflict of interest we will discuss it with you. We may act for two or more of you (for instance, more than one shareholder in a company or owner of a property) if there is no actual conflict and/or you both consent. If a conflict arises during our retainer then we may have to cease acting for one or more of you.

As regards confidentiality and disclosure in relation to actual or potential conflicts of interest you agree and recognize that:

(a)             We may hold or obtain confidential information about another client or prospective client or its business which might reasonably be expected to be material to matters upon which we are advising you. You accept that we will owe you no duty to disclose such information whether or not your interest is adverse to it.

(b)             Where we hold confidential information about you or your business, we shall not be precluded from acting or continuing to act for another client or prospective client or its business where your information might reasonably be expected to be material to it and it has an adverse interest to you provided that either  (i) effective measures have been taken by us which result in there being no real risk of disclosure of the confidential information or (ii)  you have given informed consent in writing to us acting, including to any measures taken to protect your  information.

  1. Confidentiality

Unless (i) otherwise agreed by you or (ii) required by law or any regulatory authority or (iii) in the proper performance of our professional duties in carrying out the engagement or (iv) where the information becomes public without any breach of our obligations to you, we will treat as secret and confidential and not disclose to any other person any information relating to you or to the engagement. Except where otherwise agreed, the fact that we act for you professionally will not be deemed confidential and may be disclosed to clients or prospective clients.

On termination of our engagement or otherwise on request by you and at your reasonable expense, we will deliver to you all material provided to us in the provision of our services or prepared by us pursuant to the engagement and all copies of the same, other than information or material that we are entitled or required to retain under professional or other regulatory rules.

We may be required by law to reveal certain information and documents about you to authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue & Customs, the Police, the Serious Fraud Office or the National Crime Agency in relation to matters such as financial conduct, tax, fraud, bribery, money laundering or terrorist financing. If we are required to make a disclosure in relation to your matter we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may also have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.

The firm may also become subject to periodic audits or quality checks by external firms, companies or organizations. This could mean that your file is selected for checking. It is a specific requirement imposed by us that these external firms, companies or organizations fully maintain confidentiality in relation to any files and papers which are audited/ quality checked by them. Unless you notify us otherwise, we assume that you are happy for your file to be selected for file auditing and vetting.

We also reserve the right to disclose, when necessary, our files and those of our clients to our professional indemnity insurers and to provide information to our insurance brokers in relation to these communications with insurers.  Both our professional indemnity insurers and brokers are regulated and take such steps as necessary to protect our clients’ confidentiality.

  1. Storage, Return and Destruction of Papers and Documents

As a general rule documents on our file belong to you or, where we are acting for two or more joint clients, to all clients jointly. Documents which we have created for our use for which no charge has been made belong to us. Examples of documents that belong to us are internal memos, notes of meetings or conversations, copies made for our use, our working papers and our time and accounts records and accounting documents.

We will retain your papers and documents during the engagement, unless we end our engagement without good cause and afterwards whilst there is any money owing to us. We may exercise this right of lien or retention irrespective of any prejudice which may be suffered by you as a consequence.

After completion of the transaction and payment of any money owing, we will keep our file of papers, except for any which you ask to be returned to you, for at least six years and on the understanding that we have your authority to destroy it after six years from the date of the final bill which we send to you in relation to the engagement.

We will not destroy documents which you ask us to place in safe custody such as original deeds and wills. We will take reasonable care of your deeds, documents and other papers as long as they remain in our possession.  We may make a reasonable charge for storage or retrieval of your documents on request.  However, should any of them be lost or damaged as a result of events beyond our reasonable control, we will not be liable for their replacement or for any resultant loss.

If you ask us to forward (whether in hard copy or electronic form) original deeds or other documents or files to yourself or to another firm of solicitors or other person, in circumstances where we are not instructed to act for you, we will be entitled to make a reasonable charge for any printing, courier fees and our time involved in doing so.  We may require payment as a condition of delivery of such papers.

We may also be obliged to retain papers and information obtained to meet our obligations in relation to anti-money laundering regulations or as otherwise required by law.

  1. Communications / E-Mail

We will communicate with you and on your behalf in the most effective and efficient way. In this context, we shall assume that you are agreeable to our communicating with you by e-mail unless you advise us to the contrary. If you do not wish us to communicate with you by email this can have a material cost and efficiency impact on us and we reserve the right to increase the fees payable to take this into account. We will also assume, unless you tell us otherwise, that your arrangements are sufficiently secure and confidential to protect your interests.

Please bear in mind that the internet is not secure and there are risks if you send sensitive information in this manner or you ask us to do so. E-mail communications may not always be confidential and you should note that privilege may be lost as a result. Our e-mails to you will not be encrypted.

We make reasonable attempts to exclude from our e-mails any virus or other defect that might harm a computer or IT system.  However, it is your responsibility to put in place measures to protect your computer or IT system, and we do not accept liability for any loss or damage that may arise from the receipt or use of electronic communications sent by us in good faith.

It is very unlikely that we will change our bank account details during the course of your engagement. In any event, we will never contact you by email to tell you that our details have changed. If you receive any communications (including by email, letter or phone call) purporting to be from this firm which suggests our account details have changed or that you should pay money to any other account than our bank account, or that you deem suspicious or have any concerns about (however slight), please contact the person dealing with your engagement straightaway.

  1. Our Responsibilities to each other

During the course of the engagement, we will review progress of the matter on a regular basis, keep you informed of progress and notify you of any changes in circumstances that might have an impact on the matter.  If the matter is a contentious matter or is of a relatively low value, we will advise you from time to time, as necessary, whether the likely outcome of the matter will justify the likely charges and expenses and risks involved.

We will also provide you with periodic updates of the costs involved in conducting the engagement and bring to your attention any necessary expenses.

In return, we would ask that you provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions, respond promptly to our requests for documents, information or instructions and safeguard any documents which are needed for your matter.    Delay in giving us information or in telling us what you want will often mean that we cannot provide a completely satisfactory service and may result in an increase in the fees payable.

We will expect you to comply with any applicable statutory and other legal or regulatory requirements, including those relating to money-laundering and, where relevant, financial services.

In contentious issues you are required to take particular care about the accuracy and speed of your instructions.  You or a director, senior officer or manager will have to verify the truth of your case.  You will also be required to sign a retainer letter detailing your contribution.

  1. Data Protection

Our use of your information is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). The firm is the data controller (for the purposes of the DPA) of personal data that you provide to us. This means that the firm has a duty to comply with the provisions of the DPA when processing your personal data.

The firm has appointed Cyma Hanif on cyma.hanif@steinfeldlaw.co.uk as its Data Protection Officer (DPO) and she is responsible for overseeing the firm’s compliance with the DPA. Should you have any queries concerning your rights, please contact our DPO.

We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including (but not limited to): updating and enhancing client records; analysis to help us manage our practice; statutory returns; and legal and regulatory compliance.

We deal with your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy which tells you about the type of information we collect and process, what we do with it, how we keep your information secure, your rights and how to contact us. Our Privacy Policy is published on our website www.steinfeldaw.co.uk. We may make changes to this policy from time to time and if we do so, the changes will be posted on our website. Hardcopies are available on request. Any changes will apply from the time we post them.

We retain data as needed under the DPA. The timescales are the same as in paragraph 14 (Storage, Return and Destruction of Papers and Documents).

  1. Disclosure of information for transactions

If we are also acting for your proposed lender in a property transaction, we have a duty fully to reveal to your lender all relevant facts about the purchase and mortgage. That includes any differences between the mortgage application and information we receive during the transaction and any cash back payments or discount schemes that a seller is giving you.

You must disclose to us all information which may affect your liability for stamp duty or stamp duty land tax (duty) so we can then ensure you pay the correct duty. If you fail to disclose all information (and if in doubt, please disclose it as it can be ignored by us if it is not relevant) you must accept full liability for any interest, penalties or action or other proceedings that any authority may take against us or you for failing to disclose information which results in a duty or greater liability to pay such duty.

  1. Complaints

Our aim is to provide a service with which you will be satisfied. However, we do realize that at times your expectations may not be met or you may have concerns or queries about our service.  At any stage, if you have a concern about any aspect of the service provided by this firm, including our fees, please raise it initially with the senior fee earner who is handling your matter.  Alternatively, please contact our Complaints Officer who is Michael Steinfeld and who can be contacted on 0207 725 1315 and by email at michael.steinfeld@steinfeldlaw.co.uk.

The firm’s Complaints Handling Procedure is available on request and will advise you how to take matters further.  We would hope to resolve any issues as quickly and amicably as possible.

If you are still not satisfied once your complaint has been investigated and we have provided you with our final written response, then you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman at P.O Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or telephone 0300 555 0333 or email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk  to consider the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman accepts complaints from individuals and small businesses, charities or associations. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. Otherwise, the time limit for the Legal Ombudsman accepting a complaint is six years from the date of the act or omission or three years from when you should have known about the complaint.

Please note that if your complaint relates to our fees, you may also apply to the Court for an assessment of the bill (for non-contentious work) or for our charges to be reviewed (for contentious work) under sections 70,71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974. You should note that the Legal Ombudsman may not deal with your complaint if you have already applied for an assessment.  An application for an assessment must be made within one month of the bill’s delivery to you. Applications outside this time will only be considered by the Court in special circumstances.

  1. Affiliates and Other Third Parties

For the purposes of our engagement, our client is the person or entity designated in our Engagement Letter, and not its affiliates (whether shareholders, parent, subsidiaries, partners, members, directors, officers or otherwise).  Accordingly, for conflict of interest purposes, we may represent another client with interests adverse to your affiliates.

Our engagement by you does not create any rights in or liabilities to any third party.

  1. Cancellation or Termination of Instructions

By you

You may cancel or terminate your instructions to us at any time and for whatever reason by notice in writing to us. Where your instructions to us are as a result of an off -premises contract you have a statutory right to cancel your instructions to us in accordance with The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. If not set out in our Engagement Letter we will write to you separately concerning any such contract made with us. An “off premises contract” is one made at a meeting between us not held at our offices or in a situation where we do not actually meet.

By us

Our lawyer-client relationship will be considered terminated upon our completion of the specific services that you have retained us to perform or, if open-ended services are to be provided, when more than six months have elapsed from the last time you requested us to perform services and we provided any billable services to you.

The fact that we may inform you from time to time of developments in the law which may be of interest to you, by newsletter or otherwise, should not be understood as a revival of a lawyer-client relationship.  We have no obligation to inform you of such developments in the law unless we are specifically engaged to do so.

We may also decide to cease acting for you, but only for good reason.  Examples of this are your failure to pay a bill or to comply with a request for a payment on account or failure to provide proper instructions or a request to us to take some action which would be a breach of our professional or statutory duties. Occasions might also arise where there is a conflict of interest and we cannot act for two clients on the same matter.

We will give you reasonable notice if we decide that we can no longer act for you and, if considered by us appropriate, assist you to find alternative representation.

Effect of Cancellation or Termination

If for any reason we cease to represent you, we will charge for all work done up to the date of such cessation and we will be entitled to retain all of your papers or documents whilst there is money owing to us for our fees, charges and expenses. If we have given you a quote, estimate or capped fee our charges, unless otherwise agreed in our Engagement Letter, will be in proportion to what has been performed until cancellation compared to what you would have paid if the engagement had been performed in full.

If you cancel this contract, we will reimburse to you all payments received on account from you after deducting any charges and expenses we have incurred up to the date of cancellation.  We will make the reimbursement without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel this contract. We will make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement.

In litigious matters if we cease to act for you (for whatever reason) you agree to send to the court and every other party involved in the matter a notice that we are no longer acting for you and, if appropriate, indicate who your new solicitors are. You agree to do this within 10 days of us ceasing to act for you (or two working days prior to a court hearing). Your new solicitors may do this for you. However, if you do not do this (or your new solicitors do not do this) then you authorize us to send to the court and the other parties a notice indicating that we have ceased acting for you. If we send the notice, then you agree that the notice will indicate your address for correspondence as your official address for service of documents relating to the case and will show you as acting in person.

In the event of the termination or cancellation of our engagement for whatever reason, these Terms of Engagement will remain in force as regards payment and monies held for you, confidentiality, data protection, liability and files and documents.

  1. Abortive Work

Where we have given you an estimate or a fixed price quotation or a capped fee and the matter does not proceed to completion, we will normally charge you for work done and disbursements incurred on your behalf up to the date our work finished. This will not exceed, however, our estimate or a fixed price quotation or capped fee but subject to the Engagement Letter. We will also charge on that basis where any non-fixed price matter does not proceed to completion.

  1. Third Party Access to Your File

On occasions it is necessary for us to allow third parties access to a random sample of client files.  Examples of such a requirement might include an annual audit of our business under the Solicitors Accounts Rules; inspection of our business by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority or annual assessments of our performance against practice management standards such as Lexcel, Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Your client confidentiality is assured if your file is chosen. Your acceptance of these terms is taken as your approval of allowing your files to be used for these purposes unless you inform us in writing otherwise.

  1. Outsourcing of services

You should be aware that on occasions we might deem it necessary to outsource some of the work on your matter to individuals or businesses separate to ours.  This might include instructing experts and counsel as well as the outsourcing of services for the operational running of our business and the provision of services to clients. We take steps to ensure that any such third parties are of the highest reputation and the confidentiality of your information is assured.  Your acceptance of these terms is taken as approval of such arrangements as we feel appropriate for the conduct of your matter unless you inform us in writing otherwise.

  1. Financial Services

We are not authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, we are included on the register maintained by the FCA so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the SRA. The register can be accessed via the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/register.

The Law Society is the designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, but responsibility for regulation has been delegated to the SRA (the independent regulatory body of the Law Society), and responsibility for handling complaints has been delegated to the Legal Ombudsman. If you are unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of these bodies.

The limited regulated activities that we carry out are issuing certain insurance policies, such as after the event legal expenses insurance, defective title insurance and other property indemnity insurance (such as breach of covenant, absence of easement, lack of planning permission, unknown rights and covenants policies).

Any insurance policy arranged by us on your behalf, shall, in our opinion, be adequate to meet your needs, but we do not recommend any policy over and above any other and it is your responsibility to check that you are satisfied with the excess levels, exclusions, limitations and other policy terms. We do not conduct a fair analysis of the insurance market prior to arranging insurance policies. You can request details of the insurance undertakings with which we conduct business at any time.

You must provide us with details of any relevant existing insurance policies you may have at the outset. We will not be liable to you for any losses you sustain as a result of your failure to provide us with such details.

  1. Inside Information

The following applies if you are a listed company and are subject to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority Disclosure Rule Sourcebook (“the Sourcebook”).

For the purposes of the Sourcebook your principal contact at the firm will be your client partner. You should inform us when you provide us with any information in relation to your company which you consider to be inside information for the purposes of the Sourcebook.  We will make arrangements to draw up and maintain an insider list in relation to your company and will provide you with a copy on request.  We will take necessary measures to ensure that those whose names are on the insider list acknowledge the legal and regulatory duties entailed (including dealing restrictions) and are aware of the sanctions for misuse or improper circulation of inside information.

  1. Money Laundering

The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as amended (the Regulations) have placed solicitors under a legal obligation to obtain and verify satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients, financial details, sources of funding and, where relevant, identity information about people related to their clients i.e.  beneficial owners.  We are unable to act for you until this evidence has been provided. Please also note that we will not be able to accept money for or from you until these checks are completed and this may affect our ability to provide services to you.

To comply with the law, we need to get evidence of your identity as soon as possible. Our practice is:

  1. a) In the case of individuals (including directors of and shareholders in a company or members of a limited liability partnership), we require to see and keep a photocopy of a passport, photo driving licence, or national identity card (or similar document) as evidence of your identity and a recent utility or council tax bill (or similar type of document) as additional evidence of your address. We need to see original documents and will discuss with you acceptable documents and methods of certification if the original is not available.
  2. b) For all companies we will carry out a search of Companies House (or a similar registry in foreign jurisdictions) and may ask for further financial information.
  3. c) For other organizations, we will also require the evidence as for individuals for one or more directors, shareholders, partners or other persons authorized to represent the organization.
  4. d) For other legal entities we will inform you of the evidence required to confirm identity.

Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential, but this is subject to a statutory exemption under the Regulations. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering or terrorist financing they are obliged to inform the National Crime Agency but are unable to inform the client that this step has been taken.

We are required to monitor transactions and maintain records relating to your identity for at least 5 years and we may ask you to provide updated proof of identity from time to time.

We do not accept funds in cash. If you were to circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of the funds.

We also do not accept any liability for any loss caused to you or any other party as a result of our refusal to proceed with a matter or transaction or otherwise complying with our legal obligations.

  1. Referrals and Recommendations

It is not the practice of this firm to pay or receive any financial incentive when clients are either recommended to us or we recommend service providers relevant to the engagement.

If we recommend that you use a particular firm, agency or business, we shall do so in good faith and because we believe it to be in your best interests. However, if that particular firm is not another firm of solicitors, then you will not be afforded the regulatory protection of the SRA, the SRA’s Code of Conduct and SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules, nor would you be entitled to the benefit of the SRA Compensation Fund.

  1. Rights of Third Parties

A person who is not a party to the agreement between you and this firm has no rights under the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any of these terms of engagement; but this does not affect any right or remedy of a third party which exists or is available apart from that Act.

  1. Changes in the Law and Critical Dates

We cannot accept on-going responsibility for reminding you of changes in the law which might affect you, or for future critical dates. For example, we cannot accept on-going responsibility to remind you of such matters as rent review dates, lease renewals, the exercise of options or the service of notices and counter-notices within time limits.

  1. Undertakings

We may receive undertakings from another firm of lawyers during the course of a matter or transaction for you. We do not accept any liability in the event that such other firm fails to fulfil such undertaking in whole or in part. This will not prejudice your ability to pursue such other firm through the Courts.

  1. Purpose and use of advice

Our advice is for your benefit only and will be given in the context of the particular transaction or engagement for which we are retained. You should not rely on it in any other context.  If you want to disclose our advice to anyone else or refer to it, please let us know in advance so we can decide whether we can agree to that and, if so, on what basis. No other person may rely on our advice without our written consent and subject to the conditions that we impose at the time.

  1. Governing Law

These Terms of Engagement, together with the Engagement Letter, form the basis of our contractual relationship with you which is governed by and interpreted exclusively in accordance with the laws of England without reference to the laws of any other country. A claim may only be brought against us (whether contractual or non-contractual)  in the English Courts .  If you are resident outside England, you must provide us with an address for service in England and that address shall be deemed your address for service.

If any provision of our contract with you is found by any court or administrative body of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the other provisions of this contract which shall remain in full force and effect.