Terms & Conditions

  1. Contract:  Terms of Business and any periodic revision of them intimated to you or published on our website are incorporated into your contract with us for the provision of professional services.  The issuing by you and the acceptance by us of instruction in any new matter and the continuing provision by us of professional services in any existing matter shall be deemed an acceptance and agreement by you of these terms and any revision of them.
  2. Verification of Identity:  Before we undertake any business on your behalf, to ensure our compliance with Regulations we require you to produce proof of your identity and home address. In the case of individuals we require to receive from you without delay the original documents (i.e. not copies) being one item of the following: (a) Current valid full passport or (b) Current driving licence or (c) National Identity Card and one item from the following which must bear a date no earlier than 3 months before :-             (a) Electricity bill (b) Gas bill           (c) Telephone bill (d) Council Tax bill (e) Bank or Credit Card statement (f) Benefits letter of award. We will require to withdraw from acting for you if you fail to provide us with the documentation required from you.
  3. Service:  Our aim is to provide our clients with an efficient service which will also be viewed as good value for money.  We aim to give professional advice to clients, to act appropriately and timeously on receipt of instructions. Our office is normally open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. 
  4. Instructions:  You should not assume that we have knowledge of any particular factual matters pertaining to your business.  We will only act in accordance with your instructions based on our professional advice.  Instructions can be given verbally (either in a meeting or over the telephone) or in writing.  We may require you to confirm verbal instructions in writing in some instances or may require to meet with you in person before proceeding to act on your behalf in some cases.  Unless we agree otherwise in writing where we have been instructed in a matter by more than one party (e.g. by spouses/partners) we may take instructions from either party who shall have the authority of the other to do so. Unless otherwise agreed in writing we do not offer any advice with regard to tax and have no liability in respect of any tax consequences for you as a result of your instruction of us. You will be advised of the person who will handle your business and to whom your instructions should be addressed.  He/she can be contacted during the office opening hours. 
  5. Fees and Charges:  Except where a written estimate has been provided, our fees for professional advice and services are calculated as follows: Fees chargeable and payable in respect of the work done for you will be based on the time spent acting on your behalf charged at the rates noted below. Chargeable time is divided into units where one unit equals six minutes or part thereof such as for meetings, telephone calls, time engaged in considering papers and time spent travelling to and waiting at court/tribunal/hearing. Civil advocacy at a court/tribunal/ hearing is also charged per unit of time as aforesaid with an uplift of 20%. In the case of framing letters or emails we charge 1.25 units per 125 words or part thereof. In the case of framing precognitions we charge 3 units per sheet and for financial statements, court documents or documents intended to have contractual effect such as a Minute of Agreement the charge is 5 units per sheet, each sheet being 250 words or part thereof. Notarial execution of documents is charged at 3 units. Rates per unit applicable are as follows:- Partner - £20.00; Associate - £19.00;    Assistant Solicitor - £18.00; Paralegal/Legal Executive - £16.00. In addition you will be charged posts and incidents at 5% and V.A.T on the total fees due. Where any expenses are recovered from a third party we may elect to charge the full amount of these expenses to our fees and outlays in lieu of any account to you. Rates are exclusive of VAT, posts and incidents and photocopy charges.  Our charges are subject to regular review. In particular our charges will be increased on 1st January in each year and will be published on our website. You are hereby deemed to accept our increased charges as and when published on our website. We will provide a written copy if requested. We may require you to make periodic payments to account and to settle interim accounts or outlays prior to any further work being carried out or expenses incurred on your behalf.  Where you have asked us for and been provided with a separate written fee estimate for the provision of property sale, purchase or estate agency, our terms and conditions for our taking on the work must be read in conjunction with the terms hereof. If our costs are assessed by a third party fee assessor who produces a Certificate of Assessment we are entitled to recover payment of the cost of so doing from you. If there is a credit balance on our ledger of between £10 and £50 more than 2 months after the end of the transaction and we do not have up to date contact details for you we may pay the credit balance to a charity or the QLTR as per the Law Society of Scotland’s Account Rule 6.11.3.
  6. Terms of Payment:  Payment of all sums due in terms of any invoice for fees or account of outlays rendered to you is due and payable to us immediately.  In the event of settlement not being received immediately then we shall charge interest on the balance outstanding from the date of issue until final settlement is made at the rate of 8% per annum over the base lending rate from the time being of the Royal Bank of Scotland plc or the judicial rate of interest whichever is higher. We reserve the right to suspend acting on your behalf in the event of non-payment of sums due on these terms. Should any payment be made by credit card you will pay an additional sum of 2% of the sum paid having regard to the costs imposed on us by your card provider for such payments. Where we receive funds for you we are entitled to deduct from these funds all outstanding fees and outlays before remitting the balance to you.
  7. Outlays: We will normally require you to put us in funds for any expenses to be met on your behalf in advance of our settling these for you.
  8. Bank Transfers: If payment to you or to any other party is required by bank transfer you will be liable for an administration charge of £25 plus VAT in addition to any charge imposed by our bank.
  9. Outstanding Accounts:  We are entitled to retain from any funds held on your behalf from time to time any sums due to ourselves whether in terms of this contract or otherwise.  In the event of your deciding to change solicitors or of your withdrawing instructions from us we shall be entitled to retain all titles, papers and documents held on your behalf until final settlement of all sums outstanding to ourselves. The jurisdiction of Dunfermline Sheriff Court is hereby prorogated. 
  10. Proceeds of Crime Act: You should be aware that we have obligations in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. In certain circumstances we are required to report any evidence or suspicion of money laundering or criminal activity to the Serious Organised Crime Agency. We are prohibited from intimating to you the fact of such a report. In certain circumstances we may be required by said Service to cease acting on your behalf in the transaction. In that event we are prohibited from intimating to you this explanation for our ceasing to act on your behalf. If you pay any funds to us by way of a bank draft you must also provide of even date a letter from your bank/building society confirming the identity of the account holder from whose account the funds have come. If the account holder is not you (i.e. a third party) we require sight of money laundering identification documentation in respect of that third party. Before we can pay the bank draft into our clients account we require the said letter and said money laundering identification documentation. If the same are not provided forthwith it is likely that we will withdraw from acting on your behalf.
  11. Limited Liability Companies or Partnerships:  All instructions from Limited Liability Companies or Partnerships are accepted on the strict condition that the Directors and/or Members and/or Shareholders are jointly and severally personally liable for all fees and other costs and expenses incurred even where for your convenience we may agree to invoice said Company or LLP.
  12. Interest on funds held: The Solicitors (Scotland) Accounts Rules provide that where we hold substantial sums of money for a client over a period of time, and in circumstances where it would be reasonable that interest be earned for the client, the funds should earn interest. They provide that at all times, except with the express agreement of the client, the funds must be instantly available. Accordingly, provided that the interest so earned exceeds the minimum required by said Rules (currently £100), any monies that we receive from you that are not required for fees or outlays will earn interest at 2% below base rate of Royal Bank of Scotland plc from time to time save where the base rate is less than 2 % in which event we will pay to you one half of the rate paid to us by Royal Bank of Scotland for sums at credit of our client account. Interest accrued on your funds at credit of our client account will thereby be shared with us as aforesaid. Monies will be retained in our client account with the Royal Bank of Scotland plc and we will account to you for said interest. The foregoing takes account of our costs for the management of funds having regard to financial, administrative and compliance regulatory procedures.
  13. Confidentiality:  We shall keep confidential all client matters and associated information unless (a) you authorise us to reveal those matters or (b) we are either required to disclose any information in the proper conduct of the relevant matter or are obliged to do so by operation of law or by the rules of any applicable professional body or regulatory authority or order of the courts or (c) that information is in the public domain.
  14. Limitation:  In any transaction or delivery of legal services to you, our liability and the liability of its individual partners for any acts of negligence on the part of the firm, its partners and/or its employees is limited to the value of the transaction or £2,000,000 (being the extent of our professional indemnity cover) whichever is lower unless we specifically agree otherwise in writing. We will not be responsible for the consequences of, and shall not be liable for, any loss caused to you or any third party arising from any misleading, incomplete or erroneous instructions or information given by you or where information or instructions are not given timeously. In respect of a claim by such a third party in such a third party in such circumstances, you will wholly indemnify us in respect of that claim.
  15. Data Protection: We are registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner    under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  16. Third Parties:  If we engage others on your behalf (such as counsel, overseas lawyers, accountants and expert witnesses), whether in the UK or abroad, we will do so as your agent and we will not be responsible for any act or omission of those other persons. You are also primarily liable for their fees, costs and expenses and, if we incur any such fees, costs and expenses on your behalf you will reimburse us in respect thereof on demand.
  17. Termination:  You or we may terminate our professional relationship at any time by written notice, in which event you will pay us all fees and outlays/disbursements due to us or incurred by us in accordance with these Terms of Business. Thereafter we will deliver up all deeds and documents as you may require. In normal circumstances we reserve the right to destroy files at any time after the 5th, or in certain cases the 10th, anniversary of the date of completion of the matter in question.  It is likely that your file will be stored in an off-site storage facility after it is closed and before it is destroyed therefore should you request that we retrieve it from there you will be charged for this service.
  18. ARTL:  Where ever possible Automated Registration of Title will be used in a conveyancing transaction but there will be situations where it cannot be used for reasons which are beyond our control. If ARTL is used the charges incurred to Registers of Scotland for the registration of deeds will be lower and the saving will be passed on to you. If ARTL is used a Mandate requires to be executed by you permitting us to digitally execute certain conveyancing deeds including Dispositions, Securities or Discharges on your behalf. We will prepare the Mandate and you will require to execute i.e. sign the same prior to settlement of the transaction. We send the original signed Mandate to Registers of Scotland within 14 days of settlement in order that they may retain their own copy. On the original document being returned we require to store the same. The Mandate evidences our legal authority to register deeds online on your behalf where your signature does not appear on the deed itself.
  19. Complaints:  The Partner in our Firm responsible for your work will have been identified to you and any comment or complaint which you may have should in the first instance be directed to that Partner. If you continue to have a grievance or are unhappy with the service which has been provided please bring this to the attention of our Client Relations Partner. We are subject to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and you are entitled to refer matters to them at The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. A complaint must be made within a year of our service ending or of the conduct complained of. The SLCC will disregard any period that it considers that the complainer was excusably unaware of their concerns.

 

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