Terms of Business
These Terms of Business together with any letters we send to you confirming your instructions set out the agreement between us as to the work which we will carry out for you and the basis of charging for our services. Your continuing instructions to us will amount to an acceptance of these terms. CE Transport Law Limited is a limited company number 10064681 and Carolyn Evans is the sole director and Principal Solicitor.
RIGHT TO WITHDRAW INSTRUCTIONS
Where you have not instructed us personally at our offices, you have the right to withdraw your instructions, without giving any reason and without charge, within 14 working days of the date you FIRST instruct us UNLESS we have already started work on the matter with your express written consent. You can cancel your instructions by contacting us by post or email. Please note that should you wish to cancel your instructions where you have consented to work starting on your matter you will be liable for any charges and disbursements incurred in dealing with your matter up to the date you notify us of your decision to cancel.
You may also have a right to cancel even if you did enter into a contract with us at the office premises. For more information, you can contact the Principal Solicitor or go to the SRA website.
PROCEEDS OF CRIME
As Solicitors we may be obliged by statute to make a Disclosure to the Serious Organised Crime Agency where we or they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.
We will not be responsible for any loss that you suffer from any disclosure under these provisions. Accordingly, we do not accept payments to us in cash in excess of £500. Monies due to you from us will be paid by cheque or bank transfer and we reserve the right to refuse to make payment to a third party.
REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS - FINANCIAL SERVICES
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. If while we are acting for you, you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised to provide necessary advice. However, we may provide certain limited investment advice services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you. This is because we are members of the Law Society of England and Wales, which is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. Complaints are handled by an independent body known as the Office of the Legal Ombudsman. If you are unhappy with any investment advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of these bodies.
Unless we have given you a formal and fixed quotation our charges are generally calculated by reference to the time spent on your matter, which will include meetings with you and others relevant to your matter, travel time, reading, drafting and working on papers, correspondence, telephone calls and other forms of communication. We keep a detailed record of this.
CE TRANSPORT LAW IS A TRADING NAME OF CE TRANSPORT LAW LIMITED, REGISTERED IN ENGLAND AND WALES (NUMBER 10064681).
AUTHORISED AND REGULATED BY THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY NUMBER 629259, REGISTERED OFFICE: 5 WILLOW LANE, STONY STRATFORD, MK11 1FG. VAT REGISTRATION NUMBER 243 8201 27.
Time is charged for in units of 6 minutes at hourly rates which, where applicable, are set out in the client care letter which will be sent to you at the start of your matter.
Where appropriate and if no formal and fixed quotation has been given, other factors such as the complexity of the matter, the expertise or specialist knowledge required, the speed at which it must be dealt with, carrying out work outside normal office hours and the value of the property or subject matter involved may be taken into account and may entitle us to a further percentage uplift in our charges.
In matters which may involve court proceedings you are primarily responsible for paying our charges in full whether or not costs are recovered from your opponent and even if the full amount of your costs is not recovered. This may be because no order for costs is made or your opponent is incapable of paying the full amount or any part of your costs. If you lose your case then you may be liable both for your own costs and all or some of your opponent's costs. Costs may be assessed by the court as the matter progresses and you may only be allowed a short period of time in which to pay.
Our charging rates are normally reviewed during December in each year. If our charging rates are reviewed during the course of your matter we will notify you of any change.
CE Transport Law Limited is registered for VAT number 243 8201 27.
BILLING AND PAYMENT
All bills must be paid in full within 7 days unless otherwise stated. Where we supply our services to you in the course of your business, we reserve the right to charge interest at the prevailing rate of interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Rate of Interest) Order 2002. We also reserve the right to claim compensation on late payment under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. Where we supply our services to you as an individual, we reserve the right to charge late payment interest at a rate which is commensurate to the prevailing rate of interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Rate of Interest) Order. We also reserve the right to suspend or terminate work on all or any of your matters until payment has been made in full. Any exchange rate losses must be borne by you. The Solicitors Regulation Authority permits us to set off any funds held on your behalf in our client account where you owe us money for any reason and we reserve the right to do so.
You will receive the benefit of any commission we receive from a third party in relation to a matter we are handling for you.
PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE
We maintain professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the rules of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Details of the insurers and the policy are available for inspection at the offices we utilise upon request. Our cover is restricted to England and Wales and up to a maximum claim of £3,000,000.
Where it is necessary to use other professional advisers to assist with your matter, we will instruct them on your behalf and you will therefore be directly liable for all their costs and expenses. Although we will endeavour to select such professionals carefully we cannot accept liability for the accuracy of the advice which they give or any act or omission on their part.
We respect the confidentiality of information which you give us and will not disclose it to third parties except, where relevant, to professionals instructed by you or by us on your behalf, to persons authorised by you to receive it or where we are required to do so by law.
External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice. These external firms and organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files. We are happy to use e-mail to communicate with you and
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will try to ensure that virus screening is carried out on our communications but you should be aware that these methods of communication are not necessarily secure and you are responsible for your own security arrangements and virus screening where these are received by you.
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
CE Transport Law Ltd is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.
PRIVACY AND DATA PROTECTION
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including: updating and enhancing client records analysis to help us manage our practice statutory returns and legal and regulatory compliance. We will not send you information about our services and any events which we believe may be of interest to you, without your express consent which you can withdraw at any time.
Complaints are best dealt with promptly. Therefore if you have any concern or grievance regarding our services or our charges we invite you to contact us at an early stage as problems can generally be resolved more quickly and effectively by doing so. Our aim is to achieve client satisfaction and we will listen to you and try to provide an effective solution to your concerns.
We will endeavour to adhere to the following timescale: Action
1. Acknowledge complaint in writing and Send a copy of the Complaints Procedure
2. Investigate the issues
3. Invite you to a meeting or discuss the the issues by telephone
4. Confirm the outcome of the meeting or telephone conversation in writing
5. If a meeting/telephone discussion
is not possible or required – investigate the issues and write to you with
6. Review and close the complaint
Within 2 working days
Within 14 days of receiving the complaint On conclusion of the investigation
Within 3 working days Within 21 working days
Within 8 weeks of receiving the complaint
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If we have been unable to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process, you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, that deals with legal services complaints.
You have six months from the date of our final letter in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. Their contact details are as follows:
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Alternatively, complaints bodies such as Small Claims Mediation exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should you wish to use such a scheme. We agree to use Small Claims mediation in the event that we are unable to settle your complaint. More information can be found on their website at:
Alternatively, you may wish to complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (or ‘SRA’). Guidance in relation to when this
might be an appropriate course can be found on their website.
You also have the right to complain about or challenge our bill. You can do this by notifying us directly or applying for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Please request further information if this should become appropriate during the currency of your complaint.
TERMINATION OF INSTRUCTIONS
You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time but we can keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us.
We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, e.g. if you do not pay an interim bill or there is a conflict of interest. We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.
Upon termination you will pay our charges (and any disbursements) up until that point. These will be calculated as a proportion of the fee estimated or on an hourly basis as set out in our client care letter.
PAPERS HELD BY US
We will keep our file of papers for such period as is required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or such longer period as we consider appropriate. After this period, we reserve the right to destroy the file, (to include any soft copies of data that we hold on your behalf) apart from any documents which you ask us to keep in safe custody, without further reference to you. We reserve the right to store your file electronically by scanning all paper documents and then shredding the paper file. Your consent to this system of storage is implied unless you inform us otherwise, in which case we will forward the paper file to you to keep once it has been scanned.
You have the right to ask for a copy of any data which we hold about you and we will endeavour to process this free of charge within a month.
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OUR LIABILITY TO YOU
We endeavour to exercise all reasonable care and skill and to maintain confidentiality in respect of your affairs. In so far as permitted by law we do not accept any further liability to you.
However, should we be judged by a court as being negligent in carrying out that service our liability to you in contract or in tort for any direct loss damages costs or expenses resulting from our negligence, after taking into account the contributory negligence of any other party involved, will be limited, so far as permitted by law, to a maximum of £3,000,000.
We will not be liable for any consequential costs or losses, special costs or losses or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.
If we are acting for more than one person then that liability will be to all parties jointly and not individually and it will be your responsibility to agree the apportionment of any damages between you.
Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the above.
CLIENT FUNDS AND INTEREST
We are not entitled to hold monies on account for you and so invoices will only be raised as the costs/disbursements fall due. As set out in our client care letter, we may agree an hourly rate with you where our time will be calculated at the end of each piece of work and invoiced at the end.
If we have agreed a fee with you for a particular piece of work, this is referred to as an ‘Agreed Fee’ and can be invoiced and paid in advance. In this case the fee will not be varied upwards or downwards and nor is it dependent on the transaction being concluded. In the case of an ‘Agreed Fee’, there will be no interest due on any sums paid to us.
Alternatively, you may have been provided with a ‘Fixed Fee’ which is a sum of money to be agreed and invoiced at theconclusion of each particular piece of work concluding.
If any term or provision in this agreement or any part of it shall in whole or in part be held to any extent to be illegal or unenforceable under any enactment or rule of law that term or provision or part shall to that extent be deemed not to form part of this agreement and the enforceability of the remainder of this agreement shall not be affected.
CONTRACTS (RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES) ACT 1999
Only you and we are bound by the terms of this agreement. It does not and is not intended to give any third party any right to enforce this agreement.
Any dispute or legal issue arising from our terms of business will be determined by the law of England and Wales and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.