Terms and Conditions

1. All the work we do for you as Caro Taylor Solicitors Limited is governed by these terms of business and any written variations.  This is an important document.  You should keep it for future reference.
2. In these terms of business the words “we” or “I” refer to the firm of Caro Taylor Solicitors Ltd
3. The firm of Caro Taylor Solicitors Ltd is registered with and regulated by the Law Society under firm reference number 562606.
4. All work on your case will be conducted by Carolyn Taylor, who is very experienced and a fully qualified solicitor. In the unlikely event that Carolyn is unable to personally work on your case for any reason you will be notified of this and alternative suitable arrangements will be made.
5. We will agree with you at the outset of your case the scope of the work required.  This will be reviewed from time to time as your case progresses.  We are only qualified to give you legal advice.  Should you require other complementary advice such as tax planning, we will advise you of this and can assist you in identifying a suitably qualified person to undertake this specific area of work.
6. We will agree with you a costs estimate in respect of the work involved.  This will be subject to review as your case proceeds and you will be informed of all proposed variations to the costs estimate.
7. Notwithstanding anything in the Terms of Business or Client Care Letters or Cost Estimates, your consent to any increase or variation of your legal costs or the basis of charging will be deemed to have given unless we hear from you in writing to the contrary within two weeks of the date of notification.
8. Following the implementation of any changes to the costs in your case you may receive a further conformation letter or email to confirm the amendment. This is for your information and no further action is required
9. We have a duty to act on your reasonable instructions subject to our legal and professional duties as your solicitor.  We will keep you regularly informed as to progress.  Our professional relationship is only with you and we owe our duty of care to you.  No other person may rely on our advice or on these terms without our prior written agreement.
10. In the event that we make a mistake which involves a breach of our duty to you our liability in respect of compensation to you is limited by our Professional Indemnity insurance to £3 million.  This is an overall limit which will apply to all or any claims made by you whether or not this affects one or more pieces of work.  In the event that others are also liable then our liability is limited to our fair share of the claim and will not cover the liability of others even if you are unsuccessful in claiming elsewhere.  We will not be liable for any mistakes caused by something you fail to do or do including giving wrong information, failing to reply or withholding information or in the event that we are unable to contact you.  For this reason it is a condition of this retainer that you keep us informed at all times of any likely or planned periods of absence such as holidays or hospitalisation.
11. We will keep all details on your case confidential unless you instruct us to disclose this information to a third party.  Our duty of confidentiality to you will not affect the ordinary work on your case including the general handling of your case and the typing of letters and documents by a secretary or typist whether in house or external.  You also authorise disclosure where necessary for professional reasons including to auditors who may make random checks on files, to our professional indemnity insurers and where compelled by professional regulations or by court order.
12. You accept that we are required to comply with money laundering rules and regulations.  This means that we are required to check the identity of all clients and take photocopies of the identification documents produced.  We may in certain circumstances be obliged to report an activity or individual which may appear to involve the proceeds of crime without informing you.  This may also require us to cease to act for you without providing any explanation.  Our duty to report may override any duty of confidentiality to you and may also require us to breach legal professional privilege as to disclosure of documents.
13. Charges for all work on your case will be at the rate as specified in our initial client care letter to you and may be varied in writing by us from time to time.  We reserve the right to cease to act for you in the event that you do not pay our charges when due or within any further period of time agreed with us in writing.
14. A standard letter or email of one page will normally be charged at a fixed rate. Longer letters or emails will be charged at multiples of the fixed rate. All other charges are based on 6 minute units.  A short telephone call of up to six minutes will be charged at one tenth of the hourly rate.  No reduction will be made for shorter telephone calls.  Longer telephone calls will be charged at multiples of the six minute unit.  Attendances upon you are timed and also charged at six minute units.  A higher rate will be made for advocacy and attending court without counsel.
15. We will charge for all work involved in your case including meeting you, reading and preparing documents and letters, negotiating, telephone calls, working on your case, research, complying with professional regulations and statutory requirements.  Routine overheads such as postage and photocopying are included within our agreed charges.
16. Expenses (also known as disbursements) will be charged separately.  These include court fees and other expenses which we have to pay on your behalf. We will always try to give you an estimate of these in advance.
17. Invoices for the charges and any expenses will be sent to you monthly and are payable on or before the date indicated on the invoice, unless a longer period has been agreed in writing with you.  In certain circumstances we may agree a regular monthly payment to assist you in budgeting for your legal costs and expenses.  In the event that you do not pay your legal costs and expenses within the timescale required we reserve the right to cease to do any further work on your behalf until payment has been made in full and to terminate the retainer on 7 days notice to you.  We are entitled to retain all of our papers in the case as a lien for costs until payment is made whether or not the retainer has been terminated.
18. We reserve the right to charge interest at a rate specified by us from time to time on any invoices (or part thereof) not paid within 30 days of the date of the invoice.
19. In the event that you do not pay your invoice to us and any outstanding charges or expenses including interest when due we reserve the right to charge you an additional sum in respect of all expenses reasonably anticipated to be payable by us to recover the outstanding sum due including administration charges, interest and expenses including process servers fees or debt collection expenses.  Such additional sum will be invoiced to you and will form part of the overall costs payable by you and recoverable by way of judgment summons if necessary.  Further interest and charges may be claimed from you where appropriate and without prejudice to any such additional sum charged.
20. Interest on monies held on behalf of the client will only be payable by the firm to the client in circumstances where fair and reasonable and at the current market rate applying to the firm’s current account.
21. At the end of your case we will hold your papers or an electronic version securely and confidentially for a minimum period as confirmed in our closing letter to you.  This will normally be for a minimum of six years.  No charge is made for this but a charge will be made to release papers and documents to you at a later date if required by you or by any legal or statutory body.
22. We own the copyright of all work created on your case and this copyright will not be transferred to you even though you have paid for the work.  However this does not give us any rights to publish or in any other way disclose matters on your case to any third party without your permission.
23. We will always strive to complete your case to the highest possible standard and to endeavour to ensure your complete satisfaction.  In the event that you are not satisfied or we have made a mistake please tell me so that we can try to rectify this to your satisfaction.  We will try to agree a course of action with you and pay compensation to you if appropriate.  If we can not agree we will let you have details of the local Law Society to which you may make a formal complaint.  If matters are still unresolved then you will be referred to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority of the Law Society or the appropriate complaints body.
24. If you wish to end your relationship with this firm you may do so at any time by confirming your decision in writing.  You will be responsible for all legal costs incurred to the date we ceased to act for you and any necessary work required to enable us to withdraw from your case.  This may include an application to come off court record as acting.
25. We may decide not to continue to act for you in certain circumstances which are limited under our professional obligations to you.  This will include where a conflict of interest has arisen or in the event that we are unable to obtain your instructions for the progress of your case.  We will always try to give you as much advance warning as possible should this situation arise.  We may also cease to act for you if you fail to pay your legal costs within the timescale required.  However we will normally give you a further opportunity to bring your costs up to date in that event before terminating the retainer.
26. No member, partner, employee (etc) of this firm will have any personal liability for work undertaken for any client. Personal signature of any document is not an assumption of any personal legal liability.
27. All aspects of our relationship with you are governed by English law. We each submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
If you are a client and we have made a contract with you by electronic means you may be entitled to use an EU online dispute resolution service to assist with any contractual dispute you may have with us. This service can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/odr.