1. McKenzie Legal Ltd
- This correspondence, together with the client care letter, will form the basis of your contract with us. Please read it carefully and retain for future reference.
2. Information about us
- We are a legal support services company registered in England under company registration number 10633766 and our registered office is at 64 High Street, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1JT. We may be contacted at this address or by way of email to email@example.com.
- We are a legal consultancy and not a firm of solicitors which means that we do not need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; thus, able to offer our services at a reduced cost (in comparison to a solicitor) which benefits our clients.
3. People responsible for your work
- The name and status of the person responsible for the management of your matter is indicated in your client care letter. You should feel free to contact the person conducting your case and you can leave messages or send an email should they be unavailable.
- We will review your matter regularly and advise you of the law, steps that need to be taken, how we can assist with this – in addition to keeping you updated on the likely outcome of your matter and if the case still justifies the costs and risks associated.
4. Charges and expenses
- Our charges are calculated by reference to time spent on the matter. The firm’s current hourly rates, unless stated otherwise will be between £120.00 and £160.00. Work will not commence on your matter until payment of invoice is made in full or by prior agreement from us.
- This rate does not include VAT as we are not currently registered. These figures are reviewed on an annual basis and we will advise you of the next review if the matter has not been completed by then.
- Where our hourly fee is broken down it will be in increments of units of six minutes, 10 units per hour; you will be charged to the nearest whole unit.
- We will inform you if any unforeseen additional work becomes necessary. We will also inform you of the estimated cost before any extra charges and disbursements are incurred. If for any reason this matter does not proceed to conclusion, we can charge you for the work done and expenses actually incurred.
- Please note that as we are a legal consultancy and not a firm of solicitors our costs are not recoverable via the courts. However, because we assist litigants in person, we can endeavour to submit a fee for this, but any award is at the judge’s discretion and we do not guarantee this payment being awarded.
- On matters that proceed to court you will need to either self-represent or instruct an Advocate, Solicitor, Pupil or Barrister directly. We can of course recommend such representation for you; this is a disbursement not included in our fees but is usually recoverable by the court.
- The contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 will not apply to these Terms of Business or the client care letter unless stated otherwise.
5. Payment Arrangements
- We will endeavour to keep you informed of the costs incurred on your matter at regular intervals as your case progresses to help clients budget for costs and to keep you informed of the legal expenses relating to your matter and we will regularly invoice as your matter progresses.
- In some cases where we need to make payments to third parties to cover expenses such as Court costs or expert reports, we ask for this payment upfront. This prevents delays to your case.
- Where matters arise, which may prove to be more complex from the outset we may ask for a fee of £250.00 on account to cover the initial work to be carried out.
- In debt recovery matters we may request a minimum fixed fee of £145.00 (non-refundable) to commence your case. On defended matters your case will not continue on a fixed fee basis but will transfer to our hourly rate whereby we time-record work on your matter and invoice accordingly.
- Payment may be made either by cash, cheque or by bank transfer (BACS).
- Payments are due within 7 days of our sending you the invoice. We reserve the right to charge 8% over Barclays Bank base rate if the bill remains unpaid after this period where work was commenced by agreement prior to invoicing.
- Any payments made on account will be shown on your invoice and will be put against outstanding fees. Please note that outstanding balances may be greater than the amount paid on account or in advance.
- We are entitled to retain money, papers or other property belonging to you which properly came into our possession pending payment of our invoice. This is known as ‘general lien’, we are not entitled to sell the property on lien but we are able to hold the property regardless of whether the value is greater than the costs outstanding.
- Where these Terms of Business are addressed to more than one person, the liability is joint and several. Invoices are payable by you, regardless of any arrangement you may have with any third party.
- Where you are a Limited Liability Company, we may require Director(s)/Controlling Shareholder(s) to guarantee your liabilities to us or provide a suitable security for payment. We reserve the right to suspend all work until satisfactory guarantees are provided.
6. Case conduct and Court Rules
- We pride ourselves on our efficient and effective service and we require information on your matter promptly. It is very important that you maintain regular contact with each us, including notifying us of any change to your claim or personal details as any delays could detrimentally impact on your case.
- You must also provide us with all information and documentation that we require to assist in progressing your matter quickly, failure to reply quickly and let us have all the documents that we need to assist in your claim will inevitably lead to delay. Please ensure that you quote the reference number stated on our letters in all correspondence and documents that you need to send us.
- Furthermore, Court Rules impose strict timetables; if you cannot comply with those Court Rules, the Court can strike out your case and impose cost penalties against you, which you must pay. We accept no responsibility for such delays so it is vital that you deliver to us all information and documents that we require to assist in your matter or which are in any way related to your claim as soon as possible to avoid such risks.
7. Complaint procedure
- You have our assurance that the work we will carry out on your behalf will be of the highest standard and we will report to you as appropriate throughout the matter. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the service provided, you should first of all report it to the person dealing with your case and they will review and take necessary action. It is important that you immediately raise any concerns you may have with us as we value you as a client and would not wish to think you have any reason to be disappointed or unhappy with our service.
8. Hours of Business
- Normal opening hours are currently 9.30am until 4pm, Monday to Friday* (*except Bank Holidays).
- Confidential information means all information whether in writing, electronic or any other form that relates to your matter will be treated as confidential.
- Confidential information will only be disclosed if required by law, regulations, statutes, judgements, orders or by direction of any court, authority or tribunal.
- Confidential information is not disclosed to any third party including for the use of marketing purposes.
10. Data protection
- We obtain personal information from you in the course of your matter. We may, with your permission, run a search with credit reference agencies to check your identity and prevent fraud.
- You may request a copy of your information (we may charge a small fee) or to ask us to correct any inaccuracies in the information we hold about you. We may use your information to keep you informed of any services which may be of interest to you, you can request to be removed from our marketing database if you so wish.
11. Terminating services
- You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time. However, we will retain any paperwork and/or documents whilst there are still funds owed to us for any fees or expenses incurred up to the date of receiving termination in writing.
- We may decide to stop acting for you with only good reason, such as unpaid fees or a conflict of interest. We will give you reasonable notice that we intend to cease working for you. Should this occur then you are liable for our charges and expenses up to the point of us notifying you of our intentions.
12. Distance selling and contracts made at your home or place of work
- If we do not meet with an individual, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 will apply. This means you have the right to cancel your instructions to us within 14 days of receiving this document. You can cancel your instructions by emailing or writing to us to us. If we have started work on your file, you may be charged for the work carried out up to the point of your cancellation instructions.
13. Applicable Law
- Any dispute or legal issue arising from these Terms of Business will be determined by the law of England and Wales. Considered by the English and Welsh courts.
- Each of the terms in this document operates separately. If any court deems it unlawful, the remaining clauses will remain in full force and effect.
14. Your agreement with us
- Your continued instructions to us in this matter will amount to your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business.