Terms Of Business

Introduction Thursfields Child Care LLP trading as Child Care LLP is a limited liability Partnership registered in England and Wales (registered no. OC355650). The registered office is 22 Sansome Walk, Worcester, WR1 1LS. Child Care LLP is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN, Tel, 0870 606 […]

Introduction

Thursfields Child Care LLP trading as Child Care LLP is a limited liability Partnership registered in England and Wales (registered no. OC355650). The registered office is 22 Sansome Walk, Worcester, WR1 1LS.

Child Care LLP is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN, Tel, 0870 606 2555 under number 541356.

Child Care LLP is registered under VAT number 994 666 256.

The SRA Handbook which includes the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct governs our obligations to you. It is based on outcomes-focussed regulation and can be accessed at www.sra.org.uk.

Child Care LLP Members: P N Gammon and Thursfields Legal Ltd.


What we will do

In the accompanying letter we have summarised the work that you have asked us to carry out on your behalf. The accompanying letter also forms part of our Standard Terms of Business. Unless specifically agreed to the contrary, the scope of our work will be limited as set out in that letter and, specifically, will not include tax advice.

You will be deemed to accept these terms of business on the earlier of:

  • Signing and returning a copy of a letter referring to these terms of business or
  • Using or continuing to use our services; this includes providing any instructions or further instructions to us.

Dealing with any concerns you may have

Child Care LLP is committed to offering high quality legal advice and excellent client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received during the course of your matter or if there are any issues which you are concerned or require clarification, then please raise them in the first instance with the person dealing with your matter with a view to your concerns being resolved quickly.

If you remain concerned or if we cannot agree an appropriate course of action then you should contact Mr Paul Gammon. We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints which is available on request.

We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman.

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. 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 or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). The contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are as follows:

Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ

www.legalombudsman.org.uk,

Tel. 0300 555 0333,

Email. enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

If you consider our charges to be unfair, you have the right to have them assessed by the court under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Further information is contained on our invoices.


Costs information

There are a number of ways in which your legal costs might be met: they might be privately funded, or publicly funded (formerly known as legal aid), or funded (for some civil litigation cases) under a conditional fee agreement or contingency fee agreement. Sometimes during the course of a matter the funding of costs may switch from one basis to another. Attached to the accompanying letter are one or more information sheets explaining the funding arrangement(s) which might be relevant to your matter.

Please note that payment of our costs is expected within 14 days of the tax point/date shown on any invoice unless alternative terms have previously been agreed with us in writing.

We may submit our bills to you by e-mail where you have supplied an email address.

When we are instructed by a company or a limited liability partnership, if our fees (including VAT and any expenses) are not paid, then you agree that we may recover these from you personally as the director, shareholder or member who has instructed us on behalf of the company or limited liability partnership, or who has provided any further instructions in the course of our work.


Cost/benefit assessment and alternative funding in litigation cases

We have discussed with you the question of whether the risk/expense of proceeding with the matter appears to be justified on a “cost/benefit” basis. We will inform you if we receive information that calls this aspect into doubt.

If we have not done so already, we will discuss with you whether our costs and disbursements and your potential liability for the other party’s costs and disbursements may already be covered by insurance and, if not, whether it would be advisable for you to take out insurance to meet the other party’s costs and disbursements.


Handling client monies

Child Care LLP hold Clients’ money on deposit in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules (SAR).

In the event of a Banking failure resulting in the loss of money deposited with a Bank or building Society in accordance with the SAR, Child Care LLP will not be liable for this loss.


Bank interest

We will pay interest on any monies held in our client account on your behalf in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules which govern our obligations to you. Accordingly, no interest will be paid if the amount is less than £20.00. Any interest due to you will be paid gross. It is your responsibility to account to HM Revenue & Customs for any income tax that may be due. Interest will be payable at a deposit rate reasonably achievable by us commensurate with our obligation to make the funds immediately accessible to you.


Banking Matters

We would explain that you must bear in mind for any of your money held by us that the following applies:-:

  • Please be aware that it is unlikely that Child Care LLP will be held liable for losses resulting from a banking failure.
  • Child Care LLP Client Account is with Lloyds.
  • You must be aware that under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) that the £50,000 FSCS limit applies to the individual client, and so if you hold other personal monies your selves in the same bank as we have a client account which is affected by a banking failure then the limit remains £50,000 in total.
  • It may be that the same bank or deposit taking institution (as above) has several brands, for example only the Royal Bank of Scotland also trades as the NatWest. Where the same institution is trading under different names. You should check either with their bank, the FCA or a financial adviser for more information.
  • We shall assume, unless you tell us to the contrary in writing, that in the event of a banking failure that we have your express consent for the disclosure to FSCS of your details as our client.

Insurance cover

In the unlikely event that we make a mistake in any matter, we confirm that the firm has insurance cover approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority up to a limit of £10 million per claim. The firm will not accept any liability for any claim that exceeds this amount. If you believe that any matter may involve a liability of more than £10 million, then please confirm this in writing, so that we can obtain a quote for you for higher cover.


General Data Protection Regulation – information held about you and/or your family

  • In order to advise you properly, we have to obtain information from you about you, and sometimes your family’s, financial and personal circumstances. Accordingly:
  • Any or all of the information that we hold about you and/or your family can be held by us on our computer and/or paper files and records, and may be transferred internally.
  • Any or all of the information that you have given to us may be disclosed to such third parties (including credit reference agencies) as are reasonable in the course of our acting for you.
  • We may make searches about you at credit reference agencies who supply us with credit information. Our request will be recorded by the credit reference agency. If necessary, the result of such a search will be used to enable us to decide whether or not any request you make to pay by installments is acceptable, and may also be used for identification purposes, prevention of money laundering, as well as the management of your account, and to trace you in the event of an account not being paid.

For more detailed information on what data we collect from you and how this will be used please see our Privacy Notice which is issued with these terms of business at the outset of your matter.


Financial services and investments

If during this transaction you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority, as we are not. However, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we may be able to provide certain limited investment services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you.

We are not authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority 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 Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.FCA.gov.uk/register.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If you are unhappy with any investment advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of those bodies.


Provision of information from closed files

We reserve the right to make a charge to you of not less than £20.00 plus VAT for the provision of information from our closed files. Our file relating to your matter will be held for a period of at least six years following completion of the

matter. Thereafter, we reserve the right to destroy the file without further reference to you. You may, of course, request in writing that the file be made available to you during that time; and, providing your account with us is clear, the papers may then be collected during our normal office hours on giving at least 48 hours notice.


 Responsibility for the work

You will be advised in the accompanying letter who will be dealing with the work, the status of that individual, and the name of the Supervising Partner.


 Safe keeping of documents

 We can arrange safe storage of documents on your behalf and there may be a fee associated with this.


Distance Selling Regulations

Where The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (as amended) apply, you have the right to cancel your contract with us for legal services within 7 days from the later of the day after you instructed us or receive these terms, provided that you do so in writing. This right does not apply if you have already started to use our services or if you have signed and returned to us a copy of these terms or a letter referring to them. In that case you will have to pay us the agreed fees including VAT and expenses or, if the work has not been completed, a fair proportion of these fees including VAT and any expenses incurred.


Terminating our retainer

You are entitled to terminate your instructions to us at any time. However, you should remember that we would be entitled to keep the papers and documents held on your behalf until any costs and disbursements owing to us have been settled.

In certain circumstances, we may consider it necessary to stop acting for you. This might happen, for example, if a conflict of interest arose, if you did not give proper instructions to us as to how we should proceed, or if the payment of an interim payment or request for payment on account has not been made.

If we decide to stop acting for you we will notify you immediately. You will be charged for the balance of the work done to date, plus any disbursements and VAT.


Lexcel/Practice management standards

This firm has obtained and will seek to retain the Lexcel Quality Mark, which amounts to proof that it complies with the Law Society’s Practice Management Standards. There is an annual Lexcel assessment at our offices during which an external assessor (who is the subject of a confidentiality agreement) audits a small sample of files. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we shall presume that you have no objection to your file being included in such a sample.


Conflicts of Interest

We will not act if there is a conflict of interest, or a significant risk of conflict, between you and us, or between you and another client for whom we act, expect where we are permitted by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority to do so with appropriate safeguards being put in place. To avoid conflicts of interest we undertake searches of our records before commencing work.