TERMS AND CONDITIONS

ALSTON ASHBY Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 51322

DISCLAIMER

1 We try to ensure that the content of this site is correct and up to date. However the law changes on a regular basis and the user must take full independent legal advice over his/her own particular concerns. The information contained is for general non specific information only and no reliance may be placed upon it. Alston Ashby is providing this site on an ‘as is’ basis and makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to this site or its contents and disclaims all such representations and warranties.

2 In addition, Alston Ashby makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the information and related graphics published in this site. The material contained in this site may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. All liability of Alston Ashby howsoever arising for any such inaccuracies or errors is expressly excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

3 Neither Alston Ashby nor any of its partners, employees or other representatives will be liable for loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this site. This is a comprehensive limitation of liability that applies to all damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, loss of data, income or profit, loss of or damage to property and claims of third parties.

4�We are the proprietor of copyright in this site. All other trade marks, brand names, product names and titles and copyrights used in this site are trade marks, brand names, product names or copyrights of their respective holders. No permission is given by Alston Ashby in respect of the use of any of them and such use may constitute an infringement of the holder’s rights.

5�Our Site contains links to other websites for your convenience only. We have no� control or influence over other websites and accept no liability whatsoever with regard to the contents thereof. We make no representations about the linked websites or the material contained in them and you access the linked sites at your own risk.

6�If any provision of this Disclaimer and/or our Terms and Conditions is held to be void or declared illegal, invalid or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, that provision shall be divisible from the Disclaimer and/or our Terms and Conditions and shall be deemed to be deleted therefrom and the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected.

�8 This site is targeted at English� Law only and the information contained therein relates solely to the law of that jurisdiction. If you are accessing this site from outside the England and Wales you accept that the material in it does not apply to legal jurisdictions in other parts of the world.

Terms of Business

Service Standards
In our retainer letter we will identify your objectives in relation to the work that you have instructed us to carry out. We will explain the issues involved and the options available. We will agree with you the next steps to be taken.

We will update you by telephone or in writing with progress on your matter regularly, and at least every six weeks, unless agreed to the contrary.

We will communicate with you in plain language.

We will explain to you by telephone or in writing the legal work required as your matter progresses.

We will update you on the cost of your matter three monthly or as otherwise agreed.

We will update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in circumstances.

We will update you on the likely time scales for each stage of this matter and any important changes in those estimates.

We will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded.

Our Responsibilities
We will review your matter regularly.

We will advise you of any changes in the law relevant to the work which we are carrying out for you.

We will advise you of any circumstances and risks of which we are aware or consider to be reasonably foreseeable that could affect the outcome of your matter.

Your Responsibilities
You will provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions.

You will provide all documentation required to complete the transaction in a timely manner.

You will safeguard any documents which are likely to be required.

Hours of Business
Our normal hours of business are Monday to Friday inclusive from 9.00am TO 1pm and 2pm� to 5.00pm. Upon request and by prior agreement we may be able to provide our services outside these hours.

We do not provide an emergency service.

Professional Indemnity Insurance
We hold Professional Indemnity Insurance cover with a limit of indemnity in the sum of £3,000,000. Details of our Professional Indemnity Insurance are referred to in our retainer letter and can be obtained on request.

Equality and Diversity
Alston Ashby 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 which is published at our offices.

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
  • legal and regulatory compliance

Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality. Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you.
We may from time to time send you information which we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information please notify our office in writing.

Storage of papers and documents
After completing the work, we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.

We will keep our file of papers (except for any of your papers which you ask to be returned to you) for no more than 6 years. We keep the file on the understanding that we have the authority to destroy it 6 years after the date of the final bill we send you for this matter. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.

If we retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act in connection with your affairs, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may make a charge based on time spent producing stored papers or documents to you or another at your request. We may also charge for reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by you or on your behalf.

Vetting of files and confidentiality
External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.

Limitation of liability
Save where prohibited by law our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to the amount of our costs in any particular matter, unless we expressly state a higher amount. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.

We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.

Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the terms above

Terminating the retainer
You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.

We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, if you do not pay an interim bill or comply with our request for a payment on account, if you cannot give clear or proper instructions on how we are to proceed, or if it is clear that you have lost confidence in how we are carrying out your work.

We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.

If you or we decide that we will no longer act for you, you will pay our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out in our retainer letter or as stated in any separate correspondence.

Value Added tax
We are registered for VAT under registration number 445 8546 20

Confidentiality
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception: recent legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, or terrorist financing the solicitor may be required to make a disclosure in relation to your matter. If this happens, we may not be able to inform 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.

Mortgage fraud
If we are also acting for your proposed lender we have a duty to fully reveal to your lender all relevant facts. This includes:
  • any differences between your mortgage application and information we receive during the transaction
  • any cash back payments or discount schemes that a seller is giving you.

Cash
Our policy is
  • not to accept cash from clients; or
  • to only accept cash up to £500.00.

If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of the funds.

Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.

Payment of Interest
�We will retain any interest which may be earned on monies held by us and by signing our Client Care letter you confirm your agreement to this. For the avoidance of any doubt any interest on monies held by or on your behalf will belong to Alston Ashby absolutely. If you are not in agreement with this arrangement please let us know as we will make a separate charge for acting as stakeholder in connection with client monies.

Distance selling
If we have not met with you, the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 will apply and you have the right to cancel your instructions to us within seven working days of receiving our retainer letter. You can cancel your instructions by contacting us by post or by fax to this office.
Once we have started work, you may be charged if you then cancel your instructions. If you would like us to commence work on your file within the next seven working days, please sign our retainer letter including these terms and return to this office by post or fax with confirmation that you wish us to commence work immediately.

Provision of Service Regulations 2009
We comply with the above regulation by displaying the required details of our Professional Indemnity Insurance in each of our offices

Financial services
We are not authorised by the Financial Services 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 the 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.
However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we may 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 Services website at www.fsa.gov.uk/register.
The Law Society of England and Wales 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. The Legal Complaints Service is the independent complaints-handling arm of the Law Society. If you are unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of those bodies.

Applicable law
Any dispute or legal issue arising from our terms of business will be determined by the law of England and Wales, and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.