TMC Solicitors Ltd (TMC/we/us/our) is committed to providing you with an excellent level of service. These standard terms and conditions are to be read in conjunction with the terms of engagement, and which together form the basis of the contract between client/you and the TMC, for professional services.
2.1 TMC Solicitors Ltd is a Private Limited Company. Its registered number is 636580.
2.2 For all regulated work, TMC Solicitors Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority England and Wales- SRA No, 10559300. The professional rules, relating to solicitors, can be accessed on the SRA website at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/content.page.
2.3 Please note that your contract is with TMC and any work done for you by a director, practitioner, consultant or employee of TMC is given or done by that individual on behalf of the TMC. No such individual will owe a personal duty of care to you. Unless instructed to the contrary, TMC shall be entitled to assume that any of your directors, employees, partners, consultants, agents or professional representatives who give instructions to TMC, are authorised to do so and that TMC may act upon such instructions.
2.4 The contract is governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Any disputes or claims arising shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
We may use email or other electronic means to communicate with you. This carries with it the risk of, but not limited to, interception, inadvertent misdirection or non-delivery. It is your responsibility to carry out a virus check on any attachments received. All risks connected with sending commercially sensitive or other information relating to you and/or your business are borne by you and are your responsibility. If you do not accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that email is not an acceptable means of communication and also ensure that you do not use email to communicate with us.
4.1 Unless otherwise agreed or our agreement is for fixed fee, we shall charge you for work carried out as follows:
(a) time spent – we charge hourly rates for any time spent dealing with your work. We use ten, six minutes, units per hour and charge for each unit or part thereof;
(b) routine letters, emails and telephone calls – each routine letter, email and telephone call is charged as a unit of one tenth of the hourly rate. Letters, emails and telephone calls that take longer than six minutes are charged on a time spent basis;
(c) disbursements – we charge for all disbursements incurred. Disbursements may include, for example, court fees, experts’ fees, and counsels’ fees;
(d) expenses - we charge travel and subsistence costs, transaction fees (including bank fees), courier fees, external copying and document production and other similar expenses, necessarily incurred by us, at cost or appropriate standard rates. We also charge for internal document production and copying at our current rates which will be provided on request; and
4.2 Hourly rates vary depending upon the experience and seniority of solicitor, consultant and/or adviser and the type of work undertaken. In order to carry out work for you it may be necessary for different solicitors/advisers/fee earners to be involved. You should note that at TMC Solicitors all work of undertaken by a senior solicitor is charged at £240 per hour, by solicitors or caseworkers at £160 per hour and trainee solicitors at £120 per hour. These rates are correct at the time of writing, but if these are changed, you will be informed in writing.
4.3 Although, primarily, our fees are based on time spent, they may be adjusted by reference to certain factors such as value, urgency (including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours) and the level of expertise involved.
4.4 You may place a limit on the amount of fees which may be incurred without your prior approval. This will limit the work we will be able to do for you. If you wish to do so, please tell us in writing.
4.5 Any estimates of fees are not intended to be fixed or binding.
4.6 Where our terms of engagement are for an agreed fixed fee and charged in advance of work undertaken, any work we carry out outside our normal office hours will be charged at a flat hourly rate of £160.
4.7 Consultation Fee:(a) Your consultation with a solicitor at TMC Solicitors is chargeable @250 for a maximum of one hour. This consultation fee is non-refundable. However, if following the consultations, we receive and accept your instructions, we may adjust consultation fee already paid in our professional fee for your subsequent legal representations. This applies to any reduced consultation fee that we may have agreed with you.
5.1 We shall be entitled to invoice you at appropriate intervals, normally on a monthly basis. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, invoices are payable within thirty days of receipt, by you, of the invoice and will be rendered in pounds sterling.
5.2 You agree that you are willing to accept delivery of bills sent in electronic form, including by email or fax to any email address or fax number we use to communicate with you. For any bill, we deliver in this way, which relates to regulated services provided only, you waive your rights under s.69 of the Solicitors Act 1974 to have the invoice signed by a director and delivered personally, sent by post or left at your address.
5.3 We may require you to make a payment or payments on account of our fees, including disbursements.
5.4 Invoices may be paid by cheque, banker’s draft, credit card or telegraphic transfer. A charge may be made by us for credit card payments. Monies held by us, on your behalf, unless earmarked for other purposes, will be used to pay our invoices and disbursements. Details of our bank account, to which payment should be made, may be obtained from our accounts department. Any cheques should be made payable to TMC Solicitors Ltd. Unless we agree to do so, we do not accept payment in cash either from clients direct or deposited with our bank, in access of £500.
5.5 Interest may be charged on outstanding invoices that are not paid within thirty days of receipt (or other period agreed), from that date, at a rate of 4% above the base rate, from time to time, of Barclays Bank plc.
5.6 You remain responsible for payment of invoices even if the Engagement does not proceed to completion or if a third party (including an insurer), who has agreed to pay or has been ordered to pay, fails to do so.
5.7 If you have a query about any invoice please contact TMC’s accounts department or the Director. If the query is not resolved, and the query relates to regulated services, you may have the right to object to the invoice by applying to the court for an assessment of the invoice under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
Interest will be calculated on your money held on account in relation to regulated services, in accordance with professional rules. It may be paid gross in which case you will need to pay any tax arising. You agree that interest amounting to less than £20 will not be paid to you. A copy of our interest policy is available on request.
7.1 In court and Upper Tribunal Judicial Review cases, the court may order one party to make pay the costs of another party’s costs, either of the whole or a part of it. It is important to understand that, even if another party is ordered to pay your costs, you remain responsible for payment of our invoices. We can try to recover costs from another party on your behalf but ultimate responsibility lies with you.
7.2 If the court orders another party to pay your costs, the amount paid will rarely exceed about 70% of those costs. The amount recovered from the opponents will be used to discharge our outstanding costs and the costs we have incurred in chasing up and recovering your costs from your opponents, before the balance is paid to you. Whether you win or lose, instructing us to act for you in a court case will almost certainly cost you money. You agree to waive the provisions of section 74(3) of the Solicitors Act 1974.
7.3 TMC Solicitors is a privately funded practice, we do not offer legal aid and we are not franchised by the Legal Services Commission.
8.1 We reserve the right to suspend or terminate work for you:
(a) if any invoice is not paid, in whole or part, when due; or
(b) if a payment on account is not made when requested; or
(c) if we consider that we are professionally or otherwise obliged to do so.
(d) If our duty towards the court is being compromised due to your actions.
8.2 Our contract with you, in respect of any Engagement, shall not be treated as a whole contract. If we:
(a) suspend or terminate the Engagement; or
(b) The Engagement becomes abortive.
8.3 We will invoice you for work carried out up to the date of suspension, termination or when that Engagement becomes abortive. We reserve the right to charge you for any work required to be undertaken as a consequence of suspension or termination (including removing our name from the court record, if appropriate). Any such invoice shall be payable immediately.
9.1 We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the FSMA) by the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA). We are, however, able in certain circumstances to offer a limited range of services to clients because we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), including in relation to our carrying on any exempt regulated activities under the FSMA. As such, we are permitted to carry on a limited range of activities relating to investments and insurance mediation which may reasonably be regarded as a necessary part of our legal services. The scope of the contract, however, does not and will not include giving you advice on the merits of entering into any particular investments or policy of insurance. When providing our services, we will assume that you have decided, or will decide, to negotiate and enter into any such transaction solely on the basis of your own evaluation of the same and any advice which you may receive from a person authorised under the FSMA. We will not communicate, either to you or on your behalf to any other person, any invitation or inducement to engage in investment or insurance activity, and nothing we write or say should be construed as any such invitation or inducement.
9.2 If you have any problem in respect of such services, please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly and operate an internal complaints handling system to help us to resolve any problems. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, the SRA provides a complaints and redress scheme.
10.1 The law requires solicitors, as well as many other institutions, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of clients and information concerning the source of client funds. If you are requested to do so you must provide us with documents to verify your identity and must provide details concerning the source of your funds. If we are not given satisfactory information at the appropriate time, we will be obliged to terminate the contract.
10.2 To ensure that we comply with money laundering legislation, we may validate name, address and other personal information supplied by you against appropriate third-party databases. By accepting these terms, you consent to such checks being made. In performing these checks, personal information provided by you may be disclosed to a registered credit reference agency which may keep a record of that information. This is done only to confirm your identity. A credit check is not performed and your credit rating will be unaffected. All information provided by you will be treated securely and strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
10.3 If you are unable to come in to see us so that we can check your identity document, we can accept copies. However, those copies will need to be certified by a trusted third party such as a solicitor, chartered accountant or doctor. They should write “This is a true copy of the original and true likeness of the person”, or “This is a true copy of the original”, as appropriate, on the copy document(s), and then sign and date it/them. They should include their name, occupation and contact details. Alternatively, you may be able to use an identification checking service offered by the Post Office. The Post Office will be able to tell you the procedure and cost involved.
10.4 We are obliged to keep records relating to your identity and a record of transactions relating to you for at least five years.
10.5 Solicitors are under professional and legal obligations to keep the affairs of clients confidential in respect of regulated work. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception: legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Crime Agency. Where any member of our staff knows or suspects that a transaction, on behalf of a client, involves money laundering the staff member may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If this happens, we may be prohibited from informing you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.
10.6 You agree that we will not be liable for any costs, claims, penalties, damages or other losses incurred by you resulting from or in connection with the compliance by us with these professional and legal obligations.
11.1 Your details and any details of key individuals within your organisation may be entered into our database. We will use these details, primarily, to provide you with legal services.
11.2 Such details will also be kept on our database for administration and accounting purposes, to enable us to undertake any searches with credit reference agencies and so that we can send you, or such key individuals, relevant information about us, our services and about developments and events which we consider to be of interest to you. By instructing us to act you signify consent on behalf of all relevant individuals.
11.3 However, except as permitted above or as required by law, we will not disclose to any third party any information provided by you without your consent. All personal information will be processed in accordance with applicable privacy laws.
11.4 The Engagement confirms your consent to our processing of your personal data. Processing means obtaining, recording and holding your personal data whether in manual or electronic format.
11.5 You have a right to see any of your personal information held by us and can request access to it by contacting us. If you believe that any of the personal information held by us may be incorrect please let us know.
12.1 We owe you a duty of confidentiality but may be required to make exceptional disclosure as required by statute, court order, regulation, the SRA or as set out below.
12.2 We may hold confidential information about a former, current or prospective client which might reasonably be expected to be material to an Engagement. In those circumstances, we owe you no duty to disclose such information to you.
12.3 Where we hold confidential information about you, we shall not be precluded from acting or continuing to act for another client or prospective client where that information might reasonably be expected to be material to it and it has an adverse interest to you provided that it is reasonable for us to act. In those circumstances, all proper steps will be taken to ensure that confidential information about you is safeguarded, protected and not disclosed including, if appropriate, by the establishment of internal information barriers, in accordance with professional regulations.
12.4 You agree that we may disclose our files to regulatory bodies, our auditors, courts or other bodies working with us, as appropriate, in the exercise of their powers or in order to carry out work for you.
12.5 If we are required, for any reason (whether during the course of an Engagement or after it has terminated), compulsorily to disclose documents or to give information, orally or in writing, relating to a matter or your affairs pursuant to a court order, notice or demand served by an entity or person with the authority to compel such disclosure, then we shall comply. If any documents or information are subject to legal professional privilege, then, if possible, we will let you know and advise you of the opportunity to claim privilege. Unless you confirm any claim to privilege, we reserve the right to treat it as waived. Should you decide to claim privilege, we shall be entitled to charge you for consequential work, including any disbursements.
We are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while money is owing to us. This is known as a lien. Upon payment, in full, we will return them to you at your request. Presently no charge is made for storage but we reserve the right to do so upon reasonable notice to you. There will be an admin cost of £50 for retrieving your file from storage.
We retain all copyright and other intellectual property rights in all materials and know-how developed or created by us, either before or during the course of carrying out any work for you, although you may freely distribute copies of these materials within your own organisation for the purposes of the Engagement.
15.1 We are committed to providing high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about an invoice please contact your case worker directly to help him resolve the complaint at first instance. However, if you are not satisfied with his/her response, you may make a formal complaint to the director/complaints handler Mr Muazzam Chughtai, by phone on 0161 240 3555, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to TMC Solicitors Ltd, 4 Central Buildings Kingsway Manchester M19 1SP. The complaint handler will have 08 weeks, from the date of formal complaint to him, to respond in writing. In the event that you are not happy with his response, you can raise a formal complaint to the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ (telephone 0300 5550333 or www.legalombudsman.org.uk) to consider the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman will be able to tell you if you are entitled to complain.
15.2 If you are not entitled to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and, in the unlikely event of an unresolved issue arising in connection with our services, which you regard as a complaint, you may contact Mr Muazzam Chughtai.
15.3 A copy of our complaints procedure will be provided on request.
16.1 We hold professional indemnity insurance which, in accordance with the Solicitors Indemnity Insurance Rules, provides a compulsory minimum level of cover of £3 million. Our total liability to you does not exceed £3 million. We will not be liable to the extent that any mistake results from acts or omissions of client. (such as giving us the wrong information, or failure to disclose a material information) If a third party has a contributory negligence, the TMC Solicitors liability is limited to a fair share, whether or not you are able to recover the costs from third party. These limits apply to the extent that they are permitted by law. The full details of professional indemnity details are available on request.
16.2 If you incur any expenses, damages, losses or liabilities whatsoever (including legal fees), in connection with or arising from the provision of our services, whether in contract, tort or otherwise and it is found that we are liable to you, as a result, then our total aggregate liability to you shall, in no circumstances, exceed the sum of £3 million.
No third party has the right to enforce any of the terms set out in the Engagement under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. This does not affect any other right or remedy available to a third party.
The firm is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees, and is required to produce a written equality and diversity policy. Please contact us if you would like us to send you a copy of that equality and diversity policy.
19.1 Adviser – the word adviser refers to non-lawyers, e.g. caseworker
19.2 Disbursement – a disbursement is a payment that we make to a third party on your behalf.
19.3 Engagement – an engagement is a particular piece of work that we do for you. The scope of the work to be carried out will usually be set out in the Engagement.
19.4 Lawyer – the word lawyer refers to solicitors, legal executives, trainee solicitors and paralegals.
19.5 Regulated services are as defined in Section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007.
19.6 Non-regulated work relates to any services provided which fall outside the scope of the SRA regulation referred to above. This work does not have the protection and regulation of the SRA.
20.1This section is applicable to individuals only.
20.2It applies to distance and off-premises contracts and includes information about your cancellation rights.
20.3You have the right to cancel your contract within 14 days without giving any reason. The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day you received our Client Care Letter.
20.4To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel your contract by a clear statement (e.g. a letter sent by post, fax or e-mail).
20.5If you cancel this contract:
(a) and you had requested us to begin the performance of services during the cancellation period, you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to what has been performed until receipt of your cancellation of your contract. This will be calculated on an hourly rate basis, even if the original contract was for an agreed fixed fee. Our minimum costs, including any administrative costs, would be £500 which will be deducted from an agreed fixed fee you may have already paid to us. If your money we hold is less than £500, we reserve our right to recover the balance payment from you.
We will issue a refund of any payment due, after deduction of our minimum costs hourly costs or minimum costs (whichever is applicable), without an undue delay and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel your contract.
21.Force Majeure: TMC shall bear no liability for loss, damage or delay whatsoever that arise from circumstances beyond its control