Barbara Jacobs & Co
Solicitors

General Terms of Business

Including indemnity insurance information.

 

Barbara Jacobs & Co continuously strive to provide the highest level of service. These general terms of business should be read in conjunction with the terms of business letter the contents of which will prevail in the event of a conflict with these general terms.

Service commitment

When you instruct us to act   we shall write to you confirming:

  • Who will be dealing with your work
  • Outlining what work we will be carrying out for you
  • Details of the further information that we shall require from you
  • The best information that we able to give about the cost of the work and likely disbursements to be incurred

Throughout your instructions we will deal with all matters promptly and keep you informed of progress.

 So that we are fully aware of your instructions and any changes in them please give us clear instructions at all times and advise us of any changes relating to the work, time limits that may apply and any queries that you have.  In particular please let us know if you change your  contact details i.e. telephone numbers ,  address or e mail address.

Office Hours

The normal office hours are Monday- Friday 9.30-5pm

The office will not be open on a Bank Holiday.

There is a facility of the telephone system to leave a message which will be accessed regularly.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

Most of the information you give us in order for us to do our job is covered by the Data Protection Act.  We will use the information about you and your circumstances for the purpose of maintaining our records, for accounting and compliance procedures for market analysis and marketing activities. In instructing us you give your authority for us to use your personal details to undertake personal identification and/or credit checks that may be necessary to comply with legislative and business requirements. Your personal data will be held on computer and we do take appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data. We may keep your personal information for a reasonable period.

Using your personal information for marketing purposes will allow us to provide you, from time to time, with additional services that may be of interest to you and changes in the law.  You may opt out of the use of your information either now or at any time by contacting us at baj@barbarajacobs.co.ukor by writing to us at Data Protection Enquiry, Barbara Jacobs & Co 3 Westfield House Millfield Lane York YO26 6GA

Proof of identity

In order to, comply with the law on money laundering, we need to obtain evidence of your Identity as soon as practicable. We should be grateful, therefore, if you would provide us with information and documents to verify your identity and address as set out in the accompanying correspondence.

Confidentiality

Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of the client 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, the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If this happens, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.

Cash

Our firm's policy is to not to accept cash in excess of £500

If clients circumvent 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.

Financial Services and Insurance Mediation

If during this transaction you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Services 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.

If you have any problem with the service we have provided for you then please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly and operate an internal complaints handling system to help us to resolve the problem between ourselves. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, then we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation

Authority and complaints and redress mechanisms are provided through the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Complaints Service.

We are included on the register maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation   activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts that may be required during the course of your work that we are doing for you .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 Authority website at www.fsa.gov.uk/register

The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society's representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Complaints Service is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.

Commissions and interest

We occasionally receive commission from third parties. We shall account to you for any commission received unless we have your agreement to retain it. We will write to you separately if commission may be relevant to your case.

If we hold money for you, we will account to you for interest earned on that money in accordance with the Solicitors' Accounts Rules 1998. We are not required to pay interest to you if we hold money in a general client account and the sum in lieu of interest which we would otherwise pay is less than £20.

Monies due from you to complete a transaction

If monies are due from you to complete a transaction, we shall require cleared funds and are unable to accept these monies by debit or credit card. Please ensure that you allow sufficient time for any cheque to clear and please note that we are unable to accept cash in excess of £500.

In addition it is the firms policy that all fees and disbursements that are required to complete the transaction and to register the title to any property are paid in cleared funds by the completion date of the transaction unless subject to prior agreement. 

Limitation of liability

The services that we provide are for the benefit of you as our client and we do not accept any responsibility to any other party. Our advice is not to be disclosed or referred to in whole or in part to any other party without our prior written consent.

To enable us to provide services to you, you agree to provide us with all relevant information and you confirm that the information you provide is true, accurate and not misleading. We do not accept responsibility for information misrepresented to us.

If there is any shared liability to you with any other party, we shall only be liable to pay you the proportion which is found to be fairly and reasonably due to our fault. We shall not be liable to pay you the proportion which is due to the fault of any other party. This clause is subject to the minimum £2m restriction on limiting liability prescribed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Where providing our service involves working with others, including other professional firms who limit their liability in any way, our own liability shall be limited to an amount which would have applied had the other party or parties not so limited their liability.

We shall not be liable for any loss arising from or in connection with our compliance with any statutory obligation we may have.

The liability of Barbara Jacobs & Co for any claims, demands and costs in respect of any act, omission or negligence relating to the matter to which these terms relate will be limited to £2m. Any individual who is acting on behalf of Barbara Jacobs & Co, whether they are a solicitor or an employee, will not be personally liable at all for any act, omission or negligence in the course of the conduct of the matter. No liability will, in any event, apply in respect of any incidental, indirect, special or consequential damages, including, but not limited to, loss of revenue. Note, however, that these exclusions shall not apply to any claim in respect of the death or injury of any person. Subject to that, please note that, by entering into an agreement upon these terms and conditions, you are agreeing to limit your potential ability to claim in accordance with the above.

We believe the limitations of our liability set out here are reasonable having regard to the availability and cost of professional indemnity insurance, but are happy to discuss the limit with you if you consider it insufficient for your purposes and we can then investigate options of providing further cover at extra cost.

If any part of our limitation of liability is found by a Court to be void or ineffective on the grounds that it is unreasonable or does not accord with any professional obligations, the remaining provisions shall continue to be effective.

 

Equality and diversity

This 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

Storage of Deeds, Wills and Powers of Attorney

We are not able to hold your Title Deeds, any professionally prepared Will or Power of Attorney for safe keeping after the work had been completed.

Intellectual Property Rights

We retain all copyright, database rights and other intellectual property rights in all works and other things developed, designed, generated or created by us in the course of acting for you or advising you in your affairs. We also retain all copyright, database rights and other intellectual property rights in all reports, written advice, documents and other materials provided by us to you.

Termination

You may terminate your instructions to us at any time for any reason by giving us written notice.

We may stop acting for you by giving you reasonable written notice if we have good cause to do so. Good cause includes a failure to receive adequate instructions, where there is a serious breakdown in confidence between you and us, where you have failed to provide costs or expenses on account when requested or have failed to pay any invoice.

Upon termination of our business, if the work has not been completed then we shall charge for the work done either based on the time spent by reference to our hourly charge rates or by reference to a reasonable sum in view of our fee agreement, together with any expenses

Please note that we are entitled to keep all documents and files  belonging to you until payment of our fees is made in full.

At the end of the matter

When the work we are doing for you is completed, we will retain a copy of your file of papers relevant to the matter for a period that accords with our document retention policy from time to time after which time we may destroy the file and you authorise us to do so. Our present policy is to retain documents for at least six years from the end of the matter. We reserve the right to destroy documents after a shorter period if our policy changes. We will not necessarily retain the original papers or documents, but may retain an electronic copy. Documents that have been obtained from third parties on your behalf may be returned to those third parties. Documentation that is your property will be returned to you on request within the time period above. There may be an additional charge for retrieving and returning these documents to you. We accept no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage caused by our failure to retain files and/or documents after the matter has been finalised.

Complaints and suggestions

Please notify us immediately about any part of our service that you may find unsatisfactory or with any suggestions you may have about ways that we might improve our service.

If there is a problem about our service or about the firm’s bill then, in the first instance, if appropriate, please raise the matter with the person dealing with your case.

The Firm takes complaints very seriously and we have a written complaints procedure, a copy of which will be provided to you upon request. We will try to resolve any problem as quickly as possible.

If we have been unable to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, that deals with legal services complaints. 

You have six months from the date of any final correspondence/letter from us in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
Email address: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk  

Alternative complaints bodies such as the Ombudsman Services exist and are competent to deal with complaints about legal services. We agree to use Ombudsman Services.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

We are required to carry professional indemnity insurance for a minimum level of cover of £2 million for any claim.  Our professional indemnity insurance covers us for any claim up to £2 million.  Our qualifying insurer is QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited through our broker AON Limited.  The geographical area is worldwide.  If you need to contact our insurers then the contact details are as follows:

AON Limited
Professional Services Group (office)
2nd Floor
Somerset House
London Road
Redhill
RH1 1LU
www.aon.co.uk

Agreement and variation of terms

Our terms of business will be sent to you at the commencement of your instructions. By continuing with your instructions, you agree and confirm these terms of business and our appointment shall continue in accordance with the terms unless they are revised by mutual agreement or we cease to act on your behalf. These terms shall also apply to any future business, unless we agree different terms.

Any delay in enforcing any part of these terms will not affect or restrict any of the rights and powers arising from these terms of business. Either party will only be taken to have released its rights if it has confirmed such release in writing to the other.

A person who is not a party to these terms of business shall have no right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 nor otherwise enforce any of these terms of business.

We reserve the right to vary our terms of business from time to time. Any variation will be notified to you in writing.

Jurisdiction and Law

These terms and your contract with us shall be governed by English law and any dispute or claim arising from or in connection with our contract shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Revised 28th June 2016

Delivering a personal and proactive property service.

SRA Code of Conduct, 2011