1. Hours of Business

Our hours of business are 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. Monday – Friday, excluding bank holidays and public holidays.

2. Anti-money laundering obligations

Evidence of Identity

The law requires solicitors, banks, building societies and others to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their client and, at times, people related to the client or their case. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their clients can be used by criminals wanting to launder money.

In order to comply with the law on money laundering, we need to obtain evidence of your identity as soon as practicable, and in any event before we can proceed with the matter. To collect this evidence, our practice is to take a photocopy of your original passport and a copy of a utility bill which must show your current address and be less than 3 months old.

If you are unable to provide us with the specific identification requested, please contact our office as soon as possible so that we can discuss alternative ways to verify your identity.

Confidentiality

We are under a professional and legal obligation to keep details of your case confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception, which may require a solicitor who knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client may involve money laundering or terrorist financing to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency.

If we are required to make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made. We may also have to cease acting in your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you.

3. Financial matters

Financial arrangements

Our practice’s policy is to only accept cash up to £100 from clients.   

If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly with our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove 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

Interest on money owed to you.

Any money received on your behalf will be held in our practice’s client account. Our policy is to account to you for interest if it exceeds £20 in total for the full period during which we hold your money in our client account.

Costs

How we calculate charges

Our charges will be calculated by reference to the time we actually spend working on your matter. This will include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Attending meetings on you and others and negotiations.
  • Reading, preparing and working on papers.
  • Making and responding to telephone calls, emails, faxes and letters.
  • Preparation of costs estimates, schedules and bills.
  • Attendance at court and travel time.
  • Briefing Counsel and attending conferences with Counsel & related travel.

Hourly rates

Our hourly rates are set out below.  We review our hourly rates each year on 1st December to take into account increases in costs. We will notify you in writing if the rates you are being charged are increased and the date from which the increases apply.

We will charge you £250 plus VAT for each hour spent on your matter by John Randle. We are registered for VAT and the VAT number is 313 9599 77. This hourly rate does not include disbursements. Disbursements are payments charged to you in addition to the hourly rate and are referred to below in the section marked “other expenses”.

All routine correspondence, whether written or received, and all routine telephone calls, either made or received, will be charged at one tenth of the hourly rate.

More complicated correspondence and telephone calls will be charged at the hourly rate for the actual time they take.

If your instructions mean we have to work outside normal office hours, or if we have to carry out work on an emergency basis, we may increase the level of the hourly rates. We will notify you in writing of any increases.

Other Expenses

There may be other expenses which we need to pay on your behalf. These can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Court fees.
  • Fees for expert reports.
  • Barristers’ fees.
  • Valuation fees.

These will be listed separately on your bill and you may be charged VAT at 20% in relation to these expenses.

Payment of expenses in advance

Where we have to make payments to third parties to cover expenses such as court costs, barristers’ fees or fees for expert reports, we can ask you to pay us first. This will help prevent delays in your matters. As we become aware of payments which will need to be made, we will write to you to ask you to send the monies to us to cover the payments as the matter progresses.

When we send you bills, we will make sure we take into account the amounts you have already paid. If there are any advance funds left over, we will put them against our fees which need to be paid.  You should note that the total bill for expenses may be greater than the amount which you have paid in advance.

Payment of bills

We will send you an interim bill for our fees and expenses every month while the work is in progress. This enables you to budget as the work progresses.  We will send a final bill after completion of the work.

You may also set a limit on the fees and expenses we can incur in relation to your matter. This means you have to pay our fees and expenses up to this limit, but we must ask your permission to continue working on your matter if it looks like you will have to pay us more than the limit you have set. We will write to you before we reach the limit and explain why your matter is likely to cost more, review our estimate of how much your matter is likely to cost and ask you to agree a new limit, before we do more work on your matter.

If you wish to set a limit on your fees, then you must first notify us in writing of your instructions.

Payment of your interim or final bill is required within 14 days from date of your bill. We may charge you interest on unpaid bills of 4% per year, from one month after the delivery of our bill.

If this matter does not proceed to completion, we will charge you for the work done and for expenses incurred.

We are entitled to pay your bill from monies received by us on your behalf to retain your file papers or other property until payment is made

Complaints Procedure

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about the bill, please contact me in the first instance, or our Operations Manager Jane Randle. We have a procedure in place that details how we handle complaints which is available at our office. If you would like a copy of this complaint procedure, please email jane@johnrandleassociates.com and send a copy to john@johnrandleassociates.com. We will respond to your complaint within 14 days. We have 8 weeks to deal with your complaint.

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ (www.legalombudsman.org.uk) 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).

In some circumstances, you may also be able to seek redress from our regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems.page).

You also have the right to object to the bill and apply for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. The Legal Ombudsman may not deal with a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the court for an assessment of the bill.

4. Professional Indemnity Insurance

Under the Indemnity Insurance Rules firms are required to take out and maintain qualifying insurance. Our insurance policy is with Travelers Insurance Company Limited. Our cover is for £3 million per claim.

Full details of John Randle Associates Limited insurance can be found at our office, or you can contact us to request this information by phone, or email to john@johnrandleassociates.com.

5. Equality and diversity

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.

6. 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 for management purposes and 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 disclose information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisors. You have the right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold for 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.

We are registered with The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act 1998 and our data controller is Mr John Randle. Please refer to the ICO’s website at www.ico.org.uk for further details.

7. Storage of papers

After completing the work, we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owing to us for charges and expenses.

We will keep our file of your papers (except any of your papers which you ask to be returned to you) for no more than six years. We will keep the file on the understanding that we have the authority to destroy it six 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 for you, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may charge you for:

  • Time spent producing stored papers requested; and
  • Reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers.

8. Outsourcing

From time to time we may need to outsource typing and photocopying on our files to ensure that they are dealt with in a timely matter. We will always secure a confidentiality agreement with the outsourced service provider.  Should you not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us.

9. Review of files

Our practice is subject to audit or quality checks by external firms or organisations, such as our insurers, external advisors, auditors or assessors. These external organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your file.

10. Limitation of liability

Our liability to you for breach of your instructions shall be limited to £3 million, or such other higher amount as expressly set out in the letter accompanying these terms of business. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect of exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs of losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.

These limitations apply only to the extent that they are permitted by law. In particular, they do not apply to any liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence.

For more details concerning our Professional Indemnity Insurance please refer to that section in paragraph 4 above.

11. SRA Authorisation

John Randle Associates is the trading name of John Randle Associates Limited, which is a firm of solicitors authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 654738.

12. Applicable law

Any dispute or legal issue arising from our terms of business will be determined by English Law and will be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

13. Ending our services

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 still money owing to us for 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 there is a conflict of interest. We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.

If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, you will pay our charges up until that point on an hourly basis and expenses set out in these terms and conditions.