1 Town & Country Law™ Terms of Business
1.1 Client – means the person or company identified on page 1 of the Contract accompanying this document.
1.2 Company – means Town & Country Law™ – whose address and company number are on page 1 of the Contract accompanying this document.
1.3 Contract – consists of the Contract accompanying this document and these Terms of Business.
1.4 Terms of Business – means this document and the provisions contained with it.
1.5 Contract Price – means the price stated in the Contract inclusive of VAT and disbursements.
1.6 Services – means those services listed in the Contract and purchased by the Client for the preparation of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and associated Services.
1.7 Company Representative – means any employee, agent, franchisee or other expressly authorised person by the company in the sale of its product.
1.8 Firm – means Tyto Law Solicitors, 90 High Street, Crowle, Scunthorpe DN17 4LB
2 Basis of the Contract
2.1 The Company agrees to provide the Services to the Client and the Client agrees to pay the Contract Price in accordance with the terms of the Contract.
2.2 These Terms of Business shall apply to all Contracts for the provision of Services by the Company to the Client to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions howsoever purported to be part of the Contract. Acceptance of the provision of the Services or any of them shall be deemed conclusive evidence of the Client’s acceptance of the Contract.
2.3 The Company may, from time to time, instruct agents or consultants or otherwise to carry out its obligations under the Contract.
2.4 The Client may not assign its rights under this Contract without the express written authority of the Company.
2.5 Any variation to these Terms of Business or Contract howsoever made shall be inapplicable unless such variation has been expressly agreed by the Company in writing.
2.6 Any reference in this Contract to any provision of a statute shall be construed as a reference to that provision as amended, re-enacted or extended at the relevant time.
2.7 Any verbal representations made to you by a Company Representative that conflicts with the Contract shall not be binding unless given to you in writing and signed on behalf of the Company. If in doubt this Contract shall prevail.
2.8 All advice and products provided by the Company are based solely on the information that the Client provides to the Company and noted in the fact find prepared by the Company Representative. The Company shall not be liable for any errors or omissions made by the Client in that regard.
3 The Client’s responsibilities to the Company
3.1 The Client agrees to provide the Company with such information, documents or otherwise as it may reasonably need to complete the Services, and in a timely manner.
3.2 The Client will ensure that such information is accurate.
3.3 The Company provides the Services on the basis of information supplied by the Client. The Company is only able to provide advice and products based on what the Client provides.
3.4 Any property belonging to the Client, inclusive of title deeds, shall transit solely at the Client’s risk.
3.5 The Client must review draft products and products sent to them by the Company and notify the Company of any errors, omissions or changes required in a timely manner.
4 Right to Cancel
4.1 The Company provides tailored legal documents to Clients.
4.2 If the taking of instructions and signing of the contract documentation is taking place by telephone, mail, email or on-line – by way of a ‘distance’ contract – or the Company has taken instructions and the Contract has been concluded away from the Companies business premises, because for example the Company Representative has met with the Client at home – by way of an ‘off-premises’ Contract, the Client has the right to cancel this Contract within 14 calendar days of entering into the contract without giving any reason.
4.3 Unless the Client makes an express request for the Company to commence work within the 14 day period the Company will not be able to undertake any work during that period. Should the Client require the work to be commenced within the 14 calendar day cancellation period the Client must provide their agreement to that in writing, by email, post or fax to enable the Company to commence work. By signing and returning one copy of this document, the Client is confirming that the Company can begin work immediately.
4.4 If the Client cancels this Contract within 14 days, they shall be entitled to a full refund from the Company of the Contract Price except where the Client has asked for the work to be commenced immediately. In such cases the client will be liable for any costs, VAT and disbursements incurred up to the point of cancellation.
4.5 The Client can cancel this Contract at any time within 14 days by delivering or sending (including by email) to the Company a cancellation notice.
4.6 Only the Client that has entered into this contract may cancel it.
4.7 The Client may use the lower part of this form, entitled ‘Cancellation Notice’, to cancel this Contract.
4.8 The Client is advised to keep a copy of any cancellation notice, along with a postal receipt (as relevant).
4.9 Should the Client cancel this contract, the Company will return monies to the Client within 14 days of receipt of the notice. There will not be a charge for the return of Client’s money.
5 Complaints Procedure
5.1 The Company tries very hard to ensure that it delivers legal solutions to Clients expeditiously. If in the unlikely event Clients have cause to complain to the Company, they should contact the Company by telephone, email or post and request a copy of the complaint’s procedure.
5.2 The complaints procedure confirms how to complain, how the Company will handle the complaint, how it will seek to resolve the complaint and what to do if, having received the Company’s conclusion to the complaint, the Client is still unhappy.
6 Limitation of Liability
6.1 The Company shall not be liable for any errors or defects in the Services which are not notified in writing to them within 14 days of completion of any part of the Services nor any errors approved by the Client or any third party.
6.2 This Contract represents the whole agreement between parties and all other warranties, conditions, terms, under takings or representations of any kind whether express or implied, statutory or otherwise relating to the provision of Services under or in connection with the Contract are expressly excluded from the Contract.
6.3 Any obligations of the Company under the Contract are contingent upon the Client performing all of its obligations under the Contract.
7 Confidential Information
7.1 The Company shall not disclose without the Client’s express written permission any confidential information to anyone who is not another relevant professional engaged by the Company.
Reserved legal activity work and regulation
8 Reserved legal activity
8.1 Some legal work must be undertaken by an authorised person in accordance with the Legal Services Act 2007 and authorised persons must be authorised by an approved regulator who will ensure that the regulatory obligations are met. Such work is referred to as “reserved legal activity” and entitles the client to specific protections.
8.2 During the Contract the Company undertakes for Clients, it may be identified that the Services required fall into the definition of reserved legal activity. Such Services will include lifetime trusts, land registry work, preparing probate papers and submissions to the probate registry.
8.3 In such cases, the Company will recommend that the Client instructs a firm of solicitors which the Company works closely with, Tyto Law Solicitors, and so long as the Client agrees, we will outsource the delivery of these Services to this firm of solicitors.
8.4 Where the case may involve litigation (which is also a reserved legal activity) the Company will also recommend that the Client instructs Tyto Law Solicitors and if the Client agrees, the matter will be sent to a specific specialist team within Tyto Law Solicitors.
8.5 Once the work is outsourced to Tyto Law Solicitors, the following Terms of Business will apply and supersede all others within this Contract in the event of any conflict.
9.1 Tyto Law Solicitors is authorised by, and all of the work they do is regulated by, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’). This means that they must comply at all times with the Codes of Conduct (‘the Codes’) giving the Client the protection afforded by those Codes including the SRA Compensation Fund. A copy of the Solicitors Regulation Authority guidance can be viewed or downloaded at: https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/
10 Client protection
10.1 Tyto Law Solicitors has compulsory professional indemnity insurance in accordance with statutory requirements. Their professional indemnity insurer is Endurance Worldwide Ltd with an imposed limit of indemnity of £3,000,000 and UK territorial limits.
10.2 For Client protection, in certain circumstances, the SRA may require the Firm to disclose and give control of files to them with Client consent. A Client’s agreement to these Terms of Business and agreeing for the Firm to act will be considered such consent. The circumstances may include:
a. one or more of the terms of the Firm’s authorisation have not been complied with;
b. a person has been appointed receiver or manager of the property of the Firm;
c. a relevant insolvency event has occurred in relation to the Firm;
d. the SRA has reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of any manager or employee of the Firm or the business of another body of which the person was a manager or employee, or the practice or former practice of the manager or employee; or
e. the SRA is satisfied that it is necessary to exercise their regulatory powers in relation to the Firm to protect the interests of clients (or former or potential clients).
10.3 Where work involves investments, although the Firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to give advice, it is able to refer Clients to an authorised advisor. The Firm can provide limited services in relation to investments, provided they are closely linked with the legal services delivered as regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
11.1 The Services will be delivered by one of the qualified and/or experienced lawyers engaged by the Firm. The firm will ensure that the individual delivering the Services is competent to do so and overall responsibility for each Client matter is assumed by Oliver J Saxon who is a solicitor and partner of the Firm. He will also ensure there is adequate supervision in relation to delivery of the Services.
12 Client accounts
12.1 Due to the nature of the work carried out by the Firm, it is not necessary to operate a client account and deal with the associated risks to clients and the Firm. Therefore, the Firm will not hold money on behalf of Clients.
13.1 Tyto Law Solicitors are paid a flat fee by Town & Country Law for undertaking any reserved activities. No further money, tax or disbursements are payable by the client to either Town & Country Law or Tyto Law Solicitors.
14 Limitation of liability
14.1 The Firm does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by negligence, non-performance or breach of duty to a value in excess of £3 million unless the Firm has made a special arrangement with the Client at the outset of the matter.
14.2 No member or employee of the Firm will be liable to the client for breach of contract or negligence in their personal capacity.
14.3 Other than in respect of liability arising from fraud, personal injury or death, the Firm does not accept liability for claims received more than 12 months from the conclusion of delivery of the Services or, if not apparent within that time, more than six months after it becomes apparent.
14.4 The Client’s statutory rights remain unaffected.
15 Tax advice
15.1 Any work that the Firm does for Clients may have tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies. The Firm may not be qualified to advise the Client on any specific tax implications of a matter that the instructed the Firm to deal with, or the likelihood of them arising.
15.2 If a client has any concerns in this respect, they should raise them with the Firm immediately. If the Firm can undertake the research necessary to resolve the issue it will do so and advise the Client accordingly. If the Firm cannot, it may be able to identify source of assistance for the client.
15.3 If the Firm instructs specialist tax counsel on behalf of clients or refers the issue to tax advisers, it reserves the right to charge the client for the fees incurred in doing so.
16.1 The Firm is committed to high quality legal advice and client care. If a client is unhappy about any aspect of the service or about the bill, they should contact Oliver Saxon so that the Firm can do it’s best to resolve the problem.
16.2 A full copy of the Firm’s Complaints Procedure can be found on its website here.
16.3 If the Firm is unable to resolve any such concerns to client’s satisfaction within eight weeks they are entitled to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
www.legalombudsman.org.uk or PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ.
The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about legal services. Normally complaints need to be made to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving the Firm’s final written response to the complaint.
16.4 Complaints about a client’s rights under the General Data Protection Regulation must be submitted to the Information Commissioner’s Office: ico.org.uk.
16.5 Any disputes or legal issues arising from this Contract and Terms of Business will be determined by the laws of England and Wales and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.
17. Anti-money laundering procedures
17.1 Law firms are obliged by The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Payer) Regulations 2017 to obtain certain information to establish the correct identity and address of clients. In certain circumstances the Firm may be under an obligation to submit a report to the authorities if it has reason to suspect offences concerned with money laundering may have been committed or might be committed.
17.2 By accepting this Contract and Terms of Business Clients accept that the Firm is entitled to require them to produce appropriate evidence of their identity and address, that the Firm may submit reports to the relevant authorities concerning Clients’ business and that the Firm shall not be liable in any circumstance for any losses which a Client might incur as a consequence of any such steps which the Firm might properly take in pursuance of its statutory obligations under anti-money laundering legislation.
17.3 In carrying out the statutory obligations the Firm may incur certain expenses in order to verify the identity of a client to the satisfaction of the authorities, for example company search fees.
17.4 Acceptable identification documents
a. Acceptable evidence of personal identity includes:
i. Current valid passport with a UK residence permit if appropriate;
ii. EU member state identity card;
iii. Current EU or UK photocard driving licence; or
iv. Armed Forces ID card.
b. Evidence of address can be determined by:
i. Confirmation from the electoral register;
ii. Recent utility bill, bank statement or mortgage statement with the current address;
iii. Local authority rates or council tax bill;
iv. Current UK driving licence, but only if not used as evidence of personal identity; or
v. Local council rent card or tenancy agreement.
18. Data protection
18.1 The Firm is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller. Its registration number is ZB221106. This gives Clients added protection in relation to any personal data which the Firm holds as a result of Client instructions.
18.2 The Firm’s use of personal data is subject to Client instructions, UK GDPR and its professional duty of confidentiality. Please read the Data Protection Privacy Notice carefully, which can be found here. If a hard copy is required, please contact the Firm who will arrange for it to be sent.
18.3 The Data Protection Privacy Notice contains information on:
a. what personal data is collected and how that data is collected;
b. how, why and on what grounds we use personal data;
c. who we share personal data with;
d. where personal data is held and how long it will be kept;
e. whether personal data may be transferred out of the European Economic area and, if so, the measures taken to protect that data;
f. the rights in relation to the personal data held or used;
g. the steps taken to secure personal data;
h. how to make a complaint in relation to use of personal data; and
i. how to contact the Firm with any queries or concerns in relation to personal data.
19 Confidentiality and disclosure
19.1 As a regulated business, the Firm must observe a general duty of confidentiality. The Firm takes its regulatory requirements very seriously and these include provisions for protection of personal data and keeping information confidential.
19.2 The information which Clients give the Firm will be received in professional confidence. This means that the Firm must maintain the confidentiality of any information Clients have shared with them and can only tell others about it if Clients give consent for them to do so.
19.3 Subject to data protection legislation and the duty of confidentiality the Firm may share personal data with:
a. Third parties and other persons who help provide products and services;
b. Companies and other persons providing services to the Firm which support the delivery of Services to Clients;
c. Legal and other professional advisors, including auditors in the conduct of audit or quality checks on the Firm;
d. Fraud prevention agencies, reference agencies and debt collection agencies during delivery of Services;
e. Government bodies and agencies in the UK and overseas;
f. Courts to comply with legal requirements and for the administration of justice;
g. To other parties connected with Client matters; and
h. Anyone else with Client consent or as required by law.
19.4 By signing the Terms of Business, the Client is authorising the Firm to speak to or instruct other parties and share relevant data with them as required. The Firm will always carry out due diligence checks and seek a confidentiality agreement with such parties if they are not already obliged to provide this to Clients by law.
19.5 The way that the Firm is regulated means that even if others do work on its behalf, the Client still benefits from the protection of its regulation. If a Client does not want their matter or information to be outsourced, they should please let the Firm know as soon as possible.
19.6 The only exception to confidentiality and Data Protection is that statutory and other legal requirements may mean that the Firm has to disclose Client information to governmental or other regulatory authorities, e.g., organisations, whose rules the Firm must meet, without Client consent and without telling Clients that the Firm made the disclosure. Statutory and legal requirements are rules or regulations that an individual must, by law, follow.
19.7 Circumstances where it may be necessary for the Firm to disclose information about Clients other than as a result of the normal conduct of the matter include:
a. In an emergency or to otherwise protect a Client’s vital interests;
b. To protect the security or integrity of the Firm’s business operations.
19.8 External firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to Client files through contractual arrangements.
20 Storage of documents
20.1 After completing the work the Firm will be entitled to keep all Client papers and documents while there is still money owed to them for costs and disbursements.
20.2 The firm keeps papers (except for any papers a Client asks to be returned to them) for no more than 6 years and keeps the file on the understanding that the Firm has authority to destroy it after 6 years from the date of the final bill, although documents Clients ask to deposit in safe custody will not, of course, be destroyed.
20.3 On the completion of the retention period the file is destroyed.
20.4 Time limits imposed by documents such as rent review dates, dates for service of a break notice under a lease et cetera. are the Client’s responsibility to diarise. The Firm does not take responsibility for diarising dates which occur after a transaction is concluded. In certain circumstances, and only by express agreement with a Client, the Firm will diarise dates.
20.5 The Firm shall not be responsible for advising Clients of any future changes in the law which may impact upon them.
20.6 If the Firm takes papers out of storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for Clients, it will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, the Firm may charge for time spent producing stored papers and reading and related work to comply with Client instructions.
21 Referral arrangements
21.1 The Firm has not paid a referral fee for Clients to be referred from the Company.
22 Terminating the retainer
22.1 A Client may end instructions to the Firm in writing at any time but the Firm can keep all papers and documents while there is still money owed to it for costs and disbursements.
22.2 The Firm will only cease acting for Clients on good reason and after giving reasonable notice. Possible reasons for the Firm to terminate its retainer with Clients may include:
a. Failure to respond twice to requests for instructions;
b. Failure to respond to a request for information required by the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Payer) Regulations 2017
c. Failure to comply with a request for payment on account of costs and disbursements;
d. Failure to pay an interim account; and
e. If a conflict of interest arises whereby, the Firm is no longer able to continue acting for the Client.
22.3 The Firm also reserve the right to stop acting at any time in the event of rude or abusive conduct being directed against any member of staff.
22.4 If the Firm stops acting for a Client, the Client must pay the Firm’s charges up until that point. These are calculated by proportion of the agreed fee.