Harold W Joseph Terms of Business
Terms of Business of Harold W Joseph, Solicitor, 54 Carlton Place, Glasgow
In common with all solicitors in Scotland, I am required by the Law Society of Scotland to provide you with my general terms of business which I attach hereto.
Thank you for instructing my firm to act on your behalf.
Harold W Joseph
Direct fax: 0141 429 7740
Partner: Harold W Joseph LL.B NP
Associate Solicitor: Sharon L Collins LL.B(Hons) LL.M(res) DipL.P, NP, Collaborative Family Lawyer, Accredited Family Law Mediator
TERMS OF BUSINESS
HAROLD W JOSEPH
54 CARLTON PLACE
1. QUALITY SERVICE
I aim to provide a high quality service, to find out what my clients want, and achieve it. I try to work quickly and efficiently, and I hope you find me friendly and approachable. At the end of you case I hope you will think my fee represents good value for money. These terms of business are is applicable from the date you instructed me to act on your behalf in the matter subject to any subsequent modification which I may at my sole discretion make thereto notwithstanding the date or dates of your receipt hereof.
2. CONTACTING ME
My office is open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday. My telephone is answered from 9am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday. If I am unable to take your call, or if I am closed for a local or statutory holiday, you can leave a message on my answering machine. My fax line is open at all times. I am happy to discuss meeting with you outwith normal hours by prior appointment.
3. INITIAL MEETING
You may qualify for assistance under the Legal Advice and Assistance Scheme.
Instructions may be given to me in writing or verbally. I may well ask you to confirm in writing your acceptance of the terms of verbal instructions given to me. If there is any change in your instructions you must notify me immediately. If you wish anyone other than yourself to give me instructions or information, I will require confirmation of this in writing. My firm’s continuing to act on your behalf without express termination by you of my firm’s services however will be deemed to be your acceptance of the terms of business contained herein.
5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
I cannot act for two or more parties if they have conflicting interests. Please advise me at the outset if you are aware of potential conflicts which may arise. If I decide that I can still act (i.e. if you are one of the exceptions to the general rule) I will confirm this to you in writing.
Unless I agree otherwise in writing, I shall assume that where I act for more than one person but only/
only one of them tells me what to do, that person has the authority of the other(s) to do so. Where I do act for more than one person, each person for whom I do work is equally responsible for the instructions given to me and for payment of my fees and outlays in connection with that matter. If you do not understand what this means, please ask me to explain.
7. Where you instruct me to act on behalf of a partnership, limited company, LLP or other corporate body you personally guarantee payment of my firm’s fees and outlays in accordance with these terms of business. Accordingly, if the partnership, limited company, LLP or other corporate body fails to meet my fees and outlays you will be personally liable to make such payments to my firm notwithstanding any rule of law to the contrary. If I am given instructions by a partnership or private limited company then, unless otherwise agreed with you in advance, it is a condition of my accepting these instructions that the Partners or Directors, as the case may be, are jointly and severally liable along with the Partnership or Company for payment of my fees and costs and any interest thereon notwithstanding any rule of law to the contrary.
Information passed to me is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties unless authorised by you or required by law.
9. COPYRIGHT AND THIRD PARTIES
All copyright in documents I produce is reserved to me. Advice given and documents prepared are for your use only and may not be copied or used by any third party without my express written consent.
10. LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND
Like all Scottish solicitors, I am a member of the Law Society of Scotland and subject to its professional rules at all times.
11. IDENTITY VERIFICATION
In common with all firms of solicitors, the Money Laundering Regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act require me to be satisfied as to the identity of my clients and to the source of any funds passing through my hands. In order to comply with these Regulations, I will ask you for proof of identity and other information. Satisfactory evidence of identity, preferably photographic evidence and where possible your passport will be required as well as recent evidence of your address, such as a utility bill. I reserve the right to withdraw from acting for you if you fail to provide me with the information requested of you and required in connection with my Money Laundering Procedures. I am required to report any reasonable suspicion which I have about the source of funds to be provided for any particular matter or proceedings to the National Criminal Intelligence Service (“NCIS”). Subject to legal privilege I am required to report to NCIS any reasonable suspicions which I have about any criminal activity on your part or indeed on the part of others connected to any matter or proceedings in which I am instructed. If I make such a report I am obliged not to inform you until authorised to do so by NCIS nor can I proceed with/
with your business. I cannot advise you why I am unable to progress your matter or case. NCIS has seven days to make a decision about whether or not the matter or case can proceed and thereafter it can impose a further thirty day holding period. It is vital therefore that at the outset of your dealings with me you provide me with full, frank and clear instructions.
12. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE
The nature of legal work, particularly court work, often makes it difficult to estimate precisely how long something will take to complete. When we discuss your requirements at the outset I will also discuss time scales. I do attempt to meet these – even to beat them – and always to deal with everything as quickly and efficiently as possible. Please remember that quite often the speed at which work can be completed is affected by the co-operation (or lack of it) I received from you or other people outwith my control.
I may, at my discretion, charge you either on the basis of (a) a number of important factors, including but not necessarily limited to: the value of the matter or case, the complexity and difficulty of the matter, the skill, knowledge and responsibility involved, the urgency of the matter, the place where I am required to carry out the work and the result of the case. I am happy to tell you at any time what the fees are to date. If I have agreed to act on your behalf on a speculative basis, my fees will be charged in accordance with the Speculative Fee Agreement which you have entered into with me. In the event of you changing solicitors during the course of the matter or court action, I shall be entitled to charge for the work carried out up to the date I cease to act on your behalf; or (b) unless otherwise agreed, in non-legal aid cases as follows based on the value of a unit of £25. For work, however, performed by an associate or assistant the value of the unit shall be £20.
(i) Deeds, documents intended to have contractual effect, court writs, court pleadings, precognitions, affidavits, motions of substance, financial statements and accounts, inventories (other than inventories of writs) and relative schedules, memorials for Counsel’s opinion are all chargeable at 5 units per sheet) (a sheet is 250 words or part thereof).
(ii) where a pro-forma document has been used and variables or standard clauses inserted, the rate for that part of the document will be 3 units per sheet.
(iii) other papers to include transfers, minutes of meeting, statements, routine or straightforward motions, simple debt recovery court writs will be charged at 3 units per sheet. Intimations and certificates thereof will be charged at 1.25 units.
2.) COPYING BY ANY MEANS
No charge will be made if the number of copies made in the whole matter is 50 or less. Where the number of copies is more than 50, all copies will be charged at 0.02 units per page.
Time spent conducting a trial, proof or formal debate hearing before a court including a tribunal, enquiry, licensing board or arbiter will be charged at 12 units per hour. All other time including but not limited to preparation for and attending meetings and consultations will be charged at 10 units per hour. Units of time are indivisible unless otherwise stated.
Normal letters, faxes and e-mails and letters with cheques will be charged at 1.25 units per page. A ‘page’ is 125 words or part thereof.
Formal letters (i.e. acknowledgements/confirmatory letters) and circulars will be charged at 0.50 units.
Letters of a similar nature (i.e. the same letter going to several people), for the 2nd and subsequent letter irrespective of length, the rate will be 0.50 units per page
5.) TELEPHONE CALLS
For the first six minutes or part thereof, 1 unit. Calls of over 6 minutes will be charged on a time basis at 12 units per hour. Formal telephone calls (acknowledging/confirming) will be charged at 0.50 units.
6.) Perusing and/or revising any document including letters, faxes and emails 1.75 units per page (a page is 125 words or part thereof).
7.) ACTING AS NOTARY
Notarial Certificates and attestations and similar acts including notarising court affidavits and formal documents – 3 units (this fee does not include the drawing or the revising of the documents)
Notarial copies per sheet, 1 unit.
Maritime protests: Noting protests – 10 units, drawing instrument and necessary documents – 5 units, attendance at execution – 3 units
8.) POSTS AND INCIDENTS
Posts and incidents will be charged at 6% of the total agent/client fees.
My business account will normally be in the form of a note of fee. If you request a detailed account or if one is required for any reason, I shall be entitled to charge therefor in accordance with this terms of business letter.
VAT at the standard rate prevailing shall be chargeable on all fees (but not on posts and incidents and outlays).
14. ESTIMATES and PAYMENTS TO ACCOUNT
Any estimate that may be given will be a probable fee based on my experience of the work you have asked me to do. If the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than I anticipated then I may require to increase my estimate to take account of this. I will inform you
as soon as possible about this. Sometimes I will need confirmation of your ability to fund a transaction. A deposit may be requested.
For the avoidance of doubt, a payment to account may not be the cost of the case. In common with many firms of solicitors, my firm may request a payment or payments to account of fees or fees and outlays prior to work or further work being carried out or outlays or further outlays being incurred on your behalf. In the event of failure to make any payment or payments to account after being requested, which request may be made orally or in writing at my firm’s discretion, immediately or within such time as my firm at its discretion may require, my firm shall be entitled to refrain from carrying out work or further work or incurring outlays or further outlays on your behalf and in appropriate circumstances in my firm’s discretion may withdraw from acting on your behalf without any liability whatsoever.
15. I will issue my account either at the end of a matter or court proceedings or at regular intervals. Payment is due within thirty days of the date of account. If not paid within this time I reserve the right to charge interest on the amount overdue at 4% over the Clydesdale Bank PLC Base Rate. Payments to account of fees and/or outlays shall be due and payable immediately upon request. If you do not pay my account or any payment or payments to account which may be required on time, without prejudice to any of the other terms herein, I reserve the right to stop working for you and to withdraw from the agency in any matter or court proceedings in which I am acting on your behalf and to charge you for the full amount of work I have done for you. I shall be entitled to exercise a right of lien over all papers and documents belonging to you until all outstanding fees have been fully settled.
16. LEGAL AID
Where Legal Aid or Legal Advice and Assistance is available to cover the work I am doing for you, I shall assess your eligibility for the appropriate cover and I will explain the nature of the cover available to you and assist you in completing all of the necessary forms. In the event that you are in receipt of Legal Aid or Legal Advice and Assistance, any money recovered on your behalf may have to be applied to meeting your legal expenses except insofar as recovered. I reserve the right to decline instructions from you to act under the Legal Advice and Assistance or Legal Aid schemes but to act on a private basis but you may in that event choose to instruct a solicitor who is prepared to apply for Legal Aid or Legal Advice and Assistance on your behalf. I will make application at appropriate stages for sufficient funding under the Legal Advice and Assistance and Legal Aid Schemes as appropriate to conduct your case and to fund the outlays which I consider necessary for the proper conduct of your case. This requires to be granted by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB). In the event that SLAB refuses to increase the authorised limit of expenditure where Legal Advice and Assistance has been granted or refuses to increase the cost limit where a Legal Aid Certificate has been issued sufficiently, I shall be entitled but not bound to cease acting on your behalf irrespective of the stage of your case without any liability whatsoever.
17. EXPENSES RECOVERABLE
If I act on your behalf in connection with a court action in which you are partly or wholly successful, that is to say, if your opponent agrees to pay you compensation or damages with or without/
without admission of liability it may be possible to recover expenses from your opponent. In practice only a proportion of your expenses are likely to be recoverable. You are liable for my fees and for outlays incurred on your behalf whether or not you are successful in an action but credit will be given for all expenses recovered from your opponent.
18. DEDUCTION OF FEES AND OUTLAYS AT SOURCE
Where I receive sums which belong to you I shall be entitled to deduct from those sums all outstanding fees and outlays before sending you the balance.
19. COSTS PAID ON YOUR BEHALF
Where fees, outlays or expenses are to be paid by me on your behalf, I will endeavour to give you details of these in advance in order that you may place me in funds before the sums are due. If however I am unable to do so, I reserve the right to require to be repaid by you within seven days of my request for payment of the appropriate sum.
20. INDEPENDENT FEE ASSESSMENT
The Auditor of Court is always available to provide a completely independent assessment of a fair fee for any piece of legal work carried out for a client. On occasions, to ensure that a file has
been correctly charged, I may voluntarily send the file to the Auditor. Unless otherwise agreed with you beforehand, I will in that event be responsible for payment of the Auditor’s fee. Should you at any time be dissatisfied with the amount of a fee charged by me, then you are entitled to ask me to have the Auditor review your file and set an appropriate level of fee for the work done. If the Auditor reduces the amount of my original fee I will only charge that reduced amount and the Auditor may require me to meet his costs. If, however, the Auditor confirms that my fee is correct or undercharged, then you will be responsible for the Auditor’s costs and any balance.
21. OUTSTANDING MONIES
You are entitled to change solicitors at any time but you are responsible for the fees and any other outstanding payments due to me until the time of change. I am entitled to hold any title deeds, files or other documents or papers until payment.
If for any reason you are unhappy about the quality of service provided, or the amount of my fees, then you should, in the first instance, take the matter up with me. I will ensure that any such complaint is fully investigated and that you receive a detailed response within a reasonable period. If you are still dissatisfied you are always entitled to take the matter up The Scottish Legal Complaints Service (SLCC), The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. SLCC has rules about time limits for making complaints. The SLCC’s guidelines are at the end of these terms of business. I recognise that Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations have implemented ADR/EDR Directive 2013/11/EU to promote alternative dispute resolution as a means of redress for consumers in relation to unsatisfactory services. I have however chosen not to/
to adopt an ADR process and if you have any concerns about the services you receive from this firm you should contact the firm’s Client Relations Manager.
23. EFFECT ON YOUR RECEIPT OF STATE BENEFITS
If you are in receipt of state benefits you should consider how an award of money, or compensation you receive, whether as a result of an out of court settlement or awarded by a court in a decree, for example, in a divorce, personal injury or payment cases, will affect these in case they are reduced or even stopped. A personal injury or similar trust may safeguard or protect your entitlement to state benefits. You should specifically request advice regarding this if you are concerned that this may affect you.
24. YOUR FILES AND DOCUMENTATION
Under current regulations I am obliged to hold your files and documentation for a period of 10 years. If you wish your files and documentation returned to you after your case or matter has been concluded they shall be returned to you on your written request. In the absence of such written request I may shred or otherwise dispose of your files and documentation without any liability howsoever arising whether to you, your executors or any other person or persons whomsoever after the expiry of 10 years running from the date of conclusion of your case or matter.
25. CHANGE IN YOUR CONTACT DETAILS
It is, as you will appreciate, essential that I am able to contact you at any time, for example, to take your instructions or report matters to you. You must accordingly inform me of any change of address, telephone number, e-mail address or other means of contact. If I am unable to contact you I may be unable to continue acting on your behalf and in the event that I withdraw from acting for you if you fail to instruct another solicitor to act for you in your case or continue to pursue or defend your case as appropriate yourself as a party litigant or arrange appropriate representation if you are a limited company your opponent(s) may obtain a decree as craved (or decree of absolvitor if your opponent is defending your case) with expenses as taxed against you.
26. My firm may instruct third parties on your behalf, for example, expert witnesses, sheriff officers, or local agents. My firm is not responsible for any act or omission on the part of such third parties unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to instruction thereof.
27. APPLICABLE LAW
These terms and conditions are governed by the Law of Scotland and are subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.
Time limits referred to in paragraph 22 of my terms of business
“If the complaint, or part of it, is about inadequate service a practitioner or firm has provided you, the time limit is:
If the date from which you were first provided with a service in connection with that specific piece of legal work is on or after 1st April 2017, within 3 years after the date on which you were last provided with a service in connection with the specific piece of legal work you are complaining about Otherwise, within 1 year after the date on which you were last provided with a service in connection with the specific piece of legal work you are complaining about If the complaint, or part of it, is about inadequate service a practitioner or firm has provided someone else (what we call a third party complaint), the time limit is:
Within 3 years after the specific act or omission you are complaining about occurring, if it occurred on or after 1st April 2017
Otherwise, within 1 year after the specific act or omission you are complaining about occurring If the complaint, or part of it, is about the conduct of the practitioner or the practitioner being convicted, the time limit is:
Within 3 years after the occurrence of the alleged conduct you are complaining about or the date of the conviction occurring, if it occurred on or after 1st April 2017 Otherwise, within 1 year after the occurrence of the alleged conduct you are complaining about or the date of the conviction occurring When checking the time limits, we don’t include any time you were excusably unaware of the alleged conduct or inadequate professional services An example of this might be a problem when you bought your house that only came to light when you tried to sell it at a later date. This doesn’t include being unaware that you could make a complaint to us.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure if your complaint is about inadequate professional service or conduct – this is something we will decide.
If you’re concerned that you may be at or close to the time limit You should send us a completed complaint form as soon as possible.
If we think your complaint is outside the time limit If we think that your complaint, or part of it, is outside the time limit, we will write to you to ask for your comments, including whether there are any exceptional circumstances that mean that we should accept the complaint outside the time limits and what evidence you can provide us to support this.
Exceptional circumstances/ exceptional reasons/ public interest The only time that we can accept a complaint outside the time limits is when we think that:
There are exceptional reasons why the complaint was not made sooner;
There are exceptional circumstances relating to the nature of the complaint;or
It is in the public interest to proceed to take further steps in respect of the complaint.
Exceptional reasons may include:
A serious medical condition or a significant time in hospital
A serious medical condition of a close relative when you were the main carer, if this prevented you from making your complaint
Certain personal circumstances that made complaining difficult – for example, serving in the armed forces in a war zone
These would not normally include:
Not knowing about the SLCC or our time limits
A medical condition that only affected you for a short period of the time in question
A prolonged medical condition that wouldn’t have prevented you from making a complaint
Being too busy
Exceptional circumstances may include:
The seriousness of the allegations
Public interest reasons may include:
The allegations are of a wider public interest – for example, allegations of theft or fraud.
Re-assessing time limits
If new information comes to light during our investigation that suggests the complaint or part of it may be outside the time limit, we may check the time limit again before we continue investigating.
Additional time limits
If your complaint is about inadequate professional service before January 1989, we will be unable to accept it as there was no legislative concept of inadequate professional service before this date.
Any other queries relating to time limits
Contact our Enquiries team on 0131 201 2130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note, we won’t be able to assess time limits over the phone for you.
This information is an overview of our time limits. Detailed information is available in our Rules.”
SAFEGUARDING THE PRIVACY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Personal information collected about you includes your name, address, email address, telephone number, business interests, present employment, employment history, financial status and is limited to the following circumstances:
When we agree to provide legal services to you or the organisation you work for
When you request information from us or provide information to us
When you apply for employment or work experience with us
When you visit our website
When you complete any forms for us or the matter we are acting for you eg application forms
If you are a former employee of the firm
We collect personal information directly from you and others. We may also collect personal information from third parties, such as your employer, regulators, government department agencies and authorities, credit reporting agencies, (including electronic data sources to carry out checks to enable us to comply with applicable law), providers, recruitment agencies or professional advisers.
We may store your information in different places e.g. internal systems and secure servers.
We will only use your personal information if and to the extent that applicable law allows. We process your personal information if we have one of the following legal bases to do so:
It is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or the organisation you work for
It is necessary in connection with a legal obligation
You have given your consent
If we (or a third party) have a legitimate interest
We will only process sensitive “special category” personal information, for example race or disability, on the following conditions:
You have given your consent to so processing
The processing is necessary for the establishment, pursuit, exercise or defence of legal claims.
We will only retain your personal information for as long as is necessary such as for the purposes of complying with any legal, regulatory, accounting or reporting requirements.
You have certain rights that you can exercise in relation to the personal information we hold
Request access to your personal information (known as a subject access request)
Request rectification of your personal information.
If you would like to exercise any of these rights please contact:
Data Protection Leader
Harold W Joseph
54 Carlton Place
GLASGOW G5 9TW
If you have any questions about this policy or how we handle your personal information please contact the Data Protection Leader as set out above.
If you are dissatisfied with how we handle your query, you can contact the Information Commission UK Supervisory Authority for data protection issues at ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone 0303 123 1113
I, * acknowledge to have received from Harold W Joseph, Solicitor, 54 Carlton Place, Glasgow, G5 9TW his terms of business letter, effective from commencement of instructions and hereby instruct my said solicitor to act on the terms and conditions contained therein.