STOCKER & CO
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
Please keep safely for your current transaction. For future reference we also specialise in
Commercial & General Litigation _ Commercial E. Residential Conveyancing _ Personal
Injury _ _ Company _ _ Matrimonial _ Wills _ Probate _ Landlord & Tenant
The Law Society is the governing body of solicitors. Professional Rules laid down by it require that clients of solicitors be informed of certain terms of business. Accordingly, this formal statement indicates the basis on which this firm carries out professional services on behalf of clients
1. PLACE AND HOURS OF BUSINESS
Stocker & Co's offices are located at 10a Buttermarket Thane Oxon OX9 3EW The normal hours of opening are between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm on weekdays
2. RESPONSIBILITY FOR WORK
2.1 The person primarily responsible for the conduct of your transaction or case will be Christopher Stocker or his assistant Rowan Reavley.
2.2 Any complaints regarding your matter should be addressed to Mr C H R Stocker. If a problem cannot be resolved then your matter may be referred to an independent solicitor or to the Office of Supervision of Solicitors.
3. PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY
In the interests of clients Stocker & Co maintain professional indemnity insurance to the total level of £.2,000,000.
4.1 Unless and until either (a) an alternative fee arrangement has been agreed and confirmed in writing by us (b) the matter is a property transaction for which estimates are usually given at the beginning of the transaction (c) a client is entitled to have the fees of Stocker & Co paid by the Legal Aid Board, the basis for calculation of our fees is described below and is mainly by reference to the time spent by the solicitor and staff dealing with the transaction or case; the time charges being all time spent on the client's affairs. This will include attendances upon the client and perhaps others; any time spent travelling; considering, preparing and working on papers and correspondence; making and receiving telephone calls and facsimile transmissions.
4.2 Each solicitor and executive's time is charged out at an hourly rate which reflects overhead costs. All routine letters sent out by the firm are charged in 9 minute units, all telephone calls made or received in 6 minute units and consideration of all letters received in 4 minute units.
4.3 The current hourly rates are set out below. These rates do not include VAT which will be added when an invoice is prepared:
C I-I R Stocker £150.00 ( plus 50% care and control if matter requires urgent attention)
Conveyancing work Quotes will be given. If there are any undue delays or complication this may incur additional fees.
These rates include a standard care and control uplift of 50%. Under Law Society rules this element can be increased when the care and control exercised is more than normally expected taking account of some or all of the following factors: the complexity of the matter or the difficulty or novelty of the questions raised; the skill, labour, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved; the time spent on the business; the number and importance of the documents prepared or perused, without regard to length: the place where and the circumstances in which the business or any part thereof is transacted and the dislocation of the work to the fee earner and the expedition of the work where required; the amount or value of any money or property involved; whether any land involved is registered land within the meaning of the Land Registration Acts and the importance of the matter to the Client.
4.4 Where the instructions of a client require that interviews take place, or other work is carried out, necessarily outside Stocker & Co's normal office hours, Stocker & Co reserve the right to increase the level of the hourly rate.
4.5 The hourly rates set out above are normally reviewed annually to take effect from the 1st September and to take account of changes in salary and other overhead costs. Details of any revision of rates occurring during the continuance of a case or transaction will be supplied to a client on request. These rates may not be appropriate in cases of exceptional complexity or urgency. Where it becomes apparent that such circumstances exist, Stocker & Co reserve the right to terminate the retainer unless revised rates are agreed in
4.6 For property transactions an estimate of the total fee will be given on request at the outset of the matter. Such estimate will only be revised if the matter proves to be more difficult or time consuming than could have reasonably been anticipated at the outset of the matter.
4.7 Disbursements include payments made by Stocker & Co on behalf of the client eg. for such items as court fees, counsel's fees, fees for medical reports, search fees, Land or Probate Registry fees etc. Stocker & Co have no obligation to effect such payments unless funds have been provided by the client for that purpose. VAT is payable on certain disbursements.
4.8 Fees are payable whether or not a case is successfully concluded or a transaction completed. If any case or transaction does not proceed to completion for any reason during the period in which Stocker & Co are instructed, then Stocker & Co shall be entitled to charge for work done on the basis set out above but, in its absolute discretion the firm may waive part or all of such entitlement to fees.
4.9 Probate matters will he charged at the time spent on the tile together with a '' 'A% of the residence value plus 1/2% of the net personal estate in accordance with the Law Society's recommended rates. Where this firm acts as Executor the fees will be time plus 1 V2 gross estate plus %% residue.
5. ARRANGEMENTS FOR PAYMENT OF FEES
5.1 Property Transactions. An account will normally be rendered following the exchange of contracts and payment is required prior to or upon completion. Where sufficient funds are payable to the client upon completion, amounts due to Stocker & Co shall be deducted from such funds unless otherwise agreed.
5.2 Administration of Estates. It is our usual practice to deliver interim accounts at intervals during the administration. An interim bill will normally be submitted when the Grant has been obtained. If it then transpires that it will take some time to complete the administration, further interim accounts will he rendered periodically and the final account will be presented when the estate accounts are delivered for approval.
5.3 Instructions from Limited Companies. Where Stocker & Co accept instructions from a Limited Company it is a condition of such acceptance of instruction that the fees thereby incurred are guaranteed personally by the Director or Consultant giving such instruction on behalf of the Company
5.4 Other cases or transactions. It is normal practice to ask clients to pay sums of money from time to time on account of the fees and disbursements which are anticipated in the following weeks or months. It is helpful if clients meet such requests with prompt payment to avoid any delay in the progress of their case. In transactions or cases likely to continue for more than one month interim accounts covering the work already carried out will normally be rendered. In some cases, accounts may be rendered more frequently, eg. when a considerable amount of time is spent within a short period. This procedure enables clients to budget for costs as the matter progresses. In the event of any such account or request for payment on account not being paid, Stocker & Co reserve the right to decline to act further in the case. The full amount of work done up to that date will be the subject of a final account rendered and will be a debt due from the client. Interest will be charged at 5% over HSBC base rate from time to time from the date of delivery of an account in cases where payment is not made within 30 days of such delivery.
5.5 In cases or transactions continuing for some period of time, many clients find it convenient to arrange regular payments on account by way of bank standing order. Clients should notify the person having conduct of their file of their proposal to pay by this arrangement, whereupon details of Stocker & Co bank account and the manner in which any standing orders will be expressed will be given.
6. COSTS RECOVERED
In some litigation cases a successful client may be entitled to the payment of costs by some other party to the proceedings. However, it is rare for the system of 'taxation' of costs, as it is known, to result in the other party having to pay the full amount of the costs incurred by the client with their own solicitor. If the other party is in receipt of legal aid no costs are likely to be recovered. In the event that a client is successful and costs do fall to be paid by the other party, interest can be claimed on those costs against the other party as from the date on which the order for costs was made. To the extent that any of the fees and disbursements of Stocker & Co have been paid on account by the client. Stocker & Co will account to the client for such interest but will otherwise be entitled to retain it.
7. INTEREST PAYMENTS
7.1 If Stocker & Co holds money on your behalf, subject to the terms of this paragraph, interest will be calculated and paid to you in accordance with the Solicitors' Accounts Rules 1991. Subject to certain minimum amounts and periods of time prescribed by the Rules interest will be calculated and paid at the rate from time to time payable on HSBC plc's designated deposit accounts. The period for which interest will be paid will normally run from the date(s) on which funds are received as cleared by us until the date(s) of issue of any cheque(s) in discharge thereof.
7.2 Where clients obtain borrowing from a lender Stocker & Co will request the lender to arrange that the advance cheque is received by Stocker & Co a minimum of four clear working days prior to the completion date to ensure that cleared funds are available in time for completion. Clients should note that the lender may charge interest from the date of issue of the cheque.
8. FINANCIAL SERVICES
Stocker & Co is authorised by the Law Society to conduct investment business in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Services Act 1986. In the event that commission is received by Stocker & Co from a financial institution, brokers or others, and unless otherwise agreed, Stocker & Co will account to the client for such part of the commission, if any, as may exceed the amount of any fees or disbursements due to Stocker & Co from the client.
9. STORAGE OF PAPERS AND DEEDS
9.1 Following the conclusion of a transaction or case on behalf of a client, Stocker & Co will retain the client's file of papers for such a period as they shall deem appropriate in their absolute discretion. A client who requires such papers (including pre-registration deeds and documents where the title to the property has been registered at HM Land Registry) to be kept for any specific period shall give notice in writing to Stocker & Co to that effect and, in the event of such notice being given, Stocker & Co reserve the right to require the client to take personal custody of the papers. This provision does not apply to current deeds, wills and securities.
9.2 Stocker & Co provide a storage service to clients in respect of wills, deeds and other securities and no charge will be made to the client for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given to the client of a charge to be made from a future date to be specified in that notice.
9.3 Where stored papers, wills, deeds or securities are retrieved from storage by Stocker & Co in connection with continuing or new instructions to Stocker & Co to act in connection with the client's affairs, normally no charge will be made for such retrieval. However, Stocker & Co will make an administration charge based on time spent in retrieval and any perusal, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by or on behalf of a client or former client for whom papers, wills deeds or securities are stored.
10. FUTURE INSTRUCTIONS
Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of then current hourly rates, these Terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to Stocker & Co.
11. NO WAIVER
No forbearance, delay or indulgence by Stocker & Co in enforcing any of these terms and conditions shall prejudice or restrict the rights of Stocker & Co nor shall any waiver of its rights operate as a general waiver of its future right to rely on and enforce all the terms and conditions herein
Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients 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 national criminal Service. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may he 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 because the law prohibits `"tipping-off'.
Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these terms and conditions of business.
Stocker & Co Terms and Conditions of Business, revised 18/10/2005
10a Buttermarket Thame Oxon OX9 3EIV Tole 01844 216995
I acknowledge receipt of the Terms & Conditions supplied to me by Messrs Stocker & Co.