Terms of Business

1. QUALITY OF BUSINESS

We aim to provide a high quality of service and hope you will always be happy with the quality of our services. We aim to carry out work quickly and efficiently and we hope that you will find us friendly and approachable. If any problem does arise, please discuss the matter with the Partner or other Solicitor acting for you. If that does not resolve the problem, please raise the matter with Scott Norrie, Client Relations Partner, who will ensure that any such matter is investigated and that you receive a response within 20 working days.

2. CONTACTING US

We are open from 9.15 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. Our telephones are generally answered after close of business most days if members of staff are working late. Our fax line is open at all times. Our contact email address is contact@hnwlegal.co.uk. We can also arrange to meet with you outwith normal working hours by prior appointment. Please note that home visits are generally undertaken only if there is a compelling reason for a client being unable to attend at our offices.

3. INITIAL MEETING

At our initial meeting with you we will assess whether you may qualify for Legal Aid or Legal Advice or Assistance under the Legal Aid Scheme operated by the Scottish Legal Aid Board. Should your initial meeting go beyond a simple assessment as to whether or not you may or may not qualify for Legal Aid or Legal Advice or Assistance a fee will be payable based upon the time spent with the Solicitor. Any such fee would be billed in fifteen minute blocks. As at 1st May 2020 a fee for each fifteen minute block is £48.75, excluding VAT.

4. INSTRUCTIONS

Instructions may be given to us in writing or verbally. We may require you to confirm in writing the terms of verbal instructions given to us. If there is any change in your instructions you must notify us immediately. We will then be able to advise you of the consequences, if any, of changing your instructions. If you wish anyone other than yourself to give us instructions or information, we will require confirmation of this from you in writing. We should also make clear what we consider to be the client's responsibilities to us as Solicitors: (a) The need to give instructions and information timeously when instructed; (b) The need for clients to be available to sign documents; (c) The need for clients to remain in contact, particularly if critical dates are to be met; and (d) The need to keep the nominated Solicitor advised of any change of contact details, e.g. address, email address or telephone number.

5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

In general, we cannot act for two or more parties if they have conflicting interests. Please advise us immediately you are aware of any potential conflicts which may arise. Similarly, if we are of the view that a potential conflict of interest has arisen, we will advise you immediately.

6. LIABILITY

Unless we agree otherwise in writing, where we act for more than one person, (for example, a partnership or husband and wife), where only one of them tells us what to do, we shall require written authority from the other person, or persons, to allow the other, or others, to issue instructions to us. If we do act for more than one person, each person for whom we do act is equally responsible for the instructions given to us and for payment of our fees and outlays in connection with the matter. If you do not understand what this means, please ask us to explain further.

7. PRIVATE LIMITED COMPANIES If we are given instructions by a Private Limited Company then, unless otherwise agreed with you in advance, it is a condition of our accepting these instructions that the Directors are jointly and severally liable along with the Company for payment of our fees and costs and any interest thereon.

8. CONFIDENTIALITY Information passed to us is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties, unless authorised by you, or required by law.

9. LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND

Like all Scottish Solicitors, we are members of the Law Society of Scotland and subject to its professional rules.

10. COPYRIGHT ON THIRD PARTIES

All copyright in document being produced is reserved to us. Advice given and documents prepared are for your use only and will not be copied for use or used by any third party without our expressed written consent.

11. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE

The nature of legal work, particularly Court work, often makes it difficult to estimate precisely how long a case will take to complete. The speed at which we can complete a piece of work often depends upon the co-operation we receive from other people which can often be outwith our control. We will attempt to complete a transaction as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact the person dealing with your work if you have not heard recently from that person or simply wish a progress report.

12. COSTS

Unless otherwise stated in the letter accompanying these terms, our charges will be based on a unitized rate of Nineteen Pounds and Fifty Pence (£19.50) per unit, a hourly rate of £195 for the current year. The unit rate will increase in subsequent years. Your bill will be based on the charging methods shown on the accompanying Schedule or a combination of both. All fees will be subject to Value Added Tax, and all Outlays incurred on your behalf will be charged in addition.

13. ESTIMATES Any estimates that we may give you will be based on our experience of the work you have asked us to do. The nature of the legal work however makes it difficult to estimate precisely how much time will be involved in any transaction and if the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than we anticipated then our actual fee may exceed the estimate, as our fee will be based on the actual time spend whether higher or lower than the estimate given. Where an estimate has been given to you and it becomes clear to us that the ultimate costs will exceed the estimate, we shall inform you of this as soon as possible. The firm reserves the right to increase an estimated fee, if the matter becomes protracted or complicated due to unforeseen events.

14. ACCOUNTS

We will issue our account either at the end of the matter or by way of interim accounts as the work progresses at our discretion unless otherwise agreed. Payment is due within 30 days of the date of the invoice. If not paid within this time, we reserve the right to charge interest on the amount overdue at four per cent above the Royal Bank of Scotland base interest rate. If you do not pay our account on time, we reserve the right to stop working for you and to charge you for the full amount of work we have done for you up to that date. You may also have liability for a third party's to be included, e.g. who are the tenant under a Lease and have agreed to pay the Landlord's Solicitors fees and outlays or have agreed with us that an expert witness should be instructed. Please note that should there be an agreement in place to provide you with an introductory offer, or a discount in fees, such introductory offer or discount is offered on the basis that any and all fee notes issued are settled in full within the 30 day period allowed.

15. OUTLAYS & PAYMENTS TO ACCOUNT

We normally require payment in advance to cover any outlays to be paid by us on your behalf. Where outlays are paid by us on your behalf without payment in advance, we will ask you to reimburse us within 7 days of our letter asking for reimbursement. We also may require you to make regular payments to account in anticipation of our fees. Any such payments made to account will be held in our client account until such time as we incur outlays on your behalf, at which time the monies held to account will be used to pay those outlays or until we render a fee note at which time any monies held to account will be applied to the fee note.

16. LEGAL AID AND LEGAL ADVICE & ASSISTANCE

If Legal Advice and Assistance and Legal Aid are available to cover the work we are dong for you, we shall assess your eligibility for the appropriate cover and will explain the nature of the cover to you. You will be assessed for Legal Advice and Assistance at your initial meeting. If at that stage you are not eligible, but there is a change in your financial circumstances, you will require to make an appointment to see the person dealing with your case in order that you may be reassessed for Legal Advice and Assistance. If you are granted Legal Advice and Assistance this will not cover any fees incurred up to the date that Advice and Assistance is granted and you will remain liable for those fees. If you are granted Legal Advice and Assistance you may have to pay a contribution towards the Advice and Assistance and you will be advised of the amount of that contribution when you are granted Advice and Assistance. Your eligibility for Legal Aid is normally decided by the Scottish Legal Aid Board prior to proceedings being raised on your behalf. However, if urgent steps require to be taken in any action you will be assessed for Legal Aid prior to us raising or defending in any Court proceedings on your behalf. If we assess that you are likely to have a contribution towards Legal Aid, we will require you to start making payment of your likely contribution prior to us agreeing to act for you in this matter. If Legal Aid is subsequently granted and you require to pay a contribution any payments to account of that contribution paid to us will be forwarded to the Scottish Legal Aid Board. If you are granted Legal Aid, but are not required to make a contribution, any monies paid to us to account will be returned to you after deduction of any outstanding fees which you are required to pay privately. If your Legal Aid application is refused then you will remain liable for our fees and any payments to account will be used towards those fees and outlays. If you are granted Advice and Assistance and/or Legal Aid and we recover or preserve property on your behalf, you may be liable to pay our fees out of property recovered or preserved. This is an extremely important consideration before embarking upon any proceedings with the benefit of Legal Advice and Assistance or Legal Aid and it is important that you fully understand the significance of this at the outset. Please do not hesitate to seek clarification of the position if you are in any doubt. If you are granted Advice and Assistance and/or Legal Aid and we recover or preserve property on your behalf, you may be liable to pay our fees out of the property recovered or preserved. This is known as the claw-back provisions. It is a fundamental principle of the Scottish Legal Aid system that if a person awarded legal aid recovers money or property as a result of the assistance provided by the Scottish Legal Aid Board that individual is required to pay his or her legal expenses from the money or property recovered. As of April 2011, there is no figure exempt from the claw-back provisions and accordingly should any money or property be recovered it is highly likely you will require to meet your own legal expenses. If your case is likely to result in money or property being recovered, or divided, it is unlikely that this firm will accept your instructions with a view to your fee being met by the Scottish Legal Aid Board. This is due, in part, to the payment offered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board to Solicitors not being commensurate with the work required of a Solicitor in such a case. Accordingly, while you may meet the merits and financial tests imposed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board this firm is unlikely to prepare and submit an application for legal aid on your behalf. This is an extremely important consideration before embarking upon any proceedings and it is important that you fully understand the significance of this at the outset. Please do not hesitate to seek clarification of the position if you are in any doubt.

17. EXPENSES IN COURT ACTIONS

If we act on your behalf in connection with a Court action in which you are partly or wholly successful you may be awarded expenses against your Opponent. You should note however that an award of expenses does not necessarily mean that you will recover these. For example, if your Opponent is sequestrated or made bankrupt you may be unable to recover those expenses awarded to you against him. In any event, you will remain liable for our whole fees and outlays incurred on your behalf whether or not you are successful in an action. It is also important that in practice, any fees awarded against your Opponent generally do not cover all of the fees you incur in connection with the conduct of your case and invariably there is a shortfall which a successful party requires to meet themselves. If, of course, expenses are recovered from the Opponent you will be given credit for them against your fee note.

18. DEDUCTION OF FEES AND OUTLAYS AT SOURCE

Where we receive sums which belong to you, we shall be entitled to deduct from those sums all outstanding fees and outlays due to our firm before sending the balance to you.

19. COMMISSION

From time to time we may receive commission from First Scottish or Property Searches Scotland in respect of instructions we have issued to them for and on behalf of clients for searches relating to properties, inhibitions and other related searches. Any such commission payments received by us are retained by us to assist in the operating costs of the LLP.

20. CHANGE OF SOLICITOR

You are entitled to change solicitors at anytime but you are responsible for the fees and other outstanding payments due to us at the time of the change. We are entitled to hold on to any Title Dees, Files or other papers until we receive payment in full.

21. MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS & PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002

The Money Laundering Regulations require us to be satisfied as to the identity of our clients and as to the source of any funds passing through our hands. In order to comply with these Regulations, we may need to ask you for documents to prove your identity and perhaps other relevant information depending on the nature of the business we are undertaking on your behalf. We reserve the right to withdraw from acting for you if you fail to provide us with the information requested of you and which we require in connection with our Money Laundering procedures. We require to point out also that in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 we are obliged, unless in privileged circumstances, to notify the Authorities if we have reason to suspect that individuals whom we act for may be engaged in Money Laundering activities.

22. GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR)

The firm of Hall Norrie Warden, Solicitors LLP is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant. The firm is registered with the Information Commissoner’s Office and the Data Controller is Mr. Scott Norrie.

23. DISSATISFACTION

If for any reason you are unhappy about the quality of service provided or the amount of our fees, then you should, in the first instance take the matter up with the Solicitor with whom you are dealing. Alternatively, should you prefer, or if your initial approach does not resolve the point, we would invite you to raise the matter with Mr. Scott Norrie, our Client Relations Partner, who will ensure that any such complaint is fully investigated and that you receive a detailed response within twenty working days. If you remain dissatisfied, you are entitled to take the matter further by contacting the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission who can be contacted by telephoning 0131 201 2130, by letter to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG or email enquiries to enquires@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk. Please beware that the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman has now been abolished and any complaint relating to satisfaction on the part of a client must be forwarded to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and not to the Law Society of Scotland.

24. WHOLE AGREEMENT

These terms and conditions together with any letter accompanying them and any enclosed Schedule of Costs will form the whole agreement between us to carry out work referred to in that letter.

25. 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. In the event of any dispute arising from our contract with you, it is agreed that Dundee Sheriff Court shall have jurisdiction over any Court proceedings. As of 1st October, 2015, Regulation 19 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 came into effect. We 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. We have however chosen not 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.

26. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

As a firm of Solicitors, we strive to meet our obligations in terms of the Equality Act 2010. If for any reason you have any disability, or special needs, which causes this document to be unclear please draw that to our attention in order that we may make reasonable adjustments, such as increasing the font size, preparing the document in another format or indeed language. p;