Mogers Drewett LLP
Terms of Business as of 1stJune 2018
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS CAREFULLY, IN PARTICULAR THE PROVISIONS WHICH SET OUT THE LIMITATIONS ON OUR LIABILITY TO YOU.
This document sets out the general terms on which we provide services for you. Our aim is to provide our clients with quality legal advice and a personal service at a fair cost. We are proud that we hold the accreditation of the quality control standard ISO 9001. We will:
- Represent your interests and keep your business confidential.
- Explain to you the legal work, which may be required and the prospects of a successful outcome.
- Make sure you understand the likely degree of financial risk, which you will be taking on.
- Keep you regularly informed of progress.
- Try to avoid using technical legal language when communicating with you – tell us when we fail in this aim.
- Deal with your queries promptly.
When you instruct us to advise on a new matter we will send you a retainer letter confirming your instructions and other information relevant to your matter. The terms of that letter and these Terms of Business will together form the contract between us for that matter.
Mogers Drewett LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC349811. We use the practice name of Mogers Drewett LLP. Our Registered Office is at 24 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HY. We use the word Partner to refer to a member of Mogers Drewett LLP. A list of Partners can be inspected at our Registered Office. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Mogers Drewett Financial Planning is an appointed representative of Centurion Chartered Financial Planners, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Please note Mogers Drewett LLP [and/or] its members have a commercial interest in Mogers Drewett Financial Planning Ltd.
Our normal office hours are between 8:30am and 5:30pm weekdays. Appointments can be arranged at other times when this is necessary. Messages can be left on the answer phone outside our normal office hours.
We will aim to communicate with you by such method as you may request. For the sake of convenience, we are happy to communicate with you using normal, non-encrypted email. This form of email is not secure and there is a risk to you if we communicate confidential information to you in this way. We cannot accept liability for any communication which is intercepted or otherwise falls into the hands of those other than the intended recipient. We may also need to virus check discs, USB or email you send us.
4 Legal Updates and Important Dates
We will from time to time contact you with legal information and updates which may be of assistance to you. If you do not wish to be contacted please notify us. In any event we will not pass on your details to any third parties without your express prior consent.
Please note carefully that we cannot accept liability for reminding you of changes to the law which might affect you, nor can we accept liability for reminding you of future critical dates.
Such dates may include, by way of example only, rent review dates, lease renewals, dates for exercise of options, service of Notices, fiscal changes, 10 year charges on Discretionary Trusts and the like.
5 Our Fees
In our retainer letter we will have set out;-
- The scope of the work we are to do for you.
- How we are going to charge you for that work.
- When and how we are going to bill you.
- The likely overall cost to you of that work.
Sometimes at the time of sending out the retainer letter we will not have sufficient information about the work to be able to give an accurate indication of our charges. Where that is the case, we will confirm this in the retainer letter, explaining why, and give the best overall estimate of the likely costs that we can, based on the information we have at that time. We will then give you a revised basis of fees once we have enough information to enable us to do so.
We are flexible and are willing to consider different ways of charging fees. These include fixed fees, fees subject to a fee limit, percentage fees based on the value of the transaction, retainer fees or fees calculated by reference to hourly rates. However, unless we have specified another fee structure, we will charge fees primarily by reference to the amount of time spent by individuals at Mogers Drewett on your work.
In setting our fees we take into account the nature and complexity of the work; the amount of time spent, knowledge required and responsibility involved; the type and nature of the documents involved; the need to carry out any work outside our normal office hours and the speed at which action has to be taken; and the value of the transaction, property or subject matter. Our hourly rates reflect the level of qualification and experience of the person concerned as well as the nature of the work they are doing.
Time spent on your matter will include, but is not limited to, meetings with you and others in relation to the matter, time spent travelling and waiting, considering and preparing papers, making and receiving telephone calls, correspondence, internal briefing and update meetings, sending and receiving emails, attendance at Court or Tribunal and documenting the arrangements on which we will provide legal services to you. Routine letters and emails are charged as 6 minute units of time and we charge for the time spent on making and taking telephone calls in 6 minute units. More complex letters and emails will be charged on the time actually spent.
Estimates we give are a guide to assist you in budgeting, but should not be seen as a definitive quotation unless this is specifically agreed in writing.
In some types of work we may be willing to agree a fee structure which depends on the outcome. We are not generally able to do this for litigation.
If a transaction or other matter does not proceed to completion, our fees (together with disbursements and VAT) will still be payable. This means we will charge an abortive fee if your matter does not complete which will be at the relevant hourly rates, or the agreed fee if less, unless we have specified an alternative basis of charge for the abortive fees in our retainer letter
Our basis of fees for a matter – whether fixed, capped or on a time or any other basis – will exclude any additional work not identified in the scope of work when the fee arrangement was agreed.
Where a payment is made by electronic means by us to you, or on your behalf, we will charge a fee for each such payment of cleared funds in accordance with our standard tariff applicable from time to time
Limited Companies – When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company, we may require a Director and/or controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of this firm. If such a request is refused we will be entitled to stop acting and to require immediate payment of our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out earlier.
6 Changes to Fees
Our hourly charge-out rates are reviewed with effect from 1stJune each year. We will notify you of the rates if they change and you will then be bound by them.
7 Payments made on your behalf (Disbursements)
Our fees do not include any expenses or payments to third parties which we may have to incur on your behalf, although we will try to detail these, where possible, in our retainer letter. These are known as “disbursements”.
Examples of disbursements are travel expenses, external photocopying expenses, experts’ (including costs draftsmen) and Counsels’ fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, Court fees and Search fees. These will generally be billed at the same time as we invoice you for our fees but may be billed before they are actually incurred.
We will normally ask you to provide us with money on account to cover these disbursements and we reserve the right not to incur a disbursement until we have received from you cleared funds to cover the costs to be incurred.
From time to time we may be required to give a formal Solicitors Undertaking to a Third Party (for example, another firm of Solicitors, or on incurring Counsel’s fees) to guarantee payment of monies on your behalf
When that arises;-
- We will not give the Undertaking without your express instructions to do so.
- We will also require you to deposit with us, before we give the Undertaking, sufficient cleared funds to cover the Undertaking to its fullest extent and will not give the Undertaking until you have done so.
- Once you have given us such funds and instructions and the Undertaking has been given by us your instructions are irrevocable. This means that neither can the instructions be changed or cancelled nor the balance of any monies that you have given us be returned to you unless and until we have been released from the Undertaking by the Third Party to whom it has been given.
9 Value Added Tax
All quotations or estimates of fees that we give are subject to the addition of VAT, unless exceptionally no VAT is chargeable on your matter. Most expenses that we pay on your behalf will also be subject to the addition of VAT. If our services are subject to VAT, you hereby indemnify us in full on demand for any interest, penalties or legal costs incurred as a result of any information you provide to us in relation to your VAT status not being correct.
10 Monies held on Client Account and Payment of Interest to you
All monies held by us from time to time in our Client Accounts are held in accordance with the rules prescribed from time to time by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We pay interest on cleared client account balances in accordance with our published interest rates. No interest is payable unless the total interest earned amounts to £30 or more. Our interest rates are set with reference to the rates paid by high street banks on instant access funds and may be varied from time to time. Details of our current rates can be obtained from our Accounts Department on request. You should be mindful that if you are leaving with us a substantial sum for a long period that you may be able to achieve a better rate of interest elsewhere.
You should note that we are unable to pay out monies held by us in Client Account until they have been treated as ‘Cleared’ through the Banking system. For receipts by cheque this normally occurs on the 8thworking day after we bank the cheque. You should therefore ensure that inbound payments to us are made electronically if payment out against them is time critical, for example for the payment of the balance of monies needed to complete a purchase or the payment of taxes or other disbursements where there is a time limit
We are not liable for any losses to monies in Client Account that arise from the failure of the bank in which they are held. Our Client Account funds are held in a number of different deposit taking banks and these vary from time to time. All of the banks that we use are covered by the Government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to the extent that each individual client is eligible for protection under that scheme. You are reminded that the £85,000 maximum protection under the FSCS scheme (or such other limit as may be applicable from time to time) applies to the person entitled to the funds, not the account, so if you hold other monies in the same deposit-taking institution as us those balances will be aggregated with the funds we are holding for you in the same Bank for the purposes of the FSCS compensation limit. In the event that we make a claim under the FSCS scheme on your behalf we will require your consent to our disclosing to the FSCS such information about you as may properly and reasonably be required to help identify clients and the compensation to which they may be entitled under the scheme
11 Billing and the payment of our Bills
Your instructions to us are on the understanding that you have sufficient funds from your own resources to meet our fees and disbursements in full when needed on presentation of an invoice. If this is not the case please notify us immediately.
Our retainer letter will normally set out when and how you will be billed for our work. If the retainer letter does not specify otherwise we will normally submit an interim bill together with any disbursements we have incurred on your behalf at regular stages and not less than every month.
All invoices raised by us are payable no later than 14 days from the invoice date unless we have agreed otherwise with you in the retainer letter. If an account is not paid within the relevant period we may charge you interest on a daily basis at 4% over Barclays Bank Plc’s base rate, provided that the minimum interest charged on overdue accounts shall never be less than 8%.
Where an account is overdue we are entitled to exercise a lien over files and documents belonging to you, until our account is settled. This means should you decide that you no longer wish to instruct the firm we will not release your file to you or your agent until the outstanding costs have been cleared. If an account remains unpaid and we decide to commence legal proceedings against you in order to recover the sums you owe us then we will be entitled to recover from you the legal costs that we incur in connection with those proceedings and an recovery processes at our standard hourly rates and at the rates charges by Bailiffs together with all disbursements.
Payments in Cash – Our firm’s policy is only to accept payment in cash up to a total of £500 for any matter (whether payment of our costs or monies required to complete the transaction for you) and even then we will require you to satisfy us as to the source of that money before we will agree to accept it
12 Payments on account
There may be circumstances in which we will ask you to make payment to us on account of our fees and any expenses that are incurred in connection with our work. We will tell you in advance if this is the case and there will be a full discussion and explanation of the sums concerned.
Any money that you pay to us on account will be held on our Client Account and you are entitled to interest on it in accordance with our interest policy and the rates payable from time to time. We will offset that money against your bills, although our total fees and expenses may be greater than any payment on account.
13 Your costs and those of another party
If we act for you on a contentious matter and you are successful you will be responsible to us for all the legal fees and expenses that you incur, although you may be able to recover some of them from your opponent.
In some cases, particularly where your opponent is legally aided, they may not be ordered to pay or may not be able to pay any or all of your fees and expenses, even if you are wholly successful in your action. It remains that you will be responsible to pay our costs even where costs have been awarded against them by the court.
You will also be responsible for paying the charges and expenses of seeking to recover any charges and expenses that the Court orders your opponent to pay. The Court may order your opponent to pay some or all of your charges and expenses and, in that case, interest can be claimed from your opponent from the date of the Court Order. To the extent that you have paid our charges or expenses on account, we will account to you for such interest but otherwise, we are entitled to the remainder of that interest.
If you are unsuccessful the Court may order you to pay all or a significant proportion of your opponent’s fees and expenses (together with interest) as well as your own. You may also have to make payments in respect of your opponent’s fees and expenses at various stages in the course of the action. If you withdraw from a case your opponent may be entitled to apply to the Court for an order for you to pay its fees and expenses.
14 Third party cover
Your liability for our charges and expenses and for your opponent’s charges and expenses (and, in some cases, liability for damages) may be covered by insurance which you may already hold. Please check your insurance policies to ascertain whether or not you have any cover, including any relevant Directors and Officers indemnity policy, household, motor, or credit card policies. Alternatively, you may wish to obtain “after the event” insurance cover for some of the costs of the dispute. Please discuss this with us. You should also consider whether your liability for both your own costs and the costs of your opponent are covered by your employer/trade union.
15 Access to documents
Documents filed at Court such as the Particulars of Claim, Defence and Reply, together with orders made in open Court are available to the public. This does not apply to any documents attached to statements of case or to such orders.
16 Custody, retention and transfer of documents
We will, at your request, either during the provision or after completion of any services, release to you or to your order Your documents and documents held for you, provided that we are not at the time exercising our right to retain documents pending payment of outstanding fees and expenses or are prevented by any court order, undertaking or other legal constraint from doing so. We may copy all of your documents and documents held for you before releasing them, including any electronic correspondence submitted by you.
We may at any time scan, microfilm, or otherwise make electronic copies or images of any documents , including electronic documents or correspondence e.g. emails (other than documents held in safe custody), destroy the originals and thereafter hold the documents only in such copy or image form. Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing we will keep all documents whether in original, copy or imaged form for a minimum of six (6) years, after which we may destroy them and any copies or images of them. A copy of our retention policy is available on request.
We may agree to store title deeds, wills and other especially valuable documents in safe custody for you if you require and, if we do, we will not, without your consent, destroy any such documents.
We do not accept responsibility for the loss or damage of any item which we hold on your behalf unless we expressly agree in writing to the contrary.
At any time during your matter, we will be entitled to keep certain papers and documents whilst there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses. We will keep our file of your papers including emails and any hardcopies thereof, for up to six (6) years, except those that you ask to be returned to you. We keep files on the understanding that we can destroy them six (6) years after the date of the final bill (and up to twelve (12) years in respect of some regulatory transfers). We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody. If we take papers or documents
out of 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 both for time spent producing stored papers that are requested as well as reading correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers. We will ask you to confirm that any personal data we have retrieved remains current and up to date if we are to act upon such data as part of our duties under Data Protection legislation.
Conflicts between your interests and those of another client may arise. If there is a conflict of interest, we might have to cease acting for you. All fees and disbursements and VAT up to the date of termination will be charged and become due.
18 Confidentiality and disclosure
Information About You:
We may also use it to ensure legitimate interests in the safety and security of our premises (where we may also use CCTV); for fraud prevention purposes (including verification checks for our money laundering obligations); to assess client satisfaction (such as by asking you to participate in surveys); and to help improve our services generally.
We may also use it to contact you by letter, telephone, e-mail or otherwise about our services and about events such as seminars and conferences and to send you briefings and similar material. Contacting you by electronic means requires your specific and verifiable consent. If you do not wish to be contacted, or having provided consent previously you wish to withdraw or amend it, please inform us in writing.
Sometimes we ask other companies or people to do typing/photocopying/other administration duties on our files to ensure this is done promptly. We believe we have a legitimate interest in doing this. We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with these outsourced providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.
We may store information about you, your matter or any other documents and correspondence relating to your file(s) using cloud based technology. Again we believe we have a legitimate interest in acting in this way and take every possible precaution to protect your personal information. If you do not wish for your file(s) or other information to be stored in this way, please inform us in writing before we commence work on your matter.
Our Duty of Confidentiality
- for the purpose of acting for you; or
- for legitimate interest disclosures to our auditors or other advisers or for the purposes of our professional indemnity insurance; or
- as otherwise required by law or other regulatory authority to which we are subject.
Where you provide written consent, and we have identified that you may benefit from receiving financial planning advice, we will pass your details on to our trusted partner, Mogers Drewett Financial Planning Limited, who will then contact you to arrange an appointment. We will write to you confirming that a referral has been made.
Even if you give consent we remind you that there is no obligation for you to contract with Mogers Drewett Financial Planning Limited and you are free to make your own decision.
20 Anti-Money Laundering Regulations
To ensure compliance with the anti-Money Laundering Regulations from time to time in force and associated legislation, we are required to verify the identity on an on-going basis of all clients. In order to verify the information you provide we undertake a search about you with an on-line agency. The results of the searches will be retained on your file or in a central electronic record. Such searches do not affect your credit record.
We may also ask you to provide documentary evidence of your identity and address. If you are a company or partnership then we will need to verify the identity of at least two directors or partners and the owners (if any) of a 20% or greater shareholding in the company or equivalent interest in a partnership.
In certain circumstances, such as in order to comply with anti-Money Laundering Regulations and law relating to terrorist financing from time to time in force, we may be required, as a matter of law to provide information relating to a client or former client to regulators. Regulators may include the National Crime Agency. We may also be prevented from informing such clients or former clients that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it because the law prevents “tipping off”.
We will require you to notify us in the event that any funds for any matter or transaction are not provided from your own means (other than where a mortgage advance is involved). We reserve the absolute right to refuse to issue cheques or other form of payment to third parties. We consider it prudent as part of our “know your client” procedure to check the credit of those instructing us. By signing this letter, you consent to us obtaining a credit reference for you if we decide to do so.
21 Data Protection Act
What personal information we process:
The categories of personal data we process include general personal data (which includes normal personal data, personal identity, email addresses and personal financial data) and special categories of personal data if these have been voluntarily provided to us (which includes ethnicity, nationality and medical history).
How we use your personal information:
When your file is open, the personal data is necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally intended. We process your personal information to fulfil our contract with you, or where you or we have a legitimate interest in doing so, where otherwise permitted by law, or to comply with applicable law and regulation. We use your personal information for:
- Service provision and internal processing (i.e. to assess and/or provide and to service your matter).
- Management of relationship (e.g. to develop your relationship with us);
- Resolving queries;
- Training and service review (e.g. to help us enhance our services and the quality of those services);
- Statistical analysis (e.g. to help us enhance our products and services or delivery channels to keep costs down); and
- Complying with legal obligations (e.g. to prevent, investigate and prosecute crime, including fraud and money laundering).
When your matter is completed and / or your file is closed, we may still process your personal information where we have a legitimate interest in doing so, where we are permitted by law, or to comply with applicable laws and regulation.
Examples of such instances will include:
- Complying with legal obligations for statutory and regulatory requirements including for example, HMRC Returns, complaint handling, anti-money laundering, reporting to our regulatory body – the Solicitors Regulation Authority;
- Archiving and Storage of your file for the periods outlined in our Retention Policies. (Archiving and Storage of personal data is still classed as a processing activity even though it is not being regularly accessed and remains securely locked away); and
- Our legitimate interests to conduct conflict of interest checks, statistical analysis and research to help us enhance our products and services.
How We Share Your Information:
- We may share your personal data with a range of organisations which enable us to fulfil our contract with you, or where we have legitimate interests to do so, or otherwise are required by applicable law and regulation. We can provide more details specific to your personal data on request.
You have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (https://ww.ico.org.uk ), which regulates the processing of personal data. You may also seek a judicial remedy.
You may terminate our engagement at any time. To do so you should notify the lawyer with responsibility for your matter and confirm the position in writing.
We reserve the right to terminate our engagement by you on notice to you which we will confirm in writing. However, we will only decide to stop acting for you with good reason, for example, if you do not pay a bill, or in our judgement a sensible working relationship cannot be established, or you fail to comply with our request for a payment on account, or you fail to give us the co-operation which we are reasonably entitled to expect in order to carry out your instructions. We will give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.
All fees and disbursements and VAT up to the date of termination will be charged and become due. We will normally be unable to release any files or documents to you or a third party on your behalf until we are in receipt of cleared funds to settle all outstanding fees and disbursements, whether or not those have been invoiced at the time you give us notice of termination.
23 Professional Insurance, Limitation of Liability and Fraud
The firm effects professional indemnity insurance covering our business activities in England and Wales. Unless the letter sent with this document specifically provides otherwise, you agree that:
(a) we will not have any liability for any loss, damage, costs or claim which arises as a result of, or in connection with, your use of our services except to the extent that such loss, damage, expense or claim is directly attributable to our deliberate act or our negligence (“our liability”), and that our liability will be subject always to a maximum of £3 million (for any one event or series of connected events);
(b) we will not have any liability for any loss you suffer as a result of any event or occurrence outside our reasonable control;
(c) we will not have any liability in any circumstances for any loss of business, loss of profits, loss of anticipated savings, loss of or damage to data, third party claims or any consequential loss which you suffer. We strongly advise you to insure against all such potential loss, damage, expense or liability;
(d) we will not under any circumstances be liable to you for indirect or consequential loss;
(e) without limiting the liability of the firm, you will not bring any claim in respect of any loss against any of our staff or members personally
We do not exclude or limit our liability (if any) to you for personal injury or death resulting from our negligence, for fraud or for any matter which it would be illegal to exclude, limit or to attempt to exclude or limit. If any limitation or provision contained in this limitation of liability section is found to be wholly or partly invalid or unenforceable under any applicable statute or rule of law it shall to that extent be deemed omitted, but the validity of the other limitations or provisions in this section, the remainder of the provision in question and our other terms of business shall not be affected.
We will not be liable for any losses incurred by you resulting from any fraudulent misrepresentation (especially relating to property ownership or identity) by a seller to the seller’s solicitors/conveyancers. There have been a number of high profile cases resulting in losses to buyers where the solicitors/conveyancers acting for the seller of a property have been duped by someone alleging to be the registered/true owner of the property when in fact they are not. We will rely upon the seller’s solicitors/ conveyancers complying with their duty to identify the seller. If you have any concerns about the identity of the seller or suspicions of fraud from your own dealings with the property you must advise us immediately. Properties that are tenanted, empty, are of higher value or mortgage free and where the seller is not buying on are at higher risk of fraud. Also, transactions where the seller wants to exchange and/or complete quickly can be of higher risk.
Additional insurance can be purchased by you if you wish to protect yourself against a fraudulent seller. If you wish to take out such a policy please contact us for further details.
24 Financial Services and Markets Act 200
This firm is not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but we are able to offer, in certain circumstances, a limited range of investment services to clients because we are members of the Law Society. We are able to provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide. Please, however, note that this firm does not generally provide investment services to its clients from its own resources. We do, where necessary, obtain advice from reputable brokers, however, we can take no responsibility for the quality of the advice that they provide.
Although this firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which includes advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
25 Advice is given under English Law
All our advice is given on the basis of the laws of England and Wales. To the extent we advise on documents governed by the laws of other jurisdictions, we will not be advising on any specific implications of the laws of those jurisdictions.
26 Taxation and Foreign Jurisdictions
Any work that we do for you may involve tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies. We may not be qualified to advise you on the tax implications of a transaction that you instruct us to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising. Unless we specifically agree with you to consider taxation issues we are not responsible for the outcome. Therefore you should ensure that you take such appropriate specialist advice as your case requires.
If you have any concerns in this respect, please raise them with us immediately. If we can undertake the research necessary to resolve the issue, we will do so and advise you accordingly. If we cannot, we may be able to identify a source of assistance for you.
We will not give advice in relation to, or act on your behalf in respect of, foreign assets or jurisdictions, unless we have specifically confirmed this.
27 Criminal Finances Act 2017
The firm is committed to promoting compliance with the requirements of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 within its practices as well as in those areas in which it has influence.
The firm does not tolerate tax evasion, or the facilitation thereof in any circumstances, whether committed by or facilitated by a client, personnel or associated persons/companies.
In non-contentious matters, please note that we are not undertaking to advise you on the suitability or advisability of a transaction or course of action, unless we have specifically confirmed this.
29 Client Responsibilities
It is your responsibility to provide us with complete, accurate and timely information necessary to our engagement. We will not be responsible for any consequences that may arise from your failure to do so, and such failures may result in additional charges.
The reports, letters, information and advice that we provide to you are given in confidence and provided for your information. They should not be used for any other purpose or referred to in any other document or made available to any other party without our prior written permission. We recognise no responsibility whatsoever other than that owed to you.
Where information that is, or may be, relevant to our work has been provided to someone in our firm other than those individuals who are carrying out work on your behalf for this matter, you accept that knowledge of that information will not automatically be imputed to those individuals.
Where we act for two or more clients jointly it is on the clear understanding that we are authorized to act on instructions from either, both or any of them.
30 Intellectual Property Rights
We retain all copyright and other intellectual property rights in everything developed by us either before or during the course of our engagement on your behalf, including rights in all reports, written advice or other materials provided by us.
31 Equality & Diversity
This practice is committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in its own policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which it has influence. The firm intends to treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of their disability, gender, marital status, race, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, age, religion or belief or sexual orientation. To that end, the firm has adopted an Equality & Diversity policy, a copy of which may be obtained upon application to the member of staff responsible for your matter.
32 Force majeure
We shall not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control. In the event of any such occurrence affecting us we shall notify you as soon as reasonably practicable.
33 Application of these terms and amendments
These Terms of Business supersede any earlier terms of business we may have agreed with you and, in the absence of express agreement to the contrary, will apply to the services referred to in any retainer letter accompanying these Terms of Business and all subsequent services we provide to you.
34 Governing law
These terms are governed by English law and any disputes arising in connection with these terms are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
We have a formal complaints procedure. If you would like a copy of the documentation of this please ask for one.
We hope that you are happy with our work. If you are not, then of course please raise the problem in the first instance with the fee earner concerned who will be named in the original letter of instruction that we send to you. If that does not result in a resolution of matters to your satisfaction then your concerns would be referred to our outsourced complaint handling company, Esterase. Their contact details are provided in the client care letter. In order to ensure that complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and effectively, we have in place a complaints procedure. This procedure will be accomplished within 8 weeks.
In the unfortunate event that you do wish to make a complaint, you will be informed how the complaint will be handled and given an indication about the timescale for dealing with it.
If following the conclusion of the internal complaints process you remain unsatisfied you have the right to take the matter up with the Legal Services Ombudsman. If you refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman this must be done within 6 months of our final response to your complaint. The Legal Ombudsman may investigate complaints up to 6 years from the date of the problem happening, or 3 years from when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. The contact details for the Ombudsman are:-
PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Tel: 0300 55 0333
Mogers Drewett LLP