Terms of Business – 02 December 2013

These are the terms of business (Terms) on which we carry out all professional work on your behalf. We offer different service levels and options for certain areas of work, such as trademark registration services.

These terms form the basis of our ongoing relationship with you. Where we also send you an engagement letter, then in the event of a conflict between the terms of the engagement letter and these Terms, the provisions of the engagement letter prevail.

These Terms apply until varied or replaced with new terms from time to time. We will post a copy of any revised terms on our website with the date they were varied, and notify you when you next make an enquiry for our services by sending you the updated terms. The website notice will be adequate notice of the amendments for services you request after the date on which our Terms are changed. Only changes to the Terms agreed by Shireen Smith will be valid.

These Terms are available in PDF format (for printing).

On-line instructions
For sales of goods and services via the telephone or internet, the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 apply. So, if you are a consumer as defined in the Consumer Protection legislation, you may cancel any order placed with us within 7 working days and obtain a refund in full unless you specifically waive this right by asking us in writing to begin work on your matter immediately. Where you do so, or the circumstances clearly indicate that you are waiving your cancellation rights, you will have no cancellation rights.

Online procedure
Your purchase is an offer which we will acknowledge initially by email. It is our sole discretion whether to accept the contract and if we choose not to do so, we will cancel the payment process, and refund you in full issuing a credit note in respect of the VAT. So please note that any invoice that is automatically generated in our estore does not constitute acceptance of the contract. Our welcome email advising of next steps constitutes our acceptance.

Obligations of the firm
Our qualified staff and consultants are either Solicitors or Trademark or Patent Attorneys and must comply with their respective codes of professional conduct as well as the firm as a whole being subject to the Solicitors Regulation Authority regulations.

Personnel assigned to your matter
All work will be carried out under the supervision of Shireen Smith, Solicitor, with the assistance on litigation matters of Peter Jennings, Solicitor, and on design and patent matters, of Michael Harrison, who is a European and Chartered Patent and Trademark Attorney. Certain patent work is undertaken by Erica Dutton, who is also a European and Chartered Patent Attorney, while administrative and legal tasks are carried out by trainee solicitors, or paralegals, who will be introduced to you in our welcome email. More information about our people is available on the About Us page of the website. We aim to provide continuity of personnel to deal with your matter, and will advise you in writing of the names and qualifications of any personnel assigned to your matter and will keep you informed of any changes thereafter.

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, third parties and employees.

Our liability to you
We will perform the engagement with reasonable skill and care and acknowledge that we will be liable to you for losses, damages, costs or expenses caused by our negligence or wilful default up to the limit of our professional indemnity insurance, which is £3,000,000 for any single event or series of connected events worldwide. Details of the policy are available on request. We do not seek to limit our liability for death, personal injury, fraud or reckless disregard of professional obligations.

While we will always work to the best of our ability and with the information provided, there can be no guarantees regarding outcomes. Discussions on likely outcomes are based on our experience and professional judgment. We will not be liable for any delay in performing or failure to perform our services. If delays or failure result from any circumstance beyond our reasonable control (an event of “Force Majeure”) the date for performance of our services will be postponed for as long as necessary, provided that if Force Majeure continues for more than 60 days either party may cancel the affected services immediately on written notice to the other party.

You may send queries to us by any method of communication. If you ring to speak to a particular individual handling your matter who is unavailable you may book a mutually convenient time to have a telephone conference. Emails sent to us are generally acknowledged on the same day and where possible will be responded to in substance within one week or, if not possible, then explanations as to when a substantive response is likely to be given and whether extra charges apply will be provided within that time frame. Similarly, other written correspondence is generally responded to within one to two weeks unless further investigation or inability to contact others prevents this, in which case we will notify you when a substantive reply will be sent.

Professional obligations and confidentiality
We will practice competently, and objectively, putting the interests of our clients foremost while observing the law and our duty to any Court or Tribunal, and also to avoid any conflict of interest.

Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of their 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 Intelligence Service. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be 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’.

Confidentiality and outsourcing of services

We are under a strict professional duty of confidentiality to you, and although we reserve the right to use subcontractors or external agencies for call answering, typing, legal drafting, legal expertise, technology, data filing and back up services, book keeping, research, photocopying, printing, searches, and such like we will take care when selecting these persons or agencies to ensure that your confidential information is safeguarded.

You agree that we are authorised to disclose that you are a client of the firm or that we have acted for you on a particular matter.

We hold data electronically and destroy originals of all documents within up to 6 months of an electronic copy having been made. Should you require your documents in future, then we reserve the right to make a reasonable charge for preparing physical copies.

We record both incoming and outgoing telephone calls electronically so we may work more efficiently. Recordings are stored securely, and may be used for training, or monitoring purposes.

Also, for certain services, in order to enable you to have remote access to information about your matter we use cloud computing hosted by Microsoft. Your data is stored within the EU securely.

Affiliate Scheme

We have an affiliate scheme in place whereby third parties who register as affiliates on our trademark registration site and are accepted as affiliates receive a commission of 10% when they introduce clients to us who buy products or services. We will notify you of the amount of commission payable to the affiliate introducing you. Such referral fee payments come out of our own fees, and are never added on as an extra item for you to pay. No details of your matter are disclosed to affiliates unless such disclosure is authorized by you. If you have any questions on any aspect of the transaction, or feedback following a referral, please raise this directly with us.

Quality Standards

We are working towards the Lexcel quality standard of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. As a result of this we are or may become subject to periodic checks by outside assessors. This could mean that your file is selected for checking, in which case we would need your consent for inspection to occur. All inspections are, of course, conducted in confidence. If you prefer to withhold consent, work on your file will not be affected in any way. Since very few of our clients do object to this we propose to assume that we do have your consent unless you notify us to the contrary. We will also assume, unless you indicate otherwise, that consent on this occasion will extend to future matters which we conduct on your behalf.

As part of our quality standards, following the initial contact regarding a new matter, we will confirm with you by letter the scope of the work. This letter should give you a clear understanding of what is being undertaken. We welcome any questions or concerns so as to avoid any future misunderstandings.

2. Instructions
Identity of the client

It is important that we are able to identify who is our client. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, we are entitled to assume that the person (including an individual, firm or company) providing us with the initial instructions in relation to a matter is our client, including persons buying our services.

So, if for example, we accept instructions from lawyers (whether in the UK or abroad) they will also be our client and responsible for settlement of all our invoices and for reimbursement of all our costs and expenses incurred in carrying out their instructions for the persons for whom they act. If the client wishes us to make invoices out to and accept payment from another person, then we shall be pleased to do this. However, the responsibility for settling such invoice remains with the instructing client.

New clients and start ups

We welcome instructions from new clients and start-up companies. For all new clients we have a policy of requesting funds on account before carrying out any work. Also, for newly formed limited companies we expect the directors to be personally responsible for our reasonable charges and costs in connection with instructions made on behalf of the company. We may ask the directors to formally acknowledge an undertaking to this effect in our favour. Any extra work involved to obtain verification of joint instructions will be charged to the client in full.

Joint instructions

Where we are instructed by joint clients, or by a director or partner of a company on a matter that requires the consent of the other directors or partners, then we are entitled to only proceed with a given course of action once we are satisfied that it accords with the wishes of the other joint client, director or partner as the case may be.

3. Estimates

We will give you an estimate of likely costs at the outset, and wherever possible this will include fixed fees for known elements of the work. We currently provide various services, including searches, courses, copyright assignment, design logo registrations, contract drafting and trademark registrations on a fixed fee basis. Explanations about these services and the scope that the fixed fee covers are set out in these Terms.

Scope of Fixed Fees

Our fixed legal fees are for the known work involved, and do not cover third party objections or oppositions which may occur, or requirements that are specific to individual clients’ preferences.

For trademark registration our prices allow for preparing and filing the applications and overseeing them through to registration, assuming a smooth registration.

The quality of the registration and our ability to provide the service within the fixed fees depends on our receiving complete and adequate answers to our questions.

Our fixed price packages and estimates assume you will provide us with the instructions in the form requested, and you will review documentation we send you to progress the work in a timely fashion.

For all our services we rely on your timely and relevant responses to progress your work, so if we lack instructions and receive no responses to reminders this may result in additional charges. In the event that you do not respond after repeated reminders we may close your file, set off our additional charges against payments received from you, and notify you accordingly.

Other circumstances which may lead to further charges are where work outside the scope of a package, fixed fee, or other retainer is required, such as to explain the status of your work to a new point of contact, to provide more extensive explanations than are generally called for, consultancy to discuss trademark examination reports, or to take subsequent action. For further general information on our fees see further below.

Scope of services

Further work required, such as during a trademark application, or for work which is outside the scope of a retainer service, is agreed with you in advance and budgets set. Work will not be started until the new budgets are agreed, except where there is an urgent need to progress your matter to protect your interests.

Similarly, if there is further work for us to do than anticipated, such as if your trademark is opposed, or the value or nature of the work to be undertaken clearly changes such that it differs from that originally envisaged a change to our fixed price service will be necessary. However, we will, wherever possible, agree any additional charges and increases with you before doing any further work. Our prices are by reference to the work involved, the knowledge and skills required, the importance and urgency of the matter, and its complexity, and reflect what is fair and reasonable to both you and us, having regard to all the circumstances. .

Work we charge for includes reading and reviewing your documents, emails and other correspondence, writing up notes of meetings and conversations, obtaining quotes for you from agents abroad and preparation of any detailed costs calculations, and travelling to and from your offices.

Design and Copyright Registrations

For logos and general designs which have been made publicly available for less than 12 months, we offer a UK and EU design registration service. There are additional fees for extra designs beyond the first. The fees for additional designs vary depending on how many designs are required, and whether it is a logo or other type of design that is being registered. These are available on request.

Trademark Registrations – UK and European Word or Logo

We provide various trademark registration services.

Our standard trademark registration service is our silver service which covers either UK or EU registration in three classes. If more classes are needed, additional classes may be bought before the application is filed. The fees for each package and extra services are indicated in our letter of engagement. Similarly, the additional price for logo registrations is detailed there, as is the nature of the search we include within a service.

Other fees, VAT, Official Registry/Government fees

For EU and other work involving foreign currency and bank charges, such as trademark or design we add an administrative fee of up to £125 plus VAT to cover bank charges, currency fluctuations and sundries such as recorded delivery postage.

For our Intelli solution, where you opt for it, we may provide you with services such as searching of trademarks, patents or designs. We provide further information about the relevant charges and services when you make an enquiry.

VAT

All prices are exclusive of VAT, which is added to all fees and government dues.

Limits on searches

Searches may be carried out by us, by Patent Offices or by an independent specialist search firm. Due to the limitations and occasional errors in classifications, computer databases and errors in official records, and due to incomplete information we may be supplied with prior to a search, no search can be guaranteed for fullness or complete accuracy, and computerised searches, such as the free search on our trademark registration site draws from publically available databases which are known to not be as reliable as the databases we rely on when we undertake searches on your behalf.

Scope of trademark searches

Our standard trademark service also includes a search of the UK and CTM trademark registers, but does not include a search of the individual local country registers of EU states. Such searches are available to purchase later once the initial search results are available.

Our free trademark search tool is provided purely to give you an indication of the UK registers and should not be relied upon as a pre filing trademark search.

Our identical UK or CTM search covers:

a) For a word mark only, an identical word search of the UK and CTM registers, and an initial opinion on whether it is capable of being registered; or

b) For a logo mark, the discrete graphical elements of the logos are identified and searched on, such as the font or any devices, and the results reported. Due to the way in which logos are classified by trademark registries the inherent nature of logo searches may result in less precision.

No guarantees are given that names or logos searched will be problem free during the trademark registration process, and you should satisfy yourself that the searches you have requested are adequate for your purposes.
the databases we rely on when we undertake searches on your behalf.

Refunds

We do not issue refunds for any reason, except where at our discretion we consider that a credit note would be desirable. Trademark work is front loaded, so that substantial time will have been spent on the matter by the time the classification research and searches are completed.

Subsequent to filing your application, if for any reason the application fails there is no entitlement to any refunds of either legal fees or official fees.

Products

The term “Products” covers to webinars, workshops and other courses, eBooks, video tutorial systems and any contract templates insofar as these involve our supplying general information rather than a one to one service tailored specifically to your individual requirements and circumstances. It does not include our IP products, which do constitute a legal service rather than legal information.

Disclaimer

Our Products contain useful information on Intellectual Property, Internet, Employment, and Technology law and are principally intended for information purposes only. Information does not constitute legal advice for the matters it discusses. Legal advice may only be provided by a qualified professional adviser who is familiar with your individual circumstances, and who is advising you on a particular set of facts.

Specifically any contract templates included are designed to be of general application, and require tailoring to the particular requirements of your transactions. You should review them to assess their suitability to your requirements. Rarely will it be appropriate to simply use such templates off the shelf without adaptation to your specific circumstances. We will not be liable for the use you make of the templates or Products unless we are engaged to offer one to one advice to you for your particular requirements.

For the avoidance of doubt, your use of the Products does not constitute a solicitor/client relationship. Even if a solicitor/client relationship already exists between us, our Products do not constitute advice to you on a specific problem even if it is similar to matters discussed in the Products. Please contact us if you require such advice, because there may be some aspect of your circumstances that throws a different slant on the advice we would offer, or the options we would recommend.

Therefore, please do not use our Products unless you accept that any action you do take without legal advice in reliance on our Products is entirely at your own risk.

While all attempts are made to verify information contained in our Products, in view of human errors or changes in the law or internet technologies in the future, we expressly disclaim any and all liability or warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy or reliability of any information obtained from the Products.

All Products are provided on an ‘as is’ basis and we shall not be liable for any damage or losses of any kind whether direct or incidental as a result of the use or non-use of the Products. We recommend you check periodically to ensure you are using the most up to date edition of a Product or to find out if we have decided not to update a given Product and to discontinue it.

Use of Products

We own the copyright in the Products and give you a non-exclusive and non-transferrable licence to use the Products solely for personal use but not to provide the Product or any part of it, for re-sale, re-publication or re-distribution or for free use by others unless specifically permitted. You may not translate, disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer, adapt, vary or modify the Product in any manner by any means.

No licence is provided to sell on the Product for commercial gain, nor is there a licence to adapt and sell on to others, or to permit others to use the Azrights copyright materials.

Returns

Products of a digital nature do not entitle you to an automatic right of refund or cancellation after purchased in accordance with Regulation 13 of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. However, if you are not satisfied with any Products please let us know why, and we will consider whether to offer a refund provided you contact us within a reasonable time of purchasing the Product.

Where you book to attend one of our events (for example, one of our IP Briefing events) the fee you pay is non-refundable. However, if you give 14 days’ written notice that you are no longer able to attend the event, you may transfer your booking to an alternative date scheduled for the event for no extra charge, subject to availability.

Ownership of site

All intellectual property rights in the materials contained in this website belong to Azrights Solicitors or its licensors, and your use of this website and the information available through it is subject to these terms of use as amended from time to time. By using our website, you accept these terms and conditions in full.

The material on this site may only be reproduced or re-used for internal, non-commercial purposes. This means you may download, view, copy and print pages from this website, but only for your own personal use subject to your agreement not to:

1. Republish material from this website.

2. Sell, rent or sub-license material from this website.

3. Reproduce, or otherwise exploit material from this website for a commercial purpose.

4. Redistribute material from this website except for content specifically and expressly made available for redistribution, such as some of our eBooks.

5. Not to modify material from this website such as by defacing or removing our copyright notice from print outs.

Virus checking

We cannot guarantee that documents or files downloaded from this website will be free from viruses and do not accept any responsibility for damage or loss caused by any virus. For your own protection you must use virus checking software when using this website, and we ask that you virus check any document or file which you intend to post or provide to us via this website.

If you are litigating

If we are involved in litigation on your behalf and you are successful against an opposing party, you may be able to recover a proportion of your costs from the other party. Costs orders are in the discretion of the court and you should bear in mind that even if you win, your opponent may not be ordered to pay all of your costs and indeed may not be capable of paying those costs. If your opponent is legally aided it is unlikely that you will recover your costs even if you are successful, due to the nature of Legal Aid Orders. Where we are representing you in court proceedings, you are responsible for payment of our fees irrespective of the amount of any costs that may be awarded by the court or recovered from the other party.

We will charge for our work in seeking to quantify any costs which the other side is ordered to pay, including work in the preparation of the bill and other papers. The cost of this work is often not recoverable from the other side whatever the outcome. If you lose the case it is probable that you will be ordered to pay all or some of your opponent’s costs as well as your own. We will also charge for our work in seeking to minimise any costs that may be payable to the other side.

Disbursements

In addition there may be other costs and expenses (‘disbursements’) that will be payable during the course of your matter. Your acceptance of these terms constitutes your agreement for us to incur the expenses which in our judgment may be necessary. Where possible we will advise you of these in advance. Please note that third parties (such as Counsel) may alter their fees, and it may not always prove possible to alert you to any changes or further expenses in advance of incurring them on your behalf. Disbursements are itemised separately as disbursements on our invoices, and may include courier charges, travelling expenses, bank charges, or telephone, fax, copying and postage. Where appropriate these will have VAT added at the prevailing rate in force.

Invoicing

We take a payment on account of costs from all new clients, or where the work is to be undertaken on a fixed fee basis, we raise a VAT invoice in respect of the payment. Where you pay for fixed price work online we will confirm the transaction when we send you a welcome email.

For all client matters we reserve the right to render interim bills at a frequency we deem appropriate to the matter in hand, and to defer work on your matter until payment is received.

In general once we have done the work or if it is a matter that requires work spanning over more than one month and involves payment of further fees, then at the end of the month, we issue a final or interim invoice. We use the amount held on account towards settlement of the invoice, and may request a further payment, or reimburse surplus funds, if any (should the work be concluded).

Whenever we are holding monies on account of costs for you, then we are entitled to transfer the monies into our office account once we issue an invoice for the work, whether the invoice is an interim one or a final invoice for the work in question. For ongoing work, or if ad hoc work arises while we are doing fixed cost or other work for you, unless otherwise agreed we invoice you monthly at the end of each month for work done in that month.

Invoices should be settled within 14 calendar days, otherwise interest will be charged at 4% over the prevailing Barclays base rate, in accordance with Article 5 of The Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009.

Domain name registration

Where you instruct us to register domains for you we may first require a power of attorney, and acceptance of our letter of engagement for domain registrations.

4. Your Obligations

You agree to comply with the money laundering obligations in clause 5. You accept that we will communicate with you electronically via email and the internet, and this includes communications or records that we may otherwise be required under applicable law to provide to you in written paper form. You agree that we may provide such communications or records by means of electronic communications, and if you are concerned about the fact that the internet is neither secure nor private you will inform us in writing of your concerns so that we may discuss with you alternative ways of communicating. Unless we receive your written objection to use of email, you accept that we cannot guarantee correct message routing or promptness of delivery. You undertake to provide us with all information, assistance and materials that we may request from time to time to facilitate our proper and timely performance of our services, and you warrant that all such information provided to us will be complete and accurate. We ask you to give us timely written instructions. Patent and Trade mark offices often impose time limits and we accept no liability if you do not provide clear and complete instructions early enough for us to act within those time limits. We will normally advise you of time limits, and of actions or instructions that are required, but we do not undertake to give reminders. If we receive late instructions, we may not be able to implement them in time. In the event of late instructions or late payment to us, urgency charges may be incurred, which will be passed on to you.

Change of address

It is important that you inform us of any change of address, email, telephone, and fax numbers and of any change in ownership of your patent or other relevant Intellectual Property rights. Many such changes have to be officially registered. Obtaining patents, trademarks and design rights can take many months or years. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss of rights in any case where you have failed to inform us of such changes.

Indemnity for threat of infringement proceedings

We ask you to indemnify us against the risks of our being sued for making an unjustified threat of infringement proceedings, in the event that you need us to send any warning on your behalf to a third party. The aim of this request is to maintain our objectivity in contentious matters, which would diminish if we were to become a party to any proceedings. We may refuse to act for clients who do not provide the requested indemnity.

Copyright in materials we produce

You acknowledge that documents which we generate for you are protected by copyrights, which belong to us. The fee you pay for our work gives you an implied licence to make use of the documents for the purposes for which they were obtained and for all reasonably associated purposes; subject to your taking such copy protection measures as we may require for certain assignments where the product is to be uploaded onto your website.

Overall limit on the scope of our services

You acknowledge we are intellectual property and general commercial lawyers qualified to provide advice on intellectual property and business law matters. For advice on other legal or non-legal matters, such as financial or tax, you should consult other professionals, such as tax lawyers or accountants, as appropriate.

Instructions of third parties or introductions to other professionals

As part of carrying out your instructions, it may be necessary for us to instruct third parties such as foreign lawyers or patent agents, to act on your behalf. Whether we instruct the third party directly, or ask you to sign a power of attorney to engage them directly, or simply introduce you to a supplier of services you require, we will not be liable for any losses, liabilities, costs or expenses arising as a result of any default or negligence on the part of any such third parties. Whilst we endeavour to select third parties or introduce you to professionals whose performance and expertise we regard as of good quality, we may sometimes have limited knowledge of their work.

5. Money laundering

The law requires solicitors as well as banks, building societies and others, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients. To enable us to satisfy our obligations under the Money Laundering legislation, we reserve the right to check your identity at any time through credit reference agency checks, including asking you to supply appropriate proof of identity before we are able to act or continue to act for you or for any principal whom you may represent. We will also not be able to receive any funds from, or pay any funds to you or on your behalf unless all necessary identification and other procedures have been satisfied for the purposes of the Regulations. Please also see further provisions relating to these matters in the section entitled “Professional obligations and confidentiality”.

For individuals and partnerships, the proof of identity we will require will usually be a current valid passport, photo card driving licence showing your current address, recognised identity card or equivalent showing your name, date of birth and photograph, together with a current utility bill, recent council tax demand or equivalent confirming your address. For companies, we may require a copy certificate of incorporation or copy audited statutory accounts together with personal identification in respect of the company’s officers.

In the light of the Regulations and for insurance reasons we do not normally accept cash payments from or on behalf of clients and then only in special circumstances and for limited amounts of no more than £1000. If you circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge an administration fee of £125 plus VAT to deal with the administrative and other implications of your actions on us as a regulated body.

6. Complaints

We appreciate and act on feedback from clients. Any comments that you may have to improve our service should be directed to Shireen Smith.

We expect to enjoy a good professional relationship but in the event that you feel you have cause for complaint, then initially please contact the principal of the firm, Shireen Smith, clarifying the nature of the complaint, namely whether it relates to a bill or otherwise.

The firm takes complaints very seriously and abides by the complaints procedure that can be provided to you on request. In brief, upon receipt of your complaint we will acknowledge it within 5 working days, and provide a copy of our complaints policy to explain how it will be handled. We may invite you in for a meeting so you may voice your concerns directly. If our initial review and response does not lead to a satisfactory resolution of the problem then there is an opportunity to refer your complaint to Ruth Gladwin, an independent solicitor.

You have the right to raise your complaint with The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) who can be contacted as follows: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ, Tel: 0300 5550333, Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk. Please note that there are time limits for submission of a complaint to LeO. LeO will accept a complaint made within 6 years of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint, or within 3 years of you being reasonably aware of the complaint, this time limit being applicable after 6th October 2010. Where the act or omission took place prior to 6th October 2010, the complaint must be raised with LeO within 3 years of when you should have been reasonably aware of the complaint. In addition you must raise the complaint within 6 months of the final response under our internal complaints procedure.

7. Termination of retainer

We are bound by the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Code of Conduct and in some instances may not be able to act for you or may have to terminate the retainer for good reasons, and reserve the right to terminate the retainer if you withdraw consent to receive electronic communications from us. Other good reasons allowing us to terminate the retainer will include conflict of interest, failure by you to give instructions, misrepresentation of critical facts, withholding of relevant information or acting contrary to our advice. Another good reason when we will terminate our retainer is where we persistently have to chase you for an acknowledgement of our communications, and also where you fail to pay our fees. Where feasible we will try to identify any issues in advance and discuss these with you before informing you of our decision to stop acting for you.

Where you have purchased a service from us, and fail to provide us with instructions in order to progress the work despite our communications requesting the same, then we shall be entitled to treat our obligations as discharged, and close your file without further notice. In such an event, you will not be due a refund of any fees paid, which we will retain as compensation for our work in maintaining your file, bringing team members up to date with your matter, and chasing you for information or instructions. Should you wish to reactivate the work later, then there will be an additional charge to do so.

8. General

English law shall apply to the construction and interpretation of our contract with you and the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve any disputes arising under it. It is not intended that any terms of our engagement with you shall be enforceable by a third party, whether under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise.

Acceptance of terms of business

By engaging our services you are deemed to accept our terms of business even if you do not sign them, unless you tell us otherwise within 7 days of instructing us by cancelling your order. Such cancellations will not be effective if you have waived this right by asking us in writing to begin work on your matter immediately. If you are acting on behalf of a company or partnership, you warrant that you are authorised to contract on behalf of that company or partnership. Furthermore, if you are acting on behalf of a newly formed limited company you agree to be personally responsible for our reasonable charges and costs in connection with instructions made on behalf of the company, and will confirm your personal liability to us in writing on request.