1. About Us
Anthony Gold Solicitors is registered in England & Wales as an Alternative Business Structure with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) with registration number 48050 and they regulate our legal work. We must comply with the SRA handbook containing the Code of Conduct 2011 and other regulations, which you can see at www.sra.org.uk. Our VAT registration number is 235 5911 61.
Our principal place of business is The Counting House, 53 Tooley Street, London Bridge City, London SE1 2QN. Other offices are at 169 Walworth Road, London SE17 1RW and The Beehive Coffee Tavern, 496 Streatham High Road, London SW16 3QB.
Our normal office hours are 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday but we will always try to support clients with appointments outside those hours and meetings in other locations as necessary.
More information about the Firm, details of our Lexcel and Investors in People accreditations, a list of our partners and other legal staff, and our full contact details are available at www.anthonygold.co.uk.
Any reference in these terms of business to ‘We’, ‘Our’, ‘Us’ or the ‘Firm’ is a reference to Anthony Gold Solicitors.
We must hold professional indemnity insurance for the work we do in England & Wales. Our primary insurance is held with QBE Insurance (Europe) Ltd and they can be contacted on 020 7105 4000.
Our liability for any errors or failures is limited to £20 million. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities. These limits on our liability only apply where law allows. In particular, it does not apply to any liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.
3. Service standards
We aim to provide you with high standards of service at all times. We will:
keep you updated in writing of progress with your matter;
communicate with you in plain language;
explain to you in writing the legal work required as your matter progresses;
keep you updated of the cost of your matter as needed;
keep you updated with the likely timetable for each stage;
regularly consider alternative funding for your matter, where suitable;
respond to your calls and other communications within 2 to 5 business days.
To achieve the best possible result in your case, we need to work with you. We will:
review your matter regularly;
advise you on the law;
follow your instructions provided that we consider them to be lawful and reasonable and that they do not conflict with a duty we owe to another party such as the Court;
update you on whether the likely results still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in circumstances.
You agree to:
provide us with clear, timely, reasonable, and accurate instructions;
provide us with full details of your matter;
provide us promptly with the information and documents needed to deal with your matter;
keep safe documents the Court,or any other party involved in your matter may reasonably require.
We are not liable for a breach of our responsibilities where this results from a breach of your responsibilities.
5. Anti-money laundering obligations
We must get evidence of your identity and, in some matters, people related to you or your case because criminals often use solicitors to launder money. Therefore, we need to get evidence of your identity quickly before we can carry out any significant work on your matter. To collect this evidence, our practice is to use a secure online identity checking service to confirm your identity. By instructing us you consent to us sending your personal information to this service.
We must keep your personal information and details of your matter confidential except in certain circumstances. We will only use your personal information or supply details about your case to other organisations for purposes not directly connected with the progress of your case in the following circumstances:
To carry out an identity check to satisfy our legal obligations;
To enable our internal marketing team to supply you with information about other legal services we offer which may be of interest to you. We will not give your information to any other organisation for marketing purposes;
To satisfy our legal duty to make a report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) where we know or reasonably suspect that a transaction on your behalf may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. Please note that we cannot tell you that we have made a report;
To deal with questions from the SRA or Legal Ombudsman or an auditor or investigator acting for them;
Where we act for you but are also acting for another party on the same matter we must disclose information to them. These circumstances will include:
where we act for you in a conveyancing transaction where we are also acting for your intended mortgage lender;
where we act for you in a litigation matter and someone else is providing funding or protection against legal costs;
where we are acting for several clients as part of the same matter.
We will tell these other parties about information we find which differs from the information they have received from you. We will also give them full details on the progress of the matter and our assessment of how it will continue. This may include us telling a mortgagee or litigation funder that they should not give or continue to give you funding or protection. If you refuse us permission to do this then we will not continue to act for you.
In some matters we must consider mediation or alternative dispute resolution before starting Court proceedings. This may involve us giving an independent mediator your details and those of the other side to satisfy the Court that you are aware of mediation. We will discuss with you whether your case is suitable for mediation before providing your information to any mediator;
To deal with questions from our insurers;
To satisfy our duties to the Court by obeying Court Orders and not misleading the Court;
Where we are being audited for a practice management standard. We require auditors to keep any information they access confidential;
Where we are using a service provider which we need to run our business. We will only give providers information they need and will require them to treat it as carefully as we would.
If you do not wish us to use or disclose your information in one of the above circumstances you should tell us immediately. Please note we may then refuse to act for you.
You can see our policy on the security and privacy of your data on our website at www.anthonygold.co.uk/compliance. If you require a print copy please ask the fee earner dealing with your matter. If you wish to see what information we are holding about you then you should make a request in writing to the fee earner dealing with your case. We may make a limited charge for providing this information.
7. Payments & Receipts
We will not accept more than £500 in cash.
If you deposit cash over this sum with our bank, we may charge you for any extra checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds.
When we pay money to you, it will be by cheque or bank transfer in your own name. We will only pay cash or make a cheque payable to a third party in exceptional circumstances. If you ask us to pay you in cash we may limit the amounts, times, and places at which we pay you and may carry out extra identity checks which we can charge you for. If you want us to pay you in cash or make a cheque payable to someone else then you should tell us promptly.
Where we have reasonable cause to believe that your transactions are suspicious we may refuse to pay or transfer your money while we make obtain consent from the NCA to proceed.
8. Client Money
We will hold your money in our client account which is with National Westminster Bank Plc. We reserve the right to change our banking arrangements at any time. We will tell you in writing if we move client money we hold for you to any other bank.
When we hold your money in our client account we do so as your agents and accept no responsibility for loss if the bank holding our client account fails to repay money. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme offers protection up to a maximum of £85,000 for each individual. So, if you hold other money in that same bank or another bank in the same trading group, the total compensation available to you will not exceed the limit however many accounts you hold.
We will pay interest on money held by us in our client account at an interest rate of 0.1% below the interest rate we receive on our client account. This is subject to a minimum interest rate of 0%.
If you are due less than £50.00 in interest then we will not pay you any interest as the cost would be out of proportion to the amount you are due.
If we give you a cheque to return client money including interest and you do not present it promptly you may ask us to recalculate the interest due and give you a new cheque. We may charge for our time in recalculating the interest figure owed.
If you wish to waive your interest for religious or other reasons we can make a written agreement for this and you should discuss this with the person handling your matter.
The period we pay interest for will normally be from the date we receive cleared funds until the date that cheques are issued.
10. How we calculate charges
We will tell you of the fee structure that we are applying to your matter at the start. We record all time spent on a matter and, where we have not agreed another fee structure with you, we will charge you on an hourly basis using this record to calculate your fees. Time spent on a matter includes:
Attending meetings, negotiations, and Court hearings plus travel time;
Reading, writing and working on documents;
Making and responding to telephone calls, emails, faxes and letters;
Preparation of fees estimates, schedules and bills;
We review the rates at which each person charges their time on 1 May of each year. If we change the rates applying to your matter we will tell you about the change, and the new rate, in writing. The new rate applies from the date of that letter. If your instructions mean we have to work outside normal office hours, we may increase our rates. We will tell you in writing of any increases.
If we have agreed a fixed fee then this will be for specific items of work as set out in our letters. If we have to do work outside our agreement or the work needed by your case changes we will charge for our time in doing extra work at the rates we have told you of.
You may have to pay other charges in addition to our professional fees. These might include court fees; fees for barristers, experts, surveyors, or other professionals; or Land Registry charges. We will normally ask for a payment on account of these charges from you in advance and will pay these on your behalf provided we have funds available to do so. We may also ask you to pay monies on account in advance of our expected fees. The sum we ask you for on account is not an estimate of the total expected cost of your work.
If you wish to pay us money on account by credit card then we will make a charge of 2% of the sum paid to cover the charges made by credit card providers. We will not make a charge for a payment on account made by debit card.
We will give you an estimate of the fees you can expect to pay where possible. We will advise you in writing of any changes to the fees estimate promptly. An estimate of our fees is a best guess at what the matter will cost you based on a brief review of your situation and our experience. If something unexpected happens or your matter is more complex than was obvious on an initial review then our fees may exceed the initial estimate.
In certain cases someone else may pay our fees but you should be aware that you are always finally liable for our fees in performing your legal work.
VAT will be charged at the rate which was in force at the time the fee or charge was incurred. For our professional fees this will be the date that our invoice is sent.
You may have to pay the fees of another party if you have agreed or the Court has ordered you to do so. If this possibility arises then we will make this clear to you in writing. We will advise you if your funding method protects you against the payment of fees to another party. We will not pay these fees on your behalf unless you have provided us with the funds to do so. Failure to provide these funds promptly may lead to the Court dismissing your case or us refusing to do further work for you.
Where someone else is ordered by the Court to pay your legal costs you may become entitled to receive an extra sum equivalent to 10% of your costs. You agree that we will be entitled to retain this sum in addition to any other costs awarded.
In cases where we are expecting our bills to be settled by another party then we will not send you bills unless you ask us to do so. Where we are expecting you to pay our bills then we will send you bills regularly throughout the course of your matter. We may also ask you to make advance payments on account of our fees and any costs or expenses we incur on your behalf. We require payment of our bills within 14 days of sending them to you. We may charge you simple interest on unpaid bills at a rate of 8% per year, from one month after the delivery of our bill. We calculate the interest daily from the date the invoice was due until the date you pay it. If you do not pay our invoices on time we may refuse to continue working for you until you pay any outstanding sums. If you end your relationship with us, we may refuse to release your file or other papers to you until you pay our outstanding invoices. If we are holding any money in our client account that is owed to you then we may use this money to pay any of our outstanding invoices. We may do this even if we hold that money for a different matter. If we are jointly instructed by more than one client then all clients are responsible jointly for our fees and charges.
12. Insurance advice
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, we are included on the register maintained by the FCA so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the 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 SRA. The register can be accessed via the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/register.
13. Equality and diversity
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. You can see our policy on equality and diversity on our website at www.anthonygold.co.uk/compliance. If you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy then please ask the fee earner dealing with your case.
14. Storage of papers
We will keep our file (except any of your papers which you ask us to return) for not less than six years. We keep it on the basis that we may destroy it six years after the date of the final bill we send to you for this matter. We will not destroy documents you ask us to keep in safe keeping. In that case we will advise you of what documents we are storing, where they are stored, how you can retrieve them, and our charges for storage or retrieval.
We may store your files or documents in a secure location remote from our offices or in an electronic format. If we retrieve papers or documents from storage for continuing or new instructions to act for you, we may charge the costs we incur in arranging such retrieval. We may also charge you for:
time spent producing the stored papers requested; and
reading, letters or other communication, or other work necessary to comply with your instructions about the retrieved papers.
15. Applicable law
Any dispute or legal issue arising from these terms of business will be dealt with under English law and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
Any proceedings issued in relation to these terms of business will be properly served if issued in English only and sent to:
our principal place of business if you are issuing proceedings; or
the contact address that you have given to us if we are issuing proceedings;
by the ordinary first class post or its international equivalent.
16. Ending our services
Our instructions will end automatically once we have completed the work we originally agreed to do for you. You may also end your instructions to us in writing at any time. We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason and must tell you that we are doing so. These situations might include:
if you do not pay an interim bill or provide funds on account when requested;
you are abusive to our staff,
there is a breakdown of trust between you and us; or
you do not give us reasonable, clear, or proper instructions or those instructions prove to be untrue or misleading; or
there is a conflict of interest between the Firm, one of our staff members, or another one of our clients and you.
If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, we will require you to pay expenses we have already paid on your behalf and our reasonable fees for the work we have done. If we decide to stop acting for you we may agree to carry out a further specific piece of work, particularly where there is an urgent court deadline to meet. In this case our instructions will end automatically once the further agreed work has been completed.
If we terminate our instructions and you do not agree to us coming off the Court record for you then we will make an application to do so and you will be liable to us for the reasonable costs in making such an application. Once any such application has been determined and we have been removed from the Court record our instructions will terminate automatically.
We are committed to providing high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about your bill contact the person we have told you will deal with complaints in your initial client care letter. We have procedures detailing how we handle complaints and this is available on our website at www.anthonygold.co.uk/compliance. It is also available in writing on request. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint.
If we are not able to resolve your complaint internally we are members of an independent alternative dispute resolution scheme, ProMediate (UK) Limited, which is certified under the Alternative Dispute Service for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. ProMediate’s details are as follows:
ProMediate (UK) Limited
The Legal Complaints Service
Telephone: 01928 734630
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are willing to use ProMediate’s independent mediation service to try to resolve your complaint. ProMediate’s mediation service is free for consumers.
You also have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. If you are unhappy with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. You can contact him at www.legalombudsman.co.uk or by telephone on 0300 555 0333. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and within six years of the event you are complaining about happening (or three years of you first becoming aware of it).
18. Rights in advice
Where we provide you with advice or documents you may use or copy that advice or those documents for the purpose which we created them. All intellectual property in the documents and the ideas created by us remain ours unless we explicitly assign those rights to you in writing. No assignment of rights will be effective unless signed by a partner of the Firm.
We may use documents or ideas provided to you to give advice to or create documents for other clients as long as we do not breach our duty of confidentiality to you.
19. Rights of Third Parties
This agreement is not enforceable by anyone other than you unless we have agreed to this in writing.
20. Variation and Acceptance of Terms
These terms of business will apply to this work and any future work we do for you. We may change these terms of business at any time as long as we tell you about the change and give you an opportunity to transfer your work elsewhere. Your continued instruction of us represents your acceptance of these terms of business and of any replacement terms of business we tell you about.
This is an important document. Please keep it in a safe place.
Please contact us if you have any questions about any part of this document.