Terms and conditions


1.1 The expressions “we”, “us”, “our”, “firm” mean or refer to francis george, solicitor –advocate and any successor practice and any service company owned or controlled by or on behalf of us or any of its members and, as the context requires, all members of, consultants to and employees and agents of us, and of any service company owned or controlled by or on behalf of any of the members of francis george, solicitor-advocate. The terms “principal” “partner” and “partners” mean or refer to a member or members of the firm francis george, solicitor-advocate


1.2 The expressions “you” and “your” refer to our client.


1.3 The expressions “matter” means a specific transaction, dispute or issue in relation to which you ask us to provide services whether or not it has been defined in a letter of engagement or other agreement; “services” means all services we provide to you in relation to the relevant matter.   




We shall be entitled to assume that whoever gives us instructions to provide services has actual authority to do so and we shall be entitled to rely on any information provided to us by that person.  Where instructions are given on behalf of a company, LLP or other organisation we shall be entitled to assume that the Terms have been brought to the attention of and approved by the directors of the company, members of the LLP or, in the case of any other organisation, the appropriate officers of that organisation.

Where our client consists of more than one person or entity, the liability of those persons or entities is joint and several.  Each joint client irrevocably permits us to disclose to any other of the joint clients at any time and information which we would otherwise be prohibited from so disclosing by virtue of our duty of confidentiality.  If any joint client ends this permission during the provision of the relevant services, or if a conflict of interest arises between joint clients, we may suspend or terminate the provision of the services related to that matter to one or more of the joint clients.

It is vital that you provide us with all relevant information to represent you and provide services to you and that all information provided is, to the best of your knowledge, complete, accurate and up to date, and is supplied as quickly as practicable.  Please tell us of any subsequent changes to the information provided, as well as about any further information which might be relevant




3.1       Relationship management


3.1.1   All work carried out in connection with any matter to which these Terms of Engagement relate will be carried out under the overall supervision of the Partner named in your specific client care letter.  Individual matters will be dealt with by relevant qualified and experienced personnel and the primary fee earner will be notified to you at the outset of the matter and will be named in your specific client care letter.  More than one of our lawyers of appropriate qualification and experience may be involved in your matters.  Any consequent overlap should enable your file to be dealt with more efficiently.


3.1.2    Advocacy work will usually be undertaken by Mr George unless you are notified otherwise in which case another fee earner will represent you at Court or Counsel will be instructed in rare circumstances.


3.2.2    All work relating to the preparation of a Court Hearing will usually be undertaken by Mr George unless you are notified otherwise in which case another fee earner will undertake the preparation work or in rare circumstances we will instruct Counsel to do so.


3.2 Progress Reports and Response Times


All reasonable efforts will be made to keep you informed of progress or of any unexpected delays or changes in the character of the services being provided.  Where appropriate, we will also advise you if we consider that the probable outcome of the matter does not justify the likely fees, disbursements and expenses and the risk involved.  Please request a progress report at any time if you are in doubt as to the current position.

The firm has its own client service standards.  These include a commitment to responding to written communications from clients within five working days and telephone calls at the latest within the working day, or the following working morning where the call is received at the end of the day.




4.1 Communication


Please let us know if you have a preferred method of communication e.g. telephone, email or fax.  Unless we hear from you, we will use whatever mode of communication appears appropriate in the circumstances.


All email messages sent to us will, if properly addressed, arrive on the terminal of the person to whom they are addressed.  Please be aware of the following points:

  • the firm is connected to the internet, but the exchange of email messages may be subject to delays outside of our control;
  • the safe delivery of email via the internet should not be assumed;
  • the confidentiality of email cannot be guaranteed;
  • we use Microsoft Outlook.


Unless you ask us, we shall not be required to encrypt or password protect any email or attachment sent by us.  We shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from the unauthorised interception, re-direction, copying or reading of emails including any attachments.  We shall not be responsible for the effect on any hardware or software (or any loss or damage arising from any such effect) of any emails or attachment which may be transmitted by us (except where this is caused by our negligence or wilful default).




We take conflict issues seriously.  We have procedures in place to ensure that conflict checks are carried out on every matter as soon as practicable so that, if an issue arises, it can be discussed with you and dealt with as soon as possible.

Our conflict procedures help us fulfil our professional obligation not to act for one client in a matter where there is an actual (or significant risk of a) conflict with the interests of another client for whom we are already acting.

If at any time you become aware of an actual or potential conflict of interest, please raise it with us immediately.

Subject to our professional duties, we will always seek to resolve any conflict issues in the most advantageous way to the clients concerned.

Where our professional rules allow, you agree that after termination of our retainer, we may act or continue to act for another client in circumstances where we hold information which is confidential to you and material to the engagement with that other client.  We will not, however, disclose your confidential information to that other client.




6.1 We will keep confidential information which we acquire about your business and affairs, unless we are required to disclose any such information:

  • to our auditors or other advisers or for the purposes of our professional indemnity insurance; or
  • by law or other regulatory authority to which we are subject.


If you or we engage other professional advisers to assist with a matter we will assume, unless you notify us otherwise, that we may disclose any such information to such other advisers as necessary.

In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to erect an information barrier (or Chinese Wall) to protect the confidentiality of client information: if this is needed we will discuss it with you.

Where possible, we will disclose to you all information which is material to your affairs and business regardless of the source of that information.  However, we will not disclose to you any confidential information about the business and affairs of any other existing or former client, or any information in respect of which we owe a duty of confidentiality to a third party.

If at any time a third party requests access to documents held by us or asks to interview any of our partners or employees in connection with the services we have provided, we may be required as a matter of law to comply with this request.  You will be responsible for our fees, disbursements and expenses in dealing with any such request, including the fees, disbursements and expenses involved in identifying relevant documents, attending interviews or making or defending any application in connection with the validity of the request.  Disbursements and expenses may include the fees of Counsel or of third parties instructed by us in order to advise on issues connected with the request.

We will use the personal information we receive about you for the administration of our relationship with you, billing (and where necessary, debt collection) and marketing.  To help us to make credit decisions about you, to prevent fraud, to check your identity and to prevent money laundering, we may also use the information to search the files of credit reference agencies who will record any credit searches on your file.  The information may be used by other credit grantors for making credit decisions about you and the people with whom you are financially associated, for fraud prevention, money laundering prevention and occasionally for tracing debtors.  We may disclose your details to our agents and service providers for any of the purposes set out in this paragraph.

We may from time to time contact you by mail, telephone, or email to provide information that may be of interest to you, including details of the services we offer, newsletters, legal updates and invitations to events.  Please let us know if you do not want to receive such information.

The information contained in the Terms (and in any letter of engagement, or any amended version of these terms of engagement, sent to you in the future), and any information that may be disclosed to you in the course of any further discussions between us in respect of the provision of services, is confidential to the firm, is likely to remain so throughout, and beyond, the period during which services are provided to you and constitutes trade secrets of the firm.  Any disclosure of such information to third parties would likely either to be a breach of confidence and/or to prejudice your or the firm’s commercial interests.

By accepting the Terms you agree not to disclose any confidential information of the firm to any person, whether in response to any request for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“2000 Act”) or otherwise, except as required by law.  If you are a public authority to which the 2000 Act applies, you also agree that before making any disclosure of the firm’s trade secrets or other information, the disclosure of which is likely to prejudice your of the firm’s commercial interests, you will promptly notify the firm in writing of any request made by any person for the disclosure of such information to them and consult with the firm as to the applicability of any of the exemptions under the 2000 Act which may entitle you to refuse to disclose such information.


6.2 Data Protection Act 1998


6.2.1   To enable us to discharge the services agreed under this engagement, and for other related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance, we may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you.  You have a right of access, under data protection legislation, to the personal data that we hold about you.  For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Data Controller under the Act in relation to personal data supplied about you is as stated in our client care letter




We store deeds and papers for clients, normally without charge.  We also do not normally make a charge for retrieving stored papers or deeds in response to continuing or new instructions to act for you.  However, we reserve the right to make a charge based on the time we spend reading papers, writing letters or providing other services necessary to comply with your instructions. 


On completion of a matter and payment of any outstanding bills we shall return to you, on request, any documents lent to us by you for the purposes of the matter.  Where we are acting for joint clients and one of the joint clients asks us to transfer documents lent to us for the purposes of the matter, we will deliver them to, or to the order of, the joint client who delivered them to us.


We do not agree to retain files for any particular period of time but generally keep all files for a minimum period of 6 years.  All files and papers held by us (other than deeds, wills and similar items you have asked us to keep in secure storage) may be preserved on microfilm or by other means of image processing or in electronic form or may be stored offsite.  We reserve the right to destroy files without further reference to you 6 years after completion of a matter. If a particular matter relates to a land transaction and/or dispute then we reserve the right to destroy the files without further reference to you 12 years after completion of the matter. If a particular matter relates to proceedings involving a child and/or children then we reserve the right to destroy the files without further reference to you once the relevant child and/or children have attained the age of 21.




8.1 The services provided by us are for your benefit alone and solely for the purpose of the matter to which they relate.  They may not be used or relied upon for any other purpose or by third parties.  Our duty of care is to you as our client and does not extend to any third party.

We will, on your behalf, instruct, liaise with or coordinate advice from other professional advisers, including foreign lawyers.  We will not be responsible for the accuracy or appropriateness of the advice given or work undertaken by those other advisers or for payment of their fees and expenses.  We do not provide services relating to the laws of any jurisdiction outside England and Wales and cannot be responsible for the accuracy or appropriateness of the advice given or the work undertaken by foreign lawyers.


8.2 These terms of retainer do not confer any rights on any third party under or by virtue of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.




9.1       Exclusions and Limitations of Liability

If we are prevented by circumstances beyond our reasonable control from providing the services we have undertaken to perform for you, we will immediately notify you of the nature and extent of such circumstances.  If as a result of those circumstances we are unable to meet any deadline or complete the services by any estimated date of completion or at all:

  • any such failure on our part will not constitute a breach of the agreement between us;
  • we will not be otherwise liable to you for any such failure to the extent that it is attributable to any such circumstances notified to you; and
  • any estimated date for completion of the services will be extended accordingly.


9.2 We shall not be responsible for any failure to provide services on any issue which falls outside the scope of our engagement and shall have no responsibility to notify you of, or the consequences of, any event or change in the law (or its interpretation) which occur after the date on which the relevant service is provided.


9.3 We shall not be liable for any indirect loss or damage or any loss of profit, income, production or accruals arising in any circumstances whatsoever, whether in contract, tort, negligence, for breach of statutory duty or otherwise, and howsoever caused.


9.4 The liability of the firm for any claim in contract, tort, negligence, for breach of statutory duty or otherwise, for any loss or damage, costs or expenses howsoever caused arising out of or in connection with the services shall, in relation to each matter, be limited to the sum specified in the letter of engagement


9.5 You agree that you will not bring any claim whether in contract, tort, negligence, for breach of statutory duty or otherwise against any service company owned or controlled by or on behalf of the firm or any of the members of the firm or against any member of, consultant to, or employee or agent of the firm or any service company owned or controlled on behalf of the firm or any of the members of the firm.  These services, companies, members, consultants, employees and agents assume no personal liability for the provision of services and shall be entitled to rely on the Terms insofar as they limit or exclude their liability.


9.6 Nothing in the Terms shall exclude or restrict our liability to you for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or for fraudulent misrepresentation or in any other circumstances where liability may not be so limited or excluded under any applicable law or regulation.


9.7 Subject to any of the agreed limit on our liability , our liability to you shall be limited to such sum as it would be just and equitable for us to pay having regard to the extent of our responsibility for the loss or damage and the responsibilities of all other persons.  You agree that our liability shall not be increased by;

  • any limitation, exclusions or restriction of liability you have agreed with any person, or joint insurance or coinsurance provision between you and any other person;
  • your inability to recover from any other person, on your decision not to recover from any other person.


9.8 Our role is as legal adviser and therefore it is not generally part of our function to give advice on the merits of investment transactions or to act as a broker or arranger.  Accordingly, we have assumed that your decision to discuss or negotiate any particular transaction, and any decision actually to enter into any transaction, will be made by you on the basis of your own assessment of the business, financial and policy aspects of the matter.  In any event, it is not part of our role to communicate invitations or inducements to engage in investment activity on behalf of clients, and therefore nothing we, or any of our partners or employees, say (by whatever means of communication) or do, should be construed as an invitation or inducement to you, or to anyone else, to engage in investment activity.




10.1 Our fees are normally based on the time spent dealing with a matter.  Other factors may also be taken into account in accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority rules, for example, complexity, value, importance to the client and urgency.  We reserve the right to add an uplift to our hourly rates to take account of these factors.  We are willing to provide services on an urgent basis, and will endeavour to make staff available outside of normal working hours if necessary.  Please let us know if you would like to have someone on call either over specific periods or generally.


10.2 Time spent will include meetings with you (and perhaps others); any time spent travelling; considering, preparing and working on papers; attending court; legal research; correspondence (including emails); preparing attendance notes; and making and receiving telephone calls.  We record time in six minute units.  Our hourly rates vary according to the level of seniority and expertise of each adviser.

Although hourly rates are the norm, we aim to be flexible in our approach to charging and may have agreed with you an alternative charging method.


10.3 No increase from any charging rate quoted to you will be applied for any exceptional factors which solicitors are entitled to take into account in their charging (for instance, any large values involved, unusually complex or novel problems, work abroad, or under unusually onerous conditions of location or time) unless the exceptional circumstances of the matter are explained to you and your agreement to any increased charges is obtained.


10.4 Costs Estimate


At this stage we have estimated your costs for your matter to {}.


10.4.1 We confirm that we will tell you how much our costs are every six months and in appropriate cases deliver interim bills at appropriate intervals. 


You may set an upper limit on our costs for which you will be liable, without further authority.  Any such limit must be notified to us in writing.  Should we reach that limit without authority from you to increase the limit appropriately; we will not be able to carry out any further work on your behalf, until you agree with us a new limit.


10.4.2 In the event that the transaction fails to proceed then the firm’s charges will be calculated by reference to the time spent at that stage and any expenses paid on your behalf.  This also applies to matters in which an agreed “fixed price” quotation has been given.


10.5     Review of Charging Rates


Charging rates are revised annually.  New rates normally come into effect on the date specified in your client care letter and any relevant changes will be notified to you shortly after that date.  All work will be billed at rates current when the work is carried out and not at any increased rate.


10.6     Fee Earner’s Charging Rates


Please refer to the Fee Earner Charging Rate Schedule at the end of this document for information on each Fee Earner’s hourly charging rate.




Expenses incurred in the course of our work on your matter will be added to your bill.  These will include, for example, printing costs, travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, agent fees, Counsel’s fees, court fees, arbitration or tribunal expenses, expert and other witness fees and expenses and accountants, surveyors, engineers, actuaries and patent and trade mark agents charges together with any extraordinary photocopying or communication expenses.  This list is not exhaustive and you will be advised of the nature of any substantial disbursements as your matter progresses.


  1. VAT


Value Added Tax is payable in addition on your costs and most disbursements and expenses except for certain clients not situated in the United Kingdom.




Where we receive money from you which is to be applied on your behalf, it will be held in a separate client bank account which will be subject to the strict provisions of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Rules.  As required by Solicitors Regulation Authority, money held by us will be taken in payment or part payment of our bills within 14 days of the date of the invoice, unless that money is held for any other purpose.




14.1    Our bills are due for payment on receipt without any deduction, set-off or counterclaim.  


14.2     We will send you a statement of account detailing every bill which remains unpaid.  You will also be sent a reminder letter for all unpaid bills which are older than 21 days.


14.3     Our bills may be delivered regularly during the course of your matter, usually quarterly (but at other intervals by arrangement) and at its conclusion. 


14.4     Our minimum quarterly bill will be £50.00 provided some work has been carried out on your matter during the quarter and each bill will be final bill of the period it covers unless otherwise stated. 


14.5    Our bills identify the matter, the periods they cover, and the charges, disbursements and Value Added Tax payable.  If you require a detailed narrative of the work involved a charge may be made for it as if its preparation were part of the normal work on your matter.


14.6    We generally bill the matter either when the transaction is completed or when it ends but we reserve the right to raise interim bill at our discretion.  Where a bill is rendered before completion, we may include an allowance for the estimated time to complete the matter.  However, if the matter does not complete as anticipated (for example if completion is delayed because one party cannot complete on time) we reserve the right to raise a supplementary bill for any additional work involved.


14.7 Interest on bills


14.7.   Our bills are payable immediately upon receipt of the invoices and we reserve the right to charge interest at the rate specified in your client care letter (accruing on a daily basis) on outstanding amounts not within the 30 day period (such rates apply both before and after any judgment in our favour).


14.7.2 If a bill remains unpaid for 30 days after the date of the invoice, we reserve the right to charge interest at a rate equal to the lower of the rates applicable to judgment debts and the rate specified in your client care letter until payment is made. 


14.7.3 All bills are due for payment on demand and overdue payments will attract interest at the rate specified in your client care letter. 




15.1.1 Liability for Costs


All our bills are payable by you whether or not any arrangement exists, or a court order is made, for payment of your costs by any other party.  We will (if you instruct us) act on your behalf in steps to attempt to recover your costs from any Third Party.  The work may itself incur further costs and the amount recovered from Third Parties may not amount to as much as our bill.  You should be aware that in litigation if your case is pursued unsuccessfully you will often be required to meet your opponent’s costs as well as your own.  Even if you are successful and costs are ordered in your favour these often do not amount to a full indemnity for all costs you have incurred.  Also an Order will only be of any value if your opponent is in a position to pay the awarded costs.  Finally if your opponent is legally aided it is most unlikely that costs would be awarded.




In some circumstances, the court may order you to pay the other party’s legal charges and expenses; for example, if you lose the case or withdraw the claim after Court proceedings have been issued.  The money would be payable in addition to this firm’s charges and expenses.  If appropriate we will have discussed with you whether this firm’s charges and expenses and your liability for another party’s charges and expenses may be covered by insurance, and, if not, whether it would be advisable for you to have insurance to meet the other party’s charges and expenses.




Where your case is proceeding under a Conditional Fee Agreement and you terminate our retainer without our consent prior to the matter being concluded then you will be liable to us for all fees up to the date of termination.  Where under such agreement our retainer is terminated with our consent you will be liable for disbursements only, to include but not limited to Counsel’s fees, medical reports, police reports, Court fees, photocopying etc.




18.1.1 Where we act for a limited liability company, we only do so on the basis that the director(s) of the company giving us our instructions agree to indemnify us for our charges if the client company does not pay.  By giving us instructions the director confirms his/her agreement to so indemnify us.




19.1     Accounts Payment


We may ask you to pay money “on account” either before we start working on a matter or during the course of a matter.


19.2    Money on account


We may require payment of monies on account of future fees and expenses which must be paid within fourteen days of request or immediately in the case of urgent matters. Any money we hold on your behalf, including payments on account and damages or costs recovered from another party may be set off against our bills delivered to you.  In the event that a costs order or other order for the payment of money is made against you or a disbursement must be paid, then unless specifically instructed otherwise, we may pay the amount due from money held by us on your behalf, however there is no obligation on us to do this and the responsibility to pay and for any late payments rests with you.


19.3     Obtaining mortgage advances from lenders


Where a client obtains borrowing from a lender in a property transaction, we will ask the lender to arrange that the loan cheque is received by us a minimum of four working days prior to the completion date.  If the money can be telegraphed, we will request that we receive it the day before completion.  This will enable us to ensure that the necessary funds are available in time for completion.  Such clients need to be aware that the lender may charge interest from the date of issue of their loan cheque or the telegraphing of the payment.


19.4    Payments by CHAPS


Where we make payment of money to you or to another person on your behalf, it will usually be by cheque sent in the ordinary post or an electronic funds transfer e.g. via the clearing house automated payment system (CHAPS).  Whichever payment method is used we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any losses arising in respect of any interception, appropriation, misuse or delay in receipt.  You authorise us to send any cheques in the ordinary post and, on posting, properly to, and risk in, the cheque will pass to you.  As a security measure and for your protection we ask that you tell us the payee’s bank account number in addition to the payee’s name for inclusion in any cheque.  If you would like us to use any particular payment method then please let us know.




20.1    Subject to certain minimum amounts and periods of time set out in the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules 2011 (SAR), interest will be calculated and paid to you at the rate from time to time payable on our Client Account. The period for which interest will be paid will normally run from the date(s) on which cleared funds are received by us until the dates(s) of issue of any cheques(s) from our Client Account.


20.2     Subject to certain exceptions Rule 22.2 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules (SAR) provides that we must account to you for any interest earned on money we hold for you in our client account unless we agree in writing to the contrary.  By signing these terms you are agreeing, in accordance with Rule 22.2 of SAR, that all interest earned on sums held on your behalf in our client account will accrue to this firm unless you advise us in writing to the contrary.


20.3     Deposit interest paid to UK residents by us will be paid without deduction of tax.  It is your responsibility to declare sums so received for tax purposes. 




We reserve the right at all times to obtain information from third parties and other external sources and searches may be made on your file at a licensed credit referencing agency and the search trace may be recorded on you file.  Undertaking such searches or obtaining such information will assist us in assessing your creditworthiness and ability to pay our fees and charges pursuant to our agreement with you.




22.1     Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (“the Regulations”)


You should be aware that these regulations provide you with the right to cancel your agreement for legal services with this firm within a specified period and in certain circumstances.  However, the nature of your case is such that a fee earner will be required to conduct work, and therefore, to incur costs on your behalf before that specified time period has expired. Clearly we will normally start work for you straight away unless you tell us otherwise at the outset.  Where your transaction is for private purposes, you will therefore lose your right under the Regulations to withdraw without charge within seven working days of instructing us.


22.2     This will not prevent you from instructing us to stop conducting work on your behalf at any time by notice to us in writing at the above address, but means that you will be required to pay for any work done on your behalf until that notice is received.


22.3     The Regulations also require us to inform you that most transactions are likely to take more than 30 days.




23.1     We may bring instructions to an end for a good reason and on reasonable notice. 


If instructions are terminated you will be liable only for fees arising and payments made or committed up to the date of termination of the instructions, together with any fees or payments for services, as set out in our client care letter, necessary in connection with the transfer of the matter to another adviser.  If this happens, we shall charge for services provided in accordance with the hourly rates prevailing at the relevant time.


23.2     You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time.  For example, you may decide you cannot give us clear or proper instructions on how to proceed, or you may lose confidence in our work.


We expect to receive instructions from your lenders to act on their behalf.  If so, we will have to pass them information you give us that might be relevant to their decision whether to finance the purchase.  If you tell us things that you do not want the lenders to know and they are relevant to the lenders, we may have to stop acting for the lenders and possibly also for you.


23.3     If you fail promptly to pay our bills or any requested monies on account or if you fail to give us instructions as reasonably requested, we may end our retainer. 


23.4     We may exercise these rights irrespective of any prejudice suffered as a result. 


23.5     We may also end our retainer if any conflict or interest does or may arise between you and us or you and another of our clients.  Otherwise a specific retainer will end on completion of the work and a general indefinite retainer may be ended by us on reasonable notice.  The effect of termination of the retainer is that we are not obliged to perform any work on your behalf under the retainer.  Otherwise the rights and obligations under this retainer continue.


23.6    If you wish to cease instructing the firm as a result of any increase in rates, you are free to do so.


23.7     If any account is not paid in full by the due date we reserve the right to suspend further work on the matter to which the account relates and all other matters for the same client and any associated clients until the overdue payment is received or, at our discretion, cease to act on your behalf.




We will be entitled to retain property belonging to you, together with our own papers relating to the matter, until all sums outstanding to us are paid.




Our offices are open from 9.00am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.





If you have any problem with the services you should attempt to resolve these with the individual dealing with the matter or the person managing our relationship with you.  If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction or you would prefer not to speak to the person having conduct of the matter then please contact the firm’s Senior Partner who is francis george, solicitor-advocate or the client care Partner Asif Robbani.


All Solicitors must attempt to resolve problems that may arise with their services. If is therefore important that you immediately raise any concerns you may have with us. We value you and would not wish to think you have reason to be unhappy with us.




The Terms are governed by and will be construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.  You and we irrevocably agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales over any claim or issue arising under or in connection with the Terms and you and we waive any objection to proceedings being brought in those courts on the grounds of venue or on the grounds that such proceedings have been brought in an inappropriate forum.




28.1     This firm is not authorised by the Financial Services Authority. 


28.2     The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society's representative functions.  The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Complaints Service is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.


28.3     If during this transaction you need advice on investments, we will have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Services Authority, as we are not authorised to give investment advice. 


28.4     Where instructed by you, we may obtain advice from or arrange a transaction with or through an authorised or exempt person.





On 1 October 2012, the Solicitors Regulation Authority issued the Solicitors' Code of Conduct 2011, superseding the previous Practices Rules and the Guide to the Professional Conduct of Solicitors, and marking a shift to principles-based regulation.


The Law Society considers that the money laundering guidance continues to be useful for solicitors as good practice. It has ceased to be guidance given by the regulator. For guidance from the regulator on conduct issues contact the SRA.


This firm is compliant with its obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Terrorism Act 2000 and Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and all amending legislation.


29.1     Proof of Identity


The law now requires solicitors, as well as banks, building societies and others, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients.  This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their clients can be used by criminals wishing to launder money.  In order to comply with the law on money laundering, we need to obtain evidence of your identity as soon as practicable.  We should be grateful, therefore, if you would provide us with documents to verify your identity and address, as set out on the attached sheet.


29.2     Confidentiality


Solicitors are under professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential.  This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception: recent legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.  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, while we are acting for you, it becomes necessary to make a money laundering disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.  Where the law permits us to do, we will tell you about any potential money laundering problem and explain what action we may need to take.


29.3     Cash


Our firm’s policy is:


(a)       to only accept cash up to £1,000.00


If clients circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank we reserve the right to charge for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of the funds.





30.1     We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. We will not discriminate in the way we provide our services on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital status, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour, religion, age, nationality or ethnic or national origins.


30.2    Equality Act 2010


We are committed to ensuring that our clients and employees are not victim to any form of discrimination (as defined under the Equality Act 2010) whilst in our offices.  Upon receipt from you of reasonable notice of requirement to accommodate the disability of any Person visiting our offices, we will undertake reasonable efforts to ensure that such persons do not suffer discrimination whilst in our offices and make such adjustments as may, in all the circumstances, be reasonable.  For this purpose “any Person” shall mean the person or organisation to whom these terms and conditions are addressed or any employee or director who visits our offices in connection with the business or affairs of the addressee hereof.




If at any time one or more of the provisions of this retainer is found by any court of competent jurisdiction to be or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect under any law or regulation, then that provision shall to the extent necessary be severed and shall be ineffective but without affecting any other Term and the enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not be in any way affected or impaired.




Your continuing instructions will amount to your acceptance of these terms of business, but please sign and date the enclosed copy of this letter and return it to us immediately.  Then we can be confident that you understand the basis on which we will act for you.


We hope that by sending this letter to you we have addressed your immediate queries about the day-to-day handling of your work and our terms of business.  However, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.


“I have had occasion to use Francis George twice for legal matters, once for a personal injury dispute and once assisting with probate. In both cases, he and his colleagues acted with complete professionalism and integrity. I have no hesitation in recommending Francis George and the rest of his team whenever a legal matter arises and will certainly use them again in the future. ”

Graham Curtis, Owner, Kennet Computer Solutions