Anglo French Law LLP Terms of business
1 Anglo French Law LLP
1.1 Anglo French law LLP is a limited liability partnership under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000 (registered in England registered number 0C319575 and with its registered office at Blakeney Chambers 8-9 Saville Row Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8JE, main office 5 Waterloo Square Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4DR
In these Terms, in any correspondence or in the provision of services any reference to the term “partner” means a member of Anglo French Law LLP. It does not indicate that the members of Anglo French Law LLP are carrying on business in accordance with the terms of the Partnership Act 1890. A list of members is available for inspection at the above address.
2.1 These Terms set out the basis on which we provide legal services. The expression “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Anglo French Law LLP and “you” and “your” refer to you as our client.
2.2 Certain of the Terms may not apply to you now but may do so in due course as our relationship with you develops. We feel that it is important that you understand all of the Terms upon which our services are provided.
2.3 The Terms, together with our letter to you confirming our appointment as your lawyers (“the General Terms of Engagement”) and any letters from us to you or from you to us confirming your instructions in relation to a particular matter (“the Scope of Services”) and any variation, deletion and/or addition to these Terms which we agree with you in writing, contain the terms and conditions in relation to our engagement. In the event of any conflict between the Terms, the Scope of Services and the General Terms of Engagement, the conflict shall be resolved in accordance with following order of procedure:-
2.3.1 The Scope of Services;
2.3.2 The General Terms of Engagement;
2.3.3 These Terms.
2.4 References to “the Terms” include reference to any terms set out in the Scope of Services and/or the General Terms of
Engagement or otherwise agreed with you. We reserve the right to amend the Terms if it becomes necessary due to changes in commercial practice or law in the U K or in France
2.5 The services are provided to you by Anglo French Law LLP and not by any of our individual partners, employees or agents.
2.6 Your acceptance of the start of our work for you shall be deemed to be acceptance of the Terms by the written return of you letter of engagement any advice or guidance given before this is deemed to be outside the remit of the letter of engagement for we may at that time not be fully acquainted with the entirety of the facts surrounding your matter or associated matters upon which you seek to instruct us
3.1 We believe that it is important that you are kept fully informed of all matters on which you instruct us and we are happy to arrange a reporting system specifically designed to your needs, such as monthly reports and regular reviews. The absence of such a particular arrangement shall default to a reporting ‘as and when there is a legal or procedural necessity to do so’
3.2 You will be notified of the specific partner who will be responsible to you for your matter and of the lawyers and support staff who will be working on your matter. We try hard to avoid changing the people who are handling your work, but if this cannot be avoided we will notify you promptly of any change.
4 Our Appointment
4.1 You agree that we can act on the instructions of any of your employees or agents and can rely on any information which they provide to us.
4.2 We shall carry out our engagement as described in the Scope of Services and General Terms of Engagement.
4.3 Any advice which we give is provided solely for your benefit and for the purpose of the instructions to which it relates. It may not be used or relied on for any other purpose or by any person other than you without our prior written agreement. In particular, nothing in 2 of 8 the Terms confers any right on any person pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, except as expressly stated in paragraph 5.4 below.
5 Exclusions and Limitations of Liability
5.1 We shall not be liable to you in any way for failure to perform our services under the engagement if that failure is due to any cause or event beyond our reasonable control including but not limited to any failure by us or a third party to transfer or arrange for the transfer of any funds to you or to any other party or any loss caused by any banking failure.
5.2 Save as set out in paragraph 5.5 below, our total liability to you, or to any third party, of whatsoever nature in respect of our
engagement for any loss, liability or damage whatsoever and howsoever caused, whether in contract, tort or otherwise and whether related to any act, omission or services provided to you or not provided to you or by our failure to act or delay in acting shall not exceed the sum of one million pounds (£1,000,000).
5.3 If the loss you have suffered has been caused by or contributed to by you or by others this will also limit the amount which you can recover from us to the amount solely caused by our failure.
5.4 You agree not to bring any claim against any of our partners or employees in respect of any loss or damage suffered by you arising from or in any way related to our engagement. Each of our partners or employees shall have the right to enforce this paragraph pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. This paragraph does not seek to exclude any liability which cannot be excluded at law or any liability for the acts or omissions of any of our partners or employees.
5.5 We do not exclude or limit any liability in respect of any personal injury or death caused by our negligence, any loss caused by our fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation or reckless disregard of our professional obligations or any other situation where the law prohibits us from excluding or limiting our liability to you.
5.6 We maintain professional indemnity insurance of £1000.000 per transaction specific and particular to the provision of advice and guidance related to matters of French property law, succession and related tax matters the policy is available for inspection at our offices.
6 Your Responsibilities
In relation to all work which we carry out for you, it is your responsibility to provide us with complete, accurate and timely
Information and to carry out any other obligations which are to be undertaken by you or others under your control. We will not be responsible for any consequences which may arise from any delay or failure by you in this respect.
7.1 Our fees are normally calculated by reference to the hourly rates of the partners and others working on your matter which are applicable at the time the work is carried out. Our time is recorded and charged in units of six minutes. Time spent on your matters will for example include meetings, all correspondence, considering and drafting documents, telephone calls, travel and client and file administration. We provide a variety of fixed fee packages if we engage with you under the canopy of one of these the scope of the activities will be detailed in the letter of engagement, scope of work letter sent to you, fixed fee packages are entered into on the basis of holding the entire fee in our clients account in you name. Fee’s will be drawn down from the client account in you name in stage payments to our office account at the point of completion of a given task as detailed in the scope of work letter . Fixed fee packages do not attract a refund facility should the matter nor proceed beyond a given point. In particular we are not, unless otherwise agreed, involved in the negotiation process at initial contract stage thus within fixed fee packages we undertake to examine and report upon a maximum of two drafts of the initial contract that is to say that we examine and report upon the draft we return to the ‘other side’ with amendments/ additions/subtractions. We will then re-examine this and return to you the client. From that point we reserve the right to charge upon an hourly basis further re drafts of vendor’s contracts
7.2 We may take into account in calculating our charges a number of other factors which include the value of the case /dispute, the importance of the matter to you, the urgency, the particular complexity of the matter or the difficulty or novelty of the questions raised, and the skill, effort and specialised knowledge involved.
7.3 Hourly rates reflect overhead costs and an element of commercial profit and vary according to the level of seniority and expertise of each fee earner. Your instructions will be carried out at an appropriate level such that a cost-effective service can be provided. Hourly rates are reviewed on 1 July in each year and will be notified to you at that time.
7.4 You may set a limit on the charges and expenses to be incurred and you should contact us if you would like to do so. Once agreed, this means that you would have to pay charges and expenses incurred up to the agreed limit without our needing to refer back to you. We will inform you as soon as it appears that the limit may be exceeded and will not exceed the limit without first obtaining your consent. If you do not give your consent or we are unable to contact you to obtain your consent then we must reserve the right to stop work on your matter which could have serious consequences for you.
7.5 In order to confirm your ability to pay our fees we reserve the right at any time to make an application to a credit reference agency to obtain a report on your finances.
7.6 We may from time to time request payments in advance on account of our fees, or for any expenses or payments which may become due to third parties (together “Disbursements”). This helps to avoid delay in the progress of your matter. If you do not provide us with the sums requested by us we reserve the right to stop work on your matter.
7.7 At the conclusion of a matter, case or transaction, or if for any reason we cease acting for you, a final invoice will be delivered to you upon which credit will be given for monies paid on account.
8.1 Generally, it is very difficult to estimate the total cost or the number of hours that will be needed to bring a matter, case or
transaction to a conclusion. We will, however, discuss with you the likely range of our overall charges and expenses and will
endeavour to estimate the likely cost of the steps required to take the matter to the next stage. We will not provide to you regular updates of the costs and expenses incurred unless you specifically ask us to do so. You can assume that the costs at any time are within the latest estimate given.
8.2 Any estimate is given only as a guide to assist you and should not be regarded as a firm quotation or a fixed or capped fee unless otherwise agreed in writing. Other factors may mean that the estimate may be varied from time to time. We will update the estimate at your request and will inform you if it appears that any estimate may be exceeded. If a transaction or other matter does not proceed to completion our fees together with Disbursements and VAT if applicable will still be payable. Any special fee agreed for a matter will not cover additional work not identified when the arrangement was agreed.
9.1 Our fees do not include any Disbursements which we may have to incur on your behalf. By your instructions to us you authorise us to incur these Disbursements. We will only consult you before incurring any unusual or significant Disbursements.
9.2 Examples of Disbursements include court fees, counsel’s fees, experts’ fees, courier fees, search and registration fees, company searches, Stamp Duty, Stamp Duty Land Tax, bank transaction costs and expenses (including search fees and photocopying expenses) incurred by us in complying with anti-money laundering legislation and procedures.
9.3 Unless otherwise agreed we will charge for travel, accommodation and meals while away from the office and also for postage, fax, telephone, printing and photocopying expenses incurred on your behalf.
9.4 We may request that you put us in funds in respect of Disbursements to be incurred and we may refuse to incur these disbursements unless we are put in funds.
10 Value Added Tax
10.1 Any estimates or quotations given by us are net of VAT, which will be charged as applicable on our fees and on those
Disbursements which are liable for VAT. Most cases involving French property are free of V A T as the place of supply is outside the U K and the client is invariably making an acquisition of an interest in Land
11.1 We reserve the right to submit invoices to you at regular intervals (usually monthly) or whenever appropriate during the conduct of the matter. In particular we reserve the right to submit invoices to you at our financial year end which is 30 April in each year. Unless otherwise indicated, all such invoices will be interim statute bills. Please let us know if there are any specific billing procedures which suit you.
11.2 If you have any query about any invoices, please contact us straight away and if your query cannot be resolved, you are entitled to address your concerns to our Complaints partner Anne Keaveney
11.3 Our invoices are due for payment on the date of delivery unless we have agreed with you otherwise in writing. Invoices are deemed to be delivered on the second day following the date of posting. If an invoice is not paid within thirty days of the due date we shall be entitled to charge interest on the amount due (including any Disbursements and VAT) from the due date until payment at a rate equivalent to 5% above the base rate from time to time of AIB GB plc.
11.4 Where an invoice is overdue we are entitled to retain any documents and papers belonging to you and your Associates and our papers until our invoice is settled in full. We also reserve the right to suspend work. “Associates” means any person or persons and all legal entities with whom or which you are associated.
11.5 You agree not to claim any rights of set off, deduction and/or abatement in respect of any invoices raised by us.
12.1 You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time.
12.2 We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example if you do not pay an invoice or comply with our request for a payment on account, if you cannot or do not give us clear or proper instructions on how we are to proceed or if it is clear to us that you have lost confidence in how we are carrying out your work. We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you. If you or we decide that we will no longer act for you, we shall be entitled to payment of our fees, including Disbursements and VAT, to the date of termination. We will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for fees and Disbursements and VAT.
12.3 Where we receive instructions to which The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 apply, you will generally have a right to cancel those instructions without any cost to you within seven working days of receipt by us of the instructions. However, the nature of the services we provide is such that we may be required to start work, and to incur costs on your behalf, before the seven day period expires. You may not therefore cancel your instructions once we have, with your agreement, started to work on your behalf. You also agree that it is in most cases impossible for us to conclude work on your matter within thirty days as stipulated in the Regulations. It should be noted that most French transactions will take at minimum 90 days
13 Money Received and Held by Us
13.1 Unless prior arrangements have been made or you can pay us in cleared funds, we will require a period of seven working days for monies paid to us to be cleared.
13.2 It is not our policy to accept cash payments from clients, or any other party, in excess of £1,500 for each instruction or transaction. If clients seek to 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 those funds.
13.3 Money which we hold on your behalf or on behalf of your Associates, whether on account of fees, Disbursements or otherwise (“Client Monies”), will be placed in our Client Account and you will be entitled to the interest which is earned unless we are otherwise not required to pay it to you under the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules. Please note we are not solicitors regulated by the SRA as we are a dedicated firm to French matters alone however we adhere to all the procedures that would normally be followed and apply, additionally we have professional indemnity insurance particular and specific to matter of French legal advice
13.4 Client Monies (together with all accrued interest) may be taken by us in payment or part payment of our invoices.
13.5 We will tell you the name of the bank in which Client Monies are to be held. Compensation limit of £50,000 applies to each individual client and so if you hold other personal monies in the same bank as the Client Monies you must inform us as the compensation limit remains £50,000 in total. As some deposit taking institutions have several brands, you must check whether you have deposited personal monies in the bank in which Client Monies are held.
13.6 If it becomes necessary to make a claim on your behalf under the FSCS in respect of Client Monies we will, subject to your consent, give certain client information to the FSCS to help them identify clients and their respective entitlements to Client Monies.
13.7 In accordance with money laundering legislation, where we receive Client Monies the source of which cannot be verified we may not be able to return these to you until we have obtained the appropriate consents.
13.8 Where we have, for more than six years, tried to contact you in respect of the return of Client Monies but are unable to do so, we reserve the right to dispose of such sums held by us.
14 Proof of Identity and the Proceeds of Crime Act
14.1 Current Money Laundering Regulations require that we verify the identity of all new clients and, in certain circumstances, those who are defined in the regulations as Beneficial Owners. In addition, the regulations also require us during our retainer to renew or update the verification documents we hold or to obtain further evidence of identity. It is a condition of our accepting new instructions that you provide to us, whenever requested, evidence to verify both your identity, the identities of anyone else required by the Regulations or our procedures and the source and flow of any funds you will provide for the purpose of funding transactions or arrangements relating to your instructions and/or which you will provide in respect of costs and Disbursements. Whenever evidence is requested but it is not provided or the information provided is insufficient, we reserve the right to decline or to terminate instructions.
14.2 We may use electronic identification service providers to confirm your identity or that of any Beneficial Owners. Alternatively, we may require physical forms of verification as required under paragraph 14.1.
14.3 You should not send to us or transfer to our accounts any funds until we have confirmed to you that our client identification and verification procedures have been satisfactorily completed. Any funds that are sent to us or transferred to our accounts before this confirmation has been given will be returned to you or to the Bank or other remitter from whom they were transferred.
14.4 We will keep records of the evidence of your identity for at least five years from the end of our retainer.
14.5 To comply with current anti-money laundering legislation we must be satisfied that there is no suspicion of money laundering and/or that you as our client, or we as your advisers, are not becoming involved in any of the relevant offences.
14.6 Where you are proposing to send funds to us, you must obtain our prior consent and you must ensure that funds are cleared into our account at least seven working days prior to the date on which those funds will be required. This is so we can control funds which come into our possession. If funds are sent to our bank in circumstances where prior consent has not been obtained we will not be able to receive them. We may not be able to return such funds immediately if we are suspicious of the circumstances in which they were sent. We may then have to make a report to the authorities and wait for their consent to continue.
14.7 Where we are unable to comply with the procedural requirements of anti-money laundering legislation, or where we become suspicious that someone may be involved in money laundering, then we reserve the right to decline or to terminate instructions. In such circumstances we may not be able to return funds to you and we will not be liable to you in any respect whatsoever as a result of our actions in compliance with anti-money laundering legislation.
14.8 We may be required to report to the appropriate authorities any knowledge or suspicion that a client’s funds or any funds provided for or on behalf of a client, derived from the proceeds of crime or terrorist offences. It may be an offence if a person knows or suspects that such a report has been made and then discloses that fact to another party. It may also be an offence if a person knows or suspects that a civil recovery or confiscation or anti-money laundering investigation is, or is about to be, conducted and he makes a disclosure to a third person that is likely to prejudice that investigation. As a matter of law, therefore, our anti-money laundering obligations override the business relationship between us and it may not be possible for us to discuss these issues with you or disclose the fact that we have made a report.
14.9 We reserve the right to decline to send or pay over funds held on your behalf other than to yourself or to accounts that you may hold with appropriate banks or deposit takers in your name.
15.1 This firm maintains professional insurance specific to the provision of advice and action associated with French property law including acquisition, disposal, inheritance, succession, probate and dispute. Details of the insurers and the territorial coverage of the policy are available for inspection at our offices.
15.2 There are a number of different ways of funding litigation. In general, we do not share the risk of litigation by working upon a contingency fee basis. There are, however, other law firms which do.
15.3 It is also possible to cover part or all of the risks of both your Costs and your opponent’s costs by insurance. You may already have this insurance, it may be part of an existing policy or it may be made available to you in some other way. Please check any legal expenses policies you have or, if appropriate, your house contents policy and any cover offered by your employer, union or trade association. We rely on you to identify any insurance cover you have and to tell us immediately if you have such cover.
15.4 We only offer advice upon insurance arrangements as described in paragraph 23.4 below and, otherwise, we would suggest that you consult your insurance broker with whom we are happy to liaise when advising upon this complex and specialist subject.
15.5 Your broker may, in particular, advise upon available “after the event” insurance cover.
16 Confidentiality and Conflicts
16.1 We confirm that, where you give us confidential information, we shall keep it confidential at all times unless the law requires otherwise or with your consent. Such information may also be protected by legal professional privilege in certain circumstances.
16.2 Any letters, documents, information or advice which we provide to you during the course of our engagement is given in confidence solely for the purpose of our engagement and is provided on condition that it is not disclosed or made available to any third parties (being persons other than those to whom it is addressed) unless otherwise agreed by us.
16.3 Sometimes actual or potential conflicts between your interests and the interests of another client of the firm may arise during the course of an engagement. If this is the case, we will discuss the position with you and determine the appropriate course of action. Professional Conduct Rules may require us to stop acting for you on that particular matter. Depending on the circumstances and unless otherwise agreed in writing, we reserve the right to act on behalf of another client (and not for you) on a transaction in which you are an interested party.
16.4 As part of our continuous efforts to improve the quality of the service offered to our clients, we are constantly working toward improvement of our case management systems.
17 Data Protection Act
17.1 Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 you are entitled to know how personal information which we hold about you may be used and exercise certain options over that use. We will only use the information for the purposes of providing legal services, to improve our marketing and for internal management and administration.
17.2 We may also employ the services of a third party to help us in certain areas. In some cases that third party may receive your information. Notwithstanding this, we are the sole owner of the information and, at all times, we will control and be responsible for its use. We will ensure that your data is kept under strict conditions of confidentiality and security.
17.3 Unless otherwise directed by you we may from time to time provide you with details of other services that we can offer to you such as legal updates and seminars. If you do not wish to receive these communications either by e-mail or by post, please contact us and indicate.
17.4 Upon the payment of a fee you may request details of the personal information that we hold about you. If you want to make a request you should write to the Data Protection Officer at our office address.
18 Intellectual Property Rights
We retain all copyright and other intellectual property rights in all materials developed or created by us either before or in the
course of carrying out any work for you. You may freely distribute copies of these materials within your own group of friends and acquaintance or organisation but not otherwise publish or distribute unless specifically agreed with us.
19 Experts, Agents and U K Lawyers Foreign lawyers
From time to time, we may appoint experts, agents and U K solicitors together with foreign lawyers in any number of jurisdictions we have close working relationships with U S attorneys Italian and Spanish lawyers working both here in the U K and in their country of origin on many occasions these have particular specialities immigration family law debt recovery we engage with these experts to assist us in providing services to you. When we do so, such appointments will be as independent experts and your agents. You will therefore be treated as having engaged these parties independently and will be liable for their fees in addition to any fees charged by us for the work which we carry out on your behalf. You will assume liability for all activities of these experts and agents which we appoint on your behalf.
20 Storage of Papers and Documents and File Destruction
Files and other papers relating to your matters will be stored for such time as we judge reasonable or for such period as is required by law, but in any event for a period of not more than seven years after sending you a final invoice, after which period we may destroy them without further reference to you. We will not destroy documents you ask us to place in safe custody.
21 Client Care
All lawyers must attempt to resolve problems that may arise in relation to their services. It is therefore important that you
Immediately raise any concerns you may have with us. We value you as a client and if you have any problem with the service we have provided for you then please let us know and we will try to resolve the problem quickly. We operate an internal complaints procedure. If the issue cannot readily be resolved to your satisfaction with the partner responsible for the matter, it will be automatically notified to our Complaints Partner. .
22 E-mail Communications
Unless otherwise directed by you we may correspond by e-mail or other electronic media. When we do so, whilst we take
reasonable steps to safeguard the security and confidentiality of the information transmitted, you acknowledge that we cannot
guarantee its security and confidentiality because the Internet is an inherently insecure medium. Messages may pass through the hands of unregulated service providers, the networks used by the Internet are vulnerable to hacking and governments can
undertake interception on a substantial scale. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that e-mails and attachments sent by us are free from any virus, you must ensure that they are actually virus free prior to opening any such e-mails or attachments and we will not accept any liability for the consequences of any transfer of viruses.
23.1 We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but are able in certain circumstances to offer referral to institutions banks insurance companies currency brokers all or some of whom may be able to provide beneficial serves to you.
23.2 Under no circumstances will we recommend, or advise you to enter into, a particular regulated mortgage contract and nothing that we may do or advise in the course of any transaction should be taken as such a recommendation or advice. Should you consider that we have given such a recommendation or advice then that recommendation or advice should be ignored and you should rely solely on recommendations and advice from a person authorised by the Financial Services Authority.
23.3 We are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority.
23.4 We do not receive inducement or any other form of payment from brokers, agent or financial providers. All our advice is entirely independent.
In the unfortunate event that a dispute arises between you and us concerning the manner in which we have handled a matter for you then you agree that you will attempt to settle that dispute in accordance with the CEDR Model Mediation Procedure. Unless otherwise agreed between us, the mediator will be nominated by CEDR. You agree that you will not commence any Court proceedings in relation to any dispute arising out of or in connection with this agreement until you have attempted to settle the dispute by mediation and either the mediation has terminated or we have failed to participate in the mediation, provided that your right to issue proceedings is not prejudiced by a delay.
If any part of these Terms are found by any Court or authority of competent jurisdiction to be illegal, invalid or unenforceable then that provision shall, to the extent required, be severed and shall be ineffective but without affecting any other provisions of these Terms which shall remain in full force and effect.
26 Governing Law and Jurisdiction
These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and any dispute arising out of this engagement will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
AFL Terms 2011
5 Waterloo Sq.
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4DR
Telephone: +44 (0) 844 88 44 704
Anglo French law LLP terms of business