1. Introduction
These Terms and Conditions of Business along with the accompanying engagement letter govern the lawyer-client relationship which will exist between us. By continuing to instruct this firm we shall be entitled to assume you have agreed to the terms and conditions set out here. Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of then current hourly rates, these Terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to this firm. Nobody is authorised to alter these terms other than in writing.

2. Service Standards
We aim to offer our clients quality legal advice with a personal service at a fair cost. As a start, we hope it is helpful to you to set out in this statement the basis on which we will provide our professional services.

The firm sets the following standards:
• We will regularly update you with progress on your matter
• We will communicate with you in plain language
• We will explain to you the legal work required as your matter progresses
• We will update you on the cost of your matter, as appropriate
• We will update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in circumstances
• We will update you on the likely timescales for each stage of this matter and any important changes in those estimates
• We will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded

In return, we request that our clients assume the following responsibilities:
• To provide clear, truthful instructions to us at all times
• To respond to communications from us promptly and to attend arranged appointments
• To notify contact details, change of address, telephone numbers etc. promptly
• To discharge payments requested from you promptly

3. Hours of business
The normal hours of opening at our offices are between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm on weekdays. Messages can be left via voicemail outside those hours and appointments can be arranged at other times when this is essential.

4. People responsible for your work
The person responsible for dealing with your work and the person responsible for the overall supervision of the matter will be set out in the letter accompanying these Terms. We will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work but if this cannot be avoided, we will tell you promptly of any change and why it may be necessary.

5. Charges and expenses
The fee structure applied to our work is dependent on the nature of the matter and will be calculated on either an hourly rate basis or a fixed fee arrangement.

If we have agreed a fixed fee for work on your case, the arrangements will be set out in the accompanying letter. Provided we are not requested to do any more work than when that fixed fee was agreed we will not make any additional charge. However, we reserve the right to make an additional charge in the event that the matter becomes more complex or lengthier than originally estimated. This would entail either increasing our fee estimate or charging at an hourly rate for the additional work involved. In the latter case we would try and give you our best estimate of the likely additional cost and where this is not possible we would obtain your authority to carry out work to an agreed fee limit.

For matters funded on an hourly rate basis, our charges will be calculated mainly by reference to the time actually spent by the solicitors and other staff in respect of any work which they do on your behalf. This may include meetings with you and perhaps others; reading, preparing and working on papers; making and receiving telephone calls, e-mails, faxes and text messages; preparation of any detailed costs estimates, schedules and bills; attending at court; and time necessarily spent travelling away from the office. From time to time we may arrange for some of this work to be carried out by persons not directly employed by us; such work will be charged to you at the hourly rate which would be charged if we had done the work ourselves.

Unless set out specifically in the engagement letter, routine letters, e-mails and texts that we send and routine telephone calls that we make and receive are charged at one-tenth of the hourly rate. Other letters, e-mails and calls are charged on a time spent basis.

The current hourly rates applicable to your case will be set out in the accompanying letter. We will add VAT to these at the rate that applies when the work is done. At present, VAT is 20%. These hourly rates have to be reviewed periodically to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation. Normally the rates are reviewed with effect from 1st September each year. If a review is carried out before this matter has been concluded, we will inform you of any variation in the rate before it takes effect.

In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours, the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action has to be taken, any particular specialist expertise which the case may demand. An increase in the rates may be applied to reflect such factors. Solicitors have to pay out various other expenses on behalf of clients ranging from court fees, experts' fees, Counsel’s fees and so on. We have no obligation to make such payments unless you have provided us with the funds for that purpose. VAT is payable on certain expenses. We refer to such payments generally as 'disbursements'. Travelling is charged at half the hourly rate of the fee earner plus mileage at 46p per mile.

There may be occasions where you instruct us to telegraph monies that we hold on your behalf to a bank account. Our charges for carrying out these instructions on your behalf are £30.00 plus VAT. Please note that once we have instructed our bank to telegraph monies on your behalf, we cannot accept responsibility for any delay, error or mistake by our bank. Our bank is Barclays Bank plc.

6. Payment arrangements
It is normal practice to ask clients to pay interim bills and sums of money from time to time on account of the charges and expenses which are expected in the following weeks or months. We find that this helps clients in budgeting for costs as well as keeping them informed of the legal expenses which are being incurred. If such requests are not met with prompt payment, delay in the progress of a case may result. In the unlikely event of any bill or request for payment not being met, this firm must reserve the right to stop acting for you further.

Payment is due to us within 28 days of our sending you a bill. Interest will be charged on a daily basis at 4% over Barclays Bank plc’s base rate base rate from time to time from the date of the bill in cases where payment is not made within 28 days of delivery by us of the bill.

We do not accept payments to us in cash in excess of £1,000.00. If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly with our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds.

Payment of our bills may be made by cheque BACS or CHAPS. Monies due to you from us will be paid by cheque or bank transfer, but not in cash, and will not be made payable to a third party.

7. Proof of Identity
The law now requires solicitors, as well as banks, building societies & others to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients. If David Auld & Co. have not acted for you before we would be grateful if you would provide us with documents to verify your identity and address.

We will require one document from List A and two documents List B. We will take copies for our file. With regard to the document from List A. This should be brought to our office so that we can take a photocopy and confirm that the photograph is a true likeness to yourself.

If you are unable to attend our office, we would ask that you take the relevant document to a solicitor, GP or other suitable person who can verify that the photocopy is a true likeness of yourself and forward it to us in due course, together with the name and address of the person concerned.

List A
1. A valid full passport.
2. A valid HM Forces identity card with the signatory's photograph.
3. A full and current photo card driver’s licence.

List B
1. A full and current non photo-card driver’s licence.
2. Cheque Guarantee Card, credit card (bearing the MasterCard or Visa logo) American Express or Diners Club Card, debit or multifunction card (bearing the Switch or Delta logo) issued in the United Kingdom with an original account statement less than 3 months old.
3. A firearm or shotgun certificate.
4. A receipted utility bill less than 3 months old.
5. A Council Tax bill less than 3 months old.
6. A Council rent book showing rent paid for the last 3 months.
7. A mortgage statement from a Bank or Building Society for the mortgage accounting year just ended.

8. Other parties' charges and expenses
In some cases and transactions a client may be entitled to payment of costs by some other person. It is important that you understand that in such circumstances, the other person may not be required to pay all the charges and expenses which you incur with us. You have to pay our charges and expenses in the first place and any amounts which can be recovered will be a contribution towards them. If the other party is in receipt of legal aid no costs are likely to be recovered.

If you are successful and a court orders another party to pay some or all of your charges and expenses, interest can be claimed on them from the other party from the date of the court order. We will account to you for such interest to the extent that you have paid our charges or expenses on account, but we are entitled to the rest of that interest. You will also be responsible for paying our charges and expenses of seeking to recover any costs that the court orders the other party to pay to you.

A client who is unsuccessful in a court case may be ordered to pay the other party's legal charges and expenses. That money would be payable in addition to our charges and expenses. Arrangements can be made to take out insurance to cover liability for such legal expenses. Please discuss this with us if you are interested in this possibility.

9. Payment of Interest & Commission
The firm pays interest accrued on client money, in accordance with rules 22-25 of the SRA Rule 2011, when it is fair and reasonable to do so in the circumstances. Any money received on your behalf will be held in our Client Account. Interest will be calculated at the rate from time to time payable on Barclays Bank General Client Accounts. The period for which interest will be paid will normally run from the date(s) on which funds are received by us until the date(s) of issue of any cheque(s) from our Client Account. In order to cover our administration costs, no interest will be payable if the amount calculated on the balance held is £20.00 or less.

With regard to any financial services or insurance mediation that we provide, we do not normally receive any commission, if we do you will be notified accordingly. Unless we have agreed with you otherwise, any commission that we receive will be paid to you as this money belongs to you.

10. Our right to a ‘lien’ over your papers
The common law entitles us to retain any money, papers or other property belonging to you which properly come into our possession pending payment of our costs, whether or not the property is acquired in connection with the matter for which the costs were incurred. This is known as a “general lien”. We are not entitled to sell property held under a lien but we are entitled to hold property, other than money, even if the value of it greatly exceeds the amount due to us in respect of costs.

11. Storage of papers and documents
After completing the work, we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses. We will keep your file of papers in storage for not less than 6 years except those papers that you ask to be returned to you. After that, storage is on the clear understanding that we have the right to destroy your file after such period as we consider reasonable without further reference to you, or to make a charge for storage if we ask you to collect your papers and you fail to do so. We will not of course destroy any documents such as Wills, Deeds, and other securities, which we agree to hold in safe custody. No charge will be made to you for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given to you of a charge to be made from a future date which may be specified in that notice.

If we retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act in connection with your affairs, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may make a charge based on time spent at our lowest charge out rate for producing stored papers or documents to you or another at your request. We may also charge for reading, correspondence, or other work necessary to comply with your instructions.

12. Financial services
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. Insurance mediation activities and investment services, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the FCA website at www.fca.gov.uk.

13. Termination
You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will still be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell us this clearly in writing. We may only decide to stop acting for you if we have good reason, for example, if you do not pay an interim bill, fail to provide us with instructions or if a conflict of interest arises. We will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing.

If, for any reason, this matter does not proceed to completion, we will be entitled to charge you for any work done and expenses incurred. If your case is funded under an hourly rates arrangement then these costs will be calculated based on the time spent plus expenses incurred up to the date of termination. On fixed fee arrangements, we will break the transaction down into stages and apportion the estimated fee for each stage. You will also be responsible for reimbursing any expenses incurred by us that were not included within the fixed price agreed.

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, you have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days without giving any reason. This only applies where contracts are agreed away from our premises or where we are not both physically present. To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g. a letter sent by post, fax or e-mail). To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired. If you cancel this contract, we will reimburse to you any payments received from you.

14. Tax advice
Any work that we do for you may involve tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies. We may not be qualified to advise you on the tax implications of a transaction that you instruct us to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising. If you have any concerns in this respect, please raise them with us immediately. If we can undertake the research necessary to resolve the issue, we will do so and advise you accordingly. If we cannot, we may be able to identify a source of assistance for you.

15. Data protection
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including: updating and enhancing client records, analysis to help us manage our practice, statutory returns and legal/regulatory compliance

Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality. Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you. The firm is registered with the Information Commissioner. Further information regarding data protection and privacy is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office www.ico.gov.uk.

16. Equality and diversity
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy.

17. Communications
We shall communicate with you in the most effective way, as agreed between us. You should be aware that the use of e-mail is not secure for confidential matters. We take every precaution to ensure that e-mail is virus free but we cannot guarantee this. If you require correspondence to be addressed to a particular person or marked private and confidential then you must tell us.

18. Identity, disclosure and confidentiality requirements
The law requires solicitors to get satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients and sometimes people related to them. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their client can be used by criminals wanting to launder money. To comply with the law, we need to get evidence of your identity as soon as possible. If you cannot provide us with the specific identification requested, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss other ways to verify your identity.

We are entitled to refuse to act for you if you fail to supply appropriate proof of identity for yourself or for any principal whom you may represent. We may arrange to carry out an electronic verification of your identity if we consider that a saving of time and cost will be achieved by doing so. The cost of any such search will be charged to you. If the amount is in excess of £10 including VAT, we will seek your prior agreement.

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

External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.

We may need to disclose your information to third parties (such as barristers, accountants or government agencies) to enable us to handle your affairs. We may also need to permit third parties (such as our auditors and the Solicitors Regulation Authority) to have access to your information for administrative or regulatory purposes. We may also outsource work. This might be for example costings, research and preparation to assist with your matter. Information from your file may therefore be made available in such circumstances. We will always aim to obtain a confidentiality agreement with the third party. We will not otherwise disclose your information to any third party unless permitted or required to do so by law. If you do not want your file to be outsourced please tell us as soon as possible.

19. Limit on our liability for professional negligence
Our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to £2M, unless we expressly state a higher amount in the letter accompanying these terms of business. 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. We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.

20. Provision of Service Regulations 2009
In accordance with the Provision of Service Regulations 2009 details of our Professional Indemnity Insurance can be obtained by contacting our offices. Our VAT number is 556095718. We are regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) under number 74364. The SRA Code of Conduct sets out the regulatory framework imposed on service providers such as ours. The current edition of the SRA Code is available on the SRA Website at www.sra.org.uk.