We are a client friendly firm and believe in transparency, ensuring our clients make informed decisions. The following sets out the standard terms of engaging us (Ammal Solicitors) to assist with a legal matter.
Identification documents in line to the Money Laundering Regulations:
In order to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations we are required to obtain certain identification for our clients. We will require evidence of your current address and identity (Photo ID proof). The same document cannot be used as evidence for both (eg: Driving license). Your passport or photo driving license and a recent utility bill in your name at your current address or a bank statement are ideal. We must receive these documents before we are able to begin work for you.
Charges and Expenses:
The fee earner hourly rates are in accordance with the published government guidelines which can be found in this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/solicitors-guideline-hourly-rates. The hourly fees is between £200 to £250 for our Solicitors.
We shall, however agree a fixed fees for each stage of your case, considering the overall amount of time taken and nature of work and we will always agree the fees with you in advance before starting the work. When a fixed fees is agreed, we will stick onto that and will not charge extra for the agreed works although this may mean it will be less than the hourly rate.
If you are to withdraw instructions for any reasons in the middle of the retainer, you will be liable to pay the full fixed fee, irrespective of what stage the matter is. We will be entitled to recover any monies due to us. The agreed fee is not refundable. Should the work in respect to the agreed fee, not proceed further, due to your instructions or for reasons outside our control, then you shall not be eligible to any refund of the agreed fees and any outstanding agreed fees will still be due.
If you are on a low income or receiving welfare benefits, you may qualify for Legal Help under the Community Legal Services Scheme to assist you with your case. We are a private firm and currently does not represent clients free under that scheme. If therefore you would prefer to be represented by the Community Legal Services adviser, please let us know immediately and we shall advice where you can get possible alternative representation.
In return, we will expect you to co-operate with us at all times such as handing in any requested documents as quickly as possible, providing us with clear and prompt instructions and making any payments on account on time as agreed between you and this firm. In the event of breach of these obligations we reserve the right to cease acting on your behalf. You are entitled to terminate your instructions at any time. We will send you a bill of costs in the event that you terminate your instructions with this firm.
We are entitled to keep any papers while there is money owed to us. If you/or this firm decide that we will no longer act on your behalf you will pay us our charges as set out earlier.
The SRA requires us to keep a copy of your case file for up to 6 years after your case is closed. After that this maybe destroyed, unless you make arrangements to collect it from us thereafter.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint, during which period we will first send you an acknowledgment letter and investigate your complaint. You will then be invited for a meeting to discuss to resolve your complaint or will be given a full written response, as appropriate. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Legal Ombudsman [@PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ] about your complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). For further information, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org