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 want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service, we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues. If you would like to make a formal complaint, please contact us to know the procedure. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint
The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
Within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint
No more than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about; or
No more than one year from the date when you should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.
For more information about the Legal Ombudsman contact:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9.00 to 17.00.
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.
Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.