Terms and Conditions
This is the website of Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd ("Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers"), a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales under Registration Number OC351719, registered office 31 Queen Street, Oldham OL1 1RD. Registered VAT number 425886322. A list of names of the members of Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers (who are referred to as "partners") and their professional qualifications is available for inspection at the above office. The expression "we", "us" and "our" refer to Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd.
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORK
At Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Solicitors all departments work in teams and the members of the team and their status are set out in our Terms of Business letter that is sent at the outset of the matter.
Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work but if this cannot be avoided we will inform you promptly who will be handling your affairs and why the change was necessary.
The office is open 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. each weekday, but frequently members of staff are available outside normal business hours including weekends and whenever we can we will try to make arrangements to see you at times convenient to you.
At the outset we will confirm to you in writing your instructions to us, any advice we have given, what action will be taken, when you are next likely to hear from us, what you must do, what information we need from you, the best information we can provide on costs and how these will be met.
During the matter we will keep you informed of progress, advise you on any delays and explain the effect of any important documents. We will also provide you with any documents that we receive and explain any staff changes that affect your matter.
At the conclusion of your case we will write to you confirming that the matter has been concluded, explaining any continuing consequences and account to you for all monies due to you.
Where you require us to send documents on disc or by electronic mail we do not accept any liability whatsoever for damage caused by computer viruses or as a result of unauthorised access to the documents by third parties.
CHARGES AND EXPENSES
Our charges are required by law to reflect a number of factors including the time involved, the special skills required, the urgency and importance of the matter (or otherwise) and the qualifications and experience of the people involved. We record time at meetings and on the preparation of papers, routine correspondence and telephone calls. Longer letters and telephone calls are charged appropriately.
Wherever possible tasks that need not be done by a partner are done by a member of staff and charged at an appropriate lower rate.
If your instructions mean that we have work outside normal office hours, we reserve the right to increase the level of the hourly rate. You will be notified in writing of any increase rate.
In March and September each year we review the hourly rate to take account of changes in our overhead costs and notify you in writing of any increased rate.
The rates may be higher if, for example, the matter becomes more complex than expected; we will notify you of this.
If you wish, you may set a limit on the costs and expenses that we may incur. This will mean that you must pay all those costs and disbursements incurred up to the agreed limit without our needing to refer back to you. We will not exceed the agreed limit without your consent and will inform you as soon as it appears that the limit is about to be reached.
VAT will be added at the prevailing rate. At present VAT is 20%
It is the practice of the firm to render interim accounts during the currency of your case on a monthly, quarterly or 6 monthly basis depending on the agreement made with you at the outset of the case.
We will inform you if any unforeseen extra work becomes necessary. We will also inform you in writing of the estimated costs of any extra work before incurring extra costs. We will attempt to agree an amended charge with you. If we cannot reach agreement we will do no further work and charge you on an hourly basis for the work done to date.
Accounts should be settled within 30 days, unless you have made prior arrangements to pay us by instalments. Interest will be charged on bills that are not paid within that time at the statutory court interest rate (currently 8%).
If for any reason this firm does not complete the work, we will charge you for the work done and expenses incurred and paid.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR COSTS AND THE AFFECT OF ORDERS FOR COSTS
It is very important that you understand that you are responsible for paying our bill(s). If you are successful, the other party may be ordered to pay some or all of your costs and disbursements. However, you should note that even if you are successful, the other party may not be ordered to pay all of your costs and disbursements or may not be able to pay. If this happens you will have to pay the balance of any unrecovered costs and disbursements.
Before the end of your case if an interim court hearing was "wasted" because of your non attendance (when required) or other non co-operation, or if there was a finding against you at an interim hearing, you may be ordered to pay the other parties costs for that hearing and they would usually fall to be paid within 14 days.
At the end of your case, in certain circumstances, the Court may order you to pay some or all of the other parties legal costs and disbursements. Those costs and disbursements would be payable in addition to our charges. If circumstances arose which would put you at risk of having a costs order made against you we would advise you fully as to the appropriate course of action.
INSURANCE COVER FOR LEGAL FEES
We would ask you to check whether your household insurance or any other policy under which you might benefit would cover your legal costs.
In addition, a client who is unsuccessful in a court case may be ordered to pay the other parties legal charges and expenses. That money would be payable in addition to our charges and expenses. Again we would ask you to check whether or not you have the benefit of any insurance or other policy under which the other parties' legal charges and expenses could be covered. We would also ask you to check whether there is any other person or organisation that would cover your legal costs and your potential liability for your opponent's costs.
Could you please confirm to us when you have established whether any such cover exists.
In the case of new clients who are unknown to us our practice rules require that we verify your identity by production of your passport or two of the following documents: -
- A cheque guarantee card, credit card (bearing MasterCard or Visa logo), American Express or Diners Club card, debit or multi-function card (bearing Switch or Delta logo) issued in the United Kingdom with an original account statement less than three months old; or
- A firearm and shotgun certificate; or
- A receipted utility bill less than three months old; or
- A council tax bill less than three months old; or
- A council rent book showing the rent paid for the last three months; or
- A mortgage statement from a lender for the mortgage accounting year just ended
We will discuss with you whether or not Legal Services Commission funding (formerly known as Legal Aid) is available for your matter at your initial interview.
STORAGE OF PAPERS AND DEEDS
After completing the matter, we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us. We will keep our file of papers, except for any of your papers that you ask to be returned to you, for no more than 6 years and on the understanding that we have your authority to destroy the file 6 years after sending you our final bill. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
Please note that the act of storing your documents does not impose on Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers any obligation to advise you of changes in the law or taxation that may necessitate a review of the terms of any documents contained in your file. The responsibility for the conduct of a review remains with you.
If you ask us to hold deeds or other valuable securities on your behalf we will be pleased to do so. No charge will be made for this service unless we tell you otherwise. If you require access to the deeds or securities we reserve the right to make a production charge to cover our administrative costs.
You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time, for example you may decide you cannot give us clear and proper instructions on how to proceed, or you may lose confidence in our work.
We are entitled to keep all your papers and documents whilst money is owing to us.
We will decide to stop acting for you only with good reason and on giving you reasonable notice. If you or we decide that we will stop acting for you, we will require you to pay our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out earlier.
HOW YOU CAN HELP US
It is extremely important that you provide us with clear instructions and deal promptly with any important questions that arise. We would also advise you to keep in regular contact. If you do not hear from us when you are expecting to do so you are welcome to ask for a progress report. If you have not understood the advice received, please ask us. Please provide us with written confirmation of any change of address or telephone number.
RAISING QUERIES OR CONCERNS WITH US
We hope that our services to you will be of a high standard but if you have any queries or concerns about the quality of our service, please contact the fee earner with responsibility for your matter.
If resolution cannot be achieved at that stage, please write to the client care partner mentioned in the Terms of Business Letter who will investigate the case and supply you with a written reply.
If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction please write to the firm's Client Care partner Mr Daniel Prince who will carry out further investigation. Mr Prince will then report to you in writing.
All firms of Solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise your concerns with us. We value you and would not wish to think you have any reason to be unhappy with us.
Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers want to know what you think about their services and the way in which they are delivered to you. At the end of a matter a random sample of clients will be sent a questionnaire to be completed and returned in a pre-paid envelope.
We confirm that every questionnaire is read and acted upon.
We have a Management Executive Committee that meets regularly to ensure quality standards are maintained. This ensures that we continue to improve our own standards and procedures and comply with the Legal Services Commission Specialist
Quality Mark, LEXCEL and Investors in People.
Notices to the firm should be addressed to Albion House, 31 Queen Street, Oldham. OL1 1RD.
If we require to give you notice then this will take effect after being despatched by us by post to the address stated in the client care agreement.
COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE AND FINANCIAL HELP
Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Solicitors has been awarded the Quality Mark of the Community Legal Service. Only firms that pass regular quality checks set by the Legal Services Commission achieve this award. We also hold the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation which assures clients of a consistently high standard of service and client care.
The high standards demanded reflect credit on every aspect of our service and how we can help you.
It means that:
- You will receive a minimum guaranteed standard of service
- We can provide legal help and help at court, as required
- You may be eligible to get financial support for a wide range of legal matters providing you meet certain conditions.
With Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Solicitors you may be eligible for financial help through the Legal Help scheme (formerly called Legal Aid) on the following matters: Divorce, Family and children, Clinical Negligence, Crime, Employment, Housing matters, Discrimination at work
We can advise you whether you have a good case which might meet the tests for financial help.
CRIMINAL DEFENCE SERVICE
With Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Solicitors you may be eligible to apply for legal funding in criminal matters.
We can advise you whether you might meet the tests for financial help.
AVMA (ACTION FOR VICTIMS OF MEDICAL ACCIDENT) PANEL SOLICITORS
Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Solicitors are the only AVMA member covering Oldham, Rochdale and Ashton. This means that we have recognised expertise and experience in Medical Negligence matters and can offer you specialist advice.
It also means that you may be eligible for financial support with your claim if you meet certain conditions.
We can advise you whether you might meet the tests for financial help.
LAW SOCIETY PANEL SOLICITORS
A solicitor is only admitted to a Panel of the Law Society if he or she has satisfied the Panel concerned that they have adequate training and experience in that area of law. Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Solicitors has members on the following panels: Children Panel Family Panel Crime Franchise Panel Law Society Probate Section
This means you are assured of the highest standards of care and expertise should you require us to assist in these areas of the law.
'NO WIN NO FEE'
We may be able to act for you in a civil case on the basis that if you lose the case you will not have to pay for the solicitor's work undertaken on your behalf.
Please contact us to find out how we might be able to help you on a conditional fee basis.