The “agent” refers to “Wincham Executor & Trustee Company Limited” or its designated subsidiary company.
1. OUR AIM
To offer our clients quality advice with a personal service at a fair cost. This statement sets out the basis upon which we will provide you with our professional services.
2. OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
– ISSUE a Letter of Engagement or Client Instruction agreement which will clearly set out our services to you and agreed fees in advance of any work performed on your behalf
– REPRESENT your interests and maintain your confidentiality
– ADVISE you on your tax situation and the effect of any transactions we propose be undertaken and the reasons why they will benefit you
– EXPLAIN to you the legal work which may be required and the prospect of a successful outcome
– ENSURE that you fully understand the likely degree of financial risk which you will be taking on
– KEEP YOU regularly informed of progress or, if there is none, when you are likely to hear from us
– ENDEAVOUR to avoid using technical legal language when writing to you
– DEAL with enquiries promptly – e.g. we will try to return your telephone calls within 48 hours.
3. OUR HOURS OF BUSINESS
Our usual office hours are from 09:00 to 17:30, Monday to Friday. However, our team will make themselves available outside these hours when required.
4. PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR WORK
You will be notified when we accept your contractual instructions of your main point of contact. From time to time other members of the relevant Company may work on your case and all members of the Company will endeavour to assist you. All work carried out for you will be undertaken by suitably qualified members of the firm. We will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work wherever possible; however, if this cannot be avoided we will advise you promptly of any changes and the necessity for them. You can access details about the qualifications and experience of our staff by clicking on the “Meet the Team” page of our website www.winchamwills.com.
5. CHARGES AND EXPENSES
We will usually agree in advance a set fee for a transaction and you will receive confirmation of this in your CLIENT INSTRUCTION LETTER or LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT. Alternatively:-
- Our charges will be calculated mainly by reference to time spent by our staff of the relevant company in connection with any work done on your behalf, including meetings with you (and perhaps others), reading and working on documents, correspondence, preparation of any detailed costs calculations and time spent travelling away from the office when necessary.
- The current hourly rates are set out below. VAT will be added to these at the rate applicable when the work is undertaken.
Our charges are reviewed annually. Clients will be notified in writing of any changes to our quoted rates.
In addition to time spent, we may take into account a number of factors, including complexity of issues, timing and priority of action, specialist expertise required and the necessity of work to be undertaken outside usual office hours. In the cases of property transactions and/or estate administration the price of property, size of estate or value of financial benefit may be taken into consideration.
It may be necessary to pay various other expenses during the course of a transaction on behalf of our clients. We have no obligation to make such payments unless we have been provided with funds for the purpose. We refer to such expenses as disbursements. If for any reason the matter does not proceed to completion, we are entitled to charge you for work and expenses incurred.
7. PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS
- It is usual business practice from time to time to request clients to pay regular amounts on account of any charges and/or expenses expected in the forthcoming weeks or months. As a rule, these sums may be paid by a monthly standing order or direct debit from your bank account. The monthly amount which we may require on account will be stated in your CLIENT INSTRUCTION LETTER. Additionally, it may be necessary to increase this amount dependant upon the costs of your matter as we require all our fees to be paid in full before the end of the matter. We find that this assists in budgeting for costs and keeps you informed of the expenses being incurred. The costs will be spread out over the length of the matter unless otherwise stated in your CLIENT INSTRUCTION LETTER.
- Any monies paid to us on account of costs on a monthly basis will remain in our DESIGNATED STAKEHOLDER Client Account until a bill is raised in respect of work completed. You will always receive copies of any bills so raised. Clients may be asked for a deposit on account to cover initial work in accordance with our quoted fee. NB: Such deposits are non-refundable unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- In addition, we ask that any disbursements are payable as and when they become due. If requests for disbursements and monthly payments are not met promptly, this may result in a delay in the progress of your matter and the potential of fines and/or interest where due. We will endeavour to inform you where we believe there is a potential of penalties, fines and/or interest payable for non-compliance or late payment. However, we accept no liability and will not be held responsible for the payment of any penalties, fines and/or interest howsoever arising. You will remain responsible for the payment of any disbursements in good time to avoid such potential penalties, fines and/or interest whether or not you request us to make the payment on your behalf. In the unlikely event of any request for payment not being met, the Company reserves the right to discontinue work on your behalf.
- Payment is due to us within 14 days of the date of an invoice. Interest is charged on a daily basis at 4% over Barclays Bank Plc’s base rate in force from time to time.
8. OTHER PARTIES CHARGES AND EXPENSES
- In cases and transactions where a client may be entitled to payment of costs by some other person it is important that you understand that such other person may not be required to pay all of the charges and expenses which you incur with us. Our charges and expenses are payable by you in the first instance, and any amounts which may be recovered will be contributed towards them.
- You are responsible for paying our charges and expenses when seeking to recover any costs from a third party.
9. STORAGE OF PAPERS AND DOCUMENTS
- After completing the work, we are entitled to retain your papers and documents whilst monies remain owed to us for our charges and expenses. Should you request, we will keep your file of papers in storage for you for a period of not less than one year. Subsequent storage is on the basis that we have the right to destroy such papers after a reasonable period (not less than 7 years) and/or to make a charge for such storage. We will not destroy any documents such as Wills, Deeds and other securities which you ask us to hold in safe custody and no charge will be made for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given to you that a charge will be made.
- Papers or documents retrieved from storage relating to continuing or new instructions from you will not incur any charge. We may, however, make a charge based on time spent for producing stored papers or documents to you or others at your request.
- You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time. Notwithstanding we are entitled to retain your papers and documents whilst there is money owing to us. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell clearly and in writing.
- If we stop acting for you – e.g. in the event of non-payment of invoices or non-compliance of our reasonable requests for payment, we advise you in writing of our reasons for doing so.
11. LIMITED COMPANIES
When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a Limited Company we require a Director and/or controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of our charges and expenses. If such a request is refused, we will cease acting and require immediate payment of our charges.
12. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND US
Our aim is to offer our clients with an efficient and effective service at all times. We are proud to have been nominated for an International award for our Customer Service and our clients and staff are of utmost importance to us. We trust that you will be pleased with the service that we provide you. However, should there be any aspect of our services you are unhappy with, please do not hesitate raise any concerns with your nominated contact (in the first instance).
13. COMMENCEMENT OF WORK
We will not start work on your behalf until you have confirmed your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions of Business and paid any monies requested on account of costs. These Terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions that you give to us or any of our subsidiary companies, subject to any review of our hourly rates.
The agent accepts no responsibility or liability in respect of any tax or claim raised by tax authorities in any jurisdictions.
The Contract and any dispute or claim (including non-contractual dispute or claims) arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation shall be governed by the laws of the country in which it was signed.