Terms & Conditions
Roche Legal is the trading name of Roche Legal Limited, a company registered in England and Wales under Company number 09667485. Roche Legal is authorised and regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority – SRA No. 624200. Our professional rules can be found in the SRA Code of Conduct which you can access online.
Details of the person responsible for and supervising your matter are set out in the client care letter. Our usual working hours are weekdays from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. The postal address for the office is 4 Westfield House, Millfield Lane, York YO26 6GA and the website address for the firm is rochelegal.co.uk.
What We Will Do And What We Expect You To Do
We will treat you with respect and be polite at all times and expect you to do the same.
We will update you with progress on your matter regularly, and communicate with you in plain language. Please note, calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes.
We will provide you with cost update both at the time of engagement and as your matter progresses. We will also update you in relation to the costs benefit analysis as appropriate as the matter progresses.
At all times, we expect you to provide us with clear, truthful, timely and accurate instructions and provide all documentation required to complete the matter in a timely manner. We are a proactive firm and will contact you if we are waiting for a response or instructions from you. Where your matter is not being dealt with for a fixed charge, then this will incur a fee.
Rights To Terminate
Client’s Right To Terminate
You may terminate this agreement at any time. However, on termination you are liable to pay our full costs and expenses incurred up to the date of termination of this agreement within one month of our bill being delivered to you.
We reserve the right to comply with our obligations to the court and professional obligations, at your own cost, before we can consider our instructions terminated. This may include advising another party that we are no longer instructed in order to bring the matter to a sensible conclusion.
Solicitor’s Right To Terminate
We can terminate this agreement if we consider that you have not behaved reasonably.
The relationship between us is based on mutual trust and confidence. If we feel that this mutual trust and confidence is no longer present we may put you on notice that we will terminate your retainer.
You will then be liable to pay the costs and expense incurred up to the date of termination of this agreement within one month of our bill being delivered to you.
If this agreement ends in any of the circumstances referred to in this clause you will be free to deal with your matter on your own behalf or instruct a new legal representative. However, until we are paid any money that has become due, we are entitled to preserve a lien over your file. This means that we will be entitled to keep hold of your file of papers until our fees are settled in full.
This agreement will automatically end if you die before the conclusion of your matter. We will be entitled to recover our basic charges up to the date of death from your estate and/or your personal representatives may choose to continue your matter, where appropriate, on behalf of your estate by entering in to a new agreement with us.
Fees and Charges
Information about our fees and any associated expenses, including how and when you will be billed, is set out in the client care letter. If you have any queries about our charges or about the scope of the work that will be carried out, please ask.
If your matter is not being dealt with for a fixed fee then we will raise interim statute invoices monthly which if not paid may entitle us to terminate our agreement with you with immediate effect and we would invite you to consider the Termination clauses set out separately herein.
Where you have retained us on a fixed fee basis but you choose to terminate your instructions before the matter has concluded you will be charged for the actual time spent on your matter, by reference to the work done by each team member at their hourly rate.
Please see here for our hourly rates. We reserve the right to change our hourly rates from time-to-time, and at least annually, and will notify you of the change at that time.
If work on your matter is being charged on an hourly rate basis the time spent is recorded in increments of 6 minutes, with a minimum of a 6-minute unit. Recordable time will include, but is not limited to, individual emails, telephone calls, text messages, letters, attendance (not only with you but also with other parties involved with your matter), file reviews, monthly costs updates, carrying out client due diligence, research arising from a non-routine point of law or novel circumstance arising in your case, work required to meet our professional obligations during the course of your matter, internal communications where the purpose of the communication is to progress your matter, and the making and filing of any related file notes. Incoming and outgoing communications are charged for in the same way. This is even though during a litigation matter, charging for incoming communications may be viewed as unusual and not be recoverable as between the parties. Where incoming communications are lengthy in nature, we may also charge for time spent considering the content so that we can prepare a response or advice in relation to it.
Please note that the bills we send you will not simply be requests for payments on account. They are final charges for the period that they cover and will stand as our fees. They will not be amended or substituted. They may however not include disbursements or expenses incurred during that period and we reserve the right to deliver a separate disbursement only invoice at a later date.
Our invoices are due on receipt. We charge interest on overdue invoices at 1% per month (12% per annum), even if we have to take court proceedings to recover the amount owed. If we take proceedings against you because you do not pay, we will ask the court to order you to pay all the costs we incur in proceedings.
If these bills are not paid this may entitle us to terminate our agreement with you with immediate effect and we would invite you to consider the Termination clauses set out separately above.
If you wish to challenge the amount of the bill you should be aware that strict timescales to make that challenge apply and are set out in section 70 of the Solicitors Act 1974 .
You have an absolute right to seek, what is known as, an assessment of our fees by the Court within one month of delivery of a bill. Thereafter you may seek an assessment within 12 months, but you may have to demonstrate special circumstances. If you wait more than 12 months after paying the bill you may lose the right to have the fees assessed by the Court.
You should not wait until the end of the matter before challenging our fees. You should consider each bill when it is sent, and you if you wish to challenge our fees or have the Court assess them, we recommend that this is done at the point that you receive each bill. This does not affect your rights to complain the procedure for which is set out separately within our Terms and Conditions.
We would recommend in the first instance that you discuss your concerns with the team member who has conduct of your case or their supervisor. If you have any questions about the billing arrangements or the effect of the delivery of these interim statute bills or any cash flow concerns, please do speak to us directly whereupon we can discuss options available.
In accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules, where we hold funds on your behalf on our client account, we will use these funds to settle our bill. If you have a query about any invoice, please contact us straight away.
Help Us To Help You Keep Your Legal Costs Down
You can help to keep costs down by taking an organised and methodical approach when communicating with us. This is especially true of emails. As we charge for each email received or sent then it is better if we receive one email from you with all of your points, rather than multiple emails. By sending us fewer emails, which will in turn require fewer replies, this will help us to manage our communications more efficiently and effectively and progress your matter quicker.
Unless you are being charged on a fixed fee basis, any indication of fees is an estimate only (whether stated to be estimate or quotation). The estimate will cover the anticipated work required and covered by your initial instructions and we reserve the right to vary this estimate at any time during the matter.
Estimates should be treated as a guide only; we cannot guarantee that the final charge will not exceed the estimate. We revise estimates from time to time based on the information known from time to time during your matter. We are entitled to charge for all time spent even if it transpires that our estimate(s) understated the fees properly incurred in the matter at any time, whether we complete your instructions or not on a time basis in accordance with our hourly rates.
Please contact us should you wish to discuss imposing a cap on your fees which can not be exceeded. The use of cap may assist you in managing your legal spend but in imposing a cap this may mean that we will not be able to carry out the extent of your instructions. If this is the case will discuss with you your options.
Liability For The Legal Fees Of Another
You are responsible for paying your own legal costs.
In contentious cases, if your matter goes to court, the court has full discretion to make any order(s) it sees fit as to legal costs. This means that the court can decide to order the unsuccessful party to pay all or part of the successful party’s costs. Therefore, if your claim is unsuccessful, then you could be liable for your own legal costs due to us, and the other side’s legal costs. If your claim is successful, there’s a chance you may recover a significant portion of your costs back; that proportion of costs will be subject to agreement or assessment and there are many factors which will impact on the amount that the losing party is liable to pay. It is reasonable to expect a contribution of around 65-75% towards your costs, but this amount is not fixed and may be more or less.
Please note from 01/10/23 the Court are introducing new Rules; known as the Extended Fixed Recoverable Costs which will apply to all cases where the monetary value in dispute is £100,000 or less; this is likely to have a greater impact on the amount of costs your opponent may be ordered to pay in respect of your legal fees. We will discuss this with you if it becomes relevant to your case.
It is important to note that in all scenarios you remain responsible at all times for payment of our full fees regardless of the amount we are able to recover from the other side.
This agreement expressly permits us to charge an amount greater than that which you will recover or could have recovered from the paying party to the proceedings and expressly permits payment of such all our basic charges from you. This does not affect your rights
Checking your Identity
There are checks required by law to verify the identity of every client, and some other people involved in a matter, including every person to whom we send money, if applicable. There is an arrangement fee for this. We will provide you with options to allow us to do this.
We will keep your affairs confidential. However, solicitors may be required by law to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make such a disclosure in relation to your matter, we will not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.
Keeping your Personal Information Safe
We use the information you provide for the provision of legal services and for related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis to help us manage our practice, statutory returns, legal and regulatory compliance. Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 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 and by signing these terms of business you agree to this.
You have a right of access under GDPR to the personal data that we hold about you. If you have consented, we may from time to time send you information that we think might be of interest to you. We use email to communicate and you should realise that e-mail is not a completely secure method of communication. You understand and accept this lack of security when communicating by email. If you would prefer not to communicate by email, please let us know.
Your File and Documents
After completing the work, we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses (known as a “lien”). We store all our files electronically and destroy all hard-copy files or papers that we receive. We retain valid physical copies of documents being held by us in safe keeping after they have been signed, such as Wills, deeds, or Lasting Powers of Attorney. The period of that safekeeping of your file varies according to the work we do for you but will generally be for a minimum period of 6 years or it may be indefinitely. We will return any papers that you ask to be returned to you in electronic format. We keep files on the understanding that we can destroy them a minimum of 6 years after the date of the final bill, without further reference to you.
If we take papers or documents out of electronic storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we reserve the right to charge you for time spent in producing this information. 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.
Money Received and Sent
We only accept and make payments electronically (credit and debt cards, CHAPS, BACS, FP, SWIFT, telephone and online). Please do not deposit cash or cheques directly with our bank as we will have to charge you for checks to prove the source of the funds. Where we have to pay money to you, or anyone else, there is a fee, which will usually be deducted from the money sent. We do not send cheques or use any other electronic payment method. We cannot pay money due to you to a third party.
Where we hold money on your behalf in our client account, your money is protected up to certain limits under the Financial Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For more information about the FSCS generally, please visit www.fscs.org.uk.
Interest on your Money
Where we hold client money on your behalf, we will pay interest to you where it is fair and reasonable to do so. You should bear in mind that we hold your money to assist with your legal transaction and we are not a bank. This normally means that instant access to the money is required and that any interest paid is unlikely to be as high as that obtainable by you in depositing those funds personally in a high street bank, for example.
The rate of interest is based on the rate that we can secure from our principal bankers only and may fluctuate. We do not pay interest where the total amount of interest calculated on your funds is less than £100. Subject to that limit, we will pay such interest as is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances and in calculating the interest due we will provide a fair outcome.
To reduce the risk of service disruption, such as a computer systems failure or cyber attack, affecting our principal bank’s ability to fulfil our payment obligations, the firm may establish additional backup banking facilities that comply with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules.
In the event of a bank failure involving any of our banking providers, we will determine the percentage of total funds held with each bank and apply this proportion to all client ledgers. For example, if the failed bank holds 10% of our total client balances, this proportion would be applied to all client ledgers. We will assist our clients in making any claims against the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If you have any questions or concerns about this arrangement, please contact us.
Roche Legal is committed to high quality legal advice and client care and we deal with all of our clients to in a way which encourages equality and respect for diversity. In the unlikely event that you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about our charges, please contact us.
We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints, and which is available on request. Please note that the raising of a complaint does not in itself extend your time limits under the Solicitors Act 1974 within which you are entitled to formally challenge our fees.
After the above procedure has been followed, if you remain dissatisfied, or after a period of 8 weeks from the date of your complaint, you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman whose contact details are: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ, 0300 555 0333, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/
If you decide to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, the time limits are either (a) no more than 1 year from the act or omission being complained about, or (b) 1 year from the date when you should have realised that there was cause for complaint.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Our compulsory layer of professional indemnity insurance is provided by Endurance Worldwide Insurance Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sompo Holdings Inc., registered in England and Wales, Registration Number 04413524, home state United Kingdom. Registered Office: 2 Minster Court, 1st Floor, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7BB. Telephone number: +44 (0) 20 7337 2800.
Law and Jurisdiction
These terms of business are governed by the law of England and Wales. We reserve the right to change and/or update these terms of business from time to time.