1. DEFINITIONS and INTERPRETATION
a) Company means Barnet Wills or its agent or third party instructed by it to act on its behalf in the provision of services. “We”, “us” and “our” refers to the Company.
b) Client means a person who contracts with the Company for the provision of services and includes the client’s partner, spouse or civil partner. “You”, “your” and “yours” refers to the Client.
c) services means the drafting and/or execution of legal documents dealing with your personal property and affairs drafted by the Company on your instructions.
d) English law means the law of England and Wales under which these Terms of Engagement, and the legal services provided, are governed and construed.
2. COMPANY’S ROLE
a) At our first meeting we will establish your personal situation and wishes, give appropriate advice as to your options and take your detailed instructions. After you have approved the draft version of the relevant document(s) we will offer to meet you again to supervise the signing of the final documents by you (attestation). Where you have paid a fee our Agent will attend at your home (or elsewhere if agreed by us). One such meeting is included in our fee, but if a further meeting is required for reasons out of our control, a charge will be made for this attendance.
b) The provision of such advice may include advice to take further action, which may incur further fees or payments to third parties such as; the courts, other professional advisers or insurance and investment providers. In such cases full details of these costs will be given to you in advance. If you do not act on any or all of the advice given you may be asked to sign a declaration to this effect absolving the Company of any liability thus arising.
c) We will correct any error or omission on our part free of charge.
d) We will provide customer support and service by email on email@example.com or telephone on 0843 2898469, for a minimum period of 20 working days after the production and despatch of documents.
3. COMPANY’S LIMITATIONS
a) We are not responsible for the verification of any of the information provided by you in your instructions, particularly with regard to the identity or address of any person identified by you. Information regarding family or business circumstances or the age or condition of any person identified by you is taken at face value and will be relied upon by us.
b) We do not have any responsibility for the future review of your documents. The documents will be carefully drafted, based on your instructions and the current state of the English law. Any changes in the personal circumstances of you or anyone named by you in the documents, or any change in the law, should be considered by you. These changes might include, but are not limited to; births, marriages, death, incapacity, divorce, insolvency or a material change in financial circumstances. It remains your responsibility to seek further advice if necessary.
c) Whilst every reasonable care will be exercised in providing the legal services, we are not liable for any losses arising in any way from acting on your instructions unless they are caused by our own fraud or negligence.
d) We are not liable for any loss arising out of failure to properly execute a document under English law unless the execution has been supervised in person by an Agent of the Company. We will check the document at our expense if sent to us for this purpose, but cannot warrant the document was validly executed unless supervised as above.
e) All correspondence between us, our Agents and you will be by first class post or email at the relevant addresses. We will not be liable for any loss arising from non-delivery of post or email, or any loss of documents beyond our control.
f) We reserve the right, at our absolute discretion, to decline to provide legal services to you. Where we do so we will refund any fees paid when we notify you of our decision. If you instruct us to act contrary to our advice we will ask you to sign a disclaimer and waive any liability arising from following your instructions.
4. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
a) In order to give you appropriate advice and draft documents effectively you must disclose all relevant information and give full answers to all queries when we take your instructions. We cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from wrong or incomplete information given to us. It is your responsibility to check the information recorded for accuracy and completeness before it is submitted to us and you will be asked to sign to this effect.
b) If you have not provided all of the information we need to draft your documents within 28 days of giving instructions you will be liable to pay 50% of our fee.
c) You must check any draft documents sent to you thoroughly to confirm the names and addresses are accurate and that they correctly reflect your wishes. You may contact us for advice and support via our telephone helpline on 0843 2898469.
d) If you do not receive your draft documents within the timescales below you must notify us.
e) If documents require amending you must notify us within 4 days of receipt, otherwise we are entitled to proceed as if they have been checked by you and are correct. You may request us to delay the production of the documents for up to 28 days.
f) You are responsible for the safe delivery of any documents to us, by whatever suitable means you choose, at your own expense, and for arranging suitable insurance. We will not accept any responsibility for loss in transit to us. We will acknowledge safe receipt of title deeds or other legal documents, but not their completeness or content, which remains your responsibility.
g) You will pay the agreed deposit or fee on the date we receive your instructions and any balance when the documents are produced
5. FEES AND PAYMENT
a) Our fees are as stated on the price published on our website. The fees are fixed and guaranteed and will not increase within 30 days of the date you sign our instruction form, or at a later date without your prior express consent. Do not sign the form until the day you give us your instructions.
b) Our fee is due and payable with your instructions. We may at our absolute discretion agree to payment in two parts or by credit agreement (subject to minimum deposit and other conditions). Payments may be made by cheque, credit or debit card, credit agreement or cash (at our absolute discretion and subject to the current Money Laundering Regulations).
c) Ancillary legal services, such as first registration of a property, dealing with a leasehold property, deeds of gift or deeds of variation may incur an additional fee and/or registration or court fees. Such additional fee will be notified to you in writing in advance. You may cancel the entire transaction within 7 days by writing to us if the further cost is not acceptable to you.
d) If part of the fee paid to us is for services provided by a third party, we will receive that part from you as your Agent and forward it to them. You will receive a separate Terms of Business agreement from them.
e) We may pay part of your fee to a third party by way of a marketing fee, or we may receive a fee for introducing you to a third party who subsequently provides services to you. Details of these payments are available to you upon written request.
a) Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney will be ready for your signature within 14 days of receipt of your complete instructions.
b) Alternatively, we will post or email you a draft copy for your approval within 10 days and have the final document available for you to sign within another 4 days, unless you have requested amendments. Any spelling or other drafting error on our part brought to our attention by you within those 4 days will be rectified by us free of charge. If we do not correct an error on our part within 10 working days of written notification from you, then you may have the correction made elsewhere and any reasonable costs you incur will be reimbursed by us, not exceeding the original fee quoted by us for the work.
c) If you have requested personal delivery of your final document this will be arranged on a mutually agreed later date.
d) For more complex documents, or where we may have to rely on an external body or Government Department or Agency to provide us with necessary information, or where work is carried out by an external party, we cannot confirm set time periods but will keep you informed and produce the documents as soon as is possible.
e) If we fail to meet these timescales you may cancel the contract by writing to us, or decide to renegotiate the contract between us.
f) We will not accept liability for any consequences arising from delay on your part or the supply of incorrect information in the first instance.
7. DATA PROTECTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY
a) We may need to collect, use, share and store personal and financial information about you and others. This may have been provided by you or obtained from third parties such as HM Land Registry, fraud prevention agencies or others.
c) We may need to provide important information and guidance to parties named in legal documents and/or offer them our services, but we will not do so without your express permission.
d) We will not pass your personal information to any external party without your express permission unless required to do so by operation of the law.
e) Where you provide us with personal and financial information relating to others, for example; family members, dependants, joint asset holders, beneficiaries, professional advisers and executors or trustees, you confirm that you have their consent or are otherwise entitled to provide this information to us and we can use it in accordance with this agreement.
f) We may record or monitor telephone calls or electronic communications, including emails, between us to check your instructions and ensure we are meeting our service standards.
g) You accept that internet or electronic communications are not necessarily secure unless they are encrypted and we are not responsible for any interception or misuse of such data.
h) We will retain such personal information after the termination of any services or products supplied to you for the periods specified or permitted for legal, regulatory, fraud prevention, financial or legitimate business purposes.
8. FORCE MAJEURE
The Company shall not be held liable or deemed to be responsible for any delays or failure in performance under these Terms of Engagement resulting from acts beyond its control, including but not limited to: Acts of God, acts or regulations of any government or supranational authority, war or national emergency, terrorist activities, industrial action, accident or fire.
9. LEGAL NOTICE
Any provision of these Terms of Engagement declared void or unenforceable by any competent authority or court shall, to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability, be deemed severable and the other provisions shall continue unaffected.
10. PRICE PROMISE
We aim to provide the best possible service at the best possible price. That does not mean being the cheapest, but it does mean we aim to offer the best possible value for money. We will not compromise on quality or service, but we do offer face to face meetings and we offer to supervise attestations.