We lay out here three documents which together represent our terms and conditions of service, these are: i) Terms of Business ii) Engagement Letter iii) Cancellation Policy.
Terms of Business
The purpose of this document is to confirm the arrangements between us. Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to your acceptance of these Terms of Business.
Investment Recovery Services Limited is a limited company with company registration number 03604183, whose principal place of business is at 23 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6LT.
We are normally open between 9.00am and 5.30pm from Monday to Thursday, and between 9.00 am 5.00pm on Fridays. We are closed on all bank holidays.
– treat you fairly and with respect;
– communicate with you in plain language;
– review your matter regularly;
– advise you of any changes in the law that affect your matter; and
– advise you of any reasonably foreseeable circumstances and risks that could affect the outcome of your matter
– provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions
– provide all documentation and information that we reasonably request in a timely manner, and
– safeguard any documents that may be required for your matter, including documents that you may have to disclose to another party
Service levels and frequency of communication
We will update you by telephone or in writing with progress on your matter regularly.
We will explain to you by telephone or in writing the work required as your matter progresses.
We will update you on the likely timescales for each stage of this matter and any important changes in those estimates. Whenever there is a material change in circumstances associated with your matter, we will update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks.
Limit of liability
We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses, or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profit or opportunity.
Investment Recovery Services Limited is a limited company. This means that the firm’s members and directors are not personally liable for any acts or omissions by the firm, unless the law requires otherwise. This does not limit or exclude liability of the firm for the acts or omissions of its members and directors.
We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot and do not limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence.
Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the terms above.
Where we hold client money, we hold it in Santander UK Plc, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We are not liable for any losses you suffer as a result of any such banking institution being unable to repay depositors in full. You may, however, be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The FSCS is the UK’s statutory fund of last resort for customers of banking institutions. The FSCS can pay compensation up to £75,000 if a banking institution is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it.
The limit is £75,000 per banking institution. If you hold other personal money in the same banking institution as our client account, the limit remains £75,000 in total.
Some banking institutions have several brands. The compensation limit is £75,000 per institution, not per brand. You should check with your banking institution, the FCA or a financial advisor for more information.
The FSCS will apply to qualifying balances held in our client account. In the unlikely event of a deposit-taking institution failure, we will presume (unless we hear from you in writing to the contrary) we have your consent to disclose necessary client details to the FSCS.
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you 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 Data Protection Act 1998 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, insurers, brokers and other professional advisers. Under data protection legislation, you have a right of access to the personal data that we hold about you.
We may, from time to time, send you information that we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information, please notify our office, preferably in writing.
Storage and retrieval of files
After completing the work, we will be entitled to keep your file while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses. Thereafter, we will keep your file for up to 7 years, except those papers you ask to be returned to you.
We store files on the understanding that we can destroy them 6 years after the date of the final bill. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
If we retrieve your file from storage, we may charge you for:
– time spent retrieving the paper and electronic file and producing it to you
– reading, correspondence, or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved file
– providing additional copies of any documents
External auditing and due diligence
External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice from time to time. They may wish to audit or quality check your file and related papers for this purpose. It is a specific requirement imposed by us that these external firms or organisations fully maintain confidentiality in relation to any files and papers which are audited or quality checked.
Your files may also be reviewed in a due diligence exercise relating to the sale or transfer of all or part of our business, the acquisition of another business by us or the acquisition of new business If you do not wish your file to be used in this way, please let us know as soon as possible.
Terminating your instructions
You may end your instructions at any time by giving us notice either verbally or in writing. We can keep all your papers and documents while our charges or disbursements are outstanding.
We can only decide to stop acting for you with good reason and we must give you reasonable notice.
If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, you are liable to pay our charges up until that point. These are calculated on the basis set out in our letter confirming your instructions.
Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
We are required by law to confirm satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and, sometimes, people related to them.
To comply with the law, we need evidence of your identity as soon as possible. This is explained in our letter confirming your instructions.
The information and documentation you provide us is confidential unless:
– stated otherwise in this document or our letter confirming your instructions, eg in relation to prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, orwe advise you otherwise during the course of your matter
– we advise you otherwise during the course of your matter
We cannot absolutely guarantee the security of information communicated by email or mobile phone. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will assume that you consent for us to use these methods of communication.
We are committed to providing a high-quality service. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you receive or about the bill, please contact Roger Oaten on 01761 221757 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Investment Recovery Services Limited, 23 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6LT. We have a written procedure that sets out how we handle complaints. It is available upon request and here
We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time, you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman. If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman’s contact details are: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ email@example.com www.legalombudsman.org.uk
You must usually refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final written response to your complaint and within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or within three years of you becoming aware of it).
You are liable to pay our fees as set out in our letter confirming your instructions.
We may deduct our fees from any money we receive on your behalf.
We can keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses.
Payment of interest
We reserve the right to charge interest at the rate of 2.5% per month if any fees payable to us are not paid in full by the due date. Such interest shall be calculated on a daily basis from the due date until such time as payment is received by us and shall be compounded every three months.
Any dispute or legal issue arising from our Terms of Business will be determined by the law of England and Wales, and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.
Unless otherwise agreed, these Terms of Business will apply to all future instructions you give us on this or any other matter.
Engagement Letter (mis-selling claims only)
Our ref: [REFERENCE]
Re: Your claim relating to [brief description of claim]
Thank you for your instructions to act on your behalf in connection with your potential claim against [insert name of respondent] relating to [insert details of claim]. This letter and the attached Terms of Business explain the basis on which we will assist you.
The person dealing with your matter is [insert name of person handling matter], who is a [insert status]. Their contact details are:
The best way to contact [insert name of handler] is [insert best contact method and times].
If [insert handler] is not available, the following members of staff may be able to deal with any queries you have:
[insert name of member of staff]
We are regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities. Our authorisation number is CRM42728.
We have identified that you may have a potential claim in respect of [insert details of proposed claim].
We are instructed by you to assess your proposed claim, and in the event that a claim exists, to pursue the claim on your behalf.
Under the terms of our engagement you shall only be required to pay a fee to us if your claim is successful and, for this purpose, your claim shall be ‘successful’ if it results in an award being made by [insert name of respondent] in connection with your claim.
The success fee payable to us shall be an amount equal to 20% (plus VAT) of any amount awarded as a result of your claim. For example, if you were awarded a total of £10,000 our fee would be £2,000 (plus VAT).
The success fee shall be payable by you to us within fourteen days of any award made as a result of your claim, which you are required to notify to us.
Alternative funding options
Whilst we consider our proposed fee to be fair, we do encourage clients to shop around before engaging us and to consider alternative means of pursing the claim, such as the Financial Service Ombudsman Scheme.
You should also check to see whether you have the benefit of legal expense insurance, which is commonly include as part of your home insurance policy, and may provide an alternative way in which your claim can be pursued.
Our retainer shall commence on the date on which you sign this letter, and shall continue until terminated by either of us.
If you terminate our retainer, and decide not to continue with your claim then you will not be liable to pay any fees to us.
If you terminate our retainer and the claim is subsequently successfully concluded by you or any other person, then you will be liable to pay the success fee, described above, in full.
If you withdraw your claim against our advice, or if we terminate our retainer as a result of any material breach or failure on your part, then you may be liable to pay the success fee on the value of your claim.
You agree to provide us with all necessary information and documentation to enable us to properly assess and pursue the claim on your behalf.
Where we acquire confidential information from you in the course of our work, we will at all times keep such information confidential and we will not disclose it, save as required by law, or in order to comply with our professional duties.
We are required to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and sometimes people related to them.
Please provide the following:
– Either an original or certified copy of your passport or photocard driving licence to confirm your identity.
– Either an original or certified copy of a utility bill or bank statement (which must be no more than three months old) to confirm your home address.
If you cannot provide us with the specific identification requested, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss other ways to verify your identity.
We are committed to providing a high quality service. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you receive, please contact Roger Oaten on 01761 221757 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Investment Recovery Services Limit, 23 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6LT [insert address]. We have a written procedure that sets out how we handle complaints, which is available upon request a copy of which is enclosed for your information.
You may have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. The time frame for doing so, and full details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman are set out in our Terms of Business.
Right to cancel
You have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days without giving any reason. We will not start work during the cancellation period unless you expressly ask us to. The enclosed ‘Instructions for Cancellation’ explains:
– how to cancel and the effect of cancellation; and
– what you will be liable for if you ask us to start work during the cancellation period.
Please can you:
1. Sign and return one copy of this letter to confirm your agreement to the terms set out in this letter and the attached Terms of Business.
2. Provide the documentation we require to verify your identity.
3. Sign and return the attached ‘Request to start work during the cancellation period’ form, if you would like us to start work during the cancellation period.
4. Tell us within 14 days if you wish to cancel this agreement – you can use the enclosed Cancellation form but this is not obligatory.
5. Provide the following documents/information to allow us to take the next steps in your matter:
[insert document/information required]
[insert document/information required]
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or concerns about your matter, this letter or the enclosed Terms of Business.
Confirmation of Instructions
I confirm that I have considered the terms set out in your engagement letter (repeated above), and your Terms of Business, and confirm my instructions for you to proceed upon the terms offered.
Instructions for Cancellation
Right to cancel
You have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days without giving any reason.
The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day of the conclusion of the contract.
To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract either verbally or in writing. Cancellation will be effective from the moment it is communicated.
Our contact details, to inform us of your decision to cancel, are: Investment Recovery Services Limited, 23 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS26 6LT – Telephone Number: 01761 221757.
Our preferred form of cancellation notice is set out overleaf.
Effects of cancellation
If you cancel this contract, we will reimburse to you all payments (if any) received from you, unless you asked us to start work during the cancellation period (see below ‘Asking us to start work during the cancellation period’).
We will make the reimbursement:
– without undue delay and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel this contract
– using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement
Asking us to start work during the cancellation period
We will not start work during the cancellation period unless you expressly request us to.
In most cases, if you ask us to start work during the cancellation period, you will not lose your right to cancel. If you subsequently cancel during the cancellation period we can charge you for the work we have done.
You will, however, lose the right to cancel and will have to pay in full once the contract had been fully performed (ie we complete the work) even if this happens within the cancellation period.
We reserve the right to make a fixed administrative charge of £100 (plus VAT) in the event that you cancel having asked us to start work during the cancellation period.
If you would like us to start work during the cancellation period, please complete, sign and return the enclosed form ‘Request to start work during the cancellation period’.
Form of cancellation notice
To: Investment Recovery Services Limited of 23 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6LT
I/We (delete as appropriate) hereby give notice that I/we (delete as appropriate) wish to cancel my/our agreement with you dated [insert date of retainer letter signed].