Frequently asked questions
We have included here some points of general information for anyone who has not used our legal services before and may just want to clarify some basics before contacting us. Of course please feel free to ask for more details on any specific matter which concerns you or further information about us.
We are required to comply with the current very strict anti-money laundering Regulations and therefore we need to carry out checks at the outset to verify your identity.We will require you to bring with you your passport (or driving licence with a photograph if you have no passport) and a domestic utility bill as evidence of your identity and address. In terms of your case the documentation we will need to see depends upon the type of case we are dealing with.As a general rule we would advise you to bring along with you any documentation which you feel is relevant to your case. We will advise you when we meet which additional documents we specifically need to see.
We are always happy to consider meeting you at your home or any other venue which may be mutually convenient. However in most cases it is preferable to meet at our office where there is ready access to all our records of your case.
As a general rule we prefer to avoid changing the person who is handling your case. If this cannot be avoided we will notify you as to who will be dealing with your matter and the reason for the change. Although a partner will always have overall responsibility for the conduct of your case, the day to day running of it may be handled by someone else under the Partner’s supervision.
If for any reason the person handling your case is unavailable you may leave a message with their assistant, their secretary or our receptionist. If you have access to email, you can contact us that way and your call or message will be returned as soon as possible.
We want to give you the best possible service. If at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then please let us know immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem. In the first instance please contact the person dealing with your case but if you feel this may be difficult and you would like someone else within the firm to look into your case or you wish to make a formal complaint, then you can e-mail Ian Lloyd with the relevant details. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case. If we have been unable to resolve matters and you wish to take the complaint further then the next step would be to refer the case to the Legal Ombudsman who would look at your complaint independently. If you choose to refer the case to the Legal Ombudsman please be aware of the following. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will:
No longer. The firm terminated its work with the Community Legal Service Franchise in Family Law. It completed all outstanding cases as of June 2012, and has not taken on any more. [Note: The government made significant cuts to "legal aid" in 2015.]
Fees for residential conveyancing are generally a fixed fee plus VAT plus search fees. In addition, for some family law work (for example issuing divorce proceedings) we would charge a fixed fee. Otherwise our charges are based on the time spent dealing with your case. This will include meetings with you and with others, for example witnesses, counsel and other experts, time spent travelling to court or to your home, preparing and working on papers and correspondence and making and receiving telephone calls. Our hourly rates vary depending upon the status of the person dealing with your case but typically would be within the range of £100 to £250. More precise details will be set out in the client care letter which we would send to you upon receiving your instructions for us to act on your behalf.
No, we do not work on this basis.
We can accept payment by cheque, cash (up to a limit of £1,000) or bank transfer. We also accept payment by credit or debit card.
It is standard practice to ask private fee-paying clients at the first meeting for a sum of money on account of charges and expenses which are expected to be incurred. This helps to avoid delays in the progress of your case. We may request further payments on account from time to time to meet additional ongoing charges.