Contact Us TelephoneEmail

1      How To Get In To Our Offices

1.1      Our main entrance is just next to the entrance to Santander (formerly Bradford & Bingley) on the High Street. At the right-hand side of the security door is a row of buzzers and you should press the one for Bell & Buxton. Through the intercom system we will reply asking for your name and when given the door will be opened. There is a lift at the end of the entrance corridor which is suitable for disabled access and the Reception is on the second floor. In the case of particular difficulty please let us know in advance and we will do our best to make special arrangements.

2      Who Will See You, When & Where

2.1      Please note that our office opening hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. However, it is normally possible to book appointments outside these hours. If you are unable to call within these hours, please ask the Legal Adviser dealing with your case whether he or she can see you at another time.

2.2      The law is complex and fast changing so our Legal Advisers (the term we use in this document to describe a Solicitor, Legal Executive or Legal Clerk) generally specialise to provide a better service. Accordingly, the firm is departmentalised and you will normally be steered towards a member of the department which deals with the particular branch of law to which your instructions relate. A member of the firm who may have assisted you previously will not necessarily be the best person for you to see in connection with a different area of law.

2.3      If the matter on which you have instructed us involves court proceedings, you should appreciate that these can sometimes be unpredictable and there may be occasions when it will be appropriate or necessary for other people in the department concerned to assist with your case. These people will be part of an experienced team and you should not be concerned if this happens. In the event that the day-to-day conduct of your matter passes to a different Legal Adviser, you will be notified of this fact, together with any bearing that this change has on the hourly rate for our fees. If another Legal Adviser has to take over the day-to-day running of your case due to long term illness or departure from the firm, then no charge will be made for the time taken by the new Legal Adviser in acquainting himself/herself with your case.

2.4      The Legal Adviser responsible for your work will be identified in the letter mentioned in section 1.2 above. If he or she is not available when you call or telephone, please ask for his or her secretary who will do all they can to help you or arrange for the person responsible to contact you.   Please remember that secretaries are not legally qualified and cannot give advice. During any extended period when the Legal Adviser responsible for your case is away from the office, for example on holiday, another member of his or her department will be available to answer any important mail and deal with any important queries you may have.

2.5      We would normally expect interviews to be at our office. However, if it would be more convenient and suitable for an interview to take place somewhere else e.g. at your home or place of business, then your Legal Adviser will normally be able to arrange this.

2.6      If you or anyone connected with your case have any impairments, physical or mental, which might interfere with your ability to visit our offices, please speak with your Legal Adviser who will make appropriate arrangements.

3      What levels of service can you expect?

3.1      The Legal Adviser dealing with your case will have discussed with you when taking your initial instructions your expectations of the service we will provide. If this is not done you should contact him or her in the first instance.

3.2      It is our aim to provide the best possible service to all our clients. To this end we have set objectives for communicating with you and keeping you informed of what is happening in the matter on which you have instructed us. The main objectives are set out below:-

a)    We will always try to return telephone calls the same day. If the person you wish to speak with is unavailable, someone will call you to explain and help you as far as they can.

b)    All letters will be answered promptly.

c)    If you require an appointment to see us, then contact the person dealing with your case and he or she (or their secretary) will make the necessary arrangements. We will try and see you at the time and date you request but in any case within three working days. We endeavour to deal with genuine emergencies immediately.

d)    We will keep you informed as to what is happening with your case, including providing copies of all relevant documents and letters. In a particularly complex case, we will provide you with a plan of the case at the outset and regularly update this as the matter progresses.

e)    We will always try to communicate with you in plain language.

3.3      If during the course of your case difficulties arise, please discuss these problems with the Legal Adviser responsible for your case. If your discussions do not resolve the difficulties, then you should ask for our Client Care Partner, Alex Ross. If your matter involves Mr Ross, please ask for Matthew Rodgers, a Partner.

4.4   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 (after having appealed against the initial decision) you can (if you are not any of the following: a business; a charity or club with an annual income of more £1m, or trustees of a trust with an asset value of more than £1m) ask the Legal Ombudsman (at http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk or please ask us for further contact details) to consider the complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within a year of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or you are becoming aware of it).

4      Our Responsibilities

4.1      Subject to our duty to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice and to act with integrity whilst not allowing our independence to be compromised, it is our responsibility to act in your best interests at all times.

5      Your Responsibilities

5.1      Your responsibilities are to:-

a)    Notify us at all times of any change in your contact details.

b)    Notify us of any change in your instructions or of any new or additional information or document or any other matter which may affect your case in any material way.

c)    Comply with all of our reasonable requests for information from you and to keep appointments or notify us of any cancellations or alterations.

6      Our Charges – Private Paying Work

6.1      You must appreciate that there is a very important difference between our agreeing a fixed fee with you in which event our charges will not exceed the amount quoted plus VAT (unless we have an agreement that in certain circumstances an amended fee can be charged) and a realistic estimate or quotation which is not intended to pre fix our charges and is simply the best information we are able to give about the likely cost. In this type of case, our fees could be more or less than this amount. We are required to advise you periodically of the level of our fees and you are, of course, entitled to agree a fees limit beyond which we cannot proceed without your agreement. We would recommend that you do this.

6.2      In most matters it will not be practicable to fix the amount for our charges in advance because this depends on factors which often cannot be determined at the outset. Frequently legal work requires negotiations or dealings with another party and his or her solicitors and we cannot predict whether they will prove co-operative or difficult. If an estimate can be made it will be given but please remember that, as explained below, our charges are mainly based on time spent. The more work that is done the higher the fee will be. We are obliged to keep you regularly informed of the level of our fees as your case progresses but you should always ask if you are concerned about the cost of your case.

6.3      Other than where a fixed fee is agreed, the calculation of our charges is principally based on the time spent by the Legal Adviser dealing with the matter and this may include seeing you and others; time spent travelling; obtaining evidence; perusing and considering papers; researching the law; preparing correspondence and documents and making and receiving telephone calls; attending at Court on your behalf, including waiting time. Letters dispatched on your behalf and received are charged at six minutes per page, telephone calls made and received are charged in six minute units. All other work is charged on the basis of time actually spent.

6.4      Should it become necessary for us to incur travel costs, overnight expenses or to work away from the office after 8pm in relation to your matter, we reserve the right to recover our relevant costs.

With regard to overnight accommodation costs, these will be reasonable and appropriate, dependant on the circumstances. We also reserve the right to charge a fixed fee of £20.00 for an evening meal and £10.00 for breakfast, where an overnight stay was necessary. We will attempt to discuss any such anticipated expenses with you, prior to them being incurred.

With regard to travel expenses incurred in relation to your matter, when using a personal car, we will charge you the standard mileage rate per mile as determined by HMRC from time to time. When using public transport, we will endeavour to use standard class rail or appropriate taxi fares where suitable public transport is not available.

6.5      Different members of the firm charge their time at different hourly rates which are generally divided into the following categories on a reducing scale:

a)    Partners

b)    Associate Solicitors

c)    Assistant Solicitors

d)    Conveyancers and Legal Executives

e)    Trainees

f)     Legal Clerks

If you are potentially liable to pay our costs based on time spent on your file, you will be told the hourly rates of the Legal Adviser having the conduct of your case in the letter referred to in section 1.2.

6.6      Our hourly rates are reviewed in December of each year and we reserve the right to increase our charge rate. Any change in the hourly rate applicable to your case will be notified to you.

6.7      In certain transactions of particular complexity or involving substantial financial consideration or benefit or when there is a particular urgency, our charges may be calculated by both reference to time spent and value element. The value element reflects the importance of the transaction to you and the consequent responsibility upon the firm. If we consider a value element is appropriate, you will be notified of this fact

6.8      Unless you have entered into a contingency or conditional fee arrangement with us (“no win no fee”) then our charges are payable whether or not the case is successfully concluded or a transaction completes. We will be happy to discuss with you any abatement of our normal charges where we feel that the circumstances merit special consideration.

6.9      Within any estimate of our fees we will try to estimate the costs of disbursements such as barrister’s fees and search fees. Please note however that it is sometimes difficult for us to assess what disbursements will be incurred and at what cost. Where it is necessary for us to incur disbursements on your behalf, you will be asked to put us in funds to enable us to make the payment.

6.10   If you would like to set a ceiling on the costs which may be incurred without prior reference to you we will be happy to try to agree a sum with you and you should discuss this with the Legal Adviser having conduct of your case.

6.11   At the start of your case and periodically afterwards, we shall be asking you for a sum of money on account of our future costs. This is in accordance with normal solicitors’ practice. We will agree a payment on account with you on a case by case basis, but as a guideline we would normally be looking for a payment which approximately covers the value of the anticipated work for the following two months. We may, where we consider it appropriate, require other security for our fees before starting or continuing work.

6.12   In property transactions, an account will normally be rendered following the exchange of contracts and if funds are required from you payment will be expected prior to completion, allowing time to clear any payment by cheque. Where sufficient funds are available on completion we will usually deduct our charges from such funds unless otherwise agreed or paid prior to completion.

6.13   In the administration of estates it is our usual practice to deliver interim accounts at intervals during the administration. An interim bill will normally be submitted when a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration have been obtained. If it then transpires that it will take some time to complete the administration, further accounts will be rendered periodically and the final account will be presented when the estate accounts are delivered for approval. We will usually deduct our charges from funds in the estate if available, if not payment by you will be required.

6.14   In other protracted matters carried out on your behalf, it will be our practice to deliver interim accounts approximately every month. This assists our cash flow and helps you budget for any legal fees.

6.15   Any delay in settling an interim account means that we shall be unable to act further on your behalf and the full cost of any work done will be immediately charged to you.

6.16   In privately paid matters the amount of each account rendered to you by the firm is a debt due from you and where no agreement has been reached to the contrary, payment should be made without deduction by way of set-off, counterclaim or otherwise. Where payment is not made within one month, interest will be added to our costs. See Section 12 for further details.

6.17   We will also make a reasonable charge for any detailed costs’ calculation requested.

6.18   The common law entitles us to retain any money, papers or other property belonging to you which properly come into our possession pending payment of our costs, whether or not the property is acquired in connection with the matter for which the costs were incurred. This is known as a “lien”. We are not entitled to sell property held under a lien but we are entitled to hold property, other than money, even if the value of it greatly exceeds the amount due to us in respect of costs.

6.19   Ways to pay:

a)    By cheque: Send your cheque made payable to Bell & Buxton Solicitors to Telegraph House, High Street, Sheffield, S1 2GA. Please quote your client reference number on the reverse of the cheque to ensure your account is credited.

b)    By Credit/Debit Card: We accept Visa, MasterCard and all major debit cards (except American Express). Simply telephone 0114 249 5969 and ask for cashiers who will take your details. Please note there is a small transaction fee when payment by this method is chosen.

c)    By Cash: At our office during normal working hours. We can only accept a maximum of £500.00 in cash unless you are paying a bill for our costs when there is no limitation.

d)    By Direct Banking: To make payment using the telephone or other remote services offered by the Banks or Building Societies, please quote the following sort code 16-00-08 and Bank Account Number 11336629 followed by your client number and name. The information will allow your Bank/Building Society to make payment correctly on your behalf.

e)    By Standing Order. If you have arranged to pay your bill by instalments, these can be made by Standing Order: Call the Cashiers on the above number to request a Mandate Form.

To help you guard against online fraud, please note that we will never change our bank details via email. Please be careful to check account details with us in person if in any doubt as we will not accept responsibility if you transfer funds to an incorrect account.

7      Public Funding (formerly Legal Aid)

7.1      We no longer offer this service.

8      If You Wish To Contest Our Charges

8.1      Please try to resolve any problem about our charges with the Legal Adviser responsible for dealing with your matter. If that is not successful, please refer your complaint to the Client Care Partner (see Section 4).

8.2      If, having gone through our complaints procedure, you are not satisfied with the amount of our charges then you are entitled to have them reviewed. This involves you applying to have the bill reviewed by the Court by way of detailed assessment. Further information about these procedures is set out on our invoices.

8.3      Please note that there are restrictions on the exercise of these rights, in particular time limits. If you are unhappy about any bill you receive from us you should contact the Legal Adviser dealing with your case straight away and you may have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (see Section 4).

9      Costs Recovered

9.1      In the event that you are successful in court proceedings, you may be entitled to payment of costs by some other party to the proceedings. The amount of our costs is normally determined by a procedure called ‘taxation’ or ‘assessment’. However, it is rare for this procedure to result in the other party having to pay the full amount of the costs. It is therefore very important for you to be aware that even in the event of a successful outcome, you are likely to be responsible for payment of some of your legal fees. In the event that we cannot obtain actual payment of our costs from another party, despite an Order in your favour, you will have to bear our costs yourself. If the other party has the benefit of a Public Funding Certificate (Legal Aid) it will be particularly difficult to obtain your costs from him/her, even if you win your case. Any interest received on costs payable to another party will be retained by us.

9.2      Most litigation requires a considerable personal time contribution from the client. The time and expense of working on your own case and instructing your Legal Adviser is unlikely to be able to be recovered.

9.3      The other person will not be liable to pay the VAT element of your costs if you are able to recover the VAT yourself.

9.4      You will also be responsible for paying our charges and expenses of seeking to recover any costs that the Court orders the other party to pay to you.

10  Liability for Another Party’s Costs

10.1   Please be aware that in the event that you lose a case against you or you are not successful in your own action, you may incur liability in respect of the other party’s costs.

10.2   A client who is unsuccessful in a Court case may be ordered to pay the other party’s legal charges and expenses. That money would be payable in addition to our charges and expenses. Arrangements can be made to take out insurance to cover liability for such legal expenses. Please discuss this with us if you are interested in this possibility.

11  Credit Control

11.1   We are confident that difficulties are unlikely to arise over payment of our fee but it may be helpful to explain at this stage our credit control system. All accounts which are not settled within 14 days are passed automatically from the department within which the work has been carried out to our internal Credit Control Department. That department will take over responsibility for recovering monies owed to us, including interest charged as stated on the invoice or otherwise, 30 days from the date of issue. Please note that if we are unable to obtain payment of our costs, we normally commence court proceedings for recovery of them.

11.2   It is very important that if you have a problem with our bill, you should raise the matter immediately upon receipt of it with the Legal Adviser responsible for dealing with your case. If you do not, you may lose the rights referred to in section 7 and also become liable for interest and additional costs incurred in the debt recovery process.

12  Termination

12.1   You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents for such time as there are any outstanding amounts owing to us. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell us this clearly in writing.

12.2   If we decide to stop acting for you, for example if you do not pay an interim bill, or comply with the request for a payment on account, we will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing.

12.3   We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, (i) you do not pay an interim bill; or (ii) you fail to comply with a request for payment on account; or (iii) you cannot give clear or proper instructions on how to proceed; or (iv) to continue to act for you would place us in breach of our professional rules; or (v) it is clear that you have lost confidence in how we are carrying out our work on your behalf. In all circumstances, conduct rules permitting, we must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.

13  Limited Companies

15.1  When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company we may require a director/controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of the company. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and to require immediate payment of our charges and expenses as set out earlier.

14  Limiting Liability for Professional Negligence

16.1  Except only to the extent that the law does not permit us to exclude or limit our liability, the total liability of this firm, its partners and employees in connection with or arising directly or indirectly from any matter on which you instruct us will be limited to an aggregate amount of £2,000,000. This limit will cover all claims of any sort whatsoever whether arising in contract negligence or otherwise and all losses or damages including interest, costs and expenses (but excluding any liability for death or personal injury arising out of our negligence). 

15  Communication Between You and Us

15.1   Our aim is to offer all our clients an efficient and effective service at all times. We strive to improve continuously the service to our clients through staff training and development.

15.2   We will aim to communicate with you by such method as you may request. We may need to virus check discs or email. Unless you withdraw consent, we will communicate with others when appropriate by email or fax but we cannot be responsible for the security of correspondence and documents sent by email or fax.

15.3   The Data Protection Act requires us to advise you that your particulars are held on our database. We may from time to time use these details to send you information on matters we think may be of interest to you.

15.4   Where we act for two or more clients jointly it is on the clear understanding that we are authorised to act on instructions from either, both or any of them.

16  Storage of Papers & Deeds

16.1   We are required by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority to store Clients’ files for anything up to 18 years. In view of the number of cases handled by us we, in common with most other firms, arrange to store our files for various periods between 6 and 18 years according to the matter type and then destroy them. As some papers in the file are your property we wish to inform you now of our policy and give you the opportunity to request the return of your papers at the conclusion of the case. If you do require them please inform the Legal Adviser dealing with your case. If you do not then we shall assume that you are happy for the papers to be destroyed with the rest of the file, in accordance with our general policy.

16.2   We do not charge for storing your completed files, deeds, wills or securities. However, we do reserve the right to make a reasonable charge if there is any extra work involved in recovering documents from storage.

17  Privacy Notice

17.1   Bell & Buxton LLP is a UK legal practice (www.bellbuxton.co.uk), providing professional legal services to clients across the UK and sometimes abroad. All references to “Bell & Buxton”, “the firm” and “the Partnership” on this website mean Bell & Buxton LLP.

17.2   Bell & Buxton LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC322707. It is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, whose rules can be obtained from www.sra.org.uk/handbook/.

17.3   How we use the information you provide

In the process of carrying out our services it is important for the firm to retain personal data about you, for the purpose of dealing with your legal matter. Your information is a contractual requirement. Failure to provide it will mean that we will be unable to proceed with your case and provide you with the services you have requested.

17.4   Categories of personal data include, but are not limited to: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Telephone Number, Bank Name, Account Number and Sort Code.

17.5   The collection of this personal data is a regulatory requirement for us, in order to comply with our obligations under the law and as set by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. We will need to process your data for the purposes of identification checks and anti-money laundering checks and also to allow us to act on your behalf in your matter.

17.6   We may also retain and process your personal data in order to inform you of the full professional services which we provide.

17.7   Who we share your information with.

For the purpose of dealing with your matter we may share your personally identifiable information with:

  • Organisations which provide a service to us or act on our behalf, on the understanding that they will keep the information confidential, for example, our IT providers, Accountants, Barristers, Experts and Surveyors, to name a few. If they are located in another country (which may be outside the European Economic Area) we will make sure that they agree to apply the same levels of protection as we are required to apply to information held in the UK and to use your information only for the purpose of providing the service to us.
  • Any third party to whom we have a duty to do so in order to satisfy any legal or regulatory requirements, such as The Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority, The Legal Ombudsman, HMRC and HM Courts and Tribunal Service to name a few.

17.8   When you provide personally identifiable information to us, we use it solely for the purposes for which it was provided in accordance with this notice. Our policy is not to share personally identifiable information with third parties, unless required by law or as required to perform our obligations to you or as necessary as described.

17.9   The personal information you provide to us will be retained only for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected or as required by law.

17.10Your Rights

From 25 May 2018, under the General Data Protection Regulations, you have a number of ‘rights’, to ensure that your personal information is being managed appropriately. Specifically, you have the right:

  • To be informed
  • Of access
  • To rectification
  • To erasure
  • To restrict processing
  • To data portability
  • To object
  • In relation to automated decision-making and profiling.

17.11You have the right to object to your data being used for Direct Marketing purposes. You can be removed from our marketing database at any time by clicking ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of our e-bulletins.

17.12Who should you contact?

In the event that you are concerned about the way your personal information is being managed by Bell & Buxton LLP you should, in the first instance, contact our Data Protection Officer, Charlotte Akpinar, at c.akpinar@bellbuxton.co.uk for further information. You also have the right to complain to the Supervisory Authority (ICO at www.ico.org.uk) about our data processing activities.

18  Money Laundering

18.1   Anti-money laundering procedures are now a requirement for the legal profession.

18.2   Our procedures include certain rules to establish satisfactory evidence of your identity and the validity of your instructions. For this reason you will be asked to provide such evidence e.g. for an individual, a current full valid Passport and a recent utility bill, council tax bill or bank statement. For a limited company, a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation together with an up-to-date copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. We must also identify directors of the company (as above) and the nature of their business. You may also be required to answer additional enquiries about the basis of any transaction which forms part of your case.

18.3   Where such evidence of identity or information is requested and not provided, we will terminate our retainer.

18.4   Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception. Legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Crime Agency by making a Suspicious Activity Report. If this happens, we may not be able to inform you that this has been done or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits our disclosing anything which might prejudice an investigation.

18.5   Recent case law concerning this legislation has decided that in certain circumstances your right to confidentiality overrides this obligation to report. This can cause us serious professional difficulties and we wish to make it clear that by continuing to instruct us in this matter you are waiving your right to protection from disclosure in such an eventuality.

19  Equality & Diversity

19.1  We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees.

20  Financial Services and Regulation

20.1   We are not regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but we are able, in certain circumstances, to offer a limited range of investment services to clients because we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We can provide these services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide.

20.2   If during your matter you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

20.3   If you have any problem with the financial service we provide to you, then please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly through our internal procedures (see paragraph 4.3). If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, then we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which provides a complaints and redress scheme.

21 Interest and Commissions

21.1  Money received on your behalf will be held in our client account. Subject to a minimum amount of £20 over the whole period for which the money is held, interest will be calculated and paid to you at the Royal Bank of Scotland interest rate from time to time on Solicitors’ Reserve Account. Interest is credited gross. If we receive commission relating to your matters from a financial institution, brokers or others, then unless we have agreed other arrangements we will account to you for that commission.

22  Feedback Questionnaire

22.2  At the end of your case you may be asked to complete a short feedback questionnaire. Please take the time to do this. It helps us to improve our service and we are always interested in our clients’ views.

23  LLP status and Exclusion of Liability of Individuals

23.1  Bell & Buxton Solicitors LLP has been incorporated as a Limited Liability Partnership and is a legal entity in its own right distinct from its members. Although we continue to use the term “Partner” as an alternative to “member” there is no partnership between the members of the firm or between the individual member on the one hand and the firm on the other. All members, consultants and employees of the firm are acting solely on behalf of the firm and not in their individual capacity. In no circumstances will any such person assume personal responsibility to you for any advice or work given or carried out whilst a member or employee of the firm. No duty of care is owed to you by any such person whether they are member, employee or consultant and any such duty which might otherwise be owed as a matter of law is excluded. You agree that you will not bring any claim whether in contract, tort or otherwise against any member, employee or consultant in connection with or arising out of any services provided to you by or on behalf of the firm.

24  Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

     24.1  Where a transaction gives rise to an obligation to submit a Land Transaction Return to HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) this must be submitted within 30 days of the Effective Date of the transaction accompanied by all SDLT payable.

     24.2  The Effective Date may not be completion, but may be an earlier date; for example, the date where possession is taken, or rent paid, or 90% of the purchase price paid. In certain circumstances, valuation reports may have to be obtained and retained to support the calculation of the SDLT payable.

     24.3  Whilst we can assist you in completing the detailed forms required, we cannot sign the return for you. The legislation requires the taxpayer to sign the return personally and emphasises that it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to ensure that the return is full and correctly completed. There are both financial and criminal sanctions for failure to make the return or pay the full SDLT.

     24.5  The legislation imposes an obligation on the taxpayer to retain all records relevant to a transaction and the calculation of SDLT for a period of 6 years.

     24.6  If we are to assist and advise you, it is essential that you provide all the information that we request so we can complete the Land Transaction Return. It is imperative that you check and sign the form and send it back to us as soon as possible. For individual taxpayers we will require your national insurance number, which may not be readily to hand.

     24.7  We reserve the right not to complete a transaction unless we have received from you a duly completed and signed Land Transaction Return and any SDLT due in cleared funds well ahead of time so that we can submit the form and SDLT before the deadline.

     24.8  Our quoted costs include the cost of assisting you in the submission of a Land Transaction Return, but do not include the cost of assisting you in connection with any subsequent HMRC investigation or any delay or error on your part in returning the Land Transaction Return. In such circumstances we reserve the right to make an additional charge which will be based on the hourly rates which have been notified to you.

25  Banking Arrangements

     25.1  Save where otherwise expressly agreed with you in writing all moneys which we hold on your behalf will be held by us in a client account or client designated deposit account maintained by us in accordance with the Solicitor’s Accounts Rules 2011 at a bank or building society as defined by the Solicitors Act 1974. We are not liable to you for any default on the part of such bank or building society or for any damage, losses, costs or expenses that you may suffer or incur as a result of any such default. Nothing in these terms and conditions or the terms of the retainer in respect of any individual matter or the conduct of any such matter shall imply acceptance on our part of any such liability.

     25.2  If we put monies we hold on your behalf into a client account or client designated deposit account maintained by us as mentioned above, then any interest rate to be paid in respect of those monies which is notified to you is liable to change without notice. We will not notify you of any change in that rate unless you specifically require us in writing to do so – in which case we reserve the right to make a charge for doing so – and we will not be liable for any loss of interest suffered by you as a result of any change in interest rates.

26 Mortgagees

26.1  In cases where we are also acting for your proposed lender, we have a duty to fully reveal to your lender all relevant facts about the purchase and mortgage. This includes any differences between your mortgage application and information we receive during the transaction and any cash back payments or discount schemes that a seller is giving you.

27  Distance Selling Regulations

27.1  In circumstances where we have not met with you the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 apply to our work. This means you have the right to cancel your instructions to us within seven working days of receiving this letter. You can cancel your instructions by contacting us by post or by fax to this office. Once we have started work on your file or you have returned to us a copy of our Terms of Business, however, you may be charged if you then cancel your instructions.

28 Provision of Services Regulations

28.1  In accordance with our obligations under the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, our Vat Registration Number is 308 4900 66, details of our compulsory professional indemnity insurance are available on request from our Practice Manager at our usual address and further details of the professional rules which apply to this Firm are available from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (http://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page, 0370 606 2555 or Solicitors Regulation Authority, Ipsley Court, Berrington Close, Redditch, B98 0TD).

29Conclusion

29.1  We hope that this document, together with the accompanying letter issued to you, will provide all the information you require regarding the non-legal issues relating to your case. However, our aim is to provide you with the best service possible and if, as mentioned in section 1, you want something explained further or if you consider something is missing, please contact the Legal Adviser dealing with your case and he or she will be able to help and advise you.

29.2  The contents of the Client Care Statement and the letter which accompanies it will form the terms and conditions of our business relationship with you. Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to acceptance of these terms and conditions.