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Ashbourne: 01335 345454

Ashby: 01530 412046

Derby (Conveyancing): 01332 200200

Derby (Wills & Probate): 01332 380 848

Duffield: 01332 841115

Manchester: 0161 3810191

South Normanton: 01773 580280

Ripley: 01773 747000

Shirebrook: 01623 747270

Stafford: 01785 748507

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1)    OUR AIM
2)    HOURS OF BUSINESS
3)    COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
4)    MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS / THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002
5)    OUR CHARGES – PRINCIPLES FEES AND PAYMENT CHARGES
6)    FINANCIAL SERVICES ADND PROVIDING EXEMPT INSURANCE MEDIATION
7)    TERMS OF BUSINESS
8)    CONFIDENTIALITY
9)    DATA PROTECTION
10)    STORAGE OF PAPERS AND DEEDS
11)    DISBURSEMENTS AND FEE ESTIMATE
12)    PRE-CONTRACT SEARCHES
13)    VALUATION
14)    INSURANCE OPTIONS AS A RESULT OF ADVERSE ENTRIES ON SEARCHES OR ON THE TITLE
15)    PAYMENT OF INTEREST
16)    MORTGAGE MONIES
17)    PAYMENT OF OTHER ACCOUNTS AND RELEASE OF MONIES
18)    TAX AND PLANNING ADVICE
19)    APPOINTMENTS
20)    REGISTRATION WITH THE LAND REGISTRY
21)    EQUALITY & DIVERSITY
22)    INSURANCE
23)    FORCE MAJEURE
24)    SWEDISH DEPOSIT GUARANTEE SCHEME

25)    CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS (CPR)
26)    HELP TO BUY ISA SCHEME INFORMATION
27)    GREEN DEAL SCHEME
28)    CONFLICT OF INTEREST
29)    REGULATIONS AFFECTING YOUR CANCELLATION RIGHTS


Thank you for instructing Simpson Jones LLP to act for you.

This Terms of Business contains important details about your file and the way it will be handled.  Please take a few moments to read it carefully as it forms part of the Agreement between us and you should be read in conjunction with any estimate of Fees provided.

When you have read this document, please sign and return the duplicate copy to confirm you are happy for us to represent you in your transaction.

1)    OUR AIM

To offer clients a friendly, professional, and personal legal service.  With this in mind, we have clear objectives for communicating with you and keeping you informed on what is happening on your matter; the main objectives are set out below:-

i)    We will always attempt to return telephone calls on the same day.  If the person you wish to speak to is unavailable, someone will call you to explain and help you as far as they can.
ii)    All letters, e-mails and facsimiles will be answered promptly.
iii)    If you require an appointment to see the person dealing with your matter, then contact that person or their secretary or our receptionist who will make the necessary arrangements.  We will attempt to see you at a date and time you request, but in any case within five working days.  We will endeavour to deal with all genuine emergencies immediately.
iv)    We will keep you fully informed as to what is happening in your matter, including providing you with copies of all relevant documents and letters, and updating you from time to time.
v)    We will always try to communicate with you in plain language.


2)    HOURS OF BUSINESS
Our offices are open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday. Whenever possible we will arrange home appointments for clients who are not able to get into the office, and we will also arrange appointments outside normal hours where necessary. We also have an answering machine so that you may leave a message for us when the office is closed.

3)    COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

We hope you will have no complaint. To underline how seriously we take complaints, we have a set Complaints Procedure which can be summarised as follows: (a copy of our full complaints procedure is available on request):-

3.1) If you have any complaint or observation (good or bad) about our service, please say so.
Raise any complaint first with the Fee Earner assigned to your matter, including any complaint about your bill.
If this does not resolve it satisfactorily, tell the Supervising Partner responsible for your case.
If this does not resolve it satisfactorily, contact Joanne Jones, the Partner nominated by the practice to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of any complaint.

If still unresolved at this stage, you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Normally, you will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint or alternatively 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago).

Contact details:
The address of the Legal Ombudsman is: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; telephone, 0300 555 0333; or view their website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk, email enquiries to:  enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
A complainant to the Legal Ombudsman must be one of the following:
•    An individual;
•    A micro-enterprise as defined in European Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 (broadly, an enterprise with fewer than 10 staff and a turnover or balance sheet value not exceeding €2 million);
•    A charity with an annual income less than £1 million;
•    A club, association or society with an annual income less than £1 million;

•    A trustee of a trust with a net asset value less than £1 million; or a personal representative or the residuary beneficiaries of an estate where a person with a complaint died before referring it to the Legal Ombudsman.

•    If you do not fall into any of these categories, you should be aware that you can only obtain redress by using our Complaints Handling Procedure or by mediation or arbitration, or by taking action through the Courts.
Kindly note that you have the right to object to your bill by making a complaint to the appropriate body referred to above and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors' Act 1974 and, if all or part of our bill remains unpaid, we may be entitled to charge interest.

Exclusions

We shall not be obliged to comply with section 3 above in relation to any Dispute in which we seek: -

3.9a) an order or award (whether interim or final) restraining you from doing any act or compelling you to do any act; or

3.9b) a judgment or award for a liquidated sum to which here is no arguable defence (provided that the exception shall cease to apply and the Dispute may be referred to arbitration on the application of either party if the court decides that you should have permission to defend the claim); or

3.9c) the enforcement of any agreement reached or any binding order, award, determination or decision made pursuant to section 3 above,
nor shall anything in this section inhibit us at any time from serving any form of demand or notice or from commencing or continuing with any bankruptcy, winding up or other insolvency proceedings.

4)   MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS / THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002

In accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the Money Laundering Regulations, we confirm:

•    Simpson Jones Solicitors is the data controller;

•    Chris Harris is the nominated representative / data protection officer; and

•    We will only process any documentation or personal data received from you in respect of client due diligence for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing unless (a) use of that data is permitted by or under any enactment or (b) you give your express consent for the documentation or personal data to be used for other forms of processing.

We are required to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations and in particular to verify the identity and permanent address of all new Clients.  This is to ensure that the policy adopted worldwide by Financial and Government Authorities to prevent the use of laundering systems to disguise the proceeds of crime is achieved.
Individual Clients:

If you are a new client or an existing client who has not previously supplied information, you are requested to supply the following; one item from List A and one item from List B (please note we require certified copies if you are sending these by post or if you are bringing in the original documents to our offices – we will make certified copies here).

LIST A – Proof of Identity
1. Current fully signed Passport
2. Current full UK Photocard Driving Licence.

LIST B – Address Verification
1. A bill for the supply of electricity, gas, water or telephone services (provided it is fewer than three (3) months old).  Mobile phone bills are not acceptable.
2. Television Licence renewal notice.
3. Council Tax bill (provided it is fewer than three (3) months old).
4. Recent Tax Coding Notice.
5. Recent Mortgage Statement.
6. Credit Card/Bank Statement (provided it is fewer than three (3) months old) showing current address.

Body Corporate:
If you are a new or existing body corporate client not listed on a regulated market who has not previously supplied information, we will require the following:
1.    Company / organisation full name;
2.    Company or other registration number;

5)    OUR CHARGES – PRINCIPLES FEES AND PAYMENT CHARGES

Our experience has shown that the Solicitor/Client relationship works best when there is common understanding about fees and payment terms.  This Memorandum outlines briefly how we calculate fees, deal with invoices and settle disbursements paid out by us on your behalf.

5.1.    OUR COSTS

5.1.1.    Solicitors are obliged by law to charge Clients for work in a fair and reasonable way with due regard to:
•    the complexity, difficulty and novelty of the matter
•    the degree of specialised skill/knowledge and responsibility involved
•    the time spent
•    the number and importance of documents involved
•    the circumstances of the case
•    the value of any money or property involved
•    the importance of the matter to the client

5.1.2.    Our normal practice is to first look at the time spent on this work and calculate an initial charge by reference to an hourly rate.  To the extent that the foregoing considerations are relevant, we will then take those into account and apply a percentage uplift if appropriate.

The charging rate to be applied in this matter is set out as follows:
•    Partner at £220.00 plus VAT per hour.
•    Senior Conveyancer and Solicitor at £200.00 plus VAT per hour.
•    Conveyancer £180.00 plus VAT per hour.

We reserve the right to increase our charging rates.  Any change in the hourly rates applicable to your matter will be notified to you.

5.1.3.    You may at any time set a limit on the costs which may be incurred without further reference to you and we shall be pleased to discuss with you a realistic limit.

5.1.4.    Should any matter not be carried through to completion for any reason then:

i)    A charge will be made in respect of work already undertaken.  VAT, where applicable, would of course be payable on that amount and our invoice would also cover any expenses or disbursements incurred.

ii)    Depending on the amount of work done, our charges may be a small proportion of the charges that would have been billed had the matter been completed or may be almost at the full amount.

iii)    The right to charge for work done will apply to documents prepared but not signed by the client.

5.2.    EXPENSES AND DISBURSEMENTS

5.2.1.    In carrying out your work, we will probably incur additional costs.  These are of two types:

•    Expenses such as travel, photocopying and bank charges.  These will normally be included in our total charges for legal services but in some circumstances they will be charged as a specific item, which will be shown separately.

•    Fees to third parties expended on your behalf.  For example, registration fees, search fees, court fees, Stamp Duty, travel charges, agency fees.  These will be shown separately on our invoice.  Postage will be charged as a separate disbursement and is subject to VAT.

Although we try to include all relevant expenses and disbursements in our invoice, there may be some times we ourselves receive invoices for outlays on your behalf some time later.  In these circumstances it will be necessary to render a supplementary invoice to cover the additional outlays.

5.3.    PAYMENT

5.3.1.    Where the matter concerned is likely to be protracted or we are engaged to carry out general day by day work, we will charge in one of two ways:

•    Payments on account against an amount estimated by us to be the likely fee, with the balance payable on completion of the matter and the rendering of the invoice, OR

•    Periodic interim billing where invoices will be raised according to works undertaken either up to an agreed amount or at agreed intervals.
Each arrangement should assist you in your forward cash projections.
All charges are payable within 7 days of our invoice.
We are more than happy to accept all or part of our costs or disbursements be payment from your credit card or debit card; simply ask when you wish to pay and we will arrange it for you.
We can also take your payment by telephone to save you a visit.  For payment by credit card there is an administration charge of 2% with a minimum charge of 50 pence on amounts of £20.00 and under.  We reserve the right to charge for debit cards.


6)    FINANCIAL SERVICES ADND PROVIDING EXEMPT INSURANCE MEDIATION

Sometimes Conveyancing, commercial property and Wills and Probate matters involve investments. We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.  However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we may carry out insurance mediation activity, which is mainly the advising on, selling, and administration of insurance contracts.  This part of our business including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  The register can be accessed via the Financial Services website at http://www.fca.org.uk/register

The Law Society is a designated professional body for purpose of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions.  The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulator for Solicitors and the Legal Complaints Service is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.


7)    TERMS OF BUSINESS

It is our normal practice to ask Clients to make payment on account of any anticipated costs and disbursements.  It is helpful if you can meet the request promptly but if there is any difficulty, please let us know as soon as possible.

We usually deliver bills upon completion but reserve the right to deliver bills to you at regular intervals, i.e. every three months for the work carried out during the conduct of the matter.  This assists our cash flow and also enables you to budget for costs.

We reserve the right, in the event of non-payment of our account or where it is agreed that our costs may be paid entirely at the end of the matter, to make credit checks of a credit agency.

We are sure that you will understand that in the event of a payment not being made when we ask for one, we must reserve the right not to undertake any further work for you until payment is made and that the full amount of the work done up to that date will become due to you.  Also you WILL BECOME LIABLE FOR INTEREST if payment is not made within 7 days of when payment is due.

If you wish to question any account rendered to you then in the first instance you should please try and resolve the problem with Ms Jones.  In non-contentious work you have the right under the Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 1994 which require us to obtain a remuneration certificate from the Legal Complaints Service, as to the reasonableness of our costs and in most matters you have the right under the Solicitors Act 1974 to have our costs considered by the Court (this is a process called “Taxation”)
There are time limits for you to challenge our costs in these ways and you should not delay in taking such action.

8)    CONFIDENTIALITY

We appreciate that on occasions you may have practical difficulties in contacting us in office hours and that on other occasions your spouse, partner or other member of the family might genuinely feel that they are being helpful in contacting us concerning your matter.  However, we must respect Client confidentiality and we are therefore unable to discuss your matter with any Third Party however well-meaning they might be.

8.1) Our Duty of Confidentiality

We will treat any information which is confidential to you and which we obtain as a result of acting for you as strictly confidential, save: -

8.1.1)    for the purpose of acting for you; or

8.1.2)    for disclosures to our auditors or other advisers or for the purposes of our professional indemnity insurance; or

8.1.3)    as otherwise required by law or other regulatory authority to which we are subject.

8.1.4)    We may refer publicly to your name as a client of ours, provided we do not disclose any information which is confidential to you.

8.1.5)    We shall be under no duty to disclose to you (or take into account in the course of providing the Services) any information acquired by us in acting for any other client or any information in respect of which we owe a duty of confidentiality to a third party.

8.2)  Your Duty of Confidentiality

8.2.1) Our advice and other communications with you are confidential and may not, without our consent, be disclosed by you to any third party (other than to your employees and agents who require access and who do not disclose it further) or otherwise made public except as required by law or other regulatory authority to which you are subject.

8.2.2)    If, as a result of our acting for you, you acquire any information in respect of which we notify you that we owe a duty of confidentiality to a third party you will keep it confidential and not use it without our consent.

9)    DATA PROTECTION

We will hold, control and process your personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. By providing your personal information to us, you explicitly authorise us to process the information for the purposes set out in this paragraph.  You can, at any time, request a copy of all information we hold relating to you by writing to us (a written Data Subject Access Request in accordance with the Data Protection Act). You will be charged an administration charge of £20 plus VAT for this. We may share your personal information with other companies if necessary during the process of your property transaction or any financial matter we believe may be of assistance to you.  If you provide information to us about another party, you confirm that such party authorises you to do so and consents to our processing that personal information.  During the course of the transaction we may need to correspond with yourself or other parties via email.  You confirm that the use of your personal information in such a way is authorised.

10)     STORAGE OF PAPERS AND DEEDS

We are happy to store your wills, deeds and other papers.  We do not make any charge for this service.
Once the matter has been completed your file may be scanned on to disc. Once the file has been processed the original will be destroyed.  The information will be held in accordance with the Law Society Rules for a minimum of six (6) years.  If you do not wish your original file to be destroyed, please inform us as soon as possible, otherwise we will assume you agree to the file being copied and destroyed.

Please note that this does not affect any Deeds or other securities which we may hold on your behalf, and these will still be kept in our deeds safe.  We make no charge for storing your file.  If, however, you require us to inspect this at any time once it has been processed, then we simply ask a modest fee which is currently £25.00 plus VAT.

11)     DISBURSEMENTS AND FEE ESTIMATE

Unless otherwise stated in writing, estimates of fees accompanying this letter include VAT at the current rate of 20% and are valid for a period of one month from the date given.  Disbursements, however, are liable to change by the relevant authorities without notice, although we will try to advise you beforehand, wherever possible. We will also inform you if any unforeseen work becomes necessary – due to unexpected difficulties or if your requirement or the circumstances change significantly.  We will also inform you of the estimated cost of the extra work before incurring additional costs.

In cases where you are having a mortgage, we have a duty to the Lender for whom we also usually act (even if we do not act, the Lender will employ their own Solicitors) to ensure that all Stamp Duty Land Tax procedures and also land registration procedures are properly carried out following completion.  In such cases, therefore, we will insist, as part of our retainer, that we complete the Stamp Duty Land Tax form and file it in the appropriate manner for the fee already quoted.

Please note that this quotation is made on the basis that the title to the property you are selling/purchasing is freehold.  Unless you have already indicated otherwise, this may already have been incorporated into your quotation.  

If it becomes apparent when we receive the Contract and supporting documentation that the property is leasehold/shared ownership or New Build or a combination of these, then the following additional charges will apply:-

i)    Leasehold or shared ownership - £200.00 plus VAT
ii)    New Build - £100.00 plus VAT
iii)    A New Build Leasehold/shared ownership - £250.00 plus VAT

Please note that this is due to the fact that the Contract and supporting documentation and enquiries which need to be dealt with on these types of matters are substantially more onerous and complicated.

12)     PRE-CONTRACT SEARCHES

We will carry out various investigations and searches regarding the property before you buy. If you are having a mortgage then your Lender will insist that we carry out on your behalf are a Local Authority search, a Water/Drainage Search and an Environmental Search (plus a Coal Authority search if the property is in a mining area). If anything out of the ordinary is found, we may take out additional searches such as subsidence, HS2 or flood searches. If you are not having a mortgage, then although you are not obliged to have these searches we would advise you that it would be in your own best interest to do so.  If you choose not to have any of the searches carried out, we will require you to sign a waiver, indicating that we have advised you that such searches should be carried out and that if, as a result of these searches not being carried out, you subsequently suffer loss or damage as a result of the property being subject to entries which the search would have revealed, you will not hold the firm responsible. Our partner for the provision of property searches is Property Information Exchange Ltd. The Local Search deals with matters such as the planning history of the property, whether there have been any recent Building Regulations, whether the road to which the property abuts is a public highway, whether the property is in a Smoke Control Zone, or subject to a Tree Preservation Order and whether there are any proposals for road works, or the like, in the vicinity.  The Water Search reveals whether the property is connected to the mains drains for foul water and surface water drainage and has a mains water supply and other matters pertaining to the drainage and water supply.  The Coal Authority Search reveals whether there are past of present underground or open-cast workings in the vicinity affecting the property and whether there is a history of claim for subsidence damage.  The Environmental Search reveals whether or not the property is likely to be regarded as contaminated land within the Environmental Protection Legislation and, if all is in order, provides an appropriate certificate.  If the Search Providers cannot offer such a certificate, there is not only the danger of the property suffering damage, or you suffering personal injury or injury to your health through contamination, but further possibility of having to pay a considerable amount of money for clean-up liability (as the liability attaches to the land owner, as well as the polluter, which the latter person cannot always be traced) and the property is likely to be unmarketable in your hands. Chancel Liability is a potential liability where the property may be subject to an obligation to contribute to the costs of the upkeep of the chancel of any church situated in the local area. Such obligations stem from medieval times where land, previously owned by the church to fund the local rector, had been sold and the new owner took on the repairing obligation attached to that land.  Basically any property located within the boundaries of a parish where such a liability exists could be ‘caught.’ The penalty is financial in that it involves paying for the upkeep and repair of the chancel of the local medieval parish church.

There was a famous case (Aston Cantlow v Wallbank) where the church sought payment from the owners of the rectorial land (it was part of a property called ‘Glebe Farm’) to repair the chancel of the local medieval church.  The owners of the rectorial land (known as lay rectors) refused to pay and what was originally a £6,000.00 bill increased to £96,000.00 as the structure slowly disintegrated.  Needless to say, the church won. This obligation is rare but potentially very expensive so we will obtain indemnity insurance to cover the potential risk.
Where you ARE HAVING A MORTGAGE or other finance for the purchase/re-mortgage, you actually have no choice as your Mortgagee will insist upon it as a precondition to your drawing down the advance.  
We will include the cost of this in your draft completion statement and commission the insurance for you (and your Mortgagee).

13)     VALUATION

Please note that once Contracts are exchanged you will have no recourse against the Seller against any defects.
Although a lender will insist on a valuation, this is only for the benefit of lending purposes and is a very limited inspection to usually only assess if the property meets the lender’s criteria.  The valuation should not be confused with a survey, which is a report on the condition of the property.  With this in mind, we recommend that Buyers should have a property survey (as opposed to a valuation) to highlight any major defects prior to exchange of Contracts.

14)    INSURANCE OPTIONS AS A RESULT OF ADVERSE ENTRIES ON SEARCHES OR ON THE TITLE

In many cases, difficulties raised by searches can be covered by insurance.  This also applies to difficulties revealed by the Title documents.  
These Title difficulties can arise from a number of factors, e.g;

i)    Property needing rights of way, especially over joint entries or passages, or rights to use services which are not covered at all, or by inadequate wording in the deeds (this often applies in the case of older properties.

ii)    In newer properties especially, developers impose what are known as ‘restrictive covenants’, which frequently require the builder’s consent to any subsequent additions or alterations to the property, even where planning consent is obtained, or is unnecessary.  These consents are often over-looked at the time the works are carried out.  In other cases, it is not always possible to trace the original developer.

iii)    It is not unusual for works to be carried out which require Building Regulation Approval and these are not obtained.  In recent years it has become a greater problem as Building Regulation Approval extends now to works of glazing, electrical installation, gas central heating and the like.

In all of the above cases, and in many more cases, insurance is a remedy, as opposed to trying to solve the actual problem.  The cost of this insurance is usually a one-off premium which varies according to the problem involved.  With lack of planning consent, the insurance premium can be several hundred pounds.  Title problems can cost upwards of £200.00, chancel liability problems usually cost in the region of £100.00, but can vary according to the value of the property and the type of cover required and lack of Building Regulation Approval premiums are sometimes as low as £40.00.

In cases where you are having a mortgage, the Lender will often insist upon insurance, even if you are not particularly concerned.  In these cases, we always endeavour to persuade the Seller, through the Seller’s Solicitors, to provide the insurance cover.  In some cases, Sellers are very reluctant to do so.  You then have the option of either funding the insurance premium yourself, or declining to go ahead with the purchase to see if this latter cause of action persuades the Seller, who will almost certainly encounter a similar problem on a future sale, to provide the cover.  If you are not having a mortgage you have the further option of not taking any steps at the time of your purchase and dealing with problems if and when they arise in the future.

15)     PAYMENT OF INTEREST

Any money received on your behalf will be held in our client account.  Interest will be calculated and paid to you at the rate set by Barclays Bank.  That of course may change.  The period for which interest will be paid normally runs from the date(s) when funds are received by us until the date(s) on the funds are issued to you.  The payment of interest is subject to a certain minimum amount and period of time set out in the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2011.  The Solicitors Accounts rules place a duty upon ourselves to notify you of our policy on interest at the outset of your case.  If requested interest will be paid where the amount calculated on the balance held exceeds £20.  Interest will be calculated on a daily basis using the average rates of interest offered to business customers.

16)     MORTGAGE MONIES

Please note that although we will always where possible request Lenders send the Mortgage Advance to us within the notice period that they stipulate, we have no control over when and at what time of the day we will actually receive the monies.  Moreover, if you request us to complete the transaction at very short notice you will run the risk that the Mortgage monies cannot be released in time with the result that you cannot complete on the day fixed which will almost certainly cause you considerable expense, worry and inconvenience.  We would reiterate that not only can we not control the time of day when a Lender will release funds to our bank but we have no control over when we will receive monies in our bank account from your Purchaser’s Solicitors where there is a chain of transactions.  The longer the chain of transactions behind you, the longer it will take for the monies to filter up the system.  We would point out that most Conveyancing Contracts contain a time, usually no later than 2pm, by which the transaction must be completed and technically failure to complete by that time is regarded as default under the Contract.  In the event the majority of Solicitors do not enforce this provision provided the completion monies are received in their bank account by 3.30pm which is the cut off time after which banks will not transfer any monies out of an account by CHAPS payments on that working day.  However, we cannot guarantee that a particular Firm of Solicitors will not stick rigidly to the contractual completion date in any particular case.

We would also reiterate that if Mortgage funds or funds from your Purchaser upon which you are reliant are not received by our bank by 3.30pm on the day of completion then we will not be able to transfer monies out to your Seller’s Solicitors which could again lead to your being unable to move on the due date with consequent expense, distress and inconvenience.  We will always do our best to ensure that things run smoothly but you must appreciate that we have absolutely no control over the Lenders or other Solicitors in the transaction or the bank systems and we cannot be held responsible for any loss or problems arising if the monies do not arrive in our bank in due time.

17)     PAYMENT OF OTHER ACCOUNTS AND RELEASE OF MONIES

Unless you specifically request that we do not do so we will clear any estate agents’ fees from the proceeds of sale.  We are obliged to clear all loans secured on the property before releasing funds to you.  Please note that your Lender/s may require us to redeem by way of Telegraphic Transfer only.  

In this event there will be a fee of £30.00 plus VAT for each Loan redeemed.  

In the event your Lender does not require redemption by Telegraphic Transfer then the redemption figure provided will require us to add a specific amount of daily interest (set by the Lender) to allow for clearance of the cheque.  

If a Lender gives a choice of Telegraphic Transfer or cheque, please note that unless you specifically instruct us to redeem by way of cheque the redemption monies will be telegraphically transferred, since generally we find the fee to be the same or less than the daily interest charged by your Lender.
 
We do not normally deal with settlements of any other accounts unless this has been arranged at the outset, for which a fee may be charged.  
 
Monies due to you will be released by cheque on the next working day following completion.  Unless otherwise arranged, cheques will be made payable to all parties to a transaction.  If you are likely to require the cheque payable to any other party, please arrange this at the outset.

If you would prefer monies to be transferred telegraphically into your own bank or building society this can be done in most cases, and a fee of £30.00 plus VAT for UK transfers and £40.00 plus VAT for international transfers will be charged.  Please note that for international transfers we will require written instructions including full account details and confirmation of the currency in which the monies are to be transferred – i.e; Euro’s, Sterling etc.  We do try as far as possible to ensure that clients receive monies due to them on the day of completion but sometimes this not possible, either due to late arrival of monies in our bank or other technical problems.  We will, however, advise you if arrival of monies in your bank is likely to be delayed.

18)     TAX AND PLANNING ADVICE

i)    Any work that we do for you may involve tax implications or necessitate the consideration of tax planning strategies.  We may not be qualified to advise you on the tax implications of a transaction that you instruct us to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising.  If you have any concerns in this respect, please raise them with us immediately.  If we can undertake the research necessary to resolve the issue, we will do so and advise you accordingly.  If we cannot, we may be able to identify a source of assistance to you.

ii)    We will not advise you on the planning implications of your proposed purchase unless specifically requested to do so by you, other than reporting to you on any relevant information provided by the results of the Local Search.  

19)     APPOINTMENTS

Appointments are available Monday to Friday 9.15am to 4.30pm.  If you have genuine difficulties in attending during these times, please let us know as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements can be made at the appropriate time.

20)     REGISTRATION WITH THE LAND REGISTRY

We must inform you that following completion we have certain procedures to complete before the title documents become available.  This involves making a return to the Stamp Duty Land Tax Office which is necessary whether or not duty is payable and then registering the change of ownership of title and any Mortgages you might have with HM Land registry.

 

21)     EQUALITY & DIVERSITY

Consistent with our internal policies and procedures, Simpson Jones LLP will not discriminate in the way we provide our Services on the grounds of age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality [including citizenship] ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy.

22)     INSURANCE

We have a legal duty to tell you about our professional indemnity insurance. We have an obligation to carry such insurance. Full details of our qualifying insurers is available for inspection upon request, from our registered office.

The insurance covers our practice carried on from our offices in England and Wales and will extend to acts or omissions wherever in the world they occur.  

23)     FORCE MAJEURE

Neither You nor We shall be liable for any failure to perform, or delay in performing, any obligations (other than payment and indemnity obligations) if and to the extent that the failure or delay is caused by Force Majeure and the time for performance of the obligation, the performance of which is affected by Force Majeure, shall be extended accordingly

24)     SWEDISH DEPOSIT GUARANTEE SCHEME

In the event of a banking failure it is unlikely that the firm would be held liable for any losses of client account money. We currently hold our client account funds in Handelsbanken. Handelsbanken is a Swedish bank which is covered by the Swedish Deposit Guarantee Scheme (SDGS) rather than the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The 100,000 Euros SDGS limit will apply to each individual client so if you hold other personal monies yourself in the same bank as our client account, the limit remains 100,000 Euros in total, so it may be advisable to check with your own bank as some banks now trade under different trading names.

In the event of a bank failure you agree to us disclosing details to the SDGS.

25)    CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS (CPR)

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (as amended) regulate transactions between traders and consumers and prohibit trading practices that amount to unfair commercial practices and misleading acts and omissions.  Neither You, the client, or Us, your legal representative, must mislead a buyer or tenant either by providing incorrect or ambiguous information, or by omitting to provide material information about the property You are selling.

Certain information will be revealed through searches and other enquiries of public databases, surveys and valuation reports. However, You must disclose to Us any known defects and other material adverse matters relating to the property known to You and failure to do so may mean that, in certain circumstances, the buyer or tenant would have rights of redress against You.

We encourage You to make all known disclosures as early in the transaction as possible to prevent delays.  
If We become aware of any such existence of material information, and You decline to authorise disclosure to the buyer or tenant, then We would have to consider whether it was possible to continue to act for You as the CPR’s impose a duty to act fairly towards You as Our client and also towards third parties, especially those that are unrepresented.

26)     HELP TO BUY ISA SCHEME INFORMATION

The Help to Buy ISA Scheme was launched by HM Treasury on 1st December 2015.  If you have taken out a Help to Buy ISA, then you may be eligible for a bonus payment of up to 25% of the closing balance of the Help to Buy ISA subject to a minimum bonus payment of £400 and a maximum of £3000 and provided that you and the property you are purchasing meet the eligibility criteria set out in HM Treasury ISA Scheme Rules.  The fee earner with conduct of your matter (who under the Help to Buy ISA Scheme is known as the Eligible Conveyancer) will be able to advise you on eligibility and, if appropriate, will undertake the necessary process to apply for any bonus payment.

If you are purchasing a property through the Help to Buy ISA Scheme, HM Treasury will be the Data Controller of any relevant personal data that is given, via the Eligible Conveyancer, to HM Treasury and to the Administrator and / or any sub-contractor of HM Treasury or of the Administrator, for the purposes of the Help to Buy: ISA Scheme.

The information will be disclosed to HM Treasury and the Administrator for the purposes of verifying the eligibility of a Help to Buy: ISA Bonus payment and payment of Bonus funds, carrying out audits of Eligible Conveyancers and any investigations or compliance work in accordance with the Scheme Rules.

By signing and dating a copy of these Terms of Business (or) the accompanying client care letter (or) the buyer questionnaire, you agree to us providing all necessary Relevant Personal Data to HM Treasury and to the Administrator and / or to any sub-contractor of HM Treasury or of the Administrator and to the processing of your Relevant Personal Data by any or all of the aforementioned parties.


27)     GREEN DEAL SCHEME

The Green Deal Scheme is a government driven initiative to allow for a loan to be provided on a property for the improvement of its energy efficiency.  The loan is repayable on a monthly basis, in conjunction with the power bills on the property. The loan will run with the property unless it is repaid on the sale or transfer of the property.
The seller(s) of the property are required, by law, to disclose the existence of any Green Deal loan on the property they are selling, or they may become liable for repaying the outstanding debt, even after they have sold the property. The Estate Agent/Seller must disclose the existence of a Green Deal loan agreement prior to a sale being agreed. If the property is being sold at auction, the existence of a Green Deal loan agreement should be disclosed before the winning bid is made.

The purchaser on a normal sale should be given an EPC showing the Green Deal improvement or an EPC and a disclosure document showing details of the work carried out under the Green Deal Scheme. This disclosure document will be provided by the energy provider on completion of the work as well as details of the repayment amount, the unexpired term of the loan and details of the loan provider.

Disclosure of the Green Deal loan must be made at least 7 days before the transaction or arrangement is entered into or if this is not practicable then the disclosure requirement must be satisfied as soon as practicable before the transaction is entered into. The seller must secure that the contract for sale includes an acknowledgment by the purchaser that they have received notice that the property is a Green Deal property and that the bill payer at the property is liable to make payments under the green deal plan and further that certain terms of that plan are binding on the bill payer.  

Whilst there are no charges, restrictions, notices or cautions registered when a property is a Green Deal property, the mortgage lender must be notified of the existence of the Green Deal loan because the borrower / new property owner is taking on another loan which runs with the property.  
If this applies to you, we will ask you to sign and return the [Declaration and Agreement Section] of the Client Care Letter we send to you confirming your authority for us to make any such disclosure to your mortgage lender.

Please note that we offer no guarantees/warranties in relation to the extent and nature of any works undertaken under the Green Deal Scheme.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you have satisfied yourself as to the extent, nature and repayment provision of any such works undertaken in accordance with the Green Deal Scheme.

We would recommend that all Green Deal loans be repaid by the seller on completion of the property transaction, as the value of the property will undoubtedly have already taken into account the work undertaken under the Green Deal loan.


28)     CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Definition
“Conflict of Interest” means any situation where:-

25.1 we owe (or, if we accepted your instructions, would owe) separate duties to act in the best interests of two or more clients in relation to the same or a related matter and those duties conflict, or there is a significant risk that those duties may conflict; or

25.2 our duty to act in your best interests in relation to a matter conflicts, or there is a significant risk that it may conflict, with our own interests in relation to that or a related matter; or

25.3 we have confidential information in relation to a client or former client, and you wish to instruct us on a matter where:-

25.3.1 that information might reasonably be expected to be material; and

25.3.2 you have an interest adverse to our other client or former client, and for the purposes of this paragraph “you” does not include Associated Entities.

25.4     Similar Activities
We may act for parties engaged in activities similar to or competitive with yours.

25.5    Third Parties
Once we have agreed to act for you in relation to a Matter, we will not act for a third party in relation to the same Matter if there is a Conflict of Interest between that third party’s interests and your interests.

25.6     Instructions Creating a Conflict of Interest
We may decline to act for you where accepting your instructions would create a Conflict of Interest or cause us to break an existing agreement with a third party.

25.7     Consent
Where our professional rules allow, and subject to satisfying the requirements of those rules (for example by implementing an information barrier), we may act for you and another client where a Conflict of Interest would otherwise exist, provided that we have the consent of both parties. We do not require your consent to act against an Associated Entity.

25.8     Cessation of Services
If, whether through a change in circumstances or otherwise, we find that we have agreed to provide Services to you in circumstances which give, or could give, rise to a conflict of interest we will discuss with you how to deal with the conflict and may, be obliged to stop providing Services to you and/or to all other clients affected by the Conflict of Interest.


29)     REGULATIONS AFFECTING YOUR CANCELLATION RIGHTS

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013:
If we have not met you either in person (because, for example, instructions and signing of the contract documentation is taking place by telephone/mail, e mail or on-line – i.e.: by way of a “distance” contract) or we have taken instructions and a contract has been concluded away from our business premises (because, for example, we have met with you at home - i.e.: by way of an “off-premises” contract) and the contract was entered into on or after 14 June 2014, you have the right to cancel this contract within 14 calendar days of entering into the contract without giving any reason.

The cancellation period will expire after 14 calendar days from the day of the conclusion of the contract.
To exercise your right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g.: a letter sent by post, fax or email. Should you require the work to be commenced within the 14 calendar day cancellation period, you must provide your agreement to that in writing, by email, post or fax to enable us to do so.  By signing and returning your client care letter, you are providing your agreement in writing to enable us to commence work within the 14 calendar day cancellation period. Where you have provided your consent for work to commence within the 14 calendar day cancellation period and you later exercise your right to cancel, you will be liable for any costs, VAT and disbursements incurred up to the point of cancellation.  Unless you make an express request for us to commence work within the 14-day period (i.e. by signing and returning the client care letter, we will not be able to undertake any work during that period.