By instructing BladeLaw, you are agreeing to be bound by the following terms. This agreement will be referred to as our retainer.
Requirement to Provide ID
Solicitors are under a regulatory obligation to positively identify their clients. BladeLaw will require you to provide two pieces of original (or certified copy) ID showing your name, address, date of birth and a photograph.
Basis of Charging
Where no fixed fee has been agreed, BladeLaw will charge £200 per hour +VAT.
Terms of Payment
Invoices must be paid within 7 days of issue unless sufficient funds are already held by us on account for you. Payments made by credit card, PayPal or direct debit will be subject to a handling fee of 3%, 4% and 2% respectively.
Interest on Late Payments
Where any payment is received late, BladeLaw will be entitled to charge simple interest on a daily basis at the rate of 4% per annum over the Bank of England base rate for the time being.
Interest on Funds Held BladeLaw will pay you interest on funds held by it for you at the Solicitors' Reserve Bank Rate for the time being so long as the total interest payable exceeds £40 in any one year. Otherwise no interest will be payable.
Funds on Account BladeLaw will generally require funds on account in advance of work being started. Such monies are held on a separate client account and only accessed by BladeLaw once the relevant work has been done and an invoice raised.
Alternative Funding Methods
Legal expenses can be met in a variety of ways. At our first meeting, we will discuss these with you. Not all funding options are available through all solicitors, but any solicitor can advise on what might be available and we will endeavour to do that.
We will generally return all original documents to you for safe storage. We will scan all documents and will not, generally, keep any hard copies. The electronic copies that we keep will be kept for six years. You agree that BladeLaw is entitled to retain documents, including those containing your personal information, for this period, in order to protect its own interests.
Authority to Instruct Experts, Locums, Counsel etc
If there is a need to instruct experts or other professionals, we will discuss the costs with you. unless there is no cost to you. By agreeing to our terms of business, however, you expressly give us permission to act as your agent in providing documents to professionals on a confidential basis in order to establish what help they may be able to provide at what cost and, subject to your instructions on costs where required, to instruct them, on your behalf to provide their services where appropriate.
Tax Advice BladeLaw is unable to provide any advice on tax. Most commercial legal advice will affect your tax position and you hereby agree that you will seek independent advice in this respect from a suitably qualified professional as required.
In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the service we provide, in the first instance, please contact Alexander May in writing, marking your letter or email "Complaint". Should you remain unhappy, you may be entitled to contact the Legal Ombudsman (www.legalombudsman.org.uk). This is not available to businesses, large charities or trusts. Alternative complaints bodies such as Small Claims Mediation (UK) Ltd (www.small-claims-mediation.co.uk) exist which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. We do agree to use this service. You may also be entitled to use the EU Online Dispute Resolution service available at: ec.europa.eu/odr. Details of the professional obligations on all solicitors are available at: sra.org.uk/handbook.
Risks of Litigation
If you are contemplating litigation, you should be aware that the costs can be very significant and difficult to control. This is because, in litigation, the costs incurred can depend on the other side and the court and, in some cases, the actions of either can be difficult to predict. Once a claim is brought to court, if it is withdrawn without a formal settlement agreement being in place, the court will normally order the claimant to pay the defendant’s costs just as it would normally order the loser to pay the winner’s costs at the end of a trial. Having said that, the costs awarded to the winner generally only amount to about 60% of their true costs. The rest, they tend to end up paying themselves. There are ways to improve the percentage and we will advise on those where appropriate.
Limitation of Liability
You agree that BladeLaw's liability to you shall be limited to £2,000,000 (in line with the limitation of our insurance coverage). This limit shall not exclude liability for death or personal injury or for any other risk where such limitation of liability would be unlawful. BladeLaw's professional liabilities are underwritten by W. R. Berkley UK Ltd of 34 Lime Street, London EC3M 7AT.
You must be aware that it is possible for emails to be forged. You must therefore take responsibility for checking that any email which appears to come from BladeLaw really does. For example, you should speak to us on the telephone before relying on any critical advice received by email.
Notice of Right to Cancel
You have the right to cancel this retainer within 14 days without giving any reason. To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform BladeLaw in writing of your decision to cancel by a clear statement. To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired. If you cancel this contract, we will reimburse to you all payments received from you. 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. If you requested to begin the performance of services during the cancellation period, you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to what has been performed until you have communicated us your cancellation, in comparison with the full coverage of the retainer.
Storage of Personal and Other Data
By agreeing to this retainer, you expressly acknowledge that BladeLaw will store your personal and other data (in paper and/or electronic form which may be accessible through automated means). You hereby authorise BladeLaw to perform that storage and to disclose your data for legitimate reasons to any authority having the right to demand it or where BladeLaw considers it to be in your interests to make such disclosure. You also acknowledge terms relating to document retention above.
Third Party Rights
This retainer is not intended to provide any rights to third parties.
It is agreed that no delay in the enforcement of obligations under this retainer shall be construed as a waiver of any right to such enforcement.
The parties agree that the rights and obligations agreed in this retainer shall not be capable of being assigned to any other without the other party to this agreement expressly agreeing that assignment in writing.
Intellectual Property Rights BladeLaw expressly reserves all its rights in relation to the intellectual property that it creates, utilises and/or passes on to clients for their use or information be that in emails, letters, other documents (hard-copy or electronic), through its website, social media or in any other way. Nothing done or said should be construed as in any way transferring any such rights unless an explicit, written contractual term is agreed between us otherwise. The client shall be entitled to use documents provided in the normal course of business.
No advice will be given on any law other than the law of England and Wales. Where appropriate, if required, we will attempt to assist you in obtaining such advice from foreign lawyers but will, under no circumstances, be in any position to advise you ourselves.
Law and Jurisdiction
This retainer and any dealings between us shall be subject to English law and we both agree that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide any dispute that might arise between us.
Where the client is more than one person, you each agree that any one of you is authorised to give instructions which can be accepted as if they had been received from all of you.