Solicitor Terms of Business

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE SEEKING YOUR CONSENT IN PARAGRAPH 6 AS WELL AS YOUR SIGNATURE ON THE LAST PAGE.
 

Our contract with you is contained in these terms and our correspondence (separate e-mail or letter) with you setting out the scope of the work to be carried out along with our hourly rate and fee estimate. Please read these carefully and contact us if you have any questions

  1. Our charges, expenses and disbursements

Our fees are based on the time spent by the fee earner on your file.  They are usually charged as units of 1/10th of an hour.

Nathalie Trousset’s hourly rate is £400 plus VAT.

The hourly rates are reviewed annually to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation, and any changes generally take effect from 1st January each year. 

You will be charged for the time spent on:

-Telephone calls - made and received to you or from you to any other professional relating to your file.
-Preparing and working on documents and/or pre-meeting reviewing of documentation.
-All correspondence (emails, letters, faxes) received or sent
-Legal research
-Internal discussions between fee earners or with external professionals relating to your file
-Meetings with you and/or others in relation to your file
-Carrying out due diligence for the purposes of complying with anti-money laundering legislation.
VAT will be added at the applicable rate.  

In exceptional circumstances, or if urgent action must be taken or work must be carried out outside of normal office hours, an extra charge might be added but you will contacted in advance either by telephone or via email to obtain your approval.

It may be necessary to make payments to third parties on your behalf in relation to work done for you (for example, surveyors, tax consultants, accountants, etc.).  We will usually require payment from you as soon as the quote is received in order to enable us to settle the invoice as quickly as possible.  You will, in all cases, be responsible for any or all sums charged including the French value added tax (TVA).

You will be charged for any photocopying, scanning of documents, couriers, postage or any other incidental charges.

You will be invoiced on a monthly basis. Please note that a 10% administration charge will be added to your invoice.

Payment is due to us on presentation of our invoice (our account details will be provided at the same time) and we reserve the right to charge you an interest charge of 8% on any amount outstanding on a daily basis as from the date the bill is presented until payment.  
    
Please state your full name and file number as stated in our reference on our correspondence with you.

Disputed invoices – We make every effort to avoid disagreements over our invoices, but we accept that there may be occasions where disagreements will arise. These terms do not restrict your right to challenge our charges and there are a number of options open to you, including:

  • Raising the matter with Nathalie Trousset;
  • Using our complaints procedure;
  • Where you believe that you have been incorrectly charged, applying to the court for your invoice to be assessed under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. The rights to have a bill assessed are however subject to time limits and lost if action is not taken by you promptly.

 

  1. Your file

Any advice that we give you and/or documentation produced for you is based only on French law matters, procedure and transactions.

We do not offer advice, directly or indirectly, on English and Welsh domestic law or UK tax law and you are strongly advised to obtain your own independent English legal and tax advice in respect of this transaction.

Any work done on your behalf, or on behalf of your clients, by us in good faith on your initial instructions, particularly as a matter of urgency, prior to the return of the terms of business to us, duly signed by you, will be charged to you at our usual rates.

The person in charge of your file is Nathalie Trousset, solicitor in England and Wales, who specialises in private international and French law.

Please note that Trousset Fawcett Ltd does not advise in relation to English and Welsh domestic law.

Nathalie is also an Avocat à la Cour de Paris, registered at the Paris Bar.  

She is also qualified as a French Notaire “Diplômée Notaire” and as a Public Notary in England and Wales. Notarial services, such as certifying a power of attorney, are provided under different terms and conditions.  
 

  1. Subcontracts

We reserve the right, if we consider it necessary, to subcontract all or part of the job you have instructed us with to another lawyer or professional, selected by us from our panel of specialist lawyers, notaires and accountants, especially if we consider that the matter will benefit from the assistance and or insight from said professional. If we do this, we will endeavour to obtain an estimate of fees and expenses likely to be incurred.

We may also outsource some of our operational legal activities, for example, secretarial support and translation services. This is done to provide you with a more efficient service and you shall not be charged any fees for the outsourcing of such activities unless otherwise stated or agreed by you. We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with such providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.

  1. Communication

We will endeavour to communicate with you in such a form as you require.  We will, however, consider ourselves free to communicate with you by email and telephone, unless you instruct us otherwise.

  1. Termination

If at any time and for whatever reason you wish us to stop acting on your behalf, you may terminate your instructions to us in writing addressed to Mrs Nathalie Trousset.

We, in return, reserve the right to cease acting for you but only with good reason and, where possible, giving you reasonable notice in writing.

In either case, we will retain the right to charge for work done or disbursements incurred up to the time when we ceased to act.

Reasons to cease acting for you include:
-Failure to give us clear and proper instructions;
-Where to continue to provide our services would be impractical, unethical and/or unlawful;
-Where you fail to settle our properly rendered invoices in accordance with the terms hereof.
We may vary these terms of business from time to time by giving you reasonable written notice.
 

  1. Your Right to Cancel this Agreement

If we have not met with you, if we have taken your instructions or concluded this contract in person other than at our office, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”)  apply.  Under these Regulations you have the right to cancel your instructions to us for any reason within fourteen days of the date of the conclusion of the contract between us.  

If you wish to cancel your instructions, you should do so within the fourteen day period by providing Nathalie Trousset notice of your decision to cancel. Please send your cancellation notice to us at: FAO Nathalie Trousset, Trousset Fawcett Limited, 120 Regent Street, London W1B 5FE or by email to nt@troussetlaw.com.

You may use the following format:

Cancellation Notice

TO: Nathalie Trousset, Trousset Fawcett Limited, 120 Regent Street, London W1B 5FE.

I/We hereby give notice that I/We wish to cancel my/our contract in the name of (insert full name)
Signed:

Name:
Address:
Date:

If at your request and with your agreement, we begin work on your file before the end of the fourteen day period, you will not lose your right to cancel our instructions.  

If you wish us to begin work on your file before the fourteen day period has expired, you must request this in writing by email to Nathalie Trousset or by ticking the box below this paragraph.  However, you will be liable to pay our fees for the work already undertaken on your behalf in this period and before the cancellation of your instructions.
 

  1. Third Party Right

All work done and advice provided by us to you, is for your use and benefit only as our client and must not be relied upon by anyone else in any circumstance.  Our duty of care is owed to you only, not to third parties, unless agreed otherwise in writing.  No person other than you, the client, may enforce the terms of any agreement between us. No benefits under out contract with you, nor legal responsibilities arising from our advice, are enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by a person other than you as our client.

  1. Financial Crime and Money Laundering 

We are required by the laws of the UK to comply with anti-money laundering legislation and counter terrorist financing rules.  This is because lawyers who deal with money and property on behalf of clients can be used by criminals wishing to launder money.

Money laundering is defined in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It can apply to using or dealing with the proceeds of almost any unlawful activities, in the UK or abroad, including the evasion of tax.

Our obligation is therefore to:

  • Obtain information about, and evidence of, your identity
  • Obtain information about and identity evidence for businesses and people related to you as well as the work that we are doing for you
  • Obtain information on the source of funds and source of wealth
  • Monitor any transaction and keep all identity information up to date.

Personal data requested from you for the purpose of preventing money laundering or terrorist financing will only be used for that purpose, unless you consent otherwise or are permitted by law to use it in other ways.

In order to comply with the anti-money laundering legislation, we may carry out an electronic search for identification purposes and also to check various sanctions’ lists (including government sanction lists). We are likely to do this where your matter is a purchase, sale, French tax matter, estate planning or relates to the administration of an estate.

We may also need you to provide us with information relating to the source of funds for your matter and your source of wealth generally. 

If you do not agree and/or do not provide us with requested information and documentation, we will be unable to act for you.

In certain cases we will need to report evidence or suspicions of money laundering.  If so, this will not be deemed a breach of the duty of confidentiality we owe you. If we fail to make a report, we may be committing a criminal offence. 

As required under anti-money laundering legislation personal identification information used to verify identity must be retained by us for the entire duration of a client relationship with the firm and for five years thereafter. By instructing us you consent to our retention of such data beyond this time with the rest of your file and in line with our retention policy (please see paragraph 13 below and our privacy policy available on our website).

  1. DAC6

The sixth Directive on Administrative Cooperation, referred to as DAC6, requires cross-border arrangements to be reported to HMRC from 1 July 2020. This obligation may apply to intermediaries (which might include Trousset Fawcett) or individual tax payers.

The main aim of the Directive is to provide tax authorities with an early warning mechanism on new risks of tax avoidance and to allow them to identify taxpayers using such arrangements. It also enables tax authorities to carry out audits more effectively.

Although targeted principally at tax avoidance arrangements, there may be a requirement to report certain arrangements that do not have a tax avoidance motive.
We will assess whether your matter is subject to a reporting obligation. If so, we will inform you. We may also charge for our time in making this assessment and any subsequent report.

 

  1. Data Protection

The basis on which we process your information 

We take your privacy very seriously.

The use of your information is subject to your instructions, the General Data Protection Regulation, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner as a Data Controller.
 
1) We deal with contact information of prospective clients at the request of those prospective clients in order to sign them up as clients so we can undertake services for them. We deal with this information on the basis that it is necessary for us to take steps, at the request of the prospective client, before entering into a contract with them for our services.
 
2) We deal with various information about clients and parties within the scope of a client engagement (including contact information, ID information, information about marital status, rights to work and residential status, education and professional certifications, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Probate, Legacies, Gifts, Deeds, ownership and purchasing and other legal documents) so that we can undertake various notarial and legal services for our clients, at their request.  

We deal with this information on the basis that it is necessary for the performance of a contract between our clients and ourselves (or in order to take steps at the request of those clients before entering into a contract). 

Occasionally we provide some of this information to translators and other relevant professional services providers who deal with the information on our behalf as part of the services we provide to clients.

If you wish to find out more about how we use your information, please read our privacy notice on our website.
 

  1. Financial services and Markets Act 2000

We are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority to provide any financial services.  We do not provide or offer any financial services for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and related legislation.

  1. Commissions

We do not seek nor receive or pay commissions or incentives in respect of referrals or references made by us to any parties whomsoever or vice versa.

  1. Storage of documents

While we are working for you we will keep a paper and/or electronic file. If at the end of your matter you require documents from your file, please let us know.

We do not hold any original documents such as wills, deeds, securities or certificates etc.

In relation to our notarial work, we retain your file in line with our obligations under the Notarial Practice Rules.  

For other matters, we keep your file in most cases for a minimum of seven years as from the date of the completion of your matter. 

If we need to retrieve your file from storage, we will need to charge you.  The charge will be based on the time needed to retrieve the file. We may also charge for reading correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by you or on your behalf.

We reserve the right to destroy files without further notice to you at the end of the retention period (minimum of seven years). If so, we will be entitled to assume that you have kept copies of all important parts of your file sent or given to us, and that nothing in your file is of unique importance.

  1. Reminders

We will not be responsible, after completion of your transaction, or when the file is closed, for reminding you of any specific date(s), events or circumstance that may fall due in the future, whatever the relevance.

  1. Our Service

We will endeavour to ensure that your affairs are handled satisfactorily in all respects and in accordance with the Principles and Codes of Conduct set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

We will try to keep you informed of important issues arising, problems and delays encountered, action being taken and progress achieved.
 

  1. Force Majeure

We shall not be liable to you if, as a cause beyond our reasonable control, we are unable to perform our services.  In the event of any such occurrence, we shall notify you as soon as possible.

  1. Company Information

VAT number: 114330857
SRA registration number: 562854
COMPANY HOUSE registration number: 7634746
ICO Registration no: ZA012689 

  1. Limitation of our liability

Our liability to you for loss will be limited to the level of our professional indemnity cover of £3, 000, 000 (three million pounds) for any one individual transaction or claim, or any one series of related transactions or claims. These limitations will not apply in case of liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence.

We do not accept liability for losses that exceed this figure and by placing instructions with us you are deemed to have consented to this term.

No member of our practice (director, employee or consultant) contracts with you personally or assumes legal responsibility to personally in respect of work performed by Trousset Fawcett Ltd. All correspondence and communications sent to you in the course of our work, even if signed personally by a member of our practice will for all purposes be treated as having been sent on behalf of Trousset Fawcett Ltd.

You agree with us and with each member of our practice that you will not bring any claim for loss against any member of our practice (except in the case of their individual fraud) but will bring a claim against Trousset Fawcett Ltd as a whole. Members of our practice will be entitled to rely on this provision if any claim is made against them personally.

If you have a claim against us in respect of any loss (arising in contract or tort) for which someone else (including you or any other advisor of yours) could also be liable, our liability to you will be limited to a just and equitable proportion of the total loss, after liability for it has been apportioned between everyone responsible.
 

  1. Complaints procedure

Our aim is to provide a high quality service in all respects.  If, however, you are not satisfied or have problems with our service, please let us know.

19.1 Complaints about our services generally

We are subject to the Principles and Codes of Conduct for solicitors and firms.  For more details please see www.sra.org.uk/rules.

We will attempt to resolve problems that may arise with our services as we are anxious that you should feel at ease in raising any concerns you may have with us. Nathalie Trousset is the person responsible for client care and will investigate and report back to you.

If we are unable to resolve the complaint, you may do the following: 

Raise the complaint with the Legal Ombudsman who investigates the problems of poor service from lawyers. 

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will in most cases expect you to have made a complaint to us first. 

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.

Ordinarily you must refer a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • within six years from the date of our act/omission about which you are complaining; 
  • or within three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint without taking advice from a third party
  • whichever is later.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman please contact them. 

Contact details: 

Visit www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Call 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm. 
Email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

19.2 Complaints and Regulatory Matters for our Notarial Practice:

My notarial practice is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:  

The Faculty Office 
1, The Sanctuary 
Westminster 
London SW1P 3JT 
Telephone 020 7222 5381        
Email Faculty.office@1thesanctuary.com     
Website  www.facultyoffice.org.uk
  
If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received, please do not hesitate to contact me.  

If we are unable to resolve the matter, you may then complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a Complaints Procedure, which is approved by the Faculty Office.  This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute.  

In that case please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to :- 
 
The Secretary of the Notaries Society 
Old Church Chambers 
23 Sandhill Road 
St James 
Northampton.  NN5 5LH 
Email secretary@thenotariessociety.org.uk     
Tel: 01604 758908  

If you have any difficulty in making a complaint in writing please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/the Faculty Office for assistance.  

Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, or after a period of 6 months from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, if you are not happy with the result:  
 
Legal Ombudsman 
P O Box 6806 
Wolverhampton   WV1 9WJ  

Tel: 0300 555 0333     
Email :  enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk     
Website :  www.legalombudsman.org.uk  

If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman:

•    Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and 
•    Six years from the date of act/omission; or 
•    Three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint (only if the act or omission took place more than six years ago).

 

  1. Confidentiality

We are under a professional and legal obligation to keep 
the affairs of our clients confidential.

This obligation, however, is subject to statutory exceptions, namely money laundering and terrorist financing which have placed solicitors under the legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose the information to the National Crime Agency.

Where it is known or suspected that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, we are required to make a money laundering disclosure.  If this happens, we will not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.  We may also be prevented from carrying out your instructions without the permission of the relevant body.

We reserve the right to charge for any work this may entail.

 

  1. Professional Indemnity Insurance

Trousset Fawcett Ltd has full professional indemnity insurance in force.  The level of cover complies with the minimum level of cover required by the Solicitors’ Indemnity Insurance Rules.

The contact details of the insurer are:
HDI Global Specialty SE-UK
London Office
10 Fenchurch Street
London
EC3M 3BE
Tel: 44 20 7015 4000.

The territorial coverage is worldwide.

Further insurance details are available on request.
 

  1. Acceptance of Terms of Business

By signing below, you agree and accept the above Terms of Business as well as our fee estimate for your matter.

Signed in:
On the:
Signature: