Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

The following are a summary of our Standard Terms of Business. Upon instructing us you will be provided with a detailed Terms of Business Letter as required by the Law Society of Scotland setting out our Conditions of Business in detail including the scope of work we will undertake for your particular transaction and the charges involved, which will then apply in place of these summary terms.

Point of Contact.

Your business will be allocated to an individual member of staff who will be your point of contact but should you be unable to readily contact that person, please leave a message with their PA, or indeed discuss the matter with one of their colleagues, who will ensure that any necessary action is taken.

During any significant absences from the office, such as holidays or illness, another member of staff will be allocated to assume responsibility for your transaction and can be contacted in the matter.

Business Hours.

Our normal business hours are 9.00am to 5.15pm Monday to Friday (5pm Friday).

Outwith these hours an answering service is provided for routine messages. We can often also provide appointments outwith these hours, subject to availability, where these are requested by you. Please note however that out-of-hours calls or meetings will incur additional charges beyond the fees quoted to you.

How to Contact Us

The methods of contacting us are:-

By e-mail – you will be provided with a direct e-mail address for the member of staff dealing with your business, while our central e-mail address is:- info@alastairhart.co.uk

Alternatively, you can also contact us:-

In person or by letter at the addresses in the Contact Us section of this website – please make an appointment to ensure that the member of staff responsible for your transaction is available when you visit the office.

By telephone on the numbers in the Contact Us section of this website.

By fax on the numbers in the Contact Us section of this website.

How we will Contact You

The primary method of contact by us is:-

By e-mail – at the e-mail address provided by you.

Alternatively, we will also contact you:-

By Letter – addressed to you at the postal address provided by you

By telephone on the number(s) provided by you.

The method of communication used in each instance will be at our discretion in the individual circumstances. It is recommended that you ensure that you are satisfied as to the reliability of your e-mail service and that you download your e-mails at regular intervals. Unless agreed otherwise, we will assume that you have indeed received any letter or transmission of an e-mail which we have sent to you by the next day.

Your contact details will be obtained from the details provided by you.

Quality of Service.

It is of prime importance to us that we provide you with a quality of service which meets with your satisfaction at all times.

This involves us providing you with a clear explanation of progress regarding your business, applying the level of expertise required for your individual transaction and providing a rapid response to your enquiries. We always endeavour to respond as quickly as possible with a target of dealing with written enquiries within 3 working days and e-mails & telephone calls by the next working day from receipt. Unforeseeable circumstances such as staff illness, technical failures of equipment, etc. may affect this.

Our quality of service is of course equally dependent upon your own full & honest disclosure to us of all relevant facts, providing us with clear and prompt instructions, and acting upon advice and recommendations given.

In the unlikely event of you having any concerns, at any time, as to the progress with, the handling of, or any other aspect of our dealing with your business we must be advised of these immediately in order that we can ensure that they are resolved without delay and to your satisfaction.

Should we be unable to informally resolve matters to your satisfaction you should then request in writing that the issue is dealt with under our Quality Control Procedures which may involve a formal meeting with you to assess your concerns. Thereafter, should we still be unable to fully resolve matters details of our full complaints procedure are provided to all clients in our complete Terms of Business issued at the commencement of all transactions..

Basis of Fee Charging/Price Transparency.

In terms of the Law Society of Scotland recommendations on Price Transparency, we would advise that our default method of charging Fees is based on the time involved, and currently this is charged at the rate of £249 + VAT per hour.  Most legal work involves some uncertainty as to the time that may be required, and where possible we also offer fixed cost services (such as wills) or based on the value of your transaction (such as Estate Agency) that are confirmed after an initial discussion as to the nature of your proposed transaction and your own requirements/expectations, as there are multiple permutations that make a simple “price list” impracticable, and your costings are then clearly set out in the Terms of Business issued to you at the start of your transaction.

You will require to make a Payment to Account when we commence acting for you, the amount of which will be agreed with you, and this payment will be applied towards the total costs incurred.

In the event of our ceasing to act, you will be liable for any work already carried out on your behalf, while any outlays/disbursements paid on your behalf should be reimbursed when requested. Thereafter, unless otherwise agreed, an overdue account administration charge of £10 plus VAT per month is made plus interest at 5% over the Base Rate of the Bank of Scotland, and you will be charged at our standard rates for all work and correspondence involved in following up any overdue amounts. Payment may be made by cash, cheque or bank transfer although due to bank charges any payments of less than £20 are subject to a £0.50 surcharge.

Instructions From You.

Our policy is to accept instructions from you in person, as well as by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone but we reserve the option on all occasions to require from you written confirmation of instructions. If sending instructions by letter, fax or e-mail it is your responsibility to ensure that the communication has actually been received by your solicitor especially if it is time-critical. In the event of instructions being received in person or by telephone, we will keep a record of such instructions on your file and that record of such instructions will be accepted by you as confirmation of the nature of your instructions unless we receive prior written intimation from you to the contrary in which event you will require to provide us with written confirmation of all instructions before they are acted upon. Please note that once instructions have been given, whether in person, by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone, it may not be possible to later alter, withdraw or vary such instructions if, for instance, we have already acted upon or communicated the terms of such instructions to a third party.

Where we are acting for more than one party or for a corporate entity, it may be necessary for us to act on instructions received from one party only, eg. a husband for both himself and his wife, one partner for the whole partnership or one director for the company, and all instructions are accepted on the basis that they are deemed to be given by and are binding upon all parties for whom we act, unless we have received prior written intimation from at least one party to the contrary. By instructing us to act, where you are a corporate entity, you are held to confirm that you have the authority of the corporate entity to so instruct us and that the individual(s) instructing the work personally guarantees the payment of our fees and costs.

Advice Given to You.

Advice to you will be provided either in person, by telephone or in writing and in the event of such advice being provided in person or by telephone our file records of the nature of such advice will be accepted by you as confirmation of the terms of such advice unless we receive prior written intimation from you to the contrary in which event we will confirm all advice in writing at your cost and subject to your acceptance of responsibility for the delays this may cause to your transaction.

The nature and content of any advice given to you is provided for your own use only and in relation to the specific transaction undertaken. No responsibility is taken in respect of the use of such advice by any other party or in connection with any other transaction and such advice must not be disclosed to or conveyed to any other party other than as is necessary for any other professional advisors involved in the transaction.

Scope of Our Work & Responsibilities

We will provide advice on and undertake only the work specifically agreed with you or detailed in our Scope of Work, which advice will be accurate and correct insofar as existing legislation, procedures and case law is concerned but no responsibility can be accepted for future changes in legislation nor for any unforeseeable or indirect consequences of such advice or actings. Our responsibility is restricted to the specific areas of business we have agreed to act for you as set out in the Scope of Work shown in your Terms of Business Letter and does not include advising you on any other matters whatsoever whether associated in any way with that transaction or not, unless specifically agreed by us, nor in respect of providing advice on any related or non-legal issues for which you should consult the appropriate professional advisors such as accountants, brokers, surveyors, etc. If requested we can provide a referral to such other professional advisors but, whether such advisor has been recommended to you by us or not, no responsibility can be taken by us for their advice.

We will at all times carry out your transaction in a responsible and professional manner and in the unlikely event of any error or omission on our part we must be given a reasonable opportunity to remedy that error or omission at our own expense. We will not however, under any circumstances, be liable for unforeseeable or indirect losses nor for any losses in excess of the cover provided by the statutory Professional Indemnity Insurance maintainable in terms of the rules of The Law Society of Scotland. In the event that you do not settle your Invoice within the payment terms, it is agreed and you accept that our liability will be restricted to the amount of Fees and VAT actually paid by you.

The foregoing is produced with the assistance of a guidance manual issued under the auspices of the Practice Management/Client Care Committee of the Law Society of Scotland.

Thank you for choosing us to act for you. Your business is valued and we would assure you of our best attention at all times.

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