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Fast Track Reclaim Terms & Conditions

These Terms of Engagement detail how Fast Track Reclaim (FTR) will undertake its Claims Services to You. By signing and submitting the Letter of Authority (LOA), You agree to be bound by these Terms of Engagement (“Agreement”).

1. DEFINITIONS

a. “Claim(s)” means Your Claim(s) against the Company relating to the failure to disclose commission charges (Plevin) in connection with Your Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policy(ies) or other sums paid by the Company to third parties.

b. “Claims Services” means:-

i) Conducting a PPI Check to ascertain if You have/had PPI with each company you tell us you have dealt with; and/or identifying any potential Claim(s) for undisclosed commission (Plevin); and

ii) Referring Your Claim(s) to the Independent Solicitors, with Your Instruction.

c. “Company” means the business, for example the Lender or Broker, to whom the Letter of Authority (LOA) is addressed, who failed to disclose commission charges (Plevin) or other sums paid to third parties, including any associates and/or their predecessors.

d. “Instruction” means You authorising Us to undertake the Plevin Check(s) and refer Your Claims to the Independent Solicitors, which is given when You sign and return either online or by post, an LOA, or other authorisation document/form. This includes where You provide Your signature or complete a form electronically.

e. “Letter of Authority (LOA)” means the document to be sent to the Company containing Your authority for FTR and The Independent Solicitors to act on Your behalf. A LOA(s) will be provided as part of the Claims Service and FTR or the Company may require You to sign a further LOA(s) during the Claims Services.

f. “Plevin” means the Supreme Court decision in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Limited which ruled that Mrs Plevin had been treated unfairly as the Lender failed to disclose the high level of commission earned from her PPI policy. Claims made about undisclosed commission are commonly referred to as Plevin Claims.

g. “Plevin Check” means the process by which FTR will endeavour to identify whether PPI existed on any account(s) provided to You, by the Company, and whether You have a potential Claim(s) for undisclosed commissions (Plevin), by submitting a Subject Access Request (SAR), on Your behalf, to the Company.

h. “FTR/Us” means Quickly Finance Limited, a claims management company, Company Number: 06304563 who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Interim Permission Number: 836013. This registration is recorded on the website https://register.fca.org.uk.

i. "Independent Solicitors" means Joseph James Law (LS) Limited trading as Fast Track Solicitors Registration Number: 09941975 VAT Number: 241 0111 80 Authorised And Regulated By The Solicitors Regulation Authority - Number 628597 instructed to make a claim against the Lender and if necessary, upon your consent, take legal action to claim back your PPI.

j. “You/Your” means the account/policy holder(s) whose details are set out in the LOA and who have appointed FTR to act on their behalf and also includes an Executor(s) or Administrator(s) of a Deceased Person’s Estate.

2. CLAIMS SERVICES

a. FTR will not commence the Claims Services until FTR receives Your Instruction either online, by telephone or in writing.

b. FTR will use reasonable endeavours to request the Company provide information about any PPI policies and undisclosed commissions (Plevin) or other sums paid by the Company to third parties, that existed on any account(s) which You held with them, by making a SAR.

c. FTR will promptly notify You of the outcome of the Plevin Check(s).

d. If FTR are unable to identify a PPI policy(ies) and any undisclosed commissions (Plevin), or other sums paid by the Company to third parties, this Agreement will come to an end.

e. You authorise this Agreement to continue and for FTR to refer your case to the Independent Solicitors for any account(s) where a Company has confirmed You may have/had PPI and there were any undisclosed commissions (Plevin), or other sums paid by the Company to third parties associated with Your PPI policy(ies).

f. You understand that by completing one LOA, the Company may provide information about multiple PPI policies, under the Instruction(s) provided, and that FTR will review this information to identify potential Claim(s).

g. FTR will review and, if appropriate, based on the information provided by You and the Company, refer Your Claim(s) to the Independent Solicitors to continue with the Claim(s) on Your behalf.

h. FTR or the Company may require further authority, information or documents from You to facilitate the provision of the Claims Services. Documentation that may be required includes proof of identification and proof of address (this is not an exhaustive list).

i. You agree that You will deal promptly with requests for authority, information or documents that FTR or the Company might make.

j. You will ensure that any information provided is true, accurate and completed to the best of Your knowledge. FTR will not check such information except where it is under legal obligation to do so.

k. You do not need to use a claims management company to assess Your eligibility for a Plevin Claim(s). You are free to seek advice elsewhere and are able to proceed with Your Claim(s) directly through an alternate solicitor.

l. FTR will update You about any significant development in Your Claim(s) using Your preferred contact method, including by SMS (text message), email, telephone and/or post until Your Claim(s) is referred to the Independent Solicitors.

3. REFERRAL TO THE INDEPENDENT SOLICITOR(S)

a. Should FTR identify a potential Claim(s), FTR will refer your claim to our Independent Solicitors . You will then have 14 days to cancel your agreement with the Independent Solicitors .

b. Once Your Instruction is received, FTR will refer Your Claim(s) to the Independent Solicitors by passing Your personal data, including Your contact details, SAR information and any other information relevant to Your Claim(s) to the Independent Solicitors .

c. FTR will notify You promptly once Your Claim(s) has been referred to the Independent Solicitors .

d. Once Your Claim(s) is referred to the Independent Solicitors You will receive no further updates from FTR about that Claim(s), all further updates will be from the Independent Solicitors.

e. Upon receipt of Your Claim(s) from FTR, the Independent Solicitors will contact You in respect of their services. No further action will be taken by FTR.

4. FEE(S)

a. FTR will not charge You any Fee(s) for the Claims Services. FTR receive a referral fee from the Independent Solicitors for every Plevin applicable claim referred.

b. Once Your Claim(s) has been passed to the Independent Solicitors, the Independent Solicitors will charge a Fee(s) for any successful Claim(s). All Fees will be outlined in Your Agreement with the Independent Solicitors.

5. CANCELLATION RIGHTS

a. You may cancel this Agreement at any time, at no cost to You in writing, by telephone or via email. You can find our contact details on our website.

b. FTR may at its sole discretion decide not to proceed with the Claims Services and cancel this Agreement at any time. FTR must act reasonably in taking such a decision and promptly notify You.

c. The Independent Solicitors will provide You with separate Cancellation Rights under Your Agreement with them.

6. YOUR PERSONAL DATA

a. FTR takes the privacy of Your personal information seriously. FTR will only use the personal information You provide to Us as outlined both in this clause 6 and in our Privacy Policy which can viewed on our website. FTR asks that You read our Privacy Policy carefully. If required, a hard copy is available upon request.

b. During the Claims Services Your personal information will be used to provide the Claims Services, including to third party organisations for the purposes of undertaking these Claims Services.

c. FTR will not disclose Your personal data to a third party without Your consent unless a lawful or legitimate basis applies.

7. DISCLAIMER & ASSIGNMENT

a. Once FTR has referred Your Claim(s) to the Independent Solicitors, FTR shall not be liable to You for any loss which arises.

b. Nothing in this Agreement shall limit or exclude FTR's liability for:

i) death or personal injury caused by its negligence, or the negligence of its employees, agents or subcontractors;

ii) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or iii) breach of the terms implied by sections 49 to 52 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

c. FTR reserves the right to assign this Agreement and all rights under it and to subcontract to others all or any of our obligations under it. This Agreement is personal to You and is not assignable by You except to Your personal representatives.

8. COMPLAINTS

a. You can make a complaint about FTR’s service by email: complaints@fasttrackreclaim.com by telephone on 0333 212 1265 or by post to: Fast Track Reclaim, Fast Track House, Pearson Way, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 6PT You can also find a copy of the FTR complaints procedure at www.fasttrackreclaim.com.

b. Should You remain unhappy about FTR's service, You may escalate Your complaint within six months to the Financial Ombudsman Service by phone on 0800 023 4567 or post to: Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange, London, E14 9SR.

9. GOVERNING LAW

a. Each party irrevocably agrees that any proceedings relating to any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with this Agreement or its subject matter or formation instituted against You by FTR shall be brought in the appropriate Court of Your country of residence, which will either be the Courts of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and shall be governed and construed by the applicable law for the appropriate jurisdiction. Any such proceedings against FTR by You shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and the parties irrevocably submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.

Fast Track Solicitors Terms & Conditions

DAMAGE BASED AGREEMENT

This agreement will form after Fast Track Solicitors (FTS) receives the case from Fast Track Reclaim and you receive notification of us commencing work on your case. Any communication pre-referral will be from Fast Track Reclaim.

1. OUR CHARGES

1.1 The DBA Payment
We have agreed to charge you based on a percentage of the Damages recovered by you as a result of Success in Proceedings. The amount of this payment is called the DBA Payment. This is the only payment you will make to us for our work. It is only payable if there is Success in the Proceedings.
The DBA Payment is reduced by any Fees or Counsel Fees that have been paid or are payable by the Defendant by way of Recovered Costs so that you only pay the DBA Payment net of those sums. We are entitled to retain any Recovered Costs which are paid to you or to us by the Defendant or any Affiliate.
Even though we have agreed to charge for our work on the basis of a DBA, it is necessary to explain how our Fees and Counsel Fees are calculated for the purposes of claiming Recovered Costs from the Defendant. Details of our Fees and Counsel Fees are set out in the Legal Services Contract to this Agreement.

1.2 Expenses
1.2.1 Expenses are treated differently. You will be liable for Expenses regardless of whether there is Success in the Proceedings. However, you will only be liable to pay Expenses at the conclusion of the Proceedings to the extent that:-
(a) such Expenses have not been paid or are not payable by another party to the Proceedings by way of Recovered Costs; or
(b) such Expenses have not been paid by the ATE Insurer under the terms of the ATE Insurance.
1.2.2 Certain Expenses will be paid by the Investor during the course of the Proceedings pursuant to the funding arrangements described in Clause 2 (Litigation Funding). If there is no Success in the Proceedings, you agree and accept that those Expenses will be satisfied from the proceeds of the ATE Insurance and the ATE Insurer will pay those proceeds directly to the Investor.

2. LITIGATION FUNDING

2.1 While we are content to share the risk of the Proceedings with you by agreeing to act on the basis of a DBA, the complexity, cost and the risk of delays, and possible failure, to achieve Success in the Proceedings are considerable. We are therefore only prepared to offer this DBA because the Investor has agreed to provide the Litigation Funding Investment to us for the purpose of paying certain Expenses incurred by us in connection with the Proceedings, including court fees associated with the issue of the Proceedings, hearing your Claim in court and other court related disbursements.

2.2 In return for the Investor's agreement to provide the Litigation Funding Investment, we have agreed to make the following payments to the Investor:
2.2.1 If there is Success in the Proceedings, the Investor will be entitled to receive an amount equal to the Litigation Funding Investment it has provided under the Investment Agreement, the Success Fee and any Renewal Fee that has accrued; and
2.2.2 If there is no Success in the Proceedings, the Investor will be entitled to receive an amount equal to the Litigation Funding Investment it has provided under the Investment Agreement.

2.3 The amounts payable to the Investor under the Investment Agreement, and described above, are paid from the DBA Payment and Expenses that are payable to us under the terms of this Agreement and therefore the total amount payable by you will not increase as a result of the payments we have agreed to make to the Investor.

2.4 If there is no Success in the Proceedings, the amounts due to the Investor under Clause 2.2.2 will be paid from the proceeds of the ATE Insurance. You irrevocably instruct the ATE Insurer to pay the proceeds of the ATE Insurance in respect of these amounts directly to the Investor.

3. APPLICATION OF DAMAGES AND RECOVERED COSTS

3.1 You agree to hold all Damages and Recovered Costs as trust property on bare trust absolutely for the benefit of us, you, the ATE Insurer and the Investor to the extent of each of our respective interests in such amounts as described in this Agreement. You also agree to hold any proceeds from the ATE Insurance in respect of Litigation Funding Investment paid by the Investor as trust property on bare trust absolutely for the benefit of the Investor.

3.2 You hereby give irrevocable instructions that all Damages and Recovered Costs are to be paid directly into our client account. Following the receipt of any such Damages and Recovered Costs, we will apply such amounts in the following order of priority:
3.2.1 firstly, to the Investor in respect of amounts due under the Investment Agreement;
3.2.2 secondly, to the ATE Insurer in respect of the premium due under the ATE Insurance;
3.2.3 thirdly, to us in respect of the DBA Payment and Recovered Costs (after making the payments to the Investor referred to in Clause 3.2.1); and
3.2.4 fourthly, to you in respect of the balance of the Damages.

3.3 If there is no Success in the Proceedings, you irrevocably instruct us that any amounts recoverable under the ATE Insurance (to the extent such amounts have not been paid directly to the Investor by the ATE Insurer) are to be paid directly into our client account to be applied by us as follows:
(a) firstly, to the Investor in respect of amounts due under the Investment Agreement; and
(b) secondly, to meet any other Expenses payable by you in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.

4. CONFIDENTIALITY

The conduct of the Proceedings will require us to disclose information about you and your Claim to the Defendant's lawyers and the court. But unless we need to share this information as part of our work, all information you give us will be kept confidential by us. It will be necessary for us to share information with the Investor in connection with the funding it has agreed to provide to us in connection with the Proceedings, and its advisers and you agree to us sharing information about you and your claim with the Investor (and its advisers) to the extent that we are required to do so in order to comply with any investment agreement between us and the Investor. We will take reasonable steps to make sure that anybody who receives confidential information from us about you or your Claim agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privilege of this information. The success of your Claim depends in part on you also keeping exchanges confidential. You agree not to disclose any information about your Claim to a third party before discussing it with us first.

5. DEFINITIONS

"Adverse Costs" means the portion of the Defendant's fees and expenses that it has incurred in relation to the Proceedings that are ordered by the court or agreed between the parties to be paid by you to the Defendant or its Affiliates
"Affiliate" means, in relation to a specified person, any person who controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, or has a close connection with, that specified person
"ATE Insurance" means the contract of after-the-event insurance between you and the ATE Insurer to cover certain liabilities of yours in respect of the Claim, including Adverse Costs and certain Expenses
"ATE Insurer" means such provider of after-the-event insurance approved by us and the Investor
"Claim" means your claim against the Defendant
"Counsel Fees" means fees charged by Counsel engaged by us to conduct Proceedings in respect of the Claim. Counsel Fees are utilised for the purpose of calculating and seeking recovery of the Counsel's legal fees from the Defendant by way of Recovered Costs
"Damages" means all amounts of money or the value of any goods, services or benefits, recovered or received by you as a result of Success in the Proceedings and/or Settlement and shall include statutory and other interest and be the gross amount prior to any set-off or counterclaim exercised by the Defendant and prior to any deduction for taxes. Under this contract, Damages shall exclude Recovered Costs
"DBA Payment" means the percentage of the Damages you hereby agree to pay to us, as set out in the Legal Services Contract to this Agreement
"Defendant" means the Lender who sold PPI to you and any other party against whom you issue proceedings
"Expenses" means any disbursements that are incurred on your behalf in connection with the Proceedings within the meaning of "expenses" in The Damages-Based Agreements Regulations 2013. For the avoidance of doubt, Expenses do not include our Fees or Counsel Fees
"Fees" means the legal fees we would charge, to represent you under a time based retainer applying our respective hourly billing rates. Fees are utilised for the purpose of calculating and seeking recovery of our legal fees from the Defendant by way of Recovered Costs
"Investment Agreement" means the agreement entered into between us and the Investor under which the Investor has agreed to pay certain Expenses and other amounts incurred by us in connection with the Proceedings
"Investor" means SpectraLegal Finance 3 DAC or any of its Affiliates
"Investor Fee" means the fee payable by us under the terms of the Investment Agreement in an amount equal to 7.5% of the amount of Damages and Recovered Costs (excluding amounts recovered in respect of Expenses)
"Litigation Funding Investment" means amounts invested by the Investor in respect of your Claim through the funding of certain Expenses and the court issues fees, hearing fees and any other court related fees
"Proceedings" means any legal proceedings issued on your behalf in relation to the Claim
"Recovered Costs" means all amounts paid or payable to you or us, or any person on their behalf, by the Defendant (or any related party) on account of:
(a) our Fees;
(b) Counsel's Fees; and/or
(c) Expenses,
or, if a Settlement is agreed that fails to allocate the amount of the Settlement or compromise to such items, an amount equal to an order for Recovered Costs that a court might reasonably have been expected to make in the Claim as determined by counsel, acting reasonably, or by an experienced costs lawyer agreed between the parties
"Renewal Fee" means the renewal fee payable by us under the terms of the Investment Agreement should your Claim extend beyond twelve (12) months after the Investor's initial investment in your Claim in an amount equal to 10% per annum on the amount the Investor invests in your Claim such additional amount will begin to accrue from the first anniversary of the initial investment
"Settlement" means an agreement between you and any Defendant, or any of their Affiliates, in settlement of the Claim, whether in the Proceedings or otherwise. This shall include any waiver or compromise of the Proceedings against a Defendant
"Success in the Proceedings" means your Claim is finally decided in your favour, whether by a court decision or Settlement or in any way that you derive benefit from pursuing the Claim. "Finally" means that your opponent:-
(a) is not allowed to appeal against the court decision or Settlement;
(b) has not appealed in time; or
(c) has lost any appeal

CLIENT CARE LETTER

This document explains the terms on which we agree to act for you. Please do not hesitate to ask questions on any point that you do not understand.

1. PARTIES TO THIS LEGAL SERVICES CONTRACT

  1. Joseph James Law
  2. The consumer party to this contract is you, whose name is in the heading to this agreement

2. WORK TO BE UNDERTAKEN

On the basis of the instructions to date, a broad outline of the work I shall be carrying out includes:

  1. Review your case for the submission of a Concealed Commission Case.
  2. If your case has reasonable prospects of success, then draft a Letter of Claim.
  3. If after pre-action correspondence your case has reasonable prospects of success, then to advise on issuing legal proceedings.
  4. If your case has reasonable prospects of success then commence legal proceedings.

Our obligation to you at this stage is to carry out the above work. Our fee advice has been calculated on the basis that we are only carrying out the above.

3. WHO WILL BE DOING YOUR WORK

I am the Managing Director of the firm and also a Solicitor-Advocate with ultimate conduct of your matter. I delegate aspects of the file to other members of the Litigation Team, however, I will be responsible for the supervision of the matter.

4. FEES

Please ensure you are very clear on the legal fees being charged. Any queries relating to fees are non-chargeable so please contact us urgently if you do have a query. Below is the breakdown of the fee structure relevant to your file.

We will work on a Damages Based Agreement (DBA) whereby we will be entitled to 20% plus VAT of any damages recovered. Please see the enclosed DBA with further details of the agreement.

Please consider whether the potential outcomes of your legal case justifes the expense or risk involved to you, including the risk of you having to pay your opponents’ costs.

Calculation of charges - these are calculated mainly by reference to time spent by myself and support staff dealing with this matter. A list of chargeable time descriptions is set out in section 11 of the General Terms of Engagement. Solicitors charge in 6 minute units, for example 30 minutes’ work will equate to you being charged 5 units of 6 minutes.

Disbursements - the charges mentioned above do not include expenses incurred on your behalf, for example, photocopying or postage/delivery charges, generally at 45 pence per mile, all other travel expenses e.g. rail fares, parking, congestion charges, tolls, taxis – these will all be charged to you at the cost to us. Other more substantial disbursements such as fees for Counsel will be agreed with you in advance of the instruction of that individual; these will all be charged to you at the cost to us.

VAT - all of the charges mentioned above will have VAT added to them when your bill is drafted. VAT is currently charged at 20%, this figure will be increased/decreased to the prevailing rate set by the government from time to time.

5. CANCELLATION

You may cancel the Claim within 14 days of engaging us (which is the latest date we received this correspondence). To cancel please either call 0203 861 5400, email info@josephjameslaw.co.uk or send a letter to us at Challenge House, Sherwood Drive, Milton Keynes, MK3 6DP. Please use the words “I wish to cancel the agreement with Joseph James Law and they should cease acting on my behalf”.

6. RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THE BILL

If you are dissatisfied with our bill, we ask that you raise your concerns with the fee-earner concerned, or if you prefer, Mr Andrew Settle, Managing Director. In the event that the issue cannot be resolved, you have the right to invoke our complaints procedure, which is detailed below. You also have the right to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. There are time limits for doing so, and all details in relation to the Legal Ombudsman can be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

If you remain dissatisfied with the amount of the bill, you have the right to ask the Senior Courts Costs Office to consider the bill and make an assessment as to its reasonableness. Full details of this procedure can be found at www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/seniorcourts-costs-office.

7. COSTS INFORMATION

  1. “The loser always pays” – Generally speaking, the loser in court proceedings pays the legal costs of the successful party. However, you should be aware that this is not always the case. There are many factors that a Court takes into account when considering the matter of costs and it is possible for the Court not to award costs to the successful party.
  2. “Before the Event Insurance” – It is possible that you may have an insurance policy in existence (i.e.: motor insurance or loan insurance) that provide you with “legal expense” insurance. If you think that this may be the case, please send a copy of the policy(ies) to us so that we can advise you on this.
  3. “After the Event Insurance” – After the Event Insurance provides you with an insurance policy that will cover your opponents‘ legal costs in the event that you lose your case and/or get a Cost Order awarded against you (i.e. you have to pay your opponents’ legal costs). Upon request, I will explore with you whether (1) you would like to take out such a policy and (2) whether an insurer will insure you. Please note it is your responsibility to arrange an After the Event Insurance policy.
  4. “Public funding” – It is always possible that you may be entitled to public funding for litigation matters. However, this is rare. This firm is unable to deal with this matter for you if it is to be “publicly funded” and it is, therefore, your responsibility to check whether you are eligible.
  5. “Union or association” – If you are a member of a union or association, you may have the right to funding from them.

8. MONEY LAUNDERING

Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, we have an obligation to verify the identity and place of residence of all clients before the establishment of a business relationship.

All clients are required to provide one proof of photographic identity and one proof of residence. Copies of these will be held for a period of five years after the completion of your matter.

9. OUTSOURCING

We may outsource the taking and making of telephone calls, data inputting and/or chasing documents from you to a specialist-supervised company whose staff we bring into the firm to be adequately supervised by a solicitor. You agree for us to outsource this element of your matter. I am however ultimately responsible for ensuring that the highest quality of work is maintained and I undertake monthly reviews of the outsourced work to ensure:

  1. All details will remain confidential.
  2. Any person employed by a contractor involved in your matter has all the necessary qualifications and experience to deal with the tasks.
  3. Any person dealing with your matter is adequately supervised by persons with the appropriate qualifications and experience to do so.

10. PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE

Joseph James Law has Professional Indemnity Insurance within England & Wales as required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales. It is a fundamental term of our accepting instructions from you that our liability to you is limited to £3 million. Should you require us to have a greater liability than this please contact us. In the absence of any express agreement in writing between us for a higher amount we will not be responsible to you for any liability incurred in excess of that amount. Our current insurers are:

  • 100% Endurance International Insurance Co Ltd
  • Reference: PI18END1353

11. OUR COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

It is important to us that we provide services of the highest quality to all of our clients. We aim to ensure that any complaints that clients may have are identified and dealt with in accordance with this procedure.

Making a complaint:

You can register your complaint with the person dealing with your matter, or Mr Andrew Settle, Director and appointed complaints handler. Mr Settle will ensure complaints are handled effectively and in accordance with this procedure.

  1. We will acknowledge your complaint within seven days.
  2. We will conduct a full investigation and an independent review of your matter.
  3. We aim to respond in full within 28 days, however, if your complaint is of a more complex nature we will require more time; we will inform you of when you will receive a full response.
  4. We will reply to you, usually in writing, to tell you our views on your complaint and how we propose to resolve it, hopefully to your satisfaction.
  5. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, or the way your complaint has been handled, you may request that your file is independently reviewed by an external solicitor who will make such further investigations as are necessary.
  6. The external solicitor will inform you of the conclusions and any alternative proposals to resolve your complaint, usually within 28 days of this being referred to them. Under no circumstances will the above investigation take longer than 8 weeks.
  7. You may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the expiry of the 8 week period or our definitive response in the meantime.

Legal Ombudsman

The Legal Ombudsman is an independent organisation, which is ultimately responsible to Parliament. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints about the legal profession. You must make any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within a certain period of time of the act or omission in the work which gave cause to the complaint arising. We refer you to the website of the Legal Ombudsman, as below, for details of that time limit.

There are also two additional relevant time limits; the Legal Ombudsman will accept complaints up to six years from the date of act/omission, or three years from when you should have known about the complaint. However, this new limit will be introduced gradually, as at present, the problem must have happened on or after 6 October 2010, or if the problem happened earlier than that, you must not have been aware of it before 6 October 2010.

The Legal Ombudsman may:

  • Investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client
  • Investigate allegations that a solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct
  • Express a view on whether a solicitor’s charges are fair and responsible
  • Ensure that a solicitor has handled a complaint correctly

The Legal Ombudsman will not:

  • Determine whether a solicitor has been negligent
  • Give legal advice or tell a solicitor how to handle a case
  • Review the outcome of a court case
  • Review a decision of the Legal Aid Agency (the body that regulates the provision of legal aid)

There are restrictions upon who may make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Individuals and certain enterprises may do so, however, are therefore referred to the Legal Ombudsman’s website, as below, for clarification. Before it will consider a complaint, the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal Complaints Procedure has been exhausted. If it is necessary to involve the Legal Ombudsman it may take up to six months from the end of the firm’s procedure; this can be checked at www.legalombudsman.org.uk or by telephoning the Legal Ombudsman on 0300 555 0333. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further.

The Legal Ombudsman’s address and further details are:

  • Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton
  • Phone: 0300 555 0333
  • www.legalombudsman.org.uk | enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

12. ADR

In the event that you wish to engage with Alternative Dispute Resolution bodies instead of the Legal Ombudsman Service then Joseph James Law consider alternative competent bodies to be: Ombudsman Services, ProMediate and Small Claims Mediation. We will agree to use such a scheme if your complaint is not resolved by the Legal Ombudsman.

Unless otherwise agreed, these terms and conditions of business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to us. Please sign and return the form within 7 days.

13. REFERRAL DETAILS

Your case may have been referred to us from a third party and a financial arrangement is in place for the referred case. The fee we will receive is £175 plus VAT. Further, there are no provisions in the referrer agreement between us and the third party, which would comprise, infringe or impair any of our duties to you.

AGREE TO THE ATE INSURANCE (RECOMMENDED)

I confirm I wish to have After the Event Insurance Protection from legal costs and Irrevocably authorise you to have any damages I recover paid to your firm and for you to deduct the premium from my damages and pay it to the Insurer.

☑ Tick here to have the protection

DO NOT AGREE TO THE ATE INSURANCE

I understand that if for any reason my claim is either unsuccessful or does not proceed, then I am liable to pay your firm the disbursements it has incurred to pursue my claim. I further understand that if my claim does not settle at an early stage, then those disbursements will certainly be many hundreds of pounds, and often many thousands of pounds if Counsel is involved and/or a trial takes place. I also understand that at any time you can ask me to deposit money with you to pay those disbursements and that without this policy, you wish me to pay a deposit of £250 on account for those disbursements, which I now enclose.

I have read the above section of the letter headed “Insuring Against Losing” and in particular section b) i), ii) and iii). I understand that the sections explain when and how I may have to pay the defendant’s costs. I acknowledge that it is your view that I cannot safely make this claim without a policy. I also note that I do not have to pay it if I lose, and that I do not have to pay the premium now – only when I receive my damages at the end of the case.

I understand that you have already made arrangements to purchase the above policy and that you strongly recommend that I authorise you to purchase the insurance policy to protect me, but I DO NOT wish to have the benefit of an After the Event insurance policy and I hereby agree to pay all disbursements and defendant’s costs in the above circumstances including the defendant’s costs if the amount I recover is less than I was previously offered.

If you tick below then we will cancel our arrangements to insure you but you would then be at risk of paying disbursements and/or the defendant’s costs. If you wish to KEEP the benefit of the insurance policy then DO NOT tick below.

☐ Tick here to not have the protection