Welcome to Albin and Co Solicitors, specialising in
Thank you for instructing Albin & Co. Solicitors to assist you.
Below you will find some information which we hope you will find useful. It should be considered carefully as it also sets out the basis upon which we accept your instructions.
The person named in the first letter that you receive will ordinarily be the person responsible for the conduct of your case. If possible she will deal with your case personally, however occasionally it might be necessary for a colleague to deal with certain aspects of the work. Chris Albin and Jeremy Yuille have overall responsibility for the firm.
We will communicate with you in plain language.
As your case proceeds it might at times become necessary for us to instruct other agencies in order to progress your case. This might, for example, involve instructing a Barrister to assist either in the Magistrates court, or more normally, in the County Court. We might ask you for authority to obtain medical information from your GP or other professionals if it might assist your case. We will of course keep you appraised of any needs that arise in that respect.
How long a case takes to conclude is sometimes difficult to estimate. It will depend on the nature of the case, its complexity, and the amount of work involved. We are also dependant on the availability of court time to hear your case which is largely outside of our control. A case which contested/disputed will of course take considerably longer than one dealt with by agreement A case can often take a quite different shape to that envisaged at the outset when we are first instructed. We will endeavour to keep you informed of time estimates as the case progresses.
FUNDING – PRIVATE
In the event that you are not eligible for legal aid (and your solicitor will advise you of this)then you can pay us privately.
Our fees are based on an hourly rate although we may in certain circumstances agree a “fixed fee” to represent you. All charges are subject to payment of VAT at the relevant rate. We may require a payment to be made on account of costs to be incurred. This will be placed in our Client account. Only when a bill is rendered can that money be transferred into our Office account. We may require payments to be made throughout the course of your case depending on the amount of work involved. We will ask you to pay for any disbursements incurred (e.g. for medical reports or the instruction of a Barrister). We will keep you appraised of costs throughout your case and endeavour to provide you with a realistic estimate of the likely total cost of concluding your case as soon as possible.
At the conclusion of your case a final bill will be submitted to you. This (or any balance) is payable within 28 days of its date. Only in exceptional circumstances may Mr Albin authorise a repayment schedule with you.
As a client, you have the right to complain if you are not happy with your bill. If that should be the case, then you should contact Mr Albin to notify us of your complaint. You may also apply to the Court for assessment.
Furthermore, you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman concerning your bill. However, we must warn you that should you request an assessment by the Court, the Legal Ombudsman may decline to take your case.
Where a bill is unpaid, we have a right to exercise a lien over your papers for unpaid costs.
In the event that your case is likely to be funded privately, we will attach to this letter a schedule of our hourly rates(in our terms of engagement letter). That schedule is thereby incorporated into the terms of this letter.
We are able to accept payments by Credit/Debit card, cheque, Bank Transfer or cash (limited to £500 in a single transaction). We will require proof of identity and your address; this is to conform with the Money Laundering Regulations.
CONSUMER CONTRACT REGULATION 2013
Albin & Co Ltd is subject to the above regulations concerning contracts between a trader (Albin & Co Ltd) and a consumer (yourself).
When we undertake work on your behalf, a contract is formed and you will have certain rights under that contract.
We are required to provide you with information depending upon whether this contract has been made either “on premises” (at our normal place of trading, namely our office) or “off premises” (where the contract is formed in any other place such as Court, hospital or a prison).
The information that is required is set out either on the letter headed paper, giving details of our address and contact numbers as well as contained within the terms of business and terms of engagement.
Where the contract has been formed off premises, you have a right of cancellation, without giving reason, within 14 days of that contract being formed. Any money paid on account will be returned to you no later than 14 days after your notification of cancellation.
We will not undertake any work within the initial 14 days cooling off period, unless you expressly instruct us to do so. However, any work carried on your expressed instructions may still be chargeable if you are paying privately.
If we are retained by yourself under a Legal Aid Order, you still have a right of cancellation. However, you must be aware that reapplying for Legal Aid for the same issue might be difficult if the contract is terminated.
If you wish to withdraw or cancel the contract, you can either do this by completing a cancellation form or by making a clear statement setting out the decision to cancel.
Albin & Co is a Ltd company trading as Albin & Co Solicitors. It maintains compulsory Professional Indemnity insurance of three million pounds.
Our Insurers are Axis SE and their contact details can be provided to you upon written request, or are available for inspection in our reception.
Albin & Co Solicitors is VAT registered and our number is 155 227713.
Anything you tell your solicitor, or any member of Albin & Co. staff is absolutely confidential. Only in extremely rare circumstances can this duty be overridden. We are for example required to report any conduct which we believe might amount to an attempt at money-laundering.
We have a duty to the Court not to mislead it. Therefore we cannot tell the court or allow you to tell the court something different from what you are telling us.
Occasionally we are required to submit a selection of files to the Legal Services Commission who are also required to act confidentially in relation to any information therein. Similarly it may be necessary to submit files to our Insurers, external auditors or advisors who assist Albin & Co. in relation to risk and maintaining quality standards.
We can only disclose information regarding you or your case to a third party with your express permission. We cannot provide information to people who ring on your behalf unless instructed to do so by you. It is important that the instructions that we have are from you. We cannot accept your instructions through a third party. Sometimes we ask other companies or people to do photocopying on our files to ensure that this is done promptly. We always seek a confidentiality agreement with these outsource providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:-
- Updating and enhancing client records
- Analysis to help us manage our practice statutory returns and regularity compliance
Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1988 and our duty of confidentiality.
Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties, such as expert witnesses and other professional advisors. You have a right of access under Data Protection legislation, to your personal data that we hold about you.
We may from time to time send you information that we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information, please notify us.
We are confident that Albin & Co. will provide you with first class advice and representation. If however you feel that in any way dissatisfied with the service you have received, please initially contact the fee-earner with conduct of your case to see if it can be resolved.
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). We are committed to providing the very best quality legal advice and client care. We strive to provide all of our clients with an efficient and effective service. If you wish to discuss how your service could have been improved please contact Chris Albin who is the Partner responsible for complaints resolution on 0118 957 4018 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively write to him at Albin & Co. 46a West Street, Reading, RG1 1TZ. We have a procedure in the event of a complaint being made and will provide you with all relevant information immediately. We are permitted 8 weeks to consider your grievance. If we are unable to resolve the problem with you, you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to deal with the complaint. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted at :
T. 0300 550300
PO BOX 6806
Please be aware that any complaint to the Ombudsman must usually be made within 6 months of your receipt from us of a final written response (as of 9th July 2015 this will increase to 12 months), or within 12 months of the act or omission about which you are complaining.
As of 1st February 2013, the Legal Ombudsman the following changes were made.
The time limit for accepting a complaint has increased to 6 years from the date of act/omission or 3 years from when the complainant should have known about the complaint. This new time limit will be introduced gradually and the Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness go beyond 6th October 2010.
Should you wish to consult the Solicitor’s Regulations Authority (SRA) handbook, their link can be found on the Albin & Co Ltd website www.acsolicitors.co.uk.
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
Albin & Co are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our dealings with Clients, employees and other agencies. Please contact us if you wish to see a copy of our Equality and Diversity policy.
Once your case has finished your file will remain in storage for at least 6 years, after which it will be reviewed and if necessary, destroyed. If you require the file for any reason within 6 years it will be available.
We trust that the terms of this letter and our standard terms of business meet with your approval. If you are not in agreement with the terms set out, then please feel free to contact us to discuss. In the absence of any disagreement, we will assume that you accept these terms. You should be aware that by doing so, the advice and services at Albin & Co will be deemed to be on the basis of our standard terms and conditions and the terms of this letter.