In all our dealings with our clients we aim to provide a high quality service, to find out what our clients want, and achieve it. We try to work quickly and efficiently, and we hope you find us friendly and approachable. At the end of the transaction we hope you will think our fee represents good value for money.
We are open from 9am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our telephones are answered during these hours. Our fax line is open at all times and we can also be contacted on our e-mail addresses as shown. Please note e-mails have no contractual effect.
We require you to advise us at any time during this transaction if you cannot be contacted for any reason as we may require your instructions to respond within a specified timetable.
Identification: Money Laundering Regulations require us to confirm the identity of our clients and as to the source of any funds passing through our hands. In order to comply with these Regulations we need to ask for your proof of identity. We shall be obliged if you will let us have sight of a photographic form of ID for example your passport or driving licence together with a utility bill or other document confirming your home address. Please hand these into our office whereupon we will copy same and return to you. In the event of a Third party making a payment on your behalf then that Third party is subject to the same Money Laundering procedures.
Instructions may be given to us in writing or verbally. We may well ask you to confirm in writing the terms of verbal instructions given to us. If there is any change in your instructions you must notify us immediately. If you wish anyone other than yourself to give us instructions or information, we will require confirmation of this in writing.
Conflict of Interest
In general, we cannot act for two or more parties if they have conflicting interests. Please advise us at the outset if you are aware of potential conflicts which may arise. If we decide that we can still act (i.e. if you are one of the exceptions to the general rule) we will confirm this to you in writing.
if property is being purchased by more than one party we will assume that capital contributions are equal. In the event of capital contributions being unequal there may be a conflict of interest requiring you to seek separate independent legal advice.
Unless we agree otherwise in writing, we shall assume that where we act for more than one person but only one of them tells us what to do, that person for whom we do work is equally responsible for the instructions given to us and for payment of our fees and outlays in connection with that matter. If you do not understand what this means, please ask us to explain.
Private Limited Companies
If we are given instructions by a private limited company then, unless otherwise
The basis on which we shall charge fees will be in accordance with an estimate provided to you in writing or by unit and charges, as specified in our tables of fees for general business which can be viewed here. We reserve the right to render interim fee notes for payment from time to time.
Funds Invested On Your Behalf
If funds held by us on your behalf require to be invested the funds will be deposited with Bank of Scotland. If you wish your funds to be deposited with a different bank or building society you will require to give us your instructions to that effect.
Some service providers pay us commissions. Our choice is not based on the value of the commission paid but on the service to us and the suitability of the product. Any such payments received by us will be refunded to you unless you consent to us retaining the payment. An exception to this is commissions received from professional searchers and stockbrokers. In respect of any funds invested by us on your behalf we receive a handling commission in respect of each and every transaction.
Any estimate that may be given will be a probable fee based on our experience of the work you have asked us to do. If the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than we anticipated then we may require to increase our estimate to take account of this. We will inform you as soon as possible about this. Sometimes we will need confirmation of your ability to fund the transaction, and a deposit may be requested.
Expenses in Court Action
If we act on your behalf in connection with a court action in which you are partly or wholly successful, it may be possible to recover expenses from your opponent. In practice only a proportion of your expenses are likely to be recoverable. You are liable for our fees and for outlays incurred on your behalf whether or not you are successful in an action but credit will be given for all expenses recovered from your opponent.
Deduction of Fees and Outlays at Source
Where we receive sums which belong to you we shall be entitled to deduct from those sums all outstanding fees and outlays before sending you the balance. If after conclusion of any matter on your behalf, we are left holding nominal funds as a credit on your account which would not be economic for us to remit to you by cheque and we have no other business with you, we will be deemed to have your permission to write off any such credit balances provided it does not exceed £25.
Sales and Purchases of Property
When you are selling property, we will deduct all outstanding costs together with our fees from the sale proceeds as soon as practicable after the date on which the sale is completed. When you are buying property, fees and costs will be payable by you by agreement, but no later than the date on which you become the owner of the new property.
Costs paid on your behalf
Where fees, outlays or expenses are to be paid by us on your behalf, we will endeavour to give you details of these in advance in order that you may place us in funds before the sums are due. If however we are unable to do so, we will require to be repaid by you within seven days of your receiving a request for payment of the appropriate sum. Please note that we are acting as agents on your behalf and the contractual liability to pay fees or outlays on your behalf is your liability.
You are entitled to change solicitors at any time but you are responsible for the fees and any other outstanding payments due to us until the time of change. We are entitled to hold any title deeds, files or other papers until payment.
We require to have cleared funds prior to issuing any cheques on your behalf. In terms of UK banking clearance practice to ensure funds are clear we require cheques a minimum of 10 days prior to issuing same on your behalf and in cases of a bank transfer, the day prior to settlement. If settling the sums due by credit or debit card then we require to be placed in funds a minimum of 4 working days prior to issuing same on your behalf.
Limit of Liability
For the protection of our clients and ourselves we carry Professional Indemnity Insurance. The aggregate liability of our firm in any circumstance whatsoever, whether in contract, delict, under statute or otherwise, and howsoever caused for any and all damage arising from or in connection with the services provided shall, be limited to the sum of two million pounds (£2M) in relation to each matter. If you have any reason to think that the aforementioned sum is insufficient to cover any foreseeable loss, please raise this immediately with the Solicitor dealing with your business.
If for any reason you are unhappy about the quality of service provided, or the amount of our fees, then you should, in the first instance take the matter up with the solicitor with whom you have been dealing. Alternatively, should you prefer or if you feel your initial approach has not resolved the point, we would invite you to raise the matter with Alastair J Dale, our Client Relations Partner, who is based at the Galston Office. If you are still dissatisfied you may submit a formal complaint to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission who deal with complaints against Solicitors in Scotland.
The Commission can be contacted at The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG, Tel: 0131 528 5111, www.scottishlegalcomplaints.com.