1. Business hours
We are normally open between 9.00am and 5.00pm from Monday to Friday. Please feel free to call us during these hours but please note that our office is not open to the public. If you would like a meeting, please advise us and we will make separate arrangements. We are closed on all bank holidays.
2. Scope of our services
When you instruct us on a new matter, we will send you a client care letter confirming your instructions and setting out the services which we will provide. Unless expressly agreed otherwise, our services will not include advice concerning the tax implications of any course of action or transaction, or advice on tax related issues generally.
3. Our responsibilities
- treat you fairly and with respect;
- communicate with you in plain language;
- review your matter regularly;
- advise you of any changes in the law that affect your matter;
- advise you of any reasonably foreseeable circumstances and risks that could affect the outcome of your matter.
4. Your responsibilities
- provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions;
- provide all documentation and information that we reasonably request in a timely manner;
- safeguard any documents that may be required for your matter, including documents that you may have to disclose to another party;
- Tell us at the outset who is properly authorised to give us instructions. Unless advised otherwise, we will assume that we are authorised to accept instructions from any person whom we reasonably believe to have your authority to give instructions to us and that we may act on instructions given orally.
5. Service levels and frequency of communication
- We will update you regularly by telephone, email or SMS with progress and likely timescales on your matter.
- If there is a material change in circumstances we will update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks.
- We will update you on the cost of your matter at the intervals set out in our letter confirming your instructions. If appropriate, we will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded.
6. Limit of liability
We have professional indemnity insurance giving cover for claims against the firm.
Our total liability to you in respect of our engagement for any loss, liability or damage howsoever caused, whether in contract (by way of indemnity or otherwise), tort (including negligence), misrepresentation, restitution or otherwise (in each case whether caused by negligence or not) and whether related to any act, omission, services provided to you or not or failure to act or delay in acting by Cheval Legal Limited will be limited to £3 million, including interest and costs. If you wish to discuss a variation of this limit, please contact the person dealing with your matter. Agreeing a higher limit on our liability may result in us seeking an increase in our charges for handling your matter.
We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot and do not limit liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence.
As well as any other limitation agreed with you (and subject to professional rules), our liability for any claim in respect of services provided to you (whether in contract, negligence or otherwise) shall be limited to the proportion of the total of all damage, including costs, which may be fairly attributed to us (having regard to any contribution to such loss or damage by any other person) in proceedings for a contribution under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978 in England and Wales, and Section 3 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1940 in Scotland.
You agree that no director, consultant or employee of Cheval Legal Limited shall be liable to you for any loss or damage caused by their acts or omissions (including in negligence) save where loss or damage was caused by fraud, dishonesty, reckless disregard of professional obligations or wilful conduct or where the liability is one which cannot be excluded at law. In such circumstances Cheval Legal Limited shall be liable to the same extent as it would have been in the absence of this exclusion.
It is agreed that each of our directors, consultants or employees will have the right to enforce this paragraph pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. We reserve any right we may have to rescind or vary the Engagement Terms without our having to seek the consent of our directors, consultants or employees, our service company or any of its or their employees, consultants or agents.
You agree that you will inform us if you agree, or are asked to agree, to limit the liability of another of your advisers in connection with your matter.
You also agree that our liability shall not be increased by any limitation, exclusion or restriction of liability you have agreed with any other adviser, or by your inability to recover from any advisor, or your decision not to recover from any adviser.
We shall not be liable to you for any failure or delay or for the consequences of any failure or delay in the performance of your instructions if it is due to any event beyond our reasonable control including, without limitation, acts of God, war, industrial disputes, protests, fire, flood, storm, tempest, explosion, acts of terrorism, pandemic, and national emergencies.
Reference in these terms and conditions, our client care letter, or otherwise in the course of your dealings with us, to an individual being a ‘director’, means either a director of Cheval Legal Limited or an employee of Cheval Legal Limited.
The provisions of this paragraph shall continue to apply notwithstanding the termination of our engagement for any reason. Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the terms above.
7. Regulated services
Cheval Legal Limited is a limited company (also referred to as ‘we’ or ‘us’) with registered number 12093338 and having its registered office at Suite 103, 4 Montpelier Street, London, SW7 1EE. Cheval Legal Limited is a practice authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN (the SRA). This means that we are governed by a Code of Conduct and other professional rules, which you can access on the SRA’s website www.sra.org.uk or by calling 0370 606 2555.
8. Instruction to other professionals
Should we need to instruct other professionals (expert witnesses, accountants, actuaries and so on) we do so, unless otherwise agreed, on your behalf and as your agent. They will be responsible to you for the quality and accuracy of the advice they provide and you will be directly responsible for payment of their fees and expenses. Before making any such appointment on your behalf, we will consult with you and seek your agreement to the appointment.
9. Data protection
We are the data controller of personal data relating to individuals who are either the named client or through whom we conduct our relationship with you. We refer you to our Data Protection Privacy and Consent form for more details and for you to provide or deny your consent. In general We use the personal data you provide or that we collect during the course of business primarily for the provision of legal services to you including:.
- the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective proceedings);
- the purpose of providing legal advice, or;
- the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
- to further your claim with outsourced providers where appropriate, including but not limited to Momenta Group, The Cashrooms and Enderley Consulting.
We also use the personal data for related purposes including:.
- updating and enhancing client records;
- client identity verification;
- analysis to help us manage our practice;
- statutory returns;
- legal and regulatory compliance (e.g. investigations by our regulators, anti-money laundering);
- commercial purposes (e.g. creditworthiness checks);
- data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud;
- marketing and promotion of our services to you and informing you of relevant news and legal developments. Please note that we will never sell your data to a third party nor allow any third party to use it for marketing purposes;
- Sharing information with your CMC, Spectra Litigation Funding and Markel Insurance (ATE provider).
This personal data will be held in electronic format. Our use of that personal data is subject to your instructions, the terms of your policy, data protection laws (including the General Data Protection Regulation or any other legislation subsequently enacted that may relate to, replace or supersede it) and our duty of confidentiality.
Please note that our work for you may require us to give personal data to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. Any third party to whom we disclose personal data will be under an obligation to keep that data secure and not to use it for any other purpose other than that for which it was disclosed. We may also disclose personal data to third parties to whom we are selling some or all of our business/assets as part of any due diligence process.
For any personal data supplied to us by you or on your behalf or collected by us in the course of our relationship with you we will:.
- act only in accordance with your instructions in relation to the processing of that data;
- take appropriate organisational and technical measures to protect and safeguard the data from accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access;
- provide appropriate training to those who process that data;
- never allow third party marketing;
Where you are acting as an agent or as a trustee, you agree to advise your principal or the beneficiary of the trust that their personal data will be dealt with on these terms. Unless you inform us otherwise, by disclosing any personal data to us about the principal or the beneficiary, we will assume you have obtained consent or can satisfy another lawful processing conditions for the use of such data on these terms.
In certain circumstances we may need to make an international transfer of personal data. Where the need for such a transfer arises we will ensure there is a lawful basis for the transfer under the provisions and derogations set out in data protection laws. We will make sure the transfer is done using secure methods that offer sufficient assurances and guarantees that the data is afforded the necessary safeguards. We will also ensure that where necessary our clients and the data subjects whose information is to be transferred are notified in advance.
Under data protection laws individuals have a number of rights that enable them to control when and how their personal information is used, and, to allow them to hold an organisation accountable for use of their information. If a data subject wishes to exercise any of their rights such as gaining access to personal we hold about them, where they believe the information may be incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete, where they wish to restrict or object to processing, or, if they are dissatisfied with the way in which we have used their information in any way they can report the matter to our Data Protection Officer at email@example.com.
We may use the personal data for marketing purposes but only in connection with offering services related to those that we provide to you. If any individual who does not wish us to process personal data for marketing purposes they can let us know at any point by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Rights of third parties
We shall not be under any duty to, nor have any responsibility towards, any other person in connection with any matter (unless that person is also a client of ours.
11. Storage and retrieval of files
We will store papers and documents (files) electronically. After completing the work, we will be entitled to keep the files while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses. Thereafter, we will keep the files for 7 years depending on the type of claim it relates to, except those papers or documents you ask to be returned to you.
We store files on the understanding that those that can be destroyed will be destroyed 7 years after the date of the final bill.
If we retrieve your file from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we will not normally charge for the retrieval.
If we retrieve your file from storage for another reason, we may charge you for:.
- time spent retrieving the electronic file and producing it to you;
- reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved file;
- providing additional copies of any documents.
We will provide you with an electronic copy of the file only.
Sometimes we may ask other companies or people to complete work on our files to ensure this is done promptly and in the most cost–effective manner. We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with these outsourced providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible. At present we have agreements with Momenta Group, The Cashrooms and Enderley Consulting to provide services as may be required.
13. External auditing
Your insurer, your litigation funder, or an external firm or organisation may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice, eg our regulator (the SRA), our accountants or assessment bodies for quality accreditations. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files. We refer you to our Data Privacy Protection and Consent Form where you can consent to this.
14. Terminating your instructions
You may end your instructions at any time, by giving us notice in writing. You are liable to pay our charges up until that point. These are calculated on the basis set out in our letter confirming your instructions We can keep all your papers and documents while our charges, disbursements or VAT are outstanding. You will need to make appropriate arrangements for the case to be continued, either by yourself or by another firm of solicitors and, in court proceedings, we cannot cease to act for you until either you or another firm of solicitors have gone on the court record.
We can only decide to stop acting for you with good reason for example if you fail to pay our charges or to provide us with instructions. We may have to stop acting for you, for example if a conflict of interest arises. If so, we will give you as much warning as we can.
15. Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
We are required by law to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and sometimes people related to them. This is because solicitors who deal with money on behalf of their clients can be used by criminals wanting to launder money.
To comply with the law, we need to obtain evidence of your identity as soon as possible. This is explained in our letter confirming your instructions. We use the services of an external electronic verification service provider.
We are professionally and legally obliged to keep your affairs confidential. However, solicitors may be required by statute to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.
Any personal data received from you for the purposes of complying with money laundering regulations will be processed only for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, unless (a) use of such data is permitted by law or (b) Cheval Legal Limited has obtained your consent to the proposed use of such data.
The information and documentation you provide us is confidential and subject to legal professional privilege unless:.
- stated otherwise in this document or our letter confirming your instructions, eg in relation to prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing;
- we advise you otherwise during the course of your matter;
- we have your authority to disclose it;
- the information is in or comes into the public domain without any breach of confidentiality on our part;
17. Electronic communication
Unless otherwise directed by you, we will correspond by means of email. We each agree to accept the risks of using email, including but not limited to the risks of viruses, interception and unauthorised access.
We cannot guarantee that transmissions will be virus free.
You agree to release us from all claims, loss, expenses or liabilities caused by the risks set out above and arising either directly, or indirectly, out of such electronic communication.
We use filtering software to try and reduce the receipt of spam and or viruses into our systems. There is some risk that legitimate correspondence may be filtered out and as such you should not assume that every email will be received. If you believe that any email sent has not been received please follow up important communications with a telephone call.
18. Receiving and paying funds
If you are required to make payment to us or to any other party our policy is that we do not accept cash payments in excess of £500.
If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly with our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds. Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by BACS bank transfer to your UK bank account. If you require same-day funds you agree to pay us a reasonable administration fee, plus VAT. We cannot accept instructions to pay a third party.
19. Our bill
You are liable to pay legal costs as set out in our letter confirming your instructions. But we will usually recover these from a third party such as a lender. A breakdown of any invoice will be provided on request.
If an invoice remains outstanding after 14 days from the date of delivery of the invoice, we reserve the right to (a) charge interest on the higher of 2.0% over the base rate of the Bank of England (as varied from time to time) or the rate then payable on judgment debts on any amount outstanding after 14 days from the date of delivery of the invoice until payment and (b) suspend work on all matters on which we are advising you and/or to terminate our retainer. In addition, all our invoices will become immediately due and payable. Our invoices must be paid without any deduction or withholding on account of taxes or other charges. If you are required by law to make a deduction or withholding you must pay such additional amount as may be necessary to ensure that we receive payment of the full amount of our invoice. We may cease acting for you if an interim bill remains unpaid after 14 days or if our reasonable request of a payment on account of costs is not met.
You have the right to complain about our bill. The Complaints section in our client care letter tells you how to make a complaint.
You have the right to challenge our bill by applying to the court to assess the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. There are very strict time limits and to use this procedure you must act immediately on receipt of an invoice: we cannot advise you on such an application.
We can keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses.
20. Client money and payment of interest
Unless we agree otherwise with you, any money that we hold for you will be deposited in a client bank account with a clearing bank or a building society. Any funds received will be held in the firm’s general client account which, as required by the SRA, is an instant access account. We have a separate policy on the payment of interest, available on request.
Our client account is designed to facilitate client transactions: it is not a private banking facility and we will not permit it to be used as such. Therefore, even if interest is payable, you will not receive as much as if you had invested the funds yourself.
We may apply any money that we hold for you towards the discharge of our outstanding account, provided the money is not held for a specific purpose.
21. Investment advice services
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. If, while we are acting for you, you need advice on investments, we may refer you to someone who is authorised to provide the necessary advice. However, we may provide certain limited investment advice services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you. This is because we are members of the Law Society of England and Wales, which is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If you are unhappy with any investment advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with the SRA or Legal Ombudsman.
This means that we can provide limited advice on financial business insofar as this is integral to the professional services we are providing to you. This may include: selling and administration of insurance contracts and certain consumer credit activities. We do not conduct any such services on a standalone basis. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the LSS. The register can be accessed via the FCA’S website at www.fca.gov.uk/register.
22. Consumer credit services
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to consumer credit services. We may, however, provide certain limited consumer credit services where these are incidental to the professional services we provide. This is because we are members of the Law Society of England and Wales, which is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If you are unhappy with any consumer credit services you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with the SRA or Legal Ombudsman.
23. Insurance distribution activity
We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register.
The Law Society of England and Wales is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If you are unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with the SRA, or Legal Ombudsman.
24. Equality and diversity
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.
25. Consumer Contracts regulations 2013
If you instruct us by telephone or email, you have the right to withdraw your instructions without charge for any reason within 14 days from the day after the date on which you sign these Terms and Conditions. If you wish to do this, you must tell us within this period. However, if we start working on your instructions with your consent, you cannot withdraw without charge.
26. Applicable law
Any dispute or legal issue arising out of the provision of services by us to you shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the England and Wales.
If any provision of our agreement with you is invalid or unenforceable for any reason that shall not affect the remainder of our agreement with you.
28. Application, prevailing terms and future instructions
These Terms and Conditions of Business supersede any earlier Terms of Business we may have agreed with you.
If there is a conflict between these Terms of Business and any specific terms agreed with you in relation to an individual matter (for example, any terms set out in a client care letter confirming instructions) then the specific terms will prevail. It may be necessary to amend these Terms of Business from time to time. We will notify you of any such change and unless we hear from you to the contrary within 14 days following such notification, the amendments and or new terms will come into effect from the end of that period.
Unless otherwise agreed, these Terms of Business will apply to all future instructions you give us on this or any other matter.
Cheval Legal Limited