Terms and Legal Disclaimer

The materials appearing on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such materials. We shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website.

Quotations given are indications of our likely fee on the basis that all information provided is correct and there are no changes of material circumstances. In some situations additional fees may be charged by third parties, such as leasehold managing agents. Quotations apply to standard residential transactions only and do not apply to pure land transactions, transactions by companies or commercial transactions. If additional legal work is required such as statutory declarations, declarations of trust, drafting of new rights and reservations an additional fee will be payable. In some cases we may be required to pay for additional indemnity insurance to cover risks arising from your sale. In every case such additional fees or charges will be discussed and agreed with you in advance of the cost being incurred. No quotation on this website amounts to a contractual offer and we may decide in our absolute discretion whether it is appropriate for us to act in respect of your transaction.

Copyright Bird & Co Solicitors LLP trading as Conveyancing.Lawyer. All rights reserved.

Our full terms and conditions are supplied to every client at the start of the conveyancing process and no file proceeds until such time as clients have had an opportunity to consider the terms and indicate their agreement.

For the avoidance of doubt, all terms are now set out below:

About Us

  1. Conveyancing.Lawyer is a trading style of Bird & Co Solicitors LLP. This document sets out the terms of your agreement with Bird & Co Solicitors LLP. Bird & Co Solicitors LLP is a solicitors firm authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Bird & Co Solicitors LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership Number OC318696. The Members of Bird & Co Solicitors LLP are solicitors or barristers referred to as Partners and a list of Members’ names is available for inspection at the Registered Office, Windsor House, A1 Business Park at Long Bennington, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5JR. We use the term Partner to refer to a Member of the LLP. The firm’s head office is at 15 Castlegate, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6SE and formal notices should be served at that address. By instructing us to conduct your conveyancing you are deemed to have accepted these terms and acknowledge that a copy of these terms has been emailed to you and you have had an opportunity to consider them prior to appointing us to represent you. Correspondence for should be addressed to: Conveyancing.Lawyer, c/o Bird & Co Solicitors LLP, 38 Kirkgate, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 1AB. We can be telephoned on 01636 616356 & emailed contact@conveyancing.lawyer. Full details are on our website www.birdandco.co.uk. Please note that we do not accept electronic service of court documents.

    Cancellation including Distance Selling

  2. Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you have a right to cancel this agreement without giving a reason within 14 days of instructing us. If you wish to cancel you should notify us in writing using the details above. We are not permitted by law to start work on your matter during the 14 day cancellation period unless you expressly request us to start work during that time. If you ask us to start work you may still cancel but (a) you will lose the right to cancel if we complete our work in that time, and all fees and disbursements would be payable, and/or (b) if you cancel and we have undertaken work on your behalf you will be liable to pay such proportion of costs, fees and disbursements as have actually been expended and any excess held by us would be reimbursed to you.

  3. The following will be events of cancellation:

    1. Both parties agree in writing that the agreement should be treated as cancelled;

    2. A conflict of interest arises which prevents us from acting further;

    3. You misuse the service. Misuse includes but is not limited to:

    4. Unreasonably refusing to accept our advice;

    5. Making requests for advice, updates and/or support which are unreasonable in nature, amount and/or duration. We will warn you if we are considering taking this action, and will advise you as to how to proceed. In some cases we may give you an alternative permitting you to upgrade your service to the hourly rate Bird and Co conveyancing service in accordance with the fee scale in place from time to time, whilst in others we may consider that due to the circumstances it is impracticable to continue with the agreement. We will not cancel and/or ask you to upgrade the service unreasonably and in the event that you are unhappy with our decision you may make representations in writing to the Head of Conveyancing and/or the Senior Partner. The Senior Partner’s decision will be final;

    6. Being discriminatory, abusive or otherwise insulting to our staff. Whilst we recognise you may be under stress and/or in a difficult situation our staff are entitled to be treated with respect and courtesy at all times. We will always treat you with due courtesy;

    7. You fail to provide us with information, payments and/or documents which we require within a reasonable time of such being requested;

    8. We are required by operation of law and/or rules of professional practice to cease acting for you.

  4. In the event of an event of cancellation arising no refund will be payable save where otherwise agreed by us in writing. We will give reasonable notice of cancellation.

    About Our Services, Fees & Quotes

  5. Services will be provided by members of the Conveyancing team as established from time to time under the supervision of Daniel Chard, Solicitor and Head of Conveyancing.

  6. All services and advice are provided by and on behalf of Bird & Co Solicitors LLP and not by individual members of staff.

  7. Legal fees and some disbursements attract VAT at the rate of 20%. Bird & Co Solicitors LLP’s VAT registration number is 567 958 666. Full details will be contained in your formal written quotation.

  8. Quotations are provided on the website to give you a guide to the prices we charge for conveyancing work. We have aimed to provide best value for money while still providing a quality service. We will honour our prices as quoted on the website and as they are in force from time to time. We reserve the right to change our prices for the future in respect of new or additional quotes. If you receive a quotation and make contact with us to instruct us within 24 hours referring to the previous quotation to instruct us we will honour the price quoted.

  9. Your formal emailed quotation represents the basis on which we will do your conveyancing work for you. This contains all fees of which we are presently aware based on the information you have provided. In some circumstances additional disbursements and/or fees may be or become payable. We will advise you of these if they arise and will not incur additional cost without your agreement although some may be unavoidable (e.g. higher Land Registry fees for first leases or new builds; leasehold management charges).

  10. All quotations exclude items which cannot be accurately predicted. These include additional search fees on purchase transactions, indemnity insurance policy fees, leasehold agent fees, notice and certification fees, and Stamp Duty Land Tax liabilities on certain remortgage transfer of equity transactions. We will advise you of these additional items if they arise. Quotations rely on the figures you have provided. In the event that any relevant figure (e.g. the price of the property) alters and/or is inaccurate the quotation may change. It is your responsibility to provide accurate figures. No quotation amounts to a contractual offer and we are not bound to act for you on these terms or otherwise. Whether we act for you is in our absolute discretion subject to the rules of law and professional practice which we must abide by. We may, for example but without prejudice to our general discretion, decline to act for you if we are already acting for another party to the transaction.

  11. Environmental searches: for your protection and that of your lender we advise that environmental searches are carried out. This is to ensure that any current or potential contamination risks are identified because you can be held liable for the cost of rectifying any problems arising after purchase. It also identifies other risks, such as flooding. We may advise other searches be undertaken and/or indemnity insurances purchased. We will advise about this and inform you of the cost. Cost of searches and/or insurance is an additional disbursement for which you are liable. We may enter into commercial arrangements with search providers under which we receive a rebate on the cost of searches purchased in return for marketing services.

  12. No move no fee: if your first transaction does not complete we will not charge you for our professional time (the legal fee aspect of the quote). You will be liable to pay for all disbursements including search fees if incurred and/or out of pocket expenses incurred in your matter including any VAT payable thereon. If you decide you are not going to proceed to completion it is your responsibility to notify us of your change of intention as soon as possible and if notification is unreasonably delayed we may in our absolute discretion charge for work undertaken after notice should have been given. Note that this provision does not apply after exchange of contracts and/or otherwise if you unreasonably decide not to proceed, in which case the provisions of 3(c)(ii) above will apply. Once contracts are exchanged you are legally required to complete the transaction in accordance with the contract and our fee will remain payable. Non-completion of subsequent matters after the first instruction may in our absolute discretion be charged at our standard rate as quoted.

  13. By instructing us you agree:

    1. To pay such fees, disbursements and taxes as are applicable in accordance with this agreement and to pay such money on account of costs and disbursements as may be requested. Your payment on account will be credited against any final bill charged;

    2. To settle our final account upon demand. Interest is charged on bills overdue for more than one month at the rate of 8% per annum. There will be a charge of £6.50 plus VAT for each telephone call or letter made by way of reminder regarding any account remaining unpaid after that period. Ordinarily we expect our final account to be paid upon completion;

    3. That where the client consists of more than one person any work carried out by the solicitor is done for the joint benefit of all such persons and the liability to pay the solicitors’ bill is joint and several. This means that any one person of the group described as the client may be called upon, at the option of the solicitor, to settle the full bill for work done;

    4. That where the solicitor is instructed by joint parties then the instruction of one of the parties shall be deemed to be an instruction from both parties.

  14. Payments should be made to this firm by electronic means from an account maintained in the name of the client at a regulated bank and/or credit institution. You must use the reference provided and your file number if known, and should confirm to us by email or telephone that a payment has been made to ensure that it is properly applied to your transaction. All banks will arrange an electronic money transfer to us although some will charge a small fee for this service. Please make your payment to Bird & Co Solicitors LLP using account details Sort Code 30-93-58 and Account Number 17869260, Lloyds Bank, St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. We can accept debit or credit card payments over the telephone using our normal contact telephone number. We only accept cheque payments in exceptional circumstances as they can lead to significant delays in transactions. We regret that we cannot accept payment in cash. You must provide us with bank details for any payments and payments will only be made by us to account details provided. All details will be subject to electronic validation and verification.

  15. If you are borrowing money on a mortgage to facilitate a purchase we will request the mortgage funds from your lender the day before completion in order to ensure that the monies are available as early as possible on the day of completion and that you do not incur contractual penalties should the monies be received late from your lender. You will be charged a days interest by your lender, or several days if (a) the completion funds need to be requested over a weekend or bank holiday, or (b) completion is delayed.

  16. Bird & Co Solicitors LLP will pay you interest accrued whilst monies are held in our client account where that interest is £20 or more. Any interest of less than £20 will not be paid to you due to the administrative costs of sending out such interest payments. Our client account is held in accordance with the Solicitors’ Account Rules at Lloyds Bank. We disclaim any liability for loss occasioned in the unlikely event of loss by the bank and/or the bank’s collapse but you may be entitled to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

  17. We will send you a bill for our charges and expenses, normally after the exchange of contracts. Payment of the bill is due on completion. This in practical terms requires that you put us in funds not later than the day before completion with all required sums. If sufficient funds are available on completion and we have sent you a bill, we will usually deduct our charges from the funds.

  18. You are entitled to complain about your bill and in the first instance this should be done in writing to your caseworker. If you remain dissatisfied after your caseworker has answered your complaint you can object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman or applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.

  19. Please note that upon completion of a purchase we will submit the Land Transaction Return with any Stamp Duty due. The responsibility of this firm ceases with the issue of the Certificate. Any subsequent enquiries raised after this time will be directed to you as purchasers.

  20. We may outsource legal and operational functions to reputable third parties. These arrangements are subject to the client confidentiality and outsourcing provisions of the SRA Code. Unless we hear from you to the contrary we will assume you are agreeable to us outsourcing activities in relation to your matter.

    Instruction by other parties

  21. If you are purchasing with a mortgage or remortgaging we expect to receive instructions from your mortgage lenders to act on their behalf. If so, we will have to pass them information you give us that might be relevant to their decision whether to finance the purchase. If you tell us things that you do not want the lenders to know and they are relevant to the lenders, we may have to stop acting for the lenders and possibly also for you. We will decide to stop acting for you only with good reason and on giving you reasonable notice.

    Documents & Communications

  22. In order to provide you with services and advice we rely on the information and documents supplied by you. You acknowledge that in the event that you do not supply complete documents and/or information the advice we are able to give may be affected and that we cannot be held liable for errors or omissions arising from incomplete information.

  23. Where you have provided us with contact details you are responsible for ensuring that your means of contact are suitably secure and where possible not shared with others. You must keep us updated if these contact details change. We cannot be held liable for information loss arising where you have not informed us of a change in details. It is prudent to ensure you have a secure email password, current malware protection, and that you do not allow access to third parties and/or access such communication services in insecure ways. We cannot be held liable for any damage or loss arising from a failure to apply proper security procedures by you. You are also responsible for ensuring that passwords for the In Touch system are keep secure and we exclude liability for loss arising from unauthorised access to the In Touch system.

  24. It is a policy of this firm wherever possible to communicate with our clients and conduct our business using electronic mail except when it comes to the transmission of hard copies of bundles of documents to parties which we must necessarily dispatch by post and/or the official receipt of the service of legal proceedings which we will only accept via fax or through the post. We ask our clients in so far as it is practical to provide us with a personal or business email address to which all communications can be sent on a private and confidential basis. You should therefore ensure that any email address provided to this firm is suitably secure for you to receive communications from us and is one that is not shared by others as we will not accept liability under any circumstances should a third party access your email account and read our communications sent to you.

  25. In accordance with the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations we have to ask all clients to provide us with two forms of identification before we can begin work on their behalf. You are required to provide us with suitable images of documents for electronic checking, or the original documents or certified copies (not photocopies) of acceptable forms of identification as advised by us. Bird & Co solicitors will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by compliance with any statutory or regulatory requirement. We will undertake electronic verification of your identification, address and bank details. This does not create a credit file footprint on your record.

  26. Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs for the client confidential. This obligation is however subject to a statutory exception; recent legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Crime Agency. Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure. If this happens we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made, or of the reason for it, because the law prevents “tipping off”.

  27. You agree that we may retain and process information and documentation relating to you in order to carry out our work. 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 legal and regulatory compliance. Use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 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 advisers. You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you. We may from time to time send you information which we think might be of interest to you.  If you do not wish to receive that information please notify our office in writing.

  28. External organisations may from time to time conduct audits on our practice and our files.  These organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your file.  By entering into this agreement you will be confirming your consent to your file being audited. 

    Financial Services

  29. Bird & Co 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 mediation 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 and the Legal Ombudsman. The register can be accessed by the Financial Conduct Authority web site at www.fca.org.uk. We only select products from a limited number of insurers with regard to indemnity insurance but we are not contractually obliged to conduct business in this way. Ask us for a list of insurers if you require one. If during this transaction you need advice on investments we may have to refer to you someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as we are not. However, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Ombudsman we may be able to provide certain limited investment services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you.

    Insurance, Professional Conduct & Complaints

  30. The firm has Professional Indemnity Insurance which it covers the firm for the legal work it undertakes within the legal jurisdiction of England and Wales. Please note, any legal advice or opinion given by any member of the Bird & Co Solicitors team is given on behalf of Bird & Co Solicitors LLP and not by the individual. We hold indemnity insurance to the total level of £10 million under AM Trust and other associated insurers. A copy of the certificates will be supplied on request and is available or inspection at the Head Office of the firm.

  31. Our liability to you for a breach of your instructions shall be limited to £5,000,000 unless we expressly state a higher amount in the letter accompanying these terms of business. We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities. We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence. Please ask if you would like us to explain any of the terms above. We do not provide tax, planning or environmental advice, or advice on construction issues. If you require advice in these areas you should consult an appropriate professional adviser. We disclaim all responsibility for any advice in these areas. Liability for advice given is limited to our client and any other party in respect of whom we have expressly accepted liability in writing. We do not accept liability in respect of reliance on this advice by third parties whether known to us or not. Advice may not be relied on by third parties.

  32. Solicitors are bound by professional rules. These are contained in the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct 2011 produced by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) as amended from time to time. The SRA may be found online at www.sra.org.uk or contact 0870 606 2555.

  33. All firms of Solicitors are obliged to attempt to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise your concerns with us. We value you and would not wish to think you have any reason to be unhappy with us. Bird & Co Solicitors are committed to high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about the bill please contact Christopher Milligan, the Senior Partner, in writing at our office address above. We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints which is available from Sarah Foss at our Grantham office. The firm usually has eight weeks to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with the handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at P O Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, www.legalombudsman.org.uk or telephone 0300 5550333 or email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk to consider the complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. Please note not all categories of clients have the right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. However individual clients will have the right to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Currently complaints should be referred to the Legal Ombudsman within:-

    1. 6years from the date of the act or omission complained of OR

    2. If more than 6 years ago – 3 years from when you should reasonably have known that there were grounds for complaint.

    Retention & Storage of Documents

  34. After completing the work, the firm is entitled to retain and not release to you all your papers and documents while there is any money owing to us for fees or expenses. In any event, the file of papers relating to your case will be retained by the firm for six years after the end of your case subject to you giving any different instructions.  Without any contrary written instructions from you, the file will be destroyed after this time and you are deemed to authorise the firm to do this. Once stored, should you require retrieval of those papers the firm shall be entitled to charge you a fee of £20 plus VAT and for the reasonable costs of copying, postage and any time spent by the firm reading or preparing the papers or in correspondence about your instructions. We will not destroy any documents we are specifically asked to retain on your behalf or keep in safe custody.

    Notices & Miscellaneous

  35. Notices must be served at the Head Office of the firm. We do not accept formal notices or court proceedings via email.

  36. The content of the Bird & Co website, Conveyancing.Lawyer website, Solicitor Satisfaction website and all content in this publication is copyright Bird & Co Solicitors LLP 2016. All rights reserved. No content may be reproduced without the written permission of this firm. We assert ownership and intellectual property and database rights in respect of all websites, publications and other documents whether electronic or not which are produced during your instructions.

  37. In these terms words of masculine gender shall include the feminine and singular shall include the plural wherever the context so permits; Solicitor includes the firm of Bird & Co Solicitors LLP and its staff and agents as the context requires; The Firm is Bird & Co Solicitors LLP.

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    © Bird & Co Solicitors LLP, t/a Conveyancing.Lawyer 2016