Terms of Business
Castletown Law is the trading name of Castletown Law Limited a company registered under the Companies Acts with Registered number SC602269, having a registered office at Forest Lodge, Gosford Road, Longniddry, East Lothian, EH32 0LF.
This document sets out the terms on which Castletown Law registered legal practice number 56502, will provide services to the client based on the acceptance by the client of the proposal for provision of such services.
1. Billing Rate
Our hourly rate for time spent by our legal advisors is detailed in our engagement letter or email exchange with you. This rate will apply for all legal advice provided through our service. The hourly rate for other (non-legal) consultancy services will vary depending on the service. We may revise these rates annually or as circumstances may warrant at our discretion on provision of notice of amendment of rates to you.
2. Services covered at the Hourly Billing Rate
The above rates will apply to all time reasonably spent on providing the legal advice and services anticipated in the engagement.
3. Services covered under Specific Arrangements
The hourly rate above will apply to all work including where we agree a specific basis for charging for:
(a) services rendered to you under an annual retainer basis: will be reconciled so we will continue to record all time and agree a reconciliation of the time recorded against the charges made for the retainer;
(b) services rendered to you on a project basis: will be on the basis that we carry a degree of risk in the project and will work on a contingency fee basis. Where this applies, our contingency fee on the basis of a project failing to achieve funding will be 25% of our time recorded on the project and where the project does achieve funding our fee will be all time recorded plus an uplift of 20% with the full fee amount plus the uplift and any chargeable disbursements payable on financial close;
(c) where we agree a specific basis for representation of you in any civil proceedings, arbitration tribunals or in any other alternative dispute resolution methods including mediation.
4. Billable Time
We will charge for all time spent by our lawyers in providing the required services. This will include time spent in meetings, via telephone, replying to emails or other correspondence, drafting contracts and other documents, conducting research, etc. It will also include travel time to and from our offices in the event of any attendance outside our offices. All time recorded by our advisory team will be deemed to be accurate and chargeable unless you identify a basis for amendment of any entry based on fraud, negligence or wilful misconduct.
5. Calculation of Rates
Our rates will be proportionately charged for work involving shorter periods of less than an hour. Our charges are structured in 6-minute units. For example, the time charged for an attendance of up to 6 minutes will be 1 unit and the time charged for an attendance between 6 and 12 minutes will be 2 units. We shall charge a minimum of 1 unit for any activity.
6. Money on Account
We may from time to time require you to pay an amount in advance on account of our fees and any payments and disbursements to be made to third parties on your behalf.
7. Authorisation to Set Off
By accepting our offer, you thereby authorise us to receive directly into our account, monies that may be required on account of our costs or any disbursements or third-party costs or expenses, as well as money received from any source in furtherance of your work.
You also agree and authorise us to set off and pay ourselves our costs, disbursements and expenses from any such amounts prior to releasing any balance of those funds to you, but only where those funds are with your agreement paid into our account for the purpose of accounting for our charges.
8. Billing and Payment Arrangements
We shall send you an invoice containing information of our professional fees and charges, disbursements and expenses either after completion of the work, or monthly, or at other times as agreed with you, when the work is in progress. You will pay our invoice within 14 days of it being issued to you. We will send you pre-billing information of what is to be included in the bill, where the bill is not a retainer or pre-agreed amount. If you dispute any amount in the invoice for payment, you will notify us within 3 business days of the invoice being issued and specify your objection. You will none-the-less pay the undisputed amount due under the invoice.
9. Opening of Client File
To open a matter for you we require to comply with Anti-Money Laundering Legislation. This requires us to record the names of your company or you as an individual, the beneficial owner of your business and the registered address of the person controlling the company and of the beneficial owner. Copies of passport photo pages and proof of registration of a home address and the registration details of the company will be required to enable us to comply with regulations.
Communications will be exclusively by electronic modes and primarily email unless you direct us otherwise. Documents will be transmitted in word, PDF, excel or power-point formats only. You accept there are security risks in the transfer of data by electronic means and you accept those risks and will not hold us responsible or liable for the penetration of any communications or data system by a third party which accesses your information held by us or transmitted by us to you.
Our liability to you in respect of legal services provided under this contract and paid for by you, will be limited in each and every claim to a maximum of £2 million. For non-legal services the liability will be limited to the amount of fees charged for the service from which any claimed liability arises.
12. Expenses & Disbursements
We may incur expenses and disbursements being money which the firm pays or may be liable to pay to third parties on your behalf. These may include: travel expenses; transcripts; search fees; enquiry fees; court filing fees; experts’ reports fees; fees payable to local authorities; and others.
We will inform you of these expenses and disbursements as well as any other payments required to be made for your prompt settlement, as soon as is reasonably practicable in advance.
Please note that we are not in a position to disburse sums out of pocket and to reclaim the same from you at a later date.
The balance, if any, of unutilised amounts paid by you in advance on account of such third-party costs shall be credited back to you on conclusion of work.
13. Value Added & Other Taxes
All sums payable hereunder by you are exclusive of any value added or other taxes or levies which may be imposed by the competent authorities from time to time. Such taxes or levies shall be payable separately by you, in addition to and on top of, any sums payable to us.
14. Unpaid Fees & Expenses
If our costs (or any expenses and disbursements incurred on your behalf) are not paid within 14 days of our issuance of an invoice, we may charge you interest on the unpaid amount at or under the maximum rate prescribed by law. The current rate is 4% per annum above the Bank of Scotland base rate at the time the invoice is issued.
We may additionally charge you administrative fees for time spent by our legal staff in following up the collection of outstanding amounts owed to us at the hourly rates chargeable under this engagement.
15. Substantial Changes to Terms
These terms (including our standard hourly billing rate) may be amended from time to time. You will be informed, as soon as is reasonably practicable, of any substantial changes to anything contained herein.
16. Acceptance of Offer and Payment Terms
If you accept this offer you will be regarded as having entered into an agreement with us. This means you will be bound by the terms and conditions set out in this document, including an obligation to make payment of invoices submitted to you within 14 days of the date of issue of the invoice.
Acceptance may be by any one of the following ways:
You may send an email to us confirming the acceptance of this offer, alternatively you may send a letter. Irrespective of express acceptance of this offer, you acknowledge that this offer is a response to a request from you for the provision of services on a specific basis and by continuing to utilise our services after the date this offer is issued to you, acceptance of the terms of this offer will be deemed to have been given by you and a contract for provision of services concluded between us.
17. Termination of Agreement
If services are being provided to you on a case-to-case hourly rate basis, either party may terminate this agreement at any time on provision of thirty days’ written notice.
If the agreement is terminated either by you or us, you will be required to pay our professional fees and charges for work done, and for expenses and disbursements incurred, up to the date of termination.
On termination, we are entitled to retain possession of your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses, until such time as outstanding amounts are paid by you in full.
Any dissatisfaction with the service provided should initially be addressed to our Client Relations Officer and the Principal of our business by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you remain dissatisfied with our response or the way the company has dealt with your complaint, you are entitled to refer your complaint to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG. They can be telephoned on 0131 201 2130 or contacted by email on email@example.com. Further information can be found at www.scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk.
19. Privacy Protection
Personal information about you, provided by you and other sources, is protected. Disclosure of such information may be compelled by law. We will only disclose information about you and your matters with your consent or where we are compelled by law to do so.
20. Retention of Documents
We will, on completion of any work, retain copies of relevant documents. By accepting this offer you grant us your approval and provide authority for us to destroy the file five years after the date of the final bill rendered by us in this matter.
21. Governing Law
These terms are governed by Scots Law and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Scotland.