a) Patch Law ("us", "we" and "our firm") is a law firm with Gillian Patch as Sole Principal. These Terms of Business apply only to Initial Advice.
b) By agreeing these Terms of Business you will be entering into a binding legal contract with us.
2) The Advice
a) You will select one of the following options for the advice (the “Initial Advice”):
i) Initial Brief Case Review
ii) Initial Telephone or Skype Consultation
iii) Initial Client Meeting
b) The following fixed costs will apply to the Initial Advice (the “Fixed Cost”):
i) £95 + VAT
ii) £175 + VAT
iii) £245 + VAT
c) For the Fixed Cost you will be provided with Initial Advice with a specialist employment solicitor.
d) The Initial Advice can be arranged to take place at a time convenient time for you during usual office hours between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, or – for telephone advice only - during evenings or weekends but availability for these times will be more limited
e) When arranging an appointment time for your Initial Advice you will need to provide your full name and address, email address and telephone numbers, name of your employer and any individuals or other businesses who may be connected with your employment issue. This is so that we can check that we do not have a conflict of interest.
f) The following time limits apply to each option for the Initial Advice: (i) 25 minutes, (ii) 50 minutes, (iii) 75 minutes.
g) For options (ii) and (iii) only you may request us to look at any key relevant documents you send us by email in advance of the Initial Advice. Page limits for any such documents are 5 pages plus contract of employment for option (ii) and 10 pages plus contract of employment for option (iii).
h) We will send you a short summary of the guidance offered by email after the Initial Advice.
i) You cannot pass the right to the Initial Advice to someone else without our agreement and they will also have to agree to these Terms of Business.
j) It is important that you understand the nature and limitations of the Initial Advice service. We will not be representing you, but providing a one-off session of legal advice without the costs associated with instructing us to take on your case. However, after the Initial Advice you may decide to go on to instruct us, but that is separate from this Initial Advice service. You should assume that the Fixed Cost will not be recovered from or reimbursed by your employer.
a) The advice given by us is limited to what can be achieved in the allocated time.
b) The advice will only take account of the facts and evidence provided by you in the limited time available. You should therefore aim to ensure that you explain things as concisely as possible and include any facts or evidence which go against you as well as those in your favour.
c) The advice is intended to give you an opportunity to discuss your current employment problem with a specialist employment law solicitor.
d) You will receive practical jargon-free advice to help you understand your options for finding a practical solution.
e) There will be insufficient time during the Initial Advice to take full details from you and your documents and those of other parties and provide comprehensive specific advice which could take several hours.
f) There will be insufficient time during the Initial Advice to undertake research, additional enquiries or investigations.
g) After the Initial Advice you may decide to take no further action, take further action yourself, instruct Patch Law to act for you or instruct a solicitor from another firm.
h) The follow up summary email is subject to these Terms of Business and can only be treated as a general overview.
i) The Initial Advice is only available for employment law issues governed by the laws of England and Wales.
a) The fee rate and other provisions of these Terms of Business are correct as of the date they are sent to you or downloaded by you.
b) The Fixed Cost is an 'agreed fee' within the meaning of rule 17.5 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Accounts Rules 2011. This means that the amount of the fee is fixed and cannot be varied up or down.
c) Charges are subject to VAT at 20%.
d) Unlike some other firms we do not require payment in advance for the Initial Advice. However, the invoice for the Initial Advice will be delivered promptly afterwards and will fall due for payment immediately and must be settled before we can undertake any further work on your behalf. Payment may be made by cheque although we prefer electronic bank transfers/BACS (our bank details appear on our invoices). We do not accept cash, credit or debit cards.
e) We have financial arrangements with Menzies Law Ltd, Independent HR Ltd and with Settlement Agreement Advisers Ltd whereby a share of fees received by us is passed to one of the above companies where it introduced you to us. There is no added cost to you as a result of these arrangements.
5) Feedback, satisfaction and complaints
a) We very much welcome and invite feedback, both positive and negative, whenever you have a view on the quality of our services and how we provide them. If you wish to give us any comments or feedback please feel free to do so.
b) We pride ourselves on good communication and good relations with our clients. However, if you feel dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, you are entitled to complain. We are always trying to improve, and we genuinely appreciate you telling us about any dissatisfaction, so that we can address the matter.
c) You should not hesitate to direct to Gillian Patch any complaint that may arise in respect of any aspect of our work. A copy of our Complaints Handling Procedure is available upon request.
d) If you are an individual consumer, a charity or a 'micro enterprise' and, after using our Complaints Handling Procedure, you remain dissatisfied and wish to take your complaint further, you may ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (www.legalombudsman.org.uk) within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.
6) General terms and conditions
a) Where the Initial Advice is given by telephone (rather than in person) you have the right to cancel this agreement for 14 days from the date of this agreement by email to email@example.com and will not be charged the Fixed Cost as long as you do this before the Initial Advice takes place.
b) We reserve the right not to provide the Initial Advice service to you. This might be for reasons such as availability, area of law or conflict of interest.
c) The data collected by us from you in booking and providing your Initial Advice will be kept strictly confidential and not disclosed to any third party except where it is strictly required in the performance of our services to you or so that we ourselves may obtain specialist advice or to our regulators, our insurers, any statutory legal complaints service or otherwise as may be required by law, our professional body or other rules and regulations. Further information is in our Privacy and Transparency Notice.
d) These Terms of Business are governed by the law of England and Wales.