1. Website Terms and Conditions
Use of this website is governed by the following terms which were last reviewed in October 2013. We may make further changes and your continued use of this website after we have made any such changes will signify your consent to the changes. Specific terms may also apply to the provision of any of the services that we provide via this website. You should check any specific terms that apply
to the services which you use.
We reserve the right to alter, suspend or discontinue any part of the website or the services provided through it, including your access to it. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that the information contained within this website is correct, visitors should be aware that the information may have become out of date and we give no warranty or make any representation regarding the fitness for purpose, continued availability, quality, accuracy or completeness of the content of this website. Accordingly, the materials on this website do not give specific legal advice and should not be relied on as doing so. In particular you should be aware that laws and regulations might be different outside England and Wales. Your use of this website does not create a contractual or solicitor-client relationship between you and Ikon Law. We recommend you contact the advisers who are named in the website for advice about particular matters. Ikon Law excludes all liability for any kind of loss or damage that may result to you or a third party in connection with the use, inability to use, or the
results of use of this website.
Website visitors are permitted to read the contents and to download and store on a temporary basis any of the contents of this website provided this is for their own personal or non-commercial use. Apart from content specifically made available for download, such as publications, you may not permanently copy, store or redistribute the contents of this website in any way. Where we make content available for downloading this is only for your personal use, or circulation within your business and is not for commercial re-use. You may not set up links from your own websites to Ikon Law's website without our prior written consent.
Any links to other websites from this website are provided for convenience only and Ikon Law accepts no responsibility or liability in connection with your use or reliance on the content of any linked website. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Ikon Law of any linked website or its provider.
For further information on the use of materials from this site, or if you experience any problems with this site, please contact us in writing at the address given below.
Copyright and Intellectual Property
Copyright and other intellectual property rights in the content of the website, including any Ikon Law marks, logos and brands, belongs to Ikon Law). All rights, save as expressly granted, are reserved. If you are in doubt whether an item is copyright or a trade mark of Ikon Law please contact us for clarification.
This legal notice and all issues regarding Ikon Law's website are governed by English law. Access is granted on condition that you accept all of the above and agree to the jurisdiction of the English courts to settle matters in relation to the website.
2.Complaints Handling Procedure
We aim to provide a high quality legal service to all clients. However, we also recognise that, as in all businesses, dissatisfaction with our service can sometimes happen. We look at all complaints objectively and take a constructive approach to reaching a satisfactory conclusion. We recognise that complaints may provide us with an opportunity to check the quality of our service and to make improvements.
This procedure applies to complaints about our charges in the same way as to any other complaint.
2.2 Third Parties
It is our duty as solicitors pursuant to principle 4 of the SRA' Code of Conduct 2011 "to act in the best interests of each client". We also owe certain limited duties to third parties such as:
(a) people and organisations whose interests are opposed to our clients, such as parties to transactions and opposite parties in disputes in which our clients are involved; and
(b) people and organisations whose services we have used on behalf of clients, such as barristers, foreign lawyers, consultants, experts, agents and witnesses.
However, our primary duty is to our clients. In performing those duties we may write and do things to which third parties object, while still acting within the law, applicable procedure, and our professional Code of Conduct. In some situations, whether we have been in breach of a duty to someone who is not a client will be a matter someone else to decide. For example, the way we behave in court or tribunal proceedings is first and foremost a matter for the court or tribunal.
This Complaints Procedure applies equally to complaints from third parties but, for the reasons set out above, we may have to delay or reject such complaints. Also, under our professional Code of Conduct, we are not allowed to communicate directly with the client of another solicitor without that other solicitor's knowledge and consent.
If you are a third party, please address your complaint to the person with whom you are dealing, or their supervising Partner, saying that you are making a formal complaint under this procedure.
The firm is not permitted to charge for investigating and resolving complaints and does not do so.
3 To whom do you complain?
3.1 We would like to resolve any complaints (including complaints about our charges) through an informal discussion with the lawyer concerned, or the supervising solicitor. Their names and contact details will be in the engagement letter you received when you first instructed the Firm, or should have been given to you when you first instructed us on the relevant matter.
3.2 If you do not think you can deal satisfactorily with matters in that way and would prefer to put your complaint in writing, you are welcome to do so. You are equally welcome to put your complaint in writing to the Matter Partner if you have attempted to address the problem informally but this has not been successful. In either event, please write to the Matter Partner, or, if the complaint is in relation to more general matters, to your Client Partner (if different), setting out the problem and stating that you are formally initiating the complaints procedure.
4. Our Investigation
We endeavour to acknowledge every written complaint within 7 days. When acknowledging your complaint we will tell you when you should next hear from us. This will usually be within a further 28 days if at all possible. We will review your file carefully with the person handling the matter and make any wider enquiries within the firm as may be necessary.
After we have carried out our investigations, we will respond to you fully, usually in writing, and we may suggest a meeting. We will tell you about our reaction to your complaint and how we propose to resolve it in a way which we hope will be to your satisfaction.
6 Complaints Handling Officer
6.1 If you are not satisfied with the response, please write to the firm's designated Complaints Handling Officer. The Complaints Handling Officer will review the way in which your complaint has been handled to date and will either:
(a) him or herself review the substance of your complaint him or herself, assisted where appropriate by any relevant members of staff; or
(b) ask the Principal solicitor to look at the complaint himself.
6.2 Your complaint will be looked at afresh. We may have to ask you to clarify your complaint, to explain more clearly what we have done or not done, what the consequences have been for you, and what you would like us to do to resolve the complaint.
6.3 We will then undertake whatever work we consider necessary to investigate the complaint further, which may include reading such of the files as are appropriate, interviewing relevant staff and listening to you. You will receive a response when the issues are as clear as possible. Our aim is to complete this process within 28 days of the complaint being clarified under paragraph 6.2 above. However, this will depend upon the complexity of the problem and the quantity of documents to be read.
6.4 The relevant solicitor will inform you of his or her conclusions and if your complaint has been found to be justified, will make proposals to seek to resolve it.
7 Legal Ombudsman
7.1 If your complaint still remains unresolved, you may have the right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (LeO). The LeO is an independent organisation which deals with complaints about solicitors and other legal professionals. The Legal Ombudsman will consider complaints from members of the public, very small businesses, a charity club or organisation with a annual net income of less than £1 million or a trust with a net asset value of less than £1 million. The Legal Ombudsman will not normally consider any complaint unless you have exhausted that procedure and remain dissatisfied. In addition, there are time limits which apply for submitting your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Generally, you must do so within 6 months from we have responded to your complaint, or 1 year after the problem arose, or you should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint. For further information, you can contact the LeO on 0300 555 0333 or at email@example.com .
You may also be entitled to have our fees and expenses reviewed by the court by applying for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. This applies to all our work, and not just to the conduct of litigation on your behalf. If you take advantage of the Solicitors Act 1974 procedure within a month from the date of our invoice, your right to a detailed assessment is unconditional. If you delay beyond a month the court may impose conditions. Once a year has elapsed since the date of the bill you will lose the right to a detailed assessment unless there are special circumstances. The LeO may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the court for such an assessment.
7.3 The LeO may:
(a) investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client;
(b) investigate allegations that the solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct;
(c) express a view on whether the solicitor's charges are found reasonable;
(d) reduce fees; and/or
(e) award compensation for inadequate professional services.
6.4 The LeO will not:
(a) determine whether a solicitor has been negligent;
(b) determine whether anything a solicitor has done amounts to misconduct;
(c) give legal advice or tell a solicitor how to handle a case;
(d) review the outcome of a Court case;
(e) review a decision of the Legal Services Commission.
7.5 Before it will consider a complaint, the LeO generally requires that a firm's internal complaints procedure has been exhausted. If the LeO is satisfied that the firm's proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further. If the LeO believes that there may have been a breach of the rules governing the professional conduct of solicitors (as opposed to a problem with the service we have provided) it may refer the matter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority which is a separate independent body charged with the regulation of the solicitors' profession.
The address of the Legal Ombudsman is:
PO Box 15870
Birmingham B30 9EB
Telephone: 0300 555 0333
More information can be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
3.Applicable Law, Regulatory Rules and Notifications to Clients
In providing services to its clients, Ikon Law is bound to comply with applicable Law and Regulatory Requirements. Notwithstanding the disclaimer in our Website Terms and Conditions, such obligations apply to our work for clients and take precedence over any contractual arrangement between Ikon Law and its clients. The following pages set out those requirements, certain information we are obliged to give clients, and key terms which form part of our engagement with all clients
Unless expressly detailed to the contrary, any capitalised terms used in this document shall have the same meaning as that detailed in our Terms of Business.
Confidentiality and Disclosure
Conflicts of Interest
Contentious Work – Costs Risk Warning
Contentious Work – paying for your case
Financial Services and Insurance Mediation
Professional Indemnity Insurance and Limitation of Liability
Third Party Reliance
Solicitor's Compensation Fund
In accordance with the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 (Code), we are obliged to operate in accordance with the following mandatory principles:
•to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice
•to act with integrity
•not to allow our independence to be compromised
•to act in the best interests of each client
•to provide a good standard of service to our clients
•to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in us and in the provision of legal services
•comply with our legal and regulatory obligations and deal with our regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner
•run our business or carry our roles in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity
•protect client money and assets
We are unable to accept instructions to carry out work for you which would, or in a way which would offend against one or more of these core duties or any other principle of the Code.
Within the Law there are several items of legislation aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing activities and enabling prosecutions to be brought, including:
•The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002;
•The Terrorism Act 2000; and
•The Drug Trafficking Act 1994.
In terms of the controls required by financial businesses and law firms, the important legislation (which apply to any proceeds of crime, however minor) comprises:
•The Money Laundering Regulations 2007; and
•The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
In order to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Money Laundering Regulations 2007, we are obligated to undertake detailed client due diligence measures and ongoing monitoring for both new and existing clients. It is our policy to verify the identity of all new clients and any existing client that has not been verified within the previous 2 years. Due diligence will be carried out on connected parties such as the beneficial owners of a client as part of the verification process. Accordingly, our clients are required to provide such verification information as is requested by us as soon as possible.
Under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, we may be required to make a report to the relevant authorities (such as the Serious Organised Crime Agency) if at any time we become aware of or suspect (whether from the client concerned or any other person) the existence of the proceeds of crime in relation to any services on which we are engaged. Our obligation to make such a report will, in certain circumstances, override our duty of solicitor/client confidentiality and we may not be permitted to inform the client concerned whether or not we have made, or might intend to make, such a report.
We may terminate the provision of any services to a client, or be instructed to do so by the relevant authorities, if such client fails to provide evidence of identity or if we suspect that the client or any other party connected with such client or with the matter is involved in activities prescribed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Bribery Act 2010
We are committed to preventing bribery and corruption and have a zero tolerance policy to it. It is our policy to comply with the Bribery Act 2010 and we have in place procedures designed to prevent our members, directors, employees, agents, representatives, contractors and sub-contractors from engaging in any activity which would constitute an offence under the Bribery Act 2010.
Confidentiality and Disclosure
We owe an overriding duty of confidentiality to our clients and former clients. The duty of confidentiality owed to our clients, whether arising under the Law or Regulatory Requirements or from a contractual obligation, will always be subject to the following permitted disclosures:
•for the purpose of acting for the client concerned
•to other advisors working for the client concerned on the same matter;
•to our auditors;
•to our own legal and professional advisors;
•to our insurers and insurance brokers;
•as required by Law or Regulatory Requirements; or
•as permitted by the written consent of the client concerned.
Our duty of disclosure to one client does not extend to disclosing or taking into account any information in respect of which we owe a duty of confidentiality to another prospective, existing or former client. As a consequence, where we are aware of any information confidential to one client which is material to another client's matter, such information will remain confidential regardless of the duty of disclosure owed by us to such other client and we will only act or continue to act for both clients where we are permitted to do so by our regulatory requirements.
By way of example:
•We will not act for client A who has an interest adverse to client B where we have information confidential to client B which might be material to and would be put at risk if we acted for client A, unless, in compliance with Regulatory Requirements, we are able to put in place safeguards to protect client B's confidential information
•Similarly, we will only be able to act for client A in circumstances where we may have confidential information of client B that is material to client A's matter if Regulatory Requirements permit us to do so and client A expressly agrees to a lower duty of disclosure
•If, as a result of our acting for a client, such client acquires any information in respect of which we give notification that we owe a duty of confidentiality to a third party, the client will keep such information strictly confidential and not disclose it without our prior written consent
Conflicts of Interests
Before accepting instructions we carry out a thorough standard conflict checking process, to ensure that no conflict of interests exists between us or another client in relation to the instructing client or the matter concerned.
We will not act for a client where a conflict of interest arises or might reasonably be expected to arise between:
•that client and Ikon Law; or
•between that client and another client;
and we will not act for a client where to do so would impair our ability to act in the best interests of another client.
We will not act for two or more clients at the same time in relation to the same or related matter if our duties to each client conflict, or there is a significant risk they may conflict, except where:
•this is permitted by Regulatory Requirements; and
•we have obtained all necessary informed written consents
Subject to the above, we may act for clients engaged in activities similar to or competitive with each other.
Contentious work - Costs Risk Warning
In litigation, the Court may decide to order one party to pay the costs of the other. The Court usually orders the unsuccessful party to pay all or a part of the successful party’s costs although there is no certainty about this. The successful party usually recovers a proportion of its costs from the unsuccessful party although there is no certainty about this. You should be aware that:
•If you make an interim application to Court which does not succeed you may have to pay the other side’s costs, usually within two weeks.
•If you lose the case you may have to pay the other side’s costs and it is not usually possible for you to withdraw from the case without dealing with the issue of those costs.
Costs awarded have to be proportionate to the value of the dispute and, in the ordinary course, recovered costs rarely exceed 60-70% of actual expenditure.
You will still be liable to pay our invoices in full even if the other party fails to pay the costs awarded to you by the Court.
•Issues which the Court may take into account in assessing the costs payable or recoverable include:
oefforts made before and during the proceedings to try to resolve the dispute, including the appropriate use of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution procedures
othe effects of payments into court and offers of settlement;
othe complexity and size of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions raised;
othe skill, effort, specialised knowledge and responsibility involved;
othe time spent;
othe place and circumstances in which the work was done.
If the other side is or becomes legally aided it is highly unlikely that you will recover your costs even if you are successful.
If you are unsuccessful, or the court so orders for some other reason, you may be ordered to pay the other side’s costs. We will discuss with you whether the likely outcome will justify the expense/risk.
Contentious work – paying for your case
Legal expenses insurance may be included in your contracts of insurance and you should check your policies to see if you are covered. Your policy may cover your costs and/or your liability to pay the other side’s costs. If you believe you are covered, please discuss this with us so that we can assist you in notifying your insurer. If you do not have legal expenses insurance, you may be able to purchase insurance to cover you in the event that you have to pay the other side’s costs.
A conditional fee agreement is an agreement whereby we would be entitled to charge you an increased fee if you were successful, and would charge you no fee or a reduced fee if you were not successful. You might be able to take out an insurance policy to cover you in the event that you were ordered to pay the other side’s costs. You would usually be able to recover this insurance premium and any sums you paid to us from the other side if you were successful. Not all Matters are suitable for this type of conditional fee arrangement but we are happy to discuss this further with you at your request.
Ikon Law provides legal services and advises on the law of England and Wales.
The advice we provide to our clients is in accordance with Regulatory Requirements and the proper interpretation of Relevant Law, as each exists on the date on which the advice is provided. If there is any change in such Regulatory Requirements or Relevant Law, or their interpretation after the date on which the advice is given, we have no responsibility to notify our clients of the change or the consequences of such change.
Financial Services and Insurance Mediation
When we provide advice to our clients, we are acting as their legal advisor. We are not authorised by the Financial Conducts Authority under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (As amended). If a client needs advice on investments we may have to make a referral to someone who is authorised to provide the necessary advice.
Where we provide advice to clients in relation to a matter which involves or relates to an investment, that advice may involve us in carrying on regulated investment activities. We can undertake those activities, but only on a limited basis where an exemption to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 applies, including where those activities are closely linked to legal work we do for you.
Ikon Law is not regulated by the Financial Conducts Authority but is permitted to carry on insurance mediation activity, which broadly involves advising, selling and administering insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress, is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
If you are unhappy with any investment advice or insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority or, alternatively, you may be entitled to raise these with the Legal Ombudsman.
General Client Account
In the ordinary course when we act for you we will hold any money of yours in our general client account on your behalf. When we pay out funds or on completion of the matter, we pay you interest on the sums we have been holding except:
•if in accordance with your instructions or any agreement you have entered into or undertaking we have given on your instructions, the interest has been paid to a third party; or
• if the interest is less than £20.00.
Interest is calculated at the following rates on funds held in our general client account and is paid to clients gross:
•sums held up to £50,000.00 – interest paid at 3% below Bank of England base rate;
•sums held from £50,000.01 to £1,999,999.99 – interest paid at 2.25% below Bank of England base rate;
Alternatives to General Client Account
High Value Sums
Where you know or reasonably expect that we will hold a high value sum for you and/or that we will hold a sum for a considerable amount of time, you can request us to placed the money in a designated account. In that event we would account to you for the full amount of interest received from the bank.
For these purposes high value sum means £1,000,000 or more (or the equivalent at the time you pay it to us in foreign currency) and considerable period of time means two weeks or more. However, we are prepared to discuss these parameters with you. Clearly, the important factor is the impact on the interest you will receive, and the higher the sum the shorter the period that will be relevant.
The general client account rates above do not apply to Controlled Trust matters. In these cases, we pay over the full amount of interest received from the bank. Trusts which are Non-Controlled are subject to the general client account rates
Where any client has obligations in relation to the control of "inside information" (as defined in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (as amended) and as set out in the Disclosure Rules produced by the FSA or as similarly referenced in other applicable national or international law) we shall, upon request produce and maintain a list of those of our employees who are working for that client and who are in possession of "inside information" and, on request, will provide the list to that client as soon as reasonably practicable.
We also take reasonable measures to ensure that our employees with access to "inside information" relating to any client understand and acknowledge the legal and regulatory duties imposed on persons in possession of such information and the sanctions involved for misuse and improper disclosure of such information.
Professional Indemnity Insurance and Limitation of Liability
The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 require us to notify details of the insurers who provide Ikon Law with professional liability insurance cover that we, as a firm of solicitors practising in England and Wales, are obliged to hold by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The qualifying insurers details can be obtained by writing to us. This insurance covers our practice in England and Wales and extends to acts or omissions wherever in the world they may occur.
Ikon Law alone will provide its clients with legal services and each client agrees that it will not bring any claim whether in contract, tort, under statute or otherwise against its owners, connected entities and employee or and those owner and employees and connected entities shall be entitled to rely on this statement insofar as it limits their liability.
Ikon Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which is the independent regulatory body of The Law Society. A small number of our lawyers are regulated by other professional legal bodies including The Bar Standards Board, Council of Licensed Conveyancers and in the case of lawyers admitted in jurisdictions outside England and Wales, the relevant regulatory body in the jurisdiction in which they are admitted to practice.
Click here for the current regulatory requirements imposed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We are bound by a number of regulatory requirements including rules on conduct, financial services, accounting and professional indemnity.
Third Party Reliance
Our advice is provided to and for the benefit of our client only. No other person may use or rely upon our advice nor derive any rights or benefits from them. The provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 are to that extent excluded.
Solicitors' Compensation Fund
The Solicitors' Compensation Fund Rules 2011 provide for the Law Society to establish and maintain a fund for compensation claims. Grants are made from the fund at the discretion of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
IKON LAW Solicitors & advocates
82 Stechford Lane, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, B8 2AN
PH: 0121 786 1321 FX: 0121 2466664 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ikon Law Solicitors & Advocates is the trading name of Ikon Law Ltd incorporated and registered in England & Wales, company registration number 08468421. This firm is regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No. 598374
Your local solicitors with international experience...