Terms of Business
Terms of Business
Sarginsons Law LLP
Terms and Conditions of Business
The aim of this document is to set out some important details about the basis on which we propose to provide our services to you and how you can help us to do the best job possible for you. This is an important document – especially if you might become unhappy with our services in any way – and we recommend that you keep it for future reference. Unless we agree otherwise, the terms that are set out in this and the client care letter accompanying this document form the basis of the contract between you and the firm under which we will be acting for you on this and any future work that we do for you.
2. Appointments & Office Hours
Our normal office opening hours are between 9.00am to 5.15pm on Mondays to Fridays. If the Fee Earner with conduct of your case works different days/hours, these hours will be notified to you, together with details of the arrangements available, when the Fee Earner is not normally in the office.
Please help us to maintain a high standard of service by making an appointment if you want to see your lawyer. If you call in to see someone urgently we will do our best to see you if possible, but without an appointment this might not be possible.
3. Client Car Parking
The firm does have some car parking available at the office premises. Normally, every effort is made to accommodate clients’ parking requirements, but this cannot be guaranteed. In the event that parking is not available, clients will be directed to the nearest alternative parking facility.
As a result of pressure on spaces we do ask you to restrict your use of the car park to the duration of your time in the office.
4. Our Service Standards
We aim to offer our clients quality legal advice with a personal service at a fair cost. To achieve this quality service our responsibilities are that we will:-
(a) Update you by either telephone or in writing with progress on your matter regularly and following agreed events.
(b) Deal with your queries promptly – for example we will always try to return your telephone calls on the same day
(c) Communicate with you in plain language & explain to you the legal work which may be required and the prospects of a successful outcome.
(d) Explain to you by telephone or in writing the legal work required as your matter progresses.
(e) Review your matter regularly and update you on the cost of your matter every six months, or at agreed events.
(f) Update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in circumstances
(g) Update you on the likely timescales for each stage of this matter and any important changes in those estimates.
(h) Continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded or any other alternatives to litigation that may be available.
(i) Advise you of any changes in the law.
(j) Advise you of any circumstances and risks of which we are aware or consider to be reasonably foreseeable that could affect the outcome of your matter.
(k) Represent your interests and keep your business confidential.
In assisting us to meet our quality standards, we would ask you to do the following:
(a) Provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions.
(b) Provide all documentation required to complete the transaction or required for the matter in a timely manner.
(c) Safeguard any documents that are likely to be required for discovery. In litigation matters, you must retain all documents connected with the case, even if they do not support your case.
We will need your regular instructions, so please remember to let us know promptly of any change of address or telephone number, or if you are going away. Although we will usually tell you what we need to know, we also rely on you to tell us about any relevant developments or anything else that we should know. If you do so as soon as possible it might help to prevent wasted time and costs.
5. Contact by Email
If you give us your e-mail address we will assume we can use it to send e-mail and other documents unless you ask us not to. Please remember that the internet is not completely secure and that some confidential and sensitive material is best sent by other means
6. Equality & Diversity
We are committed to equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, employees and others. A copy of the Firm's equality and diversity policy is found on our website www.s-law.co.uk
7. Professional Regulation & Indemnity Insurance
As a firm of solicitors we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, whose rules can be found on their website at www.sra.org.uk/handbook.
The firm has Professional Indemnity Insurance. The Certificate of Insurance is available for inspection at our office at 10 The Quadrant, Coventry, CV1 2EL.
8. Cancellation of Contracts
Distance Selling Regulations
If we have not met with you, the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 may apply to this work. This would mean that you have the right to cancel your instructions to us, without charge, within fourteen working days of receiving this letter. You can cancel your instructions by contacting us by telephone, email or post to the person named in these Terms of Business as being responsible for your work.
However, if we start work with your consent within this fourteen day period, you lose that right to withdraw. The Regulations require us to inform you that the work involved is likely to take more than thirty days.
Once we have started work on your file, you may be charged if you then cancel your instructions.
Contracts made at your home, place of work or away from the office
Where we have made a contract agreeing to provide legal services away from the office, at your home or at your place of work, the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 may apply to this work. You will be given a Notice, if this applies and the Notice will advise you that you have the right to cancel your instructions to us, without charge, within 14 working days beginning with the date when you receive notice of the right to cancel.
If you exercise your right to cancel, then you are not liable to pay for work done before the cancellation, unless you have made a written request for the performance of the contract to begin before the end of the cancellation period.
9. Financial Services
We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, nor are we regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. If, while we are acting for you, you need advice on investments, we may have to 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 provides an independent complaints review process for most clients of solicitors’ firms. If you are unhappy with any investment advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of these bodies.
10. Insurance Mediation Activities
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 https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register
You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell us this clearly in writing.
We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example if you do not pay an interim bill or comply with the request for a payment on account, or seek to mislead the Court or lenders in any way - we will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing. You will pay for expenses together with our charges on a time spent basis as set out in our terms and conditions of business.
In conveyancing matters, we expect to receive instructions from your lenders to act 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 lender to know and they are relevant to the lenders, we may have to stop acting for the lenders and possibly also for you.
When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company, we may require a Director and/or controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of this firm. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and to require immediate payment of our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out below.
12. Fees & Expenses
The client care letter which was sent with these Terms and Conditions of Business detailed how your case would be funded and also provided an estimate as to costs and explained how fees would be calculated. In addition to that information, we set out below further details regarding how fees are calculated:-
(a) Estimates - We will do our best to give you an estimate (based on the information available to us at the time) of what the charges for the work are likely to amount to including fees, VAT and disbursements. If this is not possible we will advise you of the basis upon which we will charge up to the point at which we are able to give you an estimate of the fees involved. In these circumstances you may wish to suggest a costs ceiling which we will not exceed without your further instructions. Please note that an estimate is not the same thing as a fixed fee and is liable to change.
(b) Fixed Fees - In other cases we might be able to agree a fixed fee in which case you will be charged that amount for the Fixed Fee Work as defined in your retainer/engagement letter. Any work which is different from or supplemental to the Fixed Fee Work will be charged separately and, where possible, we will notify you in advance of what will be involved in this and any different terms that might apply to such work and the fees we would intend to charge.
As fixed prices are set at the outset then they are based on our experience of similar types of work. Fixed pricing gives you certainty as to the amount that you will pay for the work that you instruct us to do at the outset.
(c) Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFA) – if your case is being dealt with by virtue of a CFA, the client care letter sent with these Terms & Conditions of Business details how and when fees become payable.
(d) Calculation of fees - Our fees (excluding fixed pricing) are calculated mainly by reference to the time that is spent in dealing with your instructions. Where we are charging on an hourly rate, different hourly rates may be charged for different types of work, and according to the seniority of the person who handles it for you. Details of the applicable rates are found in the client care letter sent with these Terms & Conditions of Business.
Time spent on dealing with your instructions will include:-
- Meetings with you and perhaps others;
- Negotiating with others on your behalf in meetings, by letter, e-mail, fax and by telephone;
- Considering, preparing and working on papers, deeds, etc;
- Preparing for Court or Tribunal hearings, including travelling and waiting time;
- Instructing third parties on your behalf;
- Legal and factual research;
- Correspondence and communications (sent and received including by letter, e-mail, fax and text);
- Making and receiving telephone calls; and
- Preparing detailed costs calculations.
Where we are acting for you on an hourly rate charge basis, any lawyer who spends time working on your matter will record their time. Time is recorded in ‘units’ of six minutes (and the time recorded is rounded up to the nearest whole unit) for all work undertaken on your behalf and this is then charged at the appropriate percentage of the relevant hourly rate. Routine letters are charged as 6 minute units of time and we charge for the time spent on making and taking telephone calls in 6 minute units and considering incoming letters at units of 3 minutes per page.
Sometimes, where the nature of the work warrants a different basis for charging, we may calculate our fixed price or estimate and subsequent fees taking into account additional factors other than time spent. Such factors may include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge which the case requires or, if appropriate, the value of the property or subject matter involved. In such cases, the basis of our charges will be made clear to you at the outset, or when it becomes apparent that such factors will influence the estimate or basis of the charge. Minor expenses, e.g. postage, telephone calls and reasonable photocopying done internally, are included in our fees
(e) Changes to rates - These hourly rates have to be reviewed periodically to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation. Normally the rates are reviewed with effect from 1 January each year. If a review is carried out before this matter has been concluded, we will inform you of any variation in the rate before it takes effect.
(f) Additional charges - In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours, the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action has to be taken, any particularly specialist expertise which the case may demand. In particular, in property transactions, in the administration of estates and in matters involving a substantial financial value or benefit to a client, a charge reflecting, for example, the price of the property, the size of the estate, or the value of the financial benefit may be considered. It is not always possible to indicate how these aspects may arise but on present information we would expect them to be sufficiently taken into account in the rates which we have quoted. Where a charge reflecting any value element is to be added we will explain this to you.
(g) Disbursements - Some types of work (e.g. property purchases and settlement of claims) may require you to make payments to third parties, in addition to legal fees and VAT. Such payments to third parties will be made by us on your behalf as work progresses, and might include court fees, search fees, barristers' fees, etc. Payments will be made from your money held by us in our client bank account. Please respond quickly to any request for payment in advance of expected disbursements, as any delay in providing cleared funds to us may delay your transaction. We may not be able to take the next step if the money is not available to use as cleared funds.
(h) Your liability for legal costs of others (in litigation) - It is important to be aware that this firm is employed by you and that you are personally responsible for the payment of our fees regardless of any order for costs made against opponents.
In addition, if your case is unsuccessful, you will probably have to make a contribution to your opponent's costs as well as being required to pay all of your own. Please ask us if you would like further advice on your potential liability for your opponent's costs.
If you are successful in your case it is important to note that the most that you can usually hope for is that the other party will be ordered to pay part of your costs and you will therefore have to pay the remainder. There are also circumstances in which you will still have to pay all of our fees even though you have been successful, such as where your opponent is in receipt of legal aid (‘public funding’) or your opponent is bankrupt.
If you are successful and a court orders another party to pay some or all of your charges and expenses, interest can be claimed on them from the other party from the date of the court order. We will account to you for such interest to the extent that you have paid our charges or expenses on account, but we are entitled to the rest of that interest.
You will also be responsible for paying our charges and expenses of seeking to recover any costs that the court orders the other party to pay to you.
(i) Fees on termination of retainer - In the event that either you or we decide to end our involvement on your case you will be liable to pay any charges and expenses that are already outstanding, and for the work done up to that point which has not been billed. Our fees will be calculated on an hourly rate basis plus expenses, or by proportion of an agreed fixed fee if that is the basis on which we are acting for you.
If work which we have undertaken for you does not proceed to a conclusion, we will charge only for work done up to the point where the matter proves abortive and for any disbursements paid on your behalf. In the case of fixed fee work charges will not exceed the fixed fee or, if we have agreed fixed fees in relation to stages of work, the charges will not exceed the fixed fees up to the end of the stage that we are involved in at that time.
(a) Interim Invoices - To enable you to budget we will normally send our interim invoices from time to time before the conclusion of your matter. We will then send out a final bill on the completion of the work. In the normal course of events any interim bill will be on account of the final costs in that matter and we will not therefore be limited as to the eventual amount of costs charged for the period stated on any such interim invoice.
From time to time, however, we will also be entitled to raise what will be headed an ‘interim statute bill’. This will be different to the interim invoices described above in that the charges stated will be final for the period in question and will not be capable of being subject to any addition or amendment on our part at any later stage. We will also therefore be entitled to commence recovery procedures in the event that any such bill remains unpaid.
We may also render additional bills to cover disbursements which we have incurred in dealing with your instructions.
(b) Final Invoices - Once the matter is concluded we will render a final invoice for all outstanding fees, disbursements and VAT, excluding any charges already included in interim invoices. Sometimes, the final invoice will include an allowance for concluding work that will be necessary to close your file after the legal transaction is completed, but this will be explained to you.
Any money due to you will be paid by cheque or bank transfer: it will not be paid in cash or to a third party.
(c) In the case of an interim statute bill or a final bill you may also be able to object to our bill by applying to the Court for an assessment under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you exercise this right you could be prevented from making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. In addition, if you apply to the Court for an assessment and if all or part of the bill remains unpaid at the end of that assessment, we are entitled to charge interest. There are strict time limits that apply to this process and you may wish to seek independent legal advice.
Invoices are required to be paid as follows:--
(a) Property transactions: We will normally send you our bill following exchange of contracts and payment is required on a purchase prior to completion; and at completion; on a sale. If sufficient funds are available on completion, and we have sent you a bill, we will deduct our charges and expenses from the funds.
(b) Administration of estates: We will normally submit an interim bill at regular stages during the administration, starting with the obtaining of a Grant. The final account will be prepared when the Estate Accounts are ready for approval.
(c) Other cases or transactions: It is normal practice to ask clients to pay sums of money from time to time on account of the charges and expenses which are expected in the following weeks or months. We find that this helps clients in budgeting for costs as well as keeping them informed of the legal expenses which are being incurred. If such requests are not met with prompt payment, delay in the progress of a case may result. In the unlikely event of any bill or request for payment not being met, this firm must reserve the right to stop acting for you further.
Payment is due to us within 28 days of our sending you a bill. Interest will be charged on a daily basis at 4% over Allied Irish Bank plc’s base rate from time to time from the date of the bill in cases where payment is not made within 28 days of delivery by us of the bill.
We accept payment by bank transfer, cheque or debit card. You may come into the office in person to make a debit card payment or you can telephone us with your debit card details. There is no additional charge to you if you make payment by any of these methods. Please also note that if you are paying by debit card, payment must be made at least 48 hours prior to the date the money is required as it takes this length of time to clear into our client account. Cheques take seven working days to clear as set out in 16 below.
(d) Non-payment - In the event of payment not being made within these terms, we reserve the right to suspend work on your file where the account is unpaid and on any other matters being dealt with for you and, ultimately, to decline to represent you further. In those circumstances, final invoices will be rendered for work on all matters calculated to that date. In all cases, while there is money owing to us for payment of our charges or expenses we will be entitled to keep all papers and documents until all invoices are paid.
We are registered for VAT under registration number GB 272577925. We are therefore required to add VAT to our charges at the rate in force at the time (currently 20 per cent) to fixed prices, estimates and invoices. VAT may also be added to some disbursements, charges or expenses and we will be entitled to keep all papers and documents until all invoices are paid.
16. Cleared funds & transmission of funds
Where money is to be paid to a third party you should allow seven working days for any cheques deposited with us by you (or anyone on your behalf) to clear to enable us to make such payments. (For example, a cheque banked by us on a Tuesday cannot be drawn on as cleared funds until the Friday of the following week.)
In many cases it will be quicker and more convenient to transmit and receive funds electronically by telegraphic transfer and we will advise you when this is appropriate. When we transmit funds by telegraphic transfer (CHAPS) on your behalf we make an administrative charge for this service which will include the actual bank charge to us for the transfer. If funds can be transferred by “Fast Pay”, there will be no charge.
17. Bank Interest
Our policy on the payment of interest in relation to money that we hold on your behalf is to account to you for all sums earned if the total exceeds £20. Below this sum we will retain any such sums earned without accounting to you for them. We believe that this policy is fair and reasonable, and we keep it under continual review in the light of changing interest rates in particular.
When we are in receipt of large amounts of money we will usually place such funds on specific deposit, in which case you will receive all the interest earned. General payments of interest are made without deduction of tax but tax is deducted at source on specific deposits.
Please note that the rates of interest that we might earn on your behalf are likely to be lower than you might otherwise obtain since we need to have instant access to all such funds.
Our aim is to offer all our clients an efficient and effective service at all times. We hope that you will be pleased with the work we do for you. However, should there be any aspect of our service with which you are unhappy, please raise your concern with the fee earner having conduct of this matter who will endeavour to resolve any problem.
If you are still dissatisfied then contact by telephone or preferably in writing Simon Booth the solicitor having responsibility for dealing with complaints or Lynne Robson the partnership manager who is responsible for tracking the progress of complaints. On receipt of your complaint you will be sent full written details of the firm’s complaint handling procedures.
We aim to resolve all complaints as quickly as possible and, in any event, within eight weeks from receipt by either Simon Booth or Lynne Robson of your complaint.
On conclusion of the firm’s complaints handling procedure, or on expiry of the eight week period referred to above if you are still dissatisfied you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Their contact details are as follows:-
Telephone 0300 555 0333
Post: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months from the date of our complaints handling procedure being concluded. Further details about time limits and procedure can be found on their website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
We are required by law and professionally to keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents. In particular, please note the following possible exceptions:-
(a) Outsourcing - Sometimes we ask other companies or people to do other work on our files to ensure this is done promptly ie photocopying, typing, storage of files. 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.
(b) External Quality Checks -External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files. Since very few of our clients do object to this I propose to assume that we do have your consent, unless you notify us to the contrary.
(c) Required by law - 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 or in certain circumstances, other statutory bodies such as the DSS Fraud Office. 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.
(d) Conveyancing – You authorise us to disclose to all other parties in the chain of transactions and their agents and advisers, all information which we have in relation to your involvement in the transaction including any related sale or mortgage and other financial arrangements and wishes as to dates of exchange & completion. You may withdraw this authority at any time, but if you do so you should appreciate that we will inform the other party, their agents or advisers that this authority has been withdrawn.
20. Data Protection
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:
- addressing correspondence and related documents to other parties and opponents in any litigation, as well as other agencies such as the courts or Government agencies such as HMRC where relevant to the work we are doing for you; and
- maintaining the financial and other personal information we are required to keep on clients under the professional rules we are subject to and by law including our obligations to HMRC.
Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 and our professional duty of confidentiality. Please note that in the course of the work we do for you it will be necessary to provide certain of your personal data to the other parties involved in your matter and their professional advisers. It may also be necessary to provide information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. Others who may require access to the personal data we hold on you could include our professional regulator - the Solicitors Regulation Authority, accountants performing audits on this firm, our bank in relation to monies we hold for you in our client account and (if you are legally aided) the Legal Aid Agency.
The legal bases which are relevant to the work we undertake for you are mostly in order that we can satisfactorily perform the contract we have with you and also so that we can protect the interests of our professional indemnity insurers through maintaining suitable records. We are required by law to retain certain data including identity and address details in order that we can comply with the Government's anti-money laundering controls (see following paragraph). We would need your consent to send you future marketing information, (on which see the end of this document).
We do not envisage sending any of your personal data outside the UK or the EU.
You have a number of rights as a data subject including the rights to:
- be informed of the data we hold on you
- have any incorrect or out of date data rectified
- cease to receive certain forms of communication or to restrict processing,
- take your data elsewhere ("portability")
- object to our use of data.
Unlike certain other business concerns we do not as a law firm involve ourselves in automated decision making and profiling.
You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you. If you would like to make a request to know about the personal data we hold on you please contact the partner in charge of data protection - Lynne Robson - at our Coventry address.
If you are unhappy about the way we are managing your data please let us know, but you also have a right to object to the Information Commissioner at Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF (tel: 0303 123 1113). Please also see your rights to complain to the Legal Ombudsman (paragraph 18).
21. Storage of papers, files & documents
After completing the work, we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses. We will keep our file of your papers for up to 10 years, except those papers that you ask to be returned to you. We keep files on the understanding that we can destroy them 6 years after the date of the final bill. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
We are obliged to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and often others involved in the transactions or cases we are dealing with. These checks are a mandatory element of the government's controls over money laundering and terrorist financing and we are required to conduct them by law. Our usual practice will be to ask to see your original passport or photo driving licence and a recent utility bill or bank statement. If is not practicable for us to meet you at an early stage of the work we are handling for you we may ask you to obtain certified documents from another lawyer or financial professional elsewhere and submit these certified copies to us in the post. Our usual practice is also to commission an electronic database search in which case the fee of no more than £15 per name will be charged to you as expenses.
Please note that any such searches and copy documents will be securely maintained on the file for your matter in pursuance of our data protection policy (see paragraph 20). The uses that will be made of the data will be to provide confirmation of the identity of the person(s) providing it only. The law requires us to maintain such data for the period of 5 years from the end of the matter we are handling for you or from the date at which you cease to be a client of this firm. However, you agree to our retaining the forms and any other data for our usual file retention period of 6 years from the date of the file being archived, or longer than this if necessary, as when litigation has arisen or may be pending, and the checks have or may become relevant in any such proceedings.
22. Limit of Liability
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.
23. Tax Advice
Any work that we do for you may involve tax implications or necessitate consideration of tax planning strategies. We are not qualified to advise you on the tax implications of a transaction that you instruct us to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising. If you have any concerns in this respect you must seek advice from an appropriate tax expert.
24. Business Status
In the event that we convert to any other business structure you agree that we may assign the benefits subject to the burdens of this contract.
An English Limited Liability Partnership is a body corporate which has “members” and not “partners”. Sarginsons Law LLP has nevertheless decided to retain the traditional title of “partner”. Therefore, when we refer in the client care letter and terms and conditions or otherwise in the course of your dealings with us to an individual being a “partner”, that title means the individual is a member of the LLP or one of the other Sarginson Law LLP entities.
25. Terms and conditions of business
Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of then current hourly rates, these Terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to this firm. Although your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business, it may not be possible for us to start work on your behalf until the enclosed Receipt and Acceptance Form has been returned to us.