Terms


SHERIDANS TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT


WITH EFFECT FROM JANUARY 2018


INTRODUCTION


The purpose of this document is to set out clearly and fully the legal conditions which apply between yourself and this firm when this firm undertakes work on your behalf.  We have to advise you, in particular, that, when you instruct a solicitor, a number of other agencies are necessarily involved.  These include the Law Society of Scotland, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), The Scottish Legal Complains Commission (SLCC), the Police and the Data Protection Authority, each of whom have legal powers to enter our offices and study the papers, documents and other information which we hold on your behalf.  Also, the solicitors in this firm are Officers of Court and are always subject to compulsion by Order of Court to make disclosure of such information and to such persons as the court finds fit.  For these reasons, our Terms of Engagement require to be detailed and precise and you should not hesitate to contact this firm for any further explanation or information required.

1.    This notice is issued in order to advise you as to the terms and conditions on which we will act as your solicitors and to confirm the way in which the fees payable by you are calculated and how they should be paid.  The matter in which you have instructed us has been identified in the covering letter. If you do not understand or require any further explanation of anything contained in this letter please do not hesitate to contact us.  This is a standard letter which is sent to all clients at the outset of a matter.

2.    The name of the solicitor with immediate responsibility for the conduct of your business is given in the covering letter.  That solicitor will have responsibility for the overall supervision of your business and is the person whom you should contact with any enquiry as to the progress or any other enquiry which you might have.  If your solicitor is unavailable for any reason then you should leave a message on our answering service or speak to our receptionist who will either take a message for you or refer you to another solicitor in the firm if necessary. 

3.    LEGAL ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE.  In certain circumstances financial assistance may be available to meet the costs of your business and full details will be made available on request.  If your business is conducted at this firm under the Advice and Assistance or Civil legal Aid scheme then the Terms of Engagement set out in this letter should be read as subject to and as qualified by the terms set out in the Guide to Civil Legal Aid produced by the Scottish Legal Aid Board which is available on the Board’s website at www.slab.org.uk and can be accessed directly on the internet at:-

www.slab.org.uk/publications/documents/combinedcivilleafletaug2010FINALpdf.pdf 


If you are unable to access this document please advise us and we will provide you with a paper copy.


4.    Your instructions to this firm can normally be given in any way which is convenient to yourself whether by letter or by telephone call or by e-mail etc. but we shall generally seek to have instructions of a complicated or important nature recorded in writing and shall seek to obtain your signature on such instructions where appropriate and may require to refrain from taking action until such signed instructions are in place.

5.    Our charges are based upon the time spent by the solicitor or other colleagues on your case whether speaking to you or other people on the telephone, writing letters, dictating notes, perusing documents, traveling to and attending meetings with you and/or other people and any other action that we need to take in order to act on your behalf.  The hourly rate is fixed each year and posted on our website at www.sheridanssolicitors.co.uk and has been set at £180.00 for 2018/2019.  Charges are based on units of 6 minutes and we annex below information detailing the unit charges.  A special hourly rate and / or additional charges may be made in terms of paragraph 7 below.

6.    If you have instructed us for the purposes of a conveyancing transaction we have attached a schedule showing how the costs are calculated (See below “Statement of Costs in Conveyancing Transactions”). We have also provided below an explanation as to how we will deal with money which is held by this firm on your behalf (See below “Your Money in our Hands”).  We have also provided below a statement of our responsibility in connection with the regulations which control money laundering (See below “Money Laundering Information”). If you have instructed us in connection with the administration of the estate of a deceased person then please refer to the Special Terms of Engagement for Executry Business at section 26 below.

7.    Where work required in any category of business is of unusually high value, urgency, complexity or importance to the client or where an unusual frequency of communication is required, a higher hourly rate of up to £250 and / or additional fees may be charged to reflect that value, urgency, complexity, importance or frequency. Such additional fees shall be taken only by agreement with the client or on approval by taxation at the Royal faculty of Procurators in Glasgow or by the Court.

8.    In addition to the cost of the time that is spent on your file, other expenses such as court fees which are often referred to as outlays will inevitably have to be incurred by us from time to time on your behalf.  If the expenses are likely to be substantial we will give you advance notice and obtain an estimate of costs if required.

9.    VAT will also be payable by you on these charges, at the rate applicable from time to time.

10.    It may not be possible to estimate the amount of costs in advance of work undertaken simply because so much depends upon the way in which other persons react and, for that reason, it is not normally possible for us to give you a firm statement of fees at this stage.

11.    In order to enable us to start work for you we usually ask our client to make an initial payment of £200 which will be held generally on account of the costs and disbursements which we are likely to incur on your behalf and which will be put towards the first account sent to you. The covering letter explains whether and when this payment is required. 


12.    At regular intervals you will be sent an interim account and such sums as are held on your behalf will be applied towards the interim account and you will be expected to pay any balance as soon as possible thereafter.  This system makes sure that you are aware of the cost you are incurring as your case progresses.  Interim accounts will be based on a reasonable estimate of the work carried out to date but will not necessarily be totally accurate in their reflection of the work done to date.  A final account is only prepared once the case is completed and the file is sent to our law accountants.  Obviously it is not appropriate for your file to leave the office while it is active but we do try to ensure that interim fee notes reflect so far as possible the work done to date.  

13.    In the event of payment of an interim fee note not being made we regret that we must reserve the right to decline to act any further for you.  The full amount of work up to that date will be charged to you.

14.    Although it may be the case that some other person agrees to, or is ordered to pay your costs you will remain personally liable for payment of all our costs and disbursements as and when they become due until such payment is received from that person. We would not therefore be able to postpone payment of our account by you in the hope that it is likely to be or should be met by someone else.

15.    Additionally, if another person is ordered to pay your costs you will not necessarily recover from that person the full amount of costs incurred on your behalf.  The cost payable by another party depends on a number of factors applied by the court in determining the level of costs recoverable.  If the other party is legally aided you may not be able to recover your own costs at all.

16.    You must also always bear in mind that, in litigation or court cases, if the court so directs you may have to pay the costs of the other party as well as your own.

17.    We appreciate that the question of the costs you will incur may well not be your main concern at present and apologise for writing to you at such length exclusively on this topic.  However, it is best that you fully appreciate the position from the outset of your instructions.

18.    Any information or document you provide to us will normally remain confidential and will not be disclosed to a third party without your consent. However, there are important exceptions to this:-

i    Where any solicitor dealing with your file has reason to believe that property of any kind, including money could be the proceeds of crime, including a failure to pay tax or VAT or any other government duty whether in this country or elsewhere they must report this to the police.  This applies whether the property is held by you or your spouse or partner and no matter where it is situated.  In most cases such a report must not be disclosed to yourself at the time it is made.





ii    Following the enactment of various parliamentary statutes, a number of persons and bodies have legal authority to enter our offices and inspect the papers, documents and other information in whatever format that we hold on your behalf. These authorities include the Law Society of Scotland, Her Majesty’ Revue & Customs, (HMRC), the VAT authority,  the Data Protection authority, the Police, the Scottish Legal Complains Commission (SLCC) and others.  

You may therefore wish to consider having such papers, documents and information deleted from our records.  At the same time, it is often of great assistance and advantage when you consult us that we hold full details of previous consultations.  Please see Schedule below: Retention of Personal Data: Paragraph 29.

19.    If any of the content of this notice requires any further explanation or clarification or if you wish to query any matters contained in this document then please let us have a note of your request or query by letter or by email or by telephone call as soon as may be convenient.  If we have not received any such request or query within seven days after the date of the issue of this notice then we shall presume that you are in agreement with the full contents of the notice and shall undertake your business on the basis set out in this notice.

20.    We would also advise that if you have any complaints about any aspects of our work on your behalf then this should be raised initially with the solicitor who is responsible for your business or, if you prefer, with another solicitor in this firm.  If you remain unsatisfied you may refer the matter to any other solicitor and, if previously agreed with ourselves we shall be prepared to accept responsibility for the first £150 of that solicitor’s costs in advising you.  If you are still not satisfied with the position you have a statutory right to refer the matter to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10 – 14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG, Phone: 0131 528 5111. 

21.    We recognise that Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations have implemented ADR/EDR Directive 2013/11/EU to promote alternative dispute resolution as a means of redress for consumers in relation to unsatisfactory services. However there are currently no “ADR Entities” appointed in Scotland for Scottish Legal Services and we have therefore not adopted an ADR process and if you have any concerns about the services you receive from this firm you should contact the firm’s Client Relations Manager.


21. Schedule of Charges for General Business


Fee Rate - £180.00 (other than work described in paragraph 26 below) and subject to paragraph 7 above.

Charged in units of 6 minute each (£18.00)


Detailed charges expressed in Units:-


21.1.    Drawing (to include engrossing)

(i) Deeds; documents intended to have contractual effect (including missives); formal writs; figured statements and accounts except solicitors’ business accounts; inventories (other than inventories of writs) and relative schedules; memorials for opinion; court writs, motions schedules; memorials for opinion; court writs, motions and associated papers…………………………………..…………………………….………...…Rate per sheet: 5U


21.2.     Copying – by any means


No charge up to 50 pages copied in the whole matter.

Over 50 pages (whether 50 copies of 1 page or 1 copy of 50 pages or whatever) ……..Rate per page: 0.02U


21.3.     Letters and faxes except as aftermentioned


Each page of 125 words or part thereof……………………………….…...Rate per page: 1.25U


21.4.     Formal letters (i.e. acknowledgments/confirmatory letters) and circulars………...Charge: 0.5U


21.5.     Telephone calls


First 6 minutes (or part thereof)……………………….…………………………………Charge: 1U

Over 6 minutes…………………………………….……………………………Rate per hour: 10U

Formal phone calls (acknowledging/confirming)………………………….………Charge: 0.5U


21.6.    Registration of writs


Recording writs, including warrant of registration, certificate of value/exemption clause where necessary, presentation of writ, receiving writ or an extract or extracts.…………Charge: 3.25U

Note: If the deed is recorded for preservation and execution at the same time, no additional charge is allowed.


21.7.    Quick copies and extracts


Where ordered after date of recording……………………………………………...Charge: 2.25U

Note: Where extracts of several deeds are ordered at the same time, charge 2.25U for the first and 1U each for the others.


21.8.     Lending/delivering titles and other papers


Each lending…………………………………………………………………………...Charge: 2.25U

Inventory (including copy). Each sheet…………………………………………Rate per sheet: 1U

Notes:

(i) to cover receipt and delivery;

(ii) inventory to be charged only if more than three writs are lent or delivered;

(iii) no charge should be made for delivering papers, titles, etc., direct to client or former client. However where they are delivered by one solicitor to another solicitor in accordance with a mandate or other written instructions, a fee may be charged


21.9.     Acting as notary


(a) Notarial certificates and attestations and similar acts, where not specifically provided for by statute or statutory instrument, each………………………………………………..Charge: 3U

Note: This fee does not include the drawing or revising of the document to be notarized – see Para 20.1. 

(b) Court affidavits. Notary’s fee for taking court affidavits (including relative productions). Each affidavit…………………………………………………………….……………….Charge: 2U

(c) Notarial copies. Each sheet………………………………………………..Rate per hour: 1U


22. Your Money in our Hands. 


i      It is quite likely that, in the normal course of business, some of your money shall come into the possession of this firm.  This might apply to funds received in respect of the sale of your property or in the receipt of your loan funds or in the receipt of funds provided by yourself towards prospective expenses to be incurred.  All such funds are banked, currently at Bank of Scotland, in accounts controlled by this firm but with any sums held on your behalf duly nominated to your account within our own book keeping system.  Subject to the deduction of any expenses or outlays incurred, you are entitled to uplift all such funds at any time, without notice, we shall generally hold such funds only for the minimum period necessary to carry out your business and, in general, this shall not be for long enough for any interest to be attributed or added to such funds.  


ii    However, where any funds held in this manner are capable of earning any material amount of interest by reason either of the amount of the funds or the length of the period for which they are held or a combination of these factors, then we shall ensure that a proper amount of interest shall be earned by these funds.  As a general guide, we undertake to account for interest on any sums in excess of £500 once they have been lodged with us for more than one month.  However, we shall also account for interest on larger sums held for shorter periods.  For that purpose, your funds shall be lodged in a special account opened in your name within this firms professionals account at Bank of Scotland to which interest shall be credited by Bank of Scotland, at a variable rate, fixed and adjusted in relation to the base rate fixed from time to time by Bank of England and of which interest, the first 0.5% shall be charged by this firm for the costs of operating the account and the balance thereafter will be credited to your account – as long as the interest rates in force from time to time allow for such payments.  


    In order to enable us to open and operate such an account, however, the Bank requires that we provide them with full money laundering identification information including personal photographic identification, current address identification going back for six years, date of birth and National Insurance Number and such other information as the Bank, from time to time may require


iii    Also, for banking purposes, your instruction to this firm, unless we hear from you to the contrary, shall be taken to include authorisation for us to credit to your account any cheques which we receive and which are payable to yourself or which are payable to third parties but are relevant to your affairs.


iv    See schedule below, “Retention of Your Money” at paragraph 28.


 

23. Money Laundering Information


This notice has an important bearing upon the confidential relationship which is often assumed to exist between solicitor and client.  In terms of the Money Laundering Regulations, we require to ask you to provide us beforehand with three forms of personal identification of which one should be photographic (such as passport or driving licence) and the other two should be on documents issued by external bodies showing your address (such as utility bills, bank statements etc., dated within the previous two months and not including a mobile telephone bill).  We are not normally able to take any action on your behalf until that documentation has been lodged in your file at this office.  Your file is subject to external inspection by the Law Society and other statutory authorities to ensure that these requirements have been complied with. If this requirement causes any difficulty then please let us know as soon as possible and we shall discuss with you any other means of identification that may be sufficient.


The further practical consequences of these regulations affects the manner in which we can receive payment of funds from yourself.  If we have to receive any funds in excess of £500 from yourself in the course of your proposed transaction, then these funds have to be received in the form either of your personal cheque or a bankers draft and we cannot normally receive such funds in cash or by credit/debit card.  In addition, on receipt of any such cheque or draft, unless it is drawn on your personal account with a major clearing bank, we shall require to obtain your mandate addressed to the bank on which the cheque or draft has been drawn authorising that bank to respond to our request for confirmation that the cheque or draft has been drawn upon an account to which the bank has previously applied the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations.


The Proceeds of Crime Act is considerably more draconian although it is unlikely to apply to yourself or to any clients of this firm.  Nevertheless, we are obliged to advise you that this legislation (a) compels us to report to the authorities any irregularity which we suspect has taken place in connection with your acquisition of funds, and (b) prohibits us from acting for you in any respect for seven days after having made such a  report, and (c) prohibits us from advising you in any way that we have made such a report.


This notice is intended to be self-explanatory but you should not hesitate to contact Messrs Sheridans if any further explanation or clarification is required.  


24. Statement of Costs in Conveyancing Transactions


This notice sets out the way in which the costs payable by yourself are calculated and how they should be paid. .


The fees charged by this firm are as shown below.  Where your transaction involves exceptional or unusual work leading to charges in excess of our standard quotation, you will be notified as soon as this becomes apparent and we shall not proceed with such work without your agreement as to the costs of such work.  In the event of any doubt or dispute over the appropriate level of fee, either ourselves or yourself shall be entitled to refer the matter, subject, however,  to the agreement which has been reached, to the Royal faculty of Procurators in Glasgow or to the Auditor of Court for assessment by means of a process known as taxation.


In the course of your transaction, we shall require to make a number of payments, referred to as outlays, and the most common ones are shown below.  We reserve the right to require payment of these outlays either immediately before or as soon as possible after we have incurred the expenditure and, in either case, have intimated the same to yourself.  You may incur outlays other than those shown in this notice and we shall try to give you as much notice as possible of any such additional outlays.





We would not normally require payment of any fees by yourself until such times as your transaction has been brought to a conclusion or your instruction has otherwise been terminated.  However, in the event that matters are unduly protracted, we require to reserve the right to charge a payment to account in respect of work done after the elapse of three calendar months from the date of this letter, and at monthly intervals thereafter..


If your transaction requires bridging finance then we recommend that you arrange this with your own bank or with your own independent financial advisor. 


The costs quoted below relate to all work required to bring your transaction to settlement and where any work is required after settlement which is not part of normal post settlement procedures, including the management of any claim or dispute arising post settlement, then such work will be charged as a new matter in accordance with the charges outlined above for general business.


In the course of a purchase transaction it is possible but not essential to obtain a report as to whether the property is affected by any contaminated land issues and while this report is sometimes made available without any specific instruction to that effect it will not be our policy to instruct such a report unless you specifically request such a report.  


25. FEES AND COSTS REFERRED TO ABOVE


25.1.The fee for conveyancing purchase transactions and conveyancing sale transactions shall be calculated in each case as 1% of the first £50,000 of purchase price, ½% of the next £50,000 of purchase price (up to £100,000) and ¼% of any purchase price in excess of £100,000. Lease transactions shall be charged similarly based on the value of the subjects of lease but with special quotations applicable to commercial leases. 


    The fee for the creation of security rights (mortgage or re-mortgage) is calculated similarly on the amount of mortgage funds to be received, subject to a reduced charge where the mortgage is in relation to a purchase transaction.  The usual fee for the extinction (discharge) of a mortgage is £180.00.


25.2.In a conveyancing sale transaction where we carry out the estate agency work also, the total fee will be calculated as 1½% of the first £100,000 of purchase price, 1¼% of the next £100,000 of purchase price (up to £200,000) and ½% of the purchase price in excess of £200,000.


25.3.Where a purchase transaction is carried out in connection with a relative mortgage transaction, a separate fee of up to ¼ of the conveyancing purchase transaction fee may be charged and where a conveyancing sale transaction requires the cancellation of an existing mortgage, a fee of up to £90 may be charged. 


25.4.There is a minimum fee for conveyancing transactions in the sum of £350.00 and where work is carried out that does not form part of a full transaction or where work is carried out in connection with a dispute arising after the settlement of a transaction then a fee may be charged based on units of time, currently charged at £18.00 per six minute unit.


25.5.All fees are subject to VAT at the current which must be paid along with the fee and which we in turn remit direct to the Inland Revenue.


25.6.Fees may be paid by instalments, over a period of time, interest free, in all first time purchase conveyance transactions and in other transactions where special circumstances apply.







25.7    Commercial Transactions


Where a conveyancing instruction involves the purchase or sale of a business then special considerations apply.  Because of the additional and potential complications in such transactions, these are subject to an automatic minimum charge of £800.00 + VAT and outlays.  Also, because of the frequency, rapidity and urgency with which file contact is required in these transactions, it is not appropriate to rely upon the hourly rate.  Accordingly, a specific quotation will be issued as soon as reasonably practicable after instructions have been taken.  If that quotation is declined then the minimum fee, subject to any modification may be applied at our discretion, shall be applied and the instruction cancelled.


26. OUTLAYS REFERRED TO ABOVE


These are payments which have to be made to third parties in the course of conveyancing transactions and, as they vary from transaction to transaction and even from time to time and as we are not in a position to control these outlays, they cannot usefully be stated in a standard notice and you should find out from your solicitor, for the purposes of each separate transaction, what level of outlays are to be expected.  The following note identifies the nature of the probable outlays.


26.1.    Conveyancing Purchase Transactions


Survey Fee - Since December 2008 most sellers advertising properties for sale in Scotland have produced Home Reports, including a survey and mortgage valuation.  However considering the significant financial investment involved for most purchasers it is important to consider instructing your own survey, the cost of which can be as little as £150.00;  


Timber Specialist Report - Where this is required or recommended by the surveyor;  


Land & Building Transaction Tax (LBTT)  - For residential property transactions, the rate of tax is determined by reference to percentages of the chargeable consideration (usually the purchase price) for the transaction falling within the bands below:


Up to £145,000 0% 

Above £145,000 to £250,000 2% 

Above £250,000 to £325,000 5% 

Above £325,000 to £750,000 10% 

Over £750,000 12%


If, following the settlement of a purchase transaction, you will own teo properties, the transaction may attract Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) over and above any LBTT charged.  ADS is presently charged at 3% of the whole purchase price for relevant properties over £40,000.  There are excemptions and reliefs from thi charge and if you think your transasction will attract ADS you should discuss this at the earliest possible opportunity with your solicitor.

 

Registration of Title - Purchase transaction and mortgage transaction documents have legal effect only if registered in the Land Register, subject to a scale fee from £60.00 to £5,625.00, depending on the value of the property.


26.2.    Conveyancing Sale Transactions


Registration with Property Centre - To include advertising, initial brochures, Internet advertising etc; 


Search Reports - To prove current ownership of property and absence of bankruptcy etc orders;



Map Report - To show official property boundaries but often not required e.g. not required for flats;


Scottish Record Office - Cost of obtaining previous title deeds (usually not required);  


Local Authority Property Certificate - To show what orders/notices apply to the property; 


Coal Authority Report  - To show whether property affected by mineral workings; 


Water Authority/Sewers Report  - To show whether mains water/sewage etc;   


Registration of Title – The Discharge of a mortgage deed (Standard Security) also requires to be registered in the Land Register and the registration fee is £60.00 regardless of the value of the transaction.


27   SPECIAL TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR EXECUTRY BUSINESS


27.1.    We shall act as solicitors on behalf of the executry estate as authorised by the Law Society of Scotland.


27.2.    Although a number of persons may have an interest in the executry estate, for example, as beneficiaries or as creditors, we can only act upon the instructions of our specific client who is the executor either in terms of the Will or in terms of likely appointment under the rules of intestate succession.


27.3.    It is not generally possible for this firm to act for any party who may have a conflict of interest with the interests of the executry estate.  This means that if we are approached with certain types of enquiries, even from members of the family, we may simply have to advise such persons to consult other solicitors.


27.4.    Because of the nature of executry business it is impossible to know how much time, correspondence, drafting and telephone calls etc shall be involved and we cannot at this stage provide an accurate estimate of the costs of the business.  For that reason, it is our policy to pass the file, at the conclusion of the business, to the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow (RFPG) who have a long standing undertaking to provide appropriate and independent statements of transaction costs.  


27.5.    The Auditor at the RFPG will base his or her statement of transaction costs on the amount of work required to ingather and distribute the estate, plus a percentage of the value of the estate as follows:


27.6.    The hourly rate will be £240.00.00 and therefore the unit rate will be £24.00.


27.7.    Meeting, telephone calls, attendance at Court    1 unit per 6 mins or part thereof


        Letters and emails                1.25 units per sheet of 125 words


        Formal letters and acknowledgements         0.5 unit    


        Court Writs and contractual documents        5 units per sheet of 250 words


        Inventories and accounts, financial, tax 

        statements                    5 units per sheet of 250 words  


        Telegraphic transfer of funds            As per Bank of Scotland 


27.8.    A percentage of the amount of value of the money or property involved will be added to compensate for risk or indemnity element in carrying out the work.  This will be calculated at 0.5% of the value of the Moveable Estate.


27.9.    Commission on capital transactions will be charged as follows:


        a.    Money forming part of the original estate uplifted from banks, building societies and     insurance:-

            On each payment up to £30,000.00        1%

            On balance over £30,000.00            0.5%


        b.    Stock, shares and other securities realisable on the stock exchange:-

            First £30,000.00 of each sum            1.5%

            Next £30,000.00 of each sum            1%

            Balance over £60,000.00            0.75%


        c.    National Savings                1%


        d.    Miscellaneous Property            1%


        e.    Securities/assets that are transferred to

            beneficiaries                     1%


27.9.    On revenue collected:-


        Where individual receipts are up to £1,000.00    5%

        On the next £4,000.00                3.5%

        Balance over £5,000.00                2%



27.10.    Transfer of heritable property:-


        Where property transferred by docquet         0.25%

        Where property transferred by disposition     0.5%


        Notarial fee                    £45.00


        Posts and incidents                 5%


27.11.    Please note that, in the event that you are not satisfied with any aspect of the charges or financial management of this transaction, no final steps shall be taken until such times as you have had an opportunity to seek independent advice and, where appropriate, a separate and independent calculation of the costs and of the financial management.   


        Please note also, however, that in the event of any delay in finalising matters for these or for any other reasons, the whole documents, title deeds and other papers which come into our possession during the conduct of this business, shall be held by ourselves in what is known as a legal lien, until such times as financial matters have been resolved.


27.12.    We shall not require payment of any fees by yourself until such times as the business has been concluded or our instructions have otherwise been terminated but, if any special expenses require to be met during the course of the business, we may require to discuss with yourself and any other executors, how such costs shall be borne during the conduct of the business.


27.13.    Again, because of the nature of this business, it is difficult for us to estimate how long it shall take to conclude the business.  However, there is a general principle that an executry estate should not be distributed until at least six months after the date of death for the reason that any creditors whose claims emerge within that six month period but after the distribution of estate has taken place, may have a personal claim against the executor.


28   RETENTION OF YOUR MONEY


Unless we receive your written instructions to the contrary, we shall proceed on the basis that you are in agreement that we shall maintain a client’s account in your name during and after the completion of any particular item of business and that any such ongoing balance shall be defined as “retainer funds” and shall be held to account of any future business to be instructed by yourself.  Any retention funds held in your name shall be repayable to yourself immediately upon demand.   This authority to retain funds in you’re name after the completion of business supersedes any requirement by the Law Society of Scotland or any other authority that funds should not be held by this firm to your account after the completion of particular items of business.


29    RETENTION OF PERSONAL DATA


Unless we receive your written instructions to the contrary, we shall proceed on the basis that you are in agreement that we shall maintain indefinitely the whole information which we obtain concerning yourself or otherwise on your behalf, without limit of time but subject to our own internal policy for the destruction of records.  It is our policy to destroy paper records and documents held on behalf of clients after fifteen years has expired from the conclusion of the relative business.  However, within that period, we conduct occasional reviews of paper files and wherever we conclude that there is no reasonable likeliehood of prejudice to our clients, we destroy paper records within that period.  In certain cases we mark paper records and documents for indefinite retention where we believe that to be in the potential interests of clients.  We have no policy of automatic destruction of electronic records.  If you wish to instruct the deletion of any papers, documents or other information which we hold on your behalf contrary to the foregoing policy then please advise us accordingly and we will draw up a written instruction for you to sign and for us to act upon.

END