You may well have questions about our legal services. Here we try to provide an answer to some of the more frequently asked questions.
Your Frequently Asked Questions
Fortunately we do not have typical clients! We act for a number of private companies, businesses, partnerships as well as individuals. Some clients are involved in Oil & Gas, some in manufacturing and distribution, others are IT specialists, and some are graphic designers. We do not have any preference as to the industry sectors of our clients. We are more interested in finding and working with clients who enjoy their business and want us to help them make it better!
We are a corporate firm specialising in company, commerical and finance related matters as well as general business. A more detailed description of our services can be found under Expertise and examples of work undertaken can be found under Experience or if you would prefer then do not hesitate to contact Steven Conybeare. We do not provide any form of residential conveyancing, family law, wills, trusts or probate services. We do not undertake large scale litigation matters, but we can help clients with debt collection and/or business disputes.
Tax is a complex area in which we do not have the necessary depth of expertise to provide advice. However, as commercial lawyers we do of course have an elementary understanding, but we prefer to work with either your retained advisers or we can recommend appropriate advisers for you.
The short answer is probably not. We only do work which we are confident we can do to the best of our ability. Therefore, not only do we restrict the areas of law in which we provide advice and assistance, but occasionally we may decline instructions for other reasons. For example, if you require something done urgently which we would not be able to do, then we will not accept your instructions. We always try to manage our clients’ expectations. This means that if we cannot do what you want us to do within the timeframe required, then we will not do it.
As a firm of solicitors registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we are obliged to have professional indemnity insurance in respect of the legal services we provide you. We are currently insured up to £2m per claim.
We are proud that in over 20 years of practice, we have never suffered a claim against us for negligence. However, we never say never, and therefore if the unfortunate should happen, then you would be covered.
You need to check that we can deal with your particular requirements. This is best done by email or telephone. You should be prepared to explain what it is that you need us to do. We will tell you if we can or if we cannot act for you. If we can, then you will need to instruct us as your solicitors. This should be done in writing wherever possible. We would normally summarise our instructions in the client schedule we send for your signature & return. We will also need certain documents from you, including verification of your identity, your agreement to our terms of business and payment in advance. See New Clients for further details.
We are paid for the work we do for you. This covers not only the time we spend with you, but the time we spend working on matters for you. Therefore, you will incur charges when you ask us to do something for you and we spend time doing so. This includes telephone calls, emails, meetings, sending and receiving letters & faxes to you and other people, research into areas of law and making notes of the meetings or conversations we have. We also make charges for expenses and disbursements we incur.
We charge by reference to the time spent. Our time is divided into units of 15 minutes, so that there are 4 units in any one hour. Our minimum charge for doing something is 15 minutes or 1 unit.
Usually, we charge on a time-spent basis, which means you are charged for the time we spend working for you or on your matters. This means that you incur costs even if we are not dealing directly with you, but other lawyers, accountants, organisations.
However, we may also agree to charge on a fixed fee basis, a success fee basis or on the basis of a percentage of the transaction value.
In all cases, we will ensure that you are made aware at the outset of the charging basis, and as we progress with your matter, how those fees are accumulating and/or a maximum amount which we will not exceed without your prior authority.
We levy a minimum charge for opening a new matter for you. This amount varies but it will be not less than one hour’s worth of time. This reimburses us for administrative expenses we incur.
You do. We only accept private fee paying clients. This means that you must have the unconditional means of paying us our fees. If you instruct us without having the necessary funds, then this puts you in an awkward position and us in a financially difficult position.
You will normally have to pay an amount in advance. This may be either all of our fee estimate or a proportion of it. Generally, you must pay us either at the end of the transaction or on a monthly basis. You must pay us when required to do so, otherwise we may stop working for you.
We understand that cashflow sometimes causes problems. It does for us too! However, if it is a one-off, then we tend not to get too upset. However, regular tardiness in paying bills generally means that we would not be able to continue working for you. It is simply uneconomic for us to do so. Regardless of this, you will be charged interest on late payments and you will have to pay in advance in future. In the worst case, we would have to take proceedings against you! Thankfully, in over 20 years of practice, this situation has never yet arisen because generally our clients are grateful for the work we do and recognise that we have a business to run.
To be honest, this just depends on what it is that you need us to do! However, we do work as fast as we can to get the job done, but this depends on a number of factors including how quickly you can get the information we need, our availability and if you are willing to pay a premium for us to give priority to your work over other clients.
Our offices are open between 9.30 and 5.30 during the week. Needless to say, we are usually working outside of these hours, but this does not mean you can always contact us. It is also important for you to appreciate that our lawyers spend time on international assignments dividing their time between offices. Therefore, unless we are given sufficient notice, we may not be able to attend an urgent meeting with you.
We are based at Mutual House, 70 Conduit Street in London, although our lawyers divide their time between our offices. We are happy to attend meetings at your offices, your other adviser’s offices or indeed pretty much at any location where you need us. But we do charge for travelling there!
You can contact us by telephone, post, fax or email or in person. In the first instance, however, it is always best to send us an email or give us a call. We believe in technology and we use it. By doing so we believe it keeps our overheads low, which means our fees can be kept low.
Read our Mini Brochure
Any questions? Contact me