INTRODUCTION

The following Terms of business (‘Terms’) set out the Terms on which asb aspire LLP trading as “asb aspire” (“we”, “us”, “our”) provide legal services and advice to, our clients (“you”). These Terms together with any accompanying form of engagement letter, form a binding contract (also known as a retainer) between you and asb aspire. You are taken to have accepted the Terms if: –

  1. you notify us in writing that the Terms are accepted; or
  2. subject to and consistent with the provisions of our personal data retention policy, you have accepted the Terms in connection with a previous matter and you instruct us on a new matter; or
  3. we have sent the Terms to you and you have continued to instruct us.

These Terms and the terms contained or referred to in our letter of engagement apply to the services that we provide to you or on your behalf unless otherwise agreed in writing between us. If there is any inconsistency between these Terms and the terms of our letter of engagement, the terms of the letter of engagement take priority. 

CLIENT

You agree that you are liable to us in accordance with these Terms and the terms of our letter of engagement.

Joint clients

Where there is more than one client (i.e. you are instructing us jointly with another person or persons), you each agree that you are jointly and severally liable to us in accordance with these Terms and the terms of our letter of engagement. We are authorised by each of you to take instructions from any one of you and communication with one of you is deemed a communication with all of you, jointly.    

Client identification and source of funds

You will at all times provide us with a current address for postal correspondence and a telephone number on which to contact you.

We are required by statute to be satisfied as to the identity of any person for whom we act. We may request information to satisfy ourselves of your identity at any time. If such proof is not provided when requested, or in our opinion is unsatisfactory, we will be unable to continue acting for you. You will be responsible for our costs and we will have no liability to you or to any third party if we have to stop acting for you.

If money is being paid to us, we may ask you for the bank details of the account from where the monies are to be paid.

In certain circumstances we may have legal duties to notify regulatory authorities (without your knowledge or consent) if we are not satisfied as to your identity, the identity of others involved in the matter, the information provided to us to establish identity or the source of funds. We shall have no liability to you or to any third party for costs, expenses, or losses of whatsoever nature arising in connection with our adherence to regulatory or statutory requirements.

If you are acting in a representative capacity (e.g. as a trustee) we may require you to satisfy us as to your authority to act.      

Confidentiality

All information received in relation to your affairs will be treated as highly confidential. We will take all reasonable and appropriate steps to safeguard the security of your information. You agree we can disclose to other persons involved in your matter (including outsourced support staff and consultants) such information as we consider needs to be provided for the purposes of progressing your matter. Subject to this we shall not disclose information to any other party without your consent or unless ordered by an appropriate court or required by any regulatory body or by law.

You may specifically instruct us not to divulge particular information.  Should you do so, and this puts us in conflict with our professional duties to uphold the proper administration of justice and to act in accordance with the rule of law then we will be unable to continue acting for you. We are also required to comply with our duties owed to the court and our legal duties to notify regulatory authorities in certain circumstances even if this conflicts with our duties to you.

If any claim or complaint is made against us in connection with the matter you have instructed us on (including for the sake of completeness but without limitation a claim for wasted costs) you agree to allow us to disclose and/or rely upon all documents, all correspondence and all instructions you have given to us in connection with the legal services we have provided to you including for the sake of abundant clarity all documents, all correspondence and all instructions that may qualify for and/or attract legal professional privilege (including legal advice and litigation privilege), to our professional indemnity insurers and to the court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction.

Communication

You can communicate with us by letter, fax, telephone or email. Our general contact details are set out on the last page of these Terms.

You agree that email is an acceptable form of communication with you unless you tell us otherwise. Email and fax communications are not a secure form of communication. We can give no guarantee regarding the confidentiality or security of these forms of communication notwithstanding the checks we carry out on all emails. If you need a higher level of security, then you must tell us immediately you instruct us.

Any communication we make by email will not be encrypted unless we agree with you to the contrary. Whilst we use reasonable endeavours to prevent the transmission to you of known viruses, you should check all incoming messages for viruses. We are not liable for any damage or consequential loss caused by the transmission by us to you of any viruses. We are not responsible for any information sent by email but not received by you.

It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive all emails you send to us as emails may be blocked because of virus checking software or other detection software. Please note that we may monitor incoming and outgoing emails for prevention and detection of crime, investigating or detecting the unauthorised use of our telecommunications system, and ascertaining compliance with our internal or professional practices and procedures.         

DELIVERY OF OUR SERVICES 

Responsibility for your work

For each matter we designate a Matter Controller who has day-to-day responsibility for ensuring the delivery of our services. We also designate a Supervising Partner who has overall responsibility for the matter. Other people may also be involved in the delivery of our services to you from time to time, as we consider appropriate (including outsourced support staff and consultants).

If you are unhappy with the personnel that we have assigned to your matter or if you would like other personnel to be involved, for whatever reason, then please raise your concerns with the Matter Controller and/or the supervising partner in the first instance. We shall try to accommodate your request, subject to agreeing any additional costs that might be incurred as a result. We shall inform you promptly of any changes in the key personnel dealing with your matter though we shall try to avoid any unnecessary changes.      

As detailed below in the section titled Queries, concerns and complaints, we have a complaints policy, a copy of which is available to you on request.

Office hours

Our offices are generally open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank and Public Holidays.     

Our obligations to you

We agree to perform our services to you in accordance with these terms and the specific provisions of the accompanying engagement letter. In the event that there is any conflict between these terms and the terms of the letter of engagement, then the terms of the letter of engagement shall prevail.

Our advice is provided to you and is based on the specific facts and information that you have given to us in relation to the instructions to act on your matter. In consequence we do not accept any responsibility:

  • to you if you use our advice in relation to other matters or in other situations;
  • to third parties;
  • or if third parties place any reliance on the advice that we have given to you.

We agree to perform our services to you with appropriately qualified and skilled personnel in a timely manner, but subject always to you performing your obligations to us.

When delivering our services, you agree that we are acting as your agent within your actual and ostensible authority. In doing so we may commit you to a course of action, make payments from monies that we hold for you, and incur other liabilities and obligations in your name and on your behalf. You confirm that you will indemnify us and keep us indemnified against all costs liabilities and expenses we may incur when we act in this manner.

Our advice is given on the basis of our understanding of the applicable law of England and Wales. If the matter requires an understanding of or advice about the laws of a country other than England and Wales, it is your responsibility to instruct an appropriately qualified lawyer from that country. Should you ask us to identify such a lawyer and obtain the advice you require, we do so as your agent without any liability for the advice or service that is given by the foreign lawyer to you.

The scope of our services does not include financial advice, or tax advice unless expressly specified in our letter of engagement.    

Your obligations to us

We can only advise and act for you in an effective manner if you provide us with clear and timely instructions, the information and documents required for us to carry out our work together with any funds required. It is very important that you tell us anything that you believe may be relevant to your matter, whether or not we have asked you. If we have all the information then we can advise you what is relevant. Subject to various legal exceptions (such as the rules on proceeds of crime and child protection) solicitors owe duties of confidence to clients and you should not hold back from telling us something out of concern that we will tell somebody else.

You must also tell us if there is anything you particularly want to know or want to be advised about. We may not be able to anticipate all the issues that are causing you concern and which are particularly important to you. The advice we give you will be based on the information and instructions that you give us.

From time to time we shall request information or instructions from you. You must let us know how we can contact you. You must provide us with a current address and telephone number in order to contact you. If you are going to be un-contactable for any significant period (e.g. holiday or work abroad) then we need to know in advance. It is your responsibility to provide the information and instructions to us in a timely manner. If you do not understand what we are asking you to provide then you must contact your Matter Controller straight away.

We are not responsible for any liabilities you incur and we are not liable to you or to any third party as a result of your failure to deliver timely, accurate and relevant information.

You agree to indemnify us and keep us indemnified against any and all liability we may incur in connection with your failure to perform your obligations to us.

Conflict of interest

A solicitor is not allowed to act for a client where there is a conflict or a significant risk of a conflict between the interests of that client and the interests of the solicitor’s other clients, or the solicitor himself. You agree to tell us of any circumstances that may mean that we are not allowed to act for you. We retain the right to decline any instructions which place us in a position of conflict of interest as defined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Your obligation to us includes notifying us of all persons connected with the matter on which we are advising and whether, to your knowledge, we have acted for any other persons connected with the matter. You must also tell us whether any partner or employee of asb aspire is connected with you (e.g. a family or business relationship) or may be interested in the matter. If you have any other issues with asb aspire (such as an outstanding complaint or claim) that may affect our ability to give impartial advice then you must let us know.

Where you instruct us with someone else then we are acting for you both as joint clients, as a result it is important that you are in agreement with each other. It is your responsibility to tell us if you are not in agreement with each other. If you are in substantial disagreement then a conflict of interest may arise between you.

Where a conflict arises during the matter on which we are acting, we may not be able to continue to act for either or any of you. You will be responsible for our costs and expenses until the date we cease to act, including our costs and expenses incurred in providing information and assistance to any solicitor who takes over the matter.       

Undertakings

Solicitors are obliged to honour any undertaking that they give. Where you instruct us to give an undertaking and we act on your instructions, you agree that you are not able to withdraw or vary your instructions to us in relation to the undertaking. You agree to take every step to ensure we are able to fulfil the undertaking.       

Termination of retainer by us

We may stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, if you do not pay a bill, you do not provide us with adequate information or instructions, or you ask us to do something that we are not allowed to do. In most cases we are under an obligation to give you reasonable notice that we shall stop acting for you.

If we decide that we can no longer act for you, you will pay our costs and expenses up to the date that we cease acting for you and in connection with the transfer of the matter to another solicitor, including any costs of being removed from the court record and notifying other parties that we no longer represent you

If you still owe us money, then we are entitled to retain all your documents. When our costs have been paid, we will return all original documents to you but will keep copies of all the file papers in accordance with our terms contained in the section (set out below) on ‘policy on storage of papers and documents’.                             

Termination of retainer by you

You may terminate your instructions to us at any time in writing. Where court proceedings have been commenced on your behalf and we are on the court record as acting for you, then the consent of the court may be required before we can cease acting for you. In such circumstances, your right to terminate our retainer could be delayed or restricted. We are entitled to keep all your papers and documents whilst there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses. You will pay our fees and expenses up to the date that we cease acting for you and in connection with the transfer of the matter to another solicitor including any costs of being removed from the court record and notifying other parties that we no longer act for you.    

Right to Cancel

Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 if you are an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly unconnected with your trade, business or profession and have made a distance or off premises contract (such as by phone, in your home, place of work, or at an event that we have organised) with us then you have the right to cancel your instructions to us and the contract within 14 days of  that contract being agreed.  You must communicate your cancellation to us in a clear statement (e.g. by way of a letter or email).  You may cancel without giving any reason.

If you requested us to begin the performance of our services during the 14-day cancellation period, you shall pay us an amount proportionate to the services performed to the date of cancellation in comparison to the full services under the contract.     

Storage of papers and documents

Subject to the terms contained in the section ‘Termination of retainer by you’ (set out above) and our data retention and privacy policies; we shall keep our file of papers (except for any papers which you ask to be returned to you) for as long as we consider appropriate given the nature of the file generally this will be no longer than 7 years save for  files relating to children which are kept for a period of 7 years from the date of the child’s 18th birthday.  We keep the file on the understanding that we have your authority to destroy it 7 years after the date of the final bill we send to you. This is notwithstanding any obligation you may be under to retain documents relating to the matter for a period longer than 7 years.

If we retrieve documents or papers from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we shall not normally charge our time spent dealing with such retrieval but we may ask that you pay the retrieval fee which we pay to our storage company. In other cases, we shall charge you for time spent producing stored papers or documents to you as well as the fee payable to the storage company. We may also charge you for reading correspondence or other documents on the file so as to answer any queries you have raised.

Any original documents such as deeds and wills, which you ask us to keep in safe custody, will be retained subject to terms that we agree with you.

OUR FEES

Our approach to fees

Except where specifically agreed with you, we charge on a time-spent basis, including meetings with you and others, preparing and working on papers and correspondence, research, making and receiving telephone calls, attending court and travelling. We record the time spent by each person as your matter progresses. Time is recorded in units of six minutes (i.e. ten units to each hour). Routine letters sent and received, and routine telephone calls are charged as single units of six minutes. You may request an estimated value of the time recorded at any stage.

We take into account a number of factors which include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the priority we must give to your work at the expense of other clients, the expertise or specialist knowledge which the case requires and, if appropriate, the value of the property or subject matter involved. These factors will either be reflected in our hourly charging rates or in the costs estimates that we give you as the matter proceeds or both.

We may also agree that our fees will be higher in the event of a successful outcome.

If the matter does not proceed to completion, we shall charge you for work done, calculated on an hourly basis. If a fee estimate has been given, our costs will not exceed the latest estimate given to you, except where you have instructed us to carry out work since that estimate or where we have been obliged by our professional obligations to carry out additional work on your behalf.                            

Cost of engagement

The time we spend on agreeing the scope of works and costs, carrying out conflict and client identification checks, setting up your matter on our computer systems, creating a file for your matter, and sending you a letter of engagement is chargeable to you.      

Support staff

Some of our support staff are provided by a third party.  All such staff supplied by the third party have strict confidentiality obligations (including data protection) to us and to you as our client.

Services provided by support staff will be chargeable to you where they undertake work that progresses the matter such as preparing bundles of documents for court or disclosure, drafting minutes, carrying out searches or dealing with telephone enquiries.                

Correspondence

Written communication with you will be by way of email, first class pre-paid post or second-class post as we consider appropriate unless we agree a different means of communication. If documents have to be sent to you by secure delivery or by courier, we are entitled to charge you the cost of making the appropriate arrangements as well as the cost of the delivery service itself.

Where we send you a letter by fax or as an attachment to an email, we shall be entitled to charge for the cost of creating and sending the fax or email in addition to the cost of creating the letter.     

Unforeseen work

We shall advise you of any unforeseen or extra work that is required, either due to unexpected difficulties or changes to your requirements. Also, during the course of our work it is possible that the timetable, our professional duties to the court or others, or your own lack of time or availability, require us to help you discharge some of your responsibilities or carry out additional work. Where possible, we shall try to let you know in advance and give you an estimate of our additional fees.  Sometimes this is not possible, in which case we shall carry out the work and protect your interests and then let you know the extra cost as soon as we can. You are responsible for paying these additional charges.    

Legal expenses insurance

Payment of your legal costs may be covered by an insurance policy held by you. You should carefully consider all insurance policies you have. If you think you might be covered then it is your responsibility to let us know. Some insurance companies will only pay the costs of their nominated solicitors and so it is important to obtain confirmation from your insurer that they will meet our costs and expenses.

Even if an insurer agrees to meet some or all of your legal costs, you remain our client and are primarily responsible for paying our costs and expenses and fulfilling the client’s obligations. The terms of your insurance cover may require us to disclose information to the insurer about your matter as it progresses including our opinion on the cost-benefit of continuing. You agree that we may disclose this information.

The insurer will reserve the right to withdraw cover. If cover is withdrawn then we are under no obligation to continue acting for you unless we agree a revised scope of work and the terms on which you will pay our costs and expenses.

Disbursements and expenses

You authorise us to pay or incur liability for any disbursements or expenses that are within the scope of work and which progress the matter. We have no obligation to pay or incur any liability for disbursements or expenses unless you have paid us sufficient money in advance to cover such items. In particular we have no obligation to complete a matter on your behalf, notwithstanding that you are under a contractual or other obligation to complete, where we do not have sufficient monies at completion from which to the pay disbursements and expenses that have to be paid in consequence of completion (e.g. Stamp Duty Land Tax and HM Land Registry fees).

Rates for road travel expenses are available on request.  Air, rail, taxi fares and other expenses will be charged at cost.  Accommodation will also be charged at cost but only with your prior approval or where such costs cannot reasonably be avoided. We are entitled to charge subsistence where we have to deliver our services away from our office locations for periods exceeding 2 hours.

Telephone calls to destinations outside England, to mobile telephone numbers and other premium rate calls will be charged at cost.

The cost of providing photocopy documents to you will be charged on the basis of the time spent creating them unless we agree a rate based on a price per page or an overall fixed price.     

Costs in court proceedings

Where you have instructed us in relation to court proceedings, the court may make an order for the payment of costs incurred in relation to court applications we have to make or oppose on your behalf as the case progresses. If the court makes such an order then the party ordered to pay the costs normally has 14 days in which to do so. If you are ordered to pay interim costs then we will tell you straight away. Whether we recover the costs from another party or not, you remain liable to us for the costs we have incurred on your behalf.

At the end of your case, the court will normally assess the costs to be paid to the winning party by the losing party. The losing party is not normally required to pay the wining party all the costs they have incurred in the case. As a result, even if you win your case, there may be a shortfall in the amount of costs that you are awarded by the court to be paid by the losing party to you and the amount of costs that you are liable to pay to us. If you lose or decide to discontinue your case, you may still have to pay the winning or other party’s costs as well as our costs and the disbursements we have paid on your behalf, this may include but is not restricted to, any outstanding premiums or related liabilities you have incurred in connection with the After The Event (‘ATE’) insurance policy  purchased in relation to your claim.

PAYMENT

Payment on account

We may ask you to make one or more payments on account of work to be done before we start work or subsequently. It is important that you understand that your total bill may be greater than the payments you make on account.      

Payment of bills and interest

All bills are payable within 7 days from the date of the bill, unless we have agreed an alternative time for payment with you in writing.  If after 7

days the bill remains outstanding we reserve the right to accrue daily interest on the outstanding sum at a rate of 8% per annum and you shall indemnify us against all liabilities, costs, expenses, damages and losses suffered or incurred as a result of steps taken to recover unpaid amounts from you including the issue of formal proceedings. We would urge you to contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss with us any difficulty you may have in making payment.

In the case of commercial debts, we reserve the right to claim interest and recover costs pursuant to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

Where you have paid us money on account of costs or where we are holding monies for you that could be applied to payment of our costs, you authorise us to apply sufficient of those monies to payment of each bill we send to you.  We shall transfer the monies within 21 days from the date we send you the bill, save for bills agreed in advance with you in which case monies may be transferred at the point of billing.    

Non-payment

Please note that non-payment of our fees within the agreed timetable (including any failure to make a payment we have requested on account of our fees and disbursements) may result in suspension of our work pending settlement and may also result in us deciding that we cannot continue to act for you.

If we decide not to start carrying out work for you or to suspend further work on your matter until payment is received, we shall tell you. We are entitled to continue working on your matter notwithstanding non-payment, but we may limit the amount of additional work we carry out pending payment.      

Payment by third party

Where somebody else (a third party) has agreed to pay our costs, we shall address our bills to you, and it is your responsibility to get them to pay. We may, at your request, assist in the collection by sending a copy of the bill to the third party and by asking them to pay us direct. We are only prepared to do this where the third party has confirmed to us in writing that they will pay our costs. If the third party fails to pay, you will remain responsible for payment of the full amount of our costs and disbursements.      

Method of payment

You may pay our costs by any conventional method of payment including cheque, debit or credit card or electronic transfer of funds.   We do not accept payment in cash.  If you pay us in foreign currency, we shall only give you credit for the sterling equivalent calculated using the exchange rate at the date funds are received by us and after deducting all costs of conversion.     

Querying our charges

If you have any queries or concerns about the level of our charges or the amount of a bill, we have sent you, you should contact the Matter Controller.

You are entitled to ask us for a detailed breakdown of the bill within three months of delivery whether or not you have paid.

As detailed below in the section titled Queries, concerns and complaints, we have a complaints policy, a copy of which is available to you on request.

You may also have the right to object to a bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint. Contact details can be found at www.legalombudsman.org.uk You may also be entitled to apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.  If you have applied to the court for an assessment the Legal Ombudsman may not deal with your complaint about that bill.

Please note that if all or part of a bill remains unpaid, we may be entitled to charge interest.  

OTHER TERMS

Client account monies

The Solicitors Regulation Authority imposes rules upon us regarding the way we handle client money. These rules are contained in the SRA Accounts Rules 2019.

You authorise us to receive monies on your behalf and to pay out monies held on your behalf relating to the matter. Monies held on your behalf will be held in our general client account unless you expressly ask us to transfer the monies to a designated account or we are required by law or practice to hold the monies in a separate client account. If a designated account is required, we reserve the right to charge a £50 set up fee. Solicitors are not allowed to mix client monies with our own monies.

We are not obliged to accept electronic transfer of funds or payment by any other form whether from you or another person without prior agreement with you. Where we receive such monies without prior agreement, we are entitled to return them to the sender. When sending money to us, you will quote our reference number so that we can identify the payment upon receipt. If we cannot identify the payment upon receipt then we shall not be treated as having received the payment from you or on your behalf unless and until such identification can be made.

You authorise us to make payments out of our client account, without seeking further approval from you at the time such payments are made, where such payments are anticipated in the ordinary course of the matter. We are under no obligation to make a payment that does not, in our reasonable opinion, form a natural part of the transaction. We may insist on verifying the identity of the recipient of funds before we make payment.

Where we receive client monies by cheque or similar instrument (including cheques drawn on building society accounts), we are under no obligation to draw against such monies until such time as we are satisfied that the funds are cleared for rate purposes. You agree that payments made by cheque or similar instrument shall not be treated as cleared until the 9th day after presentation for payment.

If you send us monies in a foreign currency which requires to be converted into sterling, or you request us to make a payment in a currency other than sterling, we are under no obligation to convert such funds on any specific date. We shall not have any liability to you should the exchange rate alter to your disadvantage. You are liable for all costs of converting the monies.

Where we hold money in your client account, we are entitled to set such money off against bills rendered and expenses incurred in connection with any matter that we undertake on your behalf and that remain unpaid unless we have agreed with you that the monies are held for a specific purpose.

Where we are acting for joint clients, we are entitled to refuse to pay some only of the clients except where all of the clients have confirmed that we may make such payment.

We shall not be liable to you for any monies held in our general client account, any designated account or any special client account in the event of the insolvency or other business failure of the bank with whom we hold the relevant account.

Interest

Where we hold cleared monies belonging to you in our general client account, we will pay you a sum in lieu of interest based on the rate indicator supplied by our principal bankers, provided this sum exceeds our current minimum value of £20, otherwise you agree that we are entitled to retain interest earned on such monies.  The rates earned in our client account may not be as high as you could obtain had you invested the money yourself.

Where we are instructed to hold monies on a deposit account or similar, we shall account to you for the interest earned on such account.  However, we reserve the right to charge a setup fee of £50 for each separate deposit account.

As it is required that the funds held on deposit are available as instant access to facilitate a transaction, the rates earned in these accounts may not be as high as you could obtain had you invested the money yourself.

The interest credited to you on both our general client account and deposit accounts shall be the gross amount.

Financial services

asb aspire LLP is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority pursuant to the Financial Services Act 2012.  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 FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register

We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), but we may provide, in certain circumstances, some limited investment advice services to clients where these are closely linked to the legal work we have been instructed to provide. This is because we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which is a designated professional body for the purposes of the FSMA. 

asb aspire LLP is only retained to provide legal and, where applicable, tax advice to clients and nothing that we say or do must be construed as investment advice to anybody on the investment merits of acquiring or disposing of particular investments or as an invitation or inducement to anybody to engage in investment activities.  

Data protection

In the formation, performance and termination of this agreement you may provide us with and we may process personal data that may relate to you or other living individuals that are connected with your instructions to us. We will comply with our legal obligations pursuant to the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’), the Data Protection Act 2018 and The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 as well as any other applicable data protection and/or privacy laws (the ‘data protection laws’).

asb aspire LLP is the data controller for the purposes of the data protection laws. That means that we control, either alone or jointly with others, the purpose and the means of the processing of your personal data. Any enquiries or notices relating to the data protection laws should be sent to:

DPOenquiries@asb-aspire.com

When you confirm your instructions to us, you agree to the terms of our privacy notice which you can find here https://www.asb-aspire.com/privacy-policy/; but the important provisions are as follows:

  • We collect and process your personal data and/or where you are acting as a litigation friend on behalf of another person (including a minor under the age of 16) the personal data belonging to other living individuals (‘personal data’) for the purposes and means of providing our legal services;
  • We process personal data with your express consent and where the personal data relates to a child under 16 your consent as the authorised holder of parental responsibility over the child;
  • We also process personal data because it is necessary in order to perform our contract with you; because it is necessary to comply with our legal obligations; because it is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests;
  • We may disclose personal data to third parties and suppliers in order to perform our legal services relating to your matter including but without limitation: Court Officers and Officials, Counsel, Expert witnesses, solicitors acting for another party, insurers, insuring brokers, investigation agents and external support staff;
  • Your rights to access, rectification, erasure and restriction of the personal data relating to your matter may be exercised by contacting our data protection manager at DPOenquiries@asb-aspire.com
  • We retain personal data in accordance with our data retention and privacy policy and our Terms on the storage of papers and documents.
  • We have in place security, technical and organizational measures appropriate to the level of risk including any data breach that we can reasonably and proportionally assess. Our security, technical and organizational measures are kept under regular review, but it is not possible to guarantee data security or guard against every data threat or data breach and we give no warranty to you to that effect.

Data Sharing Facilities

Participation by you and/or third parties connected to your matter in the use of data sharing facilities such as, but not limited to, “Huddle”, “Sharefile” and “Sharepoint”, is at your own risk. You acknowledge that this data sharing facility is provided by a third party which hosts the storage for that data and agree that we shall have no liability to you in connection with any use of the data sharing facility and/or any loss of, corruption or destruction of such data, or failure to store data.  You further acknowledge that any use of email addresses provided by you, or a third party, for accessing the data sharing facilities can be used for this purpose.       

Equality and Diversity

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all dealings with clients, third parties and employees.  A copy of our equality and diversity policy is available on request.     

Queries, concerns and complaints

If you are unhappy about the legal advice you have been given, the quality of service we have provided to you, our bill, or the way you have been treated, you should in the first instance speak with your Matter Controller who will do his/her best to resolve the problem.  If you would prefer to speak with someone other than your Matter Controller, you should address your concerns to the Supervising Partner.  The Supervising Partner will ensure that any complaint is investigated promptly.

We have a complaints policy, available on request, and a complaints procedure that means all complaints are reported to and reviewed by our management. We monitor complaints to ensure that they are resolved and to improve our service delivery.

If you remain dissatisfied you should contact the relevant Head of Complaints or Service Delivery whose details are available upon request.

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, or www.legalombudsman.org.uk to consider the complaint.  Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.

Please note that the Legal Ombudsman will not deal with a complaint where:

  1. More than 6 years has elapsed from the date of the alleged act or omission, or
  2. More than 3 years from the date when you should have known about the complaint

Provided the date of awareness or the date of the act or omission is after the 6th October 2010.   

Limitation of liability

The following should be read carefully as it limits the extent of our liability to you, whether such liability shall be in contract or as a result of negligent or deficient advice to you or otherwise arising from or in connection with the services provided to you. Any liability arising from or in connection with the services provided to you by us is the liability of asb aspire LLP. No individual member, partner, employee, consultant or agent will have any personal legal liability to you in relation to the matter separate from the liability of asb aspire LLP.

Save as implied by law we shall not be liable to you for any:

  1. loss of profit, business, contract, opportunity, revenue, anticipated savings, loss or corruption of data (including your personal data) which we are not responsible for and/or loss of goodwill; or
  2. indirect and/or consequential loss, damage, costs, expenses and/or compensation

howsoever caused which arises out of or in connection with the services provided to you or work that we (or third parties engaged by us) carry out on your behalf.

We shall not accept liability for delays or losses arising as a result of deficient instructions (including your failure to give instructions or provide information in a timely manner), or incorrect or misleading information received from you, or for any consequences arising from circumstances beyond our reasonable control.

We shall have no liability to you in connection with any claim made against us unless you have notified us in writing of such claim, specifying in reasonable detail the nature of such claim and the amount claimed, within the period of three years from the date that you had knowledge of the potential claim, or ought reasonably to have known of such claim, whichever date shall first occur.

Our total liability in the aggregate to you in contract, tort (including without limitation negligence or breach of statutory duty howsoever arising), misrepresentation (whether innocent or negligent), restitution or otherwise, arising in connection with the services provided to you or work that we (or third parties engaged by us) carry out on your behalf shall be limited to £3,000,000 (three million pounds).    

Liability to third parties

Any services provided are provided to you alone and we shall not be liable to any third party in connection with the services provided to you. These Terms are not enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by a third party, unless otherwise agreed in writing.     

Fairness

Nothing in these Terms seeks to limit our liability to you for or from any negligence which results in death, personal injury or any other liability that cannot be limited or excluded by law.

By instructing us to proceed, you acknowledge that these limitations on liability are fair having regard, amongst other factors, to the matter involved, the timescale in which you require us to carry out the work, and the fees you are prepared to pay.      

Professional Indemnity Insurance

We are required by law to have professional indemnity insurance in respect of the advice we provide on the laws of England and Wales.  Our professional indemnity insurance is provided by Travelers Insurance Co. Ltd., Exchequer Court, 33 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8AG further details can be found at www.travelers.co.uk

SRA Compensation Fund

The SRA Compensation fund is a discretionary fund. The fund is designed to compensate individuals, businesses and charities in certain limited circumstances. The following persons, charities or trustees are not entitled to compensation under the terms of the SRA Compensation Fund 2015:     

  1. any sole trader, partnership, body corporate, unincorporated association or mutual association with an annual turnover of more        than £2,000,000 (two million pounds)
  2. a charity with annual income net of tax in the most recent financial year of more than £2,000,000 (two million pounds); or
  3. a trustee of a trust with an asset value of more than £2,000,000 (two million pounds).

The following link will provide you with more information

https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/decision-making/guidance/consumer

Entire agreement

These Terms together with the terms contained or referred to in the letter of engagement constitute the whole agreement between us. They shall continue to apply notwithstanding termination of the retainer.     

Severance

Each provision of these Terms operates separately.  If a court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.   

Successors

These Terms apply to and are a binding contract on us and our successors, agents, and any person, company or limited liability partnership to whom we assign or otherwise transfer the benefit of your arrangements with us or to whom we assign or otherwise transfer all or part of the business of asb aspire.

English law

These Terms are governed by and construed in accordance with English law and each party hereby irrevocably submits to the jurisdiction of the English courts.

asb aspire LLP

asb law is the trading name of asb aspire LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with Registration No OC327667.  A list of the members of asb aspire LLP who are designated as partners is displayed at the registered office at Horizon House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN.  

Solicitors Regulation Authority

We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales, United Kingdom with Registration Number 464040 under the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019. Information about the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 can be found at www.sra.org.uk.