Terms & Conditions
1.1. These Terms of Business, together with any letter(s) we have sent to you detailing our services and any schedule(s) attached thereto (collectively referred to as “the Retainer”) are herein referred to as “the Terms”. The Terms constitute the agreement between you and DCB Legal Limited (“the Agreement”).
1.2. In the case of any inconsistent or incompatible provisions, the Retainer takes precedence.
1.3. DCB Legal Limited (“DCB”) is a limited company registered in England and Wales (10633864) with its registered address at Direct House, Greenwood Drive, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1UG. DCB is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA registration number 638321. Where we say ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ in the Terms we mean DCB.
1.4. DCB will not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, colour, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identification. DCB will treat every person fairly and impartially, in the interests of justice.
1.5. DCB reserve the right to decline any instruction that we consider to be illegal, unethical or unreasonable and to do so without stating a reason. When this happens, any monies paid to us in respect of action already taken may be refunded upon written request and approval by our Board of Directors. This concession does not include any fees which were made payable to Her Majesty’s Court & Tribunals Service as disbursements.
1.6. We may revise these Terms of Business at any time by amending this document. You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes made, as they are binding on you. Some of the provisions may also be superseded by provisions or notices published elsewhere on our site.
1.7. Where we say ‘you’ or ‘your’ in the Terms we mean you, our client.
2. Our Service
2.1. The service we will provide to you is set out in the Retainer. At all times, unless you agree otherwise, we will act in accordance with the Standard Instructions set out therein
2.2. The services will be provided as appropriate by solicitors, paralegals and legal assistants employed by DCB.
3.1. We will keep your affairs confidential unless you specifically ask us to disclose the information to another party, or we need to do so in order to deal with your matter.
3.2. As part of our commitment to providing a quality service to you, external assessors may periodically review our files on a sample basis to check that we are complying with standards and procedures in file management. Files are not made available to assessors where the subject matter is of an unusually sensitive nature, or where you specifically request. We will assume that we do have your consent unless you notify us to the contrary.
4. Your Responsibilities
4.1. You agree to provide any instruction, information or documents requested by us in a timely manner to allow us to effectively provide the services set out in the Retainer Letter.
4.2. By instructing us, you agree; to provide full and frank disclosure of your instruction and documents pertaining to those instructions, cooperation with us and engage in all communications via us and not with the opponent directly.
4.3. It is for you to ensure the details completed in the instruction are true and correct. We accept no responsibility for costs or damages resulting from incorrect, untrue or otherwise flawed information given on instruction.
4.4. If you have direct contact with an opponent, for example a judgment debtor or the debtor’s representative (for example, a debt adviser), you must re-direct the person to us and notify us of this immediately. This is necessary to maintain clear lines of communication, avoid confusion and ensure action is carried out correctly and appropriately. Furthermore, if you receive payment or part-payment direct from or on behalf of the debtor, you should notify us immediately and forward the payment within 24 hours. This is also to maintain clear lines of communication and to avoid the mutual embarrassment caused by for example, enforcement action on a debt already paid. Failure to comply with this condition may render you liable for our fees, costs and charges incurred by unnecessary or abortive enforcement action taken in good faith.
4.5. You will be liable for our fees, costs and charges in relation to work done if a judgment is set aside by the court, or a consent order is agreed between the Claimant and Defendant, or if you negotiate a settlement with the judgment debtor or the debtor’s representative or any other person seeking to settle the debt on behalf of the debtor (with or without the debtor’s knowledge or consent).
4.6. Should we or you receive information from the Courts requiring any collected funds to be repaid either to the Court or the named Defendant you agree to abide by such documentation.
4.7. Repay any remitted funds back to us if any issue of uncleared funds and or bank charges on transactions later becomes known.
5. Our Fees
5.1. Our fees will be charged in accordance with the Retainer.
5.2. We reserve the right to change our fees from time to time. Any change in the fees will not apply to any instructions that have already been accepted, unless the change is a direct consequence of a change in VAT or in Court fees that have already taken effect.
5.3. Where fees due to us by you are outstanding, we reserve the right to cease work on a case carried out until such time as all outstanding monies due are paid in full.
5.4. Where any fees or charges are outstanding; prompt payment is required and not expected to be longer than 50 days from case closure. Should it remain overdue after 50 days we reserve the right to administer the account to Debt Recovery and High Court Enforcement action may be initiated.
5.5. Please note we will not change our bank details via email. Please remain vigilant to scams or malicious behaviour relating to your payment activity.
5.6. We reserve the right to charge an additional fee if work of an exceptional or unexpected nature is required. When this happens, we will give you written details before charging the intended amount. You will therefore have an opportunity to instruct we not to proceed as intended and so avoid incurring the additional fee.
6. Conflicts of Interest
6.1. We will not act for you where there is a conflict of interest between you and DCB, or another of our clients. If a conflict arises, we will discuss it with you, with a view to resolving the situation.
7. Order for Costs
7.1. As a very broad and general rule, the losing party to Court proceedings pays the costs. However, the details which follow should be noted carefully:-
7.1.1. At the conclusion of this matter, and in the event that you are successful, it may be that you are entitled to the payment of your costs by some other party. Should those costs actually be recovered then any payment on account which you have made to us will, of course, be returned to you. If, however, we are only able to recover some of our legal fees then the remaining balance will be your responsibility.
7.1.2. In any event, you will be personally responsible for payment of our costs in full regardless of any order for costs made against your opponent.
7.1.3. If you lose, you should be aware of the probability that you will have to pay your opponent’s costs as well as your own.
7.1.4. Even if you win, your opponent may not be ordered to pay the full amount of your costs and may not be capable of paying what he/she has been ordered to pay.
8. Duty to the Court
8.1. All solicitors have a professional duty to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice. We must comply with our duties to the court, even where this conflicts with our obligations to you. This means that we must not:
8.1.1. Attempt to deceive or knowingly or recklessly mislead the court;
8.1.2. Be complicit in another person deceiving or misleading the court;
8.1.3. Place ourselves in contempt of court; or
8.1.4. Make or offer payments to witnesses who depend on their evidence or the outcome of the case.
9.1. Either party can terminate the Agreement forthwith in the event of a material breach by the other party.
9.2. Either party can terminate the Agreement in any event by giving notice in writing to the other party. We are entitled to keep all documents relating to your case while there is still money owed to us. In the event of termination, you agree to pay our charges and expenses up to the point of termination. We will not release any documents to you until the final invoice is paid.
10.1. We aim to offer our clients an effective and efficient service. However, you are entitled to complain to us should an issue arise with the service we provide. Initially, please raise your concern with the person handling your case.
10.2. If you remain dissatisfied, please follow the complaints procedure.
10.3. If appropriate in your case, your complaint could include a complaint about our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. We must also tell you that if all or part of a bill remains unpaid, we may be able to charge interest at the current rate at that time.
10.4. Any complaint should be made to us or the Legal Ombudsman within a year from when you realised there was a concern. If within eight weeks of a complaint being made to us we have not resolved the matter to your satisfaction you have a right to refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. This must be done within six months of our written response to you.
11. Professional Indemnity Insurance
11.1. We maintain professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Details are available upon request.
12. Data Protection
12.1. We may need to process personal data in order to provide the services. Please see our GDPR Data Protection Policy for detailed information about how we use personal data and rights in relation to personal data.
13. Storage of Documents
13.1. We will keep our file (except for any of your documents which you ask to be returned to you) for at least 6 years. We keep the file on the understanding that we have authority to destroy it 6 years after the day of the final invoice we send you for this matter.
13.2. If we retrieve documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act in connection with your affairs, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may charge a fee based on time spent producing stored documents to you or another at your request. We may also charge for reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by you or on your behalf.
14.1. We may ask external organisations to provide us with support services. We will enter a confidentiality agreement with the service provider. If you do not want your matter sent outside the firm, please let us know.
14.2. We have an overarching data sharing agreement in place with Direct Collections Bailiffs Limited (“DCBL”).
15. Anti-Money Laundering
15.1. In order to comply with Money Laundering Regulations; we are required by law to get satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and sometimes people related to them to prevent the risks and issues relating to money laundering. We will discuss what we require from you under separate cover.
16. Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
16.1. This paragraph applies in addition to your general rights to terminate. If we have not met you in person, or the Agreement is being entered away from our registered office, the Consumer Contract (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations may apply. This means you may have the right to cancel within 14 days from the date of signing. To exercise your right to cancel please inform us in writing within this timeframe.
17.1. Unless you tell us not to do so, we may communicate with you by e-mail and letter and do not accept responsibility for any breach of confidentiality which may occur, whether by fault on your part, by any of your agents or as a result of the action of a third party.
18.1. These Terms and any dispute between us shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of England and Wales and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
18.2. We are only able to commence legal proceedings against debtors residing in England and Wales.
19. Legal Expenses Insurance
19.1. If you have the benefit of Legal Expenses Insurance, we will contact your insurers with a view to obtaining their agreement, where possible, to indemnify this firm in respect of the costs and disbursements incurred on your behalf. Please let us know if you have the benefit of a Legal Expenses Insurance policy immediately.
20. Bills/ Invoices
20.1. If appropriate, we may deliver bills to you at regular intervals for the work carried out during the conduct of the case. This assists our cash flow and enables you to budget for costs. We will send a final invoice after completion of the work. We feel sure that you will understand that in the event of a payment not being made, we reserve the right to decline to act any further and that the full amount of the work done up to that date will be charged to you. Accounts should be settled within 30 days.
20.2. Figures are quoted excluding VAT and disbursements, VAT is payable on amounts invoiced to you. Interest may be charged on bills that are not paid within that time at the rate of 8% or such other rate of which you will be notified unless an acceptable reason has been given in advance. Interest will be charged on a daily basis.
20.3. You are primarily responsible for paying our invoices even if you have entered into an agreement for another party to pay them. We are entitled to keep all correspondence and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.