Terms of engagement
This section summarises our Terms of Engagement but does not replace our full terms, which you can read beneath this Summary.
WHAT ARE 'TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT'?
'We', 'our' and 'us' refers to Epoq Legal Ltd whose registered office address is at Unit 2, 2 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1JN. Epoq Legal Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 645296), and is registered in England and Wales under company number 3707955.
The following services are available to you through the website:
- Legal Document Review. The review and, where appropriate, amendment of legal documents created on the website
- Legal advice. The provision of legal advice relating to your document over the phone or via email, within the scope of the Legal Document Review
- Legal Helpline. The provision of a helpline you can call to obtain information about, and guidance for, any legal issues you may have
ACCEPTANCE OF INSTRUCTIONS
We're not obliged to provide any services to you until your instructions have been accepted by us. Note there may be circumstances where we're unable to accept your instructions because our professional rules prevent us acting for you. If this happens, we'll tell you straightaway and discuss your options with you.
LEGAL DOCUMENT REVIEW
We'll review your document under a Limited Engagement. This means our work is restricted to:
- Reviewing the answers that you give when preparing a document on the website
- Indicating whether or not we're satisfied that the document will meet your disclosed requirements and circumstances
- If appropriate, amending your document to ensure it's suitable for your disclosed circumstances
Legal Document Reviews are subject to a fair use policy. Under this, you agree that we may manage Limited Engagements so that, as far as possible, they can be completed within one hour. For example, we'll enter into reasonable communications with you by either phone or e-mail in order to complete the work required, but we won't offer face-to face meetings. We may also decline to deal with your requests if they're not essential to our work on your document.
In exceptional cases, we may decline to continue the Legal Document Review under a Limited Engagement if we consider that the work involved goes beyond our fair use policy, e.g. because of the volume or complexity of additional information that you provide. In that situation, we'll inform you of this and discuss your options.
We will provide telephone legal advice in good faith based only on the information given during your call. We won't engage in correspondence, draft documents or provide any legal representation.
The Legal Helpline is also subject to a fair use policy. In general, any question asked should be answerable within approximately 20 minutes. We may decline to provide advice to you if, for example, it's a complex issue that requires a face-to-face meeting, written advice or a document drafted.
In rare cases, we may also restrict, suspend or impose conditions on your access to the Legal Helpline if we consider you're making excessive or inappropriate use of it.
We're committed to providing a first-class service, but if you have any questions or concerns, or if you'd like to request a copy of our written complaints procedure, our full terms tell you who to contact and how, and what you can do if we are unable to resolve matters for you.
Thank you for your interest in our services.
- We are Epoq Legal Ltd, a private limited company registered in England and Wales.
- Our registered office address is at Unit 2, 2 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1JN.
- Our company number is 3707955.
- Our VAT number is 247 9946 45.
- We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our SRA number is 645296.
- The standards and requirements that we are expected to achieve and to observe can be found in the SRA Handbook http://www.sra.org.uk/handbook/.
- In relation to the services provided by us under these terms of engagement, you are entitled to the protections offered by the SRA Compensation Fund https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/introclipro/compfund/. You are not entitled to these protections in relation to our other, non-legal activities.
- We will hold professional indemnity insurance that will cover our legal practice carried out from offices in England and Wales and will extend to acts or omissions wherever in the world they occur.
- In these terms of engagement, 'we', 'our' and 'us' refers to Epoq Legal Ltd.
Document: a legal document created by you using the System.
Document Preparation Service: the provision by the Service Provider of access to the System on the Website.
Document Review Service: the work that we will do on your behalf in connection with reviewing and approving a Document.
Helpline: the provision by us to you of a telephone legal advice line.
Service Provider: the provider of access to the System on the Website. This may, in some cases, be us - see paragraph 10 for information about how this may affect you.
Services: the services listed at paragraph 3.1.
System: the document assembly and drafting system used to create a Document.
- These terms of engagement explain the operation of:
- the Document Review Service; and
- the Helpline.
- We are not responsible under these terms of engagement for any legal information provided by the Service Provider or any other third party on the Website or otherwise.
- Prior to carrying out any work on your behalf under these terms of engagement, there are certain steps which we are required to take in order to be sure that it is proper and in your best interests for us to act for you. We will notify you by separate email, after completing these steps, if we are unable to accept your instructions. Further information can be found below under 'Acceptance of instructions'.
- We shall not be obliged to carry out any work on your behalf unless and until:
- you have signified your consent and agreement to these terms of engagement either expressly or impliedly by you telephoning us to make use of the Helpline or by you submitting a Document to us for review under the Document Review Service; and
- we have accepted your instructions.
- A contract is made between us for the provision of the Services when, and if, we accept your instructions. This contract is ancillary to a separate contract between you and the Service Provider for the provision of the Document Preparation Service.
- By telephoning us to make use of the Helpline or by submitting a Document to us for review under the Document Review Service, you request that we begin to provide that Service as soon as practically possible
ACCEPTANCE OF INSTRUCTIONS
Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
- Before we can accept your instructions and begin work on your behalf, we may be required to obtain information and documents to enable us to verify your identity and to understand the nature and purpose of the work you want us to do for you. Unless you are an existing client of the firm and we hold all relevant and required information about you already, we will tell you separately which information and documents we need you to provide, and will be obliged if you will kindly supply us with them as soon as possible. We do hope that the impact on you will be minimal and that you will promptly provide all requested documents so that we may commence our work on your behalf. If you cannot provide us with the specific identification documentation that we request, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss other ways to verify your identity.
- If we are unable to complete the verification process to our satisfaction because of any failure on your part to supply any requested information or documents, we will not be able to carry out any work for you and will be required to refuse your instructions. If this should occur, any payment (if applicable) already made with respect to those instructions will not be refundable.
Similarly, before we can accept your instructions and begin work on your behalf, we are required to undertake a conflict check to ensure there are no reasons why we may not or should not accept your instructions because either the interests of another client may be in conflict with your interests, or our own interests may be in conflict with your best interests. We will let you know as quickly as we can if we are unable to act for you, and in that event (if applicable) any payment already made with respect to your instructions will be refunded in full.
- If you want us to act for both you and another person, we will need to conduct a similar verification and checking process in relation to that other person before we can accept instructions from, and begin work on behalf of, both of you. We will also need to assess the risk of a conflict of interests arising between the two of you. If we are satisfied that it is proper and appropriate for us to act for both of you, we will inform you and send a separate engagement letter to the other person. Otherwise, we will contact you to discuss your options.
DOCUMENT REVIEW SERVICE
- There are limitations on the work that we will do under the Document Review Service.
- The scope of our work is:
- to indicate to you whether or not we are satisfied, based on the answers that you gave the System, that the Document created by or for you is effective, so far as has been disclosed, to meet your requirements and suitable for your circumstances; and
- if necessary, to amend the Document to ensure that it is suitable for your disclosed requirements and circumstances.
- This means that it is very important that you inform us about any information that you think may be material to the preparation of the Document or about the purpose for which the Document is to be used. The possible damage to you or to your interests if the Document is not correct is one such important material piece of information that you should disclose to us.
How we will perform our work
- We shall:
- review the answers you gave the System;
- review the Document; and
- engage in reasonable correspondence and/or communications with you that is relevant to our work under the Document Review Service or that is required to clarify your requirements or to resolve ambiguities in information provided by you that is material to the performance of the Document Review Service. Subject to our fair use restrictions (see paragraph 7), we will endeavour to respond to your correspondence and communications as fast as we can, but do not guarantee any particular response time.
What we will not do
- The Document Review Service does not include:
- undertaking any investigation of your particular circumstances beyond those that you disclosed in the answers you gave the System, or that you informed us of via subsequent communications;
- the provision of legal advice about the suitability of the Document to your particular circumstances save to the extent that they are disclosed by the answers you gave the System and/or in any subsequent communications;
- verifying your answers or any information given by you when using the System. You alone are responsible for ensuring the answers, and any information you give, are correct (this includes information in relation to the identity of any parties or signatories, their age and capacity). We rely on you providing the correct information;
- proofreading data you have inputted for typographical errors;
- supervising or checking the due and proper signing of the Document. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Document is properly signed, and, if any person or entity who is to sign it is outside the jurisdiction in which we operate, it is your responsibility to ensure that the Document is properly signed in accordance with the requirements of that jurisdiction where those requirements prevail;
- undertaking any future review of the Document or providing any ongoing advice, legal or otherwise, as to the continued effectiveness for legal, taxation or any other purpose of the Document; or
- sending your completed Document to you.
Where the Document is a will or a trust:
- We do not give personal, corporate or specialised tax advice and we strongly recommend that you engage a specialist to provide this advice for you.
- We will not supervise the signing of any will or take responsibility for the will being correctly signed. You will be provided with instructions on how to sign the will. If the will is not correctly signed it will be invalid.
- To make a valid will you must have the requisite mental capacity at the time of signing. If you instruct us to review a will, we shall proceed on the basis that the testator has mental capacity, and is of the minimum age for the relevant jurisdiction to make a will. If this is not the case, this could be grounds for challenging the will's validity which could adversely affect the intended beneficiaries. If you are concerned about this we would suggest that you contact us to discuss the matter further.
- We do not assume any responsibility nor will we accept liability for failing to provide later advice on the terms of any will or trust prepared using the System should future taxation changes or any other changes in the law render their terms inappropriate. The responsibility for future reviews of the terms of your will or trust rests with you. We advise you to have your will reviewed regularly and at least every 2-3 years to make sure that the Document continues to meet your requirements.
- Where the Document is a power of attorney, we do not assume any responsibility for verifying that the donor has capacity or that the donor has not been subjected to undue influence with respect to the creation or the terms of the power.
Alterations to the Document:
We do not have any liability for:
- any alterations made by you or on your behalf to the Document once it has been returned to you by us unless such alteration has been approved by us;
- any use of the Document or signing of the Document by a person or entity outside of the jurisdiction in which we operate; or
- any adverse consequences resulting from the use of the Document which are attributable to circumstances pertaining to you which were not disclosed in the answers that you gave the System, or in subsequent communications.
Work outside the scope of the Document Review Service
- On first receiving a Document and each time that you provide additional information or make a new request with respect to that Document, we shall assess, in good faith, if it will be practical or appropriate for us to provide, or continue our work under, the Document Review Service, or if any work you want us to do, or request you have made, falls within the scope of the Document Review Service. If the result of any such assessment is that we consider it appropriate to take any of the steps referred to in paragraphs 7.2(b), 7.2(c) or 7.2(d) below, we will, if possible, consider and discuss with you if and how we might perform a modified Document Review Service with respect to the Document if you change or limit your requirements or requests. If this is not possible, or if you do not agree, we will discuss with you your options.
What we will do
FAIR USE RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO THE DOCUMENT REVIEW SERVICE
- Our aim is to complete our work under the Document Review Service quickly and efficiently. We expect that in most cases the work that we undertake under the Document Review Service will take no more than one hour in total. We reserve the right to manage the work we agree to do to ensure that, so far as possible, that expectation is fulfilled.
- What this means in practice is as follows:
- We will expect that correspondence and communications between us will take place by email or by telephone. Face-to-face interviews will not be offered.
- We may limit the extent to which we engage in communications with you or to which we respond to correspondence from you if we reasonably consider, and have explained to you, that to do so would be incompatible with the efficient conduct of our work under the Document Review Service.
- You may provide us with additional information about your requirements and circumstances beyond that revealed by the answers that you gave the System, but we reserve the right to terminate our work under the Document Review Service at any time if, by reason of the volume and/or complexity of that additional information, we reasonably consider, and have explained to you, that it is impractical or inappropriate to continue to work on the Document under the Document Review Service.
- As part of the Document Review Service, we may decline to deal with any requests, issues or questions made or raised by you if they are not essential to our work on the Document under the Document Review Service.
- The Helpline is provided on the following terms and conditions:
- All advice is given in good faith and is based upon the information supplied by you during the call. We cannot be held liable for any loss suffered if inaccurate or incomplete information is given. We may ask questions to elicit information to assist us in answering your questions, but we are not obliged to do so and a failure by us to ask questions that may have altered our advice will not incur any liability on our part.
- Advice is provided solely by telephone and will not be provided in writing. We will not enter into correspondence with you.
- Advice given is specific to the individual issue being discussed and is not intended to be applied to other situations. If you do so then it is at your own risk.
- The Helpline does not include:
- drafting or amendment of documents or clauses;
- preparation of letters; or
- advising, supporting or representing you in any further way.
- A Helpline call will be discontinued immediately if you are rude or abusive to our staff, and your future access to the Helpline may be withdrawn
- You must not facilitate the use of the Helpline by unauthorised persons. If you do, your access to the Helpline may be withdrawn.
FAIR USE RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO THE HELPLINE
- Your use of this Service is subject to fair use in line with its intended purpose. As a guideline, any question asked on the Helpline should be answerable within approximately 20 minutes.
- We shall have no obligation to provide advice to you through this Service if, in our absolute discretion, a question being asked by you is outside the scope of the Service or if it is inappropriate to deal with your question through the Service (for example, if it is a complex issue that requires a face-to-face meeting or if you need written advice or a document drafted).
- In this event, we will inform you immediately during the call and discuss your options with you.
- If, in our absolute discretion, we consider that you have made, or are making, inappropriate or excessive use of this Service, your access to the Service may be restricted or suspended (either for a fixed period or indefinitely), or conditions may be imposed upon your access to it, which may include a condition of payment or an additional charge.
- You will be notified before any such action is taken.
SCOPE OF REGULATION
- We are a 'multi-disciplinary practice'. This means that only some of the work we perform is regulated by the SRA. All work performed by us under these terms of engagement is regulated by the SRA, but our other, non-legal activities are not. For example, if we are also the Service Provider (i.e. we provide access to the System on the Website), the provision by us of the Document Preparation Service is not regulated by the SRA. However, this will not affect how we must deal with any complaint you make about any service provided by us or your right to take that complaint to the Legal Ombudsman (see paragraph 17).
When providing the Services under these terms of engagement, we do not expect to provide any financial services which are 'regulated activities' under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
WEBSITE ACCESS FACILITY
We have a facility that enables us to access your account, or any Documents you have created or started, and perform actions as if we were you. We will only ever use that facility when it is necessary in order to action a support request that you have made to us, whether by email or by telephone. You consent to us using this facility in this way when you accept these terms of engagement. By accepting these terms of engagement, you also agree to comply with the instructions we may give you to ensure that the use of this facility is effective. For the avoidance of doubt, we shall not ever, unless you are on a telephone call with us at the time and specifically provide your consent, use this facility to accept any contractual terms or other legal acknowledgements, or to make any payments, on your behalf.
- Where applicable, the price charged to you for any of the Services is an agreed fee; in other words, it is fixed, we cannot increase it, and it does not cease to be payable if it is lawfully terminated before the Service is fully performed. It is your responsibility to investigate other ways of funding the provision of an equivalent service. By using the Service, you acknowledge that you are satisfied that it is appropriate for you to pay the price and that the price is reasonable.
- The Services are ancillary to the contract between you and the Service Provider for access to the Document Preparation Service (whether that contract is for access on a single occasion or multiple occasions).
- If you have a right to cancel that contract and have validly notified the Service Provider that you wish to exercise that right, the contract with us for the provision of the Services will automatically be cancelled.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORK
- We will advise you separately of the name of the file handler who will be assigned to doing most of the work under the Document Review Service as well as the identity of the partner (Client Partner) with overall responsibility for your business relationship with us. The file handler may not be a solicitor, but the Client Partner will be an experienced solicitor.
- From time to time, and if we consider it to be of importance in relation to our work for you under the Document Review Service, it may be necessary for us to involve other staff, including trainees and paralegals, with different levels of experience or with other areas of expertise. We will, in each case, let you know in advance why we consider it necessary, what the area of specialisation is, and the name of that person.
DATA PROTECTION, CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:
- Updating and enhancing client records
- Analysis to help us manage our practice
- Statutory returns
- Legal and regulatory compliance
- Our use of your information is subject to your instructions, data protection law and our duty of confidentiality.
For information about how we look after your information, about your privacy rights and how the law protects you see our Privacy Notice. However, please note the following in particular:
- Although we are professionally and legally obliged to keep your affairs confidential, there may be circumstances where we are required by law to make a disclosure, e.g. where we know or suspect that a transaction may involve such illegal activities as money laundering or terrorist financing.
- If we have to notify our insurers about a claim you have made, or about any circumstances that may give rise to a claim by you, we will pass information about you and your matter to our insurers. By entering into the contract with us for the provision of the Services, you are agreeing to disclosure of your information to our insurers, and any assessors appointed by them, in that situation.
- External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on us, and by entering into the contract with us for the provision of the Services, you are agreeing to disclosure of your information to these firms or organisations for that purpose. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your information.
- This firm is committed to providing a first-class service and consistently excellent advice of the utmost quality to its clients, but if you have any questions or concerns, or in the unlikely event that you have any cause to complain about our service (including a complaint about any bill delivered by us), please initially contact the Client Partner. We have a written complaints procedure to which we shall adhere when dealing with any complaint. A copy of our complaints procedure is available on request emailing firstname.lastname@example.org:
- If we fail to respond to your complaint within eight weeks or if at the conclusion of our complaints process we are unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction you may have a right to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. If you wish to do so, you must contact the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response or, if we haven't responded within 8 weeks, within 6 months of your last contact with us. Additionally, you must raise your complaint with the Legal Ombudsman within 6 years of the relevant act or omission or, if the act or omission took place more than 6 years ago, 3 years from when you should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint.
- In relation to a complaint about any bill delivered by us, which we have not resolved to your satisfaction, you may have a right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Please note, however, that if all or part of a bill remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest. In addition, the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about the bill if you have applied to the court for assessment of the bill.
You can contact the Legal Ombudsman as below:
PO Box 6806
0300 555 0333
Thank you for your interest in our services.