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Client Care Policy

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Client Care Policy

 

Introduction

The SRA Code of Conduct requires that the service firms provide to clients must be competent, delivered in a timely manner and takes account of the clients needs and circumstances. Taylor Law is committed to providing a good service to all clients. The firm’s services should be recognised as being expert, accurate and appropriate. The firm strives to ensure that its advice is cost effective and communicated in a manner that is appropriate for each client. The firm is also committed to providing a truly professional service, meaning that all personnel must act with integrity in all their dealings with clients. This is in part achieved by ensuring that everyone complies with the provisions of the SRA Code. All personnel should at all times consider the need to perform to the ‘four Cs’, namely: – Competence – Confidentiality – Commitment – Courtesy

Competence

Taylor Law will accept instructions only where it can meet its commitment to the provision of an expert and professional service to clients. Where instructions would be beyond the expertise or the capabilities of the firm they will be declined. The firm has in place a Risk Assessment Policy which sets out work that the firm will and will not undertake along with the processes for risk assessing all matters. In any cases of doubt as to the ability of the firm to act appropriately for the client, the appropriate person set out in the Policy should be consulted. In addition, the firm will only accept instructions where it has sufficient resources to deal with the matter. If the firm cannot provide the necessary resources to deliver a quality service to the client, then the matter should be declined. In delivering services, the SRA Code requires that services are provided to clients in a manner which protects their interests in their matter, subject to the proper administration of justice.

Confidentiality

The SRA Code states that “you keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents”. This means that nobody may reveal to any outsider the nature of instructions provided or advice given to any client, other than in the pursuit of the client’s instructions. In most circumstances it will also be inappropriate to reveal that the firm is in receipt of instructions from any named client. This is particularly the case in litigation, especially crime or divorce. If you are aware that friends or other people that you know are instructing the firm it may be tempting to reveal this information to others; do not do so. If you are ever in doubt as to whether you should reveal whether the firm acts for a given client, or give out his, her or its address, check with the Director. Breaches of confidentiality could cause considerable problems for the firm and will usually be treated as a serious disciplinary offence. It is easy to fall foul of this important duty by thoughtless conversations and quick meetings in the reception area. Please keep any discussions of client business in the reception area to a minimum and, wherever possible, take clients into a meeting room when they come in to sign a document or bring in papers that need to be explained or discussed. What should be a short visit can easily change if the client asks questions and they should be entitled to do so out of the earshot of other clients or visitors. Fee earners are under a duty to disclose to the client all information material to the client’s matter of which they are personally aware, except when: – the client gives specific informed consent to non-disclosure or a different standard of disclosure arises; – there is evidence that serious physical or mental injury will be caused to a person(s) if the information is disclosed to the client; – legal restrictions effectively prohibit you from passing the information to the client, such as the provisions in the money-laundering and anti-terrorism legislation; – it is obvious that privileged documents have been mistakenly disclosed to you; – you come into possession of information relating to state security or intelligence matters to which the Official Secrets Act 1989 applies;

Commitment

Clients seek legal advice for a variety of reasons, but many approach a solicitor when they are vulnerable and in turmoil, whether in their personal lives or in their business activities. Clients are entitled to expect a genuine commitment from all personnel in handling their instructions, and for the firm to attach appropriate priority to their requirements.

Courtesy

All clients are entitled to be dealt with in a respectful and courteous manner. This will have many implications, from not keeping clients waiting in the reception area without explanation, to showing them the way to and from meeting rooms, to returning telephone calls and e-mails as a priority, and generally taking an interest in them and their problems. All personnel should show a genuine concern for the firm’s clients by doing their best to help them.

Referring of clients

It is the firm’s policy to ensure that all staff with responsibility for client matters are adequately trained to identify a client’s potential need for advice and services not provided by the firm and, if necessary, promptly signposting or referring the client elsewhere. Whenever anyone in the firm recommends that a client uses a particular person or business, that recommendation is in the best interests of the client and does not compromise the firm’s independence. This is an SRA Code requirement and will never be compromised. Clients should also be put in a position to make informed decisions about how to pursue their matter. If there is any financial or other interest which the firm has in referring the client to another person or business, the client must be fully informed of this.

Reasonable adjustments

Taylor Law is committed to making reasonable adjustments in order to remove or reduce substantial disadvantage for disabled clients. Whilst we will consider each request for reasonable adjustments individually, there are some common adjustments which we will offer as a matter of course and some other adjustments that we can make particular arrangements to provide. The adjustments will always be agreed with the person concerned to avoid making incorrect assumptions about a person’s needs. Some examples of the simple reasonable adjustments that the firm can make may include: – Arrangements for meetings to take place at a client’s home or alternative venues; – Provision of information in electronic form and/or in large print; – Allowing a client who has a learning disability or mental health problems more time than would usually be allowed; – Using email or the telephone in preference to hard copy letters where appropriate, which may assist those with a vision impairment We will use our best efforts to agree in advance with the individual in question the reasonable adjustments that we are able to make and provide reasons when it may not be possible. In no circumstances will the firm pass on the cost of a reasonable adjustment to the disabled client.

Select your nearest office to get in touch

LEEDS OFFICE

Suite 32,
Park House,
Park Square West,
Leeds,
LS1 2PW

Tel: 0113 5328100

MIDDLESBROUGH OFFICE

Suite 112,
Cleveland Business Centre,
Watson Street,
Middlesbrough,
TS1 2RQ

Tel: 01642 221108

LONDON OFFICE

107 – 111
Fleet Street,
London,
EC4A 2AB

 

Tel: 0203 7807646

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