Taylor Law Information & Policies!
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What should I bring to my first meeting with my solicitor? We request that you bring with you two documents: One of: – European Community (EC) Passport. – Armed forces ID card. – Signed known employers ID card bearing your photograph and signature. – Full UK or EC Driving Licence. – Birth Certificate. – Pension book. – Pensioner’s travel pass. – Building Society Passbook. – Benefit Book or original notification letter from Benefits Agency confirming the right to benefits. – Inland Revenue Tax notification. – Firearms Certificate. – National ID card. One of: – Gas, Electricity or Telephone Bill. – Council Tax Demand. – Bank, Building Society, Mortgage or Credit Card Statement showing your name and address. These Accounts must be within the last 3 months Contact us via our website and keep up to date with what we do via our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided, or about the bill, then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem. In the first instance, it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact us by post to our office at Suite 112, Cleveland Business Centre, Watson Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 2RQ, telephone 01542 221108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
What will happen next?
- We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
- We will investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to our Client Care Partner Mr Taylor, who will review your matter file and speak to the member of staff who acted for you.
- We will then invite you to a meeting to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. We will do this within 14 days of sending you the acknowledgement letter.
- Within three days of that meeting we will write to you to confirm what took place and outline any solutions that have been agreed with you.
- If you do not want a meeting, or it is not possible, you will be sent a detailed written reply to your complaint, including the suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 days of sending you the acknowledgement latter.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for another Partner within the firm to review the decision.
- We will write to you within 14 days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
- If you are still not satisfied with our handling of your complaint, or if we have not resolved it within eight weeks, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman (see below) to consider the complaint. Contact details are as follows:
PO Box 6806
0300 555 0333
- Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
- If we have to change any of the above timescales, we will let you know and explain why.
Complaints about your bill
The above complaints procedure also applies to complaints arising concerning 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; and that if all, or part, of a bill remains unpaid, the firm may be entitled to charge interest.
Raising concerns with our regulator
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You can find information about raising your concerns with the SRA at www.sra.org.uk in the ‘For the public’ section.
The firm is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within its policies, practices and procedures. This applies to the firm’s professional dealings with clients, staff and Director, other solicitors, barristers, and third parties. The firm will treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect, regardless of: – Sex (including marital status, gender (including transgender), pregnancy, maternity and paternity); – Sexual orientation (including civil partnership status); – Race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins); – Religion or belief; – Age; – Caring responsibility; or – Disability. In implementing its Equality and Diversity Policy, the firm will comply with the SRA Code of Conduct, the Equality Act 2010 and with any other relevant legislation in force from time to time relating to discrimination in employment and the provision of goods, facilities or services. The SRA Code of Conduct requires firms to achieve the following outcomes: – You do not discriminate unlawfully, or victimise or harass anyone, in the course of your professional dealings; – You provide services to clients in a way that respects diversity; – You make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled clients, employees or managers are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to those who are not disabled, and you do not pass on the costs of these adjustments to these disabled clients, employees or managers; – Your approach to recruitment and employment encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; – Complaints of discrimination are dealt with promptly, fairly, openly, and effectively.
Meeting Clients’ Needs
The firm will treat all clients equally and fairly and not unlawfully discriminate against them. The firm will also, wherever possible, take steps to promote equal opportunity in relation to access to the legal services that it provides, taking account of the diversity of the communities that it serves. The firm is committed to meeting the diverse needs of clients and will take steps to identify the needs of clients in the community and ensure the services provided are accessible to all. The firm will take into account, in particular, the needs of clients with a disability and clients who are unable to communicate effectively in English. The firm will consider whether particular groups are predominant within its client base and devise appropriate policies to meet their needs: including men and women; carers; children; the elderly; members of religious groups; ethnic groups or nationalities; and lesbian, gay or transgender people.
Dealings with third parties
The firm will not unlawfully discriminate in dealings with third parties. This applies to dealings with other legal service providers and general procurement. In all its professional dealings, the firm will instruct barristers and experts on the basis of their skill, experience and ability and not unlawfully discriminate, or encourage barristers’ clerks to unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of their age; gender; marital status; race; religion or belief; sexual orientation or on the grounds of disability.
The ultimate responsibility for implementing the policy rests with the firm. The firm will appoint a senior person within it to be responsible for the operation of the policy. All employees and the Director of the firm are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing the firm. Complaints of unlawful discrimination against the firm by clients and other parties will follow the firm’s complaints procedure set out elsewhere in the Quality Procedures Manual. The firm will also monitor the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination made by staff, clients, Director, barristers, and other third parties.
The policy will be monitored to and also reviewed at least annually to measure its progress and judge its effectiveness. The firm will monitor annually equal opportunities information about job applicants from different gender, disability and ethnic groups. The firm will store this data as confidential personal data and restrict access to this information. Equal opportunities information will be used for exclusively the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring and have no bearing on opportunities or benefits. If as a result of these reviews, under-representation in the above groups is identified then the firm will consider the taking of positive action such as consideration of specific training requirements and /or the amendment of this policy.
Client Care Policy
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
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.
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;
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.
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.
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.
This statement is made on behalf of Scott Taylor Law Ltd (‘the Company’) trading as Taylor Law pursuant to Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) and constitutes our Modern Slavery Statement.
This statement is for our financial year ending 30 April 2020.
Taylor Law are committed to practices that respect human rights in all of areas of business and are committed to fair employment practices.
Taylor Law employed 16 people as of 30 April 2020. This number was made up of a self-employed director, employed solicitors, trainee solicitor, legal clerks, administration staff and self-employed consultants.
All our employees receive the statutory employment rights to which they are entitled. Taylor Law ensures all our employees have the legal right to work in the UK. Our employees are provided with a safe working environment to work in and they are treated with dignity and respect.
Modern Slavery awareness training is being rolled out within company by way of an annual training programme. In 2020, role specific training will be provided to those directly involved in managing supply chains to ensure they have the requisite tools and knowledge to deal with any modern slavery concerns.
Given our profession is very unlikely that the services we provide, and goods used are very unlikely to be affected by slavery considerations. The services that we provide to our clients are predominantly office-based and our supply chain largely consists of other regulated professions (solicitors, banks, accountants etc.) and we consider the slavery and human trafficking risk to be extremely low. Consequently, we have taken no specific action during the past financial year in relation to these elements of our supply chain.
Nonetheless, all our suppliers are required to meet minimum standards. We have not deemed it necessary to take any additional steps over and above our standard supplier approval process, but shall maintain assessment, on an ongoing basis, as to whether any additional measures are required.
This is our first statement as a company. To allow for improved risk, we will review our risk management and decision making relating to our employment contracts and supply chains, this work will be ongoing.
Select your nearest office to get in touch
Park Square West,
Tel: 0113 5328100
Cleveland Business Centre,
Tel: 01642 221108
107 – 111
Tel: 0203 7807646