Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions – FAMILY LAW DECISIONS LIMITED

The terms and conditions under which Family Law Decisions Limited registered at ASHWELLS ASSOCIATES LIMITED, 54a Church Road, Ashford, Middlesex, England TW15 2TS (email: info@familylawdecisions.co.uk ) provide services as McKenzie Friends or Litigation Friends are as follows:

I – Roles and Responsibilities

1 We will use our best endeavours to attend hearings that we have undertaken to attend.
a) If unforeseen circumstances prevent our attending, we will recommend or suggest someone else who might be able to attend in our place.
b) Any advance payments received for attendance at Court will be returned within 5 business days should unforeseen circumstances to ourselves prevent our attending.

2 We will consider the papers supplied to us before any hearing and will make suggestions and recommendations as we see fit.

3 We may not have trained as lawyers and we make no warranties or representations of any kind with regard to our advice and suggestions and we are not personally responsible or liable for decisions made by the client, the court, or other parties.

4 Our attendance at court implies that we will liaise and/or negotiate with other parties and/or their representatives or other professionals as appropriate. If so allowed by the Judge, we will make notes and put forward suggestions to the Judge or the client as appropriate.

5 We will maintain client confidentiality at all times, with the exceptions below:
a) We may discuss relevant anonymous details of cases with our own advisors (who may be professionals or laypersons) for the express and sole purpose of assisting the client’s case.
b) We may discuss details of cases with the appropriate authorities if we consider a child to be at serious risk of harm.

6 Our clients are under no obligation to avail him- or her of our services.
a) Contracts may be suspended under III s.11.
b) Contracts may be terminated under III s.12.

II – Costs

7 Our charges will be £58.00 per hour plus VAT for work undertaken in relation to the case. Generally our services are secured by a Fixed Fee and the hourly rate may not be relevant.
a) Travel (our fuel mileage/tickets is included in the Fixed Fee rate up to one hours travel) to and from Court or meetings will be charged at the rate of £30.00 plus VAT.
b) Disbursements including but not limited to assistance with statements/telephone calls/emails will be charged at the rate in s.7 or included in the Fixed Fee price.
c) Minimum attendance time at Court is 2 hours charged at the hourly rate in s.7 or within a Fixed Fee price.
d) Travel and Attendance at Court payments required in advance of a hearing before our attendance at Court is confirmed.
e) Disbursements costs incurred prior to hearing required (whichever is the earlier) at least 3 business days in advance of hearing or within 5 business days of invoice.
f) If Attendance at Court exceeds 2 hours then any further costs regarding attendance required within 5 business days of hearing we attended, charged at the hourly rate in s.7 or if a Fixed Fee price there will be no further charge.
g) Attendance at Court that is pre-scheduled and/or likely to be longer than 2 hours to be paid in advance of a hearing before our attendance at Court is confirmed.
i) The client will be notified of overnight accommodation costs, on the occasion that we spend the night away from home in order to attend hearings. Payment to be paid in full before confirmation of attendance at Court is confirmed.
j) Fixed Fees when agreed are payable in advance of a hearing before confirmation of our attendance and provision of services is confirmed.
k) In the event of a hearing listed for multiple days (e.g. final or fact finding) concludes earlier then a cost of £120.00 plus VAT is made for each day our attendance is not required at Court. Reimbursement of remaining monies minus our costs already incurred for services and attendance will be made within 5 business days.
l) VAT is applicable at 20%

8 In the event that you are awarded costs, you will be unable to recover our fees from the other side; costs are relatively rarely awarded in Children cases.

9 In the event of our costs accrued not being settled within 28 days of the presentation of our invoice, we reserve the right to add interest at the rate of 2% to be added monthly (24% p.a.) to the outstanding balance.

10 Our account details for payments and methods:
Family Law Decisions Ltd
Account 89639634
Sort Code 60-24-20
NatWest Bank
Payments by Credit / Debit Card or PayPal can be made from this link:
https://www.familylawdecisions.co.uk/make-a-payment/
Barclays PINGIT – 07739 785 976

III – Termination

11 The client may suspend the contract at any time, subject to outstanding obligations under II – Costs.
a) Any return travel is charged at the rate specified in II s.7

12 The client may terminate the contract at any time, subject to outstanding obligations under II – Costs.
a) Any return travel is charged at the rate specified in II s.7

13 If the client terminates or suspends the contract with fewer than 7 days’ notice in advance of a hearing, s/he will be charged a cancellation fee of £120.00 plus VAT in addition to outstanding obligations under II Costs.
a) No further obligations are incurred for unavoidable cancellations by the Courts or other parties than the client.
i. Such cancellations should be communicated to us as soon as possible.
b) The cancellation fee does not apply to instances of unavoidable circumstance.
c) Any advance payments received for attendance at Court will be returned within 5 business days, with the exception of disbursements already accrued and the cancellation fee should you terminate or suspend the contract.

14 We reserve the right to terminate or suspend the contract and thereby discontinue acting as McKenzie Friend or Litigation Friend at any time and for any reason, without being obliged to provide an explanation.
a) Any return travel is charged at the rate specified in II s.7
b) Any advance payments received for attendance at Court will be returned within 5 business days should we terminate or suspend the contract.

IV – Additional Information

15 We may be members and/or part/full-time employees of charities and other organisations which have no responsibility whatsoever for our activities as a McKenzie Friend/Litigation Friend and are themselves not responsible for any guidance or suggestions we might offer. We are not paid by them for anything we do as a McKenzie Friend or Litigation Friend.

16 The primary client relationship is solely with Family Law Decisions Limited and Family Law Decisions Limited has sole legal liability for the work done for the primary client and for any act or omission in the course of that work. No associate (contractor) to, or employee of Family Law Decisions Limited will have any personal legal liability for that work whether in contract, tort or negligence. In particular, the fact that an individual associate or employee signs in his or her own name any letter or other communication in the course of carrying out that work does not mean he or she is assuming any personal legal liability for that letter or communication. The primary client is the individual or organisation for which Family Law Decisions Limited is engaged to provide services.

17 Family Law Decisions Limited has put in place professional indemnity insurance for associates working for Family Law Decisions Limited primary clients and the company has liability insurance. Cover is renewed each year and the applicable insurer may change from year to year.

18 VAT Registration Number 270 9036 08

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