Terms of Business

   
1 Engagement
1.1 The contractual terms of our engagement consist of the following:
(i) A letter (“Engagement Letter”) sent to you by us setting out the details of the scope of the project and an initial estimate of our costs; and
(ii) These terms of business (the “Terms”) which are expressly incorporated for the purposes of all matters on which we act for you.
1.2 These Terms should be read in conjunction with the Engagement Letter. In the event of a conflict the Engagement Letter will prevail.
1.3 The contract will come into force at the earlier of (i) your confirmation (verbally or in writing) of the Engagement Letter or (ii) at the moment when the services are commenced.
2 About Us
2.1 Pitmans Law is our brand.
2.2 Pitmans LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC338183 and whose registered office is at 47 Castle Street, Reading RG1 7SR. It is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) under number 555642.
2.3 These Terms set out standard arrangements which apply to our services and include information which the SRA requires us to tell you.
2.4 In these Terms “you” and “your” includes the person(s) named in the Engagement Letter as our client and “Pitmans”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refers to Pitmans LLP.
2.5 We use the term “Partner” to describe members of the LLP and other senior lawyers with equivalent standing and qualifications. The use of this term does not indicate that any relationship of partnership has arisen. A list of members is open to inspection at the registered office.
2.6 Pitmans LLP is the only entity or person contracting with you to provide services. Any advice given or other work done for you by a partner, member, consultant or employee of Pitmans LLP will be given by that person on behalf of Pitmans LLP and not in his or her individual capacity and no such person will have personal responsibility to you for that advice or other work. If, as a matter of law, a duty of care would otherwise be owed to you by that individual, it is excluded.
2.7 Sentio Costs is the trading name of our costs division and is part of Pitmans LLP.
2.8 We are not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).
2.9 We do not undertake any publicly funded work.
3 Joint or multiple clients
3.1 Where you engage us jointly with another you agree to share information between you freely and you confirm that you are aware that you share privilege jointly.
3.2 If one client does share confidential information with us or a previously unforeseen conflict does arise between you we may be unable to continue to act for you.
3.3 If a dispute arises between you and us which we are unable to resolve between us then we may be unable to continue to act for you.
3.4 You will retain joint ownership of the papers to which you are entitled.
3.5 If instructions are given on behalf of a client, we are entitled to assume that the person giving the instructions has lawful authority to instruct us.
4 Our services
4.1 Pitmans is committed to providing excellent client service.
4.2 The scope of any matter (and any changes) will be agreed with you. We shall have no obligation to advise you on matters outside of an agreed scope.
4.3 We shall advise you of the name and status of your relationship partner and your client service team on each engagement. From time to time other personnel of comparable expertise may assist. Some tasks may be carried out by personnel who do not hold formal qualifications. We also identify each Head of Department relevant to your instructions in our Engagement Letter.
4.4 You are responsible for providing instructions to us which will allow us to satisfy your requirements. You agree to inform us without delay of facts or circumstances which may be relevant to us in the delivery of our services to you. You should feel free to contact us at any time. We will evolve the scope of works as a matter progresses taking into account your instructions, the approach of a third party or opponent and/or additional information provided to us by you or another party.
4.5 In providing our services to you we are required to comply with regulatory requirements affecting the provision of professional legal services in the UK, laws relevant to the engagement and the requirements of the SRA and other regulators even where these conflict with our Terms.
4.6 We are unable to accept any instruction where there is a conflict of interest or a significant risk of such a conflict arising, as prescribed by the SRA. You must inform us immediately if you become aware of any actual or potential conflict of interest on or in relation to any engagement.
4.7 We may act for other clients who are or could be regarded as your competitors, unless we expressly agree with you to the contrary.
4.8 Neither party to this contract may transfer the rights and obligations arising from or in relation to this contract to any third party without the other’s express written consent.
5 Communication by email
5.1 You agree to us communicating with you and third parties, including sending bills and other confidential information, by email, using the email address(es) you have given us from time to time. You should be aware that there is a risk that emails (in particular when unencrypted) may be intercepted, delayed or corrupted or may fail to be delivered.
5.2 Neither you nor we shall have any liability to each other in respect of any claim or loss arising in connection with such a virus or defect in an electronic communication other than where such claim or loss arises from bad faith or wilful default.
6 Bribery
6.1 Neither you nor we shall undertake any step which would cause the other party to be in breach of any anti-bribery or corruption laws and regulations in the UK or of similar or equivalent nature in any other jurisdiction.
7 Our fees and estimates
7.1 Details of our estimated costs are set out in our Engagement Letter. In appropriate cases we may be able to agree a fixed or a maximum fee with you.
7.2 We review estimates regularly and, where necessary, we will update you of any changes.
7.3 Any estimate we provide to you is a guide and does not constitute an offer of a fixed fee unless we have specifically stated it as such. The amount on our invoice rendered may vary from previous estimates given due to changes in the scope of work. Unless otherwise agreed in the Engagement Letter:
(a) an hourly rate is charged for each fee earner (reflecting their level of experience). We may change our rates, as well as our other costs, from time to time, to reflect competitive conditions, inflation and other factors. A change in the status of a lawyer (e.g. if they become a partner) may also result in a change to their hourly rate. If our rates do change, thereafter our fees will be calculated on the basis of those new rates and any rates stated in our engagement letter or any engagement email shall be deemed revised accordingly;
(b) we charge for the actual time spent on a matter and record the time spent by us in 6 minute units;
(c) extra fees may be charged if the work is more complex, unusually urgent, of a high value or we are required to produce reports for you or a third party in addition to routine updates to you or we give you use of our know-how.
7.4 Our estimates of fees are exclusive of disbursements and expenses which are necessary to perform our services to you.
7.5 Our charges are not contingent and are payable whether or not a matter is concluded and/or whether a third party is ordered to pay some or all of your costs, disbursements and expenses. Your liability to pay our fees, disbursements and expenses is not affected by any order made or any agreement reached by you with an opposing party.
7.6 Where we are acting for more than one client then all clients will be jointly and severally liable for payment of our fees unless we have expressly agreed otherwise in the Engagement Letter.
8 Disbursements and Expenses
8.1 You are required to pay all third party costs. These are referred to as “disbursements”. You will also be invoiced for all expenses incurred on your behalf in the performance of our services.
8.2 Disbursements include but are not limited to:
(a) any amount charged to us by third parties for their services associated with your matter;
(b) mandatory fees including court fees, taxes, notary and registrar fees, search fees etc.
8.3 We will also charge for expenses such as travel and accommodation and transfer fees where we incur them to enable us to perform our services to you
8.4 We allocate the everyday cost of telephone calls, stationery, printing, postage, archiving, computing and IT consumables (“Matter Expenses”) to each client matter. The charge is reflected by adding a composite charge of 3% to the time costs incurred. In the case of such charges being materially more than 3% of our fees we reserve the right to charge the actual cost incurred.
8.5 We may also charge you for our fees and third party costs we incur in retrieving an archived file or a Deed or Will from storage (in paper or in electronic form).
8.6 Unless otherwise agreed with you, our engagement does not cover the provision of formal audit letter responses to you or a third party. We may charge you for the costs of dealing with such responses.
9 Money on account
9.1 We reserve the right to carry out a credit check against you or any party connected with or associated with you together with such other checks as we, in our sole discretion, consider are necessary from time to time to meet all our regulatory, legal or other obligations.
9.2 We shall always require payments on account to be made for all disbursements and expenses to be incurred on your behalf. We also require payments on account of our estimated fees to be made at the outset of any matter and from time to time.
9.3 In the event that you are unable to make any such on-account payments when we request them, we may cease to act for you and invoice you for any work done. We may provide you with details of funders to assist in the payment of these fees, disbursements and expenses. These referrals are not, in any circumstances, recommendations by us and we shall not be advising you on any applications for credit which you may make, via us or otherwise, to such funders. You remain solely responsible for considering the suitability and affordability of any credit offered to you.
10 Invoicing and payment
10.1 We reserve the right to invoice you on an interim basis at least once per month, at the end of the matter, at the end of our financial year and whenever extra fees, disbursements or expenses are incurred following completion of your matter, unless we otherwise agree with you in writing. Our invoices are payable immediately upon presentation to you.
10.2 Payment of all our invoices should be made to our Office account, details of which are provided on our invoices. Emails may be intercepted or tampered with by hackers. We will not send out our banking details or receive your banking details via email without speaking to you to confirm them. Where you receive banking details via email(s) purporting to be from us, we recommend that you take steps to verify our bank details directly with us before sending any money. If you send money to us without doing so, we shall not be liable to you for any loss(es) incurred and you do so at your own risk.
10.3

In the event that payments on account are not made as requested, or our invoices are not paid upon presentation, we may (on the relevant matter and any other matters on which we are engaged for you):

  • immediately cease work;
  • terminate our retainer and come off the record at Court in appropriate cases;
  • charge interest on all invoices not paid in full within 30 days of presentation at the rate of 8% per annum until payment is made in full; and
  • levy a fixed fee £100 plus VAT per invoice towards our internal costs incurred in collecting sums invoiced by us (in addition to any legal costs which we may incur in collecting debts due to us from You).
  • In the case of commercial debts we reserve the right to claim both interest and recovery costs pursuant to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
10.4 We shall be entitled to deduct our outstanding invoices from the proceeds of any completed transaction or matter and remit the net balance to you or those entitled.
10.5 You have a right to object to an invoice raised by us by raising any issues with it with your relationship partner or Head of Department (as set out in the Engagement Letter) within 5 working days of its date and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of a bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. Contact details may be obtained by contacting our Head of Risk, Quality & Compliance at compliance@pitmans.com.
11 Cash and Payment methods
11.1 We do not accept cash from clients. If you deposit cash directly with our bank then we shall charge you for the additional costs to us for identifying the source of funds.
11.2 We do not accept payments from clients pending formal engagement, instructions or for forwarding to third parties, unless pursuant to an underlying legal transaction or matter on which we have been formally engaged.
11.3 If we receive payment of your invoices for an unknown third party we may need to stop work on your matters and make a money laundering disclosure in line with our regulatory obligations.
11.4 Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party. We are entitled to recover the cost of bank transfers from you as expenses.
12 Exclusions of liability
12.1 Subject to clauses 13 and 14 we will not be liable to you for:
(a) any indirect loss or damage; or
(b) any loss of income or profit whether in contract, tort or otherwise and howsoever caused;
(c) any advice or opinion given to you by any third party (whether instructed by you or by us as an agent on your behalf);
(d) any loss suffered by you as a result of you or a third party on your behalf not providing us with accurate facts and circumstances which may be relevant to your matter and the proper performance of our services.
13 Limitation of liability
13.1 We set out the aggregate liability cap applicable to your matter in our Engagement Letter. This is a maximum aggregate cap on our liability in respect of all claims arising out of the performance or non-performance by us of our engagement with you whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise.
13.2 Where no liability cap is set out in our Engagement Letter it will equal to the SRA’s minimum insurance cover for LLPs, currently £3 million (GBP).
13.3 Unless specifically agreed with you in writing, all documentation prepared by us and advice given to you by us is intended solely for your own use and is not intended to be provided to or relied upon by any third party and we shall not be liable to any third party for any and all loss they suffer in the event they have been supplied with copies of, have read or acted upon such documents and/or advice.
13.4 If you instruct another professional for advice on an engagement on which we are working on for you then you are responsible for their instructions. Where we instruct another professional on your matter we do so as your agent and we shall not be liable for their advice, acts or omissions and/or negligence.
13.5 We shall not be liable for losses which may be attributable to other professional advisors engaged by you or us on your matters. We shall only be liable to you for such proportion of your total loss as is directly, reasonably and properly attributable to us.
14 Exceptions
14.1 Nothing in these Terms exempts us from liability arising from our fraud or where our regulations prohibit the exclusion of such liability.
15 Confidentiality and disclosure
15.1 Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. This obligation, however, is subject to a statutory exception. Solicitors are under a legal duty, in certain circumstances, to disclose information to the National Crime Agency where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering. If this happens, we may not be able to inform you that a disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it.
15.2 We must also notify HM Revenue & Customs if we become aware that you are involved in certain tax schemes or tax avoidance activities. We shall notify you about such disclosure in advance to the extent that we are permitted to do so by applicable law and regulation.
15.3 We may also disclose confidential and legally privileged information to our regulators, professional brokers, insurers and to our auditors.
15.4 If you require us to communicate with you in any particular way in order to maintain confidentiality within your organisation, please expressly inform us. Whilst we take all reasonable steps to ensure that our information and communication systems are secure we cannot guarantee the security of information communicated to us.
16 Documents
16.1 We are entitled to exercise a ‘lien’ for unpaid costs, disbursements and expenses, meaning we are entitled to withhold your documents and other documents (whether held by us in paper or in electronic form) to which you are entitled, pending payment in full of all of our unpaid costs, VAT, expenses, disbursements, interest and collection costs. We shall always exercise this lien unless we are prevented by any law or regulation from doing so.
16.2

Subject to 16.1 above, at the conclusion of a matter, we will return on request all paper documents to you. We will, unless you advise us otherwise, retain and store

  • Paper copies of wills and property deeds indefinitely (and for which we may levy an annual or one-off charge);

We may also retain, for regulatory and insurance purposes:

  • Core documents and correspondence for matters involving minors for six years from their 18th birthday after which they will be destroyed; and
  • In all other cases electronic copies of core documents and correspondence for six years, after which they will be destroyed.
16.3 We shall not be required to store paper files.
16.4 Storage of any paper documents is outsourced by us to an offsite provider which operates to nationally recognised standards. We shall not accept any liability for loss or damage to these records and documents whilst they are in storage. If you require bank-vault safety standards for your documents, you should make separate arrangements.
16.5 Documents that are retained by us will be retrieved from storage at your request, subject to a charge. Where retrieval involves review of files, correspondence or other work, we shall be entitled to charge you for the time spent.
16.6 All files may be kept by us fully or partially in electronic form.
17 Intellectual Property
17.1 In these Terms, the following: patents; rights to inventions; copyright and related rights; trade marks; business and/or domain names; rights in get-up; goodwill and the right to sue for passing off; rights in designs; database rights; rights to use and protect the confidentiality of confidential information (including know-how and trade secrets) and all other intellectual property rights; in each case whether registered or unregistered and including all applications and rights to apply for and be granted; renewals or extensions of, and rights to claim priority from, such rights and all similar or equivalent rights or forms of protection which subsist or will subsist now or in the future in any part of the or in the future in any part of the world, are known collectively as “Intellectual Property Rights”.
17.2 All Intellectual Property Rights arising in or arising out of, or in connection with, these Terms, for example products and/or services that we develop or have developed, (but with the exception of Intellectual Property Rights in any materials provided by you) shall be owned by us. You are expressly prohibited from reproducing, disclosing, exploiting or benefiting from any such products and/or services without our express consent in writing.
17.3 We may use, continue to develop and exchange (for example and not limited to: other clients) the knowledge, experience and general skills acquired by us in connection with these Terms.
18 Data protection
18.1 Pitmans LLP is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is the regulator for data protection.
18.2 We use the information you provide (which is likely to include personal data) primarily for the provision of legal services to you in accordance with our retainer and for related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis to help us manage our practice statutory returns, and for legal and regulatory compliance. We may retain and process the information on paper files or electronically, and the information we process may include records of any and all forms of communication between us as well as documents supplied by you and notes and other records we have prepared or supplied to us by third parties which pertain to you.
18.3 You agree that you will not provide us with any personal data pertaining to any third parties which is not required for your matter and that any information you do provide has been obtained by you from legitimate sources and that you have obtained, held and transmitted the data in accordance with all applicable data protection laws and regulations in force from time to time.
18.4 As part of the value-added service we provide to clients we communicate with our clients sharing, where appropriate, regular e-newsletter updates, insights and information about sectors, legal changes, seminars and training workshops. Further details of the type of data we maintain and how it is used can be found in the Privacy Policy on our website at https://www.pitmans.com. At the outset of our relationship with you we may email you to ask you to indicate your areas of interest and communications preferences through our website and via direct marketing. Once you have given consent, your data will thereafter be maintained on our systems and we will be in touch from time to time to confirm your continued consent. You may also unsubscribe at any time.
18.5 We may outsource certain services including IT support, our ‘front office’ and ‘back office’ functions, photocopying and word processing to carefully selected service providers with whom we have agreed confidentiality provisions and undertakings. A list of such providers can be supplied to you on request.
18.6 We are required by law to confirm satisfactory evidence of the identity of our clients and, sometimes, people related to them as well as the source of all funds we receive. Any personal data we receive from you for the purposes of our money laundering checks will be processed only for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, or as otherwise permitted by law or with your express consent.
19 Data protection Terms
19.1

These terms have the following specific meanings for the purposes of this clause:

  • Agreed Purposes: the purposes for which Pitmans has been appointed in accordance with the attached letter of retainer, and any other purposes for which we may be instructed in accordance with the provisions of this retainer, from time to time.
  • Controller, data controller, processor, data processor, data subject, personal data, processing and appropriate technical and organisational measures: as set out in the Data Protection Legislation in force at the time.
  • Data Protection Legislation: (i) the Data Protection Act 1998, until the effective date of its repeal (ii) the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) and any national implementing laws, regulations and secondary legislation, for so long as the GDPR is effective in the UK, and (iii) any successor legislation to the Data Protection Act 1998 and the GDPR, in particular the Data Protection Bill 2017-2019, once it becomes law.
  • Permitted Recipients: The parties to this agreement, the employees of each party, any third parties engaged to perform obligations in connection with this agreement, and any other recipients notified to Pitmans by you in writing, from time to time, during the duration of the retainer.
  • Relevant Personal Data: the personal data to be provided to Pitmans by you or on your instructions, under clause 19.2 below. Relevant Personal Data shall be confined to the categories of information and to the categories of data subject appropriate to the subject matter and nature of the matter on which we are instructed.
19.2 This clause sets out the framework for the sharing of personal data between you and Pitmans as data controllers in common. It is anticipated that you as primary controller of the data will usually be the party disclosing to Pitmans the Relevant Personal Data to be processed for the Agreed Purposes. If any disclosure of data is made by Pitmans to you, it shall also be governed by these terms.
19.3 The lawful condition for the processing of data during the currency of our retainer with you will generally be a contractual basis. Retention of documents after the conclusion of the retainer and certain reporting matters during the currency of the retainer which are referenced elsewhere in our terms of business, will be undertaken on a legal obligation basis.
19.4 Each party shall comply with all the obligations imposed on a controller or processor (as the case may be) under the Data Protection Legislation, and any material breach of the Data Protection Legislation by one party shall, if not remedied within 30 days of written notice from the other party, give grounds to the other party to terminate the retainer with immediate effect.
19.5

This section sets out the duties and responsibilities of the controller providing Relevant Personal Data (Controller A), the following section set out the duties and responsibilities of the controller receiving such Relevant Personal Data (Controller B). As recorded above, you will usually, but not exclusively, be in the position of Controller A. Controller A shall:

(a) ensure that it has all necessary notices and consents in place to enable lawful transfer of the Relevant Personal Data to the Permitted Recipients for the Agreed Purposes;
(b) give (or facilitate the giving of) full information to any data subject whose personal data may be processed under this agreement of the nature such processing. This includes giving notice that, on the termination of this agreement, personal data relating to them may be retained by or, as the case may be, transferred to one or more of the Permitted Recipients, their successors and assignees;
(c) direct the processing of the Relevant Personal Data only for the Agreed Purposes;
(d) not give instructions to disclose or allow access to the Relevant Personal Data to anyone other than the Permitted Recipients;
(e) ensure that all Permitted Recipients are subject to written contractual obligations concerning the Relevant Personal Data (including obligations of confidentiality) which are no less onerous than those imposed by this agreement;
(f) ensure that it has in place appropriate technical and organisational measures, sufficient details of which are to be supplied to us, to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
(g) not direct the transfer of any personal data received from the Data Discloser outside the EEA unless the transferor:
(i) complies with the provisions of Articles 26 of the GDPR (in the event the third party is a joint controller); and
(ii) ensures that (i) the transfer is to a country approved by the European Commission as providing adequate protection pursuant to Article 45 GDPR; (ii) there are appropriate safeguards in place pursuant to Article 46 GDPR; or (iii) one of the derogations for specific situations in Article 49 GDPR applies to the transfer.
19.6

Controller B shall:

(a) assist and advise Controller A in connection with any notices to be given to data subjects in relation to the Relevant Personal Data;
(b) promptly inform Controller A about the receipt of any data subject access request;
(c) provide Controller A with reasonable assistance in complying with any data subject access request;
(d) not disclose or release any Relevant Personal Data in response to a data subject access request without first consulting Controller A wherever possible;
(e) assist Controller A, at its cost, in responding to any request from a data subject and in ensuring compliance with its obligations under the Data Protection Legislation with respect to security, breach notifications, impact assessments and consultations with supervisory authorities or regulators;
(f) operate and maintain appropriate technical and organisational measures, sufficient details of which are to be supplied to Controller A, to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
(g) notify Controller A without undue delay on becoming aware of any notifiable breach of the Data Protection Legislation;
(h) at the written direction of Controller A on termination of this agreement, delete or return Relevant Personal Data and copies thereof to Controller A unless required by law to store the personal data, or unless and to the extent that Pitmans as Controller B is exercising a lien in respect of the same;
(i) maintain complete and accurate records and information to demonstrate its compliance with this clause; and
(j) provide Controller A with contact details of at least one employee as point of contact and responsible manager for all issues arising out of the Data Protection Legislation, including the joint training of relevant staff, the procedures to be followed in the event of a data security breach, and the regular review of the parties’ compliance with the Data Protection Legislation.
20 Interest on your money
20.1

Our policy on the payment of interest on money held by us on client account is, as follows:

  • Interest will accrue at the rate payable by our bank on instant access deposits. This may be less than the rate at which you could have invested the money yourself;
  • We will credit you with interest if the amount of interest involved is more than £50 net of tax;
  • If we hold sums of money for you in relation to different matters we will normally treat the money relating to each of the different matters separately; and
  • We will not account for interest on money held by us on account for the payment of our fees, disbursements and expenses.
20.2 When interest is payable, it will be calculated from the date we receive cleared funds to the client account, up until the date the funds are paid out to you or a third party. The relevant payment date is either the date it is entered into HSBCnet for electronic payment, or if by cheque the date on which the cheque is raised (not the date it is presented for payment.
21 Concerns About Our Service
21.1 We are committed to providing a high-quality service to our clients. Any complaint to your relationship partner, member of your client service team, or Head of Department will be dealt with quickly following our complaints procedure which can be viewed on our website at https://www.pitmans.com/legal-and-regulatory/.
21.2 If, after our complaints procedure has concluded, you remain dissatisfied, or after a period of 8 weeks from the date of making your complaint to us, you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman whose contact details are: Post: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ | Telephone: 0300 555 0333 | Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk | Website: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk
21.3 We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) and so are subject to the provisions of the SRA Code of Conduct and the SRA Handbook. Copies can be obtained from the SRA website, https://www.sra.org.uk.
22 Ending this agreement
22.1 You may end your instructions to us at any time by letting us know in writing.
22.2

We may decide to stop acting for you in certain circumstances, for example (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • if we are unable to receive clear instructions from you;
  • if you do not provide us with timely instructions;
  • you do not accept reasonable advice;
  • if you insist on providing instructions which do not comply with the law;
  • if we do not receive monies on account from you, where we make such a request;
  • if you do not pay an interim bill;
  • if a conflict of interest or other dispute arises (including those pre-existing prior to instruction which later come to our attention and those created during the course of us acting for you).
22.3 We will give you reasonable notice if we decide to stop acting for you.
22.4 If our services are terminated by us or you for any reason you will remain responsible for our costs including the expenses we have incurred and the work we have done to the date you or we terminate this agreement.
22.5 Our lawyer-client relationship will be considered terminated upon our completion of the specific services that you have retained us to perform, or immediately on a date following a period of six months from the last date we furnished any services to you unless we have agreed with you in writing to the contrary.
22.6 All rights and obligations arising from these Terms and the Engagement Letter that are, by their implication and nature, intended to survive termination or the ending of the engagement will remain in full force and effect between us and you after the services have ended.
23 Third Parties
23.1 This agreement will not confer any benefit or the right to enforce any term of this agreement on any third party other than the members, employees, or consultants and “partners” of Pitmans LLP.
23.2 Our advice is for your benefit only. Save as expressly set out, our agreement with you is not intended to confer rights on any third parties whether pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise.
24 Governing Law and Jurisdiction
24.1 Any dispute or legal issue arising from our Terms will be determined by the laws of England and Wales, and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.
25 Commission
25.1 If we earn a commission, the amount will be disclosed to you and we shall seek your approval to retain all such commission received by us.
26 Force Majeure
26.1 We shall not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control.
27 Severability
27.1 If any provision in these Terms or our accompanying letter is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable then it shall, to the extent required, be severed and shall be ineffective and the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected in any way.
27.2 If any provision of these Terms or of our Engagement Letter is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be void or ineffective on the grounds that it is unreasonable or otherwise, the remaining provisions will continue to be effective.
28 Equality and Diversity
28.1 We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Pitmans is required to report key data to the Solicitors Regulation Authority on a bi-annual basis. We regularly outperform other UK law firms on diversity particularly in the area of gender equality. Our latest diversity report can be viewed at https://www.pitmans.com/careers/diversity/. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.
29 Changes to these Terms
29.1 We review and revise our Terms of Business from time to time. Any changes to these Terms will take immediate effect. The most recent version of our Terms can be found at https://www.pitmans.com/terms-of-business/. Please let your relationship partner know if you would like a hard copy of our Terms at any time or have any questions relating to these Terms and their effect.