We provide a full legal service to large and small businesses and to individuals from all walks of life. We pride ourselves in providing a first class personal service to all of our clients. We take care to achieve sensible solutions to problems.
How we work for you...
- We give clear advice which you can understand.
- We keep you regularly informed of progress and send you copies of all correspondence of substance.
- We respond promptly to letters and emails. If a detailed reply is needed and will take longer we will let you know when you can expect this.
- We return phone calls on the same day if possible.
- We fix appointments without undue delay.
Fosters will not disclose your affairs to any other person without your permission. Our staff are conscious of the importance of maintaining strict confidentiality at all times.
To maintain our high standards we have a quality assurance system. It involves a strictly controlled audit of a random sample of our work which may also include the monitoring and recording of telephone calls – always on a confidential basis.
Our work for you will be available for audit unless you tell us otherwise.
There is an exception to our duty of confidentiality (as with all solicitors and accountants). Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 we are required to operate a money laundering reporting procedure. We have no choice in this where the Act and any other relevant money laundering regulations apply.
We may also be under a linked obligation to report any suspicion without informing you that we are doing so.
Where possible unless you ask us not to we communicate by email.
Deeds and documents
We will store deeds or documents on your behalf with no charge for this service unless we tell you otherwise. Please try to give us at least one working day's notice if you need something which we are storing for you.
When we hold money for you including where this is for anticipated fees and expenses we hold it in Fosters' client account. We pay any interest over £20.
Directors and business partners
We assume that we can take instructions from your director, company secretary or business partner unless you tell us (in writing) that we should not do so.
Data Protection Act
Some details about you are held on Fosters' database.
We may sometimes send you information which we think may be of interest to you.
Fosters owns the copyright of documents that we prepare for you. You are licensed to use such a document for the purpose for which it was prepared.
If you ever feel that we fall below the standards you expect from us, or if you have a concern about an invoice from Fosters, we would like to hear from you. Please speak with or write to us. Information about who you can contact and how, can be found on our website.
Helping you budget
Right at the beginning we talk to you about the likely cost of our work for you and the information which we give will be confirmed in writing.
Our charge is normally based on the time spent by the staff involved, each of whom has an hourly rate linked to the level of expertise. It may also be linked to the value of the transaction.
Quotes and estimates
Where we can, we clearly state what the cost of our work for you will be. Otherwise, we do our best to provide an overall estimate (likely to be within a best/worst range) based on the information you give us and our assessment of the work involved. We will also want to talk through with you whether the likely cost is in line with the outcome which you aim to achieve.
We will then routinely review and refine the estimate as our work for you progresses.
If you ask us later to do additional work this will affect the quote or estimate.
Our charges cover not only the lawyer’s salary but also our experienced back up staff, up-to-date equipment and data, premises, telephones and so forth.
A quote or estimate will include VAT and any linked costs charged by someone else, eg stamp duty, court fees, barristers’ fees, search and registration fees (sometimes called disbursements).
Our hourly rates are usually reviewed on 1 May each year.
When we give you a quote or estimate we also tell you the relevant hourly rate of the lawyer(s) in your team. We charge 10% of the hourly rate for routine telephone calls made or received and for routine emails and letters which we send.
We charge 5% of the hourly rate for routine emails and letters which we receive.
We may sometimes make an additional charge if the work involves urgency or is of unusual importance or complexity.
If you instruct us jointly with someone else then each of you will be responsible for the whole of the cost.
Keeping tabs on the cost
Unless we tell you otherwise we will usually send you a bill each month. This is payable within 14 days. After that we charge interest, currently at 2% per month.
Where our work for you is covered by public funding we will not send you a bill each month. Your lawyer will explain the way legal aid works. It is important to remember that public funding is not necessarily free.
Recovering your costs
Occasionally someone else may have to make a contribution towards your costs, but this will not affect your obligation to Fosters. It is unlikely that costs which you recover will do more than partly reimburse you.
Paying someone else's costs
In court proceedings it is possible for a court to order that you should pay some or all of the other side’s costs. Your lawyer will advise you if there is any risk of this happening.