Terms and Conditions




(Incorporating Terms and Conditions of Business)

Opening Hours

Our offices are open between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm (Monday to Friday). Parking is available, and we have full access and facilities for the disabled. We may be able to see you at other times if you are unable to visit during our normal opening hours, and we can also arrange home or hospital visits where required.


The person with whom you are dealing will always try to be available to answer your queries immediately, but obviously, this will not always be possible. Our reception staff will always attempt to find another person to assist you, but if unable to do so, will take a message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible. If the person handling your matter is absent for any reason, such as holiday or sickness, arrangements will be made for your work to be undertaken by someone else with a suitable knowledge of your type of work.

If you wish to call at the office to discuss your matter, it would be helpful if you could telephone first (01724 281616) to make an appointment. We may be able to accommodate you on the same day, but if not, then an appointment will be made for as soon as possible for urgent matters and within one week for non-urgent matters.

Client Care

Our firm operates to strict quality standards, which include:

  1. Attempting to return all telephone calls on the same day, but if not, on the next working day.
  2. Answering all correspondence as soon as practicably possible.
  3. Always writing to you in plain English (not in legal jargon) and explaining all matters and documents to you as fully as necessary. We shall also attempt to answer your questions in ways that enable you to fully understand what we are doing on your behalf.
  4. Forwarding all accounts, statements, and cheques as soon as reasonably possible, so that before or after the completion of any transaction you will be fully aware of the financial position of your matter.


Information passed to us is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except as authorized by you or required by law. If on your authority, we are working in conjunction with other professional advisors, we will assume that we may disclose any relevant aspect of your affairs to them.

Symes Bains Broomer has successfully achieved several Practice Management Standards and Accreditations including the Law Society Accredited Lexcel, Family Law, and Conveyancing Quality Standards together with the Lawnet approved ISO 9001 Quality & Service Accreditation. Our practice management and client care procedures are regularly audited by external assessors such as the Centre for Assessment Ltd. This will include your file. By accepting our terms and conditions, you agree that your file or matter may be audited by such assessor.

Where you provide us with fax or computer network addresses to which material is to be sent, we shall assume unless you tell us otherwise, that your arrangements are sufficiently secure to protect your interests.

It should be recognized that the Internet is not secure, and that there are risks if sensitive information is sent in this manner by you - or if you request us to use the same system.

We will use our best endeavors to protect the integrity of computer systems by screening for viruses on mail sent or received by us and would expect you to do the same.

Queries or Problems

We shall, of course, do our best to ensure that the work we carry out for you proceeds quickly and smoothly, but if you feel that there are any problems, or are at any time unhappy about anything, including a complaint regarding your bill, please immediately contact the person handling your matter. If you feel, however, that he or she has not answered your queries to your satisfaction, please contact our Complaints Partner, Joanne Harriman, who will attempt to resolve any query on your behalf and will, if required, provide full details of our firm’s complaints procedure.

If at any point you become unhappy with the service we provide to you, then please inform us immediately so that we can do our best to resolve the problem for you. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers.

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 Symes Bains Broomer’s final response to your complaint and
  • No more than 12 months from the date of act/omission, or if it was longer ago, within 12 months of you finding out about the issue.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them:

Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV19WJ

You may also have the right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.

Alternative complaints bodies such as ProMediate exist

which are competent to deal with complaints about legal services should both you and our firm wish to use such a scheme. They can be contacted at http://www.promediate.co.uk/. We do not agree to use ProMediate.


When we use your personal data we are regulated under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as 'controller' of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation, and our professional duty of confidentiality.

Your rights

You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge, namely access, rectification, to be forgotten, restriction of processing, data portability, to object, and not to be subject to automated individual decision-making. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact our DPO in writing.

Our Data Protection Officer - DPO

Our data protection officer is Rodger Price who can be contacted at 2 Park Square, Laneham Street, Scunthorpe DN15 6JH or at rodger.price@sbblaw.com

Our Charges

Prior to commencing work on your matter, we will always explain and agree our charging structure and methods of payment of your costs and ‘disbursements’ (any expenses and/or payments made to third parties on your behalf) and will, where relevant, confirm these in writing within seven days of our receiving your instructions to proceed. In long-running matters, we will also keep you informed of costs incurred as the matter progresses. Where relevant – e.g., in complex litigation matters – you may fix an upper limit on our costs, beyond which we cannot work without your further authority.

For meetings, discussions, and other work progressing your matter, the hourly charging rates (excluding VAT) of our solicitors and other legal staff are:

  • Partner/Consultant £308
  • Associate Solicitor/Felix £275
  • Paralegal £173
  • Trainee Solicitor £173
  • Assistants £97

[All time is charged in units of six minutes – i.e. one-tenth of the hourly rate]

Telephone calls (made and received) are recorded in units of six minutes.

Short and routine letters (written and received) are counted as one unit – i.e. six minutes.

In certain cases, a fixed fee or other charges may apply and these will always be specified in a separate communication.

We review our charging rates every year and will always write to you advising of any changes in our rates – and the date after which any such changes will apply.


VAT at the rate applicable will be added unless zero rating or an exemption applies.

Money Laundering

The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017), which is aimed at preventing money laundering, require that we obtain proof of identity from clients for whom we act. Accordingly, you may be asked to supply us with the necessary information and documentary evidence. In certain circumstances, we are required by law to report any evidence or suspicion of money laundering to the National Crime Agency. We are also prohibited from notifying our client of the fact that a report has been made.

Clients’ Money

Clients’ money accepted by the firm is held in a separate bank account and will be placed and held there subject to the provisions of the Solicitors’ Account Rules. You are engaging the services of Symes Bains Broomer to act as a legal adviser. We are not regulated under the Financial Services Act, and we are not financial advisers. The firm will at all times make a reasonable assessment of the banking arrangements which it has in place, but it will not be held responsible for any loss of any sort, including any consequential loss, which may be suffered or incurred as a result of any financial institution failing or becoming insolvent.

It should be borne in mind that the application of the de minimis rule will mean that interest will not be paid on all monies held. Currently, and reflecting present interest rates, if the amount of interest calculated under the above Rules is less than £50 then it will not be paid.

Terms and Conditions of Payment

All matters are due for payment on completion and, unless alternative terms have been agreed, payment in full settlement of bills must be received within fourteen days of receipt of account by you. Interest at 4% above the Barclays Bank base rate from time to time, may be charged after that period on any outstanding balance.

If we are holding money for you in this or another matter, then we may deduct the balance of costs from those funds.

We reserve the right to submit interim bills during the course of your matter.

Unless other arrangements have been agreed, money to cover payments to third parties (for example local authority fees, registration fees, counsel’s fees etc), must be received by us prior to our making any such payments on your behalf.


From time to time, we may wish to contact you with marketing information and updates on our products and services by email, post, or telephone. If you do not want to hear from us in this way, you can opt out by ticking the option below or contacting us at any time.

I do not wish to hear from you by email in relation to marketing.

I do not wish to hear from you by post in relation to marketing.

I do not wish to hear from you by telephone in relation to marketing.

I accept the above terms and conditions of payment: -

Signed……..................................Name .........................................…….Date ............................