GH Probate Limited
These standard Terms & Conditions are to be read in conjunction with your individual Letter of Engagement, that you would receive if you instructed us to act. In the unlikely event that the terms in the specific letter and the standard terms conflict then the terms set out in the specific letter take precedence. The term ‘Director’ is used to refer to a director of GH Probate Limited (the company).
We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a designated client bank account, which is segregated from the company’s funds. The account will be operated, and all funds dealt with, in accordance with the Clients’ Money Regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. All interest earned on such money will be paid to you.
Our fees are computed on the basis of the time spent on your affairs by the Partners and our staff, and on the levels of skill and responsibility involved. A note of our fees will be raised at appropriate intervals during the course of the year and will be payable on demand, at present the company is not registered for VAT. If in the future we are required to register, you will be notified. We will then raise our invoice for work done prior to registration and then all future charges will include VAT. We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at a rate of 2% per month from the date of the initial demand. You authorised us to offset any outstanding demands against any funds held on your behalf in client accounts.
Where it is necessary for us to perform work outside the responsibilities set out in the earlier part of this letter, may we remind you that this will involve additional time being spent on your affairs and will therefore involve higher fees. Whilst we are happy to assist you in any way we can, we feel that you may wish to take particular care to ensure that your work has been correctly completed to a stage where we begin to provide service for you.
Your engagement letter shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, English law. The Courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning the engagement letter and any matter arising from it. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to an action being brought in those Courts, to claim that the action has been brought in an inconvenient forum, or to claim that those Courts do not have jurisdiction.
Persons who are not party to this agreement shall have no rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this agreement. This clause does not affect any right or remedy of any person which exists or is available otherwise than pursuant to that Act.
The advice we give you is for your sole use and is confidential to you and will not constitute advice for any third party to whom you may communicate it. We will accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.
Where you give us confidential information, we confirm that we shall at all times keep it confidential, other than as required by law, by our insurers, or as provided for in regulatory (including external peer reviews), ethical or other professional statements relevant to our engagement. This will apply during and after your engagement.
We may subcontract our work to other professionals within the sector. Any subcontractors are also bound by our client confidentiality terms.
Chartered Accountants can be subject to external review by independent qualified accountants. Accordingly, your files may be reviewed by an external reviewer who will be subject to a confidentiality agreement.
In certain circumstances the directors may operate with others through other legal entities other than this company. You agree that we can disclose to these entities such information that we at our absolute discretion consider necessary to enable us to offer our best service to you.
Quality of Service
If you would like to talk to us about how we could improve our service to you, or if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please let us know by If you would like to talk to us about how we could improve our service to you, or if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please let us know by contacting Martin Williams. We will carefully consider any complaint you may make about our Probate or Estate administration work as soon as we receive it and do all we can to resolve it. We will acknowledge your letter within five business days of its receipt and endeavour to deal with it within eight weeks. If we do not deal with your complaint in this time, or if you are unhappy with our response, you may of course take up the matter with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. If you are still unhappy you may make a formal complaint to the Legal Ombudsmen as follows:-
- Post: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
- Telephone: 0300 555 0333
- Email: email@example.com
The time rules for making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman are:-
- The act or omission, or when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint, must have been after 5 October 2010; and
- The complainant must refer to complaint to the Legal Ombudsman no later than:-
- Six years from the act/omission; or
- Three years from when the complainant should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint; and
- The complainant must refer the complaint to the legal Ombudsman within six months of the date of our firm’s written response.
- All aspects of the professional services are for your sole use and will not be made available to any third party without our prior written consent.
- Our work is not to be made available to third parties without our written permission and we accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.
- You would agree that you will not bring any claim of a kind that is included within the subject of the limit against any of our employees on a personal basis.
In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to seek a grant from ICAEW’s Probate Compensation Scheme. Generally, applications for a grant must be made to ICAEW within 12 months of the time you became aware, or reasonably ought to have become aware, of the loss. Further information about the scheme and the circumstances in which grants may be made is available on ICAEW’s website: www.icaew.com/probate
From time to time we may be asked to carry out work by other professional advisers you engage. You agree that we may accept instructions on your behalf as if they were instructed by you directly.
Retention of Records
On completion of an assignment we will keep your files in a safe storage system, either manually or electronic. Correspondence between us will also be kept. Such information will be retained by us for a minimum of six years from when the assignment or correspondence was carried out. Any records or information no longer required by us will be securely disposed of.
Money Laundering Regulations
In accordance with other accountants and professional advisers, the firm is regulated and is therefore bound by the provisions of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (The Money Laundering Regulations) (MLR 2017 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The provisions of the Act require the firm to:
- have due diligence procedures for the identification of all clients;
- maintain appropriate records of evidence to support customer due diligence; and
- report any suspicions of money laundering or the receipt of the proceeds of crime to the National Crime Agency without reference to clients.
Under the terms of our engagement you are deemed aware of these provisions.
In this clause, the following definitions shall apply:
- i)‘client personal data’ means any personal data provided to us by you, or on your behalf, for the purpose of providing our services to you, pursuant to our engagement letter with you;
- ii)‘data protection legislation’ means all applicable privacy and data protection legislation and regulations including PECR, the GDPR and any applicable national laws, regulations and secondary legislation in the UK relating to the processing of personal data and the privacy of electronic communications, as amended, replaced or updated from time to time;
- iii)‘controller’, ‘data subject’, ‘personal data’, and ‘process’ shall have the meanings given to them in the data protection legislation;
- iv)‘GDPR’ means the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679); and
- v)‘PECR’ means the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2426/2003).
We shall each be considered an independent data controller in relation to the client personal data. Each of us will comply with all requirements and obligations applicable to us under the data protection legislation in respect of the client personal data.
You shall only disclose client personal data to us where:
- ii) you have a lawful basis upon which to do so, which, in the absence of any other lawful basis, shall be with the relevant data subject’s consent; and
- iii) you have complied with the necessary requirements under the data protection legislation to enable you to do so.
Should you require any further details regarding our treatment of personal data, please contact Barry Jefferd or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We shall only process the client personal data:
- i) in order to provide our services to you and perform any other obligations in accordance with our engagement with you;
- ii) in order to comply with our legal or regulatory obligations; and
- iii) where it is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests and those interests are not overridden by the data subjects’ own privacy rights. Our privacy notice (available at ghprobate.co.uk ) contains further details as to how we may process client personal data. If you would like a hard copy of the firm’s privacy notice this can be supplied on request
For the purpose of providing our services to you, pursuant to our engagement letter, we may disclose the client personal data to members of our associated companies as defined above, our regulatory bodies or other third parties (for example, our professional advisors or service providers). We will only disclose client personal data to a third party provided that the transfer is undertaken in compliance with the data protection legislation.
We shall maintain commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures, including administrative, physical and technical safeguards, to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of the client personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, the client personal data.
In respect of the client personal data, provided that we are legally permitted to do so, we shall promptly notify you in the event that:
- we receive a request, complaint or any adverse correspondence from or on behalf of a relevant data subject, to exercise their data subject rights under the data protection legislation or in respect of our processing of their personal data;
- we are served with an information, enforcement or assessment notice (or any similar notices), or receive any other material communication in respect of our processing of the client personal data from a supervisory authority as defined in the data protection legislation (for example in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Officer); or
- we reasonably believe that there has been any incident which resulted in the accidental or unauthorised access to, or destruction, loss, unauthorised disclosure or alteration of, the client personal data.
Upon the reasonable request of the other, we shall each co-operate with the other and take such reasonable commercial steps or provide such information as is necessary to enable each of us to comply with the data protection legislation in respect of the services provided to you in accordance with our engagement letter with you in relation to those services.
Internet communications are capable of data corruption and therefore we do not accept any responsibility for changes made to such communications after their despatch. It may therefore be inappropriate to rely on advice contained in an e-mail without obtaining written confirmation of it. We do not accept responsibility for any errors or problems that may arise through the use of internet communication and all risks connected with sending commercially sensitive information relating to your business are borne by you. If you do not agree to accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that e-mail is not an acceptable means of communication. It is the responsibility of the recipient to carry out a virus check on any attachments received.
V3 March 2022