What to expect from us
At IBB we treat every client with the confidentiality, respect and attention that we would expect to receive as clients ourselves. This means we put your interests first and work hard to understand exactly what you and your business are looking to receive from us. That goes beyond simply creating the right legal solutions to your legal issues – it includes understanding how you want our service to work best for your organisation.
We aim to use plain English in all our dealings with you and to be clear, polite and straightforward in our communications. We will explain any unfamiliar legal terms or jargon. You will have expectations of us as a firm and we will have expectations of you as a client. It is important to exchange those views early on, both at the start of our relationship with you and then again at the outset of each piece of legal work we undertake for you. This helps build trust between us and avoid any misunderstandings or surprises.
As part of this approach we make sure you know who is working on your account at any time and where they fit in the overall IBB team headed by your client care partner. We will outline what legal and non-legal work is required and the projected costs of the work as matters progress. We will inform you of the issues and key developments on your case as these arise. We promise to respond to your queries promptly, even if there is nothing new to report. If we need a meeting with you we will ask. This can be by appointment at our offices, your offices or an alternative suitable venue.
The costs of our service to you
For every piece of legal work we undertake for you, we will provide a written estimate of the total costs, including our expenses, before we start work, unless we agree another arrangement with you in advance. We will do our best to work within that estimate or arrangement and explain why and by how much if we need to change it. We will give you the best possible information we have on the total costs of our service at all times. Our service includes providing verbal and written advice, preparing and reviewing documents for you, attending meetings, handling telephone calls, and significant travelling time. The total costs may include disbursements, which are expenses and VAT we pay to others on your behalf, such as specialist reports, court fees, other professionals’ fees and land searches.
Our terms of business
Our full terms of business are available as a PDF to download, and you will be asked to sign these. The terms explain details such as our duty of care; how we handle conflicts of interest; the limitations on what we can advise on, particularly when it comes to the commercial sense of any transactions or regarding activities in other legal jurisdictions; our standard hourly rates; copyright issues; data protection; exceptions to confidentiality obligations; arrangements for communications and the limitations of email; billing and money on account arrangements; working papers; information regarding our professional liability and indemnity insurance; outsourcing; money that we hold for you; and equality and diversity.
Our standards of service
We take pride in delivering the best possible legal service we can. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which also provides helpful guidance to clients. We are also authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for specific services. To help us monitor and maintain the highest quality of service delivery, we are fully accredited under the LawNet ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standard and we undergo a regular six-monthly independent audit to retain that accreditation.
If you are not satisfied
Despite our best efforts, occasionally things may not go to plan and you may want to make a complaint. We have a procedure set up for this, to make it both easy for you to use and for us to learn from. We want all of our clients to be satisfied with the work we carry out for them. The process for complaints is provided to all clients and we treat any complaint seriously and promptly. We will keep you informed of how we intend to follow up the complaint and if we need to rectify an aspect of our service we will do so. After eight weeks of your complaint to us, you also have a right to make a complaint direct to the Legal Ombudsman and our complaint process note explains how to do this.
What we expect from you
To represent you properly and to give you good advice we need to work with you. You can help us to make your case or transaction progress smoothly by giving us clear instructions and letting us know the full picture. We have professional, statutory and regulatory standards we must adhere to and we will need your compliance to meet those standards.
We are bound by regulation to conduct and record identity checks on all our prospective clients before accepting instructions, and we must take our own precautions against money laundering activity. We expect our clients and prospective clients to comply with our requests and checks.
Once we agree to act for a client, we expect clear and full instructions. In turn, we will help to resolve any ambiguities in your instructions to us. We expect our clients to respond promptly and fully to our requests for information and to pay our fees on time.