General Family Law in Partnership Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales under number 8518635. Its registered office and principal place of business is at 1 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9QL. Family Law in Partnership Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 596724.
Disclaimer The information, materials and opinions contained on this website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. Family Law in Partnership does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this website. You should always take professional advice on your particular situation and if you think we can assist you, please contact us. Certain parts of this website link to external internet sites, and other internet sites may link to this website. Family Law in Partnership is not responsible for the content of any external internet sites.
Copyright and Links The materials published on this website are, unless otherwise stated, the copyright works of Family Law in Partnership. You may not reproduce, store or introduce into a retrieval system or transmit in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise) any of the materials published on this website without the prior written consent of Family Law in Partnership.
You may not republish any content or material available on our website on any other public website or alerter service without the prior written consent of Family Law in Partnership. You may not create a link to any part of our website, without our prior written consent, which can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. No other use of the materials published on this website is permitted without the express prior written consent of Family Law in Partnership.
Equal opportunities policy
Family Law in Partnership is an Equal Opportunity employer and a signatory to The Law Society’s Equality and Diversity Charter. The firm is committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination in our recruitment and selection and in our terms and conditions of business on the grounds of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or other status. We also have a staff policy in respect of Equal Opportunities.
Cookies: Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites you visit. Cookies help make the website work and provide information to us about how users interact with our site. We use this information to improve our website. Details of the cookies that we use and what they do can be found in the section: Cookies, above. The cookies we use provide us with anonymised, aggregated technical information. This is principally so that we can make sure that the website is easy to navigate, we can identify the areas that are of particular interest to visitors and we can generally improve the site and our services. The information that we collect in this process will not identify you as an individual. By using our website you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. When you accessed this website our cookies were sent to your web browser and stored on your computer. If you wish to remove them, you can manage this via the settings on your browser, but note that this may impact your ability to use this and other web sites. The way to clear cookies varies from one browser to another. You should look in the “help” menu of your web browser for full instructions.
Aims of this procedure: We aim to offer a quality service, which meets the needs of our clients. However we also recognise that things can go wrong. As a company we are anxious to hear of concerns, so that we can try to put things right for you. By our complaints procedure we aim to restore a good working relationship where possible and we aim to resolve issues so that you can feel comfortable about how your case is being handled.
Our complaints director: Our complaints director is David Allison. If the matter concerns David or for any other reason it is inappropriate that he deals with it then the complaint will generally be allocated to director James Pirrie. The complaint director will be responsible for dealing with the concerns you raise.
What to do:
- You will generally want to raise the issues that concern you with the fee-earner concerned.
- You may, however, want to raise the matter directly on the telephone with our complaints director. At this stage, you will discuss and agree how matters might best be advanced.
- Alternatively, you should write to our complaints director, marking your letter “complaint”.
- We will acknowledge your letter within 3 working days and the issues you raise will be considered within 14 days. If for any reason we cannot accommodate this timescale then we will notify you of the reasons within the 14 day period.
- During this period we will:
- consider the substance of your complaint
- read the parts of the file which touch on the matters you raise
- discuss the issue with the person concerned; and then
- write to you with an itemised reply to the points you have raised
- report on other issues on the file or from discussions which need to be addressed
- make proposals as to a resolution
- inform you of the steps that you should take if not satisfied
Subsequent stages: If you are not satisfied with the process then please write to the complaint director marking your letter “complaints appeal”.
- Your letter should identify concerns you have about the way your original complaint was handled.
- Within 3 working days, you will be sent a letter confirming the director who will deal with the matter.
- The issues you raised will be addressed within 28 days.
These time limits are a guide only and may be exceeded:
- In exceptional circumstances
- because of the work involved in addressing the matters you raise
- because of the absence of the fee earner or a similar event.
Steps will, however, be taken as promptly as circumstances permit. What would help us
- Being specific: It may be helpful if you set out each area of concern and, where relevant, refer to particular items of correspondence. The more specific you can be, the more focused we can be in our investigations.
- Highlighting special needs: is there anything particular that we should know or have in mind as we consider the complaint?
- Management of your case during the investigation: A concern may not arise at a convenient moment in the conduct of your case and you should alert the complaints director to any ongoing issues, so that your case is dealt with appropriately whilst your concerns are being addressed.
Negligence? Where the complaint you raise indicates a claim in negligence (i.e. that the quality of our work has fallen below reasonable standards and losses have resulted), it may be inappropriate that we deal with it and the Legal Ombudsman is likely to take a similar view. You may well need to take legal advice on how to proceed.
The Legal Ombudsman: You are also entitled to raise issues of concern with the Legal Ombudsman in England and Wales. The relevant website contains guidance and can be found at: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/consumer/. You must contact the Legal Ombudsman within twelve months of your last contact with your solicitor. The Legal Ombudsman will first try to resolve your complaint informally. If this is not possible, they will investigate your complaint formally and you will have a chance to put your case in writing. If you accept the Legal Ombudsman’s decision, it will be final and binding on you. If the Legal Ombudsman agrees that our service has been unsatisfactory, they can ask us to do any of the following:
- apologise to you
- give you back any documents you might need
- pay you compensation for loss, inconvenience or distress (up to £30,000)
- to put things right if more work can correct what went wrong
- refund or reduce legal fees.
- If the fee earner has broken any rules of professional conduct, the Legal Ombudsman may refer your complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In extreme cases, the fee earner could be disciplined or struck off which would mean they could no longer work as a solicitor.
You can contact the Legal Ombudsman at: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 15870 Birmingham B30 9EB Tel: 0300 555 0333 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm) Minicom: 0300 555 1777 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk The Legal Ombudsman encourages you to give reasonable time (the period of 8 weeks is suggested) to endeavour to resolve issues by making use of a company’s complaints procedures. This is also an approach we invite you to adopt; we want to resolve the matters you raise. We hope that you will find our complaints procedure of help and hope it will address any concerns you raise.
Our terms of business
We will act for you in relation to your family law issues and such other matters as may be agreed between us. Generally, we will not give advice on any conveyancing, tax, trust or financial steps that are required to put an order into effect; please, therefore, ensure that you secure the services of an appropriate accountant/lawyer/expert in good time if required. (We can discuss this with you and put you in touch with suitable advisers).
Whilst you will be involved in the major decisions about progressing matters, economy or circumstances may require our taking action on a day to day basis without consulting you over the details of a particular step. We will use all reasonable care to ensure that you are given the control over the progress of your case that you need and that you are given the information on which to base your decisions.
We may not take every step on your behalf ourselves: we will instruct experts, local agents or barristers etc. where your interests require this.
Our charges are based primarily on the time taken by us in any matter. We will charge at higher rates in exceptional circumstances; for example, if we were instructed to take emergency action including, but not limited to, over a weekend or in the evening or in matters of particular complexity. All time spent (including time spent on the telephone, reading letters and emails received from you or third parties, dictating notes or travelling) is recorded and charged at an hourly rate. This hourly rate is reviewed periodically, usually annually. In the event we are unable to agree any review of our charging rates with you we reserve the right to determine our retainer (i.e. our contract with you).
Payments on Account
Where ongoing work is required, we seek deposit of a float, intended to cover ongoing costs of work. The amount of the float will vary depending on the work that is likely to be required. We will usually ask for at least £2,500. Additional sums may be sought, as the progress in the case dictates, to the intent that the company holds at all stages funds to cover the costs of the work that it is undertaking on your behalf. Whenever we are instructed in relation to a court hearing we will ask for a sufficient sum on account to cover the charges that are likely to be incurred. We will need the on account payment in advance to enable us to prepare. For any final or substantive hearing we will request payment three months prior to the hearing. This payment is placed in the company’s general client account and credited to a ledger account in your own name. It is treated as an advance payment. It will be credited against the last account we render to you (but only when details have been sent to you) or used to meet substantial expenses (see below). The arrangement does not affect your entitlement to challenge any bill (see “Your Rights” below).
Funds will not be placed in a separate designated client account unless we are specifically instructed to do so. Interest will be paid on monies held in accordance with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.
Bills of Costs
During the course of the matter, whenever it may be appropriate to do so but usually on a monthly basis, we will render a bill of costs which we shall require you to treat as a separate self-contained bill covering the period to that date. We shall expect payment of a bill upon delivery.
In the event that a bill is not fully paid within 30 days we shall charge interest on the outstanding balance at 8% a year from the date of delivery of the bill until payment is received by us.
Termination of our Retainer
In some circumstances professional conduct rules may require that we cease to act, fo example where a conflict of interest arises. In such circumstances we will provide you with written notice of termination.
If costs are outstanding and you cannot provide reasonable security then we are entitled to terminate the company’s “retainer” (our contract to act for you). In those circumstances, if proceedings are already issued, you will have to take such steps as are required to remove the company from the court record as acting for you and you will be responsible for the company’s reasonable costs in ensuring payment of outstanding fees and in ensuring that we are removed from the court record.
You may terminate the company’s retainer at any time by giving us reasonable notice. Where there are ongoing court proceedings you must also file at court and serve on all parties to the proceedings a notice of acting so that the company is no longer on the court record as acting for you. In these circumstances we will cease to act and will send you a bill for any unbilled time spent on your case. That bill and any prior outstanding bill must be settled before we will be able to release your file or case papers to you or to new solicitors.
Your Right to Cancel Off-Premises and Distance Contracts
These type of contracts are defined in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”). You should consult the Regulations to see if our contract with you (the retainer) is an off-premises or distance contract. Broadly, such contracts arise where we enter into a contract with you for the provision of legal services and the contract is concluded either in our physical presence but away from our usual business premises or where the contract is concluded in circumstances where you are not in our physical presence.
You have the right to cancel off-premises and distance contracts by giving notice in writing within 14 days of the contract being concluded (this will usually be the date on which you sign the terms of business or otherwise confirm to us that you agree to be bound by those terms). If you cancel this contract in writing within the cancellation period we will comply with our obligation under the Regulations to reimburse all payments received from you. However, you agree to us paying or incurring liability to pay sums to third parties in relation to this contract and you agree that if you cancel this contract we will not reimburse any sums which we have paid or incurred liability to pay to a third party with your authority.
We will begin the performance of our services before the expiration of the cancellation period if you so request expressly in writing (including by email) and by so doing you agree to us billing you for work done within the cancellation period. Your signature to a copy of this document will be such a request to begin the performance of our services before the expiration of the cancellation period, unless you tell us in writing (including by email) not to begin performance of our services.
Inevitably various expenses (“disbursements”) have to be incurred, for instance if we have to instruct a barrister, accountants, valuers, enquiry agents or translators.
Whenever possible we shall obtain an estimate where disbursements are likely to be substantial or of an unusual nature. However, it may not always be possible to obtain your prior approval, in which case we shall act in accordance with your general instructions to us, and in your best interests. Please note that some liability arises in advance of the work being carried out (for example part of a barrister’s fee may fall due for payment some weeks before the hearing even if the hearing subsequently does not take place).
Value Added Tax
To our charges and some of the disbursements there must, of course, be added Value Added Tax (VAT) unless they are exempt, for instance if you permanently reside outside the European Community.
Manner of Payment and Other Transactions
All monies received from you or on your behalf will be converted into sterling and held in an account designated for client monies.
All cheques are to be made payable to Family Law in Partnership Limited. We will provide details of our account for BACS payments and telegraphic transfers upon request. If you would prefer to make payments in any other way, please speak to us. We are also able to accept payment by debit or credit cards.
We are obliged to hold a copy of your papers for 6 years and they are usually then destroyed confidentially. If you want your papers yourself then we would usually pass across those to which you are entitled  upon settlement of copying costs. Where this involves our recovering your file from storage, we would seek reimbursement of those costs too.
Limitation of Liability
We would like to bring to your attention that we shall be limiting our liability to you to a total limit of £15,000,000.
Agreements with or Orders against Third Parties with Respect to Costs
It is possible that someone will agree to, or will be ordered to, pay part of your legal costs. For example, the other side might be ordered to do so or a friend or relative might agree to do so. However, it will be you who will remain personally liable to us for payment of our charges and disbursements as and when they become due. We are not able to postpone payment of our bill simply because it ought to be met by someone else or because of some hope, expectation or promise that the bill will be met by someone else.
Sometimes in litigation cases a losing party (for example your spouse or former partner) must pay the other side’s costs. If interest is payable to you under a costs order, it is a term of our agreement with you that interest recovered on costs and disbursements shall belong to us in relation to such of our costs as remain unpaid by you. At our discretion interest paid on disbursements may be paid to the person to whom the disbursement is payable (e.g. Counsel, experts etc).
In any event, if another party is ordered to pay your costs, the full amount will almost certainly not be recovered and you will be responsible for the difference. Costs payable by other parties are determined by the Court.
Even if you are successful in your application to the Court, there is no guarantee the Court will make a costs order in your favour, particularly if the other party is legally aided. This is because legally aided clients are afforded additional protection against costs orders.
Orders for Costs made Against You
You must also bear in mind that the Court may make an order for costs against you, in which case you will have to pay, or contribute towards, the other party’s costs as well as pay your own.
Resolution Code of Practice
All Solicitors at the company are members of the family law group Resolution. This is an organisation of family law solicitors and other professionals involved in the family justice system which aims to promote fair and conciliatory solutions to the issues arising at times of family change. Although the Code is prepared for solicitors, it is designed to benefit clients in the way the work is undertaken. We would hope to conform to the Code (whenever possible) in dealing with your case.
You have the right to request that bills are assessed by the court if you are concerned about the size of the bills. That request must usually be made within one month of delivery of the bill although the time period may be extended on application. Please contact us if you want information about this.
We expect concerns about bills to be raised within 30 days after the bill (or the statement of the sum due) has been sent to you and it would be unusual for us to consider concerns raised long after the event, so it is important that you consider bills or statements when they are delivered to you.
Concerns with our service
We aim to provide a high quality service. Equally, we realise that no matter how carefully and ably a matter is handled, problems may occasionally arise. In that event, it is hoped that these can be resolved amicably and quickly with the company director dealing with or having overall control of your matter. We also operate a complaints resolution procedure. Please contact David Allison, the company director dealing with complaints, for details. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman – http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/.
1.1 This agreement is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with English law.
1.2 You irrevocably agree for the exclusive benefit of Family Law in Partnership Limited that the courts of England shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any suit action or proceeding and to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with this agreement and for such purposes irrevocably submits to the jurisdiction of such courts.
1.3 Nothing contained in this clause shall limit the right of Family Law in Partnership Limited to take proceedings against you in any other court of competent jurisdiction nor shall the taking of any such proceedings in one or more jurisdictions preclude the taking of proceedings in any other jurisdiction whether concurrently or not (unless precluded by applicable law).
1.4 You irrevocably waive any objection which you may have now or in the future to the courts of England being nominated for the purpose of this clause on the ground of venue or otherwise and you agree not to claim that any such court is not a convenient or appropriate forum.
Solicitors Regulation Authority
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”). You can find details of the regulations under which we operate by visiting the SRA web site at http://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page.
FAMILY LAW IN PARTNERSHIP LIMITED
Hourly charges for services (excluding VAT)
Directors and Consultants: £350 – £495
Associates: £180 – £280
Legal work carried out by assistants £130
Collaborative, Mediation, Consultancy and Counselling services
Collaborative law is undertaken at the individual rate of the solicitor
Co-mediation (all issues mediation) £495
Sole mediation (all issues mediation) £325 – £425
Sole mediation (child related mediation) £275
Consultation on cases £195
Couple counselling £150
Individual counselling £90
 Detailed rules apply – currently set out at http://www.paperescape.co.uk/pdf/Law_society_guidelines.pdf