TERMS OF BUSINESS
Mackintosh Law – Terms of Business Summary
This is a summary of some of the main terms of business of Mackintosh Law Limited, trading as Mackintosh Law.
The full terms are in our long form Terms of Business and this summary is not to be read as a comprehensive reflection of those terms. Where there is any conflict between the main terms and this summary, the main terms shall take precedence.
Our commitment to you
We aim to provide an excellent service to clients in the field of mental capacity (welfare) and community care.
Our obligation is to act in our client’s best interests and to give them the best possible advice and representation. Our team of solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals and administrative support are there to ensure that we offer a specialist high quality service.
We will not discriminate in the way we provide our services on the grounds of race, colour, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability or marital status.
Save for when the office is closed or access is restricted because of other reasons our usual hours of business are usually 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday and our services are usually provided from our offices at 103 Borough High Street, London SE1 1NL. Communication is via email, post and in person and we can be flexible depending on our client’s needs.
Appointments can be made for us to see clients in care homes or hospitals depending on the needs of the client. Depending on the case this will be dependent on any applicable restrictions and risk assessments.
In order that we can advise you to the best of our ability we need you to give us full information and documents about your case and for you to update us on anything which may be relevant.
Where we ask you for money on account or invoice you to pay for legal fees or other costs such as a barrister’s fee or expert fee then please do so promptly otherwise our advice to you could be delayed.
In cases where payment is outstanding we may have to stop advising you and may even have to take legal proceedings to recover the sum due to us.
Our advice is expressly tailored to the individual client’s case issues. Please take our advice seriously as it is intended to be the best for the client.
Sometimes it is not possible for us to take all the steps on the case that a client (or someone on their behalf) thinks are necessary. In legal aid cases there may be a limit to the work we can do if we think that our advice is not being taken or a client or someone on their behalf is not acting reasonably, or the client or someone on their behalf is asking us to take steps which are not considered by the Legal Aid Agency to be reasonable.
If a conflict or possible conflict of interest develops between clients or between a client and the person giving instructions on their behalf we may have to stop advising the client.
We want you to be happy with the work we do for you but if a concern or complaint arises then please raise it with us and we will do our best to investigate and resolve it swiftly. Details of how to complain and the person dealing with the case will be in the ‘client care’ letter sent at the start of the case.
Our complaints process is available on request and we also have a version for vulnerable clients. You also have a right to complain to the Legal Services Ombudsman and details of how to do so are set out in our client care letter. The Ombudsman has changed the time limits for considering complaints from 1 April 2023, in summary that any complaint needing to be within 12 months of the act or omission complained of, and also within 6 months of the conclusion of our complaints process.
Data protection and confidentiality
We will keep information we hold on your case confidential, subject to important principles. We have a duty to act in our client’s bests interests. We have professional obligations including to the Court and there are important exceptions to our duty to keep information confidential.
We will ask you for your consent to hold data about you and will only keep information, documents and other data as long as we need to do so.
You have rights to access data we hold about you, including to correct any incorrect data.
Limits on the service we provide
We only advise about the areas of law where we can provide expert advice. We will tell you if we cannot advise on a particular issue and signpost you to another suggested adviser where possible. We only advise on English law.
Many of our clients are vulnerable and some lack mental capacity to conduct their own case. Where we accept instructions from someone on the client’s behalf that person must act reasonably, taking into account our advice, and always in the best interests of the client. We have special professional obligations to vulnerable clients and if we think that someone acting on their behalf is not acting in their best interests, we may need to find someone else suitable to give us instructions or in some cases even stop advising.
Paying for your case
We offer a legal aid service where the client’s problem falls within our two legal aid contracts (community care and public law) and the ‘means and merits’ test is met, so that the client is eligible. Cases will qualify for legal aid if there are sufficient merits in the case and also the client is financially entitled to legal aid. Evidence of finances and the merits of the case will be required.
Where legal aid is not available then we also advise on a privately paying basis. Details of our charges will be provided if this arises.
We try to give you the best estimate of costs on your case but please be aware that costs in Court of Protection cases are particularly difficult to predict.
There are situations where you may have to pay your own legal costs and also the costs of another party and we will advise you more about this if this may arise. It is important that you consider our advice carefully which will reduce the chances of having to pay another set of costs.
If you are not eligible for legal aid please do check whether your personal contents insurance may cover legal costs for your case. We are not responsible for arranging insurance.
We have full professional indemnity insurance with Travelers Insurance Company Limited whose address is 61-63 London Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1NA (tel 01737 787 787). Our insurance policy number can be provided where appropriate to do so. The insurance covers our practice carried on from our offices in England.
Mackintosh Law is the trading name of Mackintosh Law Limited.
Nicola Mackintosh KC (Hon) is the Sole Director of the firm.
Mackintosh Law – July 2023