TAXI AND PHV CASES

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

This document sets out the terms and conditions under which we, Parry and Welch Solicitors LLP of Independence House, 129 Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 6LB, provide you with legal advice, assistance and representation in relation to proceedings before a local authority licensing panel, magistrates’ court or the Crown Court in relation to taxi and PHV licensing matters and associated rod traffic and criminal offences.

1. Legal aid is not available in respect of investigations by a licensing officer or proceedings before licensing committees of district councils or before a magistrates’ or Crown Court when appealing decisions of licensing committees. Consequently, you will be responsible for payment of our costs.

Our Fees and Costs
2. Our standard rate for work done on any matter is as follows. This rate applies to any case or work done that falls outside any fixed fee scheme we might agree with you or other arrangement we make with you:

WORK DONE RATE ex vat
All attendances on you, witnesses and third parties relevant to your case and all items of preparation and time spent travelling £217.00 per hour
Routine letters, e mails and telephone calls £21.70 per item
Costs of travel – mileage £0.45 per mile
Costs of travel – public transport At cost
Disbursements including expert and counsel’s fees At cost

3. We may agree to accept your case on the basis of a fixed fee. Our standard fixed fees for matters in Merseyside, South Lancashire, North Cheshire and Greater Manchester are as follows:

FIXED FEE WORK COVERED RATE inc. VAT
Free Initial Advice In person or telephone advice provided on any taxi or PHV licensing matter or any associated matter. Free
Early Intervention or Investigation Making enquiries with a district council or other investigator in respect of any matter connected to hackney carriage or phv licensing matters up an until the point of an interview under caution or other form of interview, committee hearing or legal proceedings £180.00
Interview Under Caution (with licensing officer) Receiving instructions, arranging the time and place of the interview under caution and attending at the interview to provide advice and assistance (excluding cost of travel) £240.00
Committee Hearing Receiving instructions, obtaining papers from the district council, attending at one committee hearing and reporting outcome to you. (excluding cost of travel) £360.00
Appeals to a Magistrates’ Court Receiving instructions, obtaining papers from the district council, preparing the notice of appeal and attending at one mention and fix hearing and a final appeal hearing of one day or less and reporting outcome to you This fee does not include any court fee that may be levied by HMCTS or costs of travel. £1,200.00
Appeals to a Magistrates’ Court Additional hearings (excluding costs of travel) £600.00
Appeals to the Crown Court Receiving instructions, obtaining papers from the district council, preparing the notice of appeal and attending at one mention and fix hearing and a final appeal hearing of one day or less and reporting outcome to you. This fee does not include any court fee that may be levied by HMCTS or costs of travel. £1,200.00
Appeals to the Crown Court Additional hearings (excluding costs of travel) £600.00

4. Where we agree to represent you in respect of a matter that falls to be resolved outside Merseyside, South Lancashire, North Cheshire and Greater Manchester we will endeavour to agree a fixed fee with you that takes account of the additional travelling and costs of travel involved or an appropriate hourly rate.

5. Where we agree to represent you under the terms of a fixed fee, the amount of that fixed fee falls due when agreed. If we agree to allow you to spread the cost of that fee over the life of the case you acknowledge that the final payment must be made at least 21 days before the date of the final hearing and that if there is any default by you in making payment, the entire sum becomes due. If we have started work on your case and either you withdraw your instructions or we cease to act under that agreement because of non or late payment the entire sum of that fixed is due and in addition to any enforcement action we take to recover that debt we reserve the right to exercise a lien over you file until the balance and any associated costs of enforcement are cleared.

6. We may require you to make a payment of funds to us on account of costs. Where we do this the funds will be held in our client account and applied to any bill of costs that is delivered to you when that bill is delivered, or to any disbursements that we incur on your behalf.

7. We may, at our discretion, chose to cap the amount of any payment on account we may seek from you, however in the event that you that you will remain liable for the fees actually incurred by reference to our standard charging rate.

8. Unless we have agreed other terms,we require you make payment in full against any delivered bill within 14 days of us delivering the bill to you.

Non-Payment
9. We will cease work on your case if you fail to pay the balance of any delivered bill to you within 14 days of the date the bill was issued by us or if you fail to make any required payments on account of costs. If we have to cease work on your case, we may be required to inform the court that we are unable to comply with their directions or attend any hearing. That may require us to come of record, which in effect means that we must inform the court and any opposing party that we no longer act for you.

10. If you bill remains unpaid after 28 days we will refer the case to Sinclair Goldberg Price Ltd. All accounts, without exception, will be subject to a surcharge of 15% plus vat to cover our costs in recovery. Additional legal costs may also be applied to your account. Once we have passed the matter to the debt collectors we will be unable to enter into any discussion about the amounts due and the debt collectors will apply their charges to cover their costs in recovering the debt.

11. We reserve the right to exercise a lien over your file, which means that we will not allow you access to or copies of any of the papers, documents and evidence that we hold in your case, until such time as payment of any outstanding debt is made by you to us.

Recovery of Costs
12. We will endeavour to recover the costs of conducting your case from your opponent whenever possible. In general terms it is only possible to recover costs where you are successfully conclude your case or the behaviour of your opponent leads to additional hearings.

13. You acknowledge that where your opponent is a public authority they may be able to avoid liability for cost event where they are the posing party provided that they can show that they have acted reasonably.

Our Service Obligations to You
14. We may decline to accept instructions from you where:
a. You ask us to undertake work or give advice that would require us to breach our professional, regulatory or statutory provisions;
b. There is a conflict of interests between us, or between you and any other client of the firm;
c. You ask us undertake work which cannot be properly remunerated;
d. You ask us to undertake work to which we cannot devote sufficient resources to properly undertake that work;
e. You ask to undertake work which falls without our specific field of expertise.

Your Obligations
15. You have sole responsibility for providing all necessary information to us to enable us to prepare your case for hearing.

16. You must attend all appointments we make with you to take your instructions in relation to your case and arrange for your witnesses to attend all appointment we might make with them to take statements from them.

17. You must attend all court and committee hearings promptly and in sufficient time for us to have a pre-hearing conference with you. If you attend you late your case may proceed in your absence in circumstances where we cannot properly put your case.

18. You must provide us with all the information necessary to further your case.

Our Obligations to the Court
19. Our professional code of conduct and the criminal and civil procedure rules, where they apply, require us to participate in active case management of your case. This includes ensuring that a plea can be entered or indicated at the first hearing where you are charged with an offence, identifying the issues that are to be resolved by the court and attempting to agree witnesses who are not required to give evidence in person. Where the procedure rules apply we have an obligation to report any non-compliance by any person that causes us to be unable to comply with those rules. In certain circumstances this may require us to report to the court any non-compliance from you.

20. We are not allowed to mislead the court and cannot provide the court with any information that we know not to be true.

Confidentiality
21. The advocacy, advice and assistance we provide to you under the terms of this agreement are provided according to the normal rules of solicitor client confidentiality which simply means we must not and cannot discuss your case or the advice we have given you with any third party unless:
a. You give us permission to do so.;
b. Where we are required to waive consent by court order or rule of law;
c. To the extent that our auditors are entitled to inspect our files carry out their professional responsibilities.

Your Data

22. As part of our contractual obligations to you we will collect personal data about you which may be provided by you, the prosecution agencies and other persons who supply data to us on your behalf.

23. We will retain that data for the purpose of undertaking your case. We will not share that data with any third parties save where we are required to do so, with your consent to further your case or where we are required to do so by law.

24. At the conclusion of your case we are required by our regulator to retain your case papers for a period of at least six years. We will retain those papers in hard copy and electronically as part of our secure case management system. You have the right to access that data during that period on paying the appropriate fee.

25. We will not use your data for marketing purposes and we will not sell or otherwise disseminate your personal details, unless you give us express permission to do so.

Limitations of Service and Termination
26. We may terminate our provision of advice and assistance under this scheme according to the rules of the contract and our professional obligations if:
a. The continued provision of advice and assistance to you would require us to do anything which is unlawful;
b. The continued provision of advice and assistance to you would require us to breach our professional obligations and rules of conduct;
c. Where the continued provision of advice and assistance to you would place us or our staff or agents at risk to their own personal safety.

27. If we do consider that we are required to terminate our provision of advice and assistance to you we will not disclose any information about your case to any third party without your permission.

28. Our service obligations are limited to the discharge of our obligations under this case. Any additional work we undertake will be subject to a separate agreement or in the absence of any such agreement to be charged at our standard rate.

Supervision and Complaints
29. We will provide you with details of the solicitor who has overall conduct of your case. If you have any concerns about the way in which you case is being conducted you should are encouraged to speak to that person.

30. If you remain dissatisfied you may raise a formal complaint with us by writing to us at Independence House, 129 Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 6LB or by e mail to info@paws.legal Our internal complaints procedure is overseen by Kate Welch, a partner with the practice who will on request provide you with written details of how to use that procedure.

31. If, having used our complaints system, you remain dissatisfied, you may complain to the Legal Services Ombudsman by using the online form at www.legalombudsman.org.uk/contact-us/ telephoning 0300 555 0333 or writing to the Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ.

Our Contact Details

32. We can be contacted in person or by post at Independence House, 129 Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 6LB or by e mail to info@paws.legal or by telephone on 0151 480 4061.

33. Although our telephone number is manned 24 hours per day our regular hours of business are between 09:00 to 16:30 Monday to Friday. Our out of service can only deal with emergency issues outside those hours. Our call handlers will not deal with routine enquiries outside normal office hours.

6th June 2019

Parry and Welch Solicitors LLP