Terms and Conditions

For Sail Legal. Clear and jargon-free.

In these conditions the words ‘we’ and ‘us’ means Sail Legal Ltd, and ‘you’ means you as our client/s who have read and understood these Terms of Engagement and have signed our documentation to confirm you wish us to act on your behalf.

Sail Legal Ltd is a Licensed Conveyancing Firm.  We are authorised and regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) our CLC ID number is 14065. Our VAT number is 3883174763. We are required to comply with several professional rules, outcomes and conduct set by our regulator. We must also provide you with our Terms of Business setting out how we will act for you, what we are able to advise on and any limitation to our retainer. It is important we agree at the outset of the case how we can effectively work together and understand expectations surrounding your transaction.

These Terms of Engagement are to be read in conjunction with our Letter of Engagement, which is available on the client portal. If you are happy to proceed you will be asked to mark that you have read and understood the terms of engagement.

Your Instructions

We appreciate it can be a daunting experience buying, selling or remortgaging a property. To ensure we have a smooth process and manage expectations we need to agree how we will work effectively together to achieve the same goal. We also need to ensure you know how we will progress your case and what we need from you. 

Our Service

- We will always act honestly and professionally
- We will be open and transparent about our service and fees 
- We will ensure the advice you receive is relevant to your transaction
- We will acknowledge your communication within 24 hours and provide you with a detailed response within a maximum of 3 working days
- We will provide you with a quotation at the beginning of your transaction based on the information available to us at the time.  If your case becomes more complex or further legal work is required (including additional disbursements) we will advise you before any additional cost is incurred and seek your approval to proceed
- We will always treat your matter with the highest level of client confidentiality
- We will do our best to work to any agreed deadlines, you must advise us of this as soon as possible.  If we are unable to meet your expectations, we will let you know to enable you to instruct elsewhere

What our Service does not Involve

- We are not tax experts and therefore will not advise you on any tax relief or specific calculations relating to SDLT/LTT. 
- We are not experts in tax liabilities such as Capital Gains Tax and will not advise you in relation to this. We urge you to consult an accountant for all tax advice.
- We cannot provide financial advice or advise you on whether your mortgage offer is suited to your needs
- We cannot provide any structural advice on the property or your valuation report
- We will not make any payments to any third party who is not our client, or not part of the transaction even if these are your instructions
- We will not agree for our client account to be used as a banking arrangement.  We will only hold funds when we are ready to exchange contracts and request funds from you
- If we are acting for joint clients, we will not transfer funds to a single account or accept instructions to change banking details
- We will not advise you as to the merits and results of specific reports such as timber, damp, cladding, structural defects etc. You will be required to seek expert advice and provide us with instructions to proceed.

What we need from you

- Please complete our documentation setting out your personal details and details of the transaction as soon as possible.
- If your circumstances change or the transaction significantly changes, please advise us immediately, in writing
- We will require you to respond to requests for information as soon as possible, failure may result in your case being delayed
- We will need you to comply with our electronic identification and source of funds/wealth requirements as soon as possible

Communication

We will communicate with you via email, SMS text, letter, video call via Google Meet, Whats App or Teams. If you require a specific method of communication, please let us know. We will always insist on a face-to-face video call at the beginning of every transaction with you. If this cannot be achieved, we will require a face-to-face meeting at our offices to verify your identity, alternatively you will be required to attend a local law firm with your identification. Please note the local law firm may charge you a fee to undertake part of the identity check, which you will be responsible for, this does not form part of our fees. For further information on this process please see the below heading Identification.

Identification

As a regulated law firm, we are under an obligation to prove your identity before we can progress any matter. The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 sets out the requirements. In summary we are required to:

Verify your identify on the basis of documents, data or information from a reliable and independent source Identify any person who is classified by the regulations as a beneficial owner taking reasonable measures to understand the ownerships and control structure of such individuals continue to monitor the transaction and keep the information up to date report to the relevant authority if we have any knowledge or suspicion that an offence has or may be committed. By instructing us to act you give us irrevocable authority to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency if we consider it appropriate to do so. We will not be able to advise you if we have made a report.

To comply with statute and supporting regulations we commission the services of Stripe to undertake electronic identification checks. Stripe uses facial recognition biometrics technology and links to photographic evidence such as your passport or driving license.  We use this technology as we feel it is more secure and faster to process. If we are not satisfied with the results of the identification checks, we reserve the right to request further information.   Our full requirements and process is set out in our Letter of Engagement.

Our Fees

Our Letter of Engagement sets out your transaction and provides a quote. Our quote breaks down our fees, VAT, and disbursements due to be incurred.  This quote is based on what we know at the time of instruction.  If it becomes apparent further work is required, we will provide you with an updated quote setting out the additional fees/disbursements and why they are necessary.

Disbursements are set fees that are out of our control such as search fees or land registration fees. There may be unexpected costs which will unveil as the matter proceeds such as indemnity insurance. If this is the case, we will let you know and seek your consent to proceed.

When to send money

We will ask you to send money on account of disbursements at the beginning of your transaction. This is to enable us to apply for office copies and searches on your behalf. 

We will also ask you to send any shortfall required to complete your transaction, or deposit to us to enable us to exchange contracts. Please refer to the paragraph Cybercrime that sets out further information relating to payments.

Source of Funds & Source of Wealth

We are required to undertake additional checks on how funds have accumulated and where they have come from. This involves obtaining evidence of your Source of Funds i.e. showing funds in your bank account and also Source of Wealth i.e. what is the background of the funds, such as an inheritance.  

We appreciate this process may feel a little invasive but unfortunately, we cannot proceed without this evidence. We work with Armalytix a Company that enables us to obtain the information electronically. This process is set out in our Letter of Engagement. We require this information as soon as possible. 

Please do not be alarmed or upset we are asking you for this information, it is standard procedure in any law firm. The sooner we are able to satisfy this requirement the sooner we can to proceed.

Your Money, Deposit

We are not required to open any special deposit account or account to you for any interest that may accrue, or ought to accrue on money held in our client account.

Abortive Transactions

If for any reason your matter does not proceed, we will send you an invoice for the work completed to date.  

Payment of our Fees

We will send you a Draft Completion Statement providing a full financial breakdown and a Final Completion Statement prior to completion of your case. We will include our fees in both statements and will require payment (cleared funds) prior to completion.   Please note we do not accept cash payments. We will only accept a clear BACS or telegraphic transfer from your bank account.

Interest on Fees

If our invoice remains outstanding for 30 days or more, we will charge interest at 2% per month, or part month from the date the statement was due to the date we receive outstanding/cleared funds.

Cybercrime & Fraud

Please be aware we will never send our bank details to you via email. We do not have any intention of changing our banking details. We will provide our bank details to you once we are in a position to proceed with your transaction.  There will be certain points in the transaction where we will require funds:

- If you are buying a property, we will require money on account of searches at the beginning of the transaction. Once you are happy with these Terms and our Letter of Engagement, we will provide you with details of how you can pay us this money

- If you are buying a property, we may require a deposit, or your deposit may be coming from your sale.  Once we are in a position to proceed, we will advise how this money is to be sent to us.  If exchange and completion is planned within a short period of time, we will ask you to send us the full balance of money due for completion prior to exchange of contracts taking place.  Again, the balance must be cleared funds.

- On a sale and remortgage if there is a shortfall to redeem (pay off) your mortgage or other debts we will send you a Completion Statement notifying you of the shortfall, calculated to the date of completion. At that time, we will advise how funds are to be received.

If you receive any emails purporting to be from Sail Legal Ltd advising you to send money please contact our Jamie Cole immediately on 0808 1967 007 do not send any funds until we have had a video conference call with you to understand the circumstances.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and LTT

We will submit a tax return for SDLT/LTT as your ‘tax agent’ within 14 days of completion of your purchase transaction. As referred to above we are not tax experts and therefore you will be required to obtain any specialist advice you may feel is necessary.We will make a charge in respect of the submission as set out in our quotation. This fee does not include any charge for dealing with subsequent investigations or enquiries HMRC may have in respect of the tax return.

How we work with a lender

If you are buying a property with a mortgage, we will also be instructed by your lender to act on their behalf in your transaction. We will send you a Mortgage Report once we receive your Mortgage Offer. We will also explain how to execute the Mortgage Deed and any other supporting documentation. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the terms and obligations of your Mortgage Offer. We will not provide any financial advice or be involved with affordability measures.

We will be under an obligation to report to your lender any matters with the transaction that are onerous to them by agreeing to these Terms of Engagement you are providing your irrevocable authority to proceed on this basis.

Financial Conduct Authority

At times we may have to obtain insurance contracts for you as a result of correcting a defect in a legal title.  As a firm we are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority; however, we are included in the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority, so that we can carry on Insurance Distribution Activities, which is broadly advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business is regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers, and arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong are subject to the jurisdiction of the Legal Ombudsmen (www.legalombudsman.org.uk). The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at https://register.fca.org.uk.

If insurance is required, we will discuss with why it is required, what is covers and the cost. We will not incur any cost until you provide your clear instructions to proceed.

Commissions

If we pay or receive a commission or other benefit from any third party in respect of an introduction or other service we will inform you as to the amount of commission.  By signing these Terms you provide your authority for us to pay or retain the benefit/commission.

If things go wrong

We pride ourselves in our service but unfortunately you may feel we did not get it right. We aim to listen and resolve any difficulties or complaints as quickly as possible. We have a Complaints Procedure which sets out how we will manage any issues and report to you. If you would like a copy of our Procedure, please do not hesitate to let us know.

The Complaints Procedure details out how we will listen to you, investigate the matter and report to you. If after the report, you are not happy with our findings you have a right to report the matter to The Legal Ombudsman.

Please be aware you must report the matter to The Legal Ombudsman within six years from the date of the act to which you are unsatisfied with or from three years you should reasonably know there were grounds to complain. You may also report to the Legal Ombudsman within eight weeks of raising the matter with us if we have failed to respond to you.

The address of The Legal Ombudsman is: www.legalombudsman.org.uk
Tel:  0300 555 0333 
PO Box 6167
Slough
SL1 0EH


Professional Indemnity Insurance

We have Professional Indemnity Insurance which extends to £3 million for each claim. Our insurance has been obtained under a facility granted to Howden UK Group Limited and provided by Arch Insurance (UK) Limited. 

If you make a valid claim and we are unable to meet the liability in full you may be entitled to compensation from the Council of Licensed Conveyancers, at www.conveyancer.org.uk.

Data Protection Issues

We hold and process your personal data in the course of providing conveyancing services to you.  In order to perform our contractual obligations to you we will disclose your information and instructions to any mortgage lender for whom we also act in connection with your transaction and to other parties to whom it is necessary to disclose your information and instructions.  

The lawful basis for disclosure is Contract, Legal Obligation and Legitimate Interest and is contained in our Privacy Notice.

The data we will disclose will be relevant and proportionate to the task in hand.

Storage of Papers & Retention of Data

We shall retain a copy of your file for a minimum of six years on a sale transaction and fifteen years on any other type of transaction from the date on which our file is archived. At the end of this period, we will destroy the papers. 

Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

You have a right to cancel your instructions within 14 days without providing us with any reason. If you wish to cancel you must provide us with clear instructions, in writing. If you cancel we will return any money paid on account.

If you would like us to work on your case prior to the 14-day cancellation period, please sign the declaration included with our covering letter, providing your clear instructions.  We will commence work on your behalf. Should you subsequently cancel we will return any funds we hold less costs/disbursements we have incurred to date.

Amendment to our Terms and Engagement

Please note these terms may not be altered unless agreed in writing by a Director of Sail Legal.  If you do not understand any part of this document, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to discuss any queries you may have. By instructing us to proceed you are entering into a contract with us.

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