Once you have instructed Percy Short & Cuthbert to act for you, a specific fee earner will be allocated to your case and will be your main contact within the firm. We will provide you with the fee earner’s contact details in our initial letter to you. If the fee earner dealing with your matter is not available you will be able to leave a message, speak with his or her secretary or, outside office hours, use our 24 hour voicemail service. Our office hours are from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and we endeavour to return clients’ telephone messages within 24 working hours. We also encourage face-to-face meetings with our clients at particular stages in a case, in order to discuss matters fully and to deal with any queries you may have. When booking an appointment please let us know if you prefer to meet on the ground floor.
You may deliver documents to our reception desk during our opening hours and our receptionist will be pleased to pass them to the relevant fee earner. You may also put the documents through a letter opening in the shutter if delievered out of hours . However, we advise that you do not deliver identification documents such as your passport through the shutter. If you need to make arrangements to provide proof of your identification outside our office hours, please speak with the fee earner acting for you.
We aim to provide an efficient service, using modern technology to avoid compromising the quality of advice and care our clients deserve. The firm moved to its modern offices in June 1997 and we regularly update our case management and computer systems. We accept payment by cash, cheque, bank transfer and all major credit and debit cards.
We have experience across a wide range of legal practice areas but if you consult us with a problem we do not consider we are capable of handling because it requires particular, specialist expertise, we will advise you to consult another solicitor or the Law Centre if it is in your best interests to do so.
We have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency (“LAA”) to provide publicly funded services to clients, formerly known as "Legal Aid". We have a franchise for Crime. This requires us to comply with the quality assurance standards of the LAA which includes standards relating to auditing of files, financial management and training.
In addition, our property department has obtained the Law Society's quality mark under the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (known as the CQS kitemark) and as a firm we are accredited under the Law Society's Lexcel scheme. To obtain and maintain the Lexcel quality standard mark we comply with Lexcel's requirements for best practice management, including in relation to the client care and costs information we provide to our clients and our complaints procedure.
We strive to provide a quality service to all our clients and trust that you will not have any reason to complain. However, for those clients who are dissatisfied with what has been done or not done in respect of their case, we have a rigorous complaints procedure, full details of which are given to clients at the outset of our work.
We are registered under the Data Protection Act and will comply with the requirements of that Act and of the Data Protection Registrar. The affairs of all clients are confidential and will only be disclosed to others to comply with the requirement of the Legal Services Commission or as required by law. Anti-money laundering regulations require us to report to the authorities, without notification to clients, any suspicion of money laundering.
In order to comply with anti-money laundering regulations we ask most clients to provide photographic identification and proof of address. Photographic identification includes a valid passport or new-form driving licence with a photograph. Proof of address includes a recent bank statement, utilities bill or council tax bill. You can supply the identification documents when you meet with the fee earner dealing with your case. Alternatively, at any time during our opening hours you can attend our reception desk where our receptionist will be pleased to take copies of your documents and return the originals to you. If you are unable to deliver your identification documents to our office, please speak to your fee earner dealing with your case.
Sometimes our work, for example family and probate cases, can involve investments. The firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to give financial advice therefore we may need to refer you to someone who is authorised. We can only provide certain, limited services in relation to investments if they are closely linked with the legal services we are providing to you. For example, because we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority we can carry on insurance mediation activity; broadly this includes advising on, selling and the administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulations Authority.
At the conclusion of your case we will normally return your original papers. The period for which we retain our file of papers depends on the type of case. The minimum period, unless you are informed to the contrary, will be 3 years for litigation matters and 6 years for family, criminal and non-contentious work. At the end of that period the file will be destroyed without further reference to you. If you need us to retrieve a file for you we will be happy to do so but reserve the right to charge a fee of £20 plus VAT. We hold title deeds and wills without charge but if we do so it is vital that you notify us of any change of address in case we need to contact you regarding those items. You should also consider notifying a relative or friend if we are holding documents such as your will.
Service of documents
This firm does not accept service by email or fax.