Terms of Engagement
We commit ourselves to offering our clients the highest standards in Client Care. Our concept of Client Care is to ensure that all our efforts are directed towards adding value and to the development of a positive and productive relationship, based on mutual respect.
Terms and Conditions
This document sets out the general terms and conditions upon which SSLR Inc. would agree to act on your behalf. These terms may be varied or added to by mutual agreement in writing when your instructions are accepted by us or at any time thereafter. If you do not accept or understand these terms for any reason you should notify the attorney dealing with your matter immediately in writing. In the absence of any such notice, you will be deemed to have agreed to these terms.
Attorneys derive the authority to act on behalf of client from the specific instructions of the client. Therefore, while we provide advice and guidance to fulfil your needs, we ultimately act on the instructions you provide.
To discharge our professional duty, we will throughout the handling of your matter rely on you to supply all necessary instructions promptly and immediately advise us of any relevant change in circumstances.
We are free to act for any other client as our ethical obligations allow. We will advise you if we become aware of any situation which causes a conflict of interest. If such a conflict cannot be resolved, we reserve the right to terminate this mandate. We will not disclose to any other person any confidential information or knowledge which we obtain as a result of acting for you. Similarly, we will not disclose to you any confidential information or knowledge which we have obtained as a result of acting for any other client. This Confidentiality is however somewhat tempered by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
Fees and Disbursements
We charge fair and reasonable fees with careful regard, in each instance, to the urgency and importance of the work done, the complexity, difficulty or novelty of the matter, the skill, labour, expertise, special knowledge and responsibility involved on the part of the attorney, the time expended, the experience and seniority of the attorney and the value added to the client. In certain instances, the fee will be determined with reference to the time expended and the charge-out rate of the attorney concerned.
During the initial consultation, the relevant attorney will discuss the estimated fees, including the hourly tariff that will be charged where applicable. These charge-out rates are adjusted annually.
We confirm that it has been explained to you that the Courts have established fee tariffs which is referred to as party and party scale, which is dependent on the amount claimed. We confirm that our fees are more than these tariffs and there is a possibility that in the event a cost order is awarded that you might not be able to recover the full amount charges by our office.
Disbursements incurred by SSLR Inc. on your behalf (including, inter alia, the costs of photocopying, computer printing, incoming and outgoing telephone calls, transmitting and receiving faxes and electronic mail, courier charges etc. and amounts paid out on your behalf to Advocates, Sheriffs and other third parties) will be charged in addition to our fees. Should you require having our charges taxed by any competent taxing authority, we shall do so with all reasonable despatch and you will be furnished with reasonable notice of the date of taxation. Such taxation shall proceed based on our internal tariff referred to above. We reserve the right to claim payment of the charges as determined on taxation notwithstanding the fact that the Taxed Bill may exceed the amount of our original invoice(s).
Deposit and Payments
Upon taking instructions, you will be advised of the deposit required for your specific case. We will require that the deposit be paid into our trust account prior to us proceeding with your instructions. This Deposit will be retained in trust on your behalf and will be set off against invoices sent to you on a monthly basis. You will be required to make “top-up” deposit throughout your matter. Should a matter advance to the stage of going to trial, the deposit amount will be raised to accommodate the anticipated invoices of advocates and expert witnesses. This will however be discussed with you at that stage.
Termination of Mandate
Without prejudice to its other rights and remedies, SSLR Inc will have the right to cease work and/or terminate any mandate by giving you written notice at your last known address, inter alia, in the event that:
- you fail promptly to supply any information or instructions needed by us to act on your behalf or to advise us immediately of any relevant change in circumstances;
- any invoice remains unpaid for more than 30 days after presentation;
- we determine, in our sole discretion, that there exists a conflict of interest between us and any of our clients or between any two or more of our clients;
- we determine, in our sole discretion, that we are not in a position properly to perform the mandate given by you to us.
We appreciate it if our clients provide us with feedback on our service. For this reason, we encourage you to contact either of the Directors (either telephonically or by email) with such suggestions or complaints. You may also be called upon from time to time to assess whether you are receiving the service you expected from us.