Harvey Baker – Terms of Business


These Terms of Business should be read in conjunction with the Client Care letter (“Letter”), Statement of Terms and Privacy Notice relating to your matter. Together all of these documents form the basis and terms which will apply to our retainer with you to undertake the work set out in these documents. Reference to Terms in this document includes the Letter, Statement of Terms and Privacy Notice.

Dependent upon the nature of your instruction, updated and further versions of the Statement of Terms may be provided to you and if so they also will comprise the Terms.

Harvey Baker is the trading name of Harvey Baker Limited, (registration number 12924970 ). Our registered office is at Pembroke House, Llantarnam Park Way, Cwmbran, Torfaen, United Kingdom, NP44 3A. References to “we” / “us” / “our” in these Terms are to Harvey Baker Ltd.

References to “you” / “your” are to the individual/s providing the instructions to us, as set out in the Letter and / or Acceptance Form, whether on a personal level or on behalf of a company or business (“client”). If you are providing instructions on behalf of a limited company then our client is the company.

We are committed to providing quality legal advice to all our clients. We provide a professional personal service at a fair and reasonable cost.

We are also committed to promoting equality and diversity in all dealings with clients, third parties and employees. If you would like to see a copy of our policy please ask.

If you would like to receive a copy of these Terms of Business in larger type please let us know.

Our Responsibilities

We will;

Communicate with you in plain language
Advise on the likely timescale of your matter where we are able to do so, and keep you informed and updated on any changes to the timescale
Aim to reply to your correspondence as quickly as possible
Keep you informed of progress
Tell you if there is a delay and the reason why
Explain the effect and implication of any important documents
Advise you of any circumstances or risks about which we are aware or we consider to be reasonably foreseeable
Update you regularly on the costs position and tell you if any costs estimate needs to be reviewed

Your Responsibilities

To enable us to act in your best interests, and to meet our obligations to you, your responsibilities are to;
Provide us with clear instructions
Keep safe any documents that are likely to be important
Tell us about any important time limits
Inform us if you are going to be absent or not contactable for any length of time
Provide instructions to us in a timely manner
Let us know what you would like to achieve in your matter and inform us of any change in your objectives or
instructions as soon as possible
Tell us if you would prefer that we communicate with you in any particular way
Not deliberately mislead us
Inform us of any fact which you believe, or is likely to, affect our advice to you or have a bearing upon your matter
Pay our invoices promptly upon presentation

What You have instructed Us to do

Our instructions, and the work we have agreed to undertake upon your behalf, are set out in the Statement of Terms, and any subsequent versions of the Statement of Terms.

Please note that if you have already asked that we begin work upon your behalf (for example, by acting in an emergency or providing initial advice to you) this is on the understanding that, unless otherwise agreed with you, these Terms apply from the start.

Your continued instructions amount to acceptance of these Terms regardless whether you have signed and returned the Acceptance Form.

In cases where we are instructed by more than one of you, unless we are informed in writing to the contrary, we will assume and will be entitled to accept instructions from any one of you. In those circumstances, we may not always approach all of you for confirmation of instructions and we will also assume that we may reveal any information on the matter in which we are instructed to any one of you.

If you are a private individual and wish us to communicate and obtain instructions from a third party (such as a family member) then we are happy to do so but you must provide written permission. That written permission will remain in place unless and until terminated in writing by you.

If you are a client who is not a private individual and are providing instructions to us on behalf of any business or limited company then we will accept instructions from anyone involved in the business or limited company who asks us to do so. If you require us to only deal with any specific individual/s then you must inform us and identify those individuals in writing. We will then be entitled to assume that such people are authorised to represent you.

Methods of communication

We prefer wherever possible to correspond with you by email and as such invite you to provide the email addresses you would like is to use. If you would prefer that we did not correspond with you by email, please let us know.

We may also provide written communication to you, and third parties, by letter (including fax transmission). Please note that in all cases we will not be held responsible for the security of correspondence and documents sent unless caused by our negligence.

If you would prefer us to communicate with you in a specific manner please inform us and we will, wherever possible, do our best to do so.

People dealing with your matter, fees and charges

The Statement of Terms explains who will be dealing with your matter and, if an hourly rate applies, the hourly rates that will be applied to your matter by those individuals. We review the hourly rates applied on an annual basis and reserve the right to increase the same as a result of such review. If, as a result of that review, there is a change in the hourly rate we will provide you with reasonable notification in advance of the change.

In some matters, we may alternatively agree a fixed fee or an agreed fee with you.

We promote the concept of team working. We believe that this is in your best interests and enables the appropriate level of expertise to be applied to your matter as well as enabling aspects of the work to be delegated where appropriate, which is reflected in the fee quoted.

In the event that we need to act quickly to assist you, stop working on other matters and / or work outside the normal hours of our business, or if your matter is extraordinarily complicated or important, this may lead to an increase in our standard hourly rates. This will however be explained to you and set out in the Statement of Terms.

If you have not been given a fixed fee or an agreed fee, then our fees are calculated by reference to the time spent in dealing with the matter upon your behalf. This includes letters, fax transmissions, emails, telephone calls made and received, meetings with you and third parties, travelling, preparation of documents and working on any papers, considering documents or correspondence received, receipt of letters, fax transmissions and emails, and preparation of invoices.

The time spent is recorded in minimum units of 6 minutes. One unit therefore equates to 6 minutes. Each letter, fax, text message or email sent or received and telephone call made or received is recorded at a minimum of one unit. If more time is spent then the additional time will be recorded and charged in units.

Our hourly rates include secretarial time employed on your matter, postage and handling but do not include courier’s fees where these are reasonably necessary to be incurred.

Harvey Baker takes a responsible approach to the billing and payment of client fees and we can offer payment of fees by way of monthly instalments, to help you effectively manage and budget for the costs of the work we complete on your behalf. This can be regularly reviewed to ensure the correct level of payment is being made each month this avoiding any significant under or over payments.

You can at any time set a limit on the fees that you are prepared to incur. We will explain what work we expect to be able to undertake for that fee. We will not then exceed that limit without referring back to you and obtaining your agreement. We will usually require you to confirm this to us in writing.

We are registered for VAT and we will charge VAT on all work we undertake on your matter at the prevailing rate. Our VAT registration number is 461 1964 47.

If the quotation that you are given does not mention VAT then the quotation will be subject to VAT at the prevailing rate. Similarly, hourly rates that are given are also subject to VAT.


Any expenses incurred by us in dealing with your matter will be charged to you.

We charge for mileage at 45 pence per mile. Mileage is subject to VAT. Any parking, rail or air charges will be invoiced to you at cost. Unless we agree otherwise, rail and air travel will be second / standard class. If we are required to travel outside the United Kingdom then air travel will be charged at Business Class.

We reserve the right to ask for the payment of any expenses on account before we will incur them and reserve the right not to incur such expense without payment up front.

Other Costs

We will incur other costs upon your behalf. These are referred to by solicitors as disbursements. They include (but are not limited to) search fees and Land Registry fees. We have the right to ask for a payment from you to cover the cost of the same and the right not to incur the disbursement without having that payment from you.

If this should affect your position, for example where a Stamp Duty Land Tax or Land Registry Fee needs to be paid by a certain date, we accept no liability to you for any loss you incur as a result.

Invoicing and payment

We will ask for a payment in advance from you in order to cover any disbursements from you before we can incur these charges.

Our invoice for the work done may be submitted to you at any time during the course of your conveyance, but will not be payable until contracts have been exchanged. You must however settle the invoice before completion of your sale, purchase, transfer of equity or re-mortgage. If there are sufficient funds available upon completion, we will take payment from those funds. If we have insufficient funds to complete your sale or purchase when we have requested these from you we are not liable to you for any delay in completion, loss of a purchase or sale, or for any penalties, fees or charges you incur as a result.

If your matter does not proceed to completion for any reason whatsoever (including where you decide not to continue with the matter) you will be charged for the work we have undertaken upon your behalf as a proportion of the fixed fee quoted.

If you have been quoted a fixed fee for your matter, we may issue interim bills to you only for the work undertaken up to the point of the bill raised which will be for a proportion of the fixed fee agreed.

In relation to invoices for abortive matters all invoices are due for payment upon presentation. Should we need to contact you regarding payment of due or overdue invoices we will refer to these payment terms in our verbal or written correspondence. If ultimately payment is not received within 28 days of the date of invoice then we may charge interest on the balance outstanding at the rate of 8 per cent per annum until settlement in full, compounded on the first day of every month.

Please note that when we issue an invoice to you, the SRA Accounts Rules require the sum in the invoice to be taken from any money we hold for you in our client account within 14 days. We will therefore do so automatically unless we have agreed with you that the money is being held for another purpose.

You are not entitled to withhold any sum of money or to any right of set-off.

Means of payment

We accept payment by cheque, electronic transfer or debit card. Please note however if you attempt to avoid the above by depositing cash directly with our bank we may charge you for any additional time spent conducting checks (or expenditure we incur in conducting checks) we consider necessary to prove the source of the funds and to comply with our obligations in relation to money laundering.

Payment can be made over the telephone by debit card directly to our accounts department on 01443 565693. Cheques should be sent to the accounts department of Harvey Baker at Ty Antur, Navigation Park, Abercynon, RCT, CF45 4SN.

Our bank details for the electronic transfer of money are enclosed.

However when you make payment, please ensure that you quote the reference number (which you can find at the top of our letters) to ensure that your payment can be promptly allocated to your matter.

Paying Money Out

Please note that we do not issue cheques when paying money out. If money is to be paid by us then this will be by way of a bank transfer. We therefore will require your bank details if we need to pay money to you.


Our policy in relation to the payment of interest is in line with the SRA guidance. The firm will only pay interest on client money held where it is fair and reasonable to do so. In determining whether it is fair and reasonable, regard will be had to the amount of client money held, over what period of time the money has been held, and the costs and time that will be incurred in calculating the interest given the likely amount of interest involved. The interest rates at the present time are extremely low and the amount of interest is usually nominal and therefore it would not justify the time and expense involved.

We will keep this policy under continual review in the light of changing interest rates.

If we receive large sums of money that are to be held for any length of time, we place such sums in a specific deposit account. When that happens, we will account to you for all of the interest received. General payments of interest are made without deduction of tax but tax is deducted at source on specific deposits.

Please be aware that the rates of interest we might earn are likely to be lower than you might otherwise obtain elsewhere. This is due to the fact that we need to have instant access to all money we hold under the SRA Accounts Rules.

Property, papers and deeds

We are entitled to withhold any property, papers and documents of yours until such time as all money outstanding to us has been paid by you.

At the conclusion of your matter, we will retain our papers relating to your matter for a minimum period of six years and after that period we may destroy them. In some cases we may retain your papers for a longer period of time, but if that should be the case we will inform you of that period of time at the conclusion of the matter. If you require your papers at any time please contact us. We will charge you £50.00 plus VAT for extracting any of your papers from storage. In addition, we may charge you for any additional time spent re-constituting the file you have requested or for reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers at the hourly rate that was applicable to your matter at the time, but we will advise you in advance if that additional charge will be incurred.


You may end your instructions in the matter to us at any time.
We can stop acting for you if we have good reason. This is usually when:

  1. You fail to give us instructions;
  2. Your instructions are unreasonable, unethical, impractical, or contrary to law;
  3. You fail to reasonably cooperate with us;
  4. You fail to provide us with requested funds or to replenish money we require to be held on account;
  5. You fail to pay any invoice in the given time in accordance with these terms;
  6. A conflict of interest arises;
  7. You fail to cooperate with our money laundering or due diligence requirements.

If either you or we terminate the retainer between us you will be required to pay our charges up to that point in time.

Irrespective of whoever terminates the retainer, we may retain any papers or documents we hold until all our outstanding charges, expenses, disbursements and VAT have been paid in full.

Money laundering

We are required by law to obtain evidence of the identity of our clients in most cases, and sometimes of people related to our clients. This is due to the fact that solicitors firms can be used by criminals who want to launder money.

In conveyancing matters where we do not meet you in person at the outset of your matter, we use electronic data records for which there may be a charge. If this is the case, this is explained in the Client Care letter.

We often need to see your original passport or photographic driving licence as well as evidence of your address (by way of a utility bill or bank statement) or ask that you provide copies certified by another firm of solicitors.

We have both a legal and a professional obligation to keep your affairs confidential. However, we may be required by law to make disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. Pursuant to our legal obligations, we will not be able to tell you if such a disclosure has taken place.

We expressly exclude all and any liability for loss or damage caused as a result of our obligations to report to the National Crime Agency pursuant to our obligations to do so under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000, and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

Please note that we may retain any documents you provide by way of evidence of identity for longer than 5 years from the date of receipt and you are taken to agree to this when instructing us in your matter. If you do not agree that we may do so, then please write to our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, Helen Francis-Trowe, at Ty Antur, Navigation Park, Abercynon, RCT, CF45 4SN or email helen@harveybaker.co.uk . When doing so please ensure that you provide the reference number for your matter as well as your name and address.

Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

In order to comply with our obligations under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, we must establish whether you are a politically exposed person or PEP.

If you, or any member of your family, or a close associate (being someone with whom you have close business relations, have a jointly held beneficial ownership or a legal arrangement) now or in the last 12 months have held any of these roles in any country; A member or Parliament; Member of the governing body of a political party; appeal court judge; member of the court of auditors or the board of a central bank; diplomat; high-ranking officer in the armed forces; member of the administrative, management or supervisory body of a state-owned enterprise; senior officer or director of an international organisation; head of state; head of government; minister, deputy or assistant minister then please inform the solicitor dealing with your matter as soon as possible. This will not mean that we cannot act for you, but means that we may have to undertake further checks to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations.

If you are a PEP but do not inform us of the fact then we reserve the right to cease to act and seek indemnity from you for any such non-disclosure. If we cease to act, you will still be liable to pay us for any work we have undertaken.

Disclosure of information

We have a professional and legal duty to keep all information relating to you and to your matter confidential.

If we need to instruct a barrister, surveyor or an expert, an agent or a costs draftsman in relation to your matter then they will necessarily have access to your papers and the information contained in the same. You will be consulted before we take this step and unless you state to the contrary we will proceed on the basis that you have authorised that disclosure.

Data Protection

Our data protection officer is Gareth Harvey who can be contacted by calling 01443 565693 or via the contact us link on the website. Please refer to the Privacy Policy that has been provided to you for information about data protection, our obligations and also your rights. We may from time to time have other quality audits from other institutions, and annually we are subject to a review by our own accountant auditors. All are obliged to retain your confidentiality. However, if you would prefer any of your papers to be withheld from any such third party inspection please advise us accordingly failing which we will take it as understood that you allow disclosure for these purposes.

You should also be aware in conveyancing transactions where you are taking a mortgage we have a duty to your mortgage lender/s to disclose all relevant facts. This includes any differences between your mortgage application and information we receive during the transaction such as any cash back payments or discount schemes that the seller may provide. We will firstly obtain your consent before making such disclosure to your lender/s but if you should refuse to provide that consent we are unlikely to be able to continue to act further for you in the matter. You will still be liable to pay for any work we have undertaken to that point.

If you have a complaint regarding data protection, please contact Gareth Harvey on 01443 565693 or via the link on this website.

Limitations and exclusions

We do not limit our liability to you for death or personal injury caused by our negligence nor for any other liability which we are expressly prevented from doing by law. Save for that, our liability for loss arising out of, or in connection with, our engagement by you in any matter is limited to £3 million in respect of any claim or claims relating to that matter.

Without prejudice to the paragraph above, we will not be liable for;

Any losses, damage, costs or expenses resulting from any breach by you of your agreement with us or of these terms;
Any losses, damage, costs, or expenses resulting from the act or omission of any third party;
Any of the other exclusions set out in these Terms;
Any advice given or document which is subject to the laws of a jurisdiction outside England and Wales;
Any advice given to you by any third party (whether or not that third party was nominated or recommended by us);
Any indirect or consequential losses or damage or any loss of profit or of income howsoever arising and whether in contract, tort, pursuant to statute or otherwise.

None of our partners, consultants, or any of our employees accepts personal liability or responsibility to you for any advice given or not given to you. You agree that you will not bring or seek to bring a claim against any of our partners, consultants or employees whether in contract, tort, under statute or otherwise for any losses you incur as a result of the advice given to you or work undertaken by us. Our partners, consultants and employees shall be entitled to rely upon these terms.

The services and the advice we give to you are for your exclusive use and benefit. Such advice relates only to the matter we are dealing with for you. No other person is entitled to rely upon our advice. You agree that you will not pass the advice onto any third party nor make any of the work we provide to you available to any third party without our express written permission. We accept no responsibility to any third party and the provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 are to that extent excluded.

Advice and work done upon your behalf is specifically related to the particular facts and circumstances relating to the matter in which you have instructed us. You must not assume that such advice will be correct nor applicable in any other circumstances and we do not accept any responsibility or liability in respect of the same.

Where you as the client comprise of one or more individuals or parties, your obligations to us are joint and several and we are entitled to seek payment of all outstanding invoices, or any other form of redress, from all or any one of you.

Unless we specifically agree in writing to the contrary, the copyright in any documents we prepare for you will belong to us at all times. However payment of all outstanding money due to us will entitle you to make use of the documents but only for the purposes for which they were created. Please note however that we retain the copyright in those documents at all times.

Our retainer with you relates only to the provision of legal advice and assistance. We will not;

Advise you of any tax consequences or liabilities;
Provide investment advice;
Give commercial advice;
Provide insurance advice (including the adequacy of insurance arrangements);
Advise upon the value or physical condition of land, property, or any asset;
Give actuarial advice;
Give advice upon the financial wisdom of the matter.

In all such cases, we will assume that you are taking such advice elsewhere unless you notify us to the contrary, and in which case we can introduce you to an accountant, tax adviser or financial adviser who will be able to assist you. We will not provide such advice to you ourselves.

Save for reporting to you about the information disclosed in a Local Search, in residential conveyancing, or any commercial property transaction, we will not advise you about the planning implications of the matter unless you specifically ask in writing that we do so. Please note that if anything under these limitations and exclusions is not acceptable, you must raise this with us immediately.

Professional indemnity insurance

In accordance with the rules of the SRA, we have professional indemnity insurance. Our insurers are International General Insurance Company (UK) Ltd. The cover is on a worldwide basis subject to legal permissibility. Further information relating to our insurance cover is available upon request.

Financial Services

We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, nor are we regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. If you need advice on investments we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised to provide the necessary advice. However, we may provide certain limited investment advice where these are closely linked to the legal work we are carrying out upon your behalf. This is because we are members of the Law Society of England and Wales and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), which is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman provides an independent complaints review process for most clients of solicitors’ firms. If you are unhappy with any advice given to you by us then you should raise your concerns with either of these bodies.

If you are unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us then you should raise your concerns with either the SRA or the Legal Ombudsman whose details can be found in the section “Complaints” below.

Please note that if you should require Indemnity Insurance in a conveyancing matter then such policies will be arranged through an insurance company chosen by this firm. As such, we are not obliged to and we will not analyse the market generally and not be liable to advise upon alternative insurance products.


We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”). Our registration number is 810581 

Our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice is Helen Francis-Trowe and Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration Gareth Harvey. The SRA rules can be found at www.sra.org.uk/handbook.

Please refer to the Privacy Notice for details of our registration with the Information Commissioner.


These Terms supercede and replace any of our previous Terms and conditions.

We may assign or transfer the benefit and burden of our agreement with you to any individual, partnership or limited company which carries on all, or substantially all, of our business in succession to us. Subject to this, neither you nor we have the right to assign or transfer the benefit or the burden of our agreement between us without the written consent of the other.

If all, or any part, of any provision of these Terms are or become illegal, invalid, or unenforceable then the remainder of these Terms will remain valid and enforceable.

These Terms form the entire agreement between you and us relating to the terms of our appointment, to the exclusion of all other correspondence and discussion.

Any delay by us in enforcing any demand for payment of an outstanding invoice/s will not be deemed to be a waiver of our right to pursue payment.

We may amend these Terms at any time. If we do so, we will notify you in writing and provide you with a copy of the amended terms. The amended terms will come into effect seven days after the date of such notice.

Any dispute or issue arising out of these Terms and / or the retainer between you and us will be determined exclusively by the law of England and Wales who shall have absolute jurisdiction to deal with any dispute.

Harvey Baker Edition date: 4th January 2021.