Knowing our Client/Instructions
1.1. Who is our Client?
You are our client and unless otherwise directed we will take instructions only from yourself.
As your Agent we can only act on the information and instructions given to us by you. You should not assume that we have knowledge of any factual matters beyond those imparted to us by you. We can only act in your best interests if we are in possession of all the relevant facts from you.
You may instruct us either verbally or in writing (including e-mail communication if that is appropriate). We reserve the right to ask you to confirm verbal instructions to us in writing. If at any time there is any change in your instructions to us, you must notify us immediately in writing and seek an acknowledgement that the change has been properly recorded.
All confidential information provided to us in relation to your business will be received and acted upon in strict confidence and will only be disclosed to those parties or bodies authorised by you, or as reasonably required by the Law Society of Scotland or any other authorised body or Authority.
Internet communications are capable of data corruption. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability for changes made to such communications after their despatch, nor can we guarantee their successful receipt or delivery. For that reason it may be inappropriate to rely upon advice transmitted by e-mail without obtaining written Updated confirmation of it. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any errors or problems that may arise through the use of Internet communication. All inherent risks in sending commercially sensitive information relating to your business rests with you. If you do not agree to accept this risk, you should notify us in writing immediately that e-mail is not an acceptable means of communication for you or your business.
1.4. Client Due Diligence/ID
To meet our statutory requirements under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the rules of The Law Society of Scotland, we are obliged to properly identify our clients and to verify the financial credentials of both the clients and the transaction in which we are instructed before starting work.
Unless you confirm to the contrary we will presume you are not a Politically Exposed Person (PEP). Anyone who has been resident in the UK for more than a year or who is currently a UK national residing in the UK cannot be a PEP. PEP’s are individuals who are or have (within the last 12 months) been entrusted with prominent public functions and include the following:
Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers and Deputy or Assistant Ministers;
Members of Parliaments;
Members of Supreme Courts, of Constitutional Courts or of other high-level judicial bodies whose decisions are not generally subject to further appeal, other than in exceptional circumstances;
Members of Courts of Auditors or of the boards of central banks;
Ambassadors, chargés d’affaires and high-ranking officers in the armed forces;
Members of the administrative, management or supervisory bodies of state-owned enterprises.
To comply with regulations we must ask you to provide us with up-to-date personal ID and proof of address and all the relevant details of your financial/funding sources for the transaction (if appropriate) as we may deem necessary at the earliest opportunity. If you have not already done so please forward to us two of the following items (one from each group). The documents will be photocopied and returned to you immediately:-
Valid current passport
Valid current photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
National Identity card
Recent evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit, including:
Educational or other statutory grant
Current council Tax demand letter or statement
Current bank statement
Current credit card Statement
Current utility bill
Current tenancy agreement (copy of the pages showing the address of the property and name of the tenant)
A delay or failure to produce the above information may require us to carry out enhanced due diligence. Please be aware that this could lead to a delay in us progressing/completing your transaction. As your solicitors we would prefer to avoid such an eventuality but you will understand that we are constrained by the regulations.
The regulations also require you to notify us immediately of any material change in your funding sources or arrangements that you have made known to us at the outset of your instruction to us. If there is such a change we may have to investigate the changes, request additional information, and, if absolutely necessary suspend work until the additional due diligence is completed.
Under the regulations cash transactions are deemed potentially dangerous. For that reason, and to avoid you further unnecessary diligence, please note that in all cases we will not accept clients’ funds in cash other than for single transactions with a value of £500.00 or less.
Payments Regarding Property Sales and Purchases.
When you are selling property we will deduct all outstanding costs together with our fees from the sale proceeds as soon as practicable after the date on which the sale is completed. When you are buying property fees and costs will be payable by you by agreement. Property and other purchase transactions are usually settled by remitting funds by cheque from our Clients Account. To comply with Law Society of Scotland Accounting Rules we must have cleared funds in that account and it is your responsibility to arrange for us to have cleared funds in time for settlement. You may do so by direct bank transfer or by cheque but please note that cheques can take approximately 7 working days (or longer in the case of intervening bank holidays) to clear and you must allow for this. If we do not have cleared funds from you, we will not be able to settle the transaction on the due date in which event you will not be given entry and may be in breach of your contract with the seller. Where we act for both the purchaser and the seller, the purchaser will sign a letter of authority authorising the transfer of the purchase price to the seller's ledger on the due date in implement of the purchaser’s obligation.
In relation to property sales payment is generally made to us by cheque from the purchaser’s solicitors. Funds received in this way will not be cleared funds in our hands for approximately 7 working days (or longer in the case of intervening bank holidays). In those circumstances we will endeavour to issue you with a cheque on the date of settlement (unless you bank with our bank, i.e. The Royal Bank of Scotland plc) but we will be unable to telegraphically transfer funds to you until we have cleared funds. The other method of payment is by telegraphic transfer directly into our bank account from the bank of the purchaser’s solicitors. If your settlement takes place in this way then the funds are immediately cleared and available to you subject to payment of the bank transfer fee of £22 plus VAT. We are unable to insist that payment is made by telegraphic transfer to us and if that is a requirement we need to have your specific instructions to that effect at the outset of the transaction and payment by this method would require to be agreed by the purchaser. Where a telegraphic transfer is made (whether to client or lender) the client will be responsible for the CHAPS fee and VAT.
With regard to redemption of mortgages, where the lender requires payment of the sum required to redeem the outstanding mortgage to be made by telegraphic transfer, then we will require to wait until the purchaser’s solicitors cheque clears so that we are in possession of cleared funds to enable us to redeem the mortgage and we will also charge a bank transfer fee of £22 plus VAT. The mortgage will be redeemed (as required under professional rules), by our firm on the basis of the redemption figure stated in the lender’s redemption statement. It is the client’s responsibility to be responsible for (1) paying to the lender any shortfall between the amount stated on the redemption statement and the amount actually required to redeem the mortgage in full, whether or not this shortfall arises by adjustments as a result of operation of a current account mortgage or otherwise by an adjustment of the mortgage redemption statement, and/or (2) recovery of any overpayment made on the redemption of the mortgage. It may be the case, however, that there are delays in obtaining a mortgage redemption statement or adjustments which require to be made to that statement and in these circumstances we will require to delay final accounting and transfer of the final balance to you for a reasonable period until such time as matters are clarified.