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Sandhill Solicitors

Client Care
What can I  expect from Sandhill Solicitors

First Interview

At the first appointment, it is our aim:

To discuss with you the matter for which you have sought our advice or assistance. It is possible that the member of Sandhill Solicitors you first see will not work in the department that specialises in that type of work and therefore you may be asked to see another member of the practice. This is not to inconvenience you but to enable us to utilise our specialist lawyer on your behalf.

You will be advised of the person who will be dealing with your case and whether or not he/she is a solicitor and additionally whether any other member of the practice will need to work on your behalf and if so whether it is possible to give you details of that person at this stage. For example, it may well be that a specialist advocate will be required for any trial or tribunal hearing.

To discuss with you how we can assist with regards to the particular matter for which you have sought our advice and the cost of doing so. In addition, to review with you whether legal aid will be available or any other method of covering your legal fees and to determine during the course of this meeting the manner in which you will meet the costs.

We will tell you the likely cost of the work to be undertaken and whether it will be necessary to engage the services of any other firm/agency (for example experts or barristers) who might assist you with regards to your case.

To tell you how long the matter is likely to take to complete.

After the first meeting we will send to you these terms and conditions.

First half hour of  the first interview is free of any charge.

Funding your case

We will discuss with you at the onset of your case how to fund your case. It may well be that you qualify for legal aid, in which case we will refer you to solicitors in the area who are contracted out to carry our legally funded work.

Your Household Insurance Policy may also cover you for your legal costs. It is therefore, advisable that you bring along with you such policy at the first meeting.

It may also be possible to take out after the event insurance policy to cover your legal costs. Again we will discuss this option  with you at the onset however, it will depend on the strengths of your case whether any insurer is willing to  take the risk.

Legal Aid

Solicitors are under a duty to consider and advise the client on the availability of legal aid where the client might be entitled to assistance under the Legal Aid Act 1988.  If it appears that you qualify for  legal aid we will provide you with a list of solicitors holding contracts. You can also obtain further information from the Legal Services Commission website direct (leaflets are available for download in easy to understood languages)

People Responsible for your work

We will insure that there is a member of staff that carries out the seeing of your work. We will also inform you about the staffs grade of fee which he earns and which area of law he or she specialises in. You will also be told about the person who supervises the employee and there status and who is ultimately responsible for your matter.


Sandhill Solicitors is based in 34-36 Wilmslow Road Manchester M14 5TQ. The normal hours of our office are from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Appointments can be arranged outside these hours when essential for the interests of the client. Emergency numbers will be provided for access to one of our lawyers in an urgent situation.

Calculation of Fees/Billing

Our charges will normally be calculated by references to the time spent in dealing with your case or transaction unless otherwise indicated to you in writing. All fee earning members of staff are required to record any time they spend in working on your case or transaction and this would include attending upon you and others, perusing and considering documents, correspondents, telephone calls, travelling and waiting time. Letters written and telephone calls are usually charged on the basis of six minute units and should, for example, a telephone call last more than six minutes then the charge will be increase based upon increments of further six minute units. Each fee earner at this practice has been given hourly rate and these rates are reviewed annually every September. The hourly rate includes am estimate of the uplift for what is generally called the "care and conduct" aspect of the charge. This may vary and is usually dependant upon;

      The degree of urgency in your case or transaction

      The complexity of your case or transaction

      The importance of your case or transaction

      The amount of any money involved in your case or transaction

      The skill and experience of the solicitor

Each fee earner's hourly charging rate at this practice is exclusive of VAT and this will subsequently be added to all invoices.


Sandhill solicitors is under the duty to keep confidential to his or her firm the affairs of client and to ensure that the staff do the same. If we are to release any confidential information which is unauthorised then this can lead to disciplinary action against us. The duty of confidentiality applies to information about the client's affairs and general information.

It is likely that during the course of the work we undertake certain information may have to be disclosed to the third parties, for example, experts reports. We will only disclose such information having discussed the matter with you, having obtained your consent to disclose information or where we are under a professional obligation to do so.


Often some of our clients will have difficulty in understanding or speaking English. If you feel this is the case then please let us know so that we can make arrangements for an interpreter. If you wish to nominate a family member or friend who could translate and communicate with us on your behalf then please let us know. You do not have to nominate any person but it would be helpful so that we know the advice being given is understood and is clear.


In plain English it simply means that a solicitor is entitled  to hold on to a file; documents; and any other property  belonging to the client until such time  all moneys owed to the practice has been paid in full.

Lien is a passive phrase which means the solicitor is not entitled to sell or dispose of the clients property, without his/her knowledge.

At the end of your case

Once all of the work required on your file  has been completed we will write to inform you that the matter  has been closed and placed in storage. It is our firm's policy in this respect is to store all files for for period of 6 years and in some cases longer after which time the file will be destroyed. If we are holding any papers which belong to you and which you would like to have returned to you, then you may make a request  within one month from the date of our letter.  A subsequent request to return documentation will involve both expense and delay due to our having to retrieve it from archiving and storage.

If, for any reason, you do not want your file to be destroyed in accordance with our procedure,  then we must be notified within a reasonable period from the date we inform you of  your file closure.

What is Money Laundering

'All professionals who deal with clients' money and property could be targets for criminals wishing to launder money. Professionals are now seen as 'gatekeepers' who can facilitate or block the entry of 'dirty money' into the system. In the UK and Europe, new legislation will increase the responsibilities of solicitors to act as barriers to suspicious transactions'

              &n bsp;                ;               &n bsp;  The Law Society, February 2002.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ('POCA'), which became law in February 2003 introduced a new series of criminal offences which apply to solicitors and their staff in relation to dealing with 'criminal property'. If found guilty, individual solicitors or their staff could be fined or sent to prison. We are obliged to report to the police any circumstances in relation to any matter we are conducting for clients, where we suspect that criminal property is somehow involved. There are very limited exceptions, for example, where we are advising clients in relation to criminal charges involving allegations of money laundering.

'Criminal Property' is property which is or represents a person's benefit from criminal conduct and the alleged offender knows or suspects constitutes or represents such a benefit. It could therefore include, for example, property, in the form of any assets including money, of a client who has evaded tax, illegally claimed a grant or other benefit, or dealt in stolen property or drugs.

The  Money  Laundering  Regulations  2003,  which  came  into  force 1 March 2004, place virtually all, if not all the work that is carried out by Sandhill Solicitors within the 'Regulated Sector' referred to in the POCA and places obligations on all firms of solicitors to obtain IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS from all clients, even those of longstanding


The Office of the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS), is the Law Society's independent complaints handling arm. It also deals with the a number of related regulatory matters. The powers of the OSS derive from the statute and  the Society's Charter.

What we expect from our clients

We expect the best of co-operation from our clients as dealing with the case may be a lengthy process and we will insure that we keep you notified upon what is happening with your case until further notice. If you would like to talk to a department staff then please book an appointment. But please be aware this will stop the staff from carrying out work. The other way in which you can contact a member of staff is by writing into Sandhill Solicitors or sending  an e-mail which will be replied to as soon as it is received.

All information held will be  confidential within the practice and will not be exposed to third parties the Law Society is the governing body which regulates and check that these procedures are being carried out.

Sandhill Solicitors will charge on a hourly basis which will be given to you when you come for an interview and stated in a letter which you will receive through the post.

To book a free interview then please contact Sandhill Solicitors on the following number.:: Tel: 0161 249 2280