Terms & Conditions
Continuing use and browsing of this website means that you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by these terms and conditions of use. If you do not with to comply or be bound by any part of these terms and conditions please do not use the website.
thedrivingsolicitor.co.uk is maintained by Stephen Oldham Solicitors which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Regulation number 619353.
Use of the website
The content of the website and the pages within it are for your general information and use only. The information provided on the website does not constitute legal advice or opinion. If you want legal advice you should contact Stephen Oldham Solicitors or any other solicitor authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Cookies can be disabled via your internet browser should you wish to do so; the disablement of cookies will not affect the operation of the website.
All content created by Stephen Oldham may be copied provided you provide the correct attribution.
thedrivingsolicitor.co.uk by Stephen Oldham Solicitors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The terms and conditions of use of the website are compiled and governed in compliance with the laws of England and Wales.
Free initial advice and the Pay What You Want Scheme
Responsibility for your advice
The person responsible for all of the advice and all of the work on your case is Stephen Oldham.
You are not obliged to pay a fee for initial telephone advice or for advice under the Pay What You Want Scheme.
You may choose to pay a fee. If you do choose to pay a fee, the amount of that fee is entirely up to you.
Additional fixed fees will be payable for any work outside the scope of the free initial advice or Pay What You Want Scheme. Any work that you instruct us to do outside the scope of a fixed fee, free initial advice or the Pay What You Want Scheme will be charged at £250.00 per hour.
We will inform you if the work that we are doing falls outside the scope of a fixed fee, free initial advice or the Pay What You Want Scheme. We will not charge you a fee without telling you first.
We charge VAT at the current rate in force.
Our fees do not include any fixed penalty, fine, victim surcharge, prosecution costs, criminal courts charge, wasted costs or other third party costs that you are required to pay.
If you are acquitted at court you may be entitled to recover your legal costs from the court through a Defence Costs Order. It is unlikely that you will recover the full costs that you have paid. Recovery is at Legal Aid rates. We will charge a fee of up to £250.00+VAT for the preparation of any claim under a Defence Costs Order.
Scope of free initial advice and the Pay What You Want Scheme
Included in free initial advice and the Pay What You Want Scheme
- Advice about motoring offences
- Taking your instructions over the telephone
- Short telephone calls (usually up to 15 minutes)
- Advice provided over the telephone
- Reading up to three pages of documentation
- Reading a short email from you
Not included in free initial advice and the Pay What You Want Scheme
- Advice and assistance about any legal questions that are not related to motoring offences
- Face-to-face meetings
- Representing you in any criminal proceedings or criminal investigation
- Written advice
- Reading documentation of more than three pages (unless we tell you that we will not charge you for reading those documents)
- Long telephone calls (usually more than 15 minutes, unless we tell you that we will not charge you)
- Attending court, police station or any other location
- Writing, sending emails or making telephone calls to the police, Crown Prosecution Service, court or anyone else
We will communicate with you in plain language.
All our written communication will be by email. We do not send letters in the post under the free initial advice or Pay What You Want Scheme.
We will explain to you by telephone or by email the legal work required as your matter progresses.
We will tell you if we are going to charge you for our service which fall outside free initial advice or the Pay What You Want Scheme.
Our responsibilities include the following:
- We will advise you about the law based on the instructions that you provide.
- We will inform you if your attendance is required at any location such as a court or police station.
- We will advise you of any circumstances and risks of which we are aware or consider to be reasonably foreseeable that could affect the outcome of your matter.
Your responsibilities include the following:
- You will provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions.
- You will provide all documentation required.
- You will safeguard any documents that are likely to be required for discovery.
We can only give you advice based on the instructions that you give to us. If those instructions are not accurate then our advice may be negatively affected.
Free initial advice and the Pay What You Want Scheme do not include a detailed evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the case against you or any defence that you may have. If you want us to review all of the documents in your case and take your full and detailed instructions you will need to instruct us to represent you under a fixed fee for representation.
Stephen Oldham Solicitors is committed to high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about the bill, please contact Stephen Oldham on [phone number and e-mail] or by post to our office.
We have a procedure in place which details how we handle complaints which is available on our website at thedrivingsolicitor.co.uk
We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman. If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ to consider the complaint.
Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or if outside of this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it).
Complaints about our bills
If you are not satisfied about our bill you are entitled to challenge or make a complaint about that bill.
You may also apply to the court for an assessment of our bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
We have Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover work undertaken by us in England and Wales. Our insurers are Travellers Insurance Company, 61-63 London Road, Redhill, Surrey. RH1 1NA.
We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:
- updating and enhancing client records
- analysis to help us manage our practice
- statutory returns
- legal and regulatory compliance
Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality. Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you.
We may from time to time send you information that we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information please notify our office in writing.
Storage of documents
After completing the work, we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses.
We will keep our file of your papers for up to 6 years. We will normally return all original documents such as driving licences to you. We keep files on the understanding that we can destroy them 6 years after the date of the final bill.
We do not offer the service of storing documents in safe custody.
We reserve the right to destroy all paper documents and to store an electronic copy only.
If you want us to return any paper documents to you at the end of a case you must inform us in writing.
If we take papers or documents out of storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act for you, we will not normally charge for such retrieval.
However, we may charge you both for:
- time spent producing stored papers that are requested
- reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with your instructions in relation to the retrieved papers
Sometimes we ask other companies or people to do [typing/photocopying/other work] on our files to ensure this is done promptly. We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with these outsourced providers. If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.
Auditing and Vetting of Files
External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files. –
Terminating this Retainer
You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time, but we can keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses.
We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason. We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.
If you or we decide that we should stop acting for you, you will pay our charges up until that point. These are calculated on an hourly basis plus expenses or by proportion of the agreed fee as set out in these terms and conditions depending on the whether you have paid a fixed fee or are paying for our services at an hourly rate.
We are professionally and legally obliged to keep your affairs confidential. However, solicitors may be required by statute to make a disclosure to the Serious Organised Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.
Distance Selling Regulations
If we have not met with you in person then Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 apply to this work. This means you have the right to cancel your instructions to us within seven working days of receiving this letter. You can cancel your instructions by contacting us by post or email to this office.
Once we have started work on your file, you will be charged for the work that we have done if you then cancel your instructions.
Cash and Payments to Third Parties
Our practice’s policy is not to accept cash from clients. We will exceptionally accept cash up to £250.
If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly with our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds.
Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.
Death or serious injury of Stephen Oldham
In the event of the death or serious injury of Stephen Oldham, you should contact his special executor for instructions on what to do about the progress of your case. The special executor is: The Senior Partner, Brown and Corbishley Solicitors, 2-4 Queen Street, Newcastle under Lyme. ST5 1ED.