COMPLIANCE INFORMATION AND FEES
Barney and Co Solicitors are a legal service provider who specialise in French property sales, purchases and deeds of gift along with successions to French property. We are not conveyancing lawyers; we advise clients on contracts regarding French property sales and purchases and deeds of gift and succession on death. Our job here at Barney & Co Solicitors is to protect your best interests in connection with whatever property transaction you are undertaking.
French notaires generally regard themselves as simply providing what amounts to, what we in the UK would call an “execution only” service. Very often this will be drafting and finalising legal documents to affect what the notaire believes to be the terms of the agreement, or the terms of the succession of a deceased person. However, we have found that in practice there are very many issues in buying a French property which are not dealt with by the notaire. On a purchase of a French property the notaire will have been instructed by the vendor, and they will not necessarily have your best interests at heart, but we will!
It is in regard to these issues, and the minutiae of a contract, where we can add value to you, the client, by addressing or assisting to address those issues which can make all the difference to the end result for you. In essence, we look to ‘sew up the loop-holes’ of the transaction as a whole and look to ensure that all your best short term and long term interests are served as we guide you through your French property transaction.
Please be advised that in addition to our fees, you will be required to pay the fees of the notaire who deals with the sale, purchase, deed of gift or succession regarding your case.
Our fees are currently set at £295.00 +VAT per hour.
We do not usually ask clients for a deposit to cover our fees because we understand that in many cases the client may not have the ready funds to pay our fees in advance of the finalisation of the transaction.
We will discuss your case with you for an initial 20 minutes free of charge. At which point, we will be able to give you a general indication of the amount of hours we are likely to need to spend in respect of your transaction, at an hourly fee of £295.00 +VAT per hour.
At the end of this conversation or within the next few days, if you choose to engage our services you will need to send us an email confirming your wish to engage our services and we will then send you a detailed email setting out the terms of our retainer and the documents we require from you in order to proceed with your French property transaction.
We are aware that legal fees for French property sales, purchases, gifts and successions on death can be somewhat daunting for the client(!) and we do our best to keep them to a minimum! Our initial estimation of the number of hours we will need to spend on your case is if of course an estimate. We would therefore ask clients to bear this in mind when it comes to our fees which usually cannot be precisely estimated at the outset of a matter due to the problems that may arise once the case gets underway.
If you have any concern about amount of the fees, please indicate this concern in your response to our engagement email and specify the maximum number of hours you wish for us to spend on your case. When we have worked to that number of hours, we are able to bill you for that sum. At that point, we will need to fix a new ceiling on the number of hours we spend on your case if you wish for us to continue working on the case.
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the legal services, we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
- In the first instance, if you have any complaints about the way your case has been handled, please contact David Barney, the person who is working on your case, to discuss your concerns and he will do his best to resolve any issues.
- If you feel that your issues have not been satisfactorily addressed or resolved through verbal communication with Barney & Co, you can then proceed make a formal complaint. Please send your formal complaint by letter in writing by recorded delivery or by email to Barney & Co Solicitors. We will acknowledge receipt of your formal complaint in writing or by email within 8 working days and send you a full response in writing by post or by email within 28 days of receipt of receipt of your formal complaint.
- Should you be unsatisfied by the formal written response to your written letter of complaint as provided by Barney & Co Solicitors, you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about the way your case has been handled. The reasons for a complaint to the SRA could be for allegations of dishonesty, misrepresentation, theft or loss of monies to which you are entitled, or allegations of mistreatment due of your age, a disability or any other characteristic.
Making a complaint, either verbally or formally in writing, will not affect how Barney & Co handles your case.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint.
If we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves the Legal Ombudsman can help you. They will look at your complaint independently. The involvement of the Legal Ombudsman will not affect how we handle your case.
Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will verify that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you choose to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must do so:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 9am to 5pm.
Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ