1.1 Ervaid Law’s registered office address is Ervaid Law, Kemp House, 152 - 160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX
Ervaid Law’s principal, Ernest Aduwa, is a sole practitioner and solicitor authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to practise in England and Wales.
2 REGULATION OF LEGAL SERVICES
2.1 The Law Society of England and Wales represents solicitors in England and Wales. The SRA is the independent regulatory arm of The Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent body which adjudicates upon complaints which a law firm’s own complaints handling procedure cannot resolve.
2.2 Ervaid Law is authorised and regulated by the SRA under SRA number 669675. The SRA Standards and Regulations contain the rules of professional conduct which apply to all solicitors and this firm and can be accessed on the website of the SRA (www.sra.org.uk).
3. CLIENT ENGAGEMENT (AND TAKE ON PROCEDURES)
3.1 No client-lawyer relationship and no contract or agreement between you and this firm is created by your use of this website. The only way to become a client of Ervaid Law is through a mutual agreement in writing between you and us after we have completed our standard new client take on procedures. Our take on procedures include conflict of interest, finance crime and other checks required by law and regulation.
3.2 If you are interested in becoming a client of the firm, please contact us so that we can determine whether your matter is one with which we can assist you. Please do not provide us with confidential, sensitive or legally privileged information before we have carried out and completed our conflict checks, unless we ask you to do so. This is because if you provide information to us on an unsolicited basis and it is or might be relevant to the matter of a current client of the firm we may be required to disclose it to the current client.
3.3 Advice and services are provided to our clients on the basis of the relevant engagement letter and our terms of business. By instructing the firm clients confirm their agreement to the firm’s engagement letter and terms of business. No responsibility is assumed and no liability is accepted for information that is supplied or for services that are rendered to someone who is not a client of the firm (including someone using this website) unless in writing we have expressly agreed otherwise.
4 WARNING ABOUT FRAUD AND CYBERCRIME
4.1 Fraud, and in particular cyber-crime, are on the increase worldwide. In common with many businesses, including a large number of other law firms, the name of this firm and of individual lawyers who work for us have on occasions been used by criminals without our knowledge or permission in an attempt to carry out scams and frauds on members of the public worldwide.
4.2 Always be on the look-out for criminal conduct to ensure that you do not become a victim of it. If something looks unusual or suspicious (for example, if it is written in poor English, a business is using consumer email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, or contact details in a communication do not accord with the publicly available contact details of that organisation) either ignore it and delete it or destroy it, or proceed with extreme caution and investigate it thoroughly before acting on it.
4.3 Always verify the identity and assess the possible motives of anyone who contacts you on an unsolicited basis. Remember also that a fraudster might be trying to impersonate either someone you know, or someone you would normally expect to be on your side, for example, a bank employee, a police officer, or a lawyer (including us). If something sounds too good to be true (a surprise windfall, for example), usually it is not true. Do not hand over money, or disclose personal or financial information, unless you know who you are dealing with and their true intentions.
4.4 Fraudsters often use email to perpetrate their scams, so treat unsolicited emails with particular care. Sometimes other forms of communication are also used to initiate a scam, including text, fax, letter and telephone. Often the initial email or other communication will either promise the recipient a share of a large sum of money (from a dead person’s estate, an insurance policy, or a lottery win, for example) in return for paying a modest sum (an ‘administration fee’ of some description), up front (which is commonly referred to as an ‘advance fee’ fraud), or it will request personal or financial information about the recipient or their bank account allegedly in order to check their account is working correctly or so that non-existent money can be paid in to it (which information they then use to try and access the account by impersonating you in an ‘identity theft’ fraud ).
4.5 Without their knowledge or permission, fraudsters sometimes mention in their communications the involvement of a genuine law firm or a genuine lawyer in an attempt to give legitimacy and credibility to their scam and/or to try and lull their potential victim into a false sense of security. Sometimes fraudsters’ communications will also direct the recipient to a bogus website and/or a bogus social media account that intentionally replicates the look and feel of the website or social media account of a genuine business, bank or law firm. Such copies (clones) of websites and social media accounts are created without the knowledge or permission of the genuine business and in an attempt to give legitimacy or respectability to a scam. Never seek to verify the existence or involvement in a transaction of a law firm or lawyer by using contact details contained in an unsolicited communication: always use a public search engine, such as Google, or a reputable online professional directory.
4.6 We are aware that on occasions, the name of this firm, or of lawyers who work for us, and clones of our website, have been used by fraudsters without our knowledge or permission. Please note that we only practice under the firm name ‘Ervaid Law’. If you receive a communication which purports to come from, or which mentions, a firm which has a similar but not identical name to us, or which has the same name but different contact details (business address, telephone number, fax number, email address and/or website address) it will not have originated from us or have been sent by us, on our behalf or with our knowledge or permission. Similarly, our website, and the email addresses which we operate, only use the domain name ‘@ervaidlaw.co.uk’. If a website or email address uses a different domain name, including a similar but not identical domain name, and even one that has only one character different, it will not belong to us and will be nothing to do with us.
4.7 We are also aware that fraudsters sometimes seek to intercept legitimate payments and divert them to their own bank account. Often they will do this by ‘hacking’ an individual’s email account (in particular consumer facing email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo) and then changing the bank account details which appear in an otherwise legitimate email that the account holder sends out or which a genuine person or business has sent to the account holder. This is known as a ‘man in the middle’ fraud. We will never use email to notify you of a change to bank account details which we have already provided to you (in our engagement letter and on the back of our invoices). Any email appearing to come from us which seeks to do this will not be genuine. Do not act on it or reply to it, and instead contact us immediately by telephone: do not use email to contact us in case a fraudster has compromised your email account and is monitoring the emails you send and receive. Please note that we will not accept responsibility if you transfer money into a bank account which does not belong to Ervaid Law.
4.8 If you receive an email or other communication purporting to come from Ervaid Law, or from someone holding themselves out as being a member of or agent acting on behalf of Ervaid Law, or if you are directed to a website or social media account which purports to belong to this firm, and you have any suspicions at all about it, before responding to it or taking any other action in relation to it please contact the member of this firm who you normally deal with or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will tell you whether the communication came from us, or whether it is our website or our social media account. Never take risks. If you have a suspicion or a concern, report it to us, before acting.
4.9 Our regulator, the SRA, maintains a ‘Scam Alert’ database which provides members of the public with information about known scams in which the identity of a genuine English law firm or a genuine English lawyer has been used, or is being used, by persons unknown for criminal purposes. The database can be viewed on the SRA’s website (www.sra.org.uk). Frauds and scams with a United Kingdom element to them can be reported to the UK police using the Action Fraud website (www.actionfraud.police.uk).
5 COMPLAINTS HANDLING PROCEDURE
5.1 Our aim is always to provide our clients with a quality service in a friendly manner applying the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. A client who is unhappy with any aspect of the service we have provided, or with an invoice we have delivered, is entitled to complain. We aim to investigate complaints fairly and to respond to them as quickly as circumstances allow. Information about our complaints handling procedure is available on request or can be accessed by clicking on the ‘complaints’ link which appears at the foot of this website’s homepage.
5.2 If after our own complaints handling procedure has run its course a client is still not satisfied with our response to their complaint or with our handling of the complaint, they can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the matter. Its remit and procedures are described on its website (www.legalombudsman.org.uk). It will only consider complaints submitted by individuals, micro-enterprises and small trusts, charities or associations. Normally a complaint must be notified to it within six months of the client receiving a final written response from the firm about it, or within six years of the date of the act or omission complained about (or if outside of this period, within three years of when the client should reasonably have been aware of it). The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted in writing (PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ), by email (email@example.com), or by telephone (0300 555 0333).
5.3 If a complaint relates to an invoice we have delivered, a client may also be entitled to apply to the court for an assessment of the invoice under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If a client wishes our charges to be reviewed by the court they must apply to the court within one month of the date the invoice was delivered to them. If the invoice has been paid, more than twelve months has elapsed or a judgment has been obtained in respect of the costs covered by the invoice, the court will not order the invoice to be assessed unless special circumstances apply. If the court makes an order in such circumstances, it may attach conditions to the order in respect of the costs of the assessment. Our entitlement to charge interest in respect of an unpaid invoice may not be affected by any complaint submitted to the Legal Ombudsman or by any application that is made to the court for assessment of the invoice.
6 PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE
6.1 Ervaid Law holds professional indemnity insurance as required by the SRA.
6.2 The policy covers the professional services which the firm provides in the United Kingdom.
6.3 Details of the primary layer of compulsory professional indemnity insurance cover which the firm has procured from an SRA approved insurer, including the name of the insurer and the policy number, will be supplied to a client on request.
7 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
7.1 Electronic communication involves certain known risks. It might be insecure, intercepted, carry viruses, distort during transmission or arrive late or not at all. Anyone who communicates with us electronically, or who does not expressly prohibit such communication, will be assumed to accept the associated risks. By using email or fax to communicate with us you consent to us communicating with you in the same manner. Unless in writing you expressly prohibit electronic communication, we may use email and/or fax to communicate with you and others involved in your matter. We accept no liability for any inadvertent breach of confidence or privilege, or for any loss or damage, which occurs as a result communication by email or fax.
7.2 Email we send to you will not be encrypted unless we inform you otherwise. We use anti-virus systems and software but we accept no liability for viruses. We expect you to use, and rely on, your own anti-virus software. We recommend that you scan all emails and any attachments for viruses before opening them. We also recommend that you confirm any advice received by email before acting on it.
7.3 We monitor electronic communications (including email) in order to protect our business and our clients and to ensure that our legal and regulatory obligations and our internal policies and procedures are being complied with.
8 DATA PROTECTION NOTICE
8.1 Ervaid Law is a data controller and we process personal data in accordance with our obligations under relevant data protection laws. Our Privacy Notice, which sets out what to expect when we process personal data, is published on this website and can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Privacy Notice’ link which appears at the foot of the page. A copy of the notice will also be supplied on request. When you provide personal data to us, we shall assume that you have complied with your own obligations under relevant data protection laws.
8.2 Any personal information you provide to us during your use of this website will be processed in accordance with current United Kingdom data protection laws and for one or more of the following purposes: (1) for the purpose or purposes specified in the part of the website that you used to submit the information to us; (2) to enable us to supply you with any information or assistance that you have requested; (3) to enable us to provide you with information about us, our services and our events; and (4) for any other purpose for which you give your consent.
8.3 If at any time you wish to have your name removed from our database, or you wish to contact us in relation to any other matter concerning the processing of your personal data, please email our Data Protection Officer (DPO@ervaidlaw.co.uk).
9.1 When you access this website, your computer’s browser provides us with certain electronic information (such as your IP address, browser type, and date and time of access). The website collects this information to provide you with a good user experience. We also use it to help us improve the website and to compile statistical data on its use.
12.2 Further information about ‘cookies’ and how we use them is published on this website in our ‘Cookies Policy’, which can be accessed by clicking on the link of that name which appears at the foot of the page
10.1 Website owner and operator: this website is owned and operated by Ervaid Law, which is an English law firm operating from London that is authorised and regulated by the SRA (under SRA No. 669675).
13.3 Exclusions of liability: whilst we believe, and have taken reasonable measures to ensure, that this website is free of viruses, use of this website is at your own risk. Liability for loss or damage arising from your use of this website is excluded to the extent permitted by law. Whilst we have taken reasonable care to ensure that the content of this website (and of publications deployed on it) is accurate and complete, the information on this website (and in those publications) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. All liability for loss or damage arising from reliance on it is excluded to the extent permitted by law.
13.4 Intellectual property rights: copyright in (and any other intellectual property rights that attach to) the content of this website or the publications deployed on it (including, without limitation, the ‘Ervaid Law’, ‘Ervaid’ and ‘EL’ marks, logos and branding) is owned by Ervaid Law. You may download and temporarily store pages from this website for the sole purpose of viewing them. You may also print any publication on this website so long as it is a complete copy, no amendment is made to it and it is only for personal use or use within your own organisation and the use made of it is lawful. None of the content of this website or of the publications deployed on it, whether or not permission is granted for downloading, printing or circulation, may be used for the purpose of commercial exploitation, or for an illegal purpose. Any other copying, transmission, distribution, storage or use of such content is prohibited without Ervaid Law’s prior written consent.
10.5 Publications: publications deployed on this website provide general information only. They must not be relied on as legal or professional advice. They might not contain exhaustive statements of the law, they might not be up to date and the information they contain might not be appropriate for your matter or circumstances. Users of this website who are located abroad should also be aware that laws and regulations may be different outside England and Wales. Before acting or omitting to act, you should take specific legal advice on any particular matter that concerns you. If you would like legal advice or legal assistance from us, please contact us.
10.6 Electronic links: electronic links to this website are prohibited without the prior written permission of Ervaid Law. Any links to other websites provided by this website have been included for convenience only. Such links do not imply endorsement by Ervaid Law of the linked website, its provider or its content. We accept no liability for the content of, or for any loss or damage caused by access to, use of, reliance on or software downloaded from, any linked website.
10.7 Governing law: any issues and disputes relating to this website, its content or the content of any publication deployed on it shall be governed by English law. Unless Ervaid Law at its sole discretion elects otherwise, any dispute relating to such matters shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
10.8 Accessibility: we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and respect for diversity in our employment practices, in our dealings with clients and others and in the way in which we deliver our services. This website is designed to be accessible to as many users as possible by meeting or exceeding the requirements of current United Kingdom accessibility legislation and internationally accepted guidelines. The website’s ‘Accessibility’ link (which appears at the foot of the page) contains further information about accessibility issues.
10.9 Assistance: if you experience any technical problems or other issues with this website, please email the Marketing Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).