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Appendix D

Specimen client care letter for unbundled (limited retainer) civil law
services advocacy

This specimen client care letter is intended as a template for a standard pro-forma
letter for unbundled civil advocacy. It is intended to cover advocacy you provide for a
specific hearing (including adjournments) and further client care letters should be
issued for each subsequent hearing you are instructed to attend on an unbundled
basis. This template primarily focuses on issues relating to provision of unbundled
services and in drafting your client care letter you should also have regard to any
other applicable requirements set out in the Law Societys Client Care Letters
Practice Note and Provision of Services Regulations 2009 Practice Note :

This letter sets out the terms on which I will attend the [insert name of court] Court as
your advocate to represent you at the [insert type of hearing] in the case of [insert
name of case]. [This hearing is listed on insert date and time] or [The date of the
hearing is still to be arranged]

My name is [insert name] and I am a [insert qualification]. I will do my best to attend


the hearing but if for any reason I am not available I will endeavour to arrange for a
suitably qualified alternative advocate to attend in my place.

We have agreed to represent you on an unbundled or ' limited retainer' basis. This
means that you have instructed us only to attend as your advocate for the hearing
referred to above [and subsequent adjournments]. If you wish us to represent you at
any further hearings which take place in the course of your case, you will need to
instruct us under a separate agreement.

As you have just instructed us to represent you at a specific hearing we will not go on
the court record as your representatives. This means that you remain responsible for
dealing with all correspondence, negotiations and procedural issues between you
and the Court, your opponent, and any witnesses including expert witnesses.

Any notices issued by the court or your opponent will continue to be sent to you
rather than to us but you agree to keep us informed of all correspondence you
receive that is relevant to the hearing.

You will be liable for any reasonable costs we incur as a result of you not informing
us of relevant information, for example if we attend the court and find that the hearing
has been adjourned but you did not provide us with a copy of any notice of
adjournment issued to you by the court.

[You will remain responsible for producing any bundle of documents required by the
Court. If, in breach of any direction of the court, you fail to produce a bundle or the
bundle is incomplete, the court may impose a cost penalty against you. Should this
occur you will be liable for any costs ordered against your rather than us.]

Or

[Under this agreement we will also advise you on the preparation of any bundle of
documents required by the court. You will remain responsible for obtaining the
necessary documents. If you are unable to obtain them or if we advise you that we
think the documentation is inadequate, we may decide we are unable to attend the
hearing as your advocate and we will terminate this agreement. We will do this only
where there is good reason and will explain this to you at the time. In any event you
will remain responsible for any costs order against you resulting from an inadequate
bundle if you have not acted in accordance with our advice.]

You will remain responsible for ensuring the attendance at court of any witnesses you
intend to call.

[We will not enter into any correspondence or negotiation with your opponent or any
other third party]

Or

[We will not enter into any correspondence or negotiation with your opponent or any
other third party, except that we will advise you in relation to negotiations with your
opponent that take place whilst we are in your presence in the precincts of the court
on the day of the hearing ]

If we decide that for any reason you have not provided sufficient information for us to
represent you properly at the hearing we will terminate this agreement

As solicitors we have a professional duty to the court as well as to you our client. If
we become aware that you have misled or intend to mislead the court in any way we
will advise you to bring this to the attention of the court. If you do not do so we will not
be able to continue to represent you and we will terminate this agreement. However
your dealings with us are confidential and protected by legal professional privilege so
we will not provide any information about you to the court or any other party without
your permission.

Retention of Documents

See Client Care Letters Practice Note

Data Protection Act

See Client Care Letters Practice Note

Fees

We will charge you at the rate of [insert amount] per hour.

[We may ask you for an initial payment on account prior to the commencement of the
hearing. After the hearing has taken place any outstanding balance must be paid
within days.]

If for any reason this agreement is terminated by you or by us on reasonable grounds


you will be liable to pay our fees for work we have reasonably carried out up to the
date of termination.
Or

We will charge you a fixed fee of [insert amount] to attend the court as your
advocate for the hearing referred to above. If more than one attendance at court is
required in respect of this hearing, we will charge you a further [insert amount] for
each additional hearing.

If for any reason the hearing does not take place when we attend the court we will
charge you a basic attendance fee of [insert amount]

[insert details of when fee must be paid and whether you will accept payments by
instalments]

If this agreement is terminated by you or by us the full fixed fee remains payable to
us.

Costs

Should the court make an order for costs in your favour you will not necessarily
recover the full cost of our fees from your opponent and we will still require payment
in full within the period stated above.

We advise you to inform your opponent that you have instructed us to represent you
at the hearing specified above. Failure to inform your opponent that you are being
represented could impact on your ability to recover your costs from them.

We will not assist you to enforce a costs order under this agreement and any work
you might instruct us to carry out in this regard will be undertaken under a separate
agreement.

You should also be aware of the possibility of your opponent obtaining an order for
costs against you.

Complaints

[Insert or attach your complaints procedure and ensure it contains details of how to
complain to the Legal Services Ombudsman see also Client Care Letters Practice
Note ]

Insurance

We have professional indemnity insurance to cover any claim brought by you in the
unlikely event that we breach our duty of care to you.

[Insert or attach details of PII insurer see also Provision of Services Regulations
2009 Practice Note]