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Terms & Legal

Terms & Legal

Please select an item below to view the terms and legal information required.

Terms of Business

1. Costs 

Please see covering letter.  We will inform you if any unforeseen extra work becomes necessary – due to unexpected difficulties or if your requirements or circumstances significantly change.  We will also inform you in writing of the estimated costs of the extra work before incurring further costs.

2. Payment

2.1 We may request payment on account of costs and/or disbursements at any time.

2.2 Interim bills may be delivered at such intervals as we determine.  

2.3 Bills are due for payment on completion. We will charge daily interest at the rate of 8% p.a. on payments overdue by more than 30 days. It is therefore in your interest to make prompt payment. 

2.4 If any sum remains unpaid after 30 days we will charge interest at the daily rate of 8% p.a. 

2.5 We accept payment by cheque, bank transfer or Debit/Credit card. 

2.6 You agree that we can deduct from any money held for you by us to meet payment of any outstanding invoice.

2.7 The common law entitles us to retain any money, property, files or papers in payment of our costs, whether or not the property is acquired in connection with the matter for which the costs were incurred.  This is known as a ‘general lien’.  We are not entitled to sell property held under a lien but we are entitled to hold property, even if the value of it greatly exceeds the amount due to us in respect of costs.  

2.8 We do not accept payments to us in cash in excess of £500,  Monies due to you from us will be paid by cheque or bank transfer, but not in cash, and will not be made payable to a third party.

2.9 Cheques should be made payable to Walker Foster Limited.

2.10 You agree that notwithstanding any estimate of fees provided to you, you will be responsible for payment of all costs for work done for you and all disbursements incurred on your behalf.

2.11 Payment of Interest: We will account to you for interest earned by us on cleared funds where such interest would be in excess of £50 gross.

2.12 All post will be sent out in the normal 1st and 2nd class mail or via the DX service to third parties.  Anything sent at a higher rate (i.e. Recorded or Registered mail) will be chargeable as a disbursement.

3. Financial Services

Sometimes conveyancing, matrimonial and probate work may involve investments.  We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and so may refer you to someone who is authorised to provide any necessary advice.  However, we can provide certain limited services in relation to investments, provided they are closely linked with the legal services we are providing to you, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions.  The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.

4. Insurance Mediation 

Walker Foster are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.  However, we are included on the exempt firms register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts.  This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at

5. Termination

You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.  If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell us this clearly in writing. If we decide to stop acting for you, for example if you do not pay an interim bill or comply with the request for a payment on account, we will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing.

If instructions are terminated, you will be liable for fees and disbursements to the date of termination of the instructions to which we may be committed, plus any fees and disbursements for work necessary in connection with the transfer of the matter to another adviser of your choice and/or removing ourselves from the court record, as applicable.

6. Your Obligations and Disclosure to Lenders

Where we act on behalf of both you and any third-party lender or mortgagee, you hereby irrevocably authorise us to disclose to that third party without limitation any and all information, copy documentation and details of your instructions given to us in or which may relate to that matter.

7. Limited Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships

When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company or a limited liability partnership (LLP), in the event that the limited company or LLP is unable to pay the charges and expenses of this firm for whatever reason (e.g. as a result of insolvency), the Directors of the limited company or Members of the LLP agree to personally be jointly and severally liable for the charges and expenses of this firm.  We may require that a Director or controlling shareholder or Member signs a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of this firm.

8. Tax Advice

Any work that we do for you may involve tax implications or necessitate the consideration of a tax planning strategy.  We may not be qualified to advise you on the tax implications of a transaction that you instruct us to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising.  If you have any concerns in this respect, please raise them with us immediately.  If we can undertake the research necessary to resolve the issue, we will do so and advise you accordingly.  If we cannot, we may be able to identify a source of assistance for you.

9. Identity, disclosure and confidentiality requirements.

In some circumstances Money Laundering regulations require us to obtain from you proof of identity and we may decline to act for you if this is not forthcoming.  We may make an electronic identity check and the fee will appear on your bill as a disbursement.  Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of the client confidential.  This obligation however is subject to a statutory exception: legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under a legal duty in certain circumstances to disclose information to the National Crime Agency.  Where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be required to make a disclosure.  If, while we are acting for you, it becomes necessary to make such a disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that it has been made, or of the reasons for it, because the law prohibits ‘tipping-off’.  Where the law permits us, we will tell you about any potential money laundering problem and explain what action we may need to take.  Our firm may be requested to supply such details as your full name, address, date of birth and occupation to our Bank in connection with any financial transactions connected to you.  Information from your file may therefore be made available in such circumstances.  We will always aim to obtain a confidentiality agreement with the third party. Any personal data we receive from you for the purposes of our money laundering checks will be processed only for the purposes of preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, or as otherwise permitted by law or with your consent.  You consent to us retaining such data for longer than the five-year statutory period, unless you tell us otherwise 

Help to Buy ISA Scheme:  If you are purchasing a property with assistance from the Government’s Help to Buy ISA Scheme we hereby notify you, as required under the Scheme rules, that HM Treasury will be a data controller in respect of the personal data you provide to us. This data will be processed by HM Treasury and the administrators of the Scheme, and your agreement of our terms and conditions of business will amount to your consent to this processing of data and your consent for us to provide such data to HM Treasury and/or the administrators of the Scheme.

10. Communication between you and us

We will aim to communicate with you by such a reasonable method as you may request.  We may need to virus check discs or e-mail.  Unless you withdraw consent, we will communicate with others when appropriate by e-mail or fax but we cannot be responsible for the security of correspondence and documents sent by e-mail or fax.

11. Client Conduct

We operate a zero-tolerance policy towards abusive behaviour.  No member of our staff should be required to deal with any client or third party who is exhibiting threatening, abusive or violent behaviour (including raised voices and/or actual or threatened violence) either face to face, over the telephone or in correspondence. In any of these circumstances a member of staff has the right to refuse to interact with that client, including to terminate a call.

12. Problems and Complaints

We are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients.  When anything goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  We will consider your complaint and review our procedures.  This will help us to improve our standards.

  • If you have a complaint, please first contact the person dealing with your matter to try to resolve any issues through informal discussion.
  • If you are still not satisfied then you should write to our Operations Director, Mrs Jayne Schofield with full details of your complaint, heading your letter ‘Formal Complaint.’ Details would include specific actions complained of, people involved, dates, calls/letters/emails.
  • We will acknowledge such formal complaint and tell you the name of the person (the Complaint Handler) to whom your complaint has been referred.
  • Your complaint will be investigated as soon as possible by the Complaint Handler. The Complaint Handler might ask you for clarification or for further information or detail in order to better understand the complaint and to provide a substantive response.
  • When full details of your complaint have been received and considered, the Complaint Handler will send you a written response giving reasons for either accepting or rejecting some or all of your complaint and including any suggestions for resolving the matter.
  • If having received our response you are still not satisfied, you can write to us again and we will review.

We estimate that we will:

  • acknowledge a formal written complaint within one week of receipt;respond to a complaint within three weeks of receipt of full details;conclude dealing with the complaint within eight weeks.

These estimated timescales are subject to matters beyond our control and your cooperation in the process. If these estimates are not complied with, we will explain why this has occurred.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your case with us first.  If you have, then you can take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint
  • No more than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about: or
  • No more than one year from the date when you should have reasonably known there was cause for complaint

For more information about the Legal Ombudsman contact:

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour.  This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority:

13. Property Transactions

Relevant information about the property can be obtained by making a personal search of the data available or asking the local authority or a private company to prepare a search report.

A personal search of the Local Land Charges Register utilises the same source information as a local authority search (or it should) and is covered by insurance against errors and omissions, whilst the local authority compiled “LLC1” is not insured, although local authorities should compensate directly for any errors or omissions they make.  Other search services (“local enquiries” or “CON29”) should utilise the same source information according to government guidance, but sometimes local authorities have restricted the access they allow to personal searchers.  The previous HIP regulations allowed personal searchers to cover any gaps in information (caused by local authority restrictions) with additional insurance.  As all local authorities are now required to give access to all data required for searches used in HIPs, this will no longer be the case from April 2009, although insurance will still be a requirement to cover errors & omissions.

In order to speed up some aspects of conveyancing transactions, we have negotiated a number of insurance policies specifically designed to help speed the process and/or insure some defects. Specialists in the market have issued these policies and although we are not contractually bound to get the best/cheapest deals we believe that these products will provide you with the cover that you need. If we consider it appropriate to put in place any such cover for you, we will contact you and discuss this with you. We will let you know the cost of doing so and obtain your approval for putting the insurance in place.    You acknowledge that the provision of an Architect’s Certificate does not equate to insurance (for example such as that provided by NHBC).  It is a Certificate in a form usually dictated by a lender and is primarily for the lender’s benefit.  If the property has been constructed with faults and you seek to rely upon the Architect’s Certificate, it will be necessary for you to bring a claim against the architect and this could involve court proceedings and these may fail.

14. Proposed Developments

The Local Authority Search which will be submitted against the property you are to purchase will only reveal planning entries in respect of the property itself.  It will not reveal any pending or completed planning applications or development proposals in respect of any adjoining or nearby properties.  The Property Information Form which will be completed by the sellers might reveal whether the sellers have received or sent any notices or correspondence or if there have been any negotiations or discussions which affect the property or any nearby property.  The sellers will be asked if they are aware of any proposals to develop property or land nearby or of any proposal to make any alterations to buildings nearby.  If you are concerned about a possible development taking place near the property you must contact the planning department of the local authority who will be able to give you full details of any such proposals.  Every local authority has its own development plan for its area.  This gives details as to medium and long-term policies for future development generally, specific land uses and anticipated planning policies.  These details are never given to us within a local search result.  If you require a copy of the development plan you will need to apply to the local authority direct who will forward you a copy upon payment of a fee.

15. Bank Details

15.1 We will not send our bank details to you via email

15.2 You should not send money to us to any bank account except for the account that we provide to you at the start of the transaction.

15.3 We will only pay money due to you into an account that we have verified is yours.  You agree to assist in our verification procedures, which may include you providing bank documentation and signing to confirm the account the money should be paid into.

16. General

Walker Foster is a Trading name of Walker Foster Limited (Registered in England and Wales – No. 09847724) authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 627728).

Walker Foster is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees.  Please contact us if you would like a copy of our equality and diversity policy.

If your matter involves the purchase of land or property, then it is a requirement that following completion of the transaction a Stamp Duty Land Transaction Return Form is submitted to HMRC. We are hereby authorised by you to complete the return on your behalf with full details of the transaction including the effective date of the transaction and to submit the form electronically on your behalf.

Under the European Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (DGSD), and corresponding UK legislation, the compensation limit for eligible claimants in the event of failure of a deposit-taking institution is £85,000. The £85,000 FSCS limit applies to the individual client, and so if you hold other personal monies in the same deposit-taking institution as our client account, the limit remains £85,000 in total.  The deposit-taking institutions in which we hold client funds are National Westminster and Santander.  Some deposit-taking institutions have several brands, i.e. where the same institution is trading under different names. It is your responsibility to check either with your deposit-taking institution, the FCA or a financial adviser for more information. We do not do this for you.  If we make a claim under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in respect of client money on your behalf, you consent to us giving information about you to the FSCS to help it to identify clients (including you) and any amounts to which you/clients are entitled.

You agree that we are not liable for losses resulting from a failure or collapse of a deposit-taking institution. 

We are required to keep files for the minimum number of years specified by the Law Society or by such other body by which we are from time to time regulated.  You authorise us to securely destroy your file(s) at the end of that period or such longer period as we may deem to be appropriate, without further notice to you.  We reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee for document retrieval after a matter has been archived.

Where we act for two or more clients jointly it is on the clear understanding that we are authorised to act on instructions from either, both or any of them.

You acknowledge that if this transaction involves a residential mortgage and you require us to apply for mortgage funds within the seven-day period of reflection applicable to such mortgages, then we have your authority to proceed with the completion of that mortgage notwithstanding that this is within such period of reflection.

You confirm that you will read all documents that we send to you including documents relating to planning. If you have any questions regarding such documents you will raise them with us.

Under the EU Provision of Services Act 2009 we are obliged to give you the following information: -

Our V.A.T. registration number is 180 1221 12

Our Professional Indemnity Insurers are Travelers Insurance Company, 61-63 London Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 1NA; valid 1st October 2022 to 30th September 2023.

You can access the professional rules that apply to us, namely the Solicitors Code of Conduct at 

Save for positive consent dealt with us in clause 19 below, unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of the appropriate fees as arranged with the fee earner, these terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to this firm.  Although your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business, it may not be possible for us to start work on your behalf until one copy of them has been signed and returned to us for retention on your file.

18. Data Protection Privacy Notice

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 instruction, data protection law and our duty of confidentiality. 

Please note that our work for you may require us to pass on such information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers, including sometimes advisers appointed by another party to your matter.  We may also give such information to others who perform services for us, such as typing or photocopying.  Our practice may be audited or checked by our accountants or other regulator, or by other organisations.  We do not normally copy such information to anyone outside the European Economic Area, however we may do so when the particular circumstances of your matter so require.  All such third parties are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.

You have a right of access under data protection law to the personal data that we hold about you.  We seek to keep that personal data correct and up to date.  You should let us know if you believe the information we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.  We have appointed the following person as our representative for the purposes of the Data Protection Act:  Keith Hardington.

Terms and Conditions of business

Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of the appropriate fees as arranged with the fee earner, these Terms and Conditions of Business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to this firm.  Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business.

Conditions of Use

1. Acceptance of Terms

This is the website which is owned by Walker Foster Limited, a company whose registered office is at 3 High Street, Skipton, BD23 1AA (“we”, “us”, “our”). For the purposes of these terms and conditions, we refer to the website and database (the “Database”) collectively as the “Website”. Your access to and use of the Website is subject exclusively to these Terms and Conditions. ‘By using the Website you are fully accepting these terms and conditions. If you do not accept these Terms and Conditions you must not use the Website.’ ‘When you use our Website, we will only obtain and process personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy’.

2. Use of the Website

2.1 You will not use the Website for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these Terms and Conditions.

2.2 You shall not use the Website to copy, adopt, reproduce or redistribute the Database or Website in any similar way.

2.3 Unauthorised attempts to upload information or change information on this Website is illegal and strictly prohibited.

2.4 Under licence from iStockphoto or other image providers we may use/have used certain iStockphoto (or other) images on the Website. You agree that you will not use, copy, reproduce or deal in any other way with these images or any part thereof in any manner that may contravene and/or may result in us failing to comply with our obligations under the aforementioned licence. If you are in any doubt as to what you are permitted to do in relation to any image on the Website, please contact us at the address above for clarification.

3. Changes to Website

We reserve the right to:3.1 change or remove (temporarily or permanently) the Website or any part of it without notice and you confirm that we shall not be liable to you for any such change or removal;3.2 change these Terms and Conditions at any time, and your continued use of the Website following any changes shall be deemed to be your acceptance of such changed terms and conditions.

The Website may include links to third party websites that are controlled and maintained by others. Any link to other websites is not an endorsement of such websites or of the owners of such websites and of the goods and/or services offered on such third party websites and we do not accept any responsibility in respect of such. We do not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or content of any information or materials on such third party websites and shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from their use. You acknowledge and agree that we are not responsible for the content or availability of any such sites.

5.1 All copyright, database rights, trademarks and all other intellectual property rights in the Website and its content (including without limitation the Website design, text, graphics and all software and source codes connected with the Website) are owned by us or our licensors.

5.2 In accessing the Website you agree that you will access the content solely for your personal, non-commercial use. None of the content may be downloaded, copied, reproduced, transmitted, stored, sold or distributed without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. This excludes the downloading, copying and/or printing of pages of the Website for personal, non-commercial home use only.

5.3 No permission is given by us for use by any person of any intellectual property in the Website which may constitute an infringement of our intellectual property rights or the rights of any third party.

6. Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability

6.1 Although we have taken reasonable care to ensure that information and materials on the Website are accurate and up to date, we do not give any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of such information and materials contained on the Website. The contents of the Website do not constitute advice and you use the Website at your own risk. You should check thoroughly any details supplied and contact the organisations and people detailed in the Database before relying upon the information and/or incurring any costs and/or entering into any agreement with a third party. We are not responsible for any loss or damage arising from the use of such material and information including, without limitation, for any inaccuracy, misleading statement or representation made by any third party information provided for publication on this Website.

6.2 The Website is provided on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied. Except as expressly set out in these terms and conditions any warranties, term and conditions implied by or otherwise shall be excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

6.3 To the fullest extent permitted by law, we shall not be liable for any loss of profit; loss of business; loss of contract; loss of use; loss of or corruption to data or information; loss or depletion of goodwill or similar losses; or any special, indirect or consequential loss, costs or damage arising out of or in connection with these terms and conditions and/or the Website.

6.4 We give no warranty regarding the functionality of the Website including without limitation that the Website will be available on an uninterrupted or error free basis; that defects will be corrected; or that the Website or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or anything else which may be harmful or destructive and no liability can be accepted in respect of losses or damages arising out of such. We recommend that you take all appropriate safeguards before downloading information or images from the Website.

6.5 Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall be construed so as to exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury caused as a result of negligence or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

7. Indemnity

You agree to indemnify and keep us indemnified from and against all liabilities, legal fees, damages, losses, costs and other expenses in relation to any claims or actions brought against the Website arising out of any breach by you of these Terms and Conditions or other liabilities arising out of your use of this Website

8. Severance

If any of these Terms and Conditions should be determined to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction then such Term or Condition shall be severed and the remaining Terms and Conditions shall survive and remain in full force and effect and continue to be binding and enforceable.

9. Entire Agreement

These Terms and Conditions represent the entire understanding relating to the use of the Website and supersede all other statements, representations or warranties (whether written, made by email or oral) made by us. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall affect the liability of either party in respect of any misrepresentation, warranty or condition that it makes fraudulently. Any rights not expressly granted in these Terms and Conditions are reserved by us.

10. Governing Law

These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and you hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. SRA

Data Protection

Below are details about our Data Protection and Registration along with our Data Protection Number.

This firm complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.  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 advisors.  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 which we think may be of interest to you.  If you do not wish to receive that information please notify our office in writing.

Our Data Protection Number is Z7448986

Indemnity Insurance

We maintain qualifying Professional Indemnity Insurance

In accordance with the requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, we maintain qualifying Professional Indemnity Insurance, details of which can be provided on request.

Equality and Diversity report for 2023

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