Client account interest policy of Gowling WLG (UK) LLP for client monies held in UK client bank accounts
In this part of the Legal Notice, "we", "us" and "our" refer to Gowling WLG (UK) LLP.
a) General Client account
Client monies will ordinarily be held in our general client account as part of a pool of funds covering different clients and matters.
Where funds are held in this way we calculate and pay a sum in lieu of interest as follows:
- on cleared funds held overnight;
- on a daily simple interest basis compounded quarterly;
- subject to a de minimis of £5 at the point that interest is allocated to a matter ledger; and
- at a rate of interest equivalent to the rate paid to us by our principal banker Lloyds on our client call account.
In practical terms a calculation and allocation is made
- across all general funds on matters held at quarter end July, October, Jan and April; and
- on a matter by matter basis as required in the intervening period.
Interest will be paid out as directed by the client which may be at the end of the matter or on an interim basis.
Client monies covered by unpaid client account cheques at the point that the interest calculation is run will be excluded from the principal funds on which the rate of interest is applied.
Funds will normally be available on instant access to facilitate transactions. However, with client agreement, and where appropriate we can place large (>£500,000) deposits on a term deposit or money market and will arrange for all interest earned in this instance to be paid in full to the client. Please refer to our Treasury Team to establish what is possible on behalf of a client.
Interest is paid gross of tax.
b) Non-sterling client bank accounts
We do not receive interest on non-sterling client bank accounts and consequently will not pay any interest on non-sterling client balances. However, where there is a requirement to hold large non-sterling fund balances we can explore, with client agreement, money market options and pay all interest earned on this arrangement to the client.
c) Designated client monies
If client monies are held in a separate designated deposit account all interest earned on that account will be credited to the client in full.
Interest is paid net of tax unless otherwise instructed.
d) Joint accounts
Joint accounts held between Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and another law firm will be held as for designated accounts.
The application of the policy in the case of particular clients may be varied by written agreement, without any obligation to apply such agreement to other clients.
We will ensure that client monies are held with a bank which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
We will keep this policy under review and reserves the right to vary it as market conditions change. Any change will take immediate effect whether or not notified to clients concerned.
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Professional Indemnity Insurance
In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the European Framework Services Directive 2006, and as implemented by local law, Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and its affiliates have the benefit of professional indemnity insurance in excess of the minimum level required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales and, if any, by the bar authority, or equivalent, in every other jurisdiction in which Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and any of its affiliates practices.
Gowling WLG (UK) LLP maintains professional indemnity insurance cover in accordance with the Solicitors' Indemnity Insurance Rules 2013, as set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Minimum mandatory cover is provided by a consortium of Underwriters at Lloyd's, policy number FINPL1700016, arranged by Tindall Riley & Co Limited, trading as Libra Managers, Regis House, 45 King William Street, London EC4R 9AN. Its professional indemnity insurance covers appropriate territories.
We aim to provide a high-quality service to all of our clients at all times and we wish you to be fully satisfied with all aspects of the service we provide to you.
If you have any concerns with our service, the level of our fees, or with the way in which we have dealt with any job, please first contact the person dealing with the matter. If you prefer, you can contact his or her supervising partner by telephone, email or post. Their details will appear on any Gowling WLG (UK) LLP correspondence you have received. You might alternatively contact your client partner.
We treat complaints very seriously and make every effort to deal with them effectively. We will investigate your complaint, and respond fully as soon as possible. Your complaint will be handled by the supervising partner or your client partner.
We aim to acknowledge your complaint within two working days from the date of receipt and send an initial response within 10 working days. Should a substantive response be required, we aim to send this to you within 20 working days. If, for any reason, we are unable to respond fully within 20 days we will tell you why, and when we expect to reply to you in full.
We aim to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible and in any event within eight weeks from the date of receipt.
If we are unable to resolve your difficulty in this way, you will be offered the opportunity of an internal review. This will usually be handled by our General Counsel, Mary Mackintosh, our Chairman, Andrew Witts or our Chief Executive, David Fennell.
If you do not believe that we have responded to your complaint within a reasonable time, or you are not satisfied with the response, you should contact the Legal Ombudsman. The helpline number is 0300 555 0333, and the address is PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. If you are calling from overseas, the contact telephone number is +44 (0)121 245 3050. You can email the Legal Ombudsman at email@example.com.
A six-month time limit, from the date of our final response, normally applies to complaints to the Legal Ombudsman. Usually complaints must be made to the Legal Ombudsman within six years of the date of the reason for the complaint, or within three years of discovery of the reason for the complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman will not accept complaints where the act or date of awareness goes beyond 6 October 2010. Further information can be found on its website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
Please note that the service provided by the Legal Ombudsman is only available to certain types of clients/organisations. Further details of those eligible for the service can be found on the Legal Ombudsman's website. Alternatively, you should contact the Ombudsman on the helpline number given above.
The EU Regulation on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) enables clients who have a complaint about a service that they bought online to submit a complaint to an ODR platform via an online form. Further information can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/.