General Terms of Business


1      Our Aims 3

2      Our Quality Assurance to you. 3

3      Our hours of business 3

4      Conflict of Interest 3

5      People Responsible for your Work. 4

6      Tax Advice. 4

7      Communications 4

8      Your identity and where your money comes from.. 5

9      Audit & Inspection of Files 6

10       Timescales 6

11       Charges and Expenses 6

12       Payment Arrangements and Billing. 7

12.1     Payment Arrangements 7

12.2     Bank Account Details 7

12.3     Property transaction. 8

12.4     Administration of Estates 8

12.5     Funding Arrangements 8

12.6     Legal Expenses and Insurance. 8

12.7     Conditional Fee Agreements 8

12.8     Other parties’ charges and expenses 9

12.9     Limits 9

12.10       Making Regular payments towards your Costs 9

12.11       Payments in advance and interim billing. 9

12.12       Interest on Bills 9

12.13       Arrangements with third parties 10

13       Costs Updates 10

14       VAT. 10

15       Card payments 10

16       Interest payment 10

17       Cleared Funds for use in Transactions 10

18       Outsourcing. 10

19       Lien for Costs 11

20       Storage of papers and documents 11

21       Copyright 11

22       Financial Services 11

23       Data protection. 12

24       Termination. 12

25       Limited Companies 12

26       Helping you and disabled access 13

27       Your Satisfaction. 13

28       Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. 14

29       Professional Indemnity Insurance & Limitation of Liability. 14

30       Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. 14

31       Equality and Diversity. 15

32       Solicitors Handbook. 15

33       Terms and Conditions of Business 15

1         Our Aims

We aim to offer our clients quality legal advice with personal service at a fair cost. As a start, we hope it is helpful to you to set out in this statement the basis on which we will provide our professional services.

Please read these Terms of Business and the Client Care letter carefully before you sign and return the acceptance form. Where there is a conflict between the Client Care letter and these Terms of Business, these Terms of Business prevail.

In these General Terms of Business, the phrases listed below have these particular meanings:

Client Care letter – the letter setting out the terms that apply to the work,

Contract – the terms in this document and your Client Care letter,

Disbursements – Expenses paid on behalf of the client. E.g.: Land or Probate Registry fees, Court fees, Experts fees, Barrister’s fees and so on

Lender – someone, including a bank or building society, who is lending you money,

Undertaking – a formal promise we make to someone else, including another solicitor, in connection with the work, so it can proceed more easily,

We, us, our – Cornish Venning Limited, The Company including all directors and staff and any organisation which may take over from us,

Work – the transaction, case, issue or matter about which you have instructed us, and

You, your – the individual, individuals or organisation named in the appointment letter.

2         Our Quality Assurance to you

We will:-

Represent your interests and keep your business confidential.

Explain to you the legal work, which may be required in the prospects of a successful outcome.

Make sure that you understand the likely degree of financial risk that you will be taking on.

Keep you regularly informed of progress or, if there is none, when you are next likely to hear from us.

Try to avoid using technical language when writing to you.

Deal with your queries promptly, for example, we will always try to return your telephone calls on the same day.

We do not advise over the availability of Public Funding (Legal Aid)

We do not undertake responsibility for advising you on the commercial wisdom of any transaction or other activity in relation to which we act for you.

3         Our hours of business

The normal hours of opening at our offices are between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.   Appointments can be arranged either at our offices or at your home or office. Appointments at other times can be arranged when this is essential.

4         Conflict of Interest

In a law firm, a conflict of interest arises if the firm finds itself under a duty to act in the best interests of two or more different clients in relation to the same case or work and those interests do not coincide, for example, the firm finds itself acting for both the landlord and the tenant in relation to granting a lease. The firm may also find a conflict arises if their own interests conflict with the clients’ which may preclude or stop the firm from acting.

We search our records to make sure there is no conflict of interest. If we discover a conflict we will not be able to accept your instructions or must stop acting for you. If the work involves you paying for something with borrowed money and we are also instructed by your lender, we may have to pass to them information we learn about you that might affect their decision to lend you money. If you do not want us to pass this information to your lender, we may have to stop acting for them or for you or both.

5         People Responsible for your Work

The Director, Solicitor or Executive advising on this matter will be described in your first letter. His or her assistant or secretary may be able to deal with your queries and will be pleased to take any message for you.   We will try to avoid changing the people who handle your work but if this cannot be avoided we will tell you promptly of any change and why it may be necessary.

6         Tax Advice

Unless we have agreed to do so in writing, we do not advise on tax including whether or not there may be tax consequences from any action that may or may not be taken by you following advice we have given, save for:

A advice on Stamp Duty or Stamp Duty Land Tax arising from any acquisition of assets upon which we are specifically instructed to act;

B advice on Inheritance Tax liability, allowances and exemptions in relation to any estate where we are instructed to obtain a grant of representation

If you require advice upon such taxation consequences, we can recommend appropriate accountants or tax consultants to you. There are circumstances where we can advise upon taxation issues but have no obligation so to do unless that advice is specifically requested and we have agreed in writing to provide such advice.

7         Communications

We will keep you regularly informed about the progress of the work, and this will be at least at six monthly intervals. We will communicate with you by letter, fax, e-mail and phone, unless you tell us not to use any of these methods.

We routinely send e-mails unless we have been specifically asked not to do so. However, we cannot guarantee that e-mails will arrive on time or be secure or free from viruses, computer errors or other programming corruption.

Unless you tell us otherwise, you confirm that you accept these risks and you authorise us to send you e-mails. You agree that you are responsible for any e-mails you send. Neither you nor we will have any legal responsibility to each other on any basis for any damage or loss arising from viruses, computer errors or other programming corruption in connection with any e-mails.

E-mails may be read by someone who is not the intended reader, even if addressed correctly by the sender. Unless you have told us not to use email, we take no responsibility for an e-mail sent by us being seen by someone other than its addressee because of circumstances beyond our control. We recommend you take great care if copying e-mails from us to other people, or passing on our advice by any other means. Such disclosure may result in loss of confidentiality or legal privilege and, for example, harm your chances of success in a court case – even if it is not directly the subject of our advice or of any other relevant communication between us.

Please let us know if we should address any correspondence to you in any particular way.

We may rely on instructions and statements given to us by any member of your staff who says they have your authority. If you want us to communicate only with specific people, you must write to us with their names.

You accept responsibility for giving us instructions and information as quickly as possible so that we may provide our services to you.

8         Your identity and where your money comes from

Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 you must give us proof of your identity in a way that meets the Regulations. Your signature to the enclosed confirmation of instructions authorises us to undertake a search which we will process through an online agency if required to do so. You must also provide us with the required documents as shown on the attached list to confirm your identity within 7 days of instructing us. The charge for this additional online check will be payable by you and will be £5.00 (+vat) per individual or business name. We will explain this to you if requested to do so.

At the start of any matter, we will ask you to tell us the source of any funds you will be using. It is easier for us if the source is an account, in your name, in a UK bank or building society. If the source is an unusual one, such as an account in another country, or in the name of someone other than you, please tell us as early as possible. 

Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.

We will not accept cash payments of more than £500 in any 28 day period from you. If you pay us money for us to pass on to someone else (for example the price of something you are buying) we will not accept payments to us that amount to more than is needed to do so and of that total sum the limit of £500.00 in any 28 day period applies for cash remitted to us. This includes any monies remitted to us to cover related costs and expenses.

If you make payments to us, please ensure we receive from you at the same time clear advice of the reason for the payment, together with your file reference number.

If you try to avoid this policy by depositing cash directly into our bank, we may decide to charge you for any additional checks we decide are necessary to prove the source of the funds.

We do not accept liability to you if you suffer any loss or disadvantage because:

  1. a) we have refused to act or stopped acting for you because you have not given us any relevant information, or;
  2. b) we have refused to accept any cash payment or payment of more than is needed; or
  3. c) it is impossible to proceed with any transaction as quickly as you would want or at all because of a supervening requirement arising under the Anti Money Laundering Regulations including, without limitation, any requirement to make a report to the National Crime Agency ‘NCA’ or any body or agency replacing it.

9         Audit & Inspection of Files

We are under a professional obligation to keep your affairs confidential. However, this is subject to certain exceptions. Auditors we have authorised may inspect your papers for quality-control purposes and in connection with our legal duties under the anti-money laundering legislation. Recent legislation relating to money laundering and terrorist financing places us under a duty in certain limited circumstances to disclose information to the ‘National Crime Agency’. If we do make a disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that one has been made, in compliance with our statutory obligations.

We are accredited as part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (“CQS”). This scheme is designed to improve transparency of transactions, raise service levels and provide better communication, and a more efficient process. Within this process includes the review of files following internal procedures.

We are working towards the law firms’ quality assurance standard known as Lexcel. This involves, among other things, having a Lexcel auditor examine files to ensure they are being compiled and maintained in an orderly way. The auditors are bound to client confidentiality but we are of course unable to allow any auditor to see a client’s file if the client objects to this. Unless you notify us to the contrary we will proceed on the basis that you do not object to file inspection by the auditors.

We may also need to reveal information about you to:

Our insurers;

Our legal advisers;

Our External Auditors,


Legal authorities; and

Tax authorities.

We have a duty to make disclosures to mortgagees in transactions where we are acting for you and the transaction involves a mortgage.

We may tell other clients and potential clients about services we provide to you to give them an idea of the sort of services we provide and our experience and expertise in doing so. We will not disclose your identity in so doing.

10      Timescales

If you require the work or transaction to be completed within a set timescale you should make us aware of this at the outset.  We will discuss your requirements with you and our ability to meet them.  It may not always be possible or practicable to complete work within set timeframes but we will endeavour to meet your requirements. 

We will discuss with you and provide you with a likely timescale but this is for forward planning and estimating purposes only.  We will keep you informed if it becomes apparent that an estimated timescale will be exceeded.

11      Charges and Expenses

Our time is recorded and charged in units of six minutes.  Our charges will be calculated by reference to the time actually spent by your advisor in respect of the work they do on your behalf.  This will include attending on you and others, reading and working on papers, correspondence, preparation, telephone calls and, if necessary, time spent travelling away from the office.   

The minimum charge for a letter or telephone call will be one unit; letters are charged at one unit per page and telephone calls are charged according to the time spent. 

For example if the charging rate is £150 per hour plus VAT, a one page letter will be £15 plus VAT, and a two page letter will be £30 plus VAT.  A two minute telephone call will be £15 plus VAT and a 12 minute telephone call will be £30 plus VAT.  All other work will be charged at the full hourly rate, for example if documents are enclosed with a letter received, the time spent considering those documents will be charged at the normal hourly rate.

The current hourly rates are advised within individual client care letters. We will add VAT to these at the rate that applies when the work is done.          

These hourly rates have to be reviewed periodically to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation. Normally the rates are reviewed with effect from the 1st January each year. If a review is carried out before this matter has been concluded, we will inform you of any variation in the rate before it takes effect.

In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of other factors including any need to carry out work outside our normal office hours, the complexity of the issues, the speed at which the action has to be taken, any particular specialist expertise when the case may demand. In particular, in property transactions, in the administration of estates and the matters involving substantial financial value or benefit to our client, a charge reflecting, for example the price of a property, the size of the estate, or the value of the financial benefit may be considered. It is not always possible to indicate how these aspects may arise but on present information we would expect them to be sufficiently taken into account in the rates which we have quoted. Where a charge reflecting any value element is to be added we will explain this to you.

If a direct same day Bank Transfer of cleared funds also known as a CHAPS payment is required in your transactions it will be charged to you at £25.00 (+vat) per transfer.

Solicitors have to pay out various other expenses on behalf of clients ranging from Land or Probate Registry fees, Court fees, Experts fees, and Barrister’s fees and so on. We have no obligation to make such payments unless you have provided us with funds for that purpose. VAT is payable on certain expenses. We refer to such payments generally as “disbursements”.

If for any reason, this matter does not proceed to completion, we will be entitled to charge you for work done and expenses incurred.

12      Payment Arrangements and Billing

12.1      Payment Arrangements

You will be responsible for our charges and for expenses we pay on your behalf, whether or not the transaction or work comes to an end. You are legally responsible for our charges and expenses, whether or not someone else has agreed to pay them or are liable for them. Your liability to us for fees and expenses may be more than those we can recover from someone else. The client care letter sets out in detail the charging arrangements for your work.

12.2      Bank Account Details

We will not rely upon any emails containing bank account details which we receive and which purport to have been sent by you, in light of recent fraudster activity in which emails have been intercepted and bank account details changed to those of the fraudsters before the email is then sent on to its intended recipient.

PLEASE NOTE that you should not rely on any bank details sent to you by email, even if they appear to come from this firm.  That information is set out in our initial letter to you.  It is your responsibility to check with us that you are using the correct information for any payments to be made to us in order to avoid any misunderstandings, delays or fraud. 

Please also note we will not be held responsible for any liability arising out of funds being sent by any party to an incorrect account

12.3      Property transaction

We will normally send you our bill following the exchange of contracts and payment is required on a purchase prior to completion; and at completion, on a sale. If sufficient funds are available on completion, and we have sent you a bill, we will deduct our charges and expenses from the funds.   Interest on outstanding Bills will be charged on a daily basis at 8% per annum, that being the court rate which may vary from time to time from the date of the bill in cases where payment is not made within 14 days of delivery by us of the bill.

12.4      Administration of Estates

We will normally submit an interim bill at regular stages during the administration, starting with the obtaining of a Grant. The final account would be prepared when the Estate Accounts are ready for approval. By accepting these terms, you authorise us to use funds we hold for you in relation to this work to pay bills we have delivered to you on this or any other work in the estates name.

12.5      Funding Arrangements

In appropriate cases, we will discuss with you how and when any costs are to be met, and consider:-

  • whether your liability for your own costs may be covered by insurance;
  • whether your liability for another party’s costs may be covered by pre-purchased insurance and, if not, whether it would be advisable for your liability for another party’s costs to be covered by after the event insurance (including in every case where a conditional fee or contingency fee arrangement is proposed); and
  • whether the your liability for costs (including the costs of another party) may be paid by another person e.g. an employer or trade union.

12.6      Legal Expenses and Insurance

You may or may not know whether you have legal expenses insurance. This is often included within your house or car insurance policy. We recommend that you check whether you have this cover, or a separate legal expenses insurance policy in its own right. Such policies may cover all or part of your legal costs, and you should let us know immediately if you are covered.

In certain circumstances even if you do not have such insurance it may be possible to take out “after the Event” insurance to cover your legal costs. This is something which we would be happy to discuss with you.

Even though you may be entitled to Public Funding there may be particular advantages in funding your matter by legal expenses insurance rather than Public Funding. You may avoid the potential effect of the statutory charge or contributions from income or capital.

12.7      Conditional Fee Agreements

We may also undertake Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) for Personal Injury cases. Further details will be provided to you if this is appropriate to your case.

12.8      Other parties’ charges and expenses

It is important to note that clients are ultimately responsible for paying our costs, charges and expenses.  In some cases the Court may order the opponent to pay some or all of our costs.   If the opponent is unable or fails to pay, the client remains liable for these costs.  If the Court orders the opponent to pay a contribution of our costs, you, the client, will remain liable to pay the remainder. A client will also be responsible for paying our charges and expenses if enforcement action of such a costs order is required.  If the other party is legally aided it is unlikely to be possible to recover any costs that they are ordered to pay.

A client who is unsuccessful in a Court case may be ordered to pay the other parties legal charges and expenses; that money would be payable in addition to our charges and expenses. If a costs order is made against a Legally Aided client it will be the client’s responsibility to pay the costs order personally.  The ‘Legal Aid Agency’ will only pay such costs in very limited circumstances and clients should not assume that because they are publicly funded they will not be personally liable.

12.9      Limits

It is possible for you to set an upper limit on our fees and we will then agree with you in writing the amount of work we will undertake in accordance with that upper limit. We will also set out the limitations and consequences of you setting a limit on our fees.

However, you cannot set an upper limit on your opponent’s fees and disbursements which ultimately you may have to pay in these proceedings.

12.10   Making Regular payments towards your Costs

It is normal practice to ask clients to pay sums of money from time to time on account of the charges and expenses which are expected in the following weeks or months.   If such requests are not met with prompt payments, delay in the progress of a case may result. In the unlikely event of any bill or request for payment not being met, this firm must reserve the right to stop acting for you further.

We find that this helps clients in budgeting for costs as well as keeping them informed of the legal expenses which are being incurred. If you would like to set up a standing order from your Bank account, kindly request details from the person dealing with your work

12.11   Payments in advance and interim billing

We sometimes need payments in advance for fees and expenses we will incur on your behalf. We may use these payments to pay interim and final bills for fees and expenses.

If we send you an interim bill before our work is finished, this will be an interim bill ‘on account’. This is not our final bill for the work covered by it, so we will send other bills later; unless the bill says it is a final bill for that work. We reserve the right to render interim bills if the value of the work we do for you exceeds an agreed level and/or at monthly or less frequent intervals.

By accepting these terms, you authorise us to use funds we hold for you in relation to this work to pay bills we have delivered to you on this or any other work.

12.12   Interest on Bills

Payment is due to us within 14 days of our sending you a bill. Thereafter interest will be charged on a daily basis at 8% per annum, that being the court rate which may vary from time to time from the date of the bill in cases where payment is not made within 14 days of delivery by us of the bill.

12.13   Arrangements with third parties

Where there are any arrangements between this firm and a third party introducer, funder or fee sharer which may affect the conduct of your matter, we will disclose these arrangements to you in advance.

13      Costs Updates

Unless the Client Care letter shows a fixed fee, it will contain an estimate of the fees and expenses. Estimates are not fixed prices and can change.

We will regularly review costs and estimates in line with the client care letter, and we will tell you about any changes. If it appears that an estimate or agreed upper limit may or will be exceeded, we will advise you of this. As a minimum, we will advise you of your costs to date at periods not exceeding six months from the date of the file being opened and then no more than six months after the time of the previous advice, on an ongoing basis. We will send you our bills at the times set out in the client care letter, and at the time of a review of costs to that date.

If the work includes buying or selling an asset and enough funds are available at that stage, we will usually take our costs when the asset is transferred.

14      VAT

We add Value Added Tax to our charges and to expenses (if it applies) at the current rate. You must pay the VAT even if you have arranged for someone else to pay our bill.

15      Card payments

We accept payments by Chip & Pin and these can be made in person at our offices or via the telephone. For more information on this type of payment, please contact the person dealing with your work.

16      Interest payment

Any money received on your behalf will be held in our client account. Subject to certain minimum amounts and periods of time set out our Interest Payment Policy (see below) interest will be calculated and paid to you at the rate from time to time payable by our clearing Bank. Under our interest policy, where calculated interest exceeds £20.00 it will usually be paid to you at the conclusion of your matter without deduction of tax. It is your obligation to account for any taxation payable on such interest.. Please see our “Interest Payment Policy” on our website for full details; a copy of this Policy is also available upon request.

17      Cleared Funds for use in Transactions

Where a client obtains borrowing from a lender in a property transaction, we will ask the lender to arrange that the loan cheque is received by us a minimum of 4 working days prior to completion date. If the money can be telegraphed we will request that we receive it the day before completion. This will enable us to ensure that the necessary funds are available in time for completion. Such clients need to be aware that the lender may charge interest from the date of issue of their loan cheque or the telegraph of the payment.

18      Outsourcing

Occasionally it may be more economical for us to engage agents to carry out certain limited work (eg: attendance at distant Court hearings) than to carry out this work ourselves. In such cases we will do our best to ensure confidentiality. If you object to this practice please let us know.

We use a case- and practice-management system known as Osprey which is cloud-based and accordingly information about your matter will be held by that Company in their (UK-based) data centres. We hold an agreement with Osprey which requires their observance of client confidentiality.

19      Lien for Costs

After completion of any work we do for you, we are entitled to keep all of your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.

20      Storage of papers and documents

We will keep your file of papers for you in storage for not less than six years. After that, storage is on the clear understanding that we will destroy it after such period as we consider reasonable or to make a charge for storage if we ask you to collect your papers and you fail to do so.

In confirming your acceptance of our Terms of Business by signing the acceptance sheet contained within our Client Care letter you also confirm that you consent to our destroying your papers as described above. If you do not wish to consent to us destroying your file and papers you should advise us in writing of this requirement at the earliest opportunity.

Deeds, Wills & other Documents – We will not of course destroy important documents such as Wills, Deeds and other securities held in secure storage which you ask us to hold in safe custody without the prior consent of the owner.

Charges for Storage – No charges will be made to you for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given to you of a charge to be made from a future date which may be specified in that notice. We reserve the right to make a charge::

  1. For retrieval of Documents from safekeeping.
  2. If you require copies of or advice concerning Documents we are holding,

21      Copyright

The firm retains its entire copyright and all other rights in all documents provided by us to you. You are granted a non-exclusive licence to use such documents for the matter for which they are provided but not otherwise. To enable us to give the best possible advice to you and all our clients, we maintain an internal know-how system. You agree that we may retain (electronically or otherwise) originals and copies of documents produced or collated by or for us or you in connection with your instructions. We take reasonable steps to ensure that the system is secure, that such documents are anonymised where this is practicable in context and that our overriding duty of confidentiality to you is observed.

22      Financial Services

Incidental Investment Business – We are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but we are able, in certain circumstances, to offer a limited range of investment services to clients because we are members of the Law Society. We can provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide.

If you have any problem with the service we have provided for you then please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly and operate an internal complaints handling system to help us to resolve the problem between ourselves. If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, then we are regulated by the Law Society which also provides a complaints and redress scheme.

Insurance Distribution – This firm is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly the advising in, 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 (“SRA”) and the Legal Ombudsman. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at

The Law Society of England and Wales is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints handling arm of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If you are unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of those bodies.

23      Data protection

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, our duty of confidentiality and from 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulations. Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. You have a right to access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you.

We may retain your information, including personal data, after your contract with us has concluded.We will require third party data processors to put in place suitable measures to protect your personal data.

By providing your data (or the data of others) you give consent to the transfer, storing or processing of data provided to or held by us (or you confirm you have obtained necessary consents from individuals concerned).

For more information please see our form of Privacy Notice (attached, which forms part of these Terms of Business)

24      Termination

You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time, but we can keep all your papers and documents while there is still money owed to us for fees and expenses, including work which is unbilled at the time of termination but billed promptly thereafter.

We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, eg: if you do not pay an interim bill or there is a conflict of interest. We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you.

If you decide that we should stop acting for you, you will pay our charges up until that point. These are calculated on either an hourly basis plus expenses or by proportion of the agreed fee as set out in these terms and conditions and referred to in any client care letters..

25      Limited Companies

When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a Limited Company, we may require a Director and/or controlling shareholder to sign a form of personal guarantee in respect of the charges and expenses of this firm. If such a request is refused, we will be entitled to stop acting and to require an immediate payment of our charges on an hourly basis and expenses set out earlier.

26      Helping you and disabled access

If you have a disability that you think might have a bearing on the way we communicate with you,

(ie: you have visual impairment or your hearing is not as sharp as it once was) then please let us know so that the type face to our letters can be increased and meetings can be conducted in a way that we both find easier.

For those who have a disability which affects their movement, our Penzance office has a dedicated disabled parking space next to the entrance to Reception. It also has ground floor meeting rooms, and a wheelchair accessible toilet.

If it is more convenient for you, we are able to visit you at your home or office, or our Penzance office by prior arrangement, regardless of which of our offices you are dealing with. If we need to see you at your home or office   due to you having a disability which prevents you visiting us at our offices, then no charge will be made for the time taken in travelling to you, although travelling expenses and appointment time will still be chargeable to you.

27       Your Satisfaction

We are confident we will give you a quality service in all respects. However, if you have any queries or concerns about our work for you, please take them up first with your legal adviser. If that does not resolve the matter to your satisfaction or you would prefer not to speak to your legal adviser, then please take it up with David Lush who is the Quality Assurance Director

We will make every effort to resolve problems that clients may have with the service provided. It is therefore important that you immediately raise your concerns with us. We value you and would not wish to think you have any reason to be unhappy with us.

One very important point you need to understand is that due to pressure of work at certain times it will not be possible to respond to all telephone calls, but please do not think that because you cannot get through on the telephone that nothing is happening with your matter.

It is a fact of life today that rudeness and aggression towards staff does exist, but we cannot allow our staff to be subjected to it. If you have a complaint, please contact The Quality Assurance Director.

Cornish Venning Ltd is committed to high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received, or about the bill, please contact the Quality Assurance Director, Cornish Venning Ltd, Unit N, Questmap Business Park, Longrock, Penzance, TR20 8AS. Or by telephone on 01736 362362 or email:

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint at the end of our complaint process, you can ask the Legal Ombudsman of P O Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ – Tel: 0300 555 0333 – email: to consider the complaint. If it becomes necessary to contact the Legal Ombudsman about your complaint, you must do so within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint or within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurred (or if outside this period, within 3 years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it). Referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman is however not available if you are a business, a charity and/or a club with a turnover in excess of £1 million.

If your complaint relates to a Bill we have sent you, there may also be a right to object to the Bill by applying to the Court for an assessment of the Bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If you should use this alternative, you will not be able to have any complaint about your Bill dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman.

28      Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013

If our instructions to act arose from a meeting (or other communication) that occurred with a representative of our firm who was not then at our office, it would be an “off-premises” contract; and as such you would have the right to cancel your instructions to this firm (by letter, fax or email) within 14 days of the day after the date that you contacted/instructed this firm. If you cancel the contract within that 14 day period, but in the meantime you instruct us to carry out an item of work, and we carry it out, you would be liable to pay our reasonable costs for that work. Also, if you authorise us to commence work and thereafter give notice of cancellation, by which time we have completed the matter, again you would be liable to pay our reasonable costs for that work. However, subject to this point, if you exercise your cancellation right, you would not be charged for our services.

If we have been instructed to act for you otherwise that an described above, this would be an “on-premises” contract, with no right of cancellation; although you would be entitled to terminate our retainer (as mentioned elsewhere in this document).

29      Professional Indemnity Insurance & Limitation of Liability

You acknowledge and agree that:

  1. If you wish to make a claim relating to or in connection with the services provided by us, the claim can only be brought against Cornish Venning Limited and not against the individual members, officers or employees. We believe that this is reasonable as it corresponds to modern business practice and Cornish Venning has in place indemnity insurance of the minimum cover required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Details of insurers are available at our Penzance office during normal business hours.
  2. ‘Claim’ means any claim whether arising out of this agreement or otherwise, and whether such a claim is made in contract, tort, on the grounds of breach of trust, or on any other basis.
  3. Our maximum liability for loss or damage, breach of contract, breach of trust, negligence or otherwise (with the exception of fraud) is £3 million for any one transaction/matter or series of connected transactions/matters, unless a higher amount is stated in the letter that accompanies these terms and conditions.
  4. We will not be liable for any loss, damage, costs or expenses of an indirect or consequential, special or exemplary nature, including without limitation any economic loss or other loss of turnover, profits, opportunities, business or goodwill.
  5. If you make a claim under the “Financial Services Compensation Scheme” (“FSCS”) in respect of client money held by us on your behalf, we will, subject to your consent, give certain client information to the FSCS to help them identify clients and any amounts to which they are entitled.
  6. We limit our liability as far as the law permits. We cannot limit our liability where, because of our negligence, we cause death or personal injury to occur.

30      Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

Unless the right of enforcement is expressly granted, it is not intended that a third party should have the right to enforce a provision of these General Terms of Business under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. The parties to these General Terms of Business may rescind or vary them without the consent of a third party to whom an express right to enforce any of the General Terms of Business may have been provided.

31      Equality and Diversity

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

32      Solicitors Handbook

The Solicitors Handbook is published by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and is available on their website

33      Terms and Conditions of Business

Unless otherwise agreed, these terms and conditions of business shall apply to any future instructions given by you to this firm, subject to any change in our hourly rates. Although your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of the terms and conditions of business, we would like you to complete and return to us for our file a copy of the confirmation of instructions sheet enclosed.

Any dispute or legal issue arising from our terms of business will be determined by the law of England and Wales, and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.


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, 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 our regulator, or by other organisations. We do not normally copy such information to anyone outside the European Economic Area, however we may do so however 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.

Data Protection in Respect of Money Laundering Checks

We may receive personal data from you for the purposes of our money laundering checks, such as a copy of your passport. These will be processed only for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, or as otherwise permitted by law or with your express consent.

You consent to us retaining such data for longer than the five year statutory period, unless you tell us otherwise.

Data Protection – Your Obligations

If you send us personal data about anyone other than yourself you will ensure you have any appropriate consents and notices in place to enable you to transfer that personal data to us, and so that we may use it for the purposes for which you provide it to us.

Keeping You Informed

We may from time to time send you information which we think might be of interest to you (for example about legal developments or our other services. If you do not wish to receive that information please notify us, preferably in writing.