Terms and Conditions - Complaints
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General Terms and Conditions
Getting to know each other
1. These general terms and conditions apply to all third parties engaging with, or making use of, the services of a member company of Sydney Charles Group. In due course all or part of these general terms and conditions may be varied or superseded by the terms and conditions contained in a specific agreement or contract entered into between us.
2. When you first approach us for advice and guidance on our services, we are pleased initially to respond on a 'no charge' basis for providing you with details of the services you requested or may need. Thereafter, if further detailed information is requested, we may ask you to underwrite a time charge for providing such additional information.
3. Once it is agreed we are to provide you with a defined range of services, you agree to underwrite the amount of our future fees and expenses which may at any time fail to be paid for any reason.
4. We will provide you with the services specified in an agreement or contract or as otherwise agreed between us. We will at all times endeavour to let you know in advance the services that we are providing to you and, in respect of which we expect to be paid. Either of us may request a change to the scope of these services which will take effect only when agreed in writing between us.
5. If when we are in a position to deliver to you the product of any services, you have decided that you no longer wish to receive it and you have failed to let us know, then we expect you to pay us for the time spent and costs incurred up to the time when you do inform us that you do not wish to receive it.
6. In providing the services, we may need to rely on information that you provide to us. You agree to provide on a timely basis all information reasonably required to enable us to provide the services and you will make sure that all such information is accurate, complete and not misleading.
7. The services we provide are for your benefit alone and you agree that they will not be used or relied upon by third parties without our written consent. Also, we will not be prevented by virtue of our relationship with you from providing similar services to any other clients.
8. Our fees (including third-party expenses we incur in serving your needs) will be calculated and invoiced as set out in the applicable agreement or contract.. You agree to settle our fees in accordance with our payment terms.
9. We will review our fees periodically with you. The procedure and timing for such reviews will be set out in the specific agreement or contract entered into between us.
10. Should our appointment be terminated in accordance with the provisions set out in any agreement or contract for services, you agree to pay our outstanding fees and expenses including those not yet billed. We will be entitled to exercise a lien over any property of yours held by us until such time as all outstanding fees and expenses have been settled.
11. Money laundering legislation and our internal procedures require us to verify the identity of clients and to conduct other background checks, for example as to the source of monies used to finance certain transactions.
Confidentiality, disclosure and publicity
12. We realise we owe you a duty of care in respect of confidential information relating to you which we obtain during the course of working with you. We will not disclose this information to anyone without your consent except in connection with statutory or regulatory obligations (including those relating to money laundering legislation) or in accordance with our own internal procedures which we have put in place to meet those statutory or legal obligations. We expect you to reciprocate in respect of our confidential data, and to keep information regarding our fees, staff and documentation confidential.
13. We have procedures in place to prevent money laundering. If we know or suspect that a transaction involves money laundering we may make a notification to the relevant agency and we may be precluded from informing you about this.
14. In relation to any personal data which you provide to us, we will comply with all relevant data protection and privacy laws and regulations.
15. We may disclose that you are a client of ours and describe in general terms the work that we do for you unless you tell us not to do so. Similarly you may disclose that we act for you and describe in general terms the work that we do for you unless we ask you not to do so.
17. We may communicate with you via email unless you tell us not to do so. Email and any attachments sent by us to you (whether or not containing confidential information) will not be encrypted. We try to eliminate viruses and similar risks from outgoing electronic communications but you agree that you need to protect your own computer systems and networks from viruses and similar risks and dangers.
18. For reasons of security, we will not accept material instructions from you via email, and we will only accept instructions from you via facsimile if beforehand you have provided us with a suitable indemnity.
Resolving problems and disputes
19. If you have any complaints or concerns about our work, please raise them in the first instance with your direct contact of the company providing you with the service. Details are given in the People section on our website. We will investigate your complaint promptly and carefully and do what we reasonably can to resolve the difficulties in accordance with our complaints handling procedures.
20. If you are still unhappy, please write to Philip Lepp, Group Chairman and Managing Director of Sydney Charles Group, at our Guernsey office address, who will personally investigate your complaint or concern and the handling of it. If the matter remains unresolved after that, we will seek to resolve the matter through mediation.
21. If you are still dissatisfied then you may be entitled to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service at:
The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR
Tel 0207 964 1000 E-mail: [email protected]
22. For clients who have business placed through our Lloyds Coverholder you can address your matter directly to the LLoyds complaints team at the following details:
23. You agree that we will not be liable to you if we are unable to perform the services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control including but not limited to fire, flooding, acts of God, war, terrorism, riots, strikes, industrial disputes, and actions of any governmental or supranational authority.
24. In the event of any inconsistency between a specific agreement or contract to provide you with services, and these General Terms and Conditions, the specific agreement or contract will prevail.