Herbots comprises two separate corporate entities – Herbots Solicitors and Herbots Limited. Herbots solicitors is regulated by the Law Society of Ireland – i.e. the regulator body for solicitors in the Republic of Ireland. It regulates solicitors as detailed in the Solicitors Act 1954 to 2011 and in the regulations made under those acts.
Herbots Limited is not regulated by the Law Society of Ireland, but is subjected to the provisions under the Companies Act 2014 (as amended) and the regulations made thereunder. Any litigation before an Irish Court will be covered by Herbots Solicitors, and any other work or services will be carried out by Herbots Limited, unless if such services are regulated under the Solicitors Act 1954 to 2011.
Both Herbots Solicitors and Herbots Limited, hereinafter Herbots (unless otherwise stated) is dedicated to carry out the work on your case or transaction with skill and care and in line with the highest professional standards. It is in our ethos to ensure that we always act with our clients’ complete confidence. We believe that clients are most satisfied and best served when communications are clear and straightforward.
We have developed these terms and conditions to ensure that our clients clearly understand the terms that govern our relationship, right from the beginning. We value your attention to this document. Please take the time to ensure you agree with everything you find here, and indicate your agreement by signing and dating the last page. We will answer any questions you may have.
Herbots will use all reasonable endeavours to carry out your instructions. When you engage us to act on your behalf, you agree to give us clear and accurate instructions from the beginning, and at every new stage and development in your case.
Certification of Identity
We are obliged to obtain and verify the identity of our clients. Please present us with your passport and two utility bills (originals, not copies) which we use to identify you and to make a certified copy. Statutes oblige us to keep certified copies of our clients’ identification on record for five years following the termination of our contract with you.
Conflict of Interest
We have taken steps to minimise the potential for conflict of interest among our clients. Should an actual or potential conflict arise between your interests and those of another client, we will discuss the issue with you to determine the appropriate course of action. To ensure conflicts of interest do not arise, we encourage you to fully disclose your interests to us.
In the provision of our services, we collect personal information from you, such as your name, contact information and banking details (your “data”). The appropriate treatment of this data is integral to the success of our business and maintaining your trust. We protect and hold your data in compliance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 – 2003 (as amended).
Electronic Storage and Transmission of Data
We use Microsoft secure systems for the storage and transmission of data, information, and communications. Your data is stored on our cloud-based systems, at a data centre based in Ireland or The Netherlands. We use systems created specifically for law firms. They are based on Microsoft SharePoint, which is integrated with Microsoft Office 365. To be specific, we use:
(a) Epona document management system; and (b) Epona client relationship management.
Encryption of Email
Unless we receive specific instructions from you, we will use ordinary e-mail to communicate with you and to send you documents. You accept that ordinary email is not completely secure. We can set up enhanced secure, encrypted transmission channels. However, this will come at additional cost to you for the extra administration and delivery time on an ongoing basis.
Use of Your Name in Advertising
We occasionally advertise the names of our clients and use their official logo in our marketing materials and on our website. If you do not wish your name to be used this way, you must explicitly inform us you do not agree to use your name or corporate identity in this manner.
Legal Professional Privilege
Communications between clients and their solicitors may, in certain circumstances, be protected from disclosure. This privilege can be lost if clients do not themselves guard this information closely. To avoid complications, we advise you to treat all communications with us as confidential and to avoid circulating them more widely than necessary.
Despite the solicitor/client privilege, the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 and 2013 oblige us to report transactions that represent the proceeds of criminal conduct to the Revenue Commissioners and the Garda Síochána. The legislation defines the proceeds of criminal conduct not only as the proceeds of drug dealing, racketeering, and terrorism but also of tax evasion, social welfare fraud and other criminality. Concealing or disguising the true nature such assets is a criminal offence, attracting a penalty of a fine, and/or imprisonment.
The laws governing our relationship with you shall be the laws of Ireland.
No Tax or Insurance Advice
We do not advise clients on any tax or insurance implications arising out of any transactions. We strongly recommend that you take specialist advice on any tax and insurance matters.
Limitation of Liability
Our liability (and that of our present or former partners and employees) to you arising out of, or in connection with, our engagement (whether for breach of contract or of statutory duty, negligence, or otherwise) will be limited to the amount actually paid out, if any, under our professional liability insurance policy in the matter concerned, excluding the amount of the deductible applicable to this insurance coverage.
Herbots Solicitors v Herbots Limited
Herbots Limited will act for clients in non-contentious matters and can commit to fixed fees for services (e.g., assessment of facts, contract review and drafting, tender submission, etc.).
Herbots Solicitors will act for clients in litigation and charge hourly rate litigation fees as explained in the next paragraph.
Legal fees are payable regardless of the outcome of your case.
You will receive monthly invoices from us, billing you for service at an hourly rate, which we review in December each year. At the time of signing, our hourly rates are:
Legal Executive: €100
Litigation Fee Estimates
We may provide an estimate of our fees. Actual fees invoiced may be higher or lower than originally estimated. We will make every reasonable effort to inform you in advance if fees begin to exceed our estimate.
Additional Expenses and Third Party Costs
It is to be expected that we will incur additional expenses on your behalf. Such expenses include filing fees, court fees, and third party costs such as expert witnesses and translators. Should we have to meet you outside the office, we will charge you for the time spent getting to and from this meeting, and charge a rate of €0.80 per kilometre for transport costs.
Recovery of Litigation Costs
Costs are classified as:
(a) ‘party/party’ costs – i.e. the costs of progressing the case, dealing with the Judge/Arbitrator and the opposing legal team during the case; and
(b) ’solicitors/client’ costs – i.e. our fees, additional expenses and third party costs.
Usually, the successful party will obtain an order for costs against the other party. Such an award for costs only includes the ‘party/party’ costs. You are still responsible for the payment of ‘solicitor/client’ costs, which are not covered by the other party.
If litigation results in your favour, you will recover some (not all) of your legal costs. If parties cannot agree on an amount, the costs will be measured by the Cost Adjudicator.
If litigation does not result in your favour, you are liable to pay your legal costs (e.g. our Fees, barrister’s fees, expert witness fees, translators costs, legal cost accountant’s fees), and you are likely to be directed by the Court to also pay the successful party’s legal costs as measured by the Cost Adjudicator.
Payment and Overdue Accounts
Unless otherwise agreed, payment is due within thirty (30) days of invoice.
If late payment occurs, we may suspend work and charge interest at the base rate of the European Central Bank plus 7% starting from billing and compounded monthly on the last day of each month. Any queries you may have regarding our invoice shall be raised within 14 days from the day of issue, failing which you will be deemed to have accepted said invoice. If we are holding money on your behalf, we may use that (and any accrued interest) in payment or part payment of your invoices. We reserve the right to exercise a lien over any money, papers or other property belonging to you until payment of all outstanding costs.
Payment on Herbots Solicitors’ client account
Herbots Solicitors will hold money it receives on your behalf strictly in line with the Solicitors’ Accounts Regulations. By asking us to handle your legal case, you agree that we may hold any money you give us, or which we receive on your behalf, in Bank of Ireland, which is a bank approved by the Central Bank. We will just hold your money. We do not have any additional responsibilities around the protection or invest of your money. You also agree that we are not legally responsible for a loss or reduction in the value of the money because the bank at which the money is held becomes insolvent and does not have the money to pay back the full amount.
By asking us to handle your case or transaction, you agree that if we have given a professional promise or undertaking on your behalf, which, because of the insolvency of the bank at which we had placed the money, we cannot carry out, you will refund us in full any loss we suffer if we are forced to carry out our promise at our own expense. You also agree that we are not legally responsible for a loss or reduction in the value of the money if the government were to legislate, empowering it to take part of deposits funds.
Except for documents and files for which separate safekeeping guidelines apply, we will, after our final invoice has been issued, allow you to collect your files within six (6) months, failing which we will shred the hard copy. We will keep a soft copy of same in cloud storage for a further six (6) years (starting from the sending date of the last invoice), after which we may destroy the soft file with no further notification. If you have instructed us to retain files, papers, deeds or similar items in safe custody, then we reserve the right to make charges for that storage, and we will retain those documents subject to the terms provided to you from time to time.
In the unfortunate event of any controversy, claim or dispute arising between us out of or in connection with our engagement, either party may refer the dispute to arbitration. The place of arbitration shall be Dublin and the language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English. The arbitration shall be carried out by a single arbitrator appointed by agreement between us. Failing agreement between us within fourteen days of the referral to arbitration, the arbitrator shall be appointed by the President for the time being of the Law Society of Ireland, on application by either of us.