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Interest Policy

Payment of Interest on Client Account

1.    In accepting your instructions, we may need to hold your money in our client account.

2.    Money held on behalf of clients:

2.1         must be immediately available unless clear instructions are provided to the contrary.

2.2         must be kept safe and available for the purpose for which it is provided.

2.3         must be kept separate from funds belonging to the Practice.

3.    We operate an instant access account with HSBC to fulfil the above. This is the ‘Client Account’ and holds pooled money belonging to different clients and matters.

4.    We also operate individual accounts (‘Designated Deposit Accounts’) which are set up specifically for individual clients or matters, containing only funds belonging to those clients or matters and which include a reference to your identity in their names. These are set up where we receive specific instructions from you requesting this or if there is a legal or contractual obligation to do so.

5.    Client money will ordinarily be held in the Client Account.

Client Account Interest

6.    Rule 7 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules 2019 require that:

6.1    We account to clients of third parties for a fair sum of interest on any client money held by us on their behalf.

6.2    We may by a written agreement come to a different arrangement with the client or the third party for whom the money is held as to the payment of interest, but we must provide sufficient information to enable them to give informed consent.

It is our policy to account to clients for interest on a fair and reasonable basis for both the client and the firm.

6.3     We will not account to you for any interest in the following situations:

  • if the amount calculated is £75 or less as below that sum we consider that the administrative costs of dealing with the funds would exceed the interest due
  • on money held for the payment of a professional disbursement
  • on an advance from us into our general client account to fund a payment on your behalf in excess of funds already held for you in that account
  • if we have an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy.

7.    We will usually pay interest in the following circumstances:

7.1         Where we are, or are acting for, the personal representatives of a deceased estate and where we collect in assets belonging to the deceased prior to distribution to the beneficiaries.

7.2         Where we are, or are acting for, the trustees of any express trust.

7.3         Where we or a partner/member of staff are an attorney under a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, or registered Enduring Power of Attorney, or a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection, or an Appointee appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions

7.4         Where we have specifically agreed in writing that we will do so.

8.    In respect of 7.1 – 7.4 above the rate of interest that we will pay is unlikely to be as high as the rate which you may be able to obtain when depositing the money that we hold on your behalf yourself.

9.    The present interest rate in respect of balances to which 7.1 – 7.4 applies is subject to revision at any time but at least annually in April. The rate currently applicable (from 1st April 2024) is 1.20%.

10.    Interest will be calculated from the time funds become cleared for interest purposes:

10.1         Cheques or bankers’ drafts: four days after the cheque or bankers draft has been deposited with our bank

10.2         Electronic payments: the date of receipt

10.3         Debit/Credit card payments: the date of receipt of funds (usually up to 5 days following authorisation)

11.    Interest may be calculated at any time – usually towards the conclusion of a matter – and will be added to the Client Account.

12.    All interest paid under this policy is paid gross. It is your responsibility to notify HMRC of any interest received and to calculate and make payment of any tax due as a result. We will not notify HMRC or pay any tax due on your behalf unless we have formal instructions to do so and have agreed this with you in writing.

13.    It may be that the cost of dealing with the interest payable outweighs the sum due. If you do not wish to receive interest, then you may opt-out by informing this firm’s Compliance Office for Finance and Administration in writing and noting your matter reference number:

COFA
Rubin Lewis O’Brien
Gwent House
Gwent Square
Cwmbran NP44 1PL

14.    This policy was last reviewed in April 2024 and takes effect from 1st April 2024.

Direct lawyer contact

All clients are assigned a fully-qualified lawyer who is your main point of contact.

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No hidden costs

All fees are communicated upfront. We seek approval if any additional costs arise.