Brunskill is a limited company incorporated in England and Wales under registered number 9123761.
Brunskill’s registered office is 10th Floor, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, M3 3HF.
2. Regulation of Legal Services
Brunskill is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 614905.
3. Funding your case
There may be a number of funding options available to you and, at the outset, we will investigate with you the best way of paying for your legal representation. We will ensure that all funding options are explored and you receive the best and most cost effective solution depends upon your needs.
The following types of funding are available:
Legal Aid is only available for individuals (not for businesses). This is means tested and you should ask us for further advice on this if needed. In general terms, very limited legal aid funding is available to pay for attendances at police stations. A more comprehensive scheme of funding is available for Magistrates and Crown Court proceedings however this is subject to means testing.
We point out that, when completing a financial information form for the purposes of means testing, you are obliged to give full, truthful and accurate details of your means. You are also obliged to inform the Legal Aid Agency of any change in financial circumstances after you submit a means testing form. If you do not inform the Legal Aid Agency of any reduced financial circumstances within 28 days of the change then you may not be able to backdate a revised means assessment to the date of the change of circumstances. Alternatively, if you fail to inform the LAA of an increase in financial circumstances then you could be liable to compensate the Legal Aid Agency for funding that was improperly obtained, you could also be liable to criminal prosecution.
Some further details in relation to Legal Aid are below:
Do you have to pay for your case in the Magistrates’ Court?
We can apply for Legal Aid to cover your case in the Magistrates’ Court, and can ask you to complete the application forms. The decision to award Legal Aid is made on the basis of both the details of your case (called the Interests of Justice Test) and the financial information you provide (called the Means Test). It is therefore very important that you complete the forms accurately and (where necessary) send evidence to support the information you provide. If
you do not tell the truth on your legal aid application about your income, assets and expenditure you could be prosecuted.
If you are under 18 or on certain benefits you do not need to pay for the work we do for you in the Magistrates’ Court. These benefits are Income Support, Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Guaranteed State Pension Credit and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. You need to provide your National Insurance Number so that the benefit can be checked.
In all other circumstances your finances will be assessed to decide whether you are eligible for Legal Aid. Your annual household income and family circumstances will be taken into account
- If your annual household income is £12,475 or less you get free Legal Aid
- If it is £22,325 or more you are not eligible for Legal Aid
The assessment of your income makes an allowance for a partner or any children that you have living with you so it is important that you include details of these on the form.
If your annual household income is more than £12,475 but less than £22,325 then the Legal Aid Agency will look at your disposable income. This is the money you’re left with after you’ve paid your main bills. A standard amount is allowed for some bills such as gas, electricity and insurance, and there is an allowance for a partner and/or any children. If you’re left with:
- £3,398 or less a year (£283.17 or less a month) you get free Legal Aid.
- More than £3,398 a year (£283.17 a month) you are not eligible to receive Legal Aid in Magistrates Court proceedings although you may receive Legal Aid for Crown Court proceedings provided that your disposable income does not exceed £37,500.
- If your annual household disposable income exceeds £37,500 then you are ineligible for legal aid in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.
If you don’t think you can afford to pay privately, or you think that a mistake has been made, you can ask for a review of your Legal Aid assessment.
Do you have to pay for your case in the Crown Court?
If your case is heard in the Crown Court your financial situation will be assessed with one of the following outcomes:
- You don’t have to pay for the work that we do for you because you have been awarded Legal Aid to cover all your costs
- You have to pay a contribution towards our costs because you can afford to pay from your income, capital or both
- You have to pay privately for all the work that we do for you.
You will be asked to provide evidence of your income and assets. If you do not provide this evidence, your payments could be increased. If you do not tell the truth on your legal aid application about your income, assets and expenditure you could be prosecuted.
You will not have to pay towards the costs of your case if you are under 18 when you make your application or if you receive any of the following benefits: Income Support, Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Guaranteed State Pension Credit and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
If your annual household disposable income is £37,500 or more (the money you’re left with after you’ve paid your main bills, and taking into account your family circumstances, such as a partner and/or any children) then you will not be eligible for Legal Aid and you will have to pay privately for any work that we do for you.
You will have to pay a contribution towards the costs if your annual disposable income is above £3,398. A standard amount is allowed for some bills such as gas, electricity and insurance, and there is an allowance for a partner and/or any children. Where you are required to pay towards your legal costs, you will receive a Contribution Order from the Legal Aid Agency giving details of how much you must pay, and how to make the payments. The first payment will be due within 28 days of your case being committed, sent or transferred for trial. The payments will be collected by a private company on behalf of the Legal Aid Agency, and they will also write to you. You must tell the court about any changes to your financial circumstances during your case because a change may affect the amount you have to pay towards your defence costs. If you don’t think you can afford to pay, or you think that a mistake has been made, you can make an application for review to the Legal Aid Agency.
At the end of the case, if you are found not guilty, any payments you have made will be refunded with interest. If you paid late or not at all and action was taken against you, the costs of this action will be deducted from the refund.
If you are found guilty, you may also have to pay towards your defence costs from any capital assets you may have. This would only apply if:
- You have £30,000 or more of assets, for example: savings, equity in property, shares or Premium Bonds; and
- Any payments you have already made have not covered your total defence costs.
You will be told at the end of your case if you have to make a payment from capital. The Collection and Enforcement Agency for the Legal Aid Agency will notify you of the amount you owe once your legal costs have been finalised.
Legal expenses insurance (LEI)
You may find that you already have an insurance policy to cover your legal costs. This can be a part of your buildings or contents insurance (for example). We would recommend that you check those policies (and other relevant policies) to see if such cover is provided. If it is, you need to get in touch with your insurer straight away to see if they will cover your claim. Some insurers have their own panels of solicitors, so you will also need to check that your insurers will cover us for acting for you.
Even if you have this type of cover, any work which we do on your behalf prior to confirmation of cover from your insurer will be at your expense, regardless of whether cover is subsequently granted or not.
Often LEI covers not only the costs we incur in acting for you, but also all or part of any costs that you are ordered to pay the other side.
In this case, you are responsible for paying our fees, including disbursements and VAT.
Disbursements typically include the following:
- Travel in relation to journeys to court or to any location outside our office for the purpose of furthering a client’s case. this is charged at 45 pence per mile for car journeys or, for journeys by public transport, the precise cost of the return journey.
- Counsel’s fees (if appropriate).
- Expert witness fees (if appropriate).
Whenever we charge VAT we do so at the standard rate that is applicable at the time (20% since the 4th of January 2011 and still the applicable rate in January 2022 when this information was last updated).
A consequence of funding litigation on this basis is that you may also be responsible for paying the costs of your opponent. This liability can arise in two situations:
- During the course of the case there may be “interim” hearings and matters which you could win or lose. If you lose one of these, then you can be ordered to pay the costs associated with that interim matter/hearing (regardless of the outcome of the case as a whole) in which case the costs will be payable within 14 days of the date of the order;
- At the end of the case, if you lose at trial or agree to pay your opponent’s costs as part of any settlement.
If you are successful at the end of your case you may entitled to recover some of your legal costs but this entitlement is restricted:
- An acquitted or otherwise successful defendant in the Magistrates Court may be able to recover his legal costs but the amount he can recover will be limited to the amount that would be payable under specified Legal Aid rates.
- An acquitted or otherwise successful defendant in the Crown Court may be able to recover his legal costs but only if the LAA has made a determination of financial ineligibility in relation to that defendant in those proceedings. Even then, the amount to be recovered will be limited to the amount that would be payable under specified Legal Aid rates. This means that, should you wish to recover part of your private costs at the conclusion of your privately funded case, you should first apply for (and then be refused) Legal Aid.
Save as otherwise communicated to you, the following hourly rates will be charged to you for work done:
|Solicitor / Experience||Hourly Rate|
|Solicitor with over 10 years experience||£350 plus VAT|
|Solicitors and paralegals with over 4 years experience||£275 plus VAT|
|Other Solicitors, executives and paralegals||£250 plus VAT|
|Trainee Solicitors||£150 plus VAT|
If you are charged a fixed fee then that fee will cover all of the work that is detailed under the fixed fee heading, no matter how long that work takes. The advantage for the client is that a fixed fee provides certainty in relation to costs but it is important to note that, once work has commenced on the matter, the fee is not refundable under any circumstances.
We will always discuss a fixed fee with you before deciding to charge you on that basis. We will not charge any fixed fee unless it has been agreed by you in advance.
Summary only motoring offences under Part 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Section 89 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
The following information relates to matters that are dealt with at a single hearing (not including trial). Should your matter not be dealt with at a single hearing, or should it proceed to trial, you will be provided with separate information about the likely overall costs of the matter, both at the time of your engagement and as the matter progesses.
These matters may be dealt with by any member of this firm, details of whom are provided on the profiles page of this website.
Summary only cases are those which can only be heard in the magistrates’ court. Offences under the above legislation include the following:
- No insurance: Road Traffic Act 1988, s.143
- Speeding: Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.89 (10)
- Careless driving (drive without due care and attention): Road Traffic Act 1988, s.3
- The use, whilst driving, of a hand-held mobile phone or other device: The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No 4) Regulations 2003
- “Totting up” and exceptional hardship
- Excess alcohol (drive/attempt to drive): Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5 (1) (a)
- Unfit through drink or drugs (drive/attempt to drive): Road Traffic Act 1988, s.4(1)
- Unfit through drink or drugs (in charge): Road Traffic Act 1988, s.4(2)
- Fail to provide specimen for analysis (in charge): Road Traffic Act 1988, s.7(6) Road Traffic Act 1988, s.7(6)
- Fail to stop/report road accident: Road Traffic Act 1988, s.170 (4)
- Special reasons
- Drive whilst disqualified: Road Traffic Act 1988, s.103
The cost of advice and representation of such matters at a single hearing will range between £1,000 and £2,500 plus VAT and expenses/disbursements. The precise cost will depend on the amount of time it takes to work on the matter (normally between 5 and 10 hours) and will depend on the following factors:
- The volume and complexity of the evidence
- The length and complexity of a client’s instructions on the circumstances of the case
- The complexity of the relevant law
- Travel time to and from court
The work that will be done on a case includes:
- Considering the evidence and taking instructions
- Providing advice in relation to plea and likely sentence and advising in relation to mitigation
- Advice on the options available to the court in relation to sentencing
- Advice on whether an exceptional hardship or special reasons argument should be made
- Preparation for a single hearing at the Magistrates’ Court (not including a trial)
- Representation at the hearing
Please note that there may be an extra fee for the following work, if appropriate:
- Taking statements from, or examination of, witnesses
- Advice on an appeal
- Advice as to sourcing expert witnesses or the instruction of any expert
When we use your personal data, we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal data for the purposes of the GDPR. Our use of your personal data is subject to your instructions, the GDPR, other relevant UK and EU legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.
|We, us, our||Brunskill Solicitors|
|Our Data Protection Officer||Kayley Giddings email@example.com 0161 932 1740|
|Personal data||Any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual|
|Special category personal data||Personal data reviewing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership, Genetic and biometric data. Data concerning health, sex lifer or sexual orientation.|
Personal data we collect about you
The table below sets out the personal data we will or may collect in the course of advising and/or acting for you.
|Personal data we will collect||Personal data we may collect depending on why you have instructed us|
|Your name, address and telephone number Information to enable us to check and verify your identity, e.g. your date of birth or passport details Electronic contact details, e.g. your email address and mobile phone number Information relating to the matter in which you are seeking our advice or representation Information to enable us to undertake a credit or other financial checks on you Your financial details so far as relevant to your instructions, e.g. the source of your funds.||Your National Insurance and tax details Your bank and/or building society details Details of your professional online presence Details of your spouse/partner and dependants or other family members Your employment status and details including salary and benefits Your nationality and immigration status and information from related documents, such as your passport or other identification, and immigration information. Details of your pension arrangements Your employment records including, where relevant, records relating to sickness and attendance, performance, disciplinary, conduct and grievances (including relevant special category personal data) Your racial or ethnic origin, gender and sexual orientation, religious or similar beliefs Your medical records|
This personal data is required to enable us to provide our service to you. If you do not provide personal data we ask for, it may delay or prevent us from providing services to you.
How your personal data is collected
We collect most of this information from you direct. However, we may also collect information:
- from publicly accessible sources, e.g. Companies House or HM Land Registry;
- directly from a third party, e.g.:
- sanctions screening providers;
- credit reference agencies;
- client due diligence providers;
- from a third party with your consent, e.g.:
- your bank or building society, another financial institution or advisor;
- consultants and other professionals we may engage in relation to your matter;
- your employer and/or trade union, professional body or pension administrators;
- your doctors, medical and occupational health professionals;
- via our information technology (IT) systems, e.g.:
- case management system
- reception logs;
- CCTV communications systems, email and instant messaging systems such as Skype
How and why we use your personal data
Under data protection law, we can only use your personal data if we have a proper reason for doing so, e.g.:
- to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations;
- for the performance of our agreement to represent you or to take steps at your request before agreeing to represent you;
- for our legitimate interests or those of a third party; or
- where you have given consent.
A legitimate interest is when we have a business or commercial reason to use your information, so long as this is not overridden by your own rights and interests.
The table below explains what we use (process) your personal data for and our reasons for doing so:
|What we use your personal data for||Our reasons|
|To provide legal services to you||For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract|
|Conducting checks to identify our clients and verify their identity Screening for financial and other sanctions or embargoes Other processing necessary to comply with professional, legal and regulatory obligations that apply to our business, e.g. under health and safety regulation or rules issued by our professional regulator||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Gathering and providing information required by or relating to audits, enquiries or investigations by regulatory bodies||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Ensuring business policies are adhered to, e.g. policies covering security and internet use||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures|
|Operational reasons, such as improving efficiency, training and quality control||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can|
|Ensuring the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to protect our intellectual property and other commercially valuable information To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Statistical analysis to help us manage our practice, e.g. in relation to our financial performance, client base, work type or other efficiency measures||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to be as efficient as we can|
|Preventing unauthorised access and modifications to systems||For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, i.e. to prevent and detect criminal activity that could be damaging for us and for you To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Updating client records||For the performance of our contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract o comply with our legal and regulatory obligations For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. making sure that we can keep in touch with our clients about existing and new services|
|Statutory returns||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
|Ensuring safe working practices, staff administration and assessments||To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations For our legitimate interests or those of a third party, e.g. to make sure we are following our own internal procedures and working efficiently|
|Credit reference checks via external credit reference agencies||For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, i.e. for credit control and to ensure our clients are likely to be able to pay for our services|
|External audits and quality checks, e.g. for Lexcel, ISO or Investors in People accreditation and the audit of our accounts||For our legitimate interests or a those of a third party, i.e. to maintain our accreditations so we can demonstrate we operate at the highest standards To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations|
The above table does not apply to special category personal data, which we will only process with your explicit consent.
Who we share your personal data with
We routinely share personal data with:
- professional advisers who we instruct on your behalf or refer you to, e.g. barristers, medical professionals, accountants, tax advisors or other experts;
- other third parties where necessary to carry out your instructions, e.g. your mortgage provider or HM Land Registry in the case of a property transaction or Companies House;
- our insurers and brokers;
- external auditors, e.g. in relation to ISO or Lexcel accreditation and the audit of our accounts;
- our bank[s];
- external service suppliers, representatives and agents that we use to make our business more efficient, e.g. typing services, marketing agencies, document collation or analysis suppliers;
We only allow our service providers to handle your personal data if we are satisfied they take appropriate measures to protect your personal data. We also impose contractual obligations on service providers relating to ensure they can only use your personal data to provide services to us and to you.
We may disclose and exchange information with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
We may also need to share some personal data with other parties, such as potential buyers of some or all of our business or during a re-structuring. Usually, information will be anonymised but this may not always be possible. The recipient of the information will be bound by confidentiality obligations.
We will not share your personal data with any other third party.
Where your personal data is held
Information may be held at our offices, third party agencies, service providers, representatives and agents as described above (see ‘ Who we share your personal data with’).
Some of these third parties may be based outside the European Economic Area. For more information, including on how we safeguard your personal data when this occurs, see below: ‘ Transferring your personal data out of the EEA’.
How long your personal data will be kept
We will keep your personal data after we have finished advising or acting for you. We will do so for one of these reasons:
- to respond to any questions, complaints or claims made by you or on your behalf;
- to show that we treated you fairly;
- to keep records required by law.
We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this policy. Different retention periods apply for different types of data. Further details on this are available in our client care letter/terms of business.
When it is no longer necessary to retain your personal data, we will delete or anonymise it.
You have the following rights, which you can exercise free of charge:
|Access||The right to be provided with a copy of your personal data|
|Rectification||The right to require us to correct any mistakes in your personal data|
|To be forgotten||The right to require us to delete your personal data—in certain situations|
|Restriction of processing||The right to require us to restrict processing of your personal data—in certain circumstances, e.g. if you contest the accuracy of the data|
|Data portability||The right to receive the personal data you provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and/or transmit that data to a third party—in certain situations|
|To object||The right to object:— at any time to your personal data being processed for direct marketing (including profiling);—in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal data, e.g. processing carried out for the purpose of our legitimate interests.|
|Not to be subject to automated individual decision-making||The right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing (including profiling) that produces legal effects concerning you or similarly significantly affects you|
For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, please contact us or see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.
If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:
- complete a data subject request form—available from our Data Protection officer
- email, call or write to our Data Protection Officer—see below: ‘ How to contact us’; and
- let us have enough information to identify you [ (e.g. your full name, address and client or matter reference number)];
- let us have proof of your identity and address (a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill); and
- let us know what right you want to exercise and the information to which your request relates.
Keeping your personal data secure
We have appropriate security measures to prevent personal data from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed unlawfully. We limit access to your personal data to those who have a genuine business need to access it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
If you want detailed information from Get Safe Online on how to protect your information and your computers and devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other online problems, please visit www.getsafeonline.org. Get Safe Online is supported by HM Government and leading businesses.
Policy for reviewing processing operations
Processing operations in light of our obligations under data protection will be reviewed annually as part of our annual review.
Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) is used to help the firm identify, assess and evaluate the risks to data subjects from projects or data processing activities. A DPIA should be carried out where a type of processing “is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons.” The procedure for identifying when a DPIA should be carried out can be found in our DPIA Procedure document and our DPIA template is used to complete a DPIA when deemed necessary.
A review of data retention timescales will also be done annually as part of our annual review. See annual review checklist.
All employees who have access to any kind of personal data will have their responsibilities outlined during their induction procedures.
Ongoing training will be provided to all employees and Data Protection issues can be raised during these training sessions as well as during meetings and supervision sessions.
How to complain
We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you may raise about our use of your information.
The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or by telephone: 0303 123 1113.
How to contact us
Our contact details are shown below:
|Our contact details||Our Data Protection Officer’s contact details|
|Brunskill Solicitors 10th Floor, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, M3 3HF||Kayley Giddings firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 932 1740|
5. Complaints and Complaint Resolution
Our aim is to provide clients with a quality service, however if at any point a client becomes unhappy with any aspect of the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately. We aim to investigate complaints fairly and to respond to them as quickly as possible.
The firm’s Principal, Michael Brunskill, will be informed of all complaints to the firm.
The client’s main point of contact in relation to the matter concerned is the person who should receive a client complaint in the first instance. Failing that, the file supervisor. Michael Brunskill is ultimately responsible for the complaints handling procedure and he should receive a complaint if other people cannot be identified or reached.
A formal complaint can be made via letter, email or telephone call. Complaints do not need to be made in writing. We promise to listen to any complaint that is made and to take the complaint seriously.
We will provide written acknowledgement of any complaint in a timely manner. When acknowledging a complaint, the client will be informed of:
- The name of the person responsible for investigating the complaint.
- The best possible estimate for the time it will take to investigate the complaint and to provide a response.
- Any impact of the complaint on the client’s case.
During the investigation of the complaint, we will discuss options that are suitable for resolving the complaint. For instance, we will (where possible) offer formal and informal routes to resolving the complaint. Written evidence in support of the complaint may be requested if a formal route is chosen.
At the conclusion of the investigation into the complaint, any findings will be shared with the client. The findings will be sufficiently detailed to allow the client to understand how and why the findings were reached. If we find that we were at fault, we will discuss a suitable remedy with the client along with a full explanation of what happened. The remedy will be proportionate to the complaint that is upheld. If we find that we were not at fault, we will provide a full and clear explanation about how we reached that decision and we will show evidence where possible.
If a client is still not satisfied following the completion of our internal complaints handling procedures (whether this be not satisfied with our response to the complaint or our handling of the complaint) they can ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the matter. This should be done within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint and no more than six years from the date of act/omission or no more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted on the details below.
Call: 0300 555 0333
Address: Legal Ombudsman PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help clients with complaints about the breach of an SRA Principle or dishonesty. Information about the SRA’s complaints handling remit and how to submit a complaint can be found on their website: www.SRA.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor
6. Professional Indemnity Insurance
Brunskill holds professional indemnity insurance in an amount which exceeds the minimum level of cover required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (this is £3 million).
The policy covers the professional services which the firm provides.