These Terms and Conditions for Payment Policy (“Payment Policy”) apply to all business-to-business transactions between Expert Court Reports Ltd (“the Company”) and its clients (“the Client”) for the provision of expert witness services.
Expert Court Reports Ltd
Office 2, 266 Banbury Road
Oxford, OX2 7DL
Telephone: 01865 587865
By engaging the Company for expert witness services, the Client agrees to be bound by these Payment Policy terms and conditions.
2. Fee Estimates and Quotations
Upon receiving a request for expert witness services, the Company will provide the Client with a written fee estimate or quotation based on the scope of work, the complexity of the case, and any other relevant factors. The fee estimate or quotation will outline the services to be provided and any expenses, such as travel or accommodation, which may be incurred during the engagement.
3. Payment Terms
The Company’s standard payment terms for business-to-business transactions are as follows:
a) Invoices will be issued by the Company upon completion of the agreed-upon services or at agreed-upon milestones during the engagement.
b) Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date unless otherwise agreed upon in writing.
Payment can be made via bank transfer, cheque, or any other payment method agreed upon by both parties.
4. Legal Aid Funded Cases
For publicly funded cases using Legal Aid, the Company understands that payment may not be available until the Legal Aid Agency has disbursed funds. In such instances, the Company agrees to extend the payment terms accordingly. However, as our instructing party, the Client must maintain prompt and regular communication with the Company to keep the Company informed of case progression and the expected date for payment.
The Company must see the Legal Aid Funding Certificate before commencing work on publicly funded cases. If the Client cannot provide a copy of the funding certificate, the Company requires written confirmation from the Client that legal aid funding has been agreed upon. By providing this confirmation, the Client acknowledges and agrees that they will be liable for the Company’s fees if the legal aid Funding Certificate is later varied or withdrawn by the Legal Aid Agency. The Client is responsible for keeping the Company informed of any changes to the legal aid funding status throughout the engagement.
5. Deferred Payment Requests
The Company may consider requests for deferred payment on a case-by-case basis. If a Client wishes to request a deferred payment arrangement, they must submit a written request to the Company outlining the reasons for the request and proposing a reasonable payment schedule.
Upon receiving a request for deferred payment, the Company will review the Client’s proposal, taking into account the specific circumstances of the case, the Client’s financial situation, and the potential impact on the Company’s financial resources. The Company reserves the right to accept, negotiate, or decline the deferred payment request at its sole discretion.
If the Company agrees to a deferred payment arrangement, the Client must adhere to the agreed payment schedule. Failure to comply with the payment schedule may result in the termination of the deferred payment agreement, and the Company may pursue the outstanding amount in accordance with the standard payment terms outlined in this Payment Policy.
Clients should note that the Company’s willingness to consider deferred payment requests is not a guarantee of acceptance and remains at the sole discretion of the Company.
6. Late Payments
If the Client fails to make a payment within the specified 30-day period, the Company reserves the right to:
a) Charge interest on the overdue amount at 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate, accruing daily from the due date until the date of actual payment.
b) Suspend the provision of any further services until the overdue amount, including any interest, is paid in full.
7. Cancellations and Refunds
If the Client cancels the engagement after the Company has commenced work, the Client will be liable for any work completed up to the point of cancellation, as well as any expenses incurred by the Company. The Company will issue an invoice for the completed work and expenses, payable within 30 days of the invoice date.
Please note that if an expert witness report is cancelled part-way through, it cannot be served in a partial state, even if part payment has been received. An incomplete report may not meet the necessary legal and professional standards required for submission in court proceedings, and therefore, the report must be completed in its entirety before being submitted as evidence.
In the event of a dispute regarding an invoice, the Client must notify the Company in writing within 14 days of the invoice date, detailing the nature of the dispute. The Company will investigate the dispute and make every effort to resolve the issue amicably. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the parties may consider alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration.
9. Debt Collection and Recovery
The Company reserves the right to instruct a debt collection agency to recover outstanding payments from privately paying Clients who fail to meet the agreed payment terms. In such cases, the Client will be held liable for debt collection and recovery costs, including all associated legal costs, fees, and expenses.
Clients who instruct with legal aid must maintain regular communication with the Company regarding the case progression and expected payment dates. If the Client fails to keep the Company informed about the legal aid funding status and expected payment, and the Company is compelled to instruct a debt collection agency, the Client, rather than the Legal Aid Agency, will be held liable for the costs of debt collection and recovery, including all associated legal costs, fees, and expenses. By engaging the Company for expert witness services, the Client agrees to bear these costs in case of non-payment, delayed payment, or lack of communication regarding legal aid-funded cases.
10. Amendments to Payment Policy
The Company reserves the right to amend this Payment Policy at any time, with or without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on the Company’s website, and the Client’s continued use of the Company’s services constitutes acceptance of the amended Payment Policy.
11. Governing Law
This Payment Policy and any disputes arising out of or in connection with it shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. The parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts in relation to any legal proceedings arising out of or in connection with this Payment Policy.