Associates Customer Contract
SFE Associates Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 911415.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE OUR SERVICES TO MAKE A CLAIM. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO MAKE A CLAIM YOURSELF OR TO USE THE SERVICES OF OTHER PROFESSIONALS SUCH AS A SOLICITOR OR OTHER ORGANISATIONS AND YOU HAVE FURTHER RIGHTS TO REFER THE MATTER TO THE FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE.
THE FEE EXAMPLES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN AS AN ESTIMATE OF THE AMOUNT LIKELY TO BE RECOVERED FOR THE CLIENT. THE FEE THAT THE CLIENT RECOVERS MAY BE MORE OR LESS THAN IN THE EXAMPLES DEPENDING HOW MUCH COMPENSATION (IF ANY) IS AWARDED.
This document contains important information and sets out the terms of engagement for the appointment of SFE Associates Ltd (company registration number: 12062794) or its successor(s) to act on the Client’s behalf in all aspects of the administration and negotiation of your Claim(s).
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT CAREFULLY AND ENSURE YOU UNDERSTAND AND ARE HAPPY WITH THEM BEFORE SIGNING THEM.
‘Claim‘ means the Client’s claim(s) or potential claim(s) against the Company in respect of the mis-selling or potential mis-selling of one or more financial services products or the application by the Company (or its representative) of unlawful charges to the account of the Client
‘Client‘ means the policy holder/account holder(s) whose details are set out in the Form of Authority and who has appointed SFE Associates Ltd to provide the Services in respect of one or more Claims and where there is more than one policy holder or account holder the obligations imposed on the ‘Client’ under this agreement shall be owed by each policy holder or account holder separately and jointly with the other(s).
‘Company‘ means the financial institution and or persons to whom the Form of Authority is addressed being the insurance company, bank, building society, credit card company or financial adviser, pension trustee or any other entity which sold the policy (or on whose behalf the policy was sold) or gave advice to the Client in respect of a policy, or applied the unlawful charges.
‘Compensation‘ means the sum paid or awarded to the Client (by way of interim award(s) (if any) and the final award) in respect of the Claim however paid or payable including by way of reduction of arrears on any account the Client holds with the Company against which a Claim has been made by on behalf of the Client or any payment or credit to a pension fund.
‘Compensation Awarding Body’ means the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) or Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
‘Fee‘ means the fee payable to SFE Associates Ltd which will be 50% of the gross Compensation plus VAT paid on a successful claim.
Illustration of Fees payable by the Client (these apply once SFE Associates Ltd has prepared and submitted the Claim)
If the Client is awarded £25,000 in compensation, our Fee will be £12,500 including VAT. Late payment will incur interest charges under clause 6.3.
Forms of Authority‘ means the forms of authority templates in the Claims Pack and which is to be sent to the Company by SFE Associates Ltd on the Client’s behalf.
‘SFE Associates’ means SFE Associates Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales under company number 12062794 having its registered office at 483 Green Lanes, London, N13 4BS.
‘Services‘ means the claims management services provided or to be provided by SFE Associates Ltd including assessing the viability of, preparing, submitting, negotiating and concluding a Claim.
2 Commencing the Engagement
2.1 Terms of Engagement. By signing these Terms of Engagement, the Client agrees to be bound by these terms of engagement and appoints to provide the Services on an exclusive basis (unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Client and SFE Associates).
2.2 Forms of Authority. By signing and returning the Forms of Authority in our Claims Pack, the Client gives full authority to SFE Associates deal with the Company on his or her behalf and to obtain relevant information from whatever source on a continuing basis until conclusion of the Claim process and the payment of Compensation and our Fee has been made.
2.3 Complaint Details Form. By signing and returning the Complaint Details Form in our Claims Pack to SFE Associates Ltd, the Client confirms that they have sent all documents (including electronic documents and information in their possession) to that are relevant to the Claim.
2.4 SFE Associates’ acceptance of the Client’s instructions will take place when SFE Associates notifies the Client that it accepts the Client’s instructions after the Client has sent all the documents that SFE Associates requires back to SFE Associates (including a signed copy of these terms of engagement). When SFE Associates notifies the Client of this, a contract will come into existence between the Client and SFE Associates.
2.5 If SFE Associates is unable to accept the Client’s instructions, it will inform the Client of this in writing together with reasons why. SFE Associates will not charge the Client a fee if it cannot accept the Client’s instructions.
3 Right to cancel
3.1 In the first 14 days. The Client has the right to cancel this agreement and may do so giving SFE Associates a clear statement of the requirement to exercise this right within 14 days of the date on which we notify you that there is a contract in place between you and SFE Associates in accordance with clause 2.4 (the “Cooling Off Period”) without any charge or liability to SFE Associates. The Client may also use the Cancellation form in the Claims Pack.
3.2 After the first 14 days but before SFE Associates submits the Claim. If the Client wishes to cancel this Agreement after the Cooling Off Period, but before SFE Associates has submitted the relevant Claim, the Client may notify SFE Associates of this either by email or post or the Client may use the Cancellation form in the Claims Pack.
3.3 After the first 14 days and after SFE Associates has submitted the Claim. If the Client wishes to cancel this Agreement after the Cooling Off Period and after SFE Associates has submitted the relevant Claim to the relevant Company or Compensation Awarding Body the client may do so by email or post or by using the Cancellation form in the Claims Pack.
4 The Client’s Obligations
4.1 Act promptly. The Client will deal promptly with every reasonable request made by SFE Associates for authority to deal with the Company on the Client’s behalf and to obtain relevant information from whatever source is appropriate on a continuing basis.
4.2 Keep SFE Associates informed. The Client will promptly inform SFE Associates of any relevant matters (whether requested by SFE Associates or not) that may affect a Claim or the Client’s obligations under these Terms of Engagement.
5 SFE Associates’ Obligations
5.1 Check. SFE Associates will check the documents and information the Client provides and will contact the Client if it appears that additional information or clarification is needed before proceeding with the Claim.
5.2 Decisions to pursue the Claim. SFE Associates shall have absolute discretion as to whether to proceed with the Claim at any time during the claims process (but will act reasonably in making its decision) and will promptly notify the Client if the Claim is not to be pursued by SFE Associates on behalf of the Client in which case, the Client shall be entitled to pursue the Claim elsewhere. In particular, SFE Associates shall be entitled to terminate the contract if (acting reasonably) it believes that a Claim:
(a) does not have a good arguable base;
(b) is fraudulent; or,
(c) is frivolous or vexatious.
5.3 Skill and care. SFE Associates will use reasonable skill and care in providing the Services.
5.4 No assurances. SFE Associates offers no assurances that any Claim will be successful or that it will result in Compensation.
5.5 Updates. SFE Associates will provide the Client with regular updates on the progress of the Client’s Claim(s) at least once every 6 weeks.
5.6 Outcome. SFE Associates will notify the Client promptly of the outcome of the Claim.
6.1 Where no compensation. No Fee will be payable by the Client if the Claim in question does not result in Compensation.
6.2 Due date and payment of Fee. The Fee will become due to SFE Associates on the date that the Compensation has been paid to or credited to the Client or to SFE Associates on behalf of the Client (as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt and within any event, two business days of receipt to make such a payment) and shall be payable by the Client as follows:
(a) where the Compensation is paid into SFE Associates’ client account, SFE Associates will be entitled to raise an invoice and, once it has done so, to transfer the Fees to SFE Associates’ business account in settlement of the invoice before sending the balance to the Client;
(b) in all other cases, within 14 days from the date of the associated VAT invoice sent by SFE Associates.
6.3 Late payment – interest. In the event the Fee is paid late, SFE Associates reserves the right to charge interest at a rate of 3 per cent above the prevailing base rates at the Bank of England and accruing daily on all sums outstanding whether before or after judgment.
6.4 Late payment – costs. In the event that the Fee is paid late, SFE Associates reserves the right to recover the reasonable costs, disbursements, legal fees, court fees and expenses which it incurs in recovering the amount due from the Client.
7 Limits on Our Liability
7.1 SFE Associates are responsible to the Client for foreseeable loss and damage caused by SFE Associates but not for unforeseeable loss or damage. If SFE Associates fail to comply with these terms, it is responsible for loss or damage the client suffers that is a foreseeable result of SFE Associates breaking this contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill, but it is not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is “foreseeable” if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both SFE Associates and the Client knew it might happen, for example, if the Client discussed it with SFE Associates during the pre-contract process.
7.2 SFE Associates do not exclude or limit in any way its liability to the Client where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by SFE Associates’ negligence or the negligence of its employees, agents or subcontractors; for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or for breach of the Client’s legal rights in relation to the Services.
7.3 SFE Associates are not responsible for delays outside its control. If its supply of the Services (or any of them) is delayed by an event outside its control, then SFE Associates will contact the Client as soon as possible to let them know and it will take steps to minimise the effect of the delay. Provided SFE Associates do this, it will not be liable for delays caused by the event, but if there is a risk of substantial delay the Client may contact us to end the contract. If the Client does so, then SFE Associates will not charge a Fee in this circumstance.
8 Other Matters
8.1 Complaints. In the event the Client has a complaint about the Service provided to them by SFE Associates, the Client may use our complaints procedure (a copy is provided in the claims pack the Client has received).
8.2 Transferring the Claim or these Terms of Engagement. SFE Associates shall be entitled to transfer and novate its obligations and rights under these Terms of Engagement to another organisation provided that:
(a) the organisation to which the obligations are transferred is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of your Claim(s); and
(b) SFE Associates notifies the Client as soon as is reasonably practicable of the transfer.
8.3 If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force. Each of the paragraphs of these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.
8.4 Rights of third parties. A person who is not a party to these Terms of Engagement is not entitled to benefit from them and has no rights to enforce them.
8.5 Governing law. These Terms of Engagement will be governed by English law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
Where a Claim is made by two or more individuals, SFE Associates requires all individuals to sign and date these Terms of Engagement: