Johnson Law Group Terms of Business

Last Updated: September 15, 2022

Thank you for instructing JLG Legal Ltd trading as Johnson Law Group (“JLG”). We will do our best to ensure you are very satisfied with the standard of legal service we provide. This document sets out the general terms that apply to all clients regardless of the type of case we are dealing with on their behalf.

  1. About us

JLG is licenced and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under Licence Number 664813. Our company registration number, which can be found on the Companies House website, is 12177815. We hold a policy of professional indemnity insurance that covers us against claims up to £3,000,000. Details of our insurer are available upon request. 

  1. Place and hours of business

Our registered office and our principal place of business is 76 King Street Manchester M2 4NH. Our usual office hours are 09:00 to 17.30 Monday to Friday but we do reach out to clients and deal with inquiries outside of these hours. Appointments outside our usual working hours can be made by arrangement. 

  1. Our Regulator

The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society, and the Legal Ombudsman is the independent body responsible for handling complaints about solicitors. Please refer to Complaints at section 8 below for the procedure in how to do so. 

  1. Scope of our services and your authority to instruct

When you indicate that you wish to instruct us on a matter, we will ask you to sign a formal “Client Care Pack” which will consist of an introductory letter and contractual documentation that we will ask you to sign. This documentation will be the basis of our terms of engagement with you but may be subject to change on notification by us in writing.

If you do go on to instruct us, we will NOT be able to undertake any substantive action on your case until we have satisfied ourselves of your identity in accordance with our own “ID check rules”. We cannot be held responsible for any crucial missed deadlines that may preclude you from bringing a claim which has expired during the time between your signing our agreement and sending to us identification documentation to verify your identity. We therefore strongly recommend you provide this when returning signed documentation to us.

Unless advised otherwise, we will assume that we are authorised to accept instructions from any person whom we reasonably believe to have authority to give instructions to us.

By entering into an agreement to instruct JLG you give your express consent for us to issue court proceedings on your behalf and in your name and take any subsequent action in such court proceedings and in the lead up to them, such as issuing interlocutory applications and instructing counsel to attend any court hearings as we deem appropriate and necessary for the progression of your case.

You also expressly authorise us to obtain Legal Expense Insurance on your behalf on the best terms possible. It should be stressed however that we are not insurance brokers and under no circumstances do we act for you in that role or any other insurance intermediary. We cannot therefore carry out an extensive search of the market in order to choose from a number of differing policies. We will simply make the decisions to enter into policies that we feel best suits your needs from the products we are aware of or from legal expense insurance companies that we are acquainted with or already have a business relationship with.

  1. Our communication with you.  
    1. E-mail
    2. Text messaging (also referred to as SMS)
    3. WhatsApp
    4. Facebook Messenger
    5. Letters by post
    6. Telephone calls
  1. Billing and payment terms: Responsibility for our costs  

When we render a bill and why

We will usually only render a bill at the conclusion of your case and, in the case of a No Win – No Fee Arrangement, only if you win. There are two versions of this: a Conditional Fee Agreement and a Damages Based Agreement. The decision as to which agreement is offered to our clients is entirely ours based on our assessment of your case and the commercialities involved. You will be advised which agreement applies to the type of case you instruct us on.

Conditional Fee Agreements

In the event of you winning your case, and you become liable to pay our Basic Charges, our Success Fee and/or our Disbursements, we will send you an invoice. This will usually only happen at the end of the case once you have received any compensation, but we reserve the right to do so earlier at an appropriate point. Examples of the circumstances when this may happen can be found in the Law Society Conditions (as amended) document. Also, earlier billing may occur if our agreement with you comes to an end earlier (see the Section ‘What happens when this agreement ends before your claim for damages ends?’ in the Law Society Conditions (as amended) document).

We are still entitled to receive a percentage of your damages (the “Success Fee”) but this is based on the amount of work that we have done (limited to a maximum percentage of compensation you recover and the Overall Cap applicable to your case). We will also be able to recover the majority of our basic charges from your opponent. It is for that reason we keep a record of the time we spend on your file and why we have explained to you in our contractual documentation our hourly charge out rate.

You are responsible for any unrecovered basic charges but that will always be subject to an “Overall Cap” which we cannot charge above, which protects your compensation.

Charging you costs greater than those you may recover from an opponent under a CFA (s.74 Solicitors Act 1974)

If your case is conducted in the County Court, then Section 74(3) of the Solicitors Act 1974 does not allow us to charge you an amount for any item of costs which exceeds the amount that the Court could have allowed for that item if your opponent was ordered to pay it, unless you and this firm agree specifically that such costs can be charged.

By instructing us on the terms of this CFA and the accompanying Terms and Conditions of Business, you agree and acknowledge that certain items of costs, such as the Success Fee, any unrecovered Basic Charges and any unrecovered Disbursements remain payable by you even though they may not have been recovered/be capable of recovery, from your opponent and, by agreeing the terms of the CFA and the Terms and Conditions of Business, you confirm your express agreement to the hourly rates, Basic Charges and the fixed Success Fee as set out in this agreement.

Damages Based Agreements

Just like a CFA, we will not usually render a bill until the conclusion of your case and only in the event of a win. Unlike a CFA, the proportion of damages that you pay to us for agreeing to act for you (the “Payment”) is calculated by reference to a percentage of the damages you recover. We will still however be required to record our Basic Charges – the amount of time we spend on your file - as you will be entitled to claim those costs from your opponent in the event you win your case.

Like a CFA, you are primarily responsible for any unrecovered basic charges, expenses and disbursements. However any unrecovered Counsels fees will form part of the agreement Payment you are obliged to pay on the successful conclusion of your case.

Format of invoice

Any such invoice will set out the total amount of our Basic Charges, Disbursements and Success Fee for either the entirety of your claim or for any relevant period it covers, together with any Overall Cap or limitation we have agreed with you on those sums. We will give credit for any sums received from your opponent or elsewhere. However, you will be liable for the net sum due shown on the invoice.

Unless we expressly state to the contrary at the time, any invoice we render to you will be a full and final invoice for the period it covers.
By agreeing to the terms of our Retainer and the Terms and Conditions of Business you agree that we may delivery invoices to you by email.

You may have certain rights to seek an independent review by a Court of any invoice, details of which are set out below. Unless we expressly state to the contrary at the time, your time for seeking such a review will start on the date of delivery of any invoice to you.

Our Basic Charges are calculated on hourly basis and broken down into ten, 6-minute units per hour. Routine letters and phone calls are charged as one 6-minute unit (one tenth of an hour). Longer letters, telephone calls and time spent working on your file (attendances drafting or reviewing documents or engagement in longer meetings) will be charged on a timed basis rounded up to the nearest unit.

The hourly charge out rate we charge is dependant upon the seniority of the fee earner dealing with your case and the value of it.

Details that sets out the rate of Basic Charges applicable to your case can be found in the applicable agreement you enter into with JLG.

We review our hourly rates on 1st January each year and will notify you of any change to them in writing.

It is important you understand that you will be responsible for paying our bills.  Even if the claim is successful, the other party may not be ordered to pay all our charges and expenses, or these may not be recovered from them in full after any detailed assessment by the court. If this happens, you are responsible for unrecovered basic charges (subject to that liability being limited by the Overall Cap in our CFA or the limit placed on the “Payment” in our DBA – to ensure a proportion of your damages is “ring fenced” and protected against any of our costs levied against it) but we may ask you to pay for any unrecovered disbursements and expenses.

Any interest awarded or agreed in respect of the compensation you receive will form part of the total damages recovered – which you get to keep. Any interest payable in respect of awarded costs is regarded as part of our overall recoverable costs charged – which we get to keep.

You will also be responsible for paying the charges and expenses of seeking to recover money that the court orders your opponent to pay if enforcement proceedings are necessary.

Any disbursements unrecovered from your opponent if you win will not be covered by your after the event insurance policy and may need to be funded out of your recovered compensation. If you lose, all disbursements will be covered by your after the event insurance policy. This is subject to you complying with the terms of the policy.

Your rights to have your costs assessed by a Court

If you are liable to pay our Basic Charges, Disbursements and/or our Success Fee, we will deliver an invoice to you and you may be entitled to have the amount of that invoice reviewed and independently assessed by a Court.

The rules relating to such an assessment are set out in Section 70 of the Solicitors Act 1974 and we would be happy to answer any reasonable enquiries you may have in that regard. Please note, there are quite tight time limits from the date of delivery of any invoice relating to any such assessment and if they are not complied with any right to such an assessment may be lost.

You may have a separate right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman and you should note that the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to the Court for assessment of the bill.

If you are liable to pay any insurance premium, you would not be able to have any insurance premium assessed since your liability for the premium would have arisen directly from the insurance contract between you and the insurer. You may have separate rights under that contract or through the Financial Ombudsman Service in relation to the premium.


Unless otherwise stated, Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to the amounts we charge in accordance with HM Revenue and Customs requirements. We may have to add VAT to some expenses if VAT is not added by the supplier. We will deliver an appropriate VAT invoice to you.

Expert fees

We may instruct companies to prepare independent expert reports relating to some of the more technical aspects of your claim. These reports will incur a fee which we will attempt to recover, from your opponent but continue to remain your responsibility.

We will advise you further in relation to these fees should such reports be required.  We will not incur any fee unless we are sure the cost is covered by a policy of litigation insurance or backed by a Trade Union.

  1. Litigation Insurance

Although we may set up “After the Event” insurance to protect you against having to pay your opponent’s costs, we must advise you that we are not insurance brokers. The legal expenses insurance market is complex and changes frequently. Accordingly, we do not offer professional advice on all policies available in the market.

We have advised that you take out an After the Event insurance policy unless you already have an existing legal expense insurance policy.

Most importantly, should you instruct us to proceed with a policy it will constitute your irrevocable agreement to allow us to receive your damages and to deduct the appropriate premium from the damages and to send it to the insurer in settlement of the liability to pay the premium.

The premium for the policy is only payable upon the conclusion of the case. If you win your claim, then the policy cost is taken from your compensation. If you lose your claim, then the cost of the policy is covered. Unlike most other disbursements and expenses, the policy premium is not a cost that is recoverable from your opponent.

You are of course entitled to explore the availability of ATE insurance arrangements.

Where you already have legal expense insurance or trade union legal protection, the insurer or union may insist on their customer using their appointed solicitors or that no deductions are taken from a client’s damages (but without adequately paying the solicitor for the work they do).

Where you have such cover and we can enter into an arrangement with either your Legal Expense Insurer or Union so that they cover any risk of adverse costs to you but allow us to continue with our No-Win No-Fee arrangement, we will engage them. If, however, they refuse to allow us to operate in this way then you will have to choose between using us in line with our contractual arrangements or going elsewhere.

We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority however we are included on the register maintained by the FCA so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly, the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/register.

  1. Advertising & Recommendations

If our details have been passed to you by a third party, we may have paid a marketing fee, suppliers fee, recommendation fee or signed up to a panel membership, organised road shows or responded to advertising.

All Introducers who pass our details to you have signed commercial agreements with us.

The arrangement between us and any introducer is strictly a business relationship. You are entitled to see any details of any payments made in respect of marketing or referral costs relating to your introduction to our firm.

The arrangement does NOT constrain our ability to act impartially nor fetter our independence as a legal adviser and to provide you with the best advice possible. The referral also has no financial impact on you personally or the cost of your action.

  1. Complaints

Please note that this firm has a written complaints procedure that is available on our website and upon request. We strive to ensure that all complaints are handled promptly, fairly and effectively in accordance with our complaints procedure.

Should you have a problem or issue that cannot be resolved informally you are of course entitled to complain. Any complaints should be addressed to Jamie Patton, the complaints handling Manager and Senior Solicitor. Once your complaint has been made, we will write to confirm how your complaint will be handled and the likely timescale you can expect us to revert to you with our findings. We will not charge you for investigating your complaint.

If your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction within 8 weeks of making the complaint, you may be able to complain to the Legal Ombudsman. Full details of the kinds of complaints which the Ombudsman will accept can be found on their website at http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/ and their address and contact details are: PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ (email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk; Tel: 0300 555 0333).

You may also have the right to object to your bill by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors' Act 1974. Please be aware that the Legal Ombudsman may not consider a complaint about a bill if you have applied to court for an assessment of it.

  1. Proof of identity

The law now requires solicitors, as well as banks, building societies and other similar organisations, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their clients can be used by criminals wishing to launder money. To comply with the law on money laundering, we need to obtain evidence of your identity as soon as practicable.

We therefore carry out electronic identity checks on you via an on-line compliance service called SmartSearch. Please note that the search conducted against you will leave a small ID footprint on your record but it will not affect your credit history. Your agreement to instruct us provides the necessary consent to perform these searches and checks. We have no liability for any consequential loss arising as a result of our compliance with statutory or regulatory obligations and our fees may include a charge for complying with those obligations.


  1. Confidentiality

Solicitors are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of clients confidential. We will keep confidential any information received from you whilst acting for you in connection with a matter unless:

    1. We have your authority to disclose it; or
    2. Disclosure is required in order to deal with and progress your matter;
    3. For the purposes of external auditing that we are required to do (as outlined below) or;
    4. We are required to disclose it by law: for example in order to comply with a Court Order or pursuant to the obligations legislation on money laundering and terrorist financing has placed solicitors under to disclose information to the National Crime Agency. For example: where a solicitor knows or suspects that a transaction on behalf of a client involves money laundering, the solicitor may be required to make a money laundering disclosure.

If, while we are acting for you, it becomes necessary to make a money laundering disclosure, we may not be able to inform you that disclosure has been made or of the reasons for it because the law prohibits “tipping off”. Where the law permits us to do, we will tell you about any potential money laundering problem and explain what action we may need to take.

In the event of litigation, you should be aware that many documents which you file in court will be open to public inspection.  If this causes you any specific concern, please let me know as soon as possible.

  1. Third Party Auditing / Consent

Please note from time to time it may be necessary for your file to be audited by a third party. They may require access to your papers on a read-only basis so that they can assess the progress being made and the eventual conclusion. Other parties would also include, but not exclusively, our insurers or their representatives, our Regulators including the Solicitors Regulation Authority, , ATE providers or funders who have provided Litigation Disbursement Funding to assist the practice in running your claim.

By signing this letter, you are providing your ongoing consent to making your file available for these audits and for your file to be transparent on a read-only basis to the relevant third party. 

If you do not consent to any of the above, please contact us immediately.

  1. Data Protection Act Notice

We place great emphasis on maintaining the highest standards of confidentiality. Our partners and staff are under an obligation not to disclose any confidential information to third parties, unless the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 applies, or we are required to do so by Court Order.

We are committed to protecting client privacy. In dealing with clients and prospective clients we require personal data to assist in the provision of legal services. Your personal data will either be transferred to us from you directly, or from one of our agents or referrers (if your claim was referred to us by them). The storage and disclosure of that personal information is always in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679. Further details on how we deal with your personal information is contained in our Privacy Policy which is available on our website and on request. You are advised to read this Policy carefully before instructing us as it sets out (among other things) details of any personal data transfers outside of the EEA. If you have any queries or concerns about our approach to data protection or the processing of your personal data in connection with your claim, please contact us.

  1. Papers documents and electronic communication

Paperless files
We may operate a “paperless” file for your matter.  If so, we will not normally keep paper copies of any letters or emails, or of any documents that we generate; we will encourage the use of paperless communication where possible; we will store copies of correspondence and documents electronically; and incoming mail will generally be converted into digital format.
You authorise us to destroy all paper letters and documents provided we have digital copies.
If you require us to return to you any letter or document that you provide to us, you must inform us in writing at the same time as you provide it.  General requests that are inconsistent with our paperless working may result in us terminating the retainer or agreeing to an additional charge, but we will first discuss the situation with you.
We will retain digital copies in accordance with our Privacy Notice.
Paper records
If we retain any paper records of the work we have done for you, we will keep them for at least one year from the date of our final bill.
Providing copies
During the first year after the date of our final bill we will provide to you, on your written request, any documents that belong to you (or copies of any documents that are jointly owned).  If we have converted them into digital format, we will provide copies.  We will not provide to you copies of documents that we have already provided to you or that belong to us.
You agree that, after that first year, all documents (or copies) will belong to us and we may choose how to respond to any request for copies.
We will not supply copies or notes of communications between us, so you must keep your own records of anything important.
We may choose to supply copy documents in electronic format.
If we are willing and able to provide any documents or copies to you, you agree to pay in advance an administration fee of no more than £60 if we request it.  No administration fee will be payable during the first five years if you have previously paid an archive charge.
You will be responsible for any collection or delivery charges.  We may require you to make arrangements for collection.

  1. Interest

If we hold money in our Client Account on your behalf, then we will account to you for a sum in lieu of interest calculated as below. We will not account to you for any interest in the following situations:

    1. if the amount calculated is £20 or less.
    2. on money held for the payment of a professional disbursement if the person to whom the money is owed has requested a delay in settlement.
    3. 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.
    4. if there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy.

If we hold sums of money intermittently on your behalf, in our Client Account, during the course of acting, and the sum in lieu of interest calculated for any single period is £20 or less, we will account to you if the total interest exceeds £20.

We will calculate and pay interest once your matter has been concluded.

In calculating interest, we will apply a rate that we believe reflects the market rate of interest paid on an instant access current account offered by JLG’s bank over the period when interest is due. 

In determining the period over which interest is to be calculated, we will look at the following: the period between the date when the relevant funds received by us clear our account and, if we send the funds electronically, the date when the funds are sent or, if we send the funds by cheque, five days after a cheque is raised.

  1. In the Event of a Banking Failure

In the event of a banking failure JLG will not be liable for any losses of client account money.

We currently hold our client account funds in Santander Bank. The £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) limit will apply to each individual so if you hold other personal monies yourself in the same bank as our client account, the limit remains £85,000 in total, so it may be advisable to check with your own bank as some banks now trade under different trading names.

However, the FSCS provides a £1 million protection limit for temporary high balances held with a bank, building society or credit union if it fails.  Further details relating to what constitutes a temporary high balance and the rules relating to the protection can be found at www.fscs.org.uk. In the event of a bank failure you agree to us disclosing details to the FSCS

  1. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

If you are an individual and you are instructing us for purposes which are wholly, or mainly, outside your trade, business, craft or profession, you will be considered a ‘consumer’ by law and will have certain statutory rights under consumer legislation. Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, you have a statutory right to cancel your instructions to us within 14 days (without giving a reason) if your instructions to us are as a result of a situation where we do not actually meet (i.e. through email and/or telephone contact) or an off-premises contract (i.e. at a meeting between us not held at our offices).

The cancellation period will expire after 14 after signing it. To exercise your right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g.: a letter sent by post or email) using the contact details in our Engagement Letter before the cancellation period has expired.  You may use the model cancellation form contained in our Client Care Pack, but it is not obligatory. You can also electronically fill in and submit the model cancellation form by email to info@johnsonlawgroup.co.uk. If you use this option, we will communicate to you an acknowledgement of receipt of such a cancellation on a durable medium (e.g. by email) without delay. 

Where you have asked us to commence work within the 14-calendar day cancellation period and you later exercise your right to cancel after the 14 days has expired, you will be liable for any costs, VAT and disbursements incurred up to the point of cancellation.  In such circumstances the costs you become responsible for will be charged in accordance with our Basic Charges as set out in Section 5 of these Terms of Business (above).  If you exercise your right to cancel, subject to any costs you are liable for as set out above, we will reimburse any payment received on account from you without undue delay and within 14 days after the day in which you informed us of your decision to cancel. 

  1. Equality and Diversity

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, third parties and employees. We have a written equality, diversity and inclusion policy to ensure that discrimination and harassment are prevented and that equality, diversity and inclusion are promoted.

We will not discriminate in the way we provide our Services to you or in the way we instruct third parties.

  1. Force Majeure

We will not be liable to you for any delay or failure to fulfil our obligations caused by circumstances outside of our reasonable control.

  1. Severance

If for any reason any part of our agreement with you is invalid or unenforceable for any reason that shall not affect the remainder of it.

  1. Governing law and disputes

The contract between you and JLG is deemed to be made in England and governed by the law of England and Wales.

  1. Referral Arrangements with 3rd Party Introducers


From time to time we will enter into arrangements with Claims Management Companies or 3rd Party Introducers that put us in touch with clients who wish to instruct us.

When this happens, we pay them a fee for that service. We will make you aware of the fee we pay. You are not responsible for paying that referral fee and the fees we will charge you in respect of your matter will not be affected by this financial arrangement.
Nothing in our arrangement with any 3rd party introducers will affect or influence our obligation to you to act in your best interests and upon your wishes or to provide you with sound legal advice completely independent of any organisation we have dealings with. You are free to raise any questions about any aspect of this transaction. The information disclosed by you to us will not be disclosed to 3rd Party Introducers unless you consent.  However, in signing the agreement contained within our client care pack (of which these terms and conditions form part) you give us your written consent to disclose to the relevant 3rd party introducer certain details about the progress of your case that would enable the structure of the arrangement we have with them to work, for example, to advise them that we have taken you on as a client, when your case is likely to conclude and does conclude and the amount of success fee we have charged you at the conclusion of your case. You may however withdraw that consent if you so wish at any time.