Payments in lieu of interest on client funds
Stephens Scown LLP (the Firm) have a policy of paying an amount in lieu of interest (“interest”) to clients where the Firm holds money in a general client account on their behalf in the course of providing legal services.
Rate and calculation of interest paid
The Firm pays interest at the rate(s) applicable from time to time to Client Call Accounts held by Lloyds Bank plc.
Interest due to a client on a matter accrues once client funds have been received and cleared into the general client bank account of the firm, and is calculated on a daily compounded basis. Cheques usually require a minimum of three days to clear.
Interest will be paid gross, on completion of the matter, without any deduction of tax and clients are responsible for notifying the tax authorities of any interest received.
In the event that the calculated total interest accruing to a client for the duration of a matter is less than £40 then no interest will be paid to the client on the basis that it is a de-minimis amount. The Firm takes the view that any amount below £40 is reasonably retained by the Firm to cover the administrative costs of dealing with client funds.
Protection of client money
The Firm has an active policy of considering the potential exposure of client funds to commercial risks and regularly reviews the choice of banking institutions where the Firm holds client funds.
The Firm is not, in this capacity, acting as financial advisers and whilst the Firm will take reasonable steps to protect client funds such actions will only ever be based on information available in the public domain.
Clients should note that the protections from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme do not provide individual clients with any significant degree of protection for sums held in a solicitor’s client account in the same way that might exist if the client held the funds personally.
Clients have the right to seek alternative arrangements to hold their funds privately during the course of a transaction.
The Firm no longer operates designated client accounts and those currently in existence will be closed on completion of the matter.