Our Terms and Conditions
Conflict of interest
We check to see if there are any conflicts that may prevent us from acting in your matter.
Confidentiality and Disclosures
Your immigration matter is dealt with in the strictest confidence. Our policies and procedures are underpinned by legislation and professional ethics including the conduct and code laid down by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
We may require information from third parties. If this applies we will not seek this information without your express consent. We will only seek information as is necessary to process your case.
We hold personal information on our computers for monitoring purposes; the Data Protection Act covers this information. Information held is limited to only that which is necessary to process your case and for our administrative tasks. Your information can only be accessed by staff that needs it to carry out their work for the firm.
Disclosure of confidential information without your consent will be exceptional and will only occur when:
- It is required by law
- It is required by a court order; and
- Lawson Hunte is under a legal or regulatory obligation or duty to do so.
You can request your file. To make a request please send a signed and dated letter. Your file will be provided within 10 days of receipt of your request.
The information collected from you is to be used primarily to provide Immigration or Asylum legal services to you and to update your client records.
The use of your information is subject to your instructions and the law i.e. the Data Protection Act 1988 and Lawson Hunte’s Policy on Confidentiality.
Your information is also used for analysis to help manage the service and will be used for legal and regulatory compliance and for statutory returns.
We use a pay as you go system designed to help you afford legal advice all the way through your case – without the worry of unmanageable bills or losing your legal advice just when you need it most. We provide legal advice and services, as you request/ as per your instructions and as you go along.
Our fees are calculated based on overhead usage, they are in line with published government guidance on fee charges for Solicitors (note we are OISC regulated, not Law Society Regulated) and use Government information for guidance purposes only.
Additionally, our charging method and levels is regulated and approved by the OISC, this is for public protection reasons.
Here’s how it works:
· You only pay for the work we perform on your behalf and this is based on the time taken.
· We work within time estimation and payment under this system is capped.
§ For example, we tell you that your work will take 6-8 hours. If it takes four hours you will be charged for 4 hours as per time used. If it takes 8.1 hours or more you will be charged for 8 hours as there is a cap on the hours we can charge. The cap is based on the average time it takes us to complete the type/category of case you require. we use a time billing system which breaks charges down to fractions where the time used to perform a function is less than 1 hour, for example the work item takes 20 minutes, you will be charged fractionally for 20 minutes of work.
- We will provide you with a breakdown of our costs and the amount outstanding each month.
- You will, however, be provided with copies of the notes and work undertaken in relation to the charge.
- Our database calculates in USD and is not programmed in GDP, we, therefore, use the conversion rate set by HMRC which alters on a monthly basis and can be checked there.
- On applications and appeals, we request a deposit payment of £360 equating to 3 hours of work in advance of any work commencing.
Our hourly rate is £120 per hour.
How we charge
The database will produce billing automatically as it time measures the activity in your case. When the bill is generated payment will be due with immediate effect.
You can check your billing at any time on the case management system. This system does not have the capacity for billing in GBP (Pound Sterling), the conversion rate used is that which is published on the HMRC website month by month.
You may make a payment at the date of billing or a pre-payment, this must be made by BACS to your client account which is HSBC Lawson Hunte Client Deposit Account or shorten to LAWSON HUNTE CDA account 53667146 sort code 40-36-15. You need to use your surname for the reference.
First Friday Clinic (not available to existing clients)
These appointments are held with Miss Sonya King, Senior Immigration Lawyer, or otherwise they are supervised appointments with trainees aiming to qualify at OISC Level 1. See our website for our staff profiles. The duration is 20 minutes and there is no charge. The appointments take place on the First Friday of every month and deal with options only. We do not fill forms, or provide second opinions.
If after your free appointment you need further assistance, your case will either be dealt with by Miss King or will otherwise be transferred to one of our other staff members who will manage your case matter. Where your case is transferred to an intern your case matter will be supervised from start to finish.
If you wish to introduce anyone to our services please invite them to register for this service on the home page of our website by selecting the services tab there. On the registration form, select FIRST FRIDAY CLINIC. One appointment is allowed per individual per 12 month period. We are not funded for this service. Please note that we are a training company with the aim of achieving competent advisors within the Immigration Industry.
This is our initial meeting, this takes as long as need, this is because when you see us for the first time, we realize you will be discussing a personal issue with a Lawyer who is a complete stranger. This might also be the first time you are talking to someone on this matter. So we will give you the time it takes to find out where you stand and how much pursuing the matter will cost. Generally, your initial appointment is held with the Senior Lawyer Miss Sonya King or will otherwise be a supervised appointment with an Intern. Thereafter, you case will either be handled by Miss King or otherwise allocated to another Case Worker. The charge for this service is £60.
If you wish to introduce anyone to our services please invite them to register for this service on the home page of our website by selecting the services tab there.
Case Worker meeting existing client
If you need to book an appointment with your Caseworker, please email your Case Worker to arrange this. Preferably please make your request via our my case portal which is intended to provide yours with a secure communications route.
Withdrawing from your case
You can withdraw from your case at any time, the money held for any work which has not been completed will be returned to you. If work has been completed, a charge will be levied for that work by the time indicated on the database. Time billing can be checked by you at any time during the case working process.
If you disagree with your charges
Please refer your concerns to the OISC; the OISC will request your file and all associated records. The final decision as to whether your charge is a fair charge will rest with our regulators. You will never be charged above the cap set as quoted to you at the beginning of your case matter.
Distance Selling Regulations
We adhere to the distance selling regulations. If you have made a pre-payment for a service you have 14 days to cancel. At the very latest if you wish to cancel your appointment you must do so at least 12 hours before the date and time when this due to take place to ensure a full refund. You will forfeit your refund if the cancellation does not take place at the correct time unless made within the 14 days cooling off period prescribed by the government.
Cancellation is not available if your appointment and the service have been delivered in accordance with this contract.
Disputes will be referred to the complaints procedure or directly to our regulators. The address for direct contact with our regulators is set out in this agreement.
How we work
We do not commence work without your prior authorization. This is your letter of consent to receive immigration advice and services.
Registering as a client
To initiate a consultation or full representation from us, you first need to register as a new client with Lawson Hunte Immigration. You will be asked to complete a form and will receive an initial assessment/consultation. this service includes an initial assessment consultation. The registration cost’s £60 and your meeting will last as long as it takes, this is because when you see us for the first time, we realise you will be discussing a personal issue with a Lawyer who is also a complete stranger. This might also be the first time you are talking to someone on this matter. So we will give you the time it takes to find out where you stand and how much pursuing your matter will cost.
Accessing our database/client portal
What is MyCase
We use a client interface which allows you to log into a private and secure portal where you can share calendars, messages, documents, and billing details. The benefits of this system are:
- You will access Direct Messaging and avoid using unsecured Email. You will enjoy correspondence 24 hours per day.
- You can communicate in real-time, every item you upload into the MyCase client communication tools has a comment stream associated with it. You can easily make updates, leave comments which both you and your lawyer will see.
Access to the portal
Once we have granted access to you, MyCase will send you an email welcoming you to your MyCase account. The email contains login instructions and a link for you to set up your secure password.
If you forget your password
1. Go to www.mycase.com/login
2. Next, to the password field, click the blue “Forgot Password” link.
3. Enter the email address that was used to create your MyCase account.
4. Click Submit
5. You will receive an email from MyCase with instructions for resetting your password.
Monitoring your immigration matter
We monitor your application up to the point a decision is received. We then notify you of the decision and advise you on what happens next. If your application is refused and you have an eligible decision for Administrative Review or Appeal, this will attract additional costs to you. Firstly as you may need to lodge an appeal or request a review. Then, Secondly, and if applicable, expenses in relation to appeals.
Money Laundering Regulations
We are a legal duty to comply with Money Laundering Regulations. We have to check the identification of all persons from whom we receive any payment. Photocopies of the details collated for this purpose are retained in your client file.
At your initial appointment please supply the following
Your passport or other identification document plus
two forms of current address.
We ensure equitable refunds to clients who withdraw from all or a portion of our service. Work on your legal matter before the withdrawal will be charged at a nominal rate of £120.00 per hour.
Signposting and referrals
If we are unable to handle your case, we will advise you accordingly, in addition, we will, with your consent, refer you to an authorized advisor or an immigration solicitor who is competent to handle your case at the required level.
If after taking your case, we find out that we cannot continue to work for you as the matter is beyond our competence, due to our not being authorised at the level required for your work, we will immediately inform you in writing within 3 days setting out our reasons not to continue. We will seek your consent to contact another service provider to assist you.
Where you provide your consent then we will contact another authorized service provider or an immigration solicitor, to make an appointment on your behalf. We will then advise you in writing of the steps that we have taken. If the other service provider accepts your case, then we will obtain your consent to transfer your file to the new adviser.
This policy will be applied if you make a complaint and require us to make a referral to an alternative authorised advisor or Immigration Solicitor.
If we cease acting for you
You will receive our closure letter; the Tribunal or UKVI as applicable will receive notification that we are no longer acting.
We operate an Equal Opportunities Policy; and confirm our commitment to equality of opportunity in all aspects of its work All individuals will be treated in a fair and equal manner and in accordance with the law, we will ensure that we do not discriminate against anyone within or in contact with LHIS on the grounds of gender, ethnic origin, race, disability, culture, age, marital status, sexual orientation, pay and medical status. It is the responsibility of our staff to act in a fair and proper manner and in accordance with this policy.
If you need to make a complaint
We are committed to providing high-quality legal advice service and client care. If something goes wrong please tell us about it. We will prioritize your complaint.
Our complaints procedure
How to make a complaint
We will always try to provide you with an opportunity to tell us of your concerns and we will work with you to try to resolve them. Please let us know if you are not satisfied with any aspect of the service. We will make every effort to resolve the matter quickly.
Miss Sonya King is responsible for handling complaints in relation to immigration advice and services provided to you. Her direct contact number is 01733 294537 or otherwise write to Lawson Hunte Immigration Services Ltd, The Eco Innovation Centre, Peterscourt, City Road, Peterborough, PE1 1SA.
If you do not wish to approach Lawson Hunte to make your complaint you may approach the Ombudsman directly, at https://www.gov.uk/…/office-of-the-immigration-services-commissioner/…/complaints-procedure
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner regulates us, you may at any time complain directly to our regulators. If you wish to make a complaint about the conduct of Lawson Hunte, the registration number is F2001100327; the advisor reference is 032278. You may contact The OISC on 845 000 0046. Our fees are calculated based on overhead usage.
We will write to you within 3 working days of receiving your complaint and provide the date by which you should expect a response. The complaint will then recorded into our complaints register and a complaints file will be opened to investigate your complaint. We will invite you to attend a meeting at our office within 5 working days of our receiving your complaint; this is to allow you to discuss your complaint with us.
The purpose of the meeting is to notate the complaint and your views. Following the meeting, we will obtain all the information concerning the complaint and any other relevant material (such as the contents of your case file) which we will consider and investigate. A written response will be sent to you along with suggestions for resolving the matter.
If you consider taking legal action against us, we confirm we have Professional Indemnity Insurance to meet any relevant claims. Our regulators (the OISC) require us to have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII). The purpose of PII is to cover any compensation LHIS may need to pay to correct a mistake or cover any legal costs due to negligence, misrepresentation and/or inaccurate advice, which may cause, or contribute to, financial or other loss to you. If we cannot resolve your complaint and we cannot work together anymore. We will follow the referral procedure set out in this agreement. If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may complain directly to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
We aim to close the complaint within 15 working days. If there are any reasons why this will not be possible we will contact you and give you a new date for our response.
About the company
Our regulator is the Office of the Immigration Services Commission (OISC). All of the work that we perform must be done in accordance with the Regulations and the Code of Conduct set down by our regulation body. Our level of authorization is Level 3. Our company registration is F201100327.
The OISC may wish to inspect your file at any time. We will make your file available for inspection if it is requested for audit by our regulators (OISC).
We keep a copy of your case file for up to 6 years after your case is closed. We will maintain photocopies of any paperwork returned to you in your stored file. After six years your file will be destroyed unless you make arrangements to collect it from us thereafter.
We do not commence work without your prior authorization. This is your letter of consent to receive immigration advice and services.
Our casework team and levels
Sonya King – Level 3/Senior Lawyer/ Manager
Nomsa Chizhowheza – Level Trainee
James Paker -Bishop – Trainee