1. Hawkins & Associates Limited ('The Company') will provide its services as Experts to its clients on their appointment in accordance with written and/or verbal instructions given and in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
2. Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions shall constitute an Agreement made in England and subject to the laws of England.Disputes arising from the Agreement shall be decided according to English law.
3. This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties in relation to the instructions given in this particular instance. The Agreement may not be varied except in writing between the parties.
4. The rights and remedies of the Company set forth in this Agreement are in addition to all other rights and remedies provided by law.
5. Fees are calculated on the basis of the time spent by members of the Company in connection with the instructions given, and the levels of skill and responsibility involved; such fees include time spent while travelling and carrying out quality control. Fee rates are reviewed annually in January.Charges are also made for expenses incurred by the Company in connection with work carried out on behalf of the client. The Company reserves the right to add a handling charge of 10 per cent to the cost of outside services, facilities or equipment purchased directly in connection with the instructions. Alternatively, arrangements can be made for the client to pay directly for such costs.
The Company reserves the right to add an administrative surcharge where the fees are to be split between two or more parties.
6. Where applicable, VAT shall be payable in addition to fees and expenses.
7. An invoice will be rendered to the Client on submission of a report or other written technical advice, or where the Company and the Client agree one or more interim invoices will be rendered at convenient intervals.The Company may at its discretion require payment on account, or an interim payment, of fees and/or expenses either at the commencement of or during the course of an investigation.
8. The Company does not warrant that it will be possible to comply with any estimate given of the likely duration or cost of an investigation, or completion date agreed, but does undertake to keep the Client informed before any time or cost estimate is exceeded.
9. The Company will make a charge for all disbursements and labour costs arising from the necessary storage of items of evidence relating to an investigation (exhibit). The Client will be notified of the charges for storage of exhibits, normally at the time of the first invoice for fees on any case. These costs are charged annually and in advance.At the first and each subsequent invoice for storage charges the Client will be given the option to dispose of exhibits.Failure to pay the relevant storage charges will result in disposal of the exhibit.
10. Unless otherwise agreed all fees, charges, expenses and disbursements (Fees) are payable within 30 days of the invoice date. The Company understands and will execute its statutory right to claim interest and compensation for debt recovery costs under the late payment legislation (Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998) if it is not paid according to its credit terms. The Company also reserves the right to suspend the provision of its services for so long as any amount remains outstanding.
11. In the absence of any written agreement to the contrary, the person who instructs the Company (the Appointer) does so as principal and shall be responsible for payment of the Fees andinterest (if any), whether or not the Appointer has been placed in funds by their client (or, in legal aid cases, by the Legal Services Commission) and the Appointer shall pay such Fees and interest (if any) in full, notwithstanding any provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules or Criminal Procedure Rules with regard to their amount,recoverability or otherwise, and whether or not the full amount has been allowed in any assessment of the costs of the case.
12. Where a Client requests the Company to render its invoice to another party, the Client or Appointer shall remain liable for all payments so invoiced and interest (if any) until invoice has been settled in full.
13. Where joint instructions are received from two or more independent Clients or Appointers, then, unless otherwise agreed in writing, all Clients or Appointers shall be jointly and severally liable for the Fees and interest (if any) calculated in accordance with clauses 5 to 12 above.
14. All reports and information supplied by the Company are intended for the sole use of the Client.The Client must keep anyreports supplied by the Company whole and unaltered and shall not disclose the same to a third party without the Company’s prior written consent. Where a report or information supplied by the Company is disclosed by the Client to a third party, the Client shall indemnify the Company for all charges arising from all subsequent work carried out by the Company including attendances at Court at the behest of the Client or third party.
15. The benefit of this Agreement may not be assigned by the Client without the Company's previous written consent. When such consent is given it is conditional upon the Client's assignee accepting the conditions agreed between the Client and the Company.
16. The copyright and all other intellectual property rights of whatever nature in the reports, photographs, videos, computer programs and other material produced or commissioned by the Company is and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of the Company.
17. The Company maintains its independent status at all times and an instruction from a Client does not prohibit the Company from acting for other parties in subsequent investigations involving that Client.
18.1 Clauses 18 and 19 set out the entire financial liability of the Company (including any liability for the acts or omissions of its employees, agents, consultants and subcontractors) to the Client in respect of any breach of the Agreement, any use made by the Client of any reports and information supplied by the Company or any part of them, any representation, statement or tortious act or omission (including negligence) arising under or in connection with the Agreement.
18.2 The Company warrants that it will carry out its duties as instructed by the Client with reasonable care and skill but all other warranties, conditions and other terms implied by statute or common law are, to the fullest extent permitted by law, excluded from the Agreement.
18.3 Nothing in the Agreement limits or excludes the liability of the Company:-
18.3.1 For death or person injury resulting from negligence; or
18.3.2 For any damage or liability incurred by the Client as a result of fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation by the Company.
18.4 Subject to the provisions of clauses 18.2 and 18.3:
18.4.1 The Company shall not be liable for loss of profits, loss of business, depletion of goodwill and/or similar losses, loss of anticipated savings, loss of goods, loss of contract, loss of use, loss or corruption of data or information, any special, indirect, consequential or pure economic loss, costs, damages, charges or expenses.
18.4.2 The Company’s total liability in contract, tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty) misrepresentation, restitution or otherwise arising in connection with the performance, or contemplated performance of the Agreement shall be limited to £5,000,000 in respect of any one claim or series of claims.
19. The Company shall not be liable to the Client or be deemed to be in breach of the Agreement by reason of any delay in performing or failure to perform any of the Company’s obligations under this Agreement if the delay or failure was due to any cause beyond the Company’s reasonable control.
20.1 Either party may (without limiting any other remedy) at any time terminate the Agreement by giving written notice to the other if the other commits any breach of these conditions and (if capable of remedy) fails to remedy the breach within 30 days after being required by written notice to do so or if the other goes into liquidation or (in the case of an individual or firm) becomes bankrupt, makes a voluntary arrangement with its creditors or has a receiver or administrator appointed.
20.2 In the event that the Agreement is terminated, the Client shall pay for all services carried out up to the date of termination in accordance with clauses 5 to 13 above.
21. In the event of any dissatisfaction with any of the services provided by the Company, the Client should first discuss the matter with the consultant responsible for the investigation or, in the event that the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Client, any grievance should be addressed to the Managing Director in writing.
22. The Company maintains a database of its Clients. In accordance with the Company’s Data Protection Policy, this information is held solely for internal use. A copy of the Company’s Data Protection Compliance Policy is available on request.
23. Any notice required or permitted to be given by either party to the other under this Agreement shall be in writing addressed to the other party at its registered office or principal place of business or such other address as any at the relevant time has been notified pursuant to this provision to the party giving the notice.
24. No failure or delay by either party in exercising any of its rights under the Agreement shall be deemed to be a waiver of that right and no waiver by either party of any breach of the Agreement by the other shall be considered as a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same or any other provision.
25. If any provision of this Agreement is held by any competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, the validity of the other provisions of this Agreement and the remainder of the provision in question shall not be affected.
26. This Agreement does not nor is it intended to confer a benefit on a third party within the meaning of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.