Solicitor Terms of Business


As solicitors, we are bound by a number of regulations that are covered in these terms of business. Please read them carefully and if you have any queries, please contact us as soon as possible.

Our contract with you is contained in these terms along with our engagement e-mail (separate e-mail or letter) to you setting out the scope of the work to be carried out for you by us, including our hourly rate and fee estimate.

1. Our charges, expenses and disbursements

Our fees are based on the time spent by the fee earner on your file.  They are usually charged as units of 1/10th of an hour.

The hourly rate of Nathalie Trousset is £420 plus VAT.

The hourly rates are reviewed annually to reflect increases in overhead costs and inflation, and any changes generally take effect from 1 January each year. 

You will be charged for the time spent on:

  • Telephone calls - made and received concerning your file.
  • Preparing and working on documents and/or pre-meeting reviewing of documentation.
  • All correspondence (emails, letters, faxes) received and sent.
  • Legal research.
  • Internal discussions between fee earners or with external professionals relating to your file.
  • Meetings with you and/or others in relation to your file.
  • Carrying out obligatory due diligence checks for the purposes of complying with anti-money laundering legislation and counter terrorism financing legislation. The usual fee is limited to £40 plus VAT for you and £20 plus VAT thereafter for any additional individuals connected with the matter (for example, a close family member). VAT will be added at the applicable rate.

In exceptional circumstances, or if urgent action must be taken or work must be carried out outside of normal office hours, an extra charge might be added but you will be contacted in advance either by telephone or via email to obtain your approval.

We are entitled to charge for any incidental expenses incurred by us which are specific to the work that we do for you, including (but not limited to) printing, photocopying, scanning of documents or postage.

We are also entitled to charge for disbursements (expenses and other costs) that we may incur on your behalf as part of the supply of our services to you, including (but not limited to) costs of translations or courier charges. Where possible, we will endeavor to provide you with an estimate concerning the nature and amount of any disbursements forming part of the services that we provide to you.

You will normally be invoiced on a monthly basis.  

Payment is due to us on presentation of our invoice (our bank account details are provided on the invoice).  We reserve the right to charge you an interest charge of 8% on any amount outstanding on a daily basis as from the date the bill is presented until payment.  

2. Estimate of costs

We will aim to give you the best possible information, both at the outset and when appropriate as your matter progresses, regarding the likely overall cost of the work we are doing for you. Our estimate though is not a firm indication of what our costs will be and must not be regarded as a commitment on the likely final cost of our work for you. 

In some matters, it may not be possible to give an estimate as to the likely overall amount of our costs, for example, where complicated legal points are involved. If so, we may simply be able to tell you our hourly rates, or agree to carry out preliminary work to narrow down the potential issues and further work required. 

3. Disputed invoices 

We make every effort to avoid disagreements over our invoices, but we accept that there may be occasions where disagreements will arise. These terms do not restrict your right to challenge our charges and there are a number of options open to you, including:

•    Raising the matter with Nathalie Trousset;

•    Using our complaints procedure.

Where you believe that you have been incorrectly charged, applying to the court for your invoice to be assessed under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. The rights to have a bill assessed are however subject to time limits and lost if you do not take action promptly.

4. Your file

We provide advice regarding French law, procedure and transactions.

We do not offer advice, directly or indirectly, on English and Welsh domestic law or UK tax law and you are strongly advised to obtain your own independent English legal and tax advice in respect of your transaction.

The person in charge of your file is Nathalie Trousset, solicitor in England and Wales, who specialises in private international and French law.

Nathalie is also an Avocat à la Cour de Paris, registered at the Paris Bar.  

She is also qualified as a French Notaire “Diplômée Notaire” and as a Public Notary in England and Wales.  Notarial services, such as certifying a power of attorney, are provided under different terms and conditions. 

5. Subcontracting and working with others 

We reserve the right, if we consider it necessary, to subcontract all or part of the job you have instructed us with to another lawyer or professional, selected by us from our panel of specialist lawyers, notaires, accountants and legal translators etc. especially if we consider that the matter will benefit from the assistance and or insight from their services.  If we do this, we will endeavour to obtain an estimate of the fees and expenses likely to be incurred by us.  The fact that we are asking someone else to supply the services shall not alter the amount we are entitled to charge you and we will remain fully responsible to you for the provision of those services.

Alternatively, we may assist you to contract directly with another lawyer or professional. In such circumstances, you will have the sole obligation to pay their fees.

We may also outsource some of our operational legal activities, for example, secretarial support. This is done to provide you with a more efficient service and you shall not be charged any fees for the outsourcing of such activities unless otherwise stated or agreed by you.  We will always seek a confidentiality agreement with such providers.  If you do not want your file to be outsourced, please tell us as soon as possible.

6. Communication 

We will endeavour to communicate with you in such a form as you require.   We will, however, consider ourselves free to communicate with you by email and telephone, unless you instruct us otherwise.

The electronic transmission of information via the internet (including email) has inherent risks and you accept that such transmissions may be lost, undelivered, delayed, intercepted, corrupted, altered or accessed by unauthorized parties.  You understand that our electronic communications are not ordinarily encrypted or digitally signed.

Despite such risks, you authorize us to communicate with you and third parties electronically in all matters relating to our work for you, unless you specifically ask us not to do so.

We will have no liability to you on any basis in respect of any loss whatsoever arising from communication with you or a third party electronically, where the principal basis of claim is that it was sent electronically.

7. Termination 

If at any time and for whatever reason you wish us to stop acting on your behalf, you may terminate your instructions to us in writing addressed to Mrs. Nathalie Trousset.

We, in return, reserve the right to cease acting for you but only with good reason and, where possible, giving you reasonable notice in writing.

In either case, we will retain the right to charge for work done or disbursements incurred up to the time when we ceased to act.

Reasons to cease acting for you include:

  • Failure to give us clear and proper instructions;
  • Where to continue to provide our services would be impractical, unethical and/or unlawful
  • Where you fail to settle our properly rendered invoices in accordance with the terms hereof; or
  • Where we have reasonable cause to believe that you, a close family member or close associate are a designated person for the purposes of sanctions legislation (UK, EU or US sanctions lists). 

We may vary these terms of business from time to time by giving you reasonable written notice.

8. Your Right to Cancel this Agreement

If we have accepted instructions from you given by telephone or by electronic means or at a meeting away from our office, such as your home or place of work, the Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”) apply. 

Under these Regulations, you have the right to cancel your instructions to us for any reason within fourteen days of the date of the conclusion of the contract between us. 

We will not consider that a contract has been established during the 14-day cancellation period unless you specifically request us to commence work within this period by means of a written form of authorisation, such as an e-mail requesting us to commence work. 

If you wish to cancel your instructions, you should do so within the fourteen-day period by providing Nathalie Trousset with notice of your decision to cancel. Please send your cancellation notice to us at: FAO Nathalie Trousset, Trousset Fawcett Limited, 50 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6LX or by email to

You may use the following format:

Cancellation Notice

TO: Nathalie Trousset, Trousset Fawcett Limited, 50 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6LX.

I/We hereby give notice that I/We wish to cancel my/our contract in the name of (insert full name)


If at your request and with your agreement, we begin work on your file before the end of the fourteen-day period, you will not lose your right to cancel our instructions.  

If you wish us to begin work on your file before the fourteen-day period has expired, you must request this in writing by email to Nathalie Trousset. However, you will be liable to pay our fees for the work already undertaken on your behalf in this period and before the cancellation of your instructions.

9. Third Party Rights

All work done and advice provided by us to you is for your use and benefit only as our client and must not be relied upon by anyone else in any circumstance.   Our duty of care is owed to you only, not to third parties, unless agreed otherwise in writing.   No person other than you, the client, may enforce the terms of any agreement between us. 

No benefits under out contract with you, nor legal responsibilities arising from our advice, are enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by a person other than you as our client.

10. Financial Crime and Money Laundering 

We are required by the laws of the UK to comply with anti-money laundering legislation and counter terrorist financing rules.  This is because lawyers who deal with money and property on behalf of clients can be used by criminals wishing to launder money.

Money laundering is defined in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  It can apply to using or dealing with the proceeds of almost any unlawful activities in the UK or abroad, including the evasion of tax.

Our obligation is therefore to:

  • Obtain information about, and evidence of, your identity and any beneficiaries of your matter
  • Obtain information about the nature and purpose of the work that we are doing for you
  • Obtain information on the source of funds and source of wealth
  • Monitor any transaction and keep all identity information up to date.

Personal data requested from you for the purpose of preventing money laundering or terrorist financing will only be used for that purpose, unless you consent otherwise or we are permitted by law to use it in other ways.

In order to comply with the anti-money laundering legislation, we may carry out an electronic search for identification purposes and to check various sanctions’ lists (including government sanction lists). We are likely to do this where your matter is a purchase, sale, French tax matter, estate planning or relates to the administration of an estate.

We may also need you to provide us with information relating to the source of funds for your matter and your source of wealth generally. 

If you do not agree and/or do not provide us with requested information and documentation, we will be unable to act for you.

In certain cases, we will need to report evidence or suspicions of money laundering.   If so, this will not be deemed a breach of the duty of confidentiality we owe you.  If we fail to make a report, we may be committing a criminal offence.  The legislation also makes it an offence for us to disclose to anyone (including you) that we have made a report, if to do so might impede an investigation.

Please be aware that if the information you provide to us does not correspond with the information held on the Companies House register of people with significant control, we are obliged to inform Companies House of this discrepancy. 

As required under anti-money laundering legislation personal identification information used to verify identity must be retained by us for the entire duration of a client relationship with the firm and for five years thereafter.  By instructing us, you consent to our retention of such data beyond this time with the rest of your file and in line with our retention policy (please see paragraph 15 below and our privacy policy available on our website).

11. DAC6 

The sixth Directive on Administrative Cooperation, referred to as DAC6, requires cross-border arrangements to be reported to HMRC from 1 July 2020.  This obligation may apply to intermediaries (which might include Trousset Fawcett) or individual taxpayers.

The main aim of the Directive is to provide tax authorities with an early warning mechanism on new risks of tax avoidance and to allow them to identify taxpayers using such arrangements.  It also enables tax authorities to carry out audits more effectively.

Although targeted principally at tax avoidance arrangements, there may be a requirement to report certain arrangements that do not have a tax avoidance motive. We will assess whether your matter is subject to a reporting obligation. If so, we will inform you. We may also charge for our time in making this assessment and any subsequent report.

12. Data Protection

We take your privacy very seriously.

The use of your information is subject to your instructions, UK data protection legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner as a Data Controller.

  1. We deal with contact information of prospective clients at the request of those prospective clients in order to sign them up as clients so we can undertake services for them.  We deal with this information on the basis that it is necessary for us to take steps, at the request of the prospective client, before entering into a contract with them for our services. 
  2. We deal with various information about clients and parties within the scope of a client engagement so that we can undertake various notarial and legal services for our clients at their request.  

Occasionally we provide some of this information to translators and other relevant professional services providers who deal with the information on our behalf as part of the services we provide to clients.

If you wish to find out more about how we use your information, please read our privacy notice on our website.

13. Financial services and Markets Act 2000

We are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority to provide any financial services.   We do not provide or offer any financial services for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and related legislation.

14. Commissions 

We do not seek nor receive or pay commissions or incentives in respect of referrals or references made by us to any parties whomsoever or vice versa. 

15. Storage of documents

While we are working for you we will keep a paper and/or electronic file. If at the end of your matter you require documents from your file, please let us know.

We do not hold any original documents such as wills, deeds, securities or certificates etc.

In relation to our notarial work, we retain your file in line with our obligations under the Notarial Practice Rules.  

For other matters, we keep your file in most cases for a minimum of seven years as from the date of the completion of your matter. 

If we need to retrieve your file from storage, we will need to charge you.   The charge will be based on the time needed to retrieve the file. We may also charge for reading correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions given by you or on your behalf.

We reserve the right to destroy files without further notice to you at the end of the retention period (minimum of seven years). If so, we will be entitled to assume that you have kept copies of all important parts of your file sent or given to us, and that nothing in your file is of unique importance.

16. Reminders 

We will not be responsible, after completion of your transaction, or once the file is closed, for reminding you of any specific date(s), events or circumstance that may fall due in the future, whatever the relevance

17. Our Service

We will endeavour to ensure that your affairs are handled satisfactorily in all respects and in accordance with the Principles and Codes of Conduct set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We will try to keep you informed of important issues arising, problems and delays encountered, action being taken and progress achieved.

18. Circumstances beyond our control

We shall not be liable to you if, as a cause beyond our reasonable control, we are unable to perform our services.  In the event of any such occurrence, we shall notify you as soon as possible.

19. Company Information


VAT number:                     114330857
SRA registration number:             562854
COMPANY HOUSE registration number:         7634746
ICO Registration number:                ZA012689 

20. Limitation of our liability

Our liability to you for loss will be limited to the level of our professional indemnity cover of £3, 000, 000 (three million pounds) for any one individual transaction or claim, or any one series of related transactions or claims. These limitations will not apply in case of liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence.

We do not accept liability for losses that exceed this figure and by placing instructions with us you are deemed to have consented to this term.

No member of our practice (director, employee or consultant) contracts with you personally or assumes legal responsibility to you personally in respect of work performed by Trousset Fawcett Ltd. All correspondence and communications sent to you in the course of our work, even if signed personally by a member of our practice will for all purposes be treated as having been sent on behalf of Trousset Fawcett Ltd.

You agree with us and with each member of our practice that you will not bring any claim for loss against any member of our practice (except in the case of their individual fraud) but will bring a claim against Trousset Fawcett Ltd as a whole. Members of our practice will be entitled to rely on this provision if any claim is made against them personally.

If you have a claim against us in respect of any loss (arising in contract or tort) for which someone else (including you or any other advisor of yours) could also be liable, our liability to you will be limited to a just and equitable proportion of the total loss, after liability for it has been apportioned between everyone responsible.

21. Professional Indemnity Insurance

Trousset Fawcett Ltd has full professional indemnity insurance in force.  The level of cover complies with the minimum level of cover required by the Solicitors’ Indemnity Insurance Rules.

The contact details of the insurer are:

HDI Global Specialty SE-UK

London Office

10 Fenchurch Street



Tel: 44 20 7015 4000.

The territorial coverage is worldwide.

Further insurance details are available on request

22. Complaints procedure

Our aim is to provide a high quality service in all respects.  If, however, you are not satisfied or have problems with our service, please let us know.

Complaints about our services generally

We are subject to the Principles and Codes of Conduct for solicitors and firms.  For more details please see SRA rules and regulations

We will attempt to resolve problems that may arise with our services as we are anxious that you should feel at ease in raising any concerns you may have with us.  Nathalie Trousset is the person responsible for client care and will investigate and report back to you.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint then you can have the complaint independently looked at by the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman investigates complaints about service issues with lawyers.

The Legal Ombudsman expects complaints to be made to them within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned or within one year of you realising there was a concern. You must also refer your concerns to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of our final response to you.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them at 

Legal Ombudsman, 

PO Box 6806, 





What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour.  This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

23. Confidentiality

We are under a professional and legal obligation to keep the affairs of our clients confidential. We have strict procedures to ensure confidentiality.  However, you agree to us disclosing otherwise confidential and privileged information to relevant third parties for the following purposes:

  • where you have jointly instructed us with any other party (for example with an adult child), providing advice and assistance to that other party;
  • compliance with regulatory requirements that we are subject to, which includes for the purposes of a regulatory audit;
  • dealing with a complaint or claim against us, including a potential complaint or claim, to our professional indemnity insurers and their and our advisers.

24. Applicable law and the jurisdiction of the courts

This agreement and any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales. Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it.

25. Acceptance of Terms of Business

By signing below, you agree and accept the above Terms of Business as well as our fee estimate for your matter. If more convenient, you may also indicate your acceptance to us by email.