Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions
These terms and conditions are the contract between you and Vardags Ltd (“us”, “we”, etc). By visiting or using Our Website, or signing up for our Services, you agree to be bound by them.
We are Vardags Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales, number 7199468. Vardags Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and has the SRA reference number 535955. Vardags Ltd’s VAT number is 990017230.
Our address is 10 Old Bailey, London, EC4M 7NG. You can contact us by writing to this address, by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 020 7458 4349..
Please read this agreement carefully and save it. If you do not agree with it, you should leave Our Website immediately.
These are the agreed terms
||means the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of your experience on Our Website. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations. It includes content posted by you.
||means intellectual property owned by us, of every sort, whether or not registered or registrable in any country, including intellectual property of all kinds coming into existence after today; and including, among others, patents, trademarks, unregistered marks, designs, copyrights, software, domain names, discoveries, creations and inventions, together with all rights which are derived from those rights.
||means any website or service designed for electronic access by mobile or fixed devices which is owned or operated by us or any member of Vardags Ltd. It includes all web pages controlled by us.
||means place on or into Our Website any Content or material of any sort by any means.
||means all of the services available from Our Website.
2. Your account and personal information
- When you visit Our Website, you accept responsibility for any action done by any person using your name, account or password. You should take all necessary steps to ensure that the password is kept confidential and secure and should inform us immediately if you have any reason to believe that your password has become known to anyone else, or if the password is being, or is likely to be, used in an unauthorised manner.
- You agree that you have provided accurate, up to date, and complete information about yourself. We are not responsible for any error made as a result of such information being inaccurate.
- You agree to notify us of any changes in your information immediately it occurs. If you do not do so, we may terminate your account.
3. How we handle your data
- If you Post Content to any public area of Our Website it becomes available in the public domain. We have no control over who sees it or what anyone does with it.
- Even if access to your data is behind a user registration, it remains effectively in the public domain because someone has only to register and log in to access it. You should therefore avoid Posting unnecessary confidential information.
- We need the freedom to be able to publicise our Services and your own use of them. You therefore now irrevocably grant to us the right and licence to edit, copy, adapt, publish, distribute, create derivative works from, translate and otherwise use any Content that you place on Our Website, in public domain and in any medium. You represent and warrant that you are authorised to grant all such rights.
- We will use that licence only for commercial purposes of the business of Our Website.
- You understand that you are personally responsible for your breach of intellectual property rights, defamation, or any law, which may occur as a result of any Content having been Posted by you;
- You accept all risk and responsibility for determining whether any Posting is in the public domain and not confidential.
- Please notify us of any security breach or unauthorised use of your account.
- We do not solicit ideas or text for improvement of our Service, but if you do send to us material of any sort, you are deemed to have granted to us a licence to use it in the terms set out at above.
4. Restrictions on what you may Post to Our Website
We invite you to Post Content to Our Website in several ways and for different purposes. We have to regulate your use of Our Website to protect our business and our staff, to protect other users of Our Website and to comply with the law. These provisions apply to all users of Our Website. We have the right to publish, check, edit or reject any Content submitted to us for any purpose whatsoever, including commercial or any other use.
We do not undertake to moderate or check every item Posted, but we do protect our business vigorously. If we believe Content Posted breaches the law, we shall co-operate fully with the law enforcement authorities in whatever ways we can.
You agree that you will not use or allow anyone else to use Our Website to Post, upload Content or undertake any activity which is or may:
- be unlawful, or tend to incite another person to commit a crime;
- consist in commercial audio, video or music files;
- be obscene, offensive, threatening, violent, malicious or defamatory;
- be sexually explicit or pornographic;
- be likely to deceive any person or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity, age or affiliation with any person;
- give the impression that it emanates from us or that you are connected with us or that we have endorsed you or your business;
- post Content on behalf of some other person, or impersonate another person;
- use a Posting to solicit responses unconnected with the purpose of Our Website or the terms proposed by this agreement;
- be protected by Intellectual Property, personal, contractual, proprietary or other right owned by a third party without the express permission of the owner of that right, and you are solely responsible for any damage resulting from your failure to obtain such permission;
- request or collect passwords or other personal information from another user without his or her permission, nor Post any unnecessary personal information about yourself;
- be used to sell any goods or services or for any other commercial use not intended by us, for yourself or for any other person. Examples are: sending private messages with a commercial purpose, or collecting information with the intention of passing it to a third party for his or her commercial use;
- link to any of the material specified in this paragraph;
- post excessive or repeated off-topic messages to any forum or group; and
- send age-inappropriate communications or Content to anyone under the age of 18.
5. Your posting: restricted content
In connection with the restrictions set out below, we may refuse or edit or remove a Posting which does not comply with these terms.
In addition to the restrictions set out above, a Posting must not contain:
- hyperlinks, other than those specifically authorised by us;
- keywords or words repeated, which are irrelevant to the Content Posted;
- the name, logo or trademark of any organisation other than yours;
- inaccurate, false, or misleading information.
6. Removal of offensive Content
- We are under no obligation to monitor or record the activity of any user of Our Website for any purpose, nor do we assume any responsibility to monitor or police internet-related activities. However, we may do so without notice to you and without giving you a reason.
- If you are offended by any Content, the following procedure applies:
- your claim or complaint must be submitted to us by post at 10 Old Bailey, London EC4M 7NG or email via [email protected]
- we shall remove the offending Content as soon as we are reasonably able;
- after we receive notice of a claim or complaint, we shall investigate so far as we alone decide;
- we may re-instate the Content about which you have complained or not.
- In respect of any complaint made by you or any person on your behalf, whether using our form of complaint or not, you now irrevocably grant to us a licence to publish the complaint and all ensuing correspondence and communication, without limit.
- You now agree that if any complaint is made by you frivolously or vexatiously you will repay us the cost of our investigation including legal fees, if any.
7. Our website: moderated Content
- Whatever the age of consent in your country, we are anxious that our users should be protected from unsuitable Content. To protect you and your children, you should know our policy, which is as follows:
- Insofar as Content relates to children, we have checked both the entries, and, where relevant, the links.
- We do not knowingly collect personal information from any person under the age of 18 years.
- Any person of any age may freely access any page of Our Website. We do not check identities nor moderate Content beyond our reasonable control.
- It is you, not we, who provide access to Our Website for the children in your care. It is for you to check that the Content your children might see is suitable for them.
- Where links are concerned, you may like to check the privacy policies of those sites where your children might visit frequently to see how they collect and use information.
- Filter software may also be useful to you.
- You acknowledge that we are not responsible for Content that anyone has placed on Our Website for the content of the site accessible by a link from Our Website.
- You now agree to waive any claim you may otherwise have against us on account of age-related suitability of Content and to indemnify us against any claim made by any person on behalf of a child in your care.
8. Security of our website
- You now agree that you will not, and will not allow any other person to:
- modify, copy, or cause damage or unintended effect to any portion of Our Website, or any software used within it.
- link to Our Website in any way that would cause the appearance or presentation of the site to be different from what would be seen by a user who accessed the site by typing the URL into a standard browser;
- download any part of Our Website, without our express written consent;
- collect or use any product listings, descriptions, or prices;
- collect or use any information obtained from or about Our Website or the Content except as intended by this agreement;
- aggregate, copy or duplicate in any manner any of the Content or information available from Our Website, other than as permitted by this agreement or as is reasonably necessary for your use of the Services;
- share with a third party any login credentials to Our Website;
- Despite the above terms, we now grant a licence to you to:
- create a hyperlink to Our Website for the purpose of promoting an interest common to both of us. You can do this without specific permission. This licence is conditional upon your not portraying us or any product or service in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive manner. You may not use any logo or other proprietary graphic or trademark of ours as part of the link without our express written consent.
- you may copy the text of any page for your personal use in connection with the purpose of Our Website or a Service we provide.
9. Intellectual property
- not do anything which does or might reduce the value of our Intellectual Property or challenge our ownership of it.
- You agree that at all times you will:
- notify us of any suspected infringement of the Intellectual Property;
- so far as concerns software provided or made accessible by us to you, you will not:
- copy, or make any change to any part of its code;
- use it in any way not anticipated by this agreement;
- give access to it to any other person than you, the licensee in this agreement;
- in any way provide any information about it to any other person or generally.
- not use the Intellectual Property except directly as intended by this agreement or in our interest.
10. Disclaimers and limitation of liability
- The law differs from one country to another. This paragraph applies so far as the applicable law allows.
- All implied conditions, warranties and terms are excluded from this agreement. If in any jurisdiction an implied condition, warrant or term cannot be excluded, then this sub paragraph shall be deemed to be reduced in effect, only to the extent necessary to release that specific condition, warranty or term.
- Our Website includes Content Posted by third parties. We are not responsible for any such Posting. If you come across any Content which offends against this document, please contact us via email at [email protected].
- The opinions expressed on Our Website do not necessarily reflect those of Vardags Ltd. The entire contents of Our Website and Content Posted by third parties on it, are generic in nature and do not constitute specific advice that should be relied upon by yourselves or other individual readers.
- You are advised that Content may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. This is inevitable in any large website. We would be grateful if you bring to our immediate attention any that you find.
- Our Website contains links to other internet websites. We have neither power nor control over any such website. You acknowledge and agree that we shall not be liable in any way for the content of any such linked website, nor for any loss or damage arising from your use of any such website or from your buying services or goods via such a website.
- Our Website and the Services are provided “as is”. We make no representation or warranty that Our Website or Services will be:
- useful to you;
- of satisfactory quality;
- up to date, or accurate;
- fit for a particular purpose;
- available or accessible, without interruption, or without error.
- We disclaim any obligation or liability to you arising directly or indirectly from information you take from and/or upon any reliance you place on Our Website.
- We accept no responsibility for:
- third party advertisements which are posted on Our Website or through the Services;
- the conduct, whether online or offline, of any user of Our Website or the Services;
- failure or malfunction of computer hardware or software or technical equipment or system connected directly or indirectly to your use of the Services.
- Neither we nor any of our directors, employees or other representatives shall be liable to you for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with your use of Our Website or any Content or information contained in it. This is a comprehensive limitation of liability that applies to all damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect or consequential damages, income or profit and any third party claims.
- This paragraph (and any other paragraph which excludes or restricts our liability) applies to our directors, officers, employees, subcontractors, agents and affiliated companies (who may enforce this provision under the contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999) as well as to us.
- The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.
- Though Vardags are experts in family law and regularly advise clients in relation to international family law disputes, we are only able to advise in relation to English law. All articles and references to the law in other jurisdictions is for guidance purposes only, and should not be relied upon. If you think you require bespoke advice on an international divorce, please see how Vardags can help you.
11. You indemnify us
You agree to indemnify and hold us (and our directors, employees and other representatives) harmless against all costs, claims and expense arising directly or indirectly from any third party claim (including reasonable solicitors’ fees) brought against us due to::
- your failure to comply with the law of any country;
- your breach of this agreement;
- a contractual claim arising from your use of the Services
- any Content you Post to Our Website;
- a breach of the intellectual property rights of any person.
12. Miscellaneous matters
- You undertake to provide to us your current land address, e-mail address and telephone number as often as they are changed together with all information that we may require to enable us to fulfil our obligations under this contract.
- If any term or provision of this agreement is at any time held by any jurisdiction to be void, invalid or unenforceable, then it shall be treated as changed or reduced, only to the extent minimally necessary to bring it within the laws of that jurisdiction and to prevent it from being void and it shall be binding in that changed or reduced form. Subject to that, each provision shall be interpreted as severable and shall not in any way affect any other of these terms.
- If you are in breach of any term of this agreement, we may:
- publish all text and Content relating to the claimed breach, including your name and email address and all correspondence between us and our respective advisers; and you now irrevocably give your consent to such publication.
- terminate your account and refuse access to Our Website;
- remove or edit Content, or cancel any order at our discretion;
- issue a claim in any court.
- No failure or delay by any party to exercise any right, power or remedy will operate as a waiver of it nor indicate any intention to reduce that or any other right in the future.
- You agree that we may disclose your information including assigned IP numbers, account history, account use, etc. to any judicial or proper legal authority who makes a written request without further consent or notification to you.
- Any communication to be served on either party by the other shall be delivered by hand or sent by first class post or recorded delivery or by e-mail.
It shall be deemed to have been delivered:
if delivered by hand: on the day of delivery;
if sent by post to the correct address: within 72 hours of posting;
If sent by e-mail to the address from which the receiving party has last sent e-mail: within 24 hours if no notice of non-receipt has been received by the sender.
- In the event of a dispute between the parties to this agreement, then they undertake to attempt to settle the dispute by engaging in good faith with the other in a process of mediation before commencing arbitration or litigation.
- This agreement does not give any right to any third party under the contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 or otherwise, except that any provision in this agreement which excludes or restricts the liability of our directors, officers, employees, subcontractors, agents and affiliated companies, may be enforced under that act.
- In the event of any conflict between any term of this agreement and the provisions of the articles of a limited company or any comparable document intended to regulate any other corporate or collective body, then the terms of this agreement shall prevail.
- The validity, construction and performance of this agreement shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and you agree that any dispute arising from it shall be litigated only in England and Wales.
We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all of our clients. When clients raise
concerns or something goes wrong we really do need to be informed. This will help us to improve
our standards going forward and rectify any issues which can be resolved during the course of our
instruction, to provide the best possible service that we can.
2. WHAT IS A COMPLAINT?
We define a complaint as:
“any issue or concern raised or reported by a client in relation to our service, the
level of our fees, or how we have dealt with a matter”.
3. MAKING A COMPLAINT
You can register a complaint with the person with day-to-day conduct of your matter or with the
Director with overall responsibility for your matter, details of which are given in your initial Client
Engagement Letter. You can do this verbally or in writing and our preference would be the latter so
that we have a good understanding of the issues of concern to you.
Details of your complaint with be passed to our Complaints Officer, Vicki McLynn (or if the matter
concerns Ms McLynn, then to her deputy, Terence Trainor). However, in the first instance, the person
with day-to-day conduct of your matter and the Director with overall responsibly for your matter,
with the assistance of our Practice Support Officer where appropriate, will try to resolve the problem
to your satisfaction informally.
If they are not able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you may request that the complaint
be escalated to be dealt with by our Complaints Officer. We will ask you to provide Ms Mclynn (or
Mr Trainor, as appropriate) with a formal letter (an “Escalated Complaint Letter”) setting out:
- the full nature of your complaint
- the names of the parties who you believe to be responsible
- how you propose your complaint be resolved.
4. INVESTIGATING THE ESCALATED COMPLAINT
Upon receipt of your Escalated Complaint Letter, our Complaints Officer will:
- acknowledge receipt within 7 days;
- record your complaint in our Central Complaints Register and open a separate file for your
- conduct a full investigation and an independent review of the matter;
- aim to respond to you in full within 8 weeks. However, if your complaint is of a more complex
nature more time may be required and if that is the case our Complaints Offer will let you know
when you can expect to receive a full response. Our Complaints Officer may also invite you to
meet with her and the Director with overall responsibility for your matter in order to gather more
information and resolve the matter; and
- reply to you in writing, to tell you of her views on the complaint and, where applicable, how she
proposes to resolve it, hopefully to your satisfaction.
If still unresolved at this stage, you may take the complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, further details
in respect of which are given below. We will issue a final letter advising you of this.
5. LEGAL OMBUDSMAN
The Legal Ombudsman is the independent body established by the Office for Legal Complaints under
the Legal Services Act 2007 to deal with complaints against Solicitors.
The Legal Ombudsman may:
- investigate the quality of professional service supplied by a solicitor to a client;
- investigate allegations that a solicitor has breached rules of professional conduct;
- investigate allegations that a solicitor has unreasonably refused to supply a professional service
to a prospective client; and
- investigate allegations that a solicitor has persistently or unreasonably offered a professional
service that the client does not want.
Before it will consider a complaint the Legal Ombudsman generally requires that the firm’s internal
Complaints Procedure (outlined above) has been exhausted. If the Legal Ombudsman is satisfied that
the firm’s proposals for resolving a complaint are reasonable, it may decline to investigate further.
You will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final
response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission, giving rise
to the complaint or, alternatively, 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are
grounds for complaint.
The Legal Ombudsman’s address and contact details are:
PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ; telephone, 0300 555 0333; website,
www.legalombudsman.org.uk; or email [email protected]
6. THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you 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. You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation
7. CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO ONLINE
If we are unable to resolve your complaint which relates to a contract entered into online, you may
contact the Online Dispute Resolution providers by accessing the following link
Cyber-crime is on the increase, and you should be on the look-out for it to ensure that you do not become a victim of it. The website of the Solicitors Regulation Authority contains a ‘Scam Alert’ database which provides members of the public with information about known scams in which the identity of a legitimate law firm or a legitimate lawyer has been used by persons unknown for what are assumed to be criminal purposes (sra.org.uk).
You should be alive to the possibility that a fraudster might deliberately misrepresent himself or herself as a member of, or as someone acting on behalf of or working with, Vardags, for criminal purposes. Such scams normally originate by email. Often the email will either promise the recipient a share of a large sum of money in return for paying a modest sum up front (an advance fee type fraud) or request personal or financial information about the recipient or the recipient’s bank account allegedly in order that money can be paid to them (an identity theft type fraud). In an attempt to give legitimacy or respectability to the scam, sometimes the email will direct the recipient to a false website that intentionally replicates the look of a legitimate website (a cloned website).
Scam emails often inform the recipient either that lottery winners wish to donate money to them, they might be a beneficiary of the estate of a deceased person or they might be the beneficiary of a recently discovered life insurance policy. Such emails are invariably fraudulent and should not be replied to or acted upon unless or until their provenance can be established. If you receive an unsolicited and poorly worded email from someone you do not know who is using a free email service and an unusual email address and it contains information or an offer which appears too good to be true, it very likely is not true.
If you receive an email purporting to come from Vardags or a Firm member, or if you are directed to a website which purports to be Vardags website, and you have doubts or concerns about the provenance of the email or website, before taking any action please either contact the Firm member you normally deal with or email the Chief of Staff, John Oxley, [email protected], and they will tell you whether the email came from us or whether it is our website.