Harriet & George is not a solicitors firm. It is a ‘bespoke’ independent Legal Consultancy, which provides specific types of services to businesses and individuals.
This means that there are certain regulatory limitations on what Harriet & George and its Consultants can actually do. For example, we cannot provide public facing legal advice in relation to reserved legal activities as specified in section 12 of the Legal Services Act, which includes the exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, notarial activities and the administration of oaths.
All these terms are defined in detail in Schedule 2 to the Act. For more information about this please visit the Solicitors Regulation Authority website for further details.
However, we can provide “in-house” legal services to companies which include the exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, notarial activities and the administration of oaths, where one of our Consultants is appointed as a legal officer or legal director.
We can also provide “agency” based legal services to individuals and companies which include the exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate-activities, notarial-activities and the administration of oaths, where Harriet & George enters into an “agency” agreement with a law firm in relation to a particular project or client. In such instances, Harriet & George and its Consultants operate under the regulatory umbrella of the firm whom we enter into such agreements with.
Similarly, we cannot provide any Claims Management Services in our own right as we do not hold a licence and are not regulated by the Ministry of Justice. The Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2007 set out the specific requirements relating to Claims Management.
However, we can provide “agency” based claims management services. The Ministry of Justice Guidance relating to who needs to be authorised to conduct Claims Management under the Compensation Act 2006 provides certain exemptions from the acquirement to register and obtain a licence to become authorised. The particular exemptions which relate to Harriet & George include:
(a) Legal consultants / practitioners
An exemption exists in relation to legal practitioners acting in the normal course of practice in a way permitted by professional rules to which the legal practitioner is subject. In relation to Harriet & George, this would cover “agency” work for a law firm;
(b) “exempt introducer” status
The requirements are set out in detail in the Compensation (Exemptions) Order 2007. Essentially, our primary business is not claims management, but as a consequence of some of the projects we become involved in there is an element of claims management. Given the size of such projects “exempt introducer” status would apply in the first instance. Where such projects exceed the threshold for this exemption, we would then be exempted by virtue of (c) below;
(c) Introducers acting as agents for a business
Where introducers are in effect agents of a licensed claims management business, then, if there is a proper agency contract, such agents are covered by the claims management business’s authorization. We always enter into proper agency contracts to ensure compliance with the requirements for exemption.
In the event that Harriet & George engages in any agency based legal services or claims management services, we will comply with the regulatory requirements both in respect of transparency with the partner business and also in respect of transparency with the individual client(s).
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Because we are not a law firm or Claims Management Company we are not regulated directly by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Ministry of Justice. We are regulated indirectly where we act as an agent, as described below. However, we have working and practicing Solicitors and Barristers who work directly with Harriet & George and they are regulated by the SRA in the UK in their own right, or the equivalent body abroad.
In the unlikely event that a client, individual or partner brings a complaint against St Joseph’s, it will be deemed to be a complaint against the person involved in the specific case. As such if the complaint is about a Solicitor it should be put to the SRA, a Barrister, should be put to the Bar Counsel.
Harriet & George has sought to import the principles of the Best Practice Code into this business to ensure clients, individuals or partners receive high standards and have a process for redress if they are unhappy with the final decision of any complaint.
The Data Protection Act
Harriet & George doesn’t normally collect or hold information which would be covered by the Data Protection Act.