Our Interest policy seeks to provide a fair outcome for clients whilst recognising that money must be immediately available, unless clear instructions are received to the contrary.
QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Rule 22 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 sets out when interest must be paid on money held in our client account. Full details are available at http://www.sra.org.uk/handbook/. The purpose of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 is to ensure that client money is kept safe and available for the purpose for which it is provided and separate from funds belonging to the firm. Client money must be held in a client account as defined by the Banking Act. In doing this, funds are protected from being used to cover any liability to the bank by the firm.
In accordance with these rules, it is the firm’s policy to account to its clients for a sum in lieu of interest on a fair and reasonable basis. In particular:
Client monies will normally be held in general client bank accounts, in which amounts for different matters and clients are pooled.
A sum in lieu of interest will be payable on amounts held in general client bank accounts on the following basis:
2.1. Interest will be calculated daily on the balance held for each individual matter and compounded at the end of the matter
2.2. In normal circumstances, if the total amount of interest calculated over the course of a transaction is less than £35, no interest will be paid as our administrative charges would exceed this amount,
2.3 We will retain interest paid to us by the bank on the aggregate of all client money held in the general client account.
Client monies will normally be held in an instant access bank account to facilitate transactions. Since the funds are held on an instant access basis it means that you are unlikely to receive as much interest on money held as might have been obtained had you invested the money yourself.
If client monies are held in a separate designated deposit account (i.e. a specific bank account, for a specific matter) all interest earned on that account will be credited to that bank account and paid to the client in full.
Calculation of interest payable
Interest will be calculated and paid by reference to applicable rates over the period for which we hold cleared funds. Unless otherwise agreed, where we are conducting more than one matter for you, balances will not be aggregated for calculation purposes.
Application of Interest for client funds held
We will not pay interest on money held:
For payment of a professional disbursement once counsel or other professional has requested a delay in settlement.
For the Legal Aid Agency.
On an advance from us into our general client account to fund a payment on your behalf in excess of funds already held for you in that account.
If there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy.
This policy will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it continues to deliver a fair outcome to clients.