Who we are
Smith Dawson Solicitors use and are responsible for certain personal information about you. We are regulated by the General Data Protection Regulations. Frank Calleia is the person responsible for data protection.
The legal basis for processing information is that of contracted obligation as set out in Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulations. This requires at least one lawful bases for processing to be satisfied.
e areInformation we collect and use
In acting for you we will collect personal information that you provide. This may consist of name, address, phone number and email address.
How we use your personal information
We use the information simply in order to contact you and keep you informed as to progress on your matter.
Sharing your personal information
We will not share your personal information with anyone unless we are obliged by law to do so. This will include providing information to the Legal Aid Agency, the National Taxing Team, our Accountants and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Each of those third parties have safeguards in place designed to ensure your privacy rights.
How long your personal information will be kept
We will hold your personal information for no longer than necessary.
Under the General Data Protection Regulations you have a number of important rights which include:-
For further information please refer to the guidance from the UK Information Commissioners Office on individuals rights under the General Data Protection Regulations.
If you would like to exercise any of your rights then you must contact us with full details.
Finally we confirm that we have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in any unauthorised way. Access to your personal information is limited to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those that process your information are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
If there are any suspected data security breaches involving your personal information you will be notified as will the Regulator where we are legally required to do so.
Our complaints procedure is detailed in our client care letter and on this web page
Who we are and what we do
During the course of the case you may come across any of the following people -
Andrew Brocklehurst Frank Calleia David Dorrance
Accredited Police Station Representative;
Barristers and Agents - When we use a Barrister or Agent we always try and choose someone who will look after you sympathetically. If you have any difficulties or preferences please let us know.
Looking after you -
Financing your case
Who should read this?
You should read this if you are or a child of yours under 18 is
To avoid unnecessary repetition, our use of the word you includes the parent of a child under 18 where appropriate.
Investigations at the police station and prison
If the police or Customs and Excise want to speak to you, you are entitled to free representation.
Investigations outside the police station and prison
If any other investigators want to speak to you, you are entitled to free representation if a constable is there, otherwise you may be entitled to advice. See below.
Advice is help with your case which does not include representation.You are entitled in the first instance to two hours' free legal advice if you, or if you are the parent/guardian of a child under 18
Disposable income not to exceed £99 per week. Passported if in receipt of
You will have to let us have some evidence of your financial circumstances. How much work we can do will depend on what your case actually needs. In appropriate cases we would be able to do more than two hours work.
Representation at the Magistrates Court
You can apply for legal aid - for any matter before a court. The court will only grant it if: -
If the court refuses your application you can appeal against that decision.
If the court grants you a legal aid order you will not have to pay towards the cost of your defence in the magistrates court or in the crown court if the magistrates send you there for sentence.
If your case goes to the crown court you may be ordered to pay towards the cost of your defence. This is fully explained in leaflet CF2.
Withdrawal of a Legal Aid Order
Once granted your legal aid order will normally run until your case finishes. The court must however consider withdrawing your order if -
If your legal aid order is withdrawn and you want to carry on being represented you can appeal to the same court against that decision.
If your case is not covered by any form of public funding and we cannot do it without payment, we can only look after you on a private client basis.
Our charges are normally £200.00 per hour plus VAT plus disbursements.
We will provide an estimate of our costs at the outset of your case HOWEVER most cases will be suitable for a fixed fee arrangement
Fixed Fee Arrangements
Representation in guilty pleas
Our fixed fee is ₤500.00 + VAT
Representation on not guilty pleas
Our fixed fees for trials not exceeding one day:-
This covers travel to a court outside Wolverhampton within 45 minutes travelling time.
Our fixed fee is ₤50.00 + VAT per return journey.
NB – travel to courts further away will be charged on an hourly basis or by agreement.
All claims for costs, whether on account or final invoice, must be paid within seven days.
Payment of Interest on Client Monies
We have a policy on the payment of interest in accordance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules. This policy is available upon request.
If you successfully defend the allegation(s) against you we shall ask the court to make a defendant’s costs order for the payment out of public funds of
NB – a defendant’s costs order does not cover loss of earnings
The court should normally grant an order.
We will prepare the claim for our costs and send it to the National Taxing Team. You will be responsible for claiming you own out of pocket expenses. Most courts have an expenses claim form for you to fill in.
If our costs are paid in full then we will return to you any monies already received from you. We will do this upon receipt of payment to us from the court service
If our costs are not paid in full by the court service then they will be paid from monies received from the court service plus monies received from you in respect of our agreed fee. This may mean that you will not be fully reimbursed. Any surplus will be returned to you once we receive payment from the court service.
If you have any legal expenses insurance, this may cover you for your case. It depends on the wording of the policy. Some legal expenses insurance is often included in household insurance policies. If you have household insurance or any other insurance you think may help, you must let us know so that we can look into it.
Although you will not have to pay your own costs, if you are convicted you may still have to pay the prosecution costs in your case. How much that is depends on the type of case and how much the court thinks it can properly order you to pay.
Financing your case in the Crown Court
Evidence of means
If your case is sent to the Crown Court , unless you have already pleaded guilty and the Magistrates have sent you to the Crown Court for sentence, then you will automatically qualify for legally aided representation once you have completed an application form. After you have been means tested, you may have to pay towards the cost of your defence. This could be from income whilst the case is ongoing and/or from your capital, if you are convicted.
You will be asked to provide evidence of your income and assets. If you do not, your payments could be increased which would result in you paying more towards your defence costs. If you do not tell the truth on your legal aid application about your income, assets and expenditure then you could be prosecuted for fraud.
You will not have to pay towards the costs of your case if you are under 18 when you make your application or if you receive any of the following benefits:- Universal Credit, guaranteed state pension credit or income-related employment and support allowance.
You may have to pay towards your costs if your monthly disposable income is above a certain level. If this is the case, then you will receive a Contribution Order from the Legal Aid Agency and you will have to make the payments as required under the Order. The first payment will be due within 28 days of your case being committed, sent or transferred to the Crown Court for trial. You must tell the Legal Aid Agency about any changes to your financial circumstances during your case because any changes may affect the amount that you will have to pay towards your defence costs. If you don't think that you can afford to pay, or if you think that a mistake has been made, you can ask for a review of the amount the Legal Aid Agency has told you to pay.
At the end of your case, if you are found not guilty, any payments that you have made will be refunded to you with interest. If you paid late, or not at all, and action was taken against you for the payment to be made, then the costs of this action will be deducted from your refund.
If you are found guilty, you may have to pay towards your defence costs from any captial assets that you may have. This would only apply if:-
You will be told at the end of your case if you have to make a payment from capital and you may receive a letter from the Legal Aid Agency, or an agent working on their behalf, informing you that this assessment will now take place.
Please contact us if you wish to discuss this with us further.
If you are convicted you may still have to pay the prosecution costs in your case. How much that will be depends on the type of case and how much the court thinks it can properly order you to pay.