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Terms of Engagement
Initial Appointment

The practice is bound by the professional and ethical rules of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the European Patent Institute and is regulated by and subject to the rules and regulations of the Intellectual Property Regulation Board and accepts your instructions to act for you on the basis that the practice and its members will act in accordance with those professional and ethical rules, and in particular are required to respect our clients’ confidence while observing the law and our duty to any Court or Tribunal.

Please read the terms set out below carefully, as they set out the terms on which the practice will act for you:

  1. Instructions
    • In order to for us to provide you with the services you require, we shall rely on you to provide us with clear, timely, complete and accurate information and instructions. We accept no liability for losses you incur due to failure on your part to provide us with clear and complete instructions early enough for us to act within official time limits.
    • We will normally tell you of time limits and, and of actions or instructions that are required. In a small number of circumstances extremely urgent action is required.  It is therefore necessary that you authorise us to take whatever action is necessary to prevent any loss of rights on your part.  By agreeing to these terms you give us such authorisation.
    • We undertake to provide you with reminders only as specifically set out in writing.
    • Please confirm all oral instructions in writing (letter, fax or email). If we do not receive written confirmation of your instructions, we will provide you with our understanding of your instructions in writing, and any time incurred will be charge for.
    • Please notify us promptly of any change of address or of any change in ownership of rights. Please remember that the obtaining of intellectual property rights can take many years.

  2. Retainer
    • We are retained by you to act on your behalf in relation to your intellectual property rights as you instruct us.

  3. Fees
    • Fees are based upon the degree of responsibility and skill involved and the time necessarily occupied in carrying out your instructions. Unless otherwise agreed they will be charged in accordance with the terms and conditions detailed in the following paragraphs 3.2 to 3.5.
    • Charging rates are inflation adjusted every 12 months effective 1st Hourly charge out rates may also be adjusted during the course of a calendar year as a result of staff re-gradings, the engagement of new staff and changing market conditions.
    • All services provided by the practice will be invoiced in accordance with our normal monthly invoicing arrangements whereby invoices are issued at the end of each month in respect of work done and disbursements incurred in that month.
    • Disbursements (referred to at paragraph 3.3 above) include such matters as the cost of searches, Official fees, draftsman’s fees, the costs of external specialists, etc. Only the actual costs of disbursements are recovered from clients, apart from those disbursements payable to foreign entities in a currency other than sterling.  In such cases the cost of the disbursement is converted into sterling at the rate published by the Financial Times on the day the client is invoiced plus a 10% commission, which covers any costs associated with paying the disbursement.
    • Credit Terms
      • New Clients – normal credit terms for new clients are immediate payment on presentation of our invoice. In the case of patent applications we issue an invoice in respect of drafting and filing the patent application when the wording of the specification has been agreed.  This invoice must be settled in full before we will file the application, or within 10 days, whichever is the sooner.

Credit terms for new clients apply to the first three invoices we issue.

  • Established Clients – normal terms of credit for all invoices raised are strictly 30 days from the date of invoice.
  • In the event of late payment the practice reserves the right to charge interest on the overdue amount in accordance with The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. Interest will be calculated at 8% above the Bank of England Base Rate for each month or part of a month, until full payment is received, in respect of invoices which remain unpaid 60 days after the date of invoice.  The right to remove credit terms in the event of late payment is reserved.
  • You may be asked to make payments on account.
  • Our client in this matter is —————————————————————————- and is responsible for payment of our fees.
  • Our contact with our client is —————————————————

  1. Help us to give you the right service
    • If you would like to discuss with us how our service could be improved or if you are dissatisfied with the service being received please let us know by telephoning or writing to Dominic Elsworth.
    • We have a complaints procedure which is available on request and undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and to do all we can to explain the position to you. If you feel that we have given less than a satisfactory service we undertake to do everything reasonable to address your concerns.  If you are still not satisfied you may take up any matter with the Legal Ombudsman within 12 months of making the complaint.  Details of how to contact the Legal Ombudsman can be found at,

  2. Applicable law
    • This engagement document is governed by and construed in accordance with English law. The Courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this engagement document and any matter arising from it.  Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to any action being brought in those courts to claim that the action has been brought in an inappropriate forum or to claim that those courts do not have jurisdiction.
  3. Agreement of terms
    • The terms as set out in this document shall take effect immediately upon you countersigning the additional enclosed copy of this document.
    • Provided that you are in agreement with the terms of engagement as outlined herein we shall be grateful if you would please confirm this by signing and dating the enclosed additional copy of this document before returning it to us as soon as possible. This document will remain effective until it is replaced.
    • If the contents are not in accordance with your understanding of our agreement we shall be please to receive your observations and to give you any further information you require.

I confirm that I have read and understood the contents of this document and agree that it accurately reflects our understanding of the services I have instructed you to undertake.


_______________________ for and on behalf

_______________________ for and on behalf of Hargreaves Elsworth Limited

26 Northumberland Square, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE30 1PW, UK
T +44 191 269 5477 - F +44 191 247 7102