Arc Pensions Law LLP (“Arc”) is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC398641. The affiliated independent trustee company, Pension Lawyer Trustee Limited (“PLTL”), is a private limited company registered in England and Wales, with registered number 09470552. Arc and PLTL are each separately authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. (“SRA”). The SRA Standards and Regulations sets out our professional and ethical rules and obligations (including the SRA Codes of Conduct and SRA Accounts Rules), and can be viewed at www.sra.org.uk.
Information for Our Clients
We have set out below some additional information which we are obliged to provide to clients (as provided for in our standard Terms of Business). If you are a client of either Arc or PLTL and would like to receive the current Terms of Business and/or any other information in hard copy, please contact the Partner/Director responsible for our work with you.
Please note that if you are a client of PLTL you are asked to provide your consent to share information with Arc in our Terms of Business.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, the professional indemnity insurer for both Arc and PLTL is Travelers Insurance Co Ltd.
Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
Some investment-related activities (including insurance distribution activities) are regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 of the United Kingdom (“FSMA”).
Like most law firms or independent trustee companies, neither Arc nor PLTL are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) under FSMA.
Instead, each entity is authorised and regulated by the SRA. The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of FSMA, but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The SRA is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints about lawyers registered in England and Wales. In the light of this, we can provide investment-related services (including insurance distribution activities) if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide through Arc or PLTL, if they can reasonably be regarded as a necessary part of our professional services or if we are otherwise permitted to provide them under FSMA. For the purpose of insurance distribution activities (broadly, advising on, selling and the administration of insurance contracts), we are included on a register maintained by the FCA and are permitted by the FCA to carry on insurance distribution activities. This register can be accessed via the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/register.
Arc and PLTL may require clients to provide documents and information concerning the contracting client entity and related persons, entities or affiliates, in order to comply with relevant anti-money laundering laws and regulations. We may be prevented from carrying out your instructions if we are unable to meet our requirements, which often include verifying the identities of your ultimate beneficial owners.
We may be required by law or regulation to report to a governmental or regulatory authority our knowledge and/or suspicion that certain criminal offences have been committed, regardless of whether such an offence has been committed by a client of ours or by a third party. We may not be able to discuss such reports with you because of restrictions imposed by those laws and regulations, and we may have to cease acting for you in those circumstances. You agree that neither Arc nor PLTL will be responsible for any adverse consequences you may suffer as a result of our compliance with such laws and regulations, whether caused by our inactivity or otherwise.
Anti-Bribery and Corruption
Arc’s and PLTL’s policy is to act at all times in accordance with the highest professional, ethical and business standards, and we expect the same from our clients and their related persons, entities or affiliates. We have a zero tolerance approach to bribery or corruption and you agree not to expect or request any conduct from us that might bring our name into disrepute or compromise our integrity and independence and that you or your related persons, entities or affiliates will refrain from any practices involving bribery or any other corrupt activities.
Client Audit Requests
If Arc or PLTL are required by any governmental or regulatory body, or by your auditing accountants or any other service provider appointed by you, to produce documents or provide information on any engagement, we shall be entitled to bill you for the work involved (and any disbursements or expenses incurred) at the rates agreed for the relevant matter.
In response to any request to provide information to your auditors, our policy is to comply with the laws and regulations applicable to us and in particular with the guidance from the Law Society of England & Wales.
If you wish to make a complaint about Arc or PLTL then, in the first instance, please contact the person with whom you are working or corresponding to set out your concerns. We will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage and, if applicable, will confirm our complaints handling procedure in writing (which is available to clients at any time on request).
If you have instructed Arc or PLTL, and you are not happy with our attempt to handle or resolve matters, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman (PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, tel: 0300 555 0333; email: firstname.lastname@example.org), which deals with complaints against lawyers registered in England and Wales. If you do wish to refer a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman, it should be done within six months of our final response to your complaint and within six years of the act or omission that caused the complaint or, if outside this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have known about the relevant act or omission.
The Legal Ombudsman may refer your complaint to the SRA if they are not the correct body to consider the matter, as the Legal Ombudsman’s services are only available for certain types of complaints and complainants. For full details, please visit: https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/helping-the-public/make-a-complaint/ and https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/problems/report-solicitor.page.
If your complaint is about your bill, you may also apply to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors’ Act 1974. If all or part of a bill remains unpaid, we may be entitled to charge interest.
Client Account and Interest
Pursuant to the SRA Accounts Rules, Arc’s and PLTL’s policy is to account to our clients for a sum in lieu of interest on a fair and reasonable basis. Client monies will be deposited in a general client account (an instant access account in which amounts for different clients are pooled) unless we are instructed to create a separate designated account. In any event, it is unlikely that a client will receive as much interest as might have been obtained had the funds been invested by the client itself.
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
At Arc Pensions Law we strive to demonstrate that we take our corporate responsibilities seriously and uphold our integrity through our conduct and values. Click here to read the statement in full.
Arc is committed to creating an environment in which equality of opportunity is a reality for all members of staff where all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and where all decisions are based on merit. We have recently carried out an equality and diversity survey of our employees and from the anonymous data that has been provided by them (employees are free to decline to complete the survey or to choose “prefer not to say”) we have been able to conclude that they fall into the various protected characteristic types as defined by the Equality Act 2010 (sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc.).
Due to the risk of employees being identified through their anonymous data we are unable to publish more specific details without breaching the Data Protection Act 2018.
Arc and PLTL are registered for VAT purposes under number 271430428