About SLC Solicitors
Working in partnership
The driving force behind the establishment of SLC has always been to help and support businesses that are in some way worried about employing professionals within the legal profession as there is a perception that what drives legal business is time recording and billing and perhaps to a lesser extent the financial interests and wellbeing of clients’ businesses.
This is the reason why SLC took the decision several years ago to be paid primarily on performance and not anticipated performance. Much of our recent core business has related to debt recovery with the residential and commercial property sector. Every business suffers from bad and doubtful debts but any business does not wish to exacerbate potential losses by increasing those with legal costs and no guarantee of a successful outcome. Business owners, property investors and social organisations instruct us in the confidence that we will take the risk at the outset as we largely operate on a conditional fee basis, such as no recovery no fee.
At SLC we simply don’t target our professionals to bill clients any particular amount in any given period. We want our people to give to our clients incredibly high levels of performance, quality advice and that is best given without any pressure of how much time they must bill but that what is delivered is high quality advice and is simply of good value to you.
“No recovery no fee”
We believe in longevity of relationships. We know that looking after our clients’ will reflect very well on our business. We are proud that much of SLC’s business has been based on our reputation and we want to carry on working in close partnership with our clients’ interests to enhance and add value to their business.
Property management – our ethos
SLC’s property management ethos is to assist and help with the management and community aspects of an apartment block taking our role as an extension of that of our clients, the managing agent, the freeholder, the developer and individual directors of resident management company. We really do understand the need for quick and efficient payments to make sure on-site management is made easier for residents and property managers so that people can enjoy their home environment and not worry about when things will be done.
An RMC’s cashflow is critical to the management of any apartment block and we appreciate that there are rarely any legitimate grounds for non payment of service charges within a block that is managed the right way.
It has been the case for some time that resident directors and managing agents have engaged in discussions at late and long running AGMs about why it is that the arrears of service charges and ground rents are as high as they are. Questions are also raised as to why an RMC’s year-end accounts has an entry for legal costs incurred during the financial year.
“No recovery no fee”
In the vast majority of cases, there should not be any costs payable by the RMC if the legal costs relate to the recovery of service charges and ground rents. When payment of service charges are not paid in accordance with the lease, modern day leases allow for solicitors’ costs for this breach to be paid for by the late paying leaseholder.
That’s why we do not ask our clients for any up-front charges.
We don’t want to impact on our clients’ cashflow as any monies are best used to manage our clients’ properties and to pay contractors on time. Unless otherwise agreed, we are very confident that we will not need to charge our clients any of our costs and we see this as a way of ensuring that the RMC year-end accounts are free of solicitors’ costs relating to late payment of service charges and ground rents. If an RMC is asked to pay any of our costs this will be only in the most exceptional of circumstances and with the agreement of the client.
We believe that taking advantage of SLC’s highly commercial approach and community based ethos towards its’ partnership property management role can make the difference between an apartment block that is maintained and managed to a high standard and one that is starting to show the cracks.
We really want to make property management easier and block-living enjoyable and we hope the SLC team are helping to do just that. You can contact us here.
Neil Shearing; Principal Solicitor