1. Said Al Shahry and Partners, practicing under the style or name of SASLO, is a limited liability partnership registered in the Sultanate of Oman under CR Number 1334811. Its registered office is at SASLO Building No.597/1, Way No.262, Airport Heights - Ghala, P.O. Box 1288, Ruwi, PC 112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
2. References in this document and in our Letter of Engagement / Scope of Work document (“scope of work”) to “we”, “our” and “us” are references to SASLO Reference to “you” is to our client as identified in our Letter of Engagement /Scope of Work, which is normally dispatched in writing at the outset of any matter.
3. We will provide legal services upon the terms set out below.
4. The contract between you and us for the provision of any services by us shall comprise (1) the Letter of Engagement / Scope of Work sent to you by us in relation to any specific matter together with any appendices or supplements or written variations thereto; and (2) these terms of business (together “the Contract”). In the event of any conflict between any scope of work and these terms of business, the scope of work shall prevail.
5. If we have commenced the provision of services (for example by gathering information, project planning or giving initial advice) prior to your receiving a scope of work or these terms of business, then notwithstanding that the Contract is made after the provision of such services, the Contract shall be deemed to apply retrospectively from the commencement of such services.
C. Responsibility for Work
6. We will identify the partner who will have overall supervision of the services provided to you. Where appropriate your work may be dealt with by another partner, lawyer or manager, depending on the nature and complexity of the matter, so that your work is carried out efficiently and economically.
7. The person with day to day responsibility for the matter will explain to you the issues raised and keep you informed of progress.
8. Except to the extent otherwise specified in the scope of work our fees are calculated by reference to the time spent by our lawyers on your matters. Details of current hourly charge out rates for any given matter are stated in the scope of work. These rates may be increased annually with effect from 1st January each year and we will give you notice of any changes.
9. We reserve the right to recover any additional costs that may be incurred in file opening and undertaking anti-money laundering searches or other enquiries. Where indicated in our correspondence with you, the following factors may be taken into account in calculating our fees; notably complexity, specialized knowledge (including know-how), value or urgency and an additional markup added to the time charge.
10. We may arrange for some of the work to be carried out by persons retained but not employed by this firm. If so, you will not be charged at a greater rate than the appropriate equivalent rate of lawyers employed by the firm.
11. Any estimate as to the total of our fees is given only as a guide on the basis of the information then known to us and may not be regarded as fixed and binding and are subject to periodic review, unless otherwise agreed.
12. We reserve the right to make additional charges for any non-routine disbursements or expenses incurred on your behalf. These include the cost of travelling, conference facilities, courier charges, banking and other non-routine items, which will normally be charged at cost.
13. We also reserve the right to charge for carrying out on-line identity checks, photocopying, facsimile, postage, telephone and any other services we may provide, details of which will be set out in our scope of work.
14. VAT will be added (where applicable). Our VAT registration number is OM1100011122.
E. Payment Arrangements
15. Our bills will normally be issued at monthly or quarterly intervals or, if sooner, on completion of or at a natural break in the course of the relevant matter unless a separate agreement is reached with you in writing.
16. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, all interim bills will be final accounts for our fees for the work undertaken during the periods to which they relate. These are not final accounts in relation to disbursements that we have incurred on your behalf.
17. We may at any time ask you for a reasonable sum to hold on account in respect of incurred or anticipated fees or disbursements, out-of-pocket expenses or on account of costs of a third party where you are liable to pay these. We have no obligation to make or commit ourselves to incurring such fees or making such payments unless you have provided us with funds for that purpose. If the requested payment is not paid within the time specified we might cease to act for you.
18. Our bills (including any interim bills) are payable on delivery.
19. We also reserve the right to charge an administration fee to cover our costs associated with recovering outstanding invoices in the sum of RO 100 per invoice, for any invoice which remains unpaid for thirty days or more.
20. All sums payable to us under these Terms of Business. In respect of any outstanding invoice shall be paid together with all the expenses and costs on an indemnity basis, incurred in enforcing our right to payment.
21. You are entitled to submit a complaint to us about your bill if you are dissatisfied with it (see Complaints section below).
22. You will at all times remain responsible for payment of your bills when rendered even if you have a right of contribution or repayment from a third party.
23. If you instruct us jointly with someone else, you will be responsible for the full amount of our charges.
24. When we accept instructions from a corporate entity, we may require personal guarantees in relation to our fees and disbursements from appropriate directors, members, or shareholders (or other individuals or companies).
25. If a bill (including any interim bill) is unpaid by the due date we reserve the right to decline to act further in the matter, and/or to keep (by way of a lien) any of your papers or documents, which are in our possession, until payment is made.
26. Where we act on your behalf in litigation matters, you remain responsible to us for the payment of our fees regardless of any order in your favour made against your opponent in litigation or any agreement with him about costs. As between you and your opponent, it is for the court to decide who pays the costs of the process if you cannot agree this.
27. We normally only accept cash up to a limit of OMR 250 to be paid into our client account. If you deposit cash in excess of OMR 250 direct into our bank account, we reserve the right to charge you for any additional checks we consider necessary regarding the source of the funds.
28. Please note cheques take 8 working days to appear in our account as cleared funds.
29. All transactional completion monies must be paid to us by bank transfer, not cash or cheque.
30. You may terminate our appointment in writing at any time. We may terminate our appointment but only with good reason, for example, if you do not pay an interim bill or comply with our request for payment on account.
31. If our appointment comes to an end for any reason you will pay our charges, calculated where there is no other applicable basis by reference to time spent together with all expenses and disbursements incurred to date.
G. Responsibility for Correspondent Lawyers and Experts
32. We are happy to assist you where we consider we are able to do so in the selection of lawyers abroad, or experts to act on your behalf, but only on the basis that we will not be responsible for any act or omission of those lawyers or experts.
33. In all cases you will be responsible for the costs of such lawyers or experts.
H. Conflicts of Interests
34. It is our practice to check for any conflicts of interests before taking on engagements. We provide a variety of legal services to clients and cannot be certain that we will identify all situations where there may be a conflict with your interests. Please notify us promptly of any potential conflict affecting our appointment of which you are or become aware.
35. Subject to the exceptions mentioned in these terms of business, we will keep all information which we acquire about you and/or your affairs in the course of our work confidential.
36. External firms or organisations may conduct audit or quality checks on our practice, or our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses, barristers and other professional advisers. These third parties are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files.
37. We reserve the right to disclose our files concerning you and the work you have instructed us to undertake, for scrutiny by any person or authority having the legal right to inspect solicitors’ files or having the function of monitoring our practice management standards.
J. Money Laundering
38. We are required under the Money Laundering Regulations to identify and verify the identity of our clients and, in certain circumstances, other persons such as directors or beneficial owners, and to keep that information updated. You agree that we may make checks using online electronic verification systems or other databases as we may decide. We are also required to report to official agencies any information which may come to our attention whilst dealing with a matter on your behalf which gives rise to money laundering or terrorist financing concerns. We may be prohibited from notifying you of any report we may have to make or from either confirming or denying that a report has been made.
39. You agree to reimburse us for any costs we reasonably incur in complying with any disclosure requirement referred to above.
40. We will not be liable for loss or damage arising out of any delays or failures caused by the firm’s compliance with any statutory or regulatory requirements.
L. Email and Fax
42. Unless you instruct us otherwise we may contact you or others by email or fax during the course of the work we carry out for you. This may include providing details of your email address to others where we think this will be of assistance to your matter or when forwarding emails. Although we endeavor to deploy virus checking software, we cannot be responsible for the security or consequences of correspondence and documents sent by email or fax.
M. Scope of our Responsibility
43. We shall provide legal advice and services to you with reasonable skill and care. However, the nature of many types of legal work is such that it is not possible to guarantee a particular outcome.
44. We advise only on Oman law.
45. We do not advise on financial, investment, surveying, valuation, commercial viability, trading or marketability issues. We only advise on tax when we have expressly agreed in writing to do so.
46. We are not qualified either as accountants or as surveyors and the interpretation of financial information or environmental surveying information should be undertaken on your behalf by specialist advisers qualified to render such advice.
47. The advice we give is confidential and for your exclusive use. We do not accept responsibility to any third party who is not our client for the advice we give to you.
48. Unless otherwise agreed, the advice we give and the documents we prepare are for use only in connection with the specific matter on which we are instructed and state or comply with the law as in force at the relevant time.
49. We rely on you for the accuracy of the information and documentation that you provide to us. We shall not be liable for errors or losses which arise as a result of false, misleading or incomplete information or documentation or which result from any act, delay or omission by you or by any third party.
50. When a matter has been completed, we shall report the outcome and explain any further action which needs to be taken. Our engagement in regard to that matter will then come to an end.
51. We recommend that you review completed matters from time to time; for example, agreements may require further action or there may be changes in relevant law. Standard agreements (such as terms of business and particulars of employment) should be reviewed frequently. Unless we agree otherwise in writing, we shall not be responsible for advising you of any important dates which may arise after completion of a matter (such as the date by when a notice under an agreement should be given or upon which rights may expire or may need to be renewed).
N. Scope of your Responsibility
52. You will provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions, detailing your objectives and you will deal with all queries in a prompt manner.
53. You will provide all documentation required to complete our work in a timely manner.
54. You will notify us immediately if you become aware of any conflict of interest or any other reason which you believe may restrict or prevent us in acting for you or any third party.
55. If you are a company, we shall be entitled to assume that these terms are accepted by all directors and authorised officers of the company.
56. You will notify us immediately if you receive any email or communication purporting to be from the firm indicating that we have changed our bank details or payment arrangements.
O. Our Service Standards
57. We will update you in writing with progress on your matter regularly.
58. We will communicate with you in plain language.
59. We will explain to you by telephone or in writing the legal work required as your matter progresses.
60. We will update you on the cost of your matter at regular intervals.
61. We will update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in circumstances.
62. We will update you on the likely timescales for each stage of this matter and any important changes in those estimates.
63. We will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded.
64. If you have any complaint or concerns about our work or about the bill, please raise them in the first instance with the person dealing with the matter. If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, or you would prefer not to speak to the person dealing with the matter, then please contact the partner with overall supervision of the matter. If the problem has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, please contact our CEO by telephone, post or email and they will do their best to resolve the complaint.
65. In this section, references to:
66. a “Claim” includes claims, actions and proceedings of any nature, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) and/or otherwise; and
67. “Loss” includes damages, costs, interest and loss (whether direct, indirect or consequential) incurred by or otherwise affecting you or any third party and whether arising under contract, in tort or otherwise.
68. Your relationship is solely with SASLO and SASLO has sole legal liability for the work. No representative, member, officer, employee, agent or consultant of SASLO will have any personal legal liability for any Loss or Claim in respect of that work. In particular, the fact that an individual member, representative, employee, officer, agent or consultant signs in his or her own name any letter, email or other document in the course of carrying out that work does not mean he or she is assuming any personal legal liability.
69. You agree that you will not bring any Claim against any representative, member, officer, agent, employee or consultant of SASLO in respect of or in connection with services provided to you under the Contract or otherwise.
70. The limitations and exclusions referred to in this section will not apply to any liability which cannot lawfully be excluded.
71. The limitations in these terms of business will apply notwithstanding any express or implied term of business or any collateral agreement or warranty, whether express or implied.
72. You agree that our liability for Loss is excluded (and we will not accept any liability for Loss) in relation to any single matter or any group of connected matters which may be aggregated by our insurers in excess of either: the amount specified in the scope of work or, if no such amount is specified, the sum of OMR 1,000,000.
73. These limits are considered by us and by you to be reasonable taking into account the level of our fees and the nature of the work to be carried out and the cost and availability of professional indemnity insurance and its long term sustainability.
74. Subject to the minimum amount of professional indemnity set out above, the total liability of the firm and its representatives, members, officers, employees, agents or consultants in respect of each and every Claim will not in any circumstances exceed the level of professional indemnity insurance which we hold applicable to the relevant Claim.
75. We may agree with you in writing a level of liability in excess of OMR 1,000,000 and in that event our liability will not exceed whatever level we have agreed with you.
76. Subject to the foregoing any liability which we may have to you under or in connection with our appointment for any Loss shall (so far as permitted by law) be limited to such an amount as is finally determined to be just and equitable, having regard to the extent of respective responsibility for such Loss as between you (including your directors, officers, partners, employees or agents), us and any person other than us who is jointly and/or severally liable to you for all or part of the same Claim or Loss.
77. We will not be liable to you for any delay or failure in providing services, where that delay or failure is caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control
78. The contact details of our professional indemnity insurer and the territorial coverage of the insurance is available for inspection at our offices.
79. We will not be liable for any loss, damage or excess arising out of or in connection with any fraudulent representation made by a third party including without limitation any fraudulent representation relating to property value, ownership or the identity of a party to a transaction unless caused by our negligence.
R. Files, Deeds and Key Dates
80. We may create files in hard copy, electronically or another form.
81. It is our usual practice to store clients’ file for a period. We reserve the right to reproduce these files in such other form and destroy them after such period as we consider reasonable.
82. We will not destroy any documents such as wills, deeds and other securities which we have agreed to hold in safe custody. You agree to remove any such documents provided we have given you prior written notice to do so.
83. We reserve the right to charge for storage and reproduction of such files and documents, but no charge will be made to you for storage or reproduction unless prior notice in writing is given to you of a charge to be made from a future date which may be specified in that notice.
84. If we retrieve such files or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act in connection with your affairs, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may make a charge based on time spent or charges incurred or both for producing stored files or documents to you or another at your request. We may also charge for reading correspondence or for the work necessary to comply with your instructions.
85. At the conclusion of a matter we will endeavor to remind you of any relevant future key dates. It is, however, your responsibility to record and act upon those dates since we will not keep a record or remind you of those dates.
S. Third Parties
86. To the extent permitted by the law, we do not accept responsibility to any third party in relation to the legal services provided by us to you.
T. Law and Jurisdiction
87. If any provision of this document is found by a court or other competent authority to be void or unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed to be deleted from this document and the remaining provisions of this document shall continue to apply.
88. The terms of our engagement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the Law of Oman. Any dispute shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Omani Courts.
Last updated March 2022