Telephone advice – free
We are happy to provide you with free preliminary telephone advice for allegations under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the Dogs Act 1871 and the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 (as well as appeals under these Acts).
Telephone advice – chargeable
We cannot offer everything for free! Whilst we are happy to provide free advice in some criminal cases (see above for the kind of cases where we are happy to offer free advice) for all other situations, including all civil cases (apart from section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871 and 4B of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991), we charge for telephone advice. The kind of cases this applies to will include:-
- ‘Tug of love’ cases with a former partner
- Ownership (custody) disputes with someone else who is claiming to be the owner of your dog such as a rescue, former owner or breeder
- The law on stray and abandoned dogs
- Defending claims for compensation for personal injury to a person
- Breeding contract issues
- Bringing or defending claims for damages for harm to a dog / caused by a dog
- Boarding kennels & day care negligence
- Disputes between buyers and sellers (including contract issues such as endorsements and requirements to return a dog to a breeder or rescue)
- Noise nuisance from barking dogs
- Microchipping issues
- Claim for damages against a vet
- Licensing of dog breeders, pet shops, boarding kennels, home boarding and doggie day care
- Community Protection Notices
- Public Spaces Protection Orders regarding dogs
- Legal issues involving:
- dog walkers
- pet sitters
If your query is for any of these kind of matters, we would be pleased to offer a one-off fixed price telephone call for only £60 (inc VAT) for up to 20 mins. Call us on 01304 755 557 during office hours to make an appointment. Same day appointments are sometimes available.
This service is by telephone only and we regret that we are unable to provide this by email or letter. When you initially call we will ask you to tell us the name of the person or organisation that you have a dispute with so that we can carry out a conflict check. Provided this is clear, we will take payment in advance by debit or credit card and book the appointment for you to speak to an experienced lawyer.
Fixed price interviews
Sometimes a telephone call just isn’t enough and you need to meet with us face to face for a consultation.
By prior appointment, we would be happy to meet with you at our offices in Whitfield or Canterbury for a fixed fee of £240 (inc VAT) (for up to an hour consultation). Normally, we can see you the next working day so don’t be concerned that an appointment is going to be a long time in the future – we fully appreciate that you don’t want to wait! Sometimes this can even be arranged for a weekend if you have work commitments during the week.
Call us on 01304 755 557 to make an appointment.
If you want us to come to you, or perhaps you would prefer to have a meeting via Zoom, either would be possible but we would need to discuss an individual price.
Representation at a Police / Council interview
We do not undertake publicly funded work. Therefore, whilst we can arrange for a representative to be with you during an interview we do make a charge.
Call us on 01304 755 557 to check if we can help and to confirm the cost.
Acting for you (including representation at Court)
If you want us to act for you in a civil or criminal case we will explain to you our hourly charges, provide an estimate of fees and indicate what disbursements (payments to others) are anticipated. To confirm your instructions we will ask you to provide identification and we will then be able to take a payment on account (by cheque, bank transfer or debit/credit card).
As the case proceeds, we may ask you for additional payments on account from time to time.
It is sometimes possible for us to agree a fixed fee with you and we will explain if this is possible in your particular case.
We may be prepared to allow you to spread the cost by paying our fees by monthly installments. Please ask if this is something that may be of interest to you.
Concerns about our service
We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.
In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, disability or other characteristic.
You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint : The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:
- Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint
- No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
- No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.
If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.