This policy sets out how we deal with interest on money held by Cognitive Law for a client. In accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2019, it is the firm’s policy to account to its clients for interest on a fair and reasonable basis for both the client and the firm.
When money is received on behalf of a client, it will be paid into the firm’s general client account, currently held with Nat West Bank. The general client account will hold pooled amounts for different matters for all the firm’s clients. It is an instant access account to facilitate transactions.
Clients are unlikely to receive as much interest as might have been obtained had they held the funds and invested the money themselves.
If we hold money in our general client account on your behalf, or if money should have been held on your behalf but was not, then we will account to you for a sum in lieu of interest (gross) calculated as below.
We will not account to you for any interest in the following situations:
- if the amount calculated is £20 or less. Below that sum we consider that the administrative costs of dealing with the funds would exceed the interest due;
- on money held for the payment of a professional disbursement if the person to whom the money is owed has requested a delay in settlement;
- on an advance from us into our general client account to fund a payment on your behalf in excess of funds already held for you in that account;
- if there is an agreement to contract out of the provisions of this policy.
We will usually calculate and pay interest once your matter has been concluded unless interim payments are appropriate (for example in long running private client matters).
In calculating interest, we will apply a rate that we believe reflects the market rate of interest paid on an instant access current account offered by a UK high street bank. We will publish interest rates, together with this policy, on our website at www.cognitivelaw.co.uk.
We will review the interest rates regularly, and whenever the Bank of England changes its Bank Rate. The base rate has reduced in 2020 and we have accordingly reviewed our policy.
In determining the period over which interest is to be calculated, we will look at the following:
- the period between the date when the relevant funds received by us clear our account; and,
- if we send the funds electronically, the date when the funds are sent or, if we send the funds by cheque, five days after a cheque is raised.
Rate used on balances
1st July 2020 0.01%
The firm’s accounts department will prepare the calculation as instructed by the fee earner.
Interest is paid gross, and it is the client’s responsibility to declare gross interest received to HMRC.
Interest is paid by Nat West Bank to the firm on the aggregate of all client money held in the general client account and, subject to any interest paid to the client, is for the benefit of the firm.
If the bank in which the firm holds funds should fail, the firm reserves the right to disclose to the FSCS the names and other details for clients whose money is held on the general client account for the client to claim compensation, the limit of which is currently £85,000.
This policy is reviewed from time to time by the COFA and partners of the firm.
Reviewed 2021 (October)