Advisory service terms and conditions of use

1. Acceptance of terms

Before using the services (the "Services") please read these terms and conditions of use. By e-mailing or telephoning your query to us you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions of use and they shall apply on each occasion when you use the Services. We reserve the right to review and revise these terms and conditions of use from time to time and while we will endeavour to notify you in advance of such changes, we are not obliged to do so. By using the Services subsequent to any revision of the terms and conditions of use, you agree to be bound by such changes. If you find these terms and conditions of use to be unacceptable, you will not be entitled to use the Services and we shall have no further obligation to you in that respect.

2. Levels of service

In all cases it is our intention to offer all users of XpertHR a reliable and excellent level of service.

The Standard Service allows users to email and/or telephone a question to Abbey Legal Services ("ALS"). Responses will be provided by either telephone or email as appropriate.

3. Service availability

Standard service:

  1. The telephone helpline is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year, subject to the following conditions: full and immediate service levels are provided between the hours of 9am and 6pm, with an out of hours telephone service provided outside working hours.
  2. Where reasonably possible, all calls will be immediately handled by an appropriate adviser. Where a call cannot be handled immediately we will endeavour to contact you within one hour.
  3. Outside working hours calls will be diverted to a duty solicitor or barrister.
  4. Emailed questions will be responded to by telephone within one hour during working hours (9am-5pm) except bank holidays and weekends. Emails received after this time will be responded to within two hours of the start of the next working day.
  5. In addition users are entitled to receive, when requested, a response by email to a question asked via the telephone.

4. The services

The Services are designed to provide guidance on employment law. They are not intended to replace detailed legal consultation. The service is limited to advice by telephone or email relating to UK employment law (including the law as applicable to Northern Ireland but excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). We reserve the right to respond to an email query by telephone when necessary irrespective of the service provided. Our response is subject to the following specific conditions (and failure to meet any one or more of those conditions will entitle us to refuse to provide or discontinue the Services with no additional liability to the service provider):

  1. The enquiry must be made by you for or on behalf of the business or organisation you work for.
  2. The enquiry must relate to people employed by your business or organisation.
  3. The service not being used excessively as defined by the general usage of the scheme, and determined solely by us.
  4. The enquiry must not be overly long or complex (in our opinion).
  5. Although we will endeavour to apply specialist industry or sector knowledge when answering an enquiry, in general terms your enquiry should not require specialist industry or sector specific knowledge in order to provide an answer.

In addition, we reserve the right to refuse to provide or discontinue the Service for internal policy reasons or other results of any conflict check which we may (at our discretion) carry out that show an actual or potential conflict of interest or where legally we are unable to provide the Service to you (for example, where we are prevented from doing so as a result of our obligation to comply with the solicitors practice rules). We also reserve the right not to provide the Service if any force majeure event arises (as defined in paragraph 6 below) or in relation to enquiries which would entail an unreasonable amount of research on our part.

5. Acceptable use standards

Access to the Services will only be given to customers of XpertHR who have been authenticated by XpertHR. We may (at our discretion) conduct a conflict check. In the event that such conflict check shows an actual or potential conflict we reserve the right to immediate, temporary or permanent withdrawal of the customer's right to use the legal service.

6. Data transfer and confidentiality

You agree to provide such information which is reasonably necessary for us to provide the Service. If you do not provide the information we require then we shall be entitled not to provide the Service to you. We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and we are committed to protecting your privacy. We store all email correspondence and record telephone conversations. These are kept for a period of 12 months. The information you provide to us may be stored on computer and we may use the information you provide us to provide a more personalised service and to tell you about changes in our service which we believe you will find valuable. We do not sell, trade or rent personal information to others. While every effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of any correspondence between us, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of communications sent by email.

You agree that you will keep confidential and not disclose to any third party any correspondence between us without our prior written consent.

We do not claim ownership of the information that you provide to us whilst using the Service. By submitting such information to us, you grant to us a royalty-free, perpetual and non-exclusive licence to use, reproduce, modify and print such information solely for the purpose of the provision of the Services to you.

While we do not anticipate preparing any documents for the purposes of providing the Services, our working papers, draft documents and copies of emails sent by us will remain our property and any copyright in any document created by us will be and remain vested in us and will not be transferred to you. We assert our right to be identified as the author of and to object to the misuse of such documents.

7. Disclaimer

We do not warrant that: (i) the Services will meet your specific requirements to your satisfaction; (ii) the Service will be uninterrupted or completely error free; nothing in these terms and conditions of use shall exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or fraudulent misrepresentation nor affects your statutory rights.

If we are prevented or delayed in or from carrying out the Service as a result of something beyond our reasonable control such as but not limited to governmental acts, war, riots, strikes or trade disputes (including by and with our own employees), technical failure (including without limit telephone system or network failure, computer shutdowns and power outages which prevent us from receiving sending or transmitting emails on the internet), flood, fire or explosion, natural or local emergency (a "force majeure event"), will have no liability to you for this.

8. Termination

We may terminate your access to the Services by giving you notice in writing (by email or other appropriate means) if you do not comply with any of these terms and conditions. The provision of the Services shall terminate automatically without notice in the event that our contractual relationship with the owners of XpertHR comes to an end (for whatever reason).

9. General

Your use of the Services in accordance with these terms and conditions of use will be governed by English law. If you have any disputes with us in connection with the Service then such disputes will be exclusively resolved in the English courts.

We will only correspond by email and any notices we need to send to you would be sent to your email address.

If any provision of these terms and conditions of use is unlawful, void or unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from the remaining provisions and shall not affect their validity and enforceability.

The Services is provided solely for your own use and you shall not disclose the content or any advice we provide to you in connection with the Services to any third party without our prior written consent. If there is anything contained in these terms and conditions of use which you do not fully understand, please contact us on the email address given above and we will do our best to further explain or clarify any of the paragraphs which you do not understand.