When can I charge for home visits?
I’m a private client solicitor in a new firm. A potential client asked me to visit their home to take instructions for a new will, as mobility issues make it difficult to come to our office. Can we charge for home visits?
Solicitors and law firms have duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Codes of Conduct to treat people fairly and without discriminating against them on the grounds of protected characteristics, including disability.
In relation to private client work, section 14.3 of the Wills and Inheritance Protocol (WIQS) states:
“If the client has a disability, consider whether the offer of a home visit is a ‘reasonable adjustment’ (in which case a separate charge is unlawful) under the Equality Act 2010 (s. 20 (7).”
There is no definition of “reasonable adjustment”.
If, for example, the client was not local, and travel was extensive, that would probably not be regarded as ‘reasonable’, and the client could be referred to a local solicitor.
For further information, see the WIQS Protocol.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.
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