Client agreement

Client Agreement

Welcome to Citizens Advice North Somerset. We will provide you with:

  • Free advice. There is no charge for the advice we give you or the work we do on your behalf.
  • Confidential advice. We need to record information about you to help with your enquiry. We have a legitimate interest to do this. When we record and use your personal information we will:
    • only access it when we have a good reason
    • only share what is necessary and relevant with third parties to help solve
    your problem e.g. charitable applications
    • not sell it to commercial organisations
    • anonymise any data used in reports to our funders
    You can request a copy of your recent records (we call this a 'subject access
    request') but this will need to be in writing and we have one month to respond.
  • Follow-up work, as agreed between your adviser and you. If we do follow-up work, we cannot guarantee that you will always see the same adviser. This follow-up work may include negotiating by letter or phone on your behalf with other organisations. Unless we have specific instructions from you, we shall discuss any offer with you before accepting them. In a small number of cases, we may be able to offer representation for First Tier Benefit Tribunals. We will only do this if the case is appropriate, the bureau has the resources and you comply with what we expect from you.

We cannot guarantee to take on all our clients’ cases. We may also have to stop advising you if we consider there is little likelihood of further progress or further benefit, or if you fail to comply with what we expect of you.

We are a local charity so If you would like to make a donation towards the running of the service, that would be very much appreciated.

In return, we expect you to:

  • Keep appointments you have made with us (or let us know in advance if you
    can’t attend).
  • Inform us of any changes in your circumstances (such as change of
    address, birth of a child, additional income etc.) which may be relevant to your case.
  • Bring in all the papers relevant to your case which your adviser asks for. This includes notification of court/tribunal dates etc.
  • Provide written evidence of your income, debts or other financial matters
    where appropriate. Your adviser will let you know what is needed.
  • Not negotiate on your own behalf without discussing it first with your adviser.
  • Not turn down an offer from the other party which your adviser considers
    reasonable in the circumstances in order to have a tribunal or court hearing.
  • Follow our advice – unless you and your adviser agree you should do
    something different.
  • Be honest with us e.g. by telling us about all your debts and income or what
    led up to your being asked to leave your employment.
  • Always treat our volunteers and staff with courtesy and respect.

If we are representing you and you fail to keep to these undertakings, we may decide that we are no longer able to represent you.

You should also remember that if a tribunal or court considers that you have pursued your case in an unreasonable way or without any real chance of success, or you have failed (without good reason) to meet its deadlines, it can make you pay the other side’s costs.