• 0121 643 0395
  • 0121 643 0387
  • 0121 643 9624

Terms and Conditions of Business

REDFERN & CO White House
Solicitors 111 New Street
L. L. JACOBS LL.B. Birmingham
Principal B2 4EU
Telephone: 0121-643 0395
FAX: 0121-643 9624

Table of Contents:

Hours of Business
Our commitment to you
How you can help
Terms and Conditions of Business
Service standards
First appointment
Subsequent work on your behalf
Our charges
Payment arrangements and handling your money
Payment of interest
Proof of identity
Property transactions
Referral arrangements
Property disclaimers
Distance selling
Cancellation of contracts made in the home or place of work
Should you have any dissatisfaction
Limitation of Liability
Storage of papers and documents
Other areas of work
Financial Services Authority and banking
Cancellation of instructions
Data protection
Tax and Pensions advice
Communication between us
Equality and Diversity
Applicable Law





• These terms comply with Solicitors Regulation Authority rules.
• They apply to all services which we provide to you unless otherwise agreed by us in writing.


• Our offices are open from 9.00am to 5.00pm (including lunchtimes) on weekdays. Sunday and evening appointments can be arranged outside these hours if required by the Client.


We will:
• Give you clear legal advice that you can understand.
• Represent your interests and keep your business confidential.
• Keep you fully informed of progress and notify you promptly of any relevant communication received and deal with any queries promptly.
• Seek your specific instructions as appropriate.
• Review your matter regularly.
• Advise you of any changes in the law.
• Advise you of any circumstances and risks of which we are aware or consider to be reasonably foreseeable that could affect the outcome of your matter.
• Request permission for all substantive correspondence sent on your behalf.


We ask for your co-operation and assistance as follows:
• Provide clear instructions and respond to our letters.
• Let us know if you change address or telephone number.
• Tell us if your circumstances alter in a way that may affect your case.


If you require clarification on any of these points please do not hesitate to let us know.

Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of then current hourly rates, these terms and conditions of business shall apply to any future instructions given to this practice.

Although continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of these terms and conditions of business, it may not be possible for us to start work on the client’s behalf until one copy of them has been returned to us for us to keep on our file.


• We will update you by telephone, letter or email with progress on your matter regularly.
• We will communicate with you in plain language.
• We will explain to you by telephone, letter or email the legal work required as your matter progresses.
• We will update you on the cost of your matter at regular intervals and not less than six monthly.
• We will update you on whether the likely outcomes still justify the likely costs and risks associated with your matter whenever there is a material change in the circumstances.
• We will update you on the likely timescales for each stage of this matter and any important changes in those estimates.
• We will continue to review whether there are alternative methods by which your matter can be funded.
• We are authorised, unless otherwise agreed, to take such action as we think necessary to obtain the required result. We shall not refer to the client for specific instructions every time we take a step. If, therefore, there is a limit to what we are required to do, or a limit to expenditure, we must be notified of this in advance.


We will:

• Review your matter regularly.
• Advise you of any changes in the law.
• Advise you of any circumstances and risks of which we are aware or consider to be reasonably foreseeable that could affect the outcome of your matter.
• Advise you if we consider we have a conflict of interest in acting for you.

Your responsibilities will include:

• Provide us with clear, timely and accurate instructions.
• Provide all documentation required to complete the transaction in a timely manner.
• Safeguard any documents which are likely to be required for discovery.


At your first appointment, it is our aim

• To discuss with you the matter for which you have sought our advice or assistance.

• To discuss with you how we can assist with regard to the particular matter for which you have sought our advice and the cost of doing so. In addition, to review with you whether any other method of covering your legal fees will be available and to determine during the course of this meeting the manner in which you will meet the costs.

• We will give you the best information possible about the likely overall cost of the work to be undertaken and whether it will be necessary to engage the services of any other firm/agency (for example experts or barristers) who might assist with regard to your case.

• To tell you how long the matter is likely to take to complete.


• We aim to achieve a high standard of service and your matter will, throughout, be handled personally by Leonard Jacobs, an experienced lawyer, who will have the day-to-day conduct of your matter and you should therefore address all questions regarding the progress of the matter either to him or to his Secretary. During the course of the matter you will be kept fully advised of all developments on a regular basis either by telephone or, more usually, by letter or email enclosing copies of any relevant correspondence. You will also be advised, from time to time as necessary, whether the likely outcome of your case will justify the likely charges and expenses and risk involved.


• The firm’s charges are set out in the accompanying letter either as a fixed fee or according to the time spent working on your behalf. This will include meetings with you and others, reading and working on papers, telephone conversations, correspondence and travelling when necessary. In addition to measured periods of time for e.g. interviews, drafting, etc., we apply a minimum unit of six minutes to each letter and telephone call. The time so recorded is costed according to a formula, which gives a charging rate or cost per hour for undertaking work on clients’ behalf.

• The hourly rate includes an estimate of the uplift for what is generally called the “care and conduct” aspect of the charge. This may vary, and is usually dependent upon:

* The degree of urgency in your case or transaction
* The complexity of your case or transaction
* The importance of your case or transaction
* The amount of any money involved in your case or transaction
* The skill and experience of the solicitor

• In certain commercial transactions we may agree to base our charges upon a percentage of the value of the transaction. In property transactions, in the administration of estates and in certain commercial transactions or in transactions involving a large amount of money or benefit to the client we may base our charges on the time spent and by referring to a value element, such as the price of the property, the size of the estate or the value of the financial benefits. The value element reflects the importance of the transaction and responsibility placed on the firm and you will be advised in writing if the value element will apply to your case. In other cases we may agree to base our charges upon a percentage of any compensation recovered on your behalf. We can also undertake work on a conditional fee basis (i.e. “no win no fee”) in certain cases. You will be advised in writing at the outset of your matter of the fees to be charged or the method of calculation of the fees.

• We do not generally make an extra charge where your instructions require that meetings take place or work be undertaken outside office hours although we reserve the right to do so.
• We are required to add VAT at the rate that applies when the work is done. This is 20% at present. Our VAT registration number is 111 1109 49.
• We will inform you in writing of any increases in our charges before they take effect. If we have quoted you a fixed fee, and it is likely that the fee will be exceeded, we will notify you in advance and seek your authority.
• We may have to pay expenses in the course of providing our services to you. These are known as “payments” and are itemised separately in our bills. VAT is payable on certain of these expenses. If we incur payments on your behalf you will be liable to pay them. We generally require you to put us in funds before we incur them.
• If a bill is delivered in a concessionary figure (‘but say’) and remains unpaid after one month, we reserve the right to credit the account with the amount of the ‘but say’ bill and to render a full account for all work done on the basis of a detailed costs analysis.

• We will deliver a bill prior to or on exchange of Contracts and payment is required:

On a purchase: prior to completion;
On a sale: at completion. If sufficient funds are available on completion and we have sent you a bill, we will deduct our charges and expenses from the funds;
Otherwise when an account is prepared and a costs analysis is undertaken.

• Unless you instruct us to the contrary, we will deliver our bill electronically by email.


• It is often difficult to estimate how many hours work will be necessary to complete your case or transaction. In the covering letter accompanying these Terms and Conditions of Business you will be provided the best information possible about the likely overall costs and disbursements but if the amount of work is greater than first envisaged we will inform you as soon as possible and will keep you regularly advised in respect of the level of costs which you will incur during your case or transaction. We will notify you not later than every 6 months of the costs incurred to date and provide you with a new estimate for future costs, which will be incurred.


• Solicitors are governed by strict rules laid down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We cannot pay out money on your behalf until we have cleared funds. Any cheques must be received at least five working days before money can be paid out on your behalf.
• In any case where we hold funds on your behalf and you owe us money, we may deduct our charges without prior notification.
• We may send interim bills, normally at not less than monthly intervals, during the course of the matter in which case we will transfer the amount due from any monies we are holding on your behalf in Client Account. If we are not holding funds on your behalf at that time, the interim account becomes payable in the usual way.
• Should you have any query concerning a bill or be unable to pay it, please contact Leonard Jacobs immediately. If an interim bill is not paid we reserve the right to stop working on your matter until the account has been regularised.
• At the end of the matter, if appropriate, we will prepare a final account.
• Payment is due on receipt of our bill. We reserve the right to charge interest on a daily basis at 8% on accounts which are delivered and unpaid for 28 days under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Rate of Interest) (No. 3) Order 2002.
• Cheques should be made payable to Redfern & Co. No receipt will be issued unless requested. Overseas clients are required to make payment by bank transfer in accordance with details we will supply. You will be liable for any bank charges incurred.
• If you instruct us jointly with another you are each responsible for the full amount of our fees and payments incurred.
• We are not able to accept payment by Visa or MasterCard.


• Any money received on your behalf will be held in our client account. Interest will be calculated and paid to you at the rate set by HSBC Bank plc. That of course may change. The period for which interest will be paid normally runs from the date(s) when funds are received by us until the date(s) on the cheque(s) issued to you.

• All Client monies are held in instant access accounts to facilitate instant withdrawal to ensure there is no delay in transactions. As a result, the interest earned by us will probably be lower than could be obtained if held and invested by clients themselves.

• We will retain any interest earned on monies held on Client Account should this be less than £20. If the interest exceeds £20 then the full amount will be paid to you unless you agree a specific waiver.

• If your money is held in a separate designated deposit account, any interest earned, of whatever amount, is paid to you.


• We may ask you for an initial sum of on account of costs and/or payments. This is held in Client Account. If we need to incur a payment this will be taken from those monies on account.

• You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time but we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents whilst there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses.
In some circumstances, we may consider that we ought to stop acting for you, for example, if you cannot give clear or proper instructions as to how we are to proceed, or if it is clear that you have lost confidence in how we are carrying out your work.

• We may decide to stop acting for you only with good reason, for example, if you do not pay an interim bill, if you do not put us in funds to enable us to complete a matter, if you fail to comply with our request for a payment on account, your misconduct or dishonesty in providing instructions or if you ask us to act in an unreasonable manner. We will give you reasonable notice that we are to stop acting for you.

• If you or we decide that we no longer act for you, you will have to pay our charges on an hourly basis and expenses as set out in these terms and conditions and in any letters that have been sent to you up to that date.


• Our firm’s policy is to only accept cash up to £100.00.

• If clients circumvent this policy by depositing cash direct with our bank, we reserve the right to charge for any additional checks we deem necessary regarding the source of the funds.

• Where we have to pay money to you, it will be paid by cheque or bank transfer. It will not be paid in cash or to a third party.


• The law requires solicitors to get satisfactory evidence of the identity of their clients and sometimes people related to them. This is because solicitors who deal with money and property on behalf of their clients can be used by criminals wanting to launder money. In order to comply with the law on money laundering, we need to obtain evidence of your identify as soon as practicable. We should be grateful, therefore, if you would provide us with documents to verify your identity and address, as set out in the accompanying letter as soon as possible. If you cannot provide us with the specific identification requested, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss other ways to verify your identity.

• Where appropriate we will undertake electronic anti-money laundering searches in addition to the other forms of identification, at a cost set out in the accompanying letter.


• Where the client obtains borrowing from a lender in a property transaction, we will ask the lender to arrange that the loan cheque is received by us a minimum of four working days prior to the completion date. If the money can be sent by CHAPS, we will request that we receive it the day before completion. This will enable us to ensure that the necessary funds are available in time for completion. Such clients need to be aware that the lender may charge interest from the date of issue of their loan cheque or the transfer of the payment,

• As part of our continuing commitment to providing a high quality of service to all our clients, Redfern & Co. maintains accreditation with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The audit procedure laid down by this scheme may require examination of clients’ confidential files from time to time under strictly controlled circumstances and only to duly appointed and qualified individuals. Acceptance of these terms and conditions by any client is deemed to include consent to such disclosure, which may be withdrawn by you in writing at any time.

• We will not advise you on the planning implications of your proposed purchase unless specifically requested to do so by you in writing, otherwise than by reporting to you on any relevant information provided by the results of the ‘local search’.


We may pay a referral fee for work to be referred to us. In such a situation we will inform you in writing and will tell you what fee we have paid. The advice which we give to you will be independent and we will treat you the same as any other client. You are free to raise questions on all aspects of the transaction and any information which you disclose to us will be treated as confidential and not disclosed to the referrer or to any other third party without your consent. We will not act for the referrer in connection with the same transaction in any way at all and you are under no obligation to instruct us in connection with the transaction.


We will not carry out a physical inspection of the property.

We will not advise on the valuation of the property nor the suitability of your mortgage nor any other financial arrangements.

Unless you instruct us to carry out an environmental search, we will not advise on environmental liabilities where we shall assume, unless you tell us in writing to the contrary, that you are making your own arrangements for any appropriate environmental survey or investigations. We may, however, need to obtain on behalf of your lender at your expense an environmental search.


• In cases where we have not met with you, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”) will apply. This means you have the right to cancel your instructions to us within fourteen working days of receiving this letter. You can cancel your instructions by contacting us by post, fax or email to this office.

• Once we have started work on your file, you may be charged if you then cancel your instructions. If you would like us to commence work on your file within the next fourteen working days please sign these Terms of Business and return it to this office by post, fax or email which will be deemed as your confirmation that we should commence work now.


The Regulations are likely to apply to a wide range of contracts made between solicitors and their clients. Whether they apply will depend on the nature of the client and the circumstances in which the contract was made.

Where the Regulations apply you have a right to cancel the contract within a fourteen day period. We must give you written notice of this right, setting out various prescribed information. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.


• If you have any problems with, or complaints, about the service we have provided for you, then please let us know. We will try to resolve any problem quickly between ourselves. You are entitled to complain about our bill. There may also be a right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman and/or by applying to the Court for an assessment of the bill under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. If all or part of the bill remains unpaid we may be entitled to charge interest.

• If you are in any way concerned at the way in which a matter is being handled you should contact in the first instance in writing Leonard Jacobs setting out your concerns. He will review your file of papers and then write to you or, if necessary, arrange a meeting.

• We have a written complaints procedure, a copy of which is available on request.

• Normally, you should allow us at least eight weeks to resolve your complaint.

• In exceptional circumstances in which you are still dissatisfied, you may wish to address the matter to the Legal Ombudsman by helpline 0300 555 0333, email enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk or by writing to Legal Ombudsman, P.O. Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ. You will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and 6 years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint or alternatively 3 years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6 October 2010 or was more than 6 years ago). However, the Legal Ombudsman has no authority to deal with complaints by Companies.


• It is not unprofessional for a solicitor to retain papers and property belonging to the client pending payment of professional costs owed by that client where the retention is a proper exercise of a solicitor’s lien. It would normally be acceptable for these papers to be transferred to a new solicitor upon receipt of a satisfactory undertaking from that new solicitor in respect of the outstanding costs.


• We understand you rely on the advice we provide. You expect us to get it right and we do not take on a client unless we are confident we are able to provide sound advice.
• However, for your peace of mind, we maintain professional indemnity worldwide cover with Novae and other Syndicates C/o Lloyds, 1 Lime Street, London EC3M 3HA (policy number PISRMV010273).
• It is our policy to cap our liability at £3m for your matter.
• We shall be liable only to you and not to any third party.
• We will not be liable for any consequential, special, indirect or exemplary damages, costs or losses or any damages, costs or losses attributable to lost profits or opportunities.

• We can only limit our liability to the extent the law allows. In particular, we cannot limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.

• Advice given by us during the course of the matter is limited to your case and does not extend by implication to any other matter.
• Our advice is limited to the laws of England and Wales as applied by the English Courts and is given as at the date of communication of the advice. We will not be bound to notify you of any changes in the law following the date on which the advice was given unless we have specifically agreed otherwise.
• We shall not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any cause beyond our reasonable control. Should any such occurrence arise we shall notify you as soon as reasonably practicable.
• We shall not be liable to you if we are unable to perform our services as a result of any direction by the relevant authority pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000, The Terrorism Act 2000, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, EU Money Laundering Directives and such act or regulation that replaces or supplements them.
• Please ask us if you would like us to explain any of the terms above.


• After completing the matter, we are entitled to keep papers and documents while there is money owing to us.
• We will assume you do not want the file unless you tell us otherwise (except in relation to Deeds, original Wills and associated files and documents) and will store the papers for six years. After that time we reserve the right to destroy the file if we ask you to collect your papers and you fail to do so within 28 days.
• Original Wills and associated files and documentation will be retained until after the death of the client concerned unless they have earlier been released to the client.
• We will not destroy any document such as Wills, Deeds and other securities which we have been asked to hold in safe custody.
• If we retrieve papers or documents from storage in connection with continuing or new instructions we will not charge for that exercise. However, in other circumstances we may make an administration charge for producing stored papers and sending them to you or another solicitor at your request.
• All deeds and Wills are stored in a safe and secure environment and we retain a database of all deeds and Wills in our possession.
• No charge will be made for such storage unless prior notice in writing is given of a charge to be made from a future date which may be specified in that notice.


• Should you need legal advice with regard to any matters, please feel free to contact Leonard Jacobs who will be able to refer you to another firm of Solicitors with experience in that area if he cannot deal with the matter himself.

• If during this transaction you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, as we are not. However, as we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we may be able to provide certain limited investment services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you.

• The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Complaints Service is the independent complaints handling body of the Law Society.

• We do not undertake Legal Aid Work.


• If, while we are acting for you, you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised to provide the necessary advice, as we are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

• However, we may provide certain limited investment advice services where these are closely linked to the legal work we are doing for you. This is because we are members of the Law Society of England and Wales, which is a designated professional body for the purpose of the Financial Conduct and Market Act 2000.

• The Solicitors Regulations Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints-handling arm of the Law Society. If you are unhappy with any investment advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of those bodies.

• Although we are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/register.

• The Law Society is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but responsibility for regulation and complaints handling has been separated from the Law Society’s representative functions. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society and the Legal Ombudsman is the independent complaints handling body who will investigate any complaints made against solicitors.

• Monies paid to us are paid into our clients accounts as regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. We are thereby required to notify you that:

• If a bank in which we deposit money fails, it is unlikely that we will be held liable for losses resulting from that bank failure. This view follows that of the Law Society as stated in their practice note of 8 January 2009. Our liability in the event of such banking failure is hereby excluded.

• The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) covers deposits belonging to clients up to £85,000 per client per bank or authorised lending institution.

• This £85,000 is personal to you, so if you hold other monies with HSBC Bank plc (with whom we hold our client account) and it fails, the FSCS limit of £85,000 would apply to all deposits whether held by you directly or by us.

• Some banks and deposit taking institutions have different brand names but are in reality a single institution for FSCS purposes. You should check with your bank, the FCA or a financial adviser for more information.

• If a bank fails, in order to receive compensation from the FSCS we must notify the FSCS with details of all clients, which we can only do with your consent. Accordingly, your acceptance of these Terms of Business shall be deemed to be such consent for these purposes.


• You may cancel your instructions to us in writing at any time. Should you do so we are entitled to keep your papers and documents whilst there is money owing to us.
• We will only decline to act for you with good reason and on giving reasonable notice.
• If, for whatever reason, we stop acting then you remain liable for our charges and payments.


• All advice given to clients is entirely confidential but:

• It is likely that during the course of the work we undertake, certain information may have to be disclosed to third parties, for example, experts’ reports. We will only disclose such information having discussed the matter with you, having obtained your consent to disclose such information or where we are under a professional obligation to do so.

• Money laundering regulations may require a solicitor to notify the National Crime Agency (“NCA”) if he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person may be in possession of the proceeds of crime as defined by the Act. In such circumstances we reserve the right to notify NCA of any such suspicion and to apply to them for clearance to proceed with any relevant transaction on your behalf. In those circumstances we will not inform you of what we have done even though this action may involve delays to any transaction in which you or we may be engaged (on your behalf) and in such circumstances any liabilities incurred by reason of such delays or of seeking clearance from NCA are excluded and we do not accept liability for any claims, costs, expenses or demands howsoever incurred, arising from compliance with the Money Laundering Provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and any amending legislation howsoever caused, even if the transaction in question were to prove abortive by reason of such delays or the notification itself.

• The Solicitors Regulation Authority and other supervisory bodies may call for a file which is the subject of a complaint.

• A Court Order can compel disclosure of confidential material in certain circumstances.


If we outsource any of the work we undertake on your behalf, we will always seek confidentiality agreements from the person or company concerned.


• We use the information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services to you and for related purposes including:-

• Updating and enhancing client records
• Analysis to help us manage our practice statutory returns
• Legal and regulatory compliance

• Our use of that information is subject to your instructions, the Data Protection Act 1998 and our duty of confidentiality. Please note that our work for you may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers. You have a right of access under data protection legislation to the personal data that we hold about you.

• We may from time to time send you information which we think might be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive that information please notify our office in writing.


• The work you require may have tax implications or require the consideration of tax planning strategies. Any responsibility to advise on the tax implications of a transaction that we are instructed to carry out, or the likelihood of them arising, cannot be implied and must be the subject of specific and express agreement.

• Should you have specific concerns regarding tax please raise them with us immediately. If we can undertake the research necessary to resolve the issue we will do so and advise you accordingly. However, if we cannot, we are likely to be able to identify a source of help although we will not be liable for any advice provided by that third party.


• Our aim is to provide a prompt, professional and effective service at all times.
• When acting for more than one party, we reserve the right to accept instructions from one of those parties only unless you both specifically instruct us otherwise in writing.
• In conveyancing transactions we reserve the right to discuss the progress of your transaction with your Estate Agent or other Estate Agents in the chain.
• We hope that you will be pleased with our work and recommend us to others. However, if there is any aspect of our service about which you are unhappy please raise this with Leonard Jacobs. We shall try to resolve any problem quickly through our internal procedures. Please raise any concerns immediately they arise as we value your instructions and would not wish to think you had any reason to be unhappy with us.
• We will communicate when appropriate by email or fax but cannot guarantee the confidentiality of correspondence and documents sent by those means. Should you prefer us not to use email and/or fax, please let us know.
• We do not accept service of documents by email.
• Please be aware we may use software intended to filter out unsolicited and undesirable emails. This may on occasion reject legitimate emails from you or in relation to work we are carrying out on your behalf. We cannot accept liability for any emails not reaching their intended recipient as a result of such software.


This firm is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees, and is required to produce a written equality and diversity policy. Please contact us if you would like us to send you a copy of that equality and diversity policy.


Any dispute or legal issue arising from our terms of business will be determined by the law of England and Wales, and considered exclusively by the English and Welsh courts.

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