These Standard Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by me for you, except to the extent that I otherwise agree with you in writing.
1.1 The services which I am to provide for you are outlined in my engagement letter.
a The fees which I will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in my engagement letter.
b If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, I will charge this for the agreed scope of my services. Work which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly rate basis. I will advise you as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes necessary for me to provide services outside the agreed scope and if requested, give you an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
c Where my fees are calculated on an hourly basis, my hourly rate is currently $230.00 per hour. Time spent is recorded in 6 minute units, with time rounded up to the next unit of 6 minutes.
2.2 Disbursements and expenses
: In providing services I may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. These will be included in my invoice to you when the expense is incurred. I may require an advance payment for the disbursements or expenses which I will be incurring on your behalf.
2.3 GST (if any):
Is payable by you on my fees and charges.
I will send interim invoices and a final invoice on completion of the matter, or termination of my engagement. I may also send you an invoice when I incur a significant expense.
Invoices are payable within 21 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with me. I may require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue. Interest will be calculated at the rate of 15% until payment is made.
I may ask you to pre-pay amount to me, or to provide security for my fees and expenses. You authorise me: a to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and b to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in my trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
2.7 Third Parties:
Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for my fees and expenses, and although my invoices may at your request or with your request or with your approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to me if the third party fails to pay me.
I will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that I acquire during the course of acting for you. I will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:
a to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
b to the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
Confidential information concerning you will as far as practicable be made available only to those within my firm who are providing legal services for you.
I will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which I have in relation to any other client.
You may terminate my retainer at any time.
I may terminate my retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care of Lawyers.
If my retainer is terminated you must pay me all fees up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
5 Retention of files and documents
You authorise me (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that I hold in safe custody for you) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
6 Conflicts of Interest
I have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest arises I will advise you of this and follow the requirement and procedures set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
7 Duty of Care
My duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any other person may rely on my advice, I must expressly agree to this.
8 Trust Account
I maintain a trust account for all funds which I receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices). If I am holding significant funds on your behalf I will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with Westpac Bank.
Those Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not I send you another copy of them.
I am entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case I will send you amended Terms.
My relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.
Information for Clients
Set out below is the information required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society (“Law Society”).
The basis on which fees will be charged is set out in my letter of engagement. When payment of fees is to be made is set out in my Standard Terms of Engagement.
I may deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which I have provided an invoice.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance:
Particulars of my professional indemnity insurance are as follows:
3. Lawyers Fidelity Fund:
I hold professional indemnity insurance which meets the standard specified by the NZ Law Society.
The Law Society maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund for the purposes of providing clients of lawyers with protection against pecuniary loss arising from theft by lawyers.
The maximum amount payable by the Fidelity Funds by way of compensation to an individual claimant is limited to $100,000. Except in certain circumstances specified in the Lawyers & Conveyancers Act 2006 the Fidelity Fund does not cover a client for any loss relating to money that a lawyer is instructed to invest on behalf of the client.
I will endeavour to ensure that any complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. If you have a complaint about my services or charges, you may refer your complaint to myself or request I arrange for another lawyer to deal with the matter.
5. Persons Responsible for the Work:
The Law Society also maintains a complaints service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so you should contact the Law Society being: NZLS Lawyer Complaints Service, Hawke’s Bay Area, PO Box 341, Napier 4140, Phone: 0800 261 801 or (06) 833 6435, Email: HBDLS@xtra.co.nz, Fax (06) 835 1254.
The names and status of the person or personal who will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services I provide for you are set out in my letter of engagement.
6. Client Care and Service:
The Law Society client care and service information is set out below:
Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing, he or she must:
a. Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received an arrangements made.
b. Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties.
c. Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved.
d. Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
e. Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.
f. Give you clear information and advice.
g. Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
h. Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
i. Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed
j. Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.
7. Limitation on extent of our Obligations or Liability:
The obligations lawyers owe to clients are described in the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers. Those obligations are subject to other overriding duties, including duties to the courts and to the justice system.
If you have any questions, please visit www.lawsociety.org.nz
or call 0800 261 801.
Any limitations on the extent of our obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability are set out in our letter of engagement.