TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT


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. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding these terms please contact me at your earliest convenience.

TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT


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. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding these terms please contact me at your earliest convenience.

If you are engaging me to provide legal services on behalf of a trust or a company I consider that you are authorised to do so and that you and the trustees or directors personally guarantee payment of all costs incurred.



Services
The services I am to provide for you are outlined in my engagement letter.

Financial
Fees:

Some services will be provided to you at a fixed fee which will be set out in my letter of engagement to you.

For all other work fees will be calculated on an hourly basis at the rate set out in my engagement letter. Time is recorded in ten minute units however any fee charged must have reference to the New Zealand Law Society guidelines which include:

  1. Time and labour expended.
  2. Skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required to reform the services properly.
  3. Importance of the matter to the client and the results achieved.
  4. Urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by the client.
  5. Degree of risk assumed by the lawyer in undertaking the services, including the amount or value of any property involved.
  6. Complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved.
  7. Experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer.
  8. Possibility that the acceptance of the particular retainer will preclude engagement of the lawyer by other clients.
  9. Whether the fee is fixed or conditional (whether in litigation or otherwise)
  10. Any quote or estimate of fees given by the lawyer.
  11. Any fee agreement (including a conditional fee agreement) entered into between the lawyer and client.
  12. Reasonable costs of running a practice.
  13. Fee customarily charged in the market and locality for similar legal services.

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 I render my final account /statement. I may require an advance payment for the disbursements or expenses which I will be incurring on your behalf if they are going to be more than $50.00.

In addition I will incur various office expenses on your behalf that is not covered by my hourly charge out rate. These expenses can vary from file to file depending on such things as, the amount of file reproduction (photocopying) required in, for example, court proceedings; courier charges for urgent and secure mail delivery; to an increase in insurance risk on large Conveyancing dealings. As I am unable to accurately assess these expenses at the commencement of a file I charge a standard flat expense rate of $75 per file however I reserve the right to increase this to $150.00 should the need arise. In this event you will be advised before the increase is applied.

Upon closure of your file a reconciliation will be carried out and any over recovery refunded or under recovery requested from you to be paid.

GST (if any)
Is payable by you on my fees and charges.

Invoices
I will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or termination of my engagement. I may also send you an invoice when I incur a significant expense.

Payment
Invoices are payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. 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 5% above my firm’s main trading bank’s 90-day bank bill buy rate as at the close of business on the date payment became due.

Security
I may ask you to pre-pay amounts to me, or to provide security for my fees and expenses. You authorise me:
to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and
to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in my trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which I have provided an invoice.

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 approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to us if the third party fails to pay us.

Trust Account
I have an obligation to put all monies received from you or for you into my trust account. Payments will be made out of that account to you, to pay my fees, or to a third party with your written authority. If I hold money on your behalf for a period of time, I may place the funds on interest bearing deposit and credit the interest, less tax and my administration fee of 5% of the interest earned to your trust account.

For any payments to be made as directed by you, I require you to provide from the Bank an encoded deposit slip, or cheque, or a copy of a bank statement, or letter from your Bank or a screen shot of the internet banking details, showing the account name and account number. If none of the above can be provided then you will have to sign a letter of instruction.

Confidentiality
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:

  1. to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
  2. 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.

Termination
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 for Lawyers.

If my retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.

Ownership of Files and Documents
Documents I create for you will belong to you. However, I retain ownership of the copyright.

You may however use and copy the documents as necessary for your personal or commercial use but may not provide them to a third party for their use without my written consent.

Documents I create for my own use in providing services to you will belong to me.

In the event that you owe money to me for any reason I may retain your documents and files.

After your file is closed, I will retain the file and documents without charge for at least 6 years. Unless you wish to uplift the file or documents, they may be destroyed, unless it is necessary for the documents, such as Ills or Deeds, to be kept in long term storage.

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 my engagement ends, or earlier if I have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.

Conflicts of Interest & ethical duties
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 requirements and procedures set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

I take special care to ensure that I am not in a “conflict of interest” situation by acting for clients who are in conflict with each other. If a conflict of interest situation does occur, I will notify all parties concerned of the conflict and advise the parties to take independent legal advice from a lawyer in another firm and if necessary decline to act further for any party.

Insurance
I have professional indemnity insurance which exceeds the minimum standard set by the New Zealand Law Society, from time to time.

Investment Advice
My advice does not include or constitutes investment advice. I recommend that you seek such advice from an Independent Financial Service Provider.

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.

General
These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not I send you another copy of them.

I are 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.

Lawyers Fidelity Fund
Through the New Zealand Law Society, the legal profession operates a fund which may be used to reimburse clients who suffer loss of money through theft or misappropriation of funds by a lawyer. The maximum compensation available is $100,000.00 per client. Except with certain limited exceptions this fund does not cover a client for any loss relating to money the lawyer invests on behalf of a client.

Complaints and Disputes
Should you have any concern or complaint about services provided or my relationship with you please let me know as soon as possible. I will in good faith attempt to resolve the matter in a way that is fair to all concerned and provide you with a written response.

My complaints procedure is designed to handle any complaints to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. If you have a complaint about my services or charges you should contact me as soon as possible.

If after contacting me and I have tried to resolve the matter and you remain unsatisfied you may complain to the New Zealand Law Society. To do so phone 0800 261 801 and you will be contacted to the nearest Complaints Service office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.

Services
The services I am to provide for you are outlined in my engagement letter.

Financial
Fees:

Some services will be provided to you at a fixed fee which will be set out in my letter of engagement to you.

For all other work fees will be calculated on an hourly basis at the rate set out in my engagement letter. Time is recorded in ten minute units however any fee charged must have reference to the New Zealand Law Society guidelines which include:

  1. Time and labour expended.
  2. Skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required to reform the services properly.
  3. Importance of the matter to the client and the results achieved.
  4. Urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by the client.
  5. Degree of risk assumed by the lawyer in undertaking the services, including the amount or value of any property involved.
  6. Complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved.
  7. Experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer.
  8. Possibility that the acceptance of the particular retainer will preclude engagement of the lawyer by other clients.
  9. Whether the fee is fixed or conditional (whether in litigation or otherwise)
  10. Any quote or estimate of fees given by the lawyer.
  11. Any fee agreement (including a conditional fee agreement) entered into between the lawyer and client.
  12. Reasonable costs of running a practice.
  13. Fee customarily charged in the market and locality for similar legal services.

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.

GST (if any)
Is payable by you on my fees and charges.

Invoices
I will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or termination of my engagement. I may also send you an invoice when I incur a significant expense.

Payment
Invoices are payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. 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 5% above my firm’s main trading bank’s 90-day bank bill buy rate as at the close of business on the date payment became due.

Security
I may ask you to pre-pay amounts to me, or to provide security for my fees and expenses. You authorise me:
to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and
to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in my trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which I have provided an invoice.

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 approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to us if the third party fails to pay us.

Trust Account
I have an obligation to put all monies received from you or for you into my trust account. Payments will be made out of that account to you, to pay my fees, or to a third party with your written authority. If I hold money on your behalf for a period of time, I may place the funds on interest bearing deposit and credit the interest, less tax and my administration fee of 5% of the interest earned to your trust account.

For any payments to be made as directed by you, I require you to provide from the Bank an encoded deposit slip, or cheque, or a copy of a bank statement, or letter from your Bank or a screen shot of the internet banking details, showing the account name and account number. If none of the above can be provided then you will have to sign a letter of instruction.

Confidentiality
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:

  1. to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
  2. 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.

Termination
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 for Lawyers.

If my retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.

Ownership of Files and Documents
Documents I create for you will belong to you. However, I retain ownership of the copyright.
You may however use and copy the documents as necessary for your personal or commercial use but may not provide them to a third party for their use without my written consent.

Documents I create for my own use in providing services to you will belong to me.

In the event that you owe money to me for any reason I may retain your documents and files.

After your file is closed, I will retain the file and documents without charge for at least 6 years. Unless you wish to uplift the file or documents, they may be destroyed, unless it is necessary for the documents, such as Ills or Deeds, to be kept in long term storage.

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 my engagement ends, or earlier if I have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.

Conflicts of Interest & ethical duties
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 requirements and procedures set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

I take special care to ensure that I am not in a “conflict of interest” situation by acting for clients who are in conflict with each other. If a conflict of interest situation does occur, I will notify all parties concerned of the conflict and advise the parties to take independent legal advice from a lawyer in another firm and if necessary decline to act further for any party.

Insurance
I have professional indemnity insurance which exceeds the minimum standard set by the New Zealand Law Society, from time to time.

Investment Advice
My advice does not include or constitutes investment advice. I recommend that you seek such advice from an Independent Financial Service Provider.

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.

General
These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not I send you another copy of them.

I are 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.

Lawyers Fidelity Fund
Through the New Zealand Law Society, the legal profession operates a fund which may be used to reimburse clients who suffer loss of money through theft or misappropriation of funds by a lawyer. The maximum compensation available is $100,000.00 per client. Except with certain limited exceptions this fund does not cover a client for any loss relating to money the lawyer invests on behalf of a client.

Complaints and Disputes
Should you have any concern or complaint about services provided or my relationship with you please let me know as soon as possible. I will in good faith attempt to resolve the matter in a way that is fair to all concerned and provide you with a written response.

My complaints procedure is designed to handle any complaints to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. If you have a complaint about my services or charges you should contact me as soon as possible.

If after contacting me and I have tried to resolve the matter and you remain unsatisfied you may complain to the New Zealand Law Society. To do so phone 0800 261 801 and you will be contacted to the nearest Complaints Service office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.