We are committed to doing our best to ensure that your legal needs are met in this matter.
- Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties.
- Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved.
- Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made.
- Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
- Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
- Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
- Give you clear information and advice.
- Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed.
- Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.
- Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.
The obligations lawyers owe to clients are further 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 the justice system.
We will check to ascertain if there is a conflict of interest. If there is none and subject to your acceptance of these Terms of Engagement, we will commence working on this matter for you.
Your work will be handled in our office by the people most experienced in the type of work area your matter relates to. This will ensure that we provide the appropriate level of expertise to get the result you require.
We treat any information that you supply to us as confidential. We may need to disclose your information to our agents or other organisations, but only as needed to carry out your instructions and our professional duties, or as required by law.
Unless agreed otherwise, our fees are based on a range of factors applied by the New Zealand Law Society, including time, expertise, importance, urgency and results achieved. We will notify you if any fees, expenses or disbursements need to be paid for in advance.
During the course of this matter, should we place your funds on interest bearing deposit through our Trust account, commission will be deducted at 7.5% on the gross interest earned.
- To help you budget, we issue interim bills, usually monthly while work is in progress, with a final bill upon completion.
- Payment for our services is due on receipt of our invoice.
- We may deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our Trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
- For accounts not settled in full by the 20th of the month following date of invoice, interest may be charged. This interest calculated at 2% per month on the balance outstanding will be added and compounded to all accounts where invoices are not settled within the period stated.
- Full Eftpos/credit card facilities are available. However, we are prepared to discuss arrangements for payment of accounts over a negotiated period. While we reserve the right to charge interest for extended payments should payments fall into arrears, the same penalty will be incurred for instalments unpaid as for non-payment as mentioned in the above paragraph.
- As with all businesses, we have the right to engage a Collection Agency and / or take legal action to obtain payment of any outstanding account. As a condition of this retainer you agree to pay all collection and legal expenses (including our internally charged costs) should recovery action be undertaken.
- If we cease to act for you, we will retain all files, deeds and information relating to this matter until any outstanding / overdue amount is paid.
We hold current Professional Indemnity insurance cover with QBE Insurance (International) Ltd. This cover exceeds the minimum standards from time to time specified by the New Zealand Law Society. We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.
The Lawyers Fidelity Fund provides you a limited form of cover up to $100,000.00 as protection against pecuniary loss arising from theft by a lawyer or an incorporated law firm.
We will advise you whether this matter is covered by the Lawyers Fidelity Fund or not.
We will provide you with a competent, timely service following your instructions, but if you have any complaint at all about our service please raise it with the partners responsible for your matter. If it cannot be resolved immediately to your satisfaction, please write to our Practice Manager (Anne Hitchcock) who will invoke our comprehensive complaints procedure. It is in our best interest to ensure that you are satisfied with the explanations given.
If you are still not happy with the outcome, you can write to the Standards Committee, NZLS Lawyers Complaints Service, Hawke’s Bay Area, PO Box 341, Napier 4140, (Phone 06 833 6435, Fax 06 835 1254, email HBDLS@xtra.co.nz) who will investigate the problem on your behalf.
We may communicate with you in any way, including by email and other electronic communications. Emails may be subject to interference, interception or may have defects including viruses. We do not accept responsibility and will not be liable for any damage or loss (direct or indirect) caused by an email that is intercepted or has a virus or other defects.
You authorise us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents relating to this matter (except for documents that we may hold in safe custody for you) seven years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files to electronic format.