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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 we otherwise agree with you in writing.

  1. Services

1.1 The services which I am to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.

2. Financial

    1. Fees:

  1. The fees which I will charge or the manner in which they will be calculated, are set out in our engagement letter.

  1. If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, I will charge this for the agreed scope of our services.  Work which falls outside that scope will be charged in accordance with the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act, Rules of Conduct and Client Care, Rule 9.  I will advise you as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes necessary for us to provide services outside the agreed scope and if requested, give you an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.

  1. When determining a fee Rule 3.01 of the New Zealand Law Society Rules of Professional Conduct for Barristers and Solicitors requires us to take into account the following guidelines:

(i) The skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required;

(ii) The importance of the matter to the client and the result achieved;

(iii) The urgency and circumstances in which the business is transacted;

(iv) The value or amount of any property or money involved;

(v) The complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;

(vi) The number or importance of the documents prepared or perused;

(vii) The time and labour expended;

(viii) The reasonable costs of running a practice;

(ix) The relative importance of the factors set out above will vary according to the particular circumstances of each transaction.

2.2 Disbursements and expenses:  In providing services we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf.  These will be included in our 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 our fees and charges.

2.4 Invoices:  I will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement.  I may also send you an invoice when I incur a significant expense, either by way of disbursements or by way of work carried out by me.

2.5 Payment:  Invoices are payable within 14 days from the date of each invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with me.  I shall require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than seven days overdue.  Interest will be calculated at the rate of 1.25% per month on the account.  Receipt of payment will only be sent out at the request of the client.

2.6. Security:  I may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses.  You authorise me:

(a) to debit against amounts prepaid by you; and

(b) to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in my instructions solicitors trust account

any fees, expenses or disbursements for which I 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 approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to me if the third party fails to pay me.  

3. Confidentiality

3.1 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.

3.2 Confidential information concerning you will as far as practicable be made available only myself, or those within my instructing solicitors firm who are providing legal services for you.

3.3 I will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which I have in relation to any other client.

4. Termination

    1. You may terminate our retainer at any time.

    2. I may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

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

5. Retention of files and documents

5.1 You authorise me (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that my instructing solicitor may from time to time be required to hold in safe custody for you) seven years after our engagement ends, or earlier if I have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.

6. Conflicts of Interest

6.1 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.

7. Duty of Care

7.1 My duty of care is to you and not to any other person.  Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.

8. Trust Account

8.1 As a barrister, I do not hold a trust account, however, my instructing solicitor does.  In the event that you are required to deposit monies into a trust account my instructing solicitors will hold all funds which they receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices).  If they are required to hold significant funds on your behalf they will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with a bank.  In that case it is likely they will charge an administration fee of 5% of the interest derived.

9. General

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

9.2 I am entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case I will send you amended Terms.

9.3 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”).

1. Fees:  

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 our Standard Terms of Engagement.

I may deduct from any funds held on your behalf in my solicitors trust account, any fees, expenses or disbursements for which I have provided an invoice.

2. Lawyers Fidelity Fund:  

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 Fund 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.

3. Complaints:

I maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly.

If you have a complaint about my services or charges, you contact me directly to discuss all issues you may have.

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.

4. Persons Responsible for the Work:

The names and status of the person or persons who will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in my letter of engagement.

5. 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:

  • Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and instructions made.

  • 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.

  • Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.

  • Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.

  • Give you clear information and advice.

  • Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.

  • Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.

  • Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed.

  • Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.

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 or call (04) 472 7837.

6. Limitations on extent of our Obligations or Liability:

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.

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