Terms of Engagement
1.1 The services we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.
The fees we will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in our Engagement Letter.
If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of our services. Work which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly rate basis. We 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.
Where our fees are calculated on an hourly basis, the hourly rates are set out in our engagement letter. The differences in those rates reflect the experience and specialization of our professional staff. 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 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. We may require an advance payment for the disbursements or expenses which we will be incurring on your behalf.
Is payable by you on our fees and charges.
We will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement. We may also send you an invoice when we incur a significant expense.
Invoices are payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. Interest at 18% per annum calculated daily is payable on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue.
We require you to pay a retainer to us as security for our fees and expenses. You authorise us to debit against the retainer and also to deduct from any funds held in our trust account , on your behalf or any other related entity of yours such as your company and/ or trust and/or partnership fees, expenses or disbursements.
2.7 Third Parties:
Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for our fees and expenses, and although our invoices may at your request or with your approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment.
3.1 We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you. We will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:
- to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
- 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 to those within our firm who are providing legal services for you.
3.3 We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
4.1 You may terminate our engagement at any time.
4.2 We may terminate our engagement in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers
4.3 If our engagement is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
- Retention of Files and Documents
5.1 You authorize us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that we hold in safe custody for you) 10 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
- Conflicts of Interest
6.1 We have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest arises we 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.
- Duty of care
7.1 Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any person may rely on our advice, that person must sign a Letter of Engagement with us.
- Trust Account
8.1 We maintain a trust account for all funds, which we receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices). We will not normally put funds on term deposit unless of course you instruct us to do so. In that case, we will charge an administration fee of 10% of the interest derived.
9.1 These Terms apply to both current and future engagements.
9.2 We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.
9.3 Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have exclusive jurisdiction.