These Standard Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by us for you or on your behalf, except to the extent we otherwise agree with you in writing.
1.1 The services we are to provide for you are outlined in our Letter of Engagement.
2. Person(s) responsible for the work
2.1 We will inform you in our Letter of Engagement who has overall responsibility for the services we provide to you. In
order to provide services in an effective, efficient and timely manner, others may assist from time to time with the
conduct of your matter.
3. Future Instructions
3.1 Unless otherwise agreed in writing, these Terms will apply to all instructions received from you, including matters
we are currently handling and future instructions.
a) The fees we will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in our Letter of Engagement. b) If the Letter of Engagement 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. Where our fees are calculated on an
hourly basis, the hourly rates are set out in our Letter of Engagement. The differences in any rates between
solicitors reflect their experience and specialisation. Time spent is recorded in six minute units, with time rounded
up to the next unit of six minutes.
c) 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.
4.2 Estimates: If requested, written estimates of fees will be provided before work commences. Estimates are provided
as a guideline only and are based on our professional judgment. Estimates are not maximum or fixed fee
4.3 Disbursements and expenses
a) General office services include photocopying, facsimiles, telephone communications, deliveries, routine online
searches and inquiries and similar. These are charged at a standard rate equal to 2.5% of our fees.
b) 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. c) We take no responsibility for fees or changes to fees as set by the Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand
or any other external agency in respect of any work undertaken by us on your instructions.
4.4 GST: Please note Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be payable on our fees and charges. Any estimate of our
fee or quotes are given exclusive of GST.
4.5 Invoices: You will be invoiced regarding the services we are instructed to perform. We may also send you an
invoice if we incur a significant disbursement or expense on your behalf. If the work is carried out in stages, or in
cases where a significant amount of work is done, interim invoices may be issued.
4.6 Payment: Invoices are payable within seven (7) days of the date of the invoice unless alternative arrangements
have been made with us.
4.7 Default: Where accounts are not paid on time, we reserve the right to stop work on your affairs, and to charge
interest at 12% per annum on the unpaid balance and recovery costs, without prejudice to our rights to recover
any unpaid amounts. You will be responsible for all costs incurred by us (including our legal fees at normal hourly
rates) in recovering any such unpaid account.
4.8 Security: We may ask for a guarantee for payment of our fees. If this requirement is set out in our Letter of
Engagement, we will not undertake substantial work until a copy of the letter signed by the guarantor(s) has been returned to us.
4.9 Your Original Documents: When work has been done by us but we have not been paid by you, then as a general
rule we have the right to retain any original documents and correspondence whether in paper or electronic form in
which information may be held on your file until all our outstanding fees, disbursements and other expenses have
been paid in full. This shall be known as a lien. This will be vital in a situation where you decide for whatever
reason to instruct another lawyer or an advisor. We will require that person to give an undertaking to pay all your
outstanding fees and disbursements before your file or original documents is or are released to them.
4.10 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, you will nevertheless
remain responsible for payment to us if the third party fails to make payment to us.
4.11 Legal Aid: For information on your financial eligibility for legal aid please visit www.lsa.govt.nz. It is not our practice
to work on civil legal aid matters.
4.12 Fee Disputes
a) Should you have a complaint in regards to your invoice we would expect this is raised within seven (7) days of
the issue of the invoice. You complaint must be in writing and must specify the grounds for the dispute in
reasonable detail and setting out the amount you consider is due.
b) On the due date for the invoice you must pay us the amount you have stated you consider is due. If you do
not follow the above steps you are deemed to have accepted the invoice is payable in full. c) Any dispute will be dealt with as a complaint using the procedure described in clause 6 of our Information for
5.1 We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs acquired during the course of acting for
you. We 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.
5.2 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. 5.3 We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
6.1 In acting for you we may collect personal information about you. If we collect personal information about people
who are employees, directors or principals of yours you will make sure these people are aware that our acting
for you involves collection of personal information about them. If we do not collect this personal information, we
may not be able to carry out your instructions. 6.2 Personal information will be used by us to provide legal services to you, to obtain credit or other references about
you, to undertake credit management and to tell you about issues and developments that may be of interest to
you. You authorise us to obtain from any person or release to any person any information for these purposes, and
you authorise any person to release information to us that we require for these purposes. 6.3 If you are an individual, under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to have access to, and correction of, your
personal information held by us.
7. Intellectual Property
7.1 All copyright and other intellectual property arising or created or provided by us in connection with our services
(including all intellectual property rights in any document, advice or thing created by us in the course of providing
the services to you) remains our property.
8.1 You may terminate our retainer at any time. 8.2 We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client
Care for Lawyers 8.3 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.
9. Retention of files and documents
9.1 You authorise 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) seven (7) years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we
have converted those files and documents to an electronic format. 9.2 If at your request we destroy any files or documents in advance of our usual destruction date, we will not be liable
to you and you will indemnify us for any liability to a third party in relation to the matter, files and documents. 9.3 If you uplift your files and other documents at any time we may make copies of them before they are uplifted. We
may charge our time, and any photocopying charges, at our usual rates relating to the review of the files, copying
of them where applicable, and making them ready for your uplifting.
10. Conflicts of Interest
10.1 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.
11. Duty of Care
11.1 Our 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. 11.2 Unless required by law, you may not provide our advice to any third party or submit our advice to any
governmental agency without our agreement.
12. Trust Account
12.1 We do not maintain a trust account for funds which we receive from clients (that is monies received for payment of
our invoices). However, we have an arrangement made with another associated law firm to receive and manage
trust account fund on our behalf.
13. Limitations on Liability
13.1 We will not be liable, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, for:
a) Any loss of profit or revenue, exemplary damages or any indirect or consequential loss or damage howsoever
described or claimed. b) Any loss or damage to the extent it is attributable to your conduct or a failure by you to take reasonable care
of your own interests.
a) We are not responsible for any failure to advise on any matter that falls outside of the scope of our
engagement and we have no responsibility to you to update any advice to take account of events or changes in
the law that take place after the advice is issued. b) Please note from time to time Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand other external agencies we deal
with may undergo changes in law or policy. We are not liable for such changes or any effect they may have on our
advice if made after we have issued such advice.
13.3 Information You Provide
a) You warrant all information you provide us with is accurate and not misleading and you agree we may rely on
that being so. b) We take no responsibility for any loss caused by the provision of inaccurate or misleading information. c) Furthermore we take no responsibility for any loss caused by a failure to disclose any information to us.
13.4 Public Records and Other External Information or Advice: In supplying our services we may rely on and/or
provide you with advice or information we have obtained from third parties (e.g. experts, governmental authorities
and public records or registers). We do not accept responsibility and will not be liable for any loss or damage
caused by errors and omissions in that advice or information.
13.5 Electronic Communication: Unless otherwise agreed with you, we may communicate with you at times by electronic
means. Although we will take reasonable precautions we cannot and do not warrant these communications will be
complete, secure and free from viruses or other defects and will not be delayed or fail to be received.
13.6 Time frames:
a) We will not take responsibility for work done by the Inland Revenue or Immigration New Zealand or any other
external agency or for their timeliness in respect of that work. We may agree to provide an estimate based on our
previous experience but please note that this is an estimate only and we cannot be held responsible for their
failure to complete their work within that time frame. b) We will not be held responsible for any losses or costs incurred due to the decisions or processing times of
the Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand or any other external agency. c) We will contact you within a reasonable time frame regarding any information concerning you received from the
Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand or any other external agency.
14. Limitation Period
14.1 You may not bring any action against us, regardless of form, more than three (3) years after the cause of the
action has arisen.
15. Foreign Law Matters
15.1 We are only qualified to advise on New Zealand law. if we assist you in respect of matters governed by foreign
law, we do so on the basis that we do not accept any responsibility in relation to your legal position under that
16.1 These Terms and any other agreement we have with you are governed by New Zealand law and are subject to the
exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts.
16.2 We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.
16.3 If there is any conflict between these Terms and our Letter of Engagement, the Terms of our Letter of
Engagement have precedence.
17. Gift Vouchers
17.1 Our Vouchers are not legal tenders and cannot be redeemable for cash, and cannot be used with any other
offers. Can only use one Voucher per person.
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