Our Terms and Conditions
If you agree to engage us, the Lawyers and Conveyances Act 2006, which came into force on 1 August 2008, requires that we provide you with information on our responsibilities and obligations. These are:
- To uphold the rule of law and to facilitate the administration of justice in New Zealand.
- To be independent in providing regulated services to clients.
- To act in accordance with all fiduciary duties and dues of care owed by lawyers to their clients.
- To protect, subject to overriding duties as officers of the High Court and duties to under the enactment, the interests of clients.
Consequently, in the provision of legal services we will:
- Act competently, in a timely way and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made.
- Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences and loyalties.
- Discuss with you your objectives and how they should be best achieved.
- Provide you with the information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
- Give you clear information and advice.
- To 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 properly and fairly.
These obligations are subject to other overriding duties a lawyer has, including duties to the Courts and to the Justice System. Further details are available at www.lawsociety.org.nz. Alternatively, you can telephone the New Zealand Law Society on 0800 261 801.
The details of the services we intend to provide to you will be outlined in our Letter of Engagement.
The fees we charge are fair and reasonable having regard to the services we provide.
Some of our services are charged on a fixed fee basis. This means you will be charged a fixed amount for standard or straight-forward transactions. If your matter is more complex or involved, the amount we charge will be more. We will let you know as soon as we realise that your matter is not going to be straight-forward.
Other services are charged on the basis of time spent. At present, we charge for our lawyers’ time at the rate of $240 + GST per hour. Other staff will have lower rates depending on their role within our firm.
All of our fees are exclusive of GST and disbursements, which will be extra. Disbursements includes costs such as Court filing fees, postage, and copying.
We will provide an estimate of costs for you in our Letter of Engagement. If it appears that our estimate is going to be exceeded, we will let you know as soon as possible.
Payment of Fees
Our fees are payable within 14 days of our invoice being sent to you. Interest will accrue on unpaid accounts at the rate of 15% per annum from the due date until payment unless you have made a payment arrangement with us.
If you make a payment arrangement with us you may be charged a one-off administration fee.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
We hold professional indemnity insurance, which provides cover up to $250,000. That insurance does not meet the minimum standards specified by the Law Society (cover of $1,000,000). However, we consider a lower level of cover to be adequate.
Our office maintains 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 may refer your complaint to the person who has overall responsibility for your work. If you do not wish to refer your complaint to that person, or you are not satisfied with that person’s response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to another lawyer practising in the same field (refer to the New Zealand lawyers Directory).
The New Zealand Law Society also operates the Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so, phone 0800 261 801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.