The Standard Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by us for you, except to the extent that we otherwise aggress with you in writing.
1.1 the Services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.
a) The fees which we will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in our engagement letter.
b) If the engagement letter specified a fixed fee, we will change 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.
c) 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 minutes 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 payment to their parties on your behalf. These will be included in or invoice to you when expense in incurred. We may require an advance payment for the disbursement or expenses which we will be incurring on your behalf.
2.3 GST (if any): Is payable by you on our fees and charges
2.4 Invoices: 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.
2.5 Payment: Invoices are payable within 14 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. We may require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue. Interest will be calculated at the rate of 14% from the date of the invoice to the date payment in cleared funds are made.
2.6 Security: We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. You authorise us:
a) to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and
b) to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursement for which we have provided an invoice.
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 payments to us if the third party fails to pay us.
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 information other than;
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 Clients 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 service for you.
3.3 We will of cause, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other clients.
4.1 you may terminate our retainer at any time.
4.2 We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Clients Care for Lawyers.
4.3 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.
5. Retention of files and documents
5.1 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) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
6. Conflicts of Interest
6.1 We have procedure in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest. If a conduct 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 Clients Care for Lawyers.
7. Duty of Care
7.1 Our duty of care is to you and not to any other persons. Before any other person may rely on or advice, we must expressly agree to this.
8. Trust Accounts
8.1 We maintain a trust account for all funds which we received from clients (except monies received for payments of our invoices). If we are holding significant funds on your behalf we will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposits with a bank. In that case we will charge an administration fee of 10% of the interest derived.
9.1 These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.
9.2 We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you the amended Terms.
9.3 Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.