Terms of Trade

Fees

Our fees are calculated based on a range of factors applied by the New Zealand Law Society which include: time, expertise, importance, urgency and results achieved.  The current hourly rate that will apply to the person primarily responsible for your file will be $350.00 (Partner of firm) or $250.00 (Associate/Solicitor of firm) plus GST.

If this is a conveyancing transaction which:

  1. is not settled within 3 weeks, or
  2. requires that we apply for a LIM report or undertake any searches for you prior to settlement.

we will require the sum of $500 up front on account of costs before we are able to undertake any work on your behalf.   This money will be held in our Trust account on your behalf and not accessed by us until an invoice has been rendered to you.

Likewise for all other matters, we will require a retainer between $ 350 – $ 500 before we are able to undertake any work on your behalf.   This money will be held in our Trust account on your behalf and not accessed by us until an invoice has been rendered to you.

We also charge for other costs incurred which may include forms, tolls, photocopying, faxes, registrations, searches, mileage and other similar costs incurred in relation to the work undertaken on your behalf.  The cost charged for some of these items will also incur an additional administrative component to reflect the management of these expenses.  On most files a sundry set office charge will be added to cover the costs of postage, file establishment, local calls etc.

It is our policy to render regular accounts which are due within 14 days of the date on the account.  We may elect to invoice you on regular interim basis where the matter is taking a medium to long term to complete.

Our letter of engagement serves as an Authority to us to deduct our fees and costs from any funds held by you where work has been undertaken to the value of the fees and costs.

If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of our services.  If there is work which falls outside that scope, this 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.

Payment

Invoices are payable within 10 working days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us.  We are entitled to charge interest on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue.  Any interest then charged will be charged at the current commercial overdraft rate per annum + 2 % currently charged by our trading bank.  If you do not pay our fees and disbursements as they fall due, you may be liable for our costs, expenses and charges that are incurred by us in collection of those fees. By engaging us, you are agreeing  that we can provide any information on any amount owed to us which is overdue for payment, to credit agencies if required.

Client Care and Service

The Law Society client care and service information is set out below.  We agree to:ior

  • 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 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 we owe as lawyers 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 www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.

Client Responsibility

By engaging us to act on your behalf you undertake to provide us full disclosure of all matters relevant to your instructions to enable us to act in good faith and with due care. If you provide to us information that is erroneous and/or misleading, we will view such actions as being a revocation of our client : solicitor relationship and we will be entitled to seek all outstanding fees for work done, disbursements incurred, loss due to third party claims and/or where we are unable to comply fully with our compliance obligations together with any costs, expenses ad charges resulting thereof as a result of the erroneous and/or misleading information.

Files and Documents

Please note that our responsibility is to keep 7years of past records. You are entitled to a copy of your files & documents and at the end of the 7 years following completion of your matter, we are entitled to dispose of the said files and documents without further reference to you. We suggest that you ensure that you put an entry in your diary reminding you when the 7 years end and if required, to uplift the documents & Files (especially deeds) prior to the said date.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society.  We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.

Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund

The Law Society maintains the Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund for the purpose 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 and 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.

Complaints

We have 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 our services or charges, you may refer your complaint to the person in our firm 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 Partner of this firm.

The Law Society operates the Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service.  To do so, phone 0800 261 801 and you will be connected to the nearest Complaints Service Office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.

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