Terms of Engagement
1. Unless we agree otherwise in writing, by instructing me you accept these Terms of Engagement will govern our relationship for all present and future instructions. My terms may change and I will let you know in writing if that happens.
2. You instruct me directly to act for you, without an instructing solicitor.
3. You agree that I will only provide the services agreed between us. If you require other services, you agree I may not carry out that additional work until you have paid any fixed or estimated fees for that work in advance according to clause 7 below .
4. Unless we agree otherwise in writing, my fees will be calculated with regard to:
- the time I spend on your matter, which I nominally value at the rate of $390 plus GST per hour;
- the complexity of the matter;
- the skill, specialised knowledge, and experience required;
- the responsibility involved;
- the importance of the matter to you and the results achieved; and
- the urgency of the matter.
5. In addition to my fees, I may charge you for:
- incidental office expenses (e.g. for copying, couriers); or
- payments to third parties on your behalf.
6. If my fees are a fixed amount, I will not charge you any more than that fixed amount for the agreed services. However, if I estimate my fees, I may charge you more or less than the estimated amount having regard to the factors in clause 4.
7. If I request, you will pay the amount of my fixed or estimated fees in advance to my nominated solicitor’s trust account before I do any work for you. By making that payment in advance, you are deemed to agree to terms of the Escrow Agreement I provide to you.
8. I will issue invoices monthly or on completion of a matter and are these payable within 14 days to the extent that they are not paid in advance.
9. If, on your instructions, I have agreed to send an invoice to a third party, and that third party fails to pay the invoice within 14 days from the date the invoice is sent, I will send you an invoice for the same amount, which you must then pay within 14 days.
10. If my invoices are not paid by the due date, I may charge interest at the rate of 15% per annum and you will be liable for all legal and debt collection costs that I may incur in obtaining or attempting to obtain payment of my invoices, plus interest.
11. Unless we agree otherwise in writing, you are the only person who may rely on my advice and I am not liable to you for:
- errors in, or omissions from, any information provided by third parties;
- matters that you have not instructed me to act on; or
- loss or damage you suffer as a result of electronic communications being lost or affected beyond my reasonable control.
Document storage and destruction
12. Unless you notify me otherwise in writing, you agree that:
- I do not have to retain your paper or electronic files or other documents you provide to me and can destroy them at any time; and
- I may use Google Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, ActionStep or similar on-line document storage, email and practice management services when acting for you and that information related to your matter may be stored outside of New Zealand as a result of using those services.
13. You may terminate my engagement by notice in writing.
14. I may terminate our engagement at any time if:
- you misrepresent, or fail to disclose, relevant facts to me;
- you adopt a course of action that I believe may be inconsistent with my professional obligations;
- I consider that a conflict of interest has arisen;
- you do not pay my fees in advance or my invoices; or
- the Law Society rules permit me to do so.
15. If my engagement is terminated, I may charge you for any unbilled work I have carried out on your instructions and I may retain your files until you pay my invoices.
16. In the course of acting for you, I may collect, hold and use your personal information to provide services to you.
Limitation of liability
17. My liability to you for any loss is limited to the greater of (1) the amount that is five times the fees actually received by me pursuant to the matter, or (2) the amount payable by my professional indemnity insurers in respect of any claim for such loss. In this paragraph the term “loss” includes any liability, cost, expense, or loss, suffered or incurred directly or indirectly, as a direct or indirect result of any action or omission whatsoever.