The information required by Rules 3.4-3.7 of the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society is provided here.
The basis on which fees will be charged is set out in our letter of engagement. When payment of fees is to be made is set out in our standard terms of engagement.
We may deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
. 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 purposes 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 & 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.
We maintain 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 by letter, email or telephone to:
The New Zealand Law Society also maintains a complaints service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so you should contact the Law Society on 0800 261 801.
. Persons Responsible for the Work
The names and status of the person or persons who will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our letter of engagement.
. Client Care and Service
The Law Society client care and service information is set out below. Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing, he or she must:
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 lawyers owe 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.lawyers.org.nz.
. Limitations on Extent of our Obligations or Liability
Any limitations on the extent of our obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability are set out in our letter of engagement, or as from time to time is set out in our correspondence to you.
Terms of engagement with Williams McKenzie (updated 20th Oct 2015)
These Terms of Engagement (‘Terms’) apply in respect of all work carried out by us for you, except to the extent that we otherwise agree with you in writing.
The services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our Letter of Engagement.
We will charge a fee which is fair and reasonable for the services provided having regard to your interests and our interests. In determining the fee, the following may be taken into account:
The time and labour expended at an hourly rate.
The skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required to perform the services properly.
The importance of the matter to you and the results achieved.
The urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by you.
The degree of risk assumed by us in undertaking the services including the amount or value of the property involved.
The complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved.
The experience, reputation and ability of the members of our firm working on your matter.
The possibility that the acceptance of the particular instructions will preclude employment of us by other clients.
Whether the fee is fixed or conditional.
Any quote or estimate of fees given by us.
Any fee agreement entered into between you and us.
The reasonable costs of running our firm.
The fee customarily charged in the market and locality for work similar to yours.
Unless otherwise stated all fees are plus GST.
In providing services we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf such as search and registration fees, valuation fees, tolls and photocopying. These will be included in our invoice to you when the expense is incurred.
All work done by us is charged on a fees basis apart from a commission of 5% which is taken on all interest accruing on funds deposited with our bank through our Solicitors Deposit Scheme.
Where it is applicable, you may wish to apply for legal aid. In the event that legal aid is not granted you will be liable for our account charged at the private rates referred to above.
Payment of Fees
We will send you an invoice on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement. We may also send you an interim invoice.
Invoices, whether interim or final, 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 overdue. Interest will be calculated at 15% per annum.
You authorise us to deduct against amounts pre-paid by you; and to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
We may ask you to pay fees in advance, but in those instances your payment will be held in our trust account and only paid to us by deduction when an account has been forwarded to you. Disbursements are to be paid by you immediately upon request but substantial disbursements will be asked for in advance.
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 remain responsible for payment if the third party fails to pay us..
Legal aid is governed by the Legal Services Act 2001 and associated regulations. Legal Aid is administered through the Ministry of Justice.
We will submit invoices in relation to your grant to the Legal Aid Services Commissioner and provide you with copies. The Legal Services Commissioner will write to you about any conditions of repayment obligations that you may have in relation to the grant of legal aid and your rights as an applicant or recipient of legal aid.
You should be aware at this time that legal aid is not always free. You may be required to repay your legal aid grant and pay a user charge fee.
If you have to pay a user charge, this will be deducted from our first invoice to the Ministry and we will collect the money from you. The user charge is always $50.00; this cannot be changed and you can only be exempt if you are making a specified application for legal aid. We are not allowed to accept any other payments from you.
If you are required to repay your legal aid grant, the Ministry will write to you and tell you how much toy are required to pay.
You must let the Legal Services Commissioner know if there is any change in your and your partner’s contact details, employment status, family circumstances or financial details.
Free Legal Advice Service (Care of Children)
This is a Government funded service and administered through the Ministry of Justice by the Legal Services Commissioner.
The following services are available under the Family Legal Advice Service scheme:
Checking whether you are eligible for the Service
Meeting with you to discuss your Family Law dispute
Explaining the Family Justice System process to you, including Family Dispute Resolution, so that you understand your legal rights, responsibilities and options
If applicable, advising you of the steps for commencing (or responding to) and pursuing proceedings in the Family Court
If applicable, advising you of the types of directions and orders the Family Court may make in relation to your dispute
If applicable, assisting you to complete an originating application and affidavit (or notice of response and affidavit)
Services we do not provide
The Family Legal Advice Service is a limited service. Unless we expressly agree with you otherwise, we will not:
Represent you at Family Dispute Resolution or in the Family Court
Communicate with third parties on your behalf
Prepare or advise you on any written agreements regarding your dispute
Advise you about or assist in any way in the resolution of secondary disputes
Serve or receive service of any documents on your behalf
Our involvement will end if final agreement is reached or once we have helped you draft an application and affidavit (or notice of response and affidavit), whichever is the earlier.
Please note: If your matter goes to the Family Court you may be eligible for legal representation for part of the Court process. You may be eligible for Legal Aid from that time.
Limitation of Liability and Obligations
Any limitations on the extent of our obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability, are set out in our letter of engagement, or as from time to time is set out in our correspondence to you.
We do not accept liability for any loss arising from non-receipt of any communication including email communications.
Termination of Retainer
You may terminate our retainer at any time.
We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of
Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
If our retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all disbursements incurred up to that date.
Suspension of Service
We reserve the right to stop work on your retainer if interim accounts are not paid on time or a request for information or action remains unsatisfied.
Privacy and Confidentiality
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 any of this information to any other person except:
to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
to the extent required by law or by the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
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.
We will not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
Files and Documents
You authorize 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) 10 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
You are welcome to uplift your file provided that all fees and expenses have been paid. Please give us reasonable notice before collecting your file should you wish to do so.
Conflicts of Interest
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 New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
Duty of Care
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.
We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices). If we are holding significant funds on your behalf we will lodge those funds on interest bearing on call deposit with a bank. In that case we will charge an administration fee of 5% of the interest derived.
These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.
We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.
Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.
Make a payment
If you wish to pay online, our account details are as follows:
Williams McKenzie Trust Account
Bank of New Zealand, Rangiora Account No 02-0876-0096668-00 Please include your name and reference number with the payment details.
For your convenience, we also have EFTPOS and Credit Card available at reception.