My commitment to you
I am committed to doing my best to ensure that your legal needs are met in this matter.
- 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;
- Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with the instructions received and arrangements made;
- Provide you with information about the work to be done, and the way the services will be provided;
- 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;
- Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed and
- 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 contact me on (06) 834 1152.
As a barrister, for most matters, I must be instructed by a solicitor before I can act for you. The instructing solicitor will be your lawyer and will ask me to do some or all of the work.
Responsibility for your work
I will be responsible for work on your matter. As necessary I will liaise with my instructing solicitor.
If I am going to be away, I may need to temporarily instruct another colleague (an agent) to act for you. You will be advised if this should happen, except in the case of an emergency.
How my fees are set
Unless otherwise agreed my fees are based on the range of factors applied by the Law Society including time, expertise, importance, urgency and results achieved. My current hourly rate is $330.00 per hour plus GST and disbursements (court filing fees, service etc) incurred on your behalf. These will be itemised separately on your bill.
I usually send out an interim invoice after the initial work and then approximately every 2 months. I endeavour to bill accounts at least every 3 months, but you are able to ask at any time for an indication of the time spent on your file to date.
Time for payment of invoices
I request that you pay invoices within 14 days of receipt. If you have not notified me of concern within 7 days of the invoice being issued, you will be deemed to have accepted the invoice and that the work is satisfactory.
Questions about your bill or outstanding time on your file
If you have any questions about your bill or account at any time, please ask.
If you are applying for legal aid and your application is accepted, I will bill the Ministry of Justice strictly in accordance with the rates and hours issued by the Ministry of Justice. Your account will be met initially by the Ministry of Justice. Legal aid is generally regarded as a loan and not a gift and you will be bound by the terms of your legal aid application and the letter granting legal aid to you. You will need to read these documents carefully. If your legal aid application is unsuccessful then your fees will be payable as above unless you reach another agreement with me.
Limitation of liability
My liability to you will not exceed 5 times the amount of the fee I have charged you for.
If I have failed to meet your expectations, I want to know. Please tell me and we can discuss this at no charge to you. I take client complaints seriously and want to know what I can do to put the problem right. If you are unhappy, I encourage you to raise any concerns with me to see if the problem can be solved.
If you are still not satisfied with the way I have responded to your complaint, you can make a complaint to the New Zealand Law Society. The Law Society’s contact details are:
NZLS Lawyers Complaints Service, Hawkes Bay Area, PO Box 341, Napier 4140
Phone 0800-261-801 or 06-833-6435
Professional indemnity insurance and fidelity fund
I have professional indemnity insurance. This insurance covers claims brought against me because of professional negligence. This insurance meets or goes beyond the minimum standards set out by the New Zealand Law Society. Please ask if you would like details of the minimum standards.
When your matter is completed, I will advise you accordingly and provide a brief summary of the work undertaken if I have not already done so. Where appropriate, I will also identify any future action that may be required.
I value your instructions in this matter and look forward to their successful completion.
These terms of engagement apply to the current instructions I have from you and to any future instruction, whether or not I send you another copy of them. There is no need to sign these terms of engagement in order to accept them. You will accept these terms of engagement by continuing to instruct me to carry out work for you.
I look forward to an ongoing relationship with you, so please retain this letter as the core basis of our relationship and my commitment to you to provide you with an efficient, effective and professional service.
Please contact me if you have any questions or need further assistance at any time.
Storage of Client Files
I store all files for at least 7 years. I may copy your file(s) into a different format for file retention purposes. After 7 years from completion, your file(s) may be destroyed. I may destroy the hard copy of your file and retain an electronic version for part of that 7 years.