Phone +64 21 043 6527 Email debra@djangus.com

Terms & Conditions

Terms of engagement

Standard terms

This document contains my standard terms of engagement. These standard terms of engagement apply to all work I carry out for you, except where you and I otherwise agree in writing. By instructing me to act for you, you are agreeing to these terms.

If you have any questions about these terms, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Services

The services that I agree to perform are described in my engagement letter or email.

Fees

Unless we agree otherwise, my fees will be based principally on the time that I spend on your matter, reflecting the hourly rate I charge, set out in my engagement letter or email. My hourly rate may vary from time to time and I will inform you if this occurs. To ensure that my fee is fair and reasonable, having regard to your interests and mine, I will also take into account the factors set out in rule 9.1 of the Law Society’s Conduct and Client Care Rules, These include:

  • the time and labour expended
  • the skill, specialised knowledge and experience required
  • the complexity or difficulty of the matter
  • the responsibility involved
  • the urgency of the matter
  • the importance to you and the results achieved
  • the circumstances in which my services were provided.

Invoices

I will send you invoices, usually monthly, and on completion of the matter, or on termination of my engagement. My invoices may be sent to you by email.

In addition to my fees incidental office expenses (such as photocopying, printing, binding, telephone and courier charges) may be charged, and these will be included in my invoice to you when the expense is incurred.

If I make any payments or disbursements to third parties on your behalf, you will reimburse me on receipt of my invoice. I may require payment for the disbursements or expenses in advance of the work being completed. Any money required from you in advance for work to be carried out for you will be held in a solicitor’s trust account.

My invoice will include any New Zealand goods and services tax (GST) applicable to the supply of my services to you and any disbursements.

Invoices are payable within the time specified on the invoice (usually 14 days from the date the invoice is sent). Please raise any queries you have about an invoice within seven days of receiving it. Where I do not receive payment by that date, I may charge you interest at the rate of 15% per annum. If you are unable to pay an invoice on time, please contact me to discuss the situation.

All of the invoices are payable in New Zealand dollars, unless agreed otherwise.

Where you and I have agreed that I will address an invoice to another person, you will be liable to pay that invoice if the person does not pay that invoice.

You will be liable for all legal and debt collection expenses that may be incurred in obtaining or attempting to obtain payment of the invoices and for any interest.

Conflicts of interest

Where I am acting for you on a matter, I will not act for another client against your interests on the same or any closely related matter without your consent. Unless you consent, I will not act for another client where I hold confidential information about you or your business acquired while acting for you and where disclosing that information to another client is likely to adversely affect your interests.

When I identify a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest, I will consult with you about the best way to resolve the issue, unless such consultation would cause a breach of duty. I will terminate the engagement where bound to so by the New Zealand Law Society’s rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers, or I may choose to do so.

Confidentiality

I will hold in confidence all information about you and your business acquired in the course of acting for you. I will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:

  • where you authorise me to disclose such information; or
  • to the extent necessary or desirable to enable me to carry out your instructions; or
  • where required by law or by the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for lawyers.

I am unable to disclose to you information that I obtain through acting for other clients.

Reliance

I will provide you with legal advice only. My duty of care is to you as my client, as named in your instructions to me. You are the only person who may rely on my advice and I do not owe a duty of care or liability to any other person. If you want any other person to be able to rely on my advice, you must seek my written agreement.

My advice is opinion only, based on the facts known and on my professional judgement. It is subject to changes in the law after the date on which the advice is given. I am not liable for mistakes or omissions arising from inaccurate information provided by you or third parties.

My advice relates only to the particular matter where I have been engaged to advise on. I have no further duty or liability concerning any related matters, unless you specifically engage me on those matters.

If I provide services to entities associated with you during the course of my engagement, then these services will be provided on the terms set out in these terms of engagement.

Electronic services and communications

Unless otherwise agreed, I may communicate with you and others by electronic means, including by email. While I will take reasonable steps to ensure that those services are reliable, complete, confidential and secure, I cannot always be certain that those services will be error-free. Certain risks exist that are outside my control because these services are mostly internet-based.

Therefore, despite the other provisions of these terms of engagement, I do not represent that that these services or communications will always be reliable, complete, confidential and secure. I also exclude all warranties to the extent permitted by law.

Termination

You may terminate my engagement at any time on any matter. You are not required to give me notice that you are ending my engagement. But where you give me an instruction, and I rely on that instruction, you may not revoke that instruction. I may terminate the engagement, for good cause on reasonable notice at any time.

If my engagement is terminated, these terms continue to apply in respect of your instructions.  You will pay me for all fees and expenses incurred up to the time of termination.

Retaining your records and documents

I may store any records of the work I do for you electronically rather than physically. Subject to any legal requirements, I will keep the records I create for your work for a minimum of seven years after I finish working on that matter. After that time I may destroy the records without contacting you. Unless you notify me in writing before a file is destroyed that you do not wish it to be destroyed, you will be deemed to have consented to those records (whether in paper or electronic form) being destroyed.

Privacy

During the course of my engagement by you, I may collect and hold personal information about you so that I can provide the services to you. By engaging me, you authorise me to obtain any information from any person that is necessary for that purpose. Also, you may authorise me to release any information necessary for me to provide the services to you.

Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right of access to and correction of any personal information held by me.

Complaints

If you have any concerns or complaints about the service I have provided to you, please advise me immediately so that we can talk though the issue and see if your concerns can be addressed. I am committed to resolving any concerns or complaints as soon as possible. If you ask, I will refer your complaint to another practitioner, at my cost, for an independent review.

If we still cannot agree on how to resolve your concerns, you have the right to make a complaint to the New Zealand Law Society’s lawyers complaint service. Information about the complaint’s service can be found by contacting ph 0800 261 801 or at:

https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-community/lawyers-complaints-service

General

These terms of engagement apply to your current instructions to me and to any future instructions, whether or not I send you another copy. You do not need to sign these terms of engagement in order to accept them. By continuing to instruct me to carry out work for you, you are accepting these terms of engagement.

I may change the terms of engagement from time to time, but if I do so, I will send you a copy of the amended terms of engagement.

Any dispute about these terms of engagement or my work for you is to be resolved by New Zealand courts under New Zealand law.

If you are a company or other corporate or an unincorporated entity, I act only for you. I do not act for your directors, shareholders or members, unless I expressly agree otherwise.

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