Terms of Engagement For Provision Of Legal Services
We will only act on your clear and reasonable instructions. Your instructions form the primary basis of liability for the accounts we render. If you instruct us on behalf of someone else, you are liable to pay our bill should we not be paid by that other person.
2. How We Charge
We charge for our services in accordance with guidelines established by the New Zealand Law Society. The fee is set after taking into account: the time taken in doing the work, the degree of specialist skill needed, the urgency, and the importance and value of the transaction.
In calculating the fee, we add 6% to cover internal disbursements such as photocopying, faxes, local tolls and local couriers.
In addition to our fee you are responsible to pay GST and the costs we incur not covered in our fee. The total of our fee, other charges, and GST are referred to as our bill.
By instructing us to act, you authorise us to incur such other charges as are reasonably necessary to put your instructions into effect.
Where possible, we will provide you with an estimate of our fee and other charges. This is provided by way of guidance only and is not intended to be a binding commitment on our part. We will endeavour to keep you informed of changes of circumstances which substantially alter this estimate.
From time to time, we may be requested by you to invest your funds on Term Deposit. We charge a commission fee on the collection of bank interest earned on these Term Deposits at 5% of the gross interest.
Please feel free to ask us what fees have been incurred to date on any particular matter.
3. How You Pay
We may either bill you at the completion of the work or we may interim bill you throughout the course of completing the work. We will interim bill you where transactions or court proceedings are likely to take months rather than weeks to complete.
Current payment terms are set out on our invoices and unless otherwise stated are due for payment within seven (7) days following the issue of the invoice.
Where work involves Court proceedings or you are based overseas or in some cases in relation to other work, we will ask you to pay in advance money to us on account of fees and/or other charges yet to be incurred. Where such a request for money to be paid on account is made, we will not carry out work (or instruct others to carry out work) for you until such payment is made.
Any unpaid bills may be paid out of funds held on your behalf.
In respect of conveyancing transactions, payment is to be made prior to settlement taking place. In respect of all other transactions, we require that you pay our account upon receipt. If you anticipate difficulty in the payment of any account, please contact us immediately on receipt of your invoice and discuss arrangements for payment.
If you do not pay upon receipt, or in the case of a conveyancing transaction prior to the settlement date, we may:
(a) charge you interest on a calendar monthly basis on the amount of the debt which remains outstanding on the 20th of the month following issue until payment is made in full. Interest will be charged at the current ASB Bankcard rate.
(b) charge you the cost of recovery or attempting to recover any outstanding debt owed to us.
(c) stop doing further legal work for you if you have any outstanding debt to us which has been subject to an interest charge under (a) above for one calendar month or more.
4. Credit Policy
You may be allocated a credit limit which will be:
- confidential between the client and the firm (and persons such as barristers and expert witnesses instructed by us with your consent);
- the total amount that the firm will allow to be owed or due to it by you at any time;
- able to be increased or decreased or withdrawn by us at any time.
Where the name of a guarantor is completed on the front page of this agreement, then that person guarantees full payment of your fees and disbursements in terms of this agreement.
Where work has been done by Glaister Ennor but we have not been paid by you, then as a general rule, we have the right to retain original documents and correspondence on your files until such time as all outstanding fees, disbursements, and other expenses have been paid. This is known as a lien. This will be particularly important in circumstances where the client decides for whatever reason to instruct another firm. That other firm may be obliged to give an undertaking to Glaister Ennor to pay all outstanding fees and disbursements before your files are released.
7. Information We Need to Know
We request that you promptly provide us with any information that we may reasonably require to carry out your instructions and meet our statutory obligations. You are responsible for the accuracy of any information provided to us. This may include personal information as defined under the Privacy Act 1993.
We will collect, store, and use your personal information securely and only for the aforementioned purposes. As your solicitors, there are only very limited circumstances in which your personal information may need to be disclosed such as where required by law or the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct. You have the right to the personal information held about you as well as the right to correct the information that we hold. For more information on this, please contact us.
8. Our Responsibility and Liability
We will keep you informed of the work we are carrying out for you, and we will carry that work out to a proper and professional standard. We will ensure that your instructions are undertaken by those with appropriate levels of expertise at the most cost effective rate available within the firm. In larger transactions, we may limit our liability to you for the performance of our obligations, and if we elect to impose this limit, we may ask you to sign a form of acknowledgement limiting our professional liability.
9. Limitation of Liability
To the extent permitted by law, our total liability to you in connection with any matter (or series of related matters) on which you engage us will not exceed the lesser of NZ$2,000,000 or the amount of ten times our applicable fee (excluding disbursements and GST).
This limitation applies to liability of all kinds, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), equity, or otherwise.
10. Duration of these Terms
These terms and conditions may be amended by us from time to time. If we change these terms, we will notify you before undertaking new work. These terms will apply to all future legal work carried out by us for you.