At Moore Law we are committed to providing you with a high quality legal service which we will deliver promptly and efficiently. Our relationship with you is important to us. We often find that clients are unfamiliar with what is involved in the services being offered, the terms of engagement or the charges which can result. Therefore, we will explain here what we will do for you. We will also set out what we expect you to do for us – in other words, our terms of business.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Your Instructions
You have engaged our firm to act for you in connection with your Legal requirements. Our firm is committed to serving you professionally and ethically. We will hold strictly confidential all communications with you, and all information that we receive from you during the course of our dealings. We will not reveal your confidences without your agreement. We will pursue your work conscientiously. In turn we will need your full and timely co-operation.
2. What our obligations to you?
The rules of the New Zealand Law Society require that in all events (subject to our duty to the Court and the Justice System) we must:
- Act competently
- Protect and promote your interests
- Keep you updated and informed of all work completed.
- Provide you with information relating to the work required and who is to complete the work.
- Give you clear information and advice.
- Ensure confidentiality is kept at all times.
- Treat you fairly and without discrimination.
3. How do we charge?
Our fees are calculated in accordance with the rules of professional conduct and client care of the New Zealand Law Society. In assessing the fee, we are entitled to take into account the following:
- Time spent.
- Skill and specialised knowledge required.
- Urgency of the instructions.
- Experience, reputation and ability of the person carrying out the work.
- Reasonable costs of running a law firm.
- Complexity of the matter.
4. Expenses and Disbursements
We may need to incur expenses and disbursements on your behalf. These may include such items as registration fees, company and land search fees, agency costs, Court filing fees, tolls, faxes, couriers, photocopying and incidental expenses. If these disbursements and expenses are in excess of $200 we may ask you to pay in advance.
5. When will you be billed?
Generally property and similar transactions will be billed at the time of settlement or on completion of the work. For other matters we will bill you on a monthly basis at the end of every month.
6. When do you have to pay?
Our accounts are all due for payment within 21 days after issue.
If we hold credit funds on your behalf it is our office practice to deduct any funds owing to us from such credit funds unless you indicate to us the contrary.
7. Estimate of Fees
Where requested we will give you an estimate of costs. The estimate will be our “best guess” as to what is likely to be. If however the work does not proceed as we had expected due to unexpected complications, of if the work proves more complicated than originally anticipated, then we will charge for all additional work done.
8. What if you cannot pay on time?
If you cannot pay our invoice you must contact us immediately and discuss an arrangement for payment. Interest on any unpaid invoices may be due and payable by you in the event of a default.
If we have to take steps to recover any unpaid invoice, the costs of any debt recovery will be payable by you and the matter may be (at our discretion) referred to a debt collection agency.
9. Joint and Several Liability and Guarantor
If there is more than one person comprising you, each person is jointly and severally liable for payment of our invoice at the due date.
Where the name of a Guarantor is included on the front page of this Agreement then that person guarantees full payment of our fees and is subject to the terms of this Agreement.
10. Verifying Your Identity
Please do not be offended if we ask you to show us documents verifying your identity. We are legally required by the Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996 and for the new on-line land titles system to take a copy of documentation verifying the identity of every new client.
11. Files and Documents
At the end of your matter we will keep you file for a period of ten years from completion and then we will destroy it. You are welcome to uplift your file provided that all fees and costs have been paid. Please give us reasonable notice before collecting your file should you wish to do so.
12. Termination of Legal Services
At all times you have the right to terminate our services upon written notice to that effect. We reserve the right to terminate our services at any time upon written notice (subject to our ethical obligations).
In the event of termination, you are responsible for fees and disbursements incurred up to the time of termination (plus any costs of obtaining Court approval to withdraw as your solicitor, when necessary).
We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly.
If you do not wish to refer your complaint to us, or you are not satisfied with our
response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to:
Mr Terry Refoy-Butler, Barrister & Solicitor of Wanganui
He may be contacted as follows by letter to P O Box 886, Wanganui, by email: email@example.com or by telephoning him: 06 345 7931
The 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: NZLS Complaints Service 0800 261 801 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
14. Limited Liability
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.
15. Professional Indemnity Insurance
We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society.
16. 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.