Gawith Burridge Terms Of Engagement
This information is required to be provided as from 1 August 2008 as per the Lawyers & Conveyancers Act 2006 and Rules of Conduct and Client Care.
Note: before your first meeting with us, you may also wish to read about identification and address verification.
- Sets out the standard terms on which we do work for our clients;
- Explains what you can expect from us and what you agree to when we work for you;
- Includes information that we are required to tell you under the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers; and
- Applies to any current work and to any future work we do for you (unless we agree in writing to change these terms).
1. Our fees are based on the relevant factors specified by the New Zealand Law Society.
2. Our firm’s schedule of hourly rates for solicitors and other professional staff is based on years of experience, specialisation and level of professional attainment. Our solicitors’ and legal assistants’ hourly rates vary from $130.00 to $360.00 an hour plus GST. Hourly rates are subject to review from time to time. There are no additional charges for secretarial, word processing and similar services, but an administration fee is charged to cover office expenses which are not covered as part of the hourly rate. We also charge an electronic transaction fee for online Land and Information New Zealand registration and searching transaction, and a commission on funds held on deposit through our trust account (5% of interest received is deducted to cover handling and administration costs).
3. Our fee will be calculated based on the time we spend on an instruction, together with other factors, such as:
- The urgency with which the matter is to be completed;
- The degree of specialised knowledge required;
- The degree of risk assumed by us in undertaking the services, including the value of any property involved; and
- The complexity of the matter.
4. Disbursements include expenses such as court filing fees, barristers’ fees, travel expenses, couriers, search fees, registration fees and the fees of agents who serve documents and conduct investigations. You are responsible for reimbursing our firm for disbursements. Disbursements may be included with our accounts or billed separately. If we are to incur significant disbursement costs on your behalf, we may require funds in advance.
5. Unless we agree with you otherwise, our accounts are due for payment 14 days after the date we send the account to you.
6. By instructing Gawith Burridge, you accept liability to pay our accounts, including all disbursements we incur in carrying out your instructions. You authorise us to deduct our fees, expenses and disbursements from any funds held in our trust account on your behalf where we have provided an invoice.
7. We may render interim accounts monthly or at reasonable levels of recorded time. We will send a final account on completion of your instructions.
8. If any account is not paid within 30 days, we reserve the right to charge interest on the outstanding balance at the rate of 4% above our ANZ Bank commercial overdraft rate per annum from the date upon which payment was due. You will be responsible for any debt collection costs that we incur in recovering outstanding amounts.
9. If your account remains outstanding for more than 30 days, we reserve the right to not undertake any further work for you until you make appropriate arrangements to pay your outstanding account.
10. For property and financing transactions where you are required to pay funds to another party, you must deposit the correct amount of cleared funds into our trust account no later than the morning of the settlement. Failure to do so could result in settlement being delayed and you incurring penalty interest.
Verifying your Identity and Source of Funds
11. We are required by law to verify your identity and, in some circumstances, your source of wealth and source of funds (customer due diligence).
12. You authorise us to collect information about you (including customer due diligence information), to obtain, exchange, hold and use such information, and to make other enquiries we think appropriate to:
- Confirm information provided to us about you is true;
- Undertake initial and ongoing customer due diligence and monitoring in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act); and
- Comply with any other legal obligations we may have.
13. You authorise any person or entity to disclose information to us in response to these enquiries.
14. You accept that we may use third party service providers, such as customer due diligence service providers (including electronic based services) to verify your identity and conduct other customer due diligence or monitoring required under the AML/CFT Act and that when we use such services:
- The third party service provider will exchange information about you for that purpose and the third party may hold information on its system and use it to provide their customer due diligence service to their other customers;
- We may use the third party services in the future for any authorised purpose (including in relation to ongoing customer due diligence). This may include using the third party’s monitoring services to receive updates if information about you changes.
15. We will treat all information we hold about you as private and confidential. We will not use it or share it unless:
- You agree or ask us to do so;
- We need to do so in order to carry out work for you;
- The law requires us to (for example under the AML/ CFT Act, and/or the Inland Revenue Department, the Financial Markets Authority and other government agencies have powers to compel us to provide information we have about you);
- The New Zealand Law Society Rules of Conduct and Client Care permit or require us to do so.
16. You authorise us to provide any information we hold relating to your United States Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or Common Reporting Standard (CRS) status or other FATCA or CRS matters to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and to our banks if they request information to be able to meet their FATCA or CRS obligations. If you do not provide any such information that we request, you authorise us to report your non-response, identity and reportable balance to our banks and IRD.
17. If you would like more information about FATCA or CRS, please contact IRD.
18. We will provide you with copies of documents you are entitled to under the Privacy Act or any other law if you ask us to do so. We may charge you our reasonable costs to do so.
19. We will usually communicate with you by email about the work we do for you. If you do not want us to send you correspondence by email, please let us know.
20. We have virus protection software and security protocols in place. However, we cannot guarantee that electronic communications will always be free from viruses or other defects, are secure, or will be received.
21. We may occasionally email you information we think is relevant and useful to you. If you do not want to receive that information, let us know.
22. You authorise us (without further reference to you) to destroy (or delete, in the case of electronic documents) all files and documents relating to an instruction (other than documents that we have agreed to hold in safe custody for you) seven years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format. We may retain files and documents for longer at our option. Upon closing your file, you are welcome to uplift copies of the information on your file to which you are entitled. We may charge you our reasonable costs for providing you with such information. Please give us reasonable notice before collecting your file copies.
23. Unless we agree otherwise, we retain ownership of all opinions, documents and other intellectual property created by us and you must not provide our advice to others (such as using our opinions in any public document or statement).
Scope of Work
24. We are not qualified to give the following advice:
- Investment advice;
- Tax advice;
- Insurance advice; and
- Advice about foreign laws.
25. Unless we agree to do so in writing, we will not:
- Remind you about dates (such as PPSR renewal, Lease or Consent expiry dates); or
- Update our advice after we have given it.
Ending our Engagement
26. You have the right to terminate our engagement at any time by giving us reasonable written notice.
27. We may terminate our engagement if there is good cause, such as you not providing us with instructions in a sufficiently timely manner or your unwillingness, inability or failure to pay our fee on an agreed basis, or, except in litigation matters, your adopting, against our advice, a course of action which we believe is highly imprudent and which may be inconsistent with our fundamental obligations as lawyers. If we terminate the retainer, we will give you reasonable notice so that you can arrange alternative representation and we will give you reasonable assistance to find another lawyer.
28. If our engagement is terminated, you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund (the Fund)
29. The Fund exists to provide compensation of up to $100,000.00 per claimant for clients who suffer theft of money or other valuable property entrusted to lawyers.
30. The Fund will not pay compensation in respect of money that you instruct us to invest on your behalf (subject to limited exceptions set out in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006).
31. This is only a short summary of the major provisions in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 relating to the Fund. If you would like further information, please ask us.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
32. We hold current professional indemnity insurance which exceeds the New Zealand Law Society’s minimum standards.
If you have a Complaint
33. We are committed to providing you with competent, timely service. If you have a complaint about our service please raise it with the partner responsible for your matter, or any other partner in our firm.
34. If your complaint cannot be resolved immediately to your satisfaction, we will appoint a partner who has not been involved in your matter to deal with it promptly and fairly.
35. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you have the right to take the matter up with the New Zealand Law Society which runs a complaints service. The New Zealand Law Society may be contacted on 0800 261 801.
Enforceability of these Terms
36. The enforceability of these terms is not affected by:
- The end of our engagement; or
- Any changes to our partnership or the incorporation of our firm.
37. If you decide that you do not want our firm to act on your behalf, please inform us immediately. You do not need to sign these Terms of Engagement in order to accept them – you accept these Terms of Engagement by continuing to instruct us.
Client Care and Service Information
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 properly and fairly.
The obligations lawyers owe to clients are described in the Rules of Conduct & 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.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.
– June 2018