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Fees & Terms

Fees agreed in advance

In many cases I set a fee for the work that you have asked me to do. The advantages of this are:

I do work on a time basis and where you ask me to handle a more difficult or complex issue, additional requests or work on an urgent basis it does alter my fee. I will discuss this with you prior to work being undertaken.

Terms of engagement

I will provide you with my terms of engagement prior to substantive work commencing

RUPERT WARD, BARRISTER

TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

  1. This letter contains client care and service information in accordance with the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008.

    DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES

  2. You have asked me to act for you in connection with your ( description of request)

    MY UNDERTAKINGS

  3. I am committed to serving you professionally and ethically and make the following undertakings to you:
    • I will hold strictly confidential all communications with you and all information which I receive from you during the course of dealings. I will not reveal your confidences without your express agreement.
    • I will pursue your work conscientiously. In turn I will need your full and timely cooperation to help represent you.
    • I will work with you to develop an understanding of your expectations. We will work together to establish goals and deadlines that meet your needs.
    • I will communicate with you and keep you informed about the status of your work. I will endeavour to return your telephone calls promptly. I will send you copies of significant correspondence and other documents.

    INSTRUCTIONS

  4. I am a Barrister. I am authorised by the New Zealand Law Society to take direct instruction from clients in many cases.
  5. On occasions work on this matter will be undertaken, at my direction, by Instructing Solicitors where this is in your best interests. This may include drafting, attendances at Court appointments and research. You will be billed separately by the Instructing Solicitor for this work. There will be no duplication of costs and indeed utilising my Instructing Solicitor will be a cost effective means of ensuring that your work is properly attended to.

    HOURLY RATE

  6. If you proceed I will set a fee estimation that i will not exceed without your agreement so you can budget Hourly rates are subject to review and I expressly reserve the right to vary this rate.
  7. Fees paid in advance will be held in Escrow by an appointed agent to protect your interests.

    CALCULATION OF FEES

  8. My fee will be based on the time spent by me on your behalf and the criteria laid down by the New Zealand Law Society. The time spent by me on your behalf for which you will be charged will include:
    1. Personal and telephone attendances upon you
    2. Correspondence with you
    3. Attendances with lawyers acting for the other party/parties
    4. Considering the law and facts of your case
    5. Reading and considering incoming letters, papers and documents in your case
    6. Preparation of papers for Court
    7. Necessary correspondence with third parties.
    8. Instructing enquiry agents and experts
    9. Attending Court on your behalf
    10. Time spend on travelling.
  9. The range of my likely fees will be indicated in fee ranges sent to you in advance prior to your decision to proceed.
  10. If you ask me to undertake more work for you, it is possible that my fees will ultimately exceed the upper range quote I have given you. This might happen because you have asked me to help you with extra work, solve complex issues or complete additional tasks. Should we need to work with urgency, this can also increase your costs. I note that I must inform you clearly and give you the opportunity to instruct that no additional work be undertaken in the event that the upper end of my quote is reached.
  11. If there are changes in policy or law that may have an affect on your application or position, this can require additional work to be carried out on my part.. If I need to contact you to check your progress, in the case that I do not hear from you for a substantial period of time, this can also require time to be spent on your file.
  12. Once work has commenced on your file, you will be charged for all the time spent on your file, as well as costs e.g. all telephone calls either made or received, emails, research etc incurred in relation to work on your file. As work is conducted on your file, you will receive an invoice, which you should then pay according to the method laid out in our instruction form that you have received. The invoice you receive will directly reflect the amount of work completed period on your file. When more work is done on your file, you will receive a higher invoice. The invoice will be lower when less work is done. The better the communication is between us, the quicker the work will proceed.

    CLIENT CARE AND SERVICE

  13. The Law Society client care and service information is set out below. I that regard I 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,
    • 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 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, visit www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.

    ACCOUNTS

  14. Generally accounts will be sent to you monthly although on occasions they will be sent to you to coincide with important junctures in the matter.
  15. Payment of all accounts is due within ten (10) days of the account being rendered.
  16. If my account remains outstanding after thirty (30) days I will carry out no further work on your behalf until appropriate arrangements have been made to bring the account back into good standing.
  17. Any account not paid within thirty (30) days will accrue interest on the outstanding balance at a rate of 10% per annum from the date upon which payment was due.

    DISBURSEMENTS

  18. Disbursements include expenses such as Government filing fees, toll calls, faxes, photocopying, travel expenses, couriers and the fees of agents who serve documents and conduct investigations, searches and registrations and the like.
  19. You are responsible for reimbursing me for disbursements. Disbursements may be included with my accounts or may be billed separately.
  20. I may also require payment in advance in respect of anticipated disbursements.

    CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS

  21. If you have any concerns or complaints about the professional service being provided to you I encourage you to call me to discuss this at the earliest opportunity. I assure you of a careful and sympathetic listening to any such concerns.
  22. TERMINATION OF LEGAL SERVICES

  23. At all times you have the right to terminate my services upon written notice to that effect.
  24. I also reserve the right to terminate my services at any time upon the giving of written notice (subject to my ethical obligations). This may occur (without limitation) where you have not paid me when due, when you cannot, or will not provide instructions to me or when ethically I do not consider that I can continue acting. All costs up to the point of termination of my services must be paid before I will incur the cost of the file being released to any alternative advisor.

    INSURANCE

  25. I will maintain indemnity insurance that exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society.
  26. The Lawyers Fidelity Fund also provides a limited form of recourse in certain circumstances.

    PRIVACY INFORMATION

  27. Over the course of your involvement with me I may collect and hold personal information about you. Failure to provide me with information may preclude me from providing services to you or limit the quality of the services provided.
  28. Information concerning you will be used by me to provide legal services, and to inform you of issues and developments that may be of interest to you. By instructing me in this matter you authorise me to obtain from any person or release to any person any information necessary for that purpose and you authorise any person to release information to me that I require for those purposes.
  29. Information concerning you will be held at my Chambers . Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right of access to, and correction of, any personal information held by me.
  30. The Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996 requires me to collect from you and retain information to verify your identity.

    COMMUNICATIONS

  31. I do not accept any liability for loss arising from non-receipt of any communication including computer or email communications.

    AGREEMENT

  32. I kindly request that you sign the bottom of the letter in acknowledgement and agreement of these terms or indicate to me over email that these terms are acceptable but if I do not hear from you to the contrary I will assume that you agree with the terms contained in this letter. If you conclude that you do not want me to act on your behalf or cannot accept the terms in this letter please advise me promptly.
  33. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these terms of engagement I would be pleased to speak with you at any time of your convenience.