Set out below is the information we are required by the New Zealand Law Society ("Law Society") to provide to you under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 ("Rules").
Principal Aspects of Client Service
The basis on which fees will be charged is set out in our letter of engagement. When payment of fees is to be made is set out in our Client Engagement Agreement. We will calculate our fees in accordance with the Law Society requirements for calculating a reasonable fee. This will include reference to:
- The time and labour expended;
- The skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required to perform the services properly;
- The importance of the matter to the client and the results achieved;
- The urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by the client;
- The degree of risk assumed by the Lawyer in undertaking the services, including the amount or value of any property involved;
- The complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;
- The experience, reputation and ability of the Lawyer;
- The possibility that the acceptance of the particular retainer will preclude engagement of the Lawyer by other clients;
- Whether the fee is fixed or conditional (whether in litigation or otherwise);
- Any quote or estimate of fees given by the Lawyer;
- Any fee agreement (including a conditional fee agreement) entered into; between the Lawyer and client;
- The reasonable costs of running a practice;
- The fee customarily charged in the market and locality for similar legal services.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
- We hold professional indemnity insurance that exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society. We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.
Lawyers' Fidelity Fund
- The Law Society maintains the Lawyers' Fidelity Fund for the purpose 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 $100,000.00. Except in certain circumstances specified in the Lawyers and 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.
Persons Responsible for the Work
- The names and position of the person or persons who will have the overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our letter of engagement and we will advise you if they change from time to time. If we have not advised you in writing of the person or persons who will have the overall responsibility for the services we provide for you then that person will be the person that you have instructed to do the work.
Limitations on extent of our Obligations or Liability
Our services to you will not include:
- Investment or financial advice;
- Tax advice; or
- Any other exclusion recorded in the Letter of Engagement
Law Society Client Care and Service Information
The Law Society Client Care and Service Information is set out below:
- 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 promptly and fairly.
- The obligations lawyers owe to clients are described in the Rules . 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.
- We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. Click here to view our Complaints Policy.
- In addition, the Law Society operates the Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so, phone 0800 261 801 and you will be connected to the nearest Complaints Service Office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.