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Information for Clients

Set out below is the information required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the Law Society (“Law Society”)

  1. Fees: The basis on which fees will be charged and when payment of fee is to be made is set out in my Standard Terms of Engagement. 

  2. Deduction of Fees: If I hold funds on your behalf you authorise me to deduct my fees from those funds (unless they have been provided for a particular purpose) and send you an invoice as required by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Trust Account) Regulations 2008.

  3. Lawyers Fidelity Fund: The Lawyers Fidelity Fund established by the New Zealand Law Society is available to reimburse people who suffer loss by reason of the theft by a lawyer of money or other valuable property entrusted to the lawyer. The fund provides a limited form of cover up to specified maximums in certain circumstances.

  4. Professional Indemnity Insurance: I hold professional indemnity insurance that meets the standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society

  5. Complaints: If you have a complaint about my service or charges and we have been unable to resolve the complaint or concern you may contact:
    The Lawyers Complaints Service       
    Phone:  0800 261 802
    Email:  complaints@lawsociety.org.nz
    Website: https:www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-public/complaining-about-a-lawyer

  6. Persons Responsible for the Work: The name and status of the person or persons who will have overall responsibility for the service I provide for you are set out in my letter of engagement.

  7. Client Care and Service: 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 be best achieved.

  • Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will be doing 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’s 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, please visit www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 26180

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Standard Terms of Engagement

These standard terms of engagement (“Terms”) apply to any current engagement and to any future engagement, whether or not I send you another copy of them. These Terms apply in respect of work carried out by Louise Smith for you, except to the extent that I otherwise notify you in writing.


1.    Services: The services I provide for you are outlined in my engagement email or letter.

2.    Financial: 


Fees The basis on which I will charge my fees is set out below:
- If the engagement email or letter specifies a fixed fee, I will charge this for the agreed scope of the Services. Work which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly rate basis.  I will advise you as soon as reasonably practical if it becomes necessary for me to provide services outside of the agreed scope and, if requested, give you an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
- If I do not specify a fixed fee, my fee will be calculated on an hourly basis at $300 per hour plus GST (if any)
- Hourly fees may be adjusted (upwards or downwards) to ensure the fee is fair and reasonable to take into account such matters as complexity, urgency and value of the Services. Full details of the relevant fee factors are set out in Rule 9 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (“Rules”)

Disbursements In providing services I may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. These will be included in my invoice to you when the expenses has incurred. I may require an advance payment for the disbursements or expenses which I will be incurring on your behalf. 

You authorise me to incur these disbursements which are reasonably necessary to provide the Services. You also authorise me to make payments to third parties on your behalf which are reasonably required to undertake the Services.

 

Expenses I also charge office expenses incurred such as printing and photocopying.

GST (if any) Is payable by you on my fees and charges.

Invoices I may send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or termination of my engagement. I may also send an invoice when I incur a significant expense.

Payment Invoices are payable within 14 days of the date of the invoice, unless I am holding funds on your behalf from which I may deduct my fees, disbursements and expenses following provision of an invoice.

 

Third parties Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for my fees and expenses, and although my invoices may at your request or with your approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to me if the third party fails to pay me.

 

Unpaid Invoices If payment of your invoice is overdue I may:
-    Not perform any further work for you until all unpaid invoices are paid in full
-    Retain custody of any of your property (including documents or files) until all unpaid invoices are paid in full
-    Charge interest on any amount overdue at a rate of no more than 5% per annum above the prevailing indicator rate of ASB Bank Limited

3.    Confidentiality: I hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that I acquire during the course of acting for you. I will not disclose to any other person except allowed by the law or the Law Society Rules.
You are not entitled to any confidential information I have or obtain in relation to any other client or prospective client.


4.    Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT Act”)

I am required to comply with all laws binding on me including (but not limited to):

-    The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT Act”)
-    The United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and
-    The Common Reporting Standards (CRS)


To meet these requirements, I may be required to conduct customer due diligence on you, persons acting on your behalf and other relevant persons such as your beneficial owners or persons who have effective control of you as a client. I may not be able to act or continue acting for you until this is completed to the standard required by legislation.


I will advise you what information and documents are required for these purposes. This information could include formal identification, address confirmation, source of funds, transactions details, ownership structure, tax identification details and other information considered relevant. Please ensure that the information and documents requested are provided promptly to avoid delays in me acting for you.


I will retain the information and documents and may be required and may be required to disclose them to Government agencies as required by law. I may not be permitted to advise you of the instances I am required to disclose this information. I am also required by law to provide this information to banks when I place your funds on deposit through my trust account.

 

5.    Termination: You may terminate my retainer at any time. I may terminate retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society Rules. If my retainer is terminated, you must pay me all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.

6.    Retention of Files and Documents: You authorise me (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents I hold in safe custody for you seven years after my engagement ends. 
If this agreement is terminated, I may retain copies of documents or records which I delivered to you or another lawyer.

 

7.    Intellectual Property: I retain all ownership rights on all intellectual property of any kind created by me for you. You may not reproduce my intellectual property or provide it to a third party without my express consent.

 

8.    Electronic Communications: I may communicate with you and others at times by electronic means. These communications can be subject to interference or interception, contain viruses or other defects (‘corruption”). I do not accept responsibility for, and will not be liable for any damage or loss caused in connection with, or as a consequence of, the corruption of an electronic communication.

 

9.    Conflicts of Interest: I have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest arises. I will advise you of this and follow the requirement and procedures set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

 

10.    Duty of Care: Any advice given by me is


-    Solely for your benefit. It may not be relied on by any other person unless I agree to that in writing;
-    Not to be disclosed, referred to or used other than for the propose for which it was sought;
-    Not to be made public or published;
-    Limited to the matters stated in it;
-    Limited to and governed by New Zealand Law; and
-    Subject to changes in the law after the date that it is given.

I am not responsible for advising you as to tax issues unless you specifically request me to do so.
My name and advice may not be used in connection with any offering document, financial statement, report, or other public document without our written consent.
When my instructions on the matter are completed, my representation of you will end. I am not obliged to notify you of any change of law, or to provide any further services related to that matter.


11.    Trust Account: I maintain a trust account for all funds which I receive from clients (except monies received for payment of my invoices.

12.    General: These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not I send you amended Terms. My relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.
 

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Anti Money Laundering Requirements

The New Zealand Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) requires a service provider to know who they are providing services to. You may be asked to provide identification documents so they can confirm who you are.

The link below will open a pdf document outlining the requirements.

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