These Standard Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by Mackie and Co Limited, Lawyers for you, except to the extent that we otherwise agree with you in writing.
The services we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.
We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you. We will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:
(a) To the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
(b) To the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers
Confidential information concerning you will, as far as practicable be made available only to those within our firm who are providing legal services for you.
We will, of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
We have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest arises, we will advise you of this and follow the requirements and procedures set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
Duty of Care
Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.
We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices). If we are holding significant funds on your behalf we will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with a bank. In that case we will charge an administration fee of 5% of the interest derived.
You may terminate our retainer at any time.
We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
If our retainer is terminated, you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
You authorize us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that we hold in safe custody for you) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to electronic format.
The fees we will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in our engagement letter.
If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of our services. Work which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly basis. We will advise you as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes necessary for us to provide services outside the agreed scope, and, if requested, give you an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
Where our fees are calculated on an hourly basis, the hourly rates are set out in our engagement letter. Time spent is recorded in 6 minute units, with time rounded up to the next unit of 6 minutes.
Disbursements and expenses
In providing services, we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. These will be included in our invoice to you when the expense is incurred. We may require an advance payment for the disbursements or expenses which we will be incurring on your behalf.
GST (if any):
is payable by you on our fees and charges
We may send interim invoices to you, and on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement. We may also send you an invoice when we incur a significant expense.
Invoices are payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. We may require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue. Interest will be calculated at the rate of 5% above our firm’s main trading bank’s 90-day bank bill buy rate as at the close of business on the date payment became due. If you fail to pay our invoice when it is due, you agree to pay all costs and expenses, including all debt collection and legal costs (on a solicitor/client basis) we may incur in recovering the overdue invoice from you.
We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. You authorize us:
(a) to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and
(b) to deduct from funds held on your behalf in our trust account
any fees or expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for our fees and expenses, and although our invoices may at your request or with your approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to us if the third party fails to pay us.
These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.
We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.
Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand Law and New Zealand Courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.
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