As a lawyer I must provide you with information in writing on the principal aspects of my services to you. This includes the basis on which my fees will be charged. Following receipt of instructions, a letter of engagement will be sent to you that will outline the services that I am providing to you.
My fees are generally charged on a time and attendance basis however sometimes a fixed fee will be agreed with you prior to commencement of work. This is especially the case where I have been engaged to act as a Mediator, Facilitator or Arbitrator.
When you phone me to make your first appointment I will advise you of my hourly rate and will, at that time or at our initial meeting depending on the circumstances, discuss my on-going charges to assist you to resolve your problem.
I usually render invoices every month and will require payment within 7 days of receipt of my invoice. I may ask you to pay funds into the Trust account of my instructing solicitor as a retainer for my fees.
Disbursements (such as Court filing fees, service fees, photocopying, tolls, mediation room hire costs, and travel expenses) will be in addition to my fees.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
I hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society.
If you have a complaint about my services, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the nature of the complaint so that we can attempt to resolve it. If you do not wish to meet with me to discuss the complaint, or if we meet and are unable to resolve it, then you may refer your complaint to the New Zealand Law Society. Call 0800 261 801 or email [email protected].
Lawyers’ fidelity fund
The lawyers’ fidelity fund does not provide any cover in relation to a barrister sole as barristers sole do not hold clients’ funds.
Client Care and Service Information
The following information must be provided to you under the rules of conduct and client care for lawyers:
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 of conduct and client care for lawyers (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.