INFORMATION FOR LAW4YOU CLIENTS
Please find below the information we are required to provide as required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
We have set out the basis of which our fees will be charged in our Letter of Engagement. Fees for lawyers are normally calculated by an hourly rate for the lawyer’s time and their expertise. There is also a set of factors set out by the Law Society which can be taken into consideration when rendering a fee. These factors are set out in our Terms of Engagement. At Law4You we will try and ensure that we keep to the fees estimate provided in our Letter of Engagement. If however, we are unable to do so, we may make contact with you and discuss our fees and the reason for the increase, if any. If however, there is ongoing work required for your matter in addition to the originally estimated work then, we shall render our fee for the additional work completed.
Payment of Our Fees
We have set out our requirements for paying our fees in our Terms of Engagement. To assist you we will invoice you for the first consultation and thereafter on an interim, monthly basis. Conveyancing matters are normally invoiced at the completion of your transaction however, in some instances eg purchase of allotment with title yet to issue, we may invoice you on an interim basis.
We may deduct any fees owed to us from the funds we hold on your behalf in our trust account. This will include our fees, expenses and disbursements for which we have rendered an invoice (refer clause 2.7 of our Terms of Engagement).
Professional Indemnity Insurance
As a client of Law4You, you can be assured that our firm holds indemnity insurance that meets the minimum requirements as 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 Lawyer’s 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 on 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.
As part of our policy to ensure our clients feel valued at Law4You, we have a procedure to allow clients to raise any concerns or complaints they may have.
If the issue is with our service or fees you may raise your concern with the person responsible for your file. If however, you do not wish to raise the issue with that person or their response is not satisfactory to you then, you may contact:
- Justine Grey T: 03 310 6464 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Law Society also operates a Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so, phone 0800 261 801 for information and advice about making a complaint.
Client Care and Service
The Law Society has set requirements for the standard of client care and service a lawyer must provide to their clients. At Law4You we trust our customer focus will mean your experience with us will surpass the minimum.
What you should expect from us:
- We will 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. 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
Limitations on extent of our Obligations or Liability
Any limitations on the extent of our obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability are set out in our Terms of Engagement. Notwithstanding, Law4You does not provide clients with the following advice:
- As to whether completing the transaction is financially beneficial to you; and
- What, if any, tax implications are associated with the transaction. We recommend clients contact their Accountant to advise in that regard.
LAW4YOU TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
The following terms are the basis for which we will provide our advice and professional services.
- Our Advice: We shall provide our advice to you for your sole benefit for the work we have agreed to undertake as set in our Letter of Engagement under the heading Our Professional Services. Our advice is based on the information you have disclosed to us and is relevant as at the date it is provided to you.
- Our Fees:
- Our fees are based on our understanding of your instructions and for the professional services we will provide. Where the Letter of Engagement specifies a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed professional services. Work which falls outside or is in addition to the professional services will be charged at an hourly rate.
- Other factors considered when rendering our fees:
- the time and labour expended;
- the skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required to perform the services properly;
- the importance of the matter to you and the results achieved;
- the urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by you;
- the degree of risk assumed by us in undertaking the services including the amount or value of the property involved;
- the complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;
- the experience, reputation and ability of the members of our firm working on this matter;
- the possibility that the acceptance of the particular instructions will preclude employment of us by other clients;
- whether the fee is fixed or conditional;
- any quote or estimate of fees given by us;
- any fee agreement entered into between you and us;
- the reasonable costs of running our firm;
- the fee customarily charged in the market and locality for work similar to yours.
- Our fees are GST exclusive.
- Disbursements and expenses: During the course of providing our services to you we may incur disbursements or be required to make payments to third parties on your behalf. We may require an advance payment for these costs.
- Invoices: Where the matter is ongoing we will provide you with an interim invoice, usually monthly. At the conclusion of the matter we will provide to you our reporting letter, final invoice and statement.
- Payment: Our fees are payable within fourteen (14) days from the date of the invoice. If our fees remain outstanding after thirty (30) days from the date of the invoice we will then charge interest at the rate of up to 2% per month on the outstanding amount compounding.
- Security for Fees: In some circumstances we may require prepaid amounts to be provided or we may hold funds in our trust account on your behalf. You authorise us to deduct any amount owing to us, provided we have issued you with an invoice, from those funds held.
We may also require you to provide security to us for payment of our fees. This may include, but not be limited to a Deed of Acknowledgement of Debt with an Agreement to Mortgage over your property or a General Security Agreement at our election. By engaging our services you agree to comply with our requests and execute the security documents we require when requested to do so. We may charge you to prepare the security documents, any costs for such documentation will be your responsibility.
- Collections Costs: Any debt collection costs incurred in the recovery of our fees, plus interest if any, shall be payable by you.
- Confidentiality: 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:
- To the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out our instructions; or
- 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 to you.
We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
- Termination of Our Services
- You may terminate our services by giving notice to us in writing at any time.
- We, in turn, may elect to discontinue the provision of our professional services in the following circumstances: if you fail to pay our fees when due;
- if you fail to provide adequate instructions;
- if, in our reasonable opinion, we believe our client/solicitor relationship has broken down; or
- we are legally required to do so
We will provide you with written notice of our election of termination. All fees and expenses incurred up to the date of termination will be required to be paid by you.
- Retention of files and documents: You authorise 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) seven (7) years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
- Conflicts of Interest: 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.
- Trust Account: 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 [10%] of the gross interest received.
- Severability: If any provisions within our terms of engagement are found to be invalid but would otherwise be valid if minimally modified then, the provision will apply with the minimum modification or be deleted but otherwise the remaining terms shall remain and be enforceable.
- General: 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 exclusive jurisdiction.
If you wish to pay online, our account details are as follows:
Law4you Ltd – Trust Account
Account # 010877 0220691 40
Please include your name and reference number with the payment details.