TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

These Terms of Engagement (Terms) apply in respect of all work carried out by Powle & HodsonLimited for you, except to the extent that we otherwise agree with you in writing.

1. OUR DUTIES : Our duties as lawyers are set out in detail in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 and include:
  • a. upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice in New Zealand;
  • b. being independent in providing legal services to our clients;
  • c. acting in accordance with all fiduciary duties and duties of care owed by us as lawyers to our clients; and
  • d. (subject to overriding duties as officers of the High Court and any statutory duties) protecting the interests of our clients.
2. YOUR INSTRUCTIONS : To help us in providing cost- effective and commercially focused legal advice, you must:
  • a. give us clear and full instructions about your situation and objectives and the scope and type of work you wish us to undertake for you;
  • b. provide all relevant and correct information and materials reasonably necessary for us to do that work (including other advice you receive);
  • c. make us aware of your time constraints and fee expectations; and
  • d. let us know of any change in circumstances, or your instructions.
3. SERVICES : The services which we are to provide for you are as outlined in our Letter of Engagement and the Confirmation of Instructions form which we will forward with it.

4. FINANCIAL

4.1 Fees : We will charge a fair and reasonable fee for all work we do for you, taking into account the time and labour expended, and the skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required. Where our fees are calculated on an hourly basis, the hourly rates will be:

  • Donna Powle: - $400 per hour plus GST;
  • Nick Hodson: - $400 per hour plus GST
  • Peter Liao: - $350 per hour plus GST
  • Kate Mansfield: - $200 per hour plus GST
  • Emily Roughton: - $200 per hour plus GST
The differences in those rates reflect the experience and specialisation of our professional staff. Time spent is recorded in 6 minute units, with time rounded up to the next unit of 6 minutes. These rates are subject to variation from time to time.

4.2 Disbursements & Expenses : In providing services we may incur disbursements, or make payments to third parties, on your behalf. These will be included in our invoice to you when the disbursement/expense is incurred. We may require an advance payment for disbursements or expenses which we will be incurring on your behalf.

4.3 GST : is payable by you on our fees and charges.

4.4 Invoices : We may send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and/or on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement. We may also send you an invoice when we incur a significant expense for you.

4.5 Payment : Other than on a conveyancing transaction, when we expect payment to be made by deduction on settlement, invoices are payable within 14 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. We prefer that payment is made by direct lodgement to our trust account with ASB Bank – 12-3110-0061166-002.

4.6 Third Parties : 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.

5. COMMUNICATIONS

5.1 To you : Communications will be sent to the address and contact person you advise us, or any other address or contact person we may reasonably infer from your instructions.

5.2 To us: Correspondence should be sent to us at our business address (set out on our letterhead and website). Please direct your communications to the person working on your file.

5.3 Method : Unless requested otherwise, communications may be by facsimile, telephone or email (including documentation). We will not however be liable for any corruption or interception of emails, attachments or facsimiles, their disclosure or use, or any subsequent changes made to them or to any draft documents.

5.4 Emails : We scan emails and attachments for viruses before sending e-mails to you and request that you take reasonable steps to prevent sending us emails or attachments containing viruses or which would be harmful to our IT systems.

5.5 If you receive any email from us but are not the intended recipient: (i) do not read, copy, disclose or use the contents in any way; and (ii) please notify us immediately by return email and destroy the email and attachments.

6. CONFIDENTIALITY

6.1 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.

6.2 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. You authorise us to share your information with your other professional advisers.

6.3 We will not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.

7. TERMINATION

7.1 You may terminate our services at any time.

7.2 We may terminate the provision of our services to you in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

7.3 If you terminate our services, you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all disbursements and expenses incurred up to that date.

8. RETENTION OF FILES AND DOCUMENTS

8.1 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) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.

8.2 You acknowledge that we have a lien on all files and deeds which we are holding for you until all fees and expenses which you owe to us have been paid.

9. 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.

10. DUTY OF CARE : Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person. No advice we give, or work we do, is for the benefit of any third party. Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.

11. 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 our bank.

12. LIMITATIONS :

12.1 We do not give general commercial or business advice, only legal advice and services performed or rendered in the conduct of a lawyer.

12.2 We do not advise you on the quality of any investment in property, or indeed any other investment.

12.3 We are not investment advisors and no advice we give is a “financial adviser service” or an “investment planning service” as described in the Financial Adviser's Act 2008.

12.4 Our advice is limited to New Zealand law, and does not extend to your affairs in other jurisdictions.

12.5 The work we do is subject to: (i) the accuracy of information supplied by you, third parties, or on public registers; and (ii) any disclaimers or limitations we expressly make (whether or not in writing) or which are implied by the nature of, or commonplace for, that type of work.

3. GENERAL

13.1 These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.

13.2 We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will publish the amended terms on our website.

13.3 Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non exclusive jurisdiction.