The Lawyers & Conveyancers Act 2006 stipulates that all clients must receive a copy of our Terms of Engagement. This includes:

  1. Our charges.
  2. Your rights as the client.
  3. Our obligations to you.
  4. We have professional liability insurance.

These standard Terms of Engagement apply in respect of all work carried out by us for you, except to the extent that we otherwise agree with you in writing

  1. Services

    1. The services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter. It is likely we have discussed these with you as well.
    2. We provide advice to our clients in relation to property and businesses however we are not responsible for determining the value of a property or business or whether the same meets our client's needs or investment profile. We do not provide investment or valuation advice. You should refer such issues to qualified advisors if you wish.
  2. Financial

    1. Fees:
      1. We are required to provide you with information regarding the basis upon which fees will be charged and when payments are to be made. The Law Society requires us to take into account the following factors:
        • The time and labour expended.
        • The skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required.
        • The importance of the matter to you and the result achieved.
        • Urgency of the job.
        • Risk assumed by us and value of property involved.
        • Complexity of the issues.
        • Our experience, reputation and ability.
        • Costs of running a legal practice.
        • Any quote or estimate given by us.
        • The fee usually charged in the locality for a similar level of service.

        In our letter of engagement we may provide an estimate of our costs or an hourly rate. If not provided an estimate of our fees will be given on request.

      2. 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 rate 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.
      3. Where our fees are calculated on an hourly basis, the hourly rates are set out in our engagement letter. The differences in those rates reflect the experience and specialization of our professional staff. Time spent is recorded in 6 minute units, with time rounded up to the next unit of 6 minutes.
    2. Disbursements and Expenses
      1. In providing services we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf.
      2. 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 will be incurring on your behalf.
      3. We may charge a reasonable processing fee where your bank reverses a payment you make to us or where you pay us extra funds and we need to reimburse you or where you lose one of our cheques and we need to re-issue a payment.
      4. Where we are searching or registering documents on the Land Information NZ database or Personal Property Security register on your behalf we will charge a processing fee for each document searched or registered. That fee will be shown as a separate fee in any invoice we issue to you and separate from any disbursement charged to us by the relevant organisation. It will be called “LINZ processing fee” or “PPSR processing fee” as the case may be. The fee will be $10.00 per document registered or searched provided that where we are searching or registering more than two documents together and at the same time the fee will be reduced to $5.00 per document for each subsequent document.
    3. GST
      Is payable by you on our fees and charges.
    4. Invoices
      We may elect to send interim invoices to you, or on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement. We may also send you an invoice when we incur a significant expense.
    5. Payment
      Invoices are payable within 14 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 date 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. Any account more than 30 days overdue will incur the abovementioned penalty rate without any further notice to you. We may undertake formal debt collection processes for any unpaid accounts. If we do this then you become liable to pay all our costs which may include debt collectors commission (typically 20% of overdue amounts) associated with all debt collection processes and legal claims.
    6. Security
      We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. You authorise us:
      1. to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and
      2. to deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
    7. 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.
    8. Lien
      Where we have done work but have not been paid by you then we have the right to retain any documents and correspondence we hold on your behalf until such time as all our outstanding fees, disbursements and other expenses have been paid. This is important to note where you decide for whatever reason to instruct another firm of lawyers part of the way through a job.
  3. Confidentiality

    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:
      1. to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry our your instructions; and
      2. to the extent required by law or by the Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
    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.
    3. We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
  4. Termination

    1. You may terminate our retainer at any time.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  5. Retention of Files and Documents

    1. You authorise us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than 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.
    2. If we retain your documents in safe custody we will exercise all reasonable care related to storage of your documents however we will not be responsible for the costs of reinstatement if, through an act of God or accidental event or event which is not under our control, documents are lost or destroyed.
    3. If we are required to provide copies of documents or files to you or any person or organization approved by you or to any organization pursuant to any statutory right or Court Order, then we reserve the right to charge you for our time and disbursements in providing such information.
  6. Conflicts of Interest

    1. 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.
  7. Duty of Care

    1. Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this in writing.
  8. Trust Account

    1. 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 any case where we are holding funds on an interest bearing deposit with a Bank we will charge an administration fee of 5% of the gross interest paid by the Bank.
  9. Professional Indemnity Insurance

    We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society. We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.

  10. Lawyers Fidelity Fund

    The Law Society maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund for the purposes 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 of 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.

  11. Complaints

    We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. If you have a complaint about our services or charges, you may refer your complaint to the person in our firm who has overall responsibility for your work. If you do not wish to refer your complaint to that person, or you are not satisfied with that person's response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to either:

    Paul Fisher (Principal); or
    Richard Clancy (Principal)
    They may be contacted as follows:

    • by letter.
    • by e-mail to:
      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • by telephoning them at:
      (07) 886 5169 (P. Fisher- Tokoroa)
      (07) 883 7086 (R. Clancy- Putaruru)

    The Law Society maintains a Lawyers Complaint Service. If you wish to make a complaint to that service you may make contact by telephoning 0800 261 801 or by a-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You may also download a brochure concerning the complaints service at www.lawsociety.org.nz.

  12. Persons Responsible for the Work

    The names and status of the person or persons who will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our letter of engagement. If not stated the principal in our firm who has contact with you will have the overall responsibility for the services provided to you.

  13. 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 comprising 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.

  14. Communications

    If you have a preferred method of us communicating with you please let us know. We may correspondence with you by e-mail unless you instruct us not to do so. We do not accept responsibility and will not be liable for any direct or indirect damage or loss caused by an email that is intercepted or has defects including viruses.

  15. Investment Advice

    When conveying property we do not attempt to advise on any investment issues that may arise. We are not investment advisors. If you require investment advice please let us know and we may be able to recommend someone to you.

  16. General

    1. These terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.
    2. We are entitled to change these terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended terms.
    3. Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand Law and New Zealand Courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction

Version: May 2015