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Koning Webster Law | Tauranga Lawyers: Client Care

Client Care

TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT AND CLIENT CARE INFORMATION

Our Charges

Our charges are based on the range of factors outlined by the NZ Law Society, which include, time, expertise, importance, urgency and results achieved.  Where work is charged on the basis of time, current hourly rates are:

Directors                   –               $300 – $350 per hour plus GST
Staff Solicitors          –               $150 – $250 per hour plus GST

These rates may change from time to time, and upon request updated rates are available.  The names and status of the person or persons who will have general carriage or overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our letter of engagement.

Excerpt from Chapter 9 Lawyers and Conveyancers Act

A lawyer must not charge a client more than a fee that is fair and reasonable for the services provided, having regard to the interests of both client and lawyer and having regard also to the factors set out in rule 9.1.

The factors to be taken into account in determining the reasonableness of a fee in respect of any service provided by a lawyer to a client include the following: The time and labour expended; the skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required to perform the services properly; the importance of the matter to the client and the results achieved; the urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by the client; the degree of risk assumed by the lawyer in undertaking the services, including the amount or value of any property involved; the complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved; the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer; the possibility that the acceptance of the particular retainer will preclude engagement of the lawyer by other clients; whether the fee is fixed or conditional (whether in litigation or otherwise); any quote or estimate of fees given by the lawyer; any fee agreement (including a conditional fee agreement) entered into between the lawyer and client; the reasonable costs of running a practice; the fee customarily charged in the market and locality for similar legal services.

Invoices, Disbursements, External Expenses, GST, Third Party

We will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter.  Our invoice will include an office expense charge for tolls, faxes, photocopying, printing and incidentals which is additional to any external disbursements incurred. We may also send you an invoice when we are to incur a significant expense/disbursement item or payment to a third party on your behalf.  We will require each month’s invoice paid by 20th of the following month.  We reserve the right to charge interest at 2.5% per month and to collect all debt collection costs and all legal and related costs incurred in the recovery of any unpaid account.  We also reserve the right to suspend work on the matter until we are paid overdue amounts.  GST (if any) is payable by you on our fees and disbursements.  Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for our fees and disbursements/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.

Trust Account & Bank Account Details

We do not maintain a trust account and therefore are unable to hold funds on behalf of clients.  Where necessary we can make arrangements with another firm to receive or hold funds on a case by case basis.  Payment of your invoice can be made to our firm bank account, the details are:

Koning Webster Limited t/a Koning Webster Lawyers 06 0433 0452643 00.  Please ensure you identify payments with your 6 digit client number.

Client Care and Service

We will do our best to ensure your legal needs are satisfied and in particular 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; and
  • 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. 

Confidentiality

We will treat all information we hold about you as private and confidential.  We will not share any information we hold about you unless, the law requires us to, we need to so that we can carry out work for you or you agree or ask us to.

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 letter of engagement. 

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 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 other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.

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

Termination of our Services

You may terminate our services at any time.  We may terminate our services in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.  If our services are terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred.

Professional Indemnity Insurance & Lawyers Fidelity Fund

We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified from time to time by the Law Society.

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.  Except in certain circumstances specified in the Lawyers & 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.

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 Lorien Martin, Manager.  She may be contacted by letter or by email lorien@kwlaw.co.nz.  The Law Society operates the Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service.  To do so, phone 0800 261 801 and you will be connected to the nearest Complaints Service Office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.

Acceptance of Terms of Engagement

By instructing us to provide you with legal services you are deemed to have accepted these terms of engagement.  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.

The Directors

KONING WEBSTER LAWYERS 

As at 1 June 2013