Terms of Engagement
1.1. These Standard Terms of Engagement (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.
2.1. The services we are to provide for you (the Services) are outlined in our letter of engagement along with any further instructions that you provide to us in writing (or that we record in writing).
2.2. In order to provide you with efficient services and to provide the most cost-effective service, it may be that part or all of your instructions will be delegated to other professionals in our company.
3.1. We will obtain from you contact details, including email address, postal address and telephone numbers. We may provide documents and other communications to you by email (or other electronic means). You will advise us if any of your contact details change.
3.2. We will report to you periodically on the progress of any engagement and will inform you of any material and unexpected delays, significant changes or complications in the work being undertaken. You may request a progress report at any time.
3.3. You agree that we may provide you from time to time with other information that may be relevant to you, such as newsletters and information bulletins. At any time you may request that this not be sent to you.
4.1. Fees: The basis upon which we will charge our fees is set out in our engagement letter.
If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of the 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 of the agreed scope and, if requested, give you an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
Where our fees are calculated on an hourly basis, the hourly rates of the people we expect to undertake the work are set out in our engagement letter. Any differences in those rates reflect the different levels of experience and specialisation of our professional staff. Time spent is recorded in 15-minute units.
Hourly fees may be adjusted (upwards or downwards) to ensure the fee is fair and reasonable to take into account matters such as the complexity, urgency, value and importance of the Services.
4.2. Disbursements and Third Party Expenses: In providing the Services we may incur disbursements and payments to third parties on your behalf. You authorise us to incur these disbursements (which may include such items such as travel and courier charges) which are reasonably necessary to provide the Services. You also authorise us to make payments to third parties on your behalf which are reasonably required to undertake the Services. These will be included in our invoice to you, shown as “disbursements” when the expenses are incurred (or in advance when we know we will be incurring them on your behalf).
4.3 Office Service Charge Fee (Administrative expenses): In addition to disbursements, we may charge a fee of $8 to cover out of pocket costs which are not included in our fee and which are not recorded as disbursements. These include items such as photocopying and printing, postage and phone calls.
4.4 GST: Our services will usually attract Goods and Services Tax (GST). If this is the case, GST is payable by you on our fees and charges.
4.5 Invoices: We will send invoices to you on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement.
4.6 Payment: Invoices are payable within 3 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us.
If you have difficulty in paying any of our accounts, please contact us promptly so that we may discuss payment arrangements.
If your account is overdue we may:
require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 3 days overdue, calculated at the rate of 20% above the overdraft rate that our company's main trading bank charges us for the period that the invoice is outstanding;
stop work on any matters in respect of which we are providing services to you;
require an additional payment of fees in advance or other security before recommencing work;
recover from you in full any costs we incur (including on a solicitor/client basis) in seeking to recover the amounts from you, including our own fees and the fees of any collection agency.
Payment may be made by deposit into our bank account number 06-0158-0976361-00.
4.7 Fees and disbursements in advance: We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. We may do this, on reasonable notice, at any time.
4.8 Estimates: You may request an estimate of our fee for undertaking the Services at any time. If possible we will provide you with an estimate (which may be a range between a minimum and a maximum amount or for a particular task or step). An estimate is not a quote. Any significant assumptions included in the estimate will be stated and you must tell us if those assumptions are wrong or change. We will inform you if we are likely to exceed the estimate by any substantial amount. Unless specified, an estimate excludes GST, disbursements and expenses.
4.9 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, you remain responsible for payment to us in accordance with these Terms if the third party fails to pay us.
5. Confidentiality and Personal Information
5.1 Confidence: 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 your instructions; or
as expressly or impliedly agreed by you; or
as necessary to protect our interests in respect of any complaint or dispute; or
to the extent required or permitted by law.
5.2 Confidential information concerning you will as far as practicable be made available only to those within our company who are providing the Services for you.
5.3 Personal information and Privacy: In our dealings with you we will collect and hold personal information about you. We will use that information to carry out the Services and to make contact with you about issues we believe may be of interest to you. Provision of personal information is voluntary but if you do not provide full information this may impact on our ability to provide the Services.
5.4 Subject to clause 5.1, you authorise us to disclose, in the normal course of performing the Services, such personal information to third parties for the purpose of providing the Services and any other purposes set out in these Terms.
5.5 The information we collect and hold about you will be kept at our offices and/or at secure file storage sites (including electronic file storage sites) elsewhere. If you are an individual, you have the right to access and correct this information. If you require access, please contact our Director.