The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, requires all law practices to have an agreement with clients setting out the terms for providing legal services.
Attached is a form which HickeyLaw often uses. The completed details will reflect the particular work, so may differ from the attached form.
Set out below is the information required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society ("Law Society").
(a) The basis on which fees will be charged is set out in a letter of engagement. When payment of fees is to be made is set out in the Terms of Engagement.
(b) Any fees, expenses or disbursements for which I have provided an invoice may be deducted from any funds held on your behalf in my solicitor's trust account.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance
Particulars of my professional indemnity insurance are currently as follows:
2.1 Insurer Justitia Mutual/AON New Zealand Ltd
2.2 Limit of indemnity on any one claim $1,000,000
2.3 Excess on each claim $5,000 (costs exclusive)
3. 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. 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.
I endeavour to 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 services or charges, please refer your complaint to me as the person who has overall responsibility for your work and I will consider it and acknowledge it promptly. Contact may be by:
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephoning me at (09) 477-0333
The Law Society also maintains a complaints service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so you should contact the Law Society: New Zealand Law Society, PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145, Telephone: 0800-261-801.
5. Persons Responsible for the Work
I will have the general conduct of and overall responsibility for the services provided for you as set out in my letter of engagement.
6. Client Care and Service
The Law Society client care and service information is set out below. Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing your lawyer must:
6.1 Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made.
6.2 Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties.
6.3 Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved
6.4 Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
6.5 Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.
6.6 Give you clear information and advice
6.7 Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality
6.8 Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination
6.9 Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed
6.10 Let you know if the instructions are of the sort where you may be eligible for Legal Aid and if so whether I am prepared to undertake the work in the instructions if paid by Legal Aid.
6.11 Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly
The obligation 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 you should discuss with me or visitwww.lawyers,org.nz or call the New Zealand Law Society 0800-261-801
7. Limitations on extent of my Obligations or Liability
Any limitations on the extent of my obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability are set out in my letter of engagement.