Standard Terms of Engagement

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



1.1 The services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our Letter of Engagement.



2.1 Fees:

  1. The fees which we will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in our Letter of Engagement.
  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 Letter of Engagement. 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.

2.2 Disbursements and expenses: In providing services we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. 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 we will be incurring on your behalf.

2.3 GST (if any): Is payable by you on our fees and charges.

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

2.5 Payment: For all conveyancing transactions, our payment terms are on settlement unless a predetermined payment arrangement has been agreed.

Alternatively, invoices are payable within 7 days of receipt of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. We will require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue. Interest will be calculated at the rate of 10% per annum on all overdue accounts. We reserve the right to take fees by way of deduction from funds held on your behalf in our trust account.

Any collection costs incurred by us in respect of the recovery of outstanding fees are payable by the client.

2.6 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.

2.7 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.


AML/CFT Act obligations

3.1 We are required to comply with all laws binding on us including (but not limited to):

  1. the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act); and
  2. the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA); and
  3. the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

3.2 To meet these requirements, we may be required to conduct customer due diligence on you, persons acting on your behalf, and other relevant persons such as your beneficial owners or persons who have effective control of you as a client. We may not be able to act or continue acting for you until this is completed to the required standard.

3.3 We will advise you what information and documents are required for these purposes. This information could include formal identification, address confirmation, source of funds, transactions details, ownership structures, tax identification details, and any other information considered relevant. Please ensure the information and documents requested are provided promptly to avoid any delays in us acting for you.

3.4 We will retain the information and documents and may be required to disclose them to government agencies as required by law. We may not be permitted to advise you of the instances when we are required to disclose this information. We may also be required to provide this information to banks with which we place your funds through our trust account.



4.1 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 out your instructions; or
  2. to the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
  3. to the extent required under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act), the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act 2010, the Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information and Remedial Matters) Act 2017, Common Reporting Standards and/or other legislation and conventions which require disclosure by us in respect of taxation, money laundering and fraud.

4.2 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.

4.3 We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.



5.1 You may terminate our retainer at any time.

5.2 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 including non payment of accounts.

5.3 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.


Retention of files and documents

6.1 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.


Conflicts of Interest

7.1 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.


Duty of Care

8.1 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.


Trust Account

9.1 We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients. If we are holding significant funds on your behalf we will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with a bank. In that case we will charge commission at the rate of 7.5% of the interest derived.



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

10.2 We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.

10.3 Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have nonexclusive jurisdiction.