We have professional indemnity insurance.
Engagement terms and conditions
Information for Clients
Please read carefully the information which the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society (the “NZLS Rules”) requires us to provide to you;
Please be aware that our standard terms of engagement (“Terms”) which (subject to any other agreement we make with you) govern the relationship between you and us.
In this section “we” or “us” refers to Bespoke Legal and “you” means the client or potential client of Bespoke Legal.
- Fees: The basis on which fees will be charged, and when payment of fees is to be made,
are set out in paragraph 7 of our Terms.
We maintain a procedure for handling complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly.
If you have a complaint about us or our services you may:
a) refer your complaint to the person in the firm who has overall responsibility for your
b) if you do not wish to refer your complaint to that person, or you are not satisfied with
the response received from that person, refer your complaint to the Director of our Firm to:
Benazir Din Director Bespoke Legal Limited PO Box 27073 Mt Roskill 1440 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(c) You may also make a complaint to the complaints service established by the New Zealand Law Society. To do so, you should contact the New Zealand Law Society at PO Box 5041 Lambton Quay, Wellington 5145, or telephone 04 472 7837.
4. 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.
5. FIDELITY FUND
The Lawyers Fidelity Fund established by the New Zealand Law Society is available to reimburse people who suffer loss by reason of the theft by a lawyer of money or other valuable property entrusted to the lawyer. 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.
6. CLIENT CARE & SERVICE
The New Zealand Law Society Client Care and Service Information is set out below: Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing, he or she must:
a) Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with any instructions received and arrangements made.
b) Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties.
c) Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved.
d) Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided. e) Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know when you will be billed. Give you clear information and advice.
f) Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
g) Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
h) Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is
i) Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly
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.
7. 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 will either be expressly mentioned in our Terms of engagement or will be notified to you in writing.
TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT- BESPOKE LEGAL
1.1 Thank you for choosing us to represent/act for you. Our core values are commitment and integrity. We will represent and advise you on legal matters in accordance with your instructions.
2.1 APPLICATION These terms apply to our relationship with you. However if these terms are inconsistent with any other written agreement we have made with you (whether generally or in respect of a specific instruction) then that other agreement prevails over these terms. We may change these terms from time to time and will inform you of the same. If you continue to engage us then you accept the latest terms.
3.1 We have the usual authority of a lawyer to act on your behalf in relation to each instruction we accept. This includes your authority, where reasonable, to incur expenses; engage law firms in other regions or jurisdictions, and engage external Barristers or experts or legal servers. You agree to pay all fees and costs associated.
3.2 In the event we are unable to attend to your file for any reason (absence from country, illness etc), then you authorise us to instruct an external lawyer of our choice to continue working on your file. You also consent to pay all fees and costs associated with the instruction to an external lawyer in relation to your file.
4. General 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.
5. Advice and Services
5.1 Any advice given by us is:
(a) Solely for your benefit. It may not be relied on by any other person unless we agree to
that in writing;
(b) Not to be disclosed, referred to or used other than for the purpose for which it was sought;
(c) Not to be made public or published;
(d) Limited to matters stated in it;
(e) Limited to and governed by New Zealand law; and
(f) Subject to changes in the law after the date it is given.
5.2 We are not responsible for advising you as to Taxation issues.
5.3 Our name and advice may not be used in connection with any offering document, financial statement or any other public document without our prior written consent.
5.4 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).
5.5 In order to provide you with efficient advice and 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 firm.
5.6 When our instructions on a matter are completed, our representation of you will end. We are not obliged to notify you of any subsequent change of law, or provide any further services related to that matter.
6.1 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.
6.2 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.
7.1 Fees: The basis upon which we will charge our fees is set out in our engagement letter.
a) 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.
b) 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 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. Full details of the relevant fee factors are set out in Rule 9 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (Rules).
7.2 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 search fees, court filing fees, registration fees and travel, courier charges, service of legal document by servers) which are reasonably necessary to provide the Services. Please be aware that if we have to travel to
any location for your matter, then we charge travelling disbursements which include our time spent in travelling, and which is calculated at the rate/fee of $165.00 plus GST per hour for the travelling time spent by the lawyer travelling. In the event that we have to travel to South Island or to any other country in relation to your matter, then you will be liable to pay for all related costs including but not limited to flights, parking, accommodation, car hire. You also authorise us to make payments to third parties on your behalf which are reasonably required to undertake the Services (which may include items such as experts’ costs or counsel’s fees). 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). Please note however that disbursements are charged separately from our fees and itemised in our invoices. If we are required to expend significant amounts on disbursements or other external costs, we may require you to pay these in advance.
7.3 Office Service Charge Fee (Administrative expenses): In addition to disbursements, we will also charge fees 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. Please note however that these disbursements are charged separately from our fees and itemised in our invoices
7.4 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.
7.5 Overseas withholding Tax: If you are required by law to make a deduction for any tax, levy, duty or other similar charges outside New Zealand from any amount payable to us, the amount payable shall be the amount of any such deduction PLUS the payment that would have been due if no deduction had been required. You must also provide us reasonable documentation to verify the amount of any tax, levy, duty or other similar charges withheld and paid to a tax authority
7.6 Invoices: We will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly, and on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement. We may send you invoices more frequently when we incur a significant expense or undertake a significant amount of work over a shorter period of time.
7.7 Payment: Invoices are payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us.
a) You authorise us to deduct our fees and other expenses from funds held in our trust account on your behalf on provision of an invoice to you, unless those funds are held for a particular purpose.
b) If you have difficulty in paying any of our accounts, please contact us promptly so that we may discuss payment arrangements.
c) If your account is overdue we may at our discretion:
i) require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 14 days overdue, calculated at the rate of 10 % above the overdraft rate that our firm’s main trading bank charges us for the period that the invoice is outstanding;
ii) stop work on any matters in respect of which we are providing services to you;
iii) require an additional payment of fees in advance or other security before recommencing work;
iv) 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.
d) Payment may be made by electronic transfer to our Trust Account.
7.8 Fees and disbursements in advance: We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. You consent and provide your authority to us to draw on the amounts paid towards our fees and expenses, as they become due. We may deduct from funds held on your behalf in our Trust account any fees, costs and disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
7.9 Estimates: You may request in writing 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.
7.10 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.
7.11 Trust Accounting: We operate a trust account. All money received from you or on your behalf will be held to your credit in our trust account.
a) Payments out of the trust account will be made either to you or to others with your authority. Written authorisation from you (and if we are acting for more than one of you, from all of you) will be required when payment is to be made to a third party. Before making a payment to another account we may require verification of the account details by provision of (for example) a copy of a deposit slip, cheque or bank statement showing the account number, a signed authority from you including the bank account details, or a signed letter from the relevant financial institution providing bank account details.
A full record of our trust account is kept at all times. A statement of trust account transactions detailing funds received and payments made on your behalf will be provided to you periodically and at any time upon your request.
Unless it is not reasonable or practicable to do so, when we hold significant funds for you for more than a short period of time we will place them on call deposit with a bank registered under section 69 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, subject to your having completed to the bank’s satisfaction any request for information relating to the deposit or certification required by the bank. Interest earned from call deposits, less withholding tax, will be credited to you.
8. Our Monitoring and Reporting Obligations
8.1 We are obliged to comply with all binding law in all jurisdictions, including but not limited to):
(a) AML/CFT: the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009;
(b) FATCA: the USA’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the USA/New Zealand
vernmental agreement relating to FATCA and related changes to New Zealand legislation.
We will undertake due diligence, monitoring and reporting (when required) and liaise with banks, regulators and other entities as required to comply