These are our standard terms and information on fees, expenses, and disbursements. Please read them. If you have any questions, please ask us.
Who will work with you?
A partner will be responsible for the delivery of our services to you. In order to ensure that we provide our advice in the most efficient and timely manner, other personnel may also be involved.
We rely on you providing full instructions and advising all relevant facts all times during the matter.
We will set out our understanding of our role in an engagement letter or, if there is no formal engagement letter for the matter, in correspondence between us (the “engagement letter“).
We provide legal advice on New Zealand law. We do not advise on foreign law, or commercial, financial or other non- legal matters. We are not responsible for advising you as to taxation issues.
Our duty of care is to our client named in the engagement letter. We do not owe any duty of care to any other person. You must not disclose or distribute our advice to any person (other than your other advisers or as may be required by law), and no such person may rely on our advice, without our prior written consent.
Where you are a company or other corporate or unincorporated entity, we act only for you. We do not act for your shareholders, directors, or members unless we otherwise agree.
Conflicts of Interest
We have procedures to deal with issues that arise if the interests of two or more clients’ conflict. We will let you know if a legal conflict arises and we will follow the requirements and procedures set out in the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society (“NZLS Rules”). Where there is no legal conflict, we may accept instructions from other clients or potential clients working in the same or competing markets and whose commercial interests’ conflict with yours.
We are required to comply with all laws binding on us including the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT), the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (US) (FATCA) and the OECD’s Common Reporting Standards (CRS).
We will perform client due diligence and account monitoring, keep records, and report any unusual or suspicious transactions where required by AML/CFT, FATCA, CRS or any other law. We may also be required to assist any bank to comply with its legal obligations.
For the purposes of AML/CFT, we may be required to obtain and verify certain information from you. This may include people associated with you (such as employees, directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries). If we are unable to obtain the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you.
We also have ongoing client due diligence obligations. To meet these obligations, we may need to request further information from you in the future. If we are not able to obtain the required information, it is likely we will not be able to take further instructions from you.
Fees, office expenses and disbursements
We use hourly rates only as a general basis for deciding the appropriate fees for our work. We may also take into account other factors such as the value we bring, complexity, novelty, difficulty and urgency of the work and the benefit to you of previous work or precedents. Hourly rates vary according to the type of work and experience of the personnel involved. If we provide an estimate of fees, actual fees may differ from the estimate.
If we agree a fixed fee and the scope of work increases beyond the basis on which you originally instructed us, it will be carried out at the normal hourly rates of the personnel involved unless another arrangement is agreed.