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Standard Terms of Engagement

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

  • Services: The services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.
  • Financial Fees:
    • In determining the fees the following may be taken into account:
      • The time and labour expended (at the present time our principal’s time is charged at between $250.00 – $400.00 per hour plus GST and disbursements. Other staff have different rates but there are no additional charges for secretarial, word processing and similar services).
      • The skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required to perform the services properly.
      • The importance of the matter to you and the results achieved.
      • The urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by you.
      • The degree of risk assumed by us in undertaking the services including the amount or value of the property involved.
      • The complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved.
      • The experience, reputation and ability of the members of our firm working on your matter.
      • The possibility that the acceptance of the particular instructions will preclude employment of us by other clients.
      • Whether the fee is fixed or conditional.
      • Any quote or estimate of fees given by us.
      • Any fee agreement entered into between you and us.
      • The reasonable costs of running our firm.
      • The fee customarily charged in the market and locality for work similar to yours.
    • Unless otherwise stated all fees are plus GST.
    • Out of pocket expenses such as search and registration fees, valuation fees, tolls, faxes and photocopying will be additional.
    • All work done by us is charged on a fees basis apart from a commission of 6% which is taken on all interest accruing on funds deposited with our bank through our bulk deposit scheme.
    • Disbursement 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.
    • GST (if any): Is payable by you on our fees and charges.
    • Invoices: We may 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.
    • Payment: Invoices are usually payable within 14 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. We may require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue. Interest will be calculated at the rate of 3% above our firm’s main trading bank’s 90-day bank bill buy rate as at the close of business on the date payment became due.
    • Security: We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. You authorise us: (a) to debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and (b) 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.
    • 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 still remain responsible for payment to us if the third party fails to pay us.
  • Confidentiality:
    • 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: (a) to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or (b) to the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
    • 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.
    • We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.
  • Termination
    • You may terminate our retainer at any time.
    • 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.
    • 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: You authorize us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (or any documents that we hold in safe custody for you) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
  • Conflicts of Interest: 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: 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: We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices). 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 an administration fee of 6% of the interest derived.
  • General:
    • These 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 non-exclusive jurisdiction.