TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

The Client instructs Richard Allen Law to act as the Client’s lawyers as set out in this Agreement for Legal Services, and specifically as follows:

ADVISE AND ACT IN RELATION TO

  1. Communications
    1. Richard Allen Law will obtain from the Client contact details, including email address, postal address and telephone numbers. Richard Allen Law may provide documents and other communications to the Client by email (or other electronic means). The Client will advise us if any of the Client’s contact details change.
    2. Richard Allen Law will report to the Client periodically on the progress of any engagement and will inform the Client of any material and unexpected delays, significant changes or complications in the work being undertaken. The Client may request a progress report at any time.
  2. Client’s Instructions
    1. Richard Allen Law will act in the Client’s best interests to carry out the Client’s instructions.
    2. Richard Allen Law reserves the right to cease to act where the Client cannot or will not provide instructions required in addition to those specified under the heading “Instructions”, or where Richard Allen Law is of the opinion that the Client has misled or deceived Richard Allen Law in any material way.
    3. Richard Allen Law will take reasonable steps to keep the Client informed of the steps taken to carry out the Client’s instructions.
    4. By instructing Richard Allen Law the Client accepts liability to pay the accounts that Richard Allen Law will render for work done together with all disbursements incurred in respect of the Client’s instructions.RICHARD ALLEN LAW’S CHARGES
  3. When does the Client have to pay?
    1. Richard Allen Law’s accounts are all due within 7 days of issue of Richard Allen Law’s invoice. If Richard Allen Law is holding any money for the Client, the Client authorises Richard Allen Law to deduct the account from that money after having provided the Client with a dated invoice.’
  4. How does RICHARD ALLEN LAW charge?
    1. The basis upon which Richard Allen Law will charge fees is set out in our engagement letter.
    2. If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, Richard Allen Law will charge this for the agreed scope of the Services. Work which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly rate basis. Richard Allen Law will advise the Client as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes necessary for us to provide services outside of the agreed scope and, if requested, give the Client an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
    3. Where Richard Allen Law’s fees are calculated on an hourly basis, the hourly rates of the people Richard Allen Law 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 six-minute units.
    4. Richard Allen Law’s fees are charged in accordance with guidelines laid by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care of the New Zealand Law Society. In fixing the fee Richard Allen Law is entitled to take account of considerations such as:
      1. the time and labour spent;
      2. the skill, specialised knowledge and responsibility required;
      3. the importance of the matter to the Client and the results achieved;
      4. the urgency and circumstances in which the work is undertaken and any time limits, including time limits imposed by the Client;
      5. the degree of risk assumed by Richard Allen Law in undertaking the services including the amount or value of any property involved;
      6. the complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;
      7. the experience, reputation, and ability of the personnel carrying out the work;
      8. the possibility that the acceptance of the instructions will preclude employment of Richard Allen Law by other clients;
      9. the reasonable costs of running a law practice.
  5. Estimate of Costs
    1. Any costs estimate will be Richard Allen Law’s “best guess” as to what the fees and other costs are likely to be. If the work does not proceed as Richard Allen Law had expected due to unexpected complications, or if the work proves more complicated than originally anticipated Richard Allen Law will charge for all additional work.
    2. If it appears that the estimate will be exceeded, Richard Allen Law will advise the Client of the reasons and obtain further instructions from the Client.
  6. Disbursements and Third Party Expenses
    1. In providing the services, Richard Allen Law may incur disbursements and payments to third parties on the Client’s behalf. The Client authorises us to incur these disbursements (which may include such items such as search fees, court filing fees, registration fees, storage and or recovery of documents, and travel and courier charges) which are reasonably necessary to provide the Services. The Client also authorise us to make payments to third parties on the Client’s 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 the Client, shown as “disbursements” when the expenses are incurred (or in advance when Richard Allen Law knows the firm will be incurring them on the Client’s behalf).
  7. Administrative Expenses:
    1. In addition to disbursements, Richard Allen Law may charge:
      1. an office expenses fee of $65.00 or 7.5% of our invoice (whichever is the greater) to cover administrative 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;
      2. an e-dealing fee of $45 if an e-dealing is necessary for the transaction to cover Richard Allen Law’s annual costs for LINZ which are not specifically disbursements; and
      3. an online services fee of $35 to cover Richard Allen Law’s annual costs for email and legal databases (including but not limited to Lexis Nexis, ADLS and Action Step).
      4. A storage and recovery of documents fee of $20 to cover Richard Allen Law’s annual cost for file storage facilities (including but not limited to Iron Mountain).
      5. A AML/CFT requirements fee of $200 to cover Richard Allen Law’s annual cost of complying with these new regulations.
  8. GST
    1. Our services will usually attract Goods and Services Tax (GST). If this is the case, GST is payable by the Client on our fees and charges.
  9. When will the Client be billed?
    1. Generally, property matters may be billed at the time of settlement or on completion of the work. Richard Allen Law may require the Client to make a payment or payments to it for the provision of legal services under this agreement prior to final billing of any matter.
    2. For other matters Richard Allen Law may at its option bill the Client on a regular basis or Richard Allen Law may render a bill upon the time and attendance or matter reaching a certain milestone.
  10. Third Parties:
    1. Although the Client may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for Richard Allen Law’s fees and expenses, and although Richard Allen Law’s invoices may at the Client’s request or with the Client’s approval be directed to a third party, the Client remains responsible for payment to Richard Allen Law in accordance with these Terms if the third party fails to pay.
  11. Credit Policy
    1. The Client may be allocated a credit limit which will be the subject of a separate agreement between the client and Richard Allen Law. If a credit limit is agreed then a payment play will be agreed to before Richard Allen Law will act.
  12. What if the Client cannot pay on time?
    1. If the Client anticipates difficulty in the payment of any account, the Client must contact Richard Allen Law immediately and discuss arrangements for payment.
    2. Interest is payable on any account more than 14 days overdue unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. Interest shall be calculated at the rate of 20% per annum, compounding monthly.
    3. The Client authorises Richard Allen Law to deduct its fees and other expenses from funds held in its trust account on the Client’s behalf on provision of an invoice to the Client, unless those funds are held for a particular purpose.
    4. If the Client has difficulty in paying any of Richard Allen Law’s accounts, please contact Richard Allen Law promptly so that the firm may discuss payment arrangements.
    5. If the Client’s account is overdue Richard Allen Law may:
      1. require interest to be paid on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue, calculated at the rate of 5% above the overdraft rate that the firm’s main trading bank charges Richard Allen Law for the period that the invoice is outstanding;
      2. stop work on any matters in respect of which Richard Allen Law are providing services to the Client;
      3. require an additional payment of fees in advance or other security before recommencing work;
      4. recover from the Client in full any costs Richard Allen Law incur (including on a solicitor/client basis) in seeking to recover the amounts from the Client, including Richard Allen Law’s own fees and the fees of any collection agency.
  13. Circumstances in Which Clients Credit Card will be Debited
    1. In the event the Clients invoice is unpaid 30 days or more after the date of issue of the invoice then the Client hereby authorises Richard Allen Law to complete a “card not present transaction” using the credit card information provided by the client above and complete payment of the invoice on the Client’s behalf.
    2. The Client acknowledges and agrees that unless the Client has raised a dispute in respect of the invoice prior to the expiry of the period that ends 30 days after the date of issue of the invoice then the Client waives its right to request the payment of invoice transaction be “charged back” by the issuer of the Client’s credit card. Such waiver is without prejudice to any other right the Client has under this Agreement for Legal Services.
  14. Trust Account
    1. Richard Allen Law operates a trust account. All money received from the Client or on the Client’s behalf will be held to the Client’s credit in the trust account.
    2. Payments out of the trust account will be made either to the Client or to others with the Client’s authority. Written or oral authorisation from the Client (and if the Client comprises more than one person, from all of those comprising the Client) will be required when payment is to be made to a third party. Before making a payment to another account Richard Allen Law 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 the Client including the bank account details, or a signed letter from the relevant financial institution providing bank account details.
    3. 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 the Client’s behalf will be provided to the Client periodically and at any time upon the Client’s request.
    4. Unless it is not reasonable or practicable to do so, when Richard Allen Law hold significant funds for the Client for more than a short period of time Richard Allen Law will place them on call deposit with a bank registered under section 69 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989. Interest earned from call deposits, less withholding tax and an interest administration fee payable to us of 5% of the interest, will be credited to the Client.
  15. Joint and Several Liability
    1. If there is more than one person comprising the Client, each person is jointly and severally liable for payment at the due time of all Richard Allen Law’s accounts.
  16. Guarantor
    1. Where a guarantor is provided for in this agreement then that person personally guarantees full payment of any amount due to Richard Allen Law from the Client in terms of this agreement.
  17. Lien
    1. Where work has been done by Richard Allen Law but Richard Allen Law has not been paid by the Client, then Richard Allen Law has the right to retain the original documents and the correspondence on the Client’s files until such time as all outstanding fees, disbursements and other expenses have been paid. This is known as a lien. This will be particularly important in circumstances where the Client decides for whatever reason to instruct another law firm. The Client must pay all outstanding fees, disbursements and other expenses before Richard Allen Law releases the Client’s files to the Client’s new solicitors. Alternatively, that other law firm may be obliged to give an undertaking to Richard Allen Law to pay all outstanding fees and disbursements before the Client’s file is released
  18. What are RICHARD ALLEN LAW’s obligations to the Client?
    The Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society require that in all events, subject to the duties of Richard Allen Law and its members to the courts and to the justice system, Richard Allen Law and each of its lawyers must:

    1. act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with any arrangements made between the Client and Richard Allen Law;
    2. protect and promote the Client’s interests and act for the Client free from compromising influences or loyalties;
    3. discuss the Client’s objectives and how they should best be achieved;
    4. provide the Client with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way in which Richard Allen Law’s services will be provided;
    5. charge the Client a fee that is fair and reasonable, and let the Client know when the Client will be billed;
    6. give the Client clear information and advice;
    7. protect the Client’s privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality;
    8. treat the Client fairly, respectfully, and without discrimination;
    9. keep the Client informed about the work being done and advise when it is completed;
    10. let the Client know if the Instructions are of the sort where the Client may be eligible for legal aid and if so whether Richard Allen Law is prepared to undertake the work in the Instructions if paid by legal aid;
    11. let the Client know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.
  19. Retention of Records
    1. Richard Allen Law will keep a record of all important documents which Richard Allen Law receive or create on the Client’s behalf on the following basis:
      1. Richard Allen Law may keep a record electronically and destroy originals (except where the existence of an original is legally important such as in the case of wills and deeds).
      2. At any time, Richard Allen Law may dispose of documents which are duplicates, or which are trivial (such as emails which do not contain substantive information), or documents which belong to Richard Allen Law.
      3. Richard Allen Law are not obliged to retain documents or copies where the Client have requested that Richard Allen Law provide them to the Client or to another person and Richard Allen Law have done so, although Richard Allen Law are entitled to retain copies for the firm’s own records if Richard Allen Law wish to do so.
    2. Richard Allen Law will provide to the Client on request copies or originals (at the firm’s option) of all documents to which the Client is entitled under the Privacy Act 1993 or any other law. Richard Allen Law may charge the Client for reasonable costs for doing this.
    3. Where Richard Allen Law hold documents that belong to a third party the Client will need to provide Richard Allen Law with that party’s written authority to uplift or obtain a copy of that document.
    4. Unless the Client instruct Richard Allen Law in writing otherwise, the Client authorise and consent to Richard Allen Law (without further reference to the Client) to destroy (or delete in the case of electronic records) all files and documents in respect of the Services 10 years after engagement ends (other than any documents that Richard Allen Law hold in safe custody for the Client or are otherwise obliged by law to retain for longer). Richard Allen Law may retain documents for longer at the firm’s option.
    5. Richard Allen Law may, at the firm’s option, return documents (either in hard or electronic form) to the Client rather than retain them. If Richard Allen Law choose to do this, Richard Allen Law will do so at the Client’s expense.
    6. Richard Allen Law owns copyright in all documents or work Richard Allen Law creates in the course of performing the Services but grant the Client a non-exclusive licence to use and copy the documents as the Client see fit for the Client’s own personal or commercial use. However, the Client may not permit any third party to copy, adapt or use the documents without Richard Allen Law’s written permission.
  20. Confidentiality
    1. Confidence: Richard Allen Law will hold in confidence all information concerning the Client or the Client’s affairs that Richard Allen Law acquire during the course of acting for the Client. Richard Allen Law 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 the Client’s instructions; or
      2. as expressly or impliedly agreed by the Client; or
      3. as necessary to protect Richard Allen Law’s interests in respect of any complaint or dispute; or
      4. to the extent required or permitted by law.
    2. Confidential information concerning the Client will as far as practicable be made available only to those within the firm who are providing legal services for the Client.
  21. Personal Information and Privacy under the AML/CFT Regulations
    1. In Richard Allen Law’s dealings with the Client, Richard Allen Law will collect and hold personal information about the Client. Richard Allen Law will use that information to carry out its Services and to make contact with the Client about issues Richard Allen Law believe may be of interest to the Client. Provision of personal information is voluntary but if the Client does not provide full information as requested or we are not able to obtain the required information from you, it is likely that we will not be able to act for you.
    2. Subject to clause 20.1, the Client authorises Richard Allen Law to disclose, in the normal course of performing the Services, such personal information to third parties for the purpose of providing the Services and any other purposes set out in these Terms.
    3. Verification of identity: The Financial Transactions Reporting Act 1996, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML), United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and other similar laws (AML/CFT Legislation) requires Richard Allen Law to collect from the Client and to retain information required to verify the Client’s identity. Richard Allen Law will therefore ask the Client to produce to the firm documents verifying the Client’s identity (including but not limited to a passport or driver’s licence and proof of address i.e. utilities bill). Richard Allen Law will retain copies of these documents. Richard Allen Law may perform such other customer verification checks as to the Client’s identity and checks as to the source of any funds associated with any transaction to which the Services relate as Richard Allen Law considers to be required by law.
    4. By engaging our services you consent to us collecting information about you, confirming information provided to us about you is true (including undertaking customer due diligence information and credit reports) and disclosing or reporting financial and other information about you and your transactions, we think appropriate, to those entities that we are required to disclose or report to in order to comply with our legal obligations.
    5. The information Richard Allen Law collects and holds about the Client will be kept at the firm’s offices and/or at secure file storage sites (including electronic file storage sites) elsewhere. If the Client is an individual, the Client has the right to access and correct this information. If the Client requires access, please contact Richard Allen Law.
    6. AML/CFT Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act: Richard Allen Law is deemed a reporting entity under our AML/CFT requirements. Under this legislation we are required to and will report to the NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in relation to all your matters on the following:
      1. All suspicious activities or transactions – Suspicious Transaction Report (STR);
      2. All international wire transfers/electronic transfer of funds equal to or above NZ$1,000 paid into or paid out of our trust account to/from a bank or financial institution outside of NZ – Prescribed Transaction Report (PTR);If we are required to file a PTR you will provide us with all information requested of you and we will charge you a $200 administration fee for each PTR we are required to file.
    7. You must provide us with all information and documents and complete and sign any certificates required by us or our bankers to enable us to comply with our obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML), United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and other similar laws (AML/CFT Legislation).
    8. You authorise us to undertake initial and on-going customer due diligence and monitoring in accordance with AML/CFT Legislation.
    9. You will be charged based on time for any attendances required by our AML/CFT obligations over and above our standard service/administration fees charged.
    10. Waiver: You acknowledge our AML/CFT obligations and waive your legal professional privilege in relation to all of our AML/CFT requirements.
  22. Conflicts of Interest
    1. Richard Allen Law is obliged to protect and promote the Client’s interests to the exclusion of the interests of third parties and themselves as set out in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (Rules). This may result in a situation arising where Richard Allen Law has a conflict of interest.
    2. Richard Allen Law has procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest arises Richard Allen Law will advise the Client of this and follow the requirements and procedures set out in the Rules. This may mean Richard Allen Law cannot act for the Client further in a particular matter and Richard Allen Law may terminate our engagement.
  23. Duty of Care
    1. Richard Allen Law’s duty of care is to the Client and not to any other person. Richard Allen Law owe no liability to any other person, including for example any directors, shareholders, associated companies, employees or family members unless Richard Allen Law expressly agree in writing. Richard Allen Law do not accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever to any third parties who may be affected by Richard Allen Law’s performance of the Services or who may rely on any advice Richard Allen Law give, except as expressly agreed by us in writing.
    2. Richard Allen Law’s advice is not to be referred to in connection with any prospectus, financial statement, or public document without our written consent.
    3. Richard Allen Law’s advice is opinion only, based on the facts known to the firm and on professional judgement, and is subject to any changes in the law after the date on which the advice is given. Richard Allen Law is not liable for errors in, or omissions from, any information provided by third parties.
    4. Richard Allen Law’s advice relates only to each particular matter in respect of which the Client engages the firm. Once that matter is at an end, Richard Allen Law will not owe the Client any duty or liability in respect of any related or other matters unless the Client specifically engages Richard Allen Law in respect of those related or other matters.
    5. Unless otherwise agreed, Richard Allen Law may communicate with the Client and with others by electronic means. Richard Allen Law cannot guarantee that these communications will not be lost or affected for some reason beyond the firm’s reasonable control, and Richard Allen Law will not be liable for any damage or loss caused thereby.
  24. Complaints Procedure
    1. Client satisfaction is one of Richard Allen Law’s primary objectives and feedback from the Client is helpful to us. If the Client would like to comment on any aspect of the service provided by us, including how Richard Allen Law can improve our service, please contact the Solicitor responsible for the Client’s business.
    2. If the Client has any concerns or complaints about Richard Allen Law’s services, please raise them as soon as possible with the person to whom they relate. They will respond to the Client’s concerns as soon as possible. If the Client is not satisfied with the way that that person has dealt with the Client’s complaint, please raise the matter with the Solicitor responsible for the Client’s business. Richard Allen Law will inquire into the Client’s complaint and endeavour in good faith to resolve the matter with the Client in a way that is fair to all concerned.
    3. If the Client is not satisfied with the result of Richard Allen Law’s complaint procedures, then the Client have the right to lodge a written complaint with the New Zealand Law Society’s complaints service. The Client can call the 0800 number for guidance, lodge a concern or make a formal complaint. Matters may be directed to:Lawyers Complaints Service
      PO Box 5041
      Richard Allen Lawllington 6140
      New Zealand
      Phone: 0800 261 801To lodge a concern:
      www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-community/lawyers-complaints-service/concerns-formTo make a formal complaint:
      www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-community/lawyers-complaints-service/how-to-make-a-complaint

      Email: complaints@lawsociety.org.nz

  25. Lawyers Fidelity Fund
    1. If the Instructions involve or result in Richard Allen Law being entrusted by the Client with money or other valuable property, the Client is protected by the Lawyers Fidelity Fund if the money or property is taken by theft by Richard Allen Law or any of its employees or agents. Claims on that Fund are limited to $100,000.00 for any one theft.
  26. Professional Indemnity Insurance
    1. Richard Allen Law holds indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society.
  27. Privacy Act 1993 Authorisation
    1. The Client confirms it has instructed Richard Allen Law to provide legal services.
    2. The Client acknowledges that Richard Allen Law may wish to make enquiries of the Client to establish the Client’s credit worthiness.
    3. The Client hereby authorises Richard Allen Law to collect and hold personal information from any source Richard Allen Law considers appropriate to be used for the purposes of determining credit worthiness, debt collection purposes or any other related purpose.
    4. Where a guarantor has signed below, the Guarantor similarly authorises Richard Allen Law to collect and hold personal information for the purposes of determining credit worthiness, debt collection purposes or any other related purpose.
    5. It is confirmed that the Client and, if applicable the Guarantor, has a right of access and may request correction of any personal information held by Richard Allen Law about the Client and the Guarantor respectively.
  28. Limitations on our Obligations or Liability
    1. To the maximum extent permitted by law our maximum aggregate liability for any loss or damage suffered by you, whether arising in contract, negligence, equity, or otherwise, is limited to the lesser of (i) $1,000,000 or (ii) five times the maximum aggregate total of our fees (excluding barrister’s fees and other disbursements) charged and paid over any 12 month period of our retainer on the relevant matter.
    2. You may not bring any claim against us, including any claim for contribution or indemnity, regardless of its basis in law or its form, more than 12 months after the date of the act or the omission upon which the claim is based.
    3. The “late knowledge” provisions in the Limitation Act 2010 do not apply.
    4. This clause 28 is for the benefit of any staff member or barrister engaged, retained or instructed by us to assist you with your matter and will apply to them with such modifications as are required to confer on them the maximum benefit of this clause permitted by law. In applying clause 9.1 to any claim against a barrister, the reference to fees in clause 9.1 shall be read as being a reference to that barrister’s fee.
    5. You acknowledge that Richard Allen Law is not providing any advice on the worthiness of
      any transaction or any investment advice generally.
  29. Credit checking and reporting
    1. We may wish to obtain a credit report on you to assist us in making a decision as to whether we extend you credit. You agree that we may obtain a credit check and that we may use your personal information for that purpose.
    2. You acknowledge that:
      1. The credit reporting agency will hold information received from us on their systems and use it to provide their credit reporting service.
      2. The credit reporting agency may give the information to other customers.
      3. If you default in your payment obligations to us, information about that default may be given to the credit reporting agency and the credit reporting agency may give information about your default to other customers.
  30. Termination
    1. The Client may terminate the retainer at any time.
    2. Richard Allen Law may terminate the retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Rules including the existence of a conflict of interest, non-payment of fees, and failure to provide instructions.
    3. If the retainer is terminated the Client must pay us all fees, disbursements and expenses incurred up to the date of termination.