Standard Terms of Engagement
These Standard Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by Katherine Ewer, Tax & Trust Consultant for you, except to the extent that they are otherwise agree with you in writing.
The services I am to provide for you are outlined in my letter of engagement.
The fees I will charge or the manner in which they will be arrived at, are set out in my engagement letter.
An estimate of fees will be provided if requested by you, but any estimate is provided as a guide only and is not a fixed quotation. I will advise you as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes necessary for me to provide services outside the agreed scope and, if requested, give you an amended estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
Where my fees are calculated on an hourly basis, my hourly rate is set out in my engagement letter.
Disbursements and expenses
In providing services I may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. These will be included in my invoice to you when the expense is incurred.
File storage and scanning: All files and deeds will be filed offsite. There is a one off charge for this service of between $10 plus GST and $58.50 plus GST.
Where I am required to carry out Client Due Diligence in accordnace with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financial Terroism Act 2009 an administration charge of $250 plus GST will be incurred.
GST (if any)
Goods and services tax is payable by you on my fees and charges.
I will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or termination of my engagement. I may also send you an invoice when I incur a significant expense.
Invoices are payable within 10 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with me.
By accepting these terms you expressly authorise Katherine Ewer to take fees by deduction from funds held in the Trust Account of Katherine Ewer Tax & Trust Consultant upon the issue of an invoice for services.
If an account is not paid by the due date:
- Further work on the matter may be suspended and custody of the files may be reatined until all accounts are paid in full; and
- Interest may be charged at the rate of 10% per annum on any amont outstanding one month after the due date for the invoice.
Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for my fees and expenses, and although my invoices may at your request or with your approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to me if the third party fails to pay me.
I will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that I acquire during the course of acting for you. I will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:
- to the extent necessary or desirable to enable me to carry out your instructions; or
- to the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
- I will not disclose to you confidential information which I hold in relation to any other client.
You may terminate my engagement at any time.
I may terminate my engagement in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers
If my retainer is terminated you must pay all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
5. Retention of files and documents
You authorise me (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that I hold in safe custody for you) 7 years after my engagement ends, or earlier if I have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
6. Conflicts of interest
I have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest. If a conflict of interest arises I 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.
7. Duty of care
My duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any other person may rely on my advice, I must expressly agree to this.
These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not I send you another copy of them.
I am entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case I will send you amended Terms.
My relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.
Information for clients
Set out below is the information required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society ("Law Society").
The basis on which fees will be charged is set out in my letter of engagement.
When payment of fees is to be made is set out in the Standard Terms of Engagement.
2. Professional indemnity insurance
I hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society. I will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.
3. Lawyers' fidelity fund
The Law Society maintains the Lawyers' Fidelity Fund for the purpose of providing clients of lawyers with protection against pecuniary loss arising from theft by lawyers. 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 and 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.
I maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly.
If you have a complaint about my services or charges, please refer your complaint to me in the first instance.
If, I am unable to satisfactorily resolve your complaint within 20 working days from the date you make your complaint known to me in writing, you may refer your complaint to the Law Society. The Law Society operates the Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so, phone 0800 261 801 and you will be connected to the nearest Complaints Service Office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.
5. Person responsible for the work
Unless otherwise specified in my letter of engagement, I will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services to be provided to you as set out in my letter of engagement.
6. Client care and service
The Law Society client care and service information is set out below.
Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing, he or she must:
- Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made.
- Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties.
- Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved.
- Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
- Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.
- Give you clear information and advice.
- Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
- Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
- Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed.
- Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.
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.
If you have any questions, please visit www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.
7. Limitations on extent of my obligations or liability
Any limitations on the extent of my obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability are set out in my letter of engagement