Terms of Engagement

How You Can Help Us

We will always do our best to be available or responsive to you, and to provide services technically accurate, timely and based on sound common sense.  You can help us do this by:

  • giving us clear instructions, if possible in writing.
  • telling us if you have any important time limits.
  • making sure we have understood each other – ask if you are not sure about anything.
  • dealing with important questions promptly.
  • keeping in touch with us. Ask for a progress report if you are worried about anything, or do not hear from us when you expect.
  • advising us if you have changed your address or contact numbers.

Fees

We will charge you a fee which is fair and reasonable for the services provided having regard to your interests and our interests.  In determining the fee, the following may be considered:

  • time and labour expended based on an hourly rate.
  • the skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required to perform the services properly.
  • the importance of the matter to you and the results achieved.
  • urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed, including those imposed by you.
  • risk assumed by Cargill Stent Law Limited in undertaking the services including the amount or value of the property.
  • complexity and the difficultly or novelty involved.
  • whether acceptance of the particular instructions will preclude employment by Cargill Stent Law Limited by other clients.
  • whether the fee is fixed or conditional.
  • any quote or estimate given.
  • any fee agreement entered.
  • the fee customarily charged in the market and locality for work similar to yours.

The names and status of the people in our firm who will have the general carriage of /or overall responsibility for the services provided for you are:

Name Position Hourly Rate
Chris Cargill Director $330.00 + GST
Clayton Stent Director $330.00 + GST
Diane Harvey Senior Solicitor $300.00 + GST
Rory Scott Solicitor $250.00 + GST
Cathy Punter Legal Executive $200.00 + GST
Karen Bell Legal Executive $150.00 + GST
Wendy Koenig Legal Executive $150.00 + GST

Besides the fee charged, GST and any other expenses such as government charges, tolls, faxes, photocopying and incidental disbursements will be added to your accounts.  We are happy to give fee estimates on request.

When we receive funds on your behalf, such as in a standard conveyancing transaction, our fees and expenses are deducted upon receipt.  If this arrangement does not suit your specific circumstances, you should discuss this with us so an alternative arrangement can be made.

Although you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for our fees and expenses, and although my invoice may be, at your request or with your approval directed to a third party, you remain responsible for payment if the third party fails to settle the account.

When funds held in our Trust account on behalf of yourself or a third party are of enough amount and required to be held for a period of time, those funds may be placed on interest earning deposit.   The interest earned net of resident withholding tax will be paid out.

Payment Terms

Unless a different arrangement is made with you, payment of any invoice is due within 14 days of invoice.  You can pay any invoice (quoting your client and invoice number reference shown at the top of your invoice) by cash, cheque payable to Cargill Stent Law Limited Trust Account or bank transfer to Cargill Stent Law Limited Trust Account.  Please contact our office for our bank account details.

Interest will be charged on overdue balances at 2% per month.

If your invoice remains unpaid (and we have made no other arrangements with you), steps may be taken to recover monies owing.  Should such steps be necessary, all debt collection fees including any solicitor’s costs as charged at usual rates are also payable by you.  This is a last resort to recover debts and we would prefer we came to a suitable arrangement to avoid debt recovery action being taken.

We reserve the right to stop work if any Invoice remains outstanding and/or if we have reasonable cause to believe that you will not meet the costs of ongoing work being undertaken, or a request for information or action remains unsatisfied.

Termination

You may terminate our retainer. If our retainer is terminated you must pay all fees due up to termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.

Money Handling Procedures

All money we receive in the Trust account will be held in your name.

When funds held in our Trust account on behalf of yourself or a third party are of enough amount and must be held for a period of time, those funds may be placed on interest earning deposit.   The interest earned net of resident withholding tax will be paid out.

Liability

We will provide advice and legal services to you with reasonable skill and care and we acknowledge that (subject to the other exclusions and limitations in these Terms) we will be liable to you for losses, damages, costs or expenses caused by our negligence or wilful default.  Our responsibility shall only extend to the advice and services we provide on matters upon which you have actually instructed us.

We will be reliant upon you for the accuracy and completeness of the information and/or documentation you provide as well as the fact that such information and/or documentation will be provided in good time.  We will not be liable to you for any losses caused wholly or in part by the provision by you of false, misleading or incomplete information or documentation or due to the acts or omissions of any person(s) other than ourselves.  Where you have concerns which are particular to you and not of general application it is your responsibility to advise us.

In the event that you are being advised by one of several professionals and a limitation of liability has been agreed in relation to one or more of them, you agree that our liability to you will not be increased due to the limitation of liability agreed by you with other advisers.  Our liability to you under or in connection with our engagement shall be limited to that proportion of the total losses (after taking into account your contributory negligence, if any) determined to be just and equitable having regard to the extent of our responsibility for the losses in question.

Where our advice involves an assessment or legal or commercial risk we will use reasonable efforts to provide you with as accurate an assessment as possible, but you agree to accept any such assessment as an expression of our opinion only and not a statement of fact.  You agree that any decision to rely upon any assessment of risk made by us is solely your responsibility and that unless our assessment is shown to have been made negligently, you agree that we will not be liable to you for any losses which you may incur as a result of any reliance placed by you on such opinions.

Clients Files and Documents

Cargill Stent Law Limited are required to retain your file (including electronic) records for at least seven years after the date of final invoice.  After that time these records may be destroyed, except for any documents we agree to hold for you in safe custody.  Records of all investment money and investment property will be kept in accordance with the Solicitors Trust Account Regulations, the Solicitors Trust Account Rules, and the Privacy Act 1993.  Records of your transactions through our Trust account are stored in computerised form.  You may have access to all records relating solely to your investment money without charge during normal business hours.

Tax Legislation Compliance

So that we may comply with Inland Revenue Department taxation requirements, if you are buying, selling or transferring property in New Zealand you must provide to us at the onset of your transaction your personal IRD number and/or that of any relevant Company or Trust.  We will also require your taxpayer identification number from any overseas countries where you are a tax resident (if applicable).

FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – Collection of US Tax Information only), GATCA Global Version of FATCA, CRS (Common Reporting Standards – Collection of all Foreign Tax Information)

We are required by law to comply with the above legislation and supply to our Bank (Westpac) if requested, all necessary information, declarations and supporting information pertaining to FATCA, GATCA and CRS.

As part of your engagement with us and to enable us to meet these requirements, you agree to provide us with all relative information and consents as and when requested.

Privacy and Confidentiality

All staff engaged at Cargill Stent Law Limited will treat all information held about you as private and confidential and will not disclose any information held on your behalf or about you unless required to do so by law or where it is necessary to do so to provide services to you or when requested by you or with your consent.

Conflicts of Interest and Duty of Care

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.

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.

Lawyers Fidelity Fund

This Fund exists to provide compensation for clients who suffer a pecuniary loss in certain circumstances.  These circumstances are the theft by a lawyer of money or other valuable property entrusted to that lawyer while they are providing legal services to the public or while they are acting as a solicitor-trustee.  It should be noted that the fund will not pay compensation in respect of money instructed to be invested on your behalf.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Cargill Stent Law Limited hold current Professional Indemnity Insurance which meets the minimum standards from time to time specified by the New Zealand Law Society.

Complaints

We will provide you with a competent, timely service following your instructions, but if you have any complaint or query at all about our service please raise the matter with either the legal representative from Cargill Stent Law Limited, the Directors or our Practice Manager, Jeni Dale. Any complaint will be dealt with promptly and fairly and if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you have the right to take the matter up with the New Zealand Law Society which runs a complaints service.

General

  1. These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.
  2. We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.
  3. Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand Law.