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Terms of Engagement

The following conditions set out the Terms of Engagement upon which we are prepared to act for clients.


We are barristers and solicitors.





We will accept your instructions on the understanding that you have made, and will continue to make, full and frank disclosure of all facts relevant to the matter.

We will only act on your clear instructions. Where instructions cannot be reasonably obtained from you, we will stop work until these are received.

By instructing us, you accept liability to pay any accounts rendered in the process (where applicable). 




It is our general practice to render interim accounts after major events, such as a Court appearance or meetings, to spread the costs of the proceedings. 


Private basis -

All fees charged are based on the New Zealand Law Society requirement that all professional fees shall be fair and reasonable having regard to the interests of both the client and Hine Eagle. The standard rate for private instructions is up to $350 per hour plus GST and will be set out clearly for you as rates differ between counsel. This is not inclusive of disbursements


We charge in 6-minute time minimum increments.

From 1 July 2018, lawyers in New Zealand became subject to statutory obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT). This obliges us to carry out additional work on each file which may include identifying clients, identifying sources of wealth and sources of income, assessing AML/CFT risk in transactions and reporting certain matters to the New Zealand Police Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). Where we are required to carry out AML/CFT work we are entitled to charge a reasonable fee for that work in addition to our fee for the legal work we carry out for you. In particular we note that should we receive a sum of $1,000.00 or more into our trust account from an overseas source, or should we be required to pay a sum of $1,000.00 or more to an off-shore bank account on your behalf then we have prescribed transaction reporting that must be completed to the FIU and we will charge a sum of $200.00 plus GST for reporting on each payment.


Legal Aid basis -

Where a grant of legal aid is made, we charge in accordance with the scale and guidelines that are provided by the Agency and which can be viewed on their website at

We will submit invoices in relation to your grant of aid to the Legal Services Commissioner and they will provide you with updates. The Legal Services Commissioner will write to you about any conditions or repayment obligations that you may have in relation to the grant of legal aid and your rights as an applicant or recipient of legal aid. 

You must let the Legal Services Commissioner know if there is any change in your and your partner’s contact details, employment status, family circumstances or financial detail

Where aid is declined, withdrawn or an application is not submitted, we charge for legal services by time that is expended based on an hourly rate and in accordance with New Zealand Law Society costing criteria. In this instance we will charge as set out in: “2 - How We ChargePrivate basis

Pro Bono basis –

At our discretion we may elect to represent clients on a pro bono basis which means we are applying no fees to the work which we carry out for you. However, if any other fees arise such as (but not limited to) court filing fees or in an instance where an agent is required to act for you then you will be required to pay their fees.


In these instances, you will be presented an invoice and required to pay this as prescribed by the issuer of the invoice.


Home for Life clients –

In this case your accounts will be settled by the Ministry of Social Development. By instructing us on this basis you accept that the Ministry of Social Development will properly fund the proceeding (at a capped fee) and do not require legal aid assistance.





Private basis -

We require payment 7 days after the date shown on the invoice.

Where applicable - You authorise us to deduct our fees and other expenses from funds held in our trust account on your behalf on provision of an invoice to you unless those funds are held for a particular purpose. Please sign and return a copy of the terms of engagement for our records.

*Please note – in any scenario where an agreement has been reached for another party to handle payment on your behalf, and that party does not honor that agreement – you remain responsible for payment to us in accordance with these Terms if the third party fails to pay us.

If you have difficulty paying any account, please discuss this with us.


Legal Aid basis -

If legal aid is granted then they will pay us directly, after we render them an account. They will forward a copy of this account to you in due course.


The Legal Services Commissioner will write to you about any conditions such as a user charge fee or repayment obligations that you may have in relation to the grant of legal aid and your rights as an applicant to or recipient of legal aid. 


You should read these letters carefully and keep them for later reference. 


If aid is not granted, it is our general practice to render interim accounts on a Private basis.



Pro Bono basis -

No payments will be required to be made to us for the work we carry out for you. However, this does exclude disbursements such as (but not limited to):


  • Drug testing 

  • DNA testing

  • Translators

  • Agency fees for representation


Home for Life -

In this instance your accounts will be settled by the Ministry of Social Development.


Unpaid accounts -

Interest can be applied on any unpaid accounts (at our discretion), at 25% per annum, applied monthly on the outstanding amount. Interest will be added accordingly (if it has not been) to any accounts as a recoverable cost if they are forwarded to the Disputes Tribunal or debt collection agency.  


An administration fee of $150 from Hine Eagle and debt collection costs will be added to any unpaid account if forwarded to the Disputes Tribunal, debt collection agency or otherwise.


In the instance a matter is forwarded to The Disputes Tribunal or a debt collection Agency and you dispute any aspect of your invoice, our time to defend any aspect (including preparation and attendances) will be recorded as such and is considered as a recoverable cost. Any other costs (i.e., application fee to Disputes Tribunal etc.) incurred in that process are also considered as recoverable.



We operate a trust account. All money received from you or on your behalf will be held to your credit in our trust account.


Payments out of the trust account will be made either to you or to others with your authority. Written authorisation from you (and if we are acting for more than one of you, from all of you) will be required when payment is to be made to a third party. Before making a payment to another account we 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 you including the bank account details, or a signed letter from the relevant financial institution providing bank account details.


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 your behalf will be provided to you periodically and at any time upon your request.


Unless it is not reasonable or practicable to do so, when we hold significant funds for you for more than a short period of time we will place them on call deposit with a bank registered under section 69 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, subject to your having completed to the bank’s satisfaction any request for information relating to the deposit or certification required by the bank. Interest earned from call deposits, less withholding tax, will be credited to you. 


We will not handle or receive cheques payable to you or on your behalf.


We do not accept any liability for loss arising from non-receipt of any communication, including computer email communications. We are happy to communicate via text message if such suits your needs.



You agree to provide us with all information that we may reasonably require to carry out your instructions and meet our statutory obligations, and for our statistical database purposes.


You are responsible for the accuracy of any information you provide to us and have the right to access and correct the personal information given to us relating to yourself.


You authorise us to collect, disclose and use information from you and third parties so that we may comply with your instructions, meet our statutory obligations, and use this information for our statistical database purposes.


All information you supply will be collected and stored by us for 7 years.


Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right of access to, and correction of, your personal information held by us.


The Financial Transactions Reporting Act requires us to collect from you and retain information required to verify your identity.


Any failure to supply information may result in your instructions not being carried out or not being carried out in full.


Please note that we do not have professional indemnity insurance.


These Terms of Engagement may be amended by us from time to time. These Terms will apply to all future legal work carried out by Hine Eagle for you.



You agree to accept the above terms by instructing Hine Eagle to act for you.




In the case of any dispute, please communicate with us in the first instance.  


You have the right to discuss any issues of concern with the New Zealand Law Society and/or the Legal Services Agency.


Every effort will be made to resolve any disputes with you.


We will retain your file and documents in an electronic format for this matter for a period of seven years beyond the date of the final bill.

You agree thereafter the file may be destroyed. Documents held in our deeds system will be retained indefinitely and at your direction.

We are entitled to retain possession of your papers and documents whilst any bill remains outstanding.



We may cease to act further if: -


  • You fail to pay our costs herein;

  • You fail to provide us with adequate instructions;

  • You decline to accept our advice;

  • We perceive that we have lost your confidence;

  • A conflict of interest comes to our notice;

  • You withhold relevant material or information;

  • Termination is otherwise required for lawful reason.


We will give you reasonable notice of the termination of our instructions.


Where we terminate your instructions, you will be required to pay our charges for work done and for expenses incurred, up to the date of termination.

Updated March 2023

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