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.
1 - YOUR INSTRUCTIONS
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).
2 - HOW WE CHARGE
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 $300 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.
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 www.lsa.govt.nz.
You may be required to pay a “one-off fee” of $50.00 (gst inclusive) directly to us before work can commence. This fee is known as a user charge fee and where this fee is required to be paid, we will generate an invoice to support this. This is a requirement by most cases granted legal aid and contributes towards our costs.
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Where aid is declined, withdrawn or an application is not submitted, we charge for legal services by time that is expended based on an hourly rate and in accordance with New Zealand Law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 charge – Private 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.
3 - HOW YOU PAY
Private basis -
We require payment 7 days after the date shown on the invoice.
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 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):
Agency fees for representation
Home for Life -
In this instance your accounts will be settled by the Ministry of Social Development.
Our bank account details are:
Hine Eagle Ltd
Unpaid accounts -
Interest can be applied (at our discretion) per month at 25% (of the invoice amount) on any unpaid accounts. 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.
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.
4 - MONEY AND PROPERTY HANDLING PROCEDURES
We do not operate a trust account. Therefore, any settlement proceeds or sums payable to you will be paid direct to you by any other party involved in the proceedings or in the transaction. We will not handle or receive cheques payable to you or on your behalf.
5 - COMMUNICATION
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.
6 - INFORMATION WE NEED TO KNOW
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.
7 - DURATION OF THESE TERMS
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 me for you.
8 - ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS
You agree to accept the above terms by instructing us to act for you.
9 - REVIEW
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.
10 - RETENTION OF CLIENT'S DOCUMENTS
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.
11 - TERMINATION
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 January 2021