Terms of Engagement
Client Care Charter – Our Commitment to Clients
At Robinson Law, we are committed to doing our best to ensure that your legal needs are met in. We will:
1. Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties.
2. Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved.
3. Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made.
4. Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
5. Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
6. Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
7. Give you clear information and advice.
8. Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed.
9. Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.
10. 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 the justice system. If you have any questions, please contact us on 07 3072092 or the Law Society on 0800 261 801 or lawsociety.org.nz.
People responsible for your work
Either Suzanne Robinson or Pete Marshall will be the director with overall responsibility for your work, depending on your preference or the type of matter involved from time to time.
Our legal executive Helen Nu’u also assists with any conveyancing required. Our staff solicitor Mehrdad Hojabri deals primarily with Family Law matters and disputes. We also have two support staff, Margot and Carol dealing primarily with office administration.
The basis of our charges
Unless agreed otherwise our fees are based on the range of factors applied by the NZ Law Society, including time, expertise, importance, urgency and results achieved. The current hourly rate of our directors is $315.00 plus GST. These rates may change from time to time, and a full list of the rates of any lawyers working for you is available at any time. We also charge for disbursements (court fees, registrations, duties/levies etc) and travel expenses incurred on your behalf.
We issue interim accounts, usually monthly, while work is in progress, with a final bill on completion. Current payment terms are set out on invoices from time to time, and unless otherwise stated are due for payment within 14 days. If not paid in full within 14 days, we reserve the right to charge interest on any outstanding balance, at the rate specified on the invoice. We may deduct from funds held on your behalf any fees, disbursements or expenses for which we have provided an invoice. This usually happens for conveyancing matters.
Professional indemnity insurance & fidelity fund
We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds standards specified by the Law Society. The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund also provides a limited form of cover 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 $100,000.00. 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 a client.
Retention of Files and Documents
You authorize us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that we hold in safe custody for you) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and document to an electronic format.
If you have any concerns or complaints that you prefer not to raise with the director named above with overall responsibility for this matter, please contact our other director personally. We are committed to resolving any issues as soon as possible.
You can also contact the NZ Law Society’s Lawyers’ Complaints Service, at 26 Waring Taylor Street, PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145, Tel (04) 472 7837 or (0800) 261 801, Fax (04) 473 7909.
When matters are completed, we will advise you accordingly and forward you statements and a brief summary of the work undertaken if we have not already done so. Where appropriate we will also identify any future action that may be required or recommended.
We value your instructions and look forward to being able to assist you with your legal requirements. In the meantime, please retain this letter as the basis of our relationship and our service to you and do not hesitate to contact us with any queries.