Terms of Engagement and Client Information

1. FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS

(a) Fixed Price Work

For most residential property transactions and for some other work we charge a fixed price which includes legal fees and disbursements paid by us on your behalf and GST.  A list of these prices is available on request and is also found on our website:   www.propertylawauckland.co.nz.

These fixed prices cover the usual legal work and disbursements for such jobs.  Where additional legal work and/or disbursements are required they will be charged in addition to the fixed price.  Such additional work will be charged at the rates shown below for Other Work or at a lower rate at our discretion. Some examples of additional work are listed at the end of the Price List on our website.

For some variations on fixed price transactions (e.g. refinancing of two or more properties together) and for some other jobs we may agree on a fixed price with you or we may provide you with an estimated price.

(b) Other Work

For legal work other than the fixed price work we charge on an hourly basis at the following rates (or lower at our discretion):
Richard Middleton (Principal) $325.00 per hour plus GST
Daniel Nelson (Solicitor) $275.00 per hour plus GST
Jennifer Abrahams (Senior Legal Executive) $225.00 per hour plus GST
Diana King (Senior Legal Executive) $225.00 per hour plus GST
Karen Harris (Senior Legal Executive) $225.00 per hour plus GST
Janet Hafoka (Senior Legal Executive) $225.00 per hour plus GST
Genevieve Tarry (Legal Executive) $180.00 per hour plus GST
Romaine Bousader (Legal Executive) $180.00 per hour plus GST
Shelley Crowie (Legal Executive) $140.00 per hour plus GST

2. Payment

  • For property transactions your fees and disbursements are payable on settlement date and will be deducted by us from funds received for settlement of your transaction.
  • For some longer property jobs and other work we may issue interim invoices. These are payable within fourteen days of the date of the invoice.
  • All other work is invoiced on completion and is to be paid within fourteen days of the invoice date.
  • We reserve the right to require in some cases that a sum of money be paid into our trust account in advance to cover fees and disbursements.

3. Who will Carry out your Legal Work

Your work will be carried out by either the Principal, Richard Middleton or staff solicitor, Daniel Nelson, or by one of our Senior Legal Executives who work under the supervision of Richard Middleton, namely, Jennifer Abrahams, Diana King, Karen Harris or Janet Hafoka.

4. Professional Indemnity Insurance

We hold professional indemnity insurance cover which meets the standard specified by the New Zealand Law Society.

5. Lawyers Fidelity Fund

The New Zealand Law Society maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund to provide additional protection for clients against theft by lawyers.  Claims are limited to $100,000.00. The Fidelity Funds will generally not cover the loss of any money that a lawyer is instructed to invest for the client.

6. Complaints

If you have concerns about the way in which your legal work has been handled please contact our principal, Richard Middleton.   In the unlikely event that we are unable to resolve the matter with you,  the matter may be taken to the Law Society complaints service whose contact details are:

Auckland District Law Society

7. Client Care and Service Information

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 (the rules).  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

Yours faithfully
THE PROPERTY LAW CENTRE