Client Information and Terms of Engagement
MAUDE & MILLER
INFORMATION FOR CLIENTS
Set out below is the information required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society (“Law Society”).
1. Fees – the basis on which fees will be charged is set out in our Letter of Engagement of Legal Services. When payment of fees is to be made is set out in our Standard Terms of Engagement.
We may deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our Trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance – we hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society. We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.
3. Lawyers Fidelity Fund – the Law Society maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund for the purposes of providing clients of lawyers with protection 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 & 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 the client.
4. Complaints – We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly.
If you have a complaint about our services or charges, you may refer your complaint to the person in our firm who has overall responsibility for your work.
If you do not wish to refer your complaint to that person, or you are not satisfied with that person’s response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to Andy Soper, Managing Partner.
The Law Society maintains a complaints service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so you should contact the Law Society, PO Box 494, Wellington; Telephone Number: (04) 472 8978.
5. Persons Responsible for the Work – the names and status of the person or persons who will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our Letter of Engagement and Legal Services.
6. Client Care and Service - the Law Society client care and service information is set out below:
Whatever legal service 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
· 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 their 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 to the justice system.
If you have any questions, please visit www.lawyers.org.nz.
7. Limits on our Liability to you
7.1 Except where otherwise provided by Law, the total amount that we have to pay to you if we are found liable for any loss or damage is the minimum amount set by the New Zealand Law Society. The limit applies whatever you are claiming for and however the liability arises.
7.2 If you are more than one person (such as a couple or partnership) this maximum is the maximum combined amount that we have to pay you together.
7.3 If you engage us to do work for the purposes of a business, you agree the Consumer Guarantees Act does not apply. Otherwise, nothing in this paragraph limits any rights you may have under that Act.
7.4 We are not liable for any loss or liability because:
· we relied on information provided by you or any third party;
· you did not provide us with all information required for your instructions or the scope of our work;
· you did not receive or read a communication we sent you.