Terms AND CONDITIONS of Engagement

These terms and conditions of engagement ("terms") apply in respect of all work carried out by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd for the client ("you"), except to the extent that Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd otherwise agrees with you in writing.

1.     Legal Services

The legal services of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd provided to you are outlined in a Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd engagement letter. Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will only act on your clear instructions. Where you cannot or will not provide such instructions Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will cease work until these are received and cannot accept any liability. By instructing Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd you accept full liability to pay the invoice that Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will render for work done and for all agency, expenses, taxes and disbursement costs incurred in respect of your instructions.  If Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd provides professional services to you for the purposes of a business, or in relation to your business, you acknowledge that, pursuant to Section 43 of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (“the Act”), the provisions of the Act shall not apply with respect to such professional services.

 

2.     Information

You agree to immediately provide all information which you have in your possession, at all times, about any matter in which we act for you. You confirm you have provided us with full disclosure of all relevant matters. Should any information come to your attention at any time after your first consultation with us, you agree to immediately provide it to Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd.  If at any time it eventuates that you have not provided full disclosure to Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd on any matter, your retainer may be immediately terminated by us.  You also agree that we are not liable in anyway whatsoever for any negligence or contributory negligence, damages, costs, consequential losses, penalties, interest, RLWT, taxes or any other matter should our advice and/or representation have a detrimental impact on you in anyway whatsoever whether that arises out of your non-disclosure or not.

 

3.     Communication

Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will regularly liaise with you regarding the progress of your matters.  While we will deal with your matter promptly, we set the timeframe within which we will progress or complete your matter based on our current staff and client workloads and deadlines.  Where we cannot meet our timeframes, because of the delays caused by third parties such as agents, financial institutions or government organisations, we will keep you informed of progress.  

 

4.     Confidentiality

Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will hold in strict confidence all information and documentation we acquire through our work for you, except to the extent necessary or desirable to carry out your instructions, or where required to disclose it by law and/or Court order, or to the extent required by the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.  We cannot disclose to you any information we hold in relation to any other client.  Where we provide an electronic service to you or communicate by electronic means, you consent to this. We will take every reasonable precaution to ensure the communications are accurate, reliable, adequate, complete, confidential and secure. However, emails are susceptible to corruption, interception and unauthorised amendment. Certain risks therefore exist that are outside our control and you accept these. We do not accept liability for any such occurrence or the consequences thereof and you agree to hold us harmless.  We also exclude all warranties to the extent permitted by law.

 

5.     Ownership of File/Copyright/Lien

All files, documents and other written documents prepared by us on your behalf are the property of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd at all times until paid for by you in full. You are entitled to copies at your expense at our usual rates. Copies of file contents will not be provided to you unless our fees and disbursements have been paid in full and/or you have reimbursed us for expenses relating to providing a copy of the file to you. We will provide you with a PDF copy only by email.  Original documents will be couriered to you at your expense. Where work done by us remains unpaid, as a general rule Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd retains the right to a lien over those documents.  Where you instruct another firm, that firm cannot uplift our files and documents until either all of our outstanding fees, disbursements, taxes and expenses are paid in full or that firm provides us with their undertaking to make payment on your behalf on a date we agree to.  

 

6.     Fees

Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd fees are charged on the basis that they are fair and reasonable, having regard to the circumstances of the matter, the nature of the work you have asked us to carry out for you and our expertise and experience. Our senior lawyer hourly rate is $500.00 per hour plus any disbursements and expenses, plus GST. Our rates may be subject to change without any further notice to you. Our fees are charged in accordance with NZLS guidelines and are based on: time spent, expertise, importance, complexity, novelty, value of property involved, urgency, the reasonable cost of running a law practice, the result, importance to you and number and complexity of the documents prepared or perused. Each author has a charge out rate and keeps a record of all time spent working for you. Our timesheets are for internal purposes only and we are not obliged to provide a copy of these to you.  Our invoices will describe the work done and expenses/disbursements incurred. Our rates may differ from advertising material or any other place and under no circumstances are we are obligated to honour old rates.  Separate charges will be made for other expenses as set out below. Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd fees are to be paid in New Zealand dollars only.

 

7.     Expenses/Disbursements/GST

We also charge for ancillary services provided such as photocopying, telephone calls and postage charges and this may be charged as a set fee plus GST.  We also charge all disbursements and travel expenses incurred on your behalf. We will notify you if any fees or disbursements need to be paid for in advance.  All expenses/disbursements incurred on your behalf will be charged to you.  Expenses and disbursements can include file opening fees (including charges for postage, tolls, scans, photocopying), AML client due diligence checks, courier fees, court filing fees, Kiwisaver applications, water rate requests, company office searches, council searches, PPSR searches, LINZ search and registration fees, levies, edealing administration fee, payments of REA or other commissions, preparing undertakings, solicitor’s certificates, transfer of building guarantees, reviews of LIMs, building, toxicology reports, bank requirements for loans/securities, Kiwisaver and/or HNZ documentation, preparing agreements, notices of sale, minutes, resolutions, agreements, agency fees, registrations, travel expenses (for both our time and our mileage), excess postage, toll calls, faxes, photocopying, scanning, forms, stationery, file retrieval costs, software, library costs, drafting and reviewing costs, submitting documents, government charges, bank charges, original documents filed in our deeds register, and any other incidentals we deem necessary to carry out your instructions to us.  We may charge a margin on expenses to cover our administration costs.  Where monies are held in our trust account on interest bearing deposit for you, we charge an administration fee of 5% of the gross interest earned. GST is payable on all fees and disbursements and expenses except LINZ charges.  

 

8.     Estimate of Fees

If we do not know how significant the work involved will be, it is impossible for us to estimate a fee.  Where possible we will give you an estimate of the fees involved (which is GST exclusive and does not include any disbursements or expenses which are additional) and is based on a “best guess” basis.  If, however the work does not proceed as expected by us, or is much more complicated than anticipated, Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd reserves the right to charge for all additional work done to complete the work. This will be based on the Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd hourly rate advised to you either in these terms or in our letter of engagement.  If our engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will charge this for the agreed scope of our services. Work that we reasonably believe falls outside that scope will be charged at our hourly rate advised to you in these terms or in our letter of engagement.  We will advise you as soon as practicable where additional work is required outside the agreed scope.    

 

9.     Trust Account - Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd

Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd maintains a trust account for all funds which it receives from clients. You agree pursuant to rule 3.4(a) of the Rules of Client Care and Conduct that upon invoice, you provide your irrevocable authority that our fees may be deducted from funds held in our trust account for you. You also provide your irrevocable authority to us to request from any other solicitor who holds funds in their trust account for you, in respect of matters relating to work done by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd, to advance all fees/disbursements/expenses/taxes to us in full immediately upon their receipt of our invoice.   We retain the right to immediately set off any credit funds held in our trust account on your behalf, against any fees or expenses which we have incurred on your behalf or any other monies which may be owed by you to us. You agree that any monies placed in trust for the advance payment of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd fees are for the sole purpose of payment of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd fees and no other purpose. Where your matter results in the payment of funds into our trust account, you give us irrevocable authority to lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit (when and at our discretion) if we deem this to be in your best interest and in compliance with our professional obligations and you authorise us to deduct an administration charge of 5% of the interest derived and/or deduct our fees, expenses, disbursements and other charges prior to the funds being distributed to you.

 

10.   Security

As we are not obligated to provide credit services to clients, Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd may also ask you to pre-pay some or all of our fees to us in advance or provide us with security for the payment of our fees and expenses.  We may request an interim advance payment of a portion of our fees before commencing any work for you.  This may apply to new or existing clients.  Funds paid in advance for our fees will be deposited to our trust account and you irrevocably authorise us to immediately use those funds deposited into our trust account to make payment of our disbursements/fees/taxes and expenses immediately upon us rendering an invoice to you by email to the email address known by us.

 

11.   Companies/Trusts/Estates

If you are instructing us in the capacity as a partner, director, shareholder, settlor, trustee or executor/administrator of an estate, your instructions are accepted on the basis that you remain at all times  personally liable (along with the company, trust, estate, limited partnership) to pay Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd  fees, disbursements, expenses and gst.  Where a director, trustee, executor, administrator or partner provides us with a personal guarantee for a company, partnership, trust or estate, you acknowledge you have received the opportunity to seek independent legal advice but have chosen to waive your right.  Where there is one or more parties instructing Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd, liability is on a joint and several basis.

 

12.   Credit Policy

We are not obligated to provide clients with credit facilities but if in our sole discretion we choose to, we may allocate a credit limit to you and which will be confidential between you and Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd and is the total amount that Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will allow to be owed by you, or due to us at any time, and able to be increased or decreased or withdrawn by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd at any time in our sole discretion and without notice to you. We may stop working for you, (and instruct others to stop working for you) if your credit limit is exceeded and payment is not received by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd when invoiced to you. You authorize any person, third party, agency to provide Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd with your confidential credit information at your expense at any time for the purpose of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd assessing your creditworthiness.  

 

13.   Agreement to Mortgage

In consideration of the provision by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd of professional legal services and extending credit to you pursuant to these terms, you agree to mortgage all your estate and interest in all real estate owned by you from time to time. Pursuant to this agreement to mortgage, you irrevocably grant to Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd a power of attorney to execute and register on behalf of you a registerable mortgage in the form customarily employed by solicitors practicing in the Auckland District to secure all unpaid fees, expenses and disbursements and taxes owed by you.  

 

14.   Billing& Payment & Interest

We will regularly issue interim invoices while work is in progress with a final invoice upon completion of your work. If your work is going to extend over a longer period of time, Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will bill you on a monthly basis.  If so, invoices will be calculated on the time spent on your matter.  Payment terms are set out on our invoice. Unless otherwise agreed to before-hand in writing by us, all fees/disbursements/expenses/taxes must be paid in full immediately upon an invoice being rendered to you by email.  We reserve the right to stop working on all matters where accounts are overdue. Until all outstanding monies owing to us are paid in full, it is acknowledged by you that we have no obligation to provide or forward originals or copies of any file, documentation or deeds.  Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd may charge interest to you at the rate of 25% per annum on all outstanding sums until all outstanding sums, plus any accrued interest and collection costs (if any) are paid in full.  Interest will be calculated monthly and applied to your account. You can pay our invoice by internet banking payable to Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd Trust Account at ASB Bank, Account number 12-3122-0374100-02.

 

15.   Non-Payment& Jurisdiction

Where accounts remain unpaid and an arrangement for the payment of outstanding fees and disbursements is not agreed to by us in writing, we may charge you our reasonable costs and disbursements (including any legal fees and court costs we may incur on a full solicitor/client basis) required to recover any and all outstanding fees and disbursements, as well as all interest incurred.  If Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd is acting for you in any litigation and it becomes necessary to withdraw as your Counsel due to the non-payment of fees, you will meet all costs associated with Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd withdrawing as Counsel, including Court filing fees and our time/travel costs for making any such application to the Court.  If it is necessary for Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd to file legal proceedings against you for any reason including a default by you in payment, we reserve the right to file Court proceedings in the Court closest to Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd, or of our choice.

 

16.   Termination

Where you give us any instruction and we rely on that instruction (for example by giving an undertaking to a third party) you may not revoke that instruction.  Otherwise, you may terminate our retainer on reasonable notice at any time. We may also terminate our retainer at any time in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.  If our retainer is terminated you must pay all fees and expenses and disbursements due and incurred up to the date of termination. If our engagement is terminated, by either party, these terms continue to apply in respect of your instructions on  any matter. If our account is not paid by the required date, we may cease working on your matter until payment is received. Alternatively, we may cease working for you altogether. We retain full custody of your papers or files until our account is paid in full (including interest and expenses). In the event that the engagement is terminated by either party, you will pay all fees (including any un-rendered accounts to the point of termination date) and expenses/disbursements. Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will not be liable for any costs incurred by you from third parties as a result.

 

17.   Legal Aid

You may be eligible for legal aid (either criminal or civil).  If so, it is your sole responsibility to apply and ensure you have provided all the information required by the Ministry of Justice to consider your application.  If the Ministry determines that you are not eligible for legal aid but work has been commenced by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd at your instruction, you will liable for all our professional fees, expenses(including taxes), disbursements, travel costs, collection costs and interest that is not covered by a legal aid application or for any time spent applying for legal aid for which you are not successful. You acknowledge that you have been advised by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd a charge to repay the cost of legal services may be taken over any property you own now or in the future or you may be required to repay from your income and you acknowledge we are required to comply with instructions we receive from the Ministry to apply a caveat or any other registerable instrument against any property that you may own now or in the future.

 

18.   Privacy Act 2020

If we need to take any legal or debt collection action to obtain payment of our fees, disbursements and/or expenses from you, you irrevocably authorise us to collect, retain, use and provide your personal information to third parties, agents and agencies for the purpose of a) ascertaining your creditworthiness and for b) debt collection purposes  in the event of your nonpayment of any monies owed to us, and c) to disclose and register your non-payment as a default with any debt collection agency of our choice whether collected by us or third parties, and register that default and any matter pertaining to your credit worthiness and the collection of our unpaid fees, expenses and disbursements pursuant to provisions contained in the Privacy Act 2020.  

 

19.   Retention of Files & Documents

You authorise us (without any further contact with you)to destroy all files and documents for any matter you instruct us on seven years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to electronic format, except for AML, FATCA, CRS, OIO & LINZ Authority & Instruction forms which we are required to retain for 10 years.  Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd will hold certain deeds and documents in safe custody for you. Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd periodically audits the deeds and documents held and in the event that Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd believe that certain deeds and documents have expired then you will be notified at your last known address to uplift the deed or document. If Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd does not receive any response from you within a time frame set by us, you irrevocably authorise us to destroy the deed or document.

 

20.   Conflicts of Interest

We have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest.  If a conflict of interest arises we will advise you of this and follow the requirements and procedures set out in the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

 

21.   Duty of Care

Our duty of care is to the client(s) named in our letter of engagement.  We do not owe any duty of care to any other person and/or entity. If any other person wishes to rely on our advice, they can only do so with our express written agreement.

 

22.   Cancellation and Non-Attendance Charges

Cancellations are to be made at least 24 hours prior to a scheduled appointment.   Cancellations made without 24 hours’ notice may incur a charge of 50% of our hourly rate notified in these terms.  If no cancellation is made and a scheduled appointment is not attended, 100% of the usual hourly fee may be chargeable to you.

 

23.   Financial Advisors Act 2008 – What We Cannot Do for You

We are not financial advisers regulated by the Financial Advisors Act 2008 or the Overseas Investment Act 2005. We are not permitted to give you financial advice but may need to refer to or comment on your financial arrangements when this is incidental to the legal advice, we are giving you. If you need financial advice, you must engage an authorised or registered financial adviser. We can assist you to identify the level of advice you need. We also do not provide accounting or tax advice. We only provide tax dispute advice under the Tax Administration Act 1994.  We do not provide any GST or income tax advice under the GST Act or the Income Tax Act.   We can assist you to identify what type of  advice you may need and refer to you a reputable chartered accountant.  

 

24.   Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT Act”)

Under the AML/CFT Act we are required to:

  • Conduct ongoing due diligence investigations to verify your identity, the identity of any person acting on your behalf, or the identity of any shareholder, trustee or beneficiary (if you are a company or trust).
  • Report suspicious activities with the Financial Intelligence Unit.

In compliance with all legislation, you irrevocably authorise and agree we can verify your identity and address, and authorise the same for all offices held including as director, shareholder, trustee, partner, beneficiary, executor, settlor.  Identity verification will include the collection of information and documents from you and reliable independent sources. The information required may include identity verification includes full name, date of birth, address or registered office, company identifier, nature/purpose of business, and source of funds/wealth. We may ask for other information.  Under the AML/CFT Act we are not required to disclose any information to any other party that is a privileged communication. Communication is deemed not privileged if there is a prima facie case that it is made/received/compiled or prepared for a dishonest purpose or to enable or if the commission of an offence, or if the information relates to financial transactions recorded in our trust account. If we, at our sole discretion, deem any source of wealth to be suspicious and/or it cannot be adequately verified by you/us, you agree we can unilaterally and immediately terminate our engagement with you without any consultation with you.  

 

25.   General

Upon receipt of your instructions (whether verbal or written) or receipt of a draft or signed agreement from you or an agent, you are deemed to have instructed us to act for you and you have accepted all rates, terms and conditions even if you have not been provided with our rates and/or these terms or signed them. Our terms apply at all times, and in all future matters whether or not you receive an amended version. We reserve the right to change our terms from time to time and we may not notify you of those changes.  By instructing us, you are deemed to have accepted all future amendments. 

Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and the New Zealand Courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.  Any dispute concerning these terms, or our work for you, is to be resolved in the New Zealand courts under New Zealand law. The Managing Director of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd is Gina Jansen.  In these terms, “we”, “us”, “our” and “the firm” means Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd and “you” means you, the client.  Where you are a company or other corporate or unincorporated entity, we act only for the person who instructed us. We do not act for the shareholders, other directors or members or the beneficiaries of any Trust unless we expressly agree otherwise. We may require personal guarantees to be executed by any or all director(s) and/or trustee(s). Where only one director/trustee executes a personal guarantee, the guarantee given by one trustee/director/partner/executor will bind all other directors/trustees/partners/executors on a joint and several basis whether or not they individually agreed to the terms.

 

CLIENT INFORMATION

We are committed to complying with the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers (“RCCC”).  To assist you, the following information describes some key elements of those rules and explains rights you have as a consumer of legal services.

 

26.   Client Care and Service

Whatever legal services we are providing, we 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.

These obligations are subject to other overriding duties, including our duty to the Courts and the justice system of New Zealand.

 

27.   Your Commitment to Us

In return for the commitment, we make to you, you will:

  • Provide full honest disclosure of all relevant information and matters from the outset and during the entire time of our representation, in a timely way and required by us to facilitate our ethical and professional ability to act on your behalf.
  • Comply with all New Zealand legislation and AML, FATCA and CRA and tax legislation.
  • Promptly advise us, particularly if anything changes, with respect to your instructions.
  • Agree to pay our fees, expenses and disbursements upon invoice in full and without delay.
  • Promptly advise us if you wish us to stop working on your behalf, at which point you will be liable for the fees, disbursements and expenses incurred on your behalf up to that date.

 

28.   People Responsible for the Work

The names and status of the person(s) who have overall responsibility for your work will be set out in our letter of engagement.

29.   Complaints

We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly and by a senior staff member of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd.  If you have any concerns or complaints about staff, or actions taken by Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd, or our fees, please contact our Managing Director, Gina Jansen in the first instance by email to gina@ginajansen.co.nz or phoning (09) 8695820. We are committed to resolving any issues as soon as possible. The New Zealand Law Society (“NZLS”) also operates a complaints service and you can contact them on 0800261 801 or by emailing complaints@lawsociety.org.nz or PO Box 5041, Wellington 6140 or Level 4, 17 Whitmore Street, Wellington. We strongly encourage our clients to raise issues with us first.

 

30.   Professional Indemnity Insurance

We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by NZLS.

 

31.   Lawyers Fidelity Fund

NZLS maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund for the purpose of enabling clients of lawyers with protection against pecuniary loss arising from theft by lawyers.  There are maximum amounts payable under the LCA.  We refer clients to the NZLS website in respect of information relating to the Fidelity Fund.  https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/professional-practice/client-care-and-complaints/lawyers-fidelity-fund/.

 

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