CLIENT CARE & TERMS

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Legal Fees


The only thing a lawyer has to sell is their time. What you are buying is the time they apply their experience and knowledge to your affairs. A client does not see most of the work, unlike work being carried out by a tradesperson on your home where you can physically watch it occur legal work occurs behind closed doors. The process has been likened to an ice berg. A client sees the tip of the work at the time of a meeting or telephone discussion, however the bulk of the work is carried out below the surface. This makes it difficult for you to assess the cost. Our experience shows that our clients want results. To do this we provide clients with access to experienced and competent Lawyers in all aspects of the law. We are committed to getting a good result for the client. We are very aware of the problem and that clients want to know what costs they are incurring. In most cases we are able to provide estimates and where all the information is known, a quote. Our fees are based on the charge out rates, within the firm these vary depending on the experience and qualifications of the person handling the matter. Our rates range from $120.00 to $450.00 (plus GST) per hour. We are more than happy to discuss these rates with you when your transaction commences. In addition to our fees there will be other charges incurred from time to time. The most common is GST which must be added to our fees and paid to the Government to keep the country running. Depending on the type of transaction you are involved in there will be other charges such as Land Registry charges for property transactions, Court fees for court filing and other charges for office services such as faxes, tolls, photocopying, couriers etc. A common comment from our clients is we realise we are in for a substantial bill, however we do not want “any surprises”. We try hard to prevent surprises, unfortunately the nature of our work sometimes means that we are forced to spend a lot of time on a client’s problem at very short notice. While we endeavour to avoid surprises sometimes a dispute can escalate so quickly it is very difficult to avoid increasing a client’s costs. We will endeavour to discuss the costs involved throughout the transaction, however we must ask our clients to alert us to any concerns.




Terms of Engagement


The Law Society rules require a law firm to provide our Terms of Engagement and other information to clients about the business relationship with clients. Please download our Terms of Engagement and Information for Clients document. Note: this document is updated from time to time and the current version will be on this website. Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism Act 2009 ('AML/CFT Act') Law firms and other professionals must assess the risk of money laundering. To make that assessment we are required to obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. Referred to as Customer Due Diligence ('CDD'). CDD requires us to undertake certain background checks before providing services. In particular, we are required to take reasonable steps to make sure the information we receive from clients is correct. To do this, we will need to obtain and verify certain information from you including; Your full name; AND your date of birth; AND your address. Your New Zealand drivers licence or passport will be sufficient to prove your name and date of birth. A recent bank statement or utility bill will be sufficient to prove your address. If you are seeing us about a matter relating to a company or trust, we will require additional information. For company matters, we will need to conduct CDD on the directors and shareholders. For trust matters, we will need to conduct CDD on the trustees and beneficiaries. Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements. If we are not able to obtain the required information for you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you. Please contact the person undertaking your work, if you have any queries or concerns.




Privacy Policy


We are committed to respecting and protecting the privacy of our clients that use our services and our website. In accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 our Privacy Statement covers:

  • How we collect your personal information
  • Why we collect your personal information
  • How we share your personal information
  • How we store your personal information
  • How you can access and change your personal information
How we collect your personal information We collect your information from:
  • You, when you provide that personal information us through any contact with us e.g. e-mails, phone conversations, forms filled in etc;
  • Third parties, when authorized by you; and
  • Publicly available sources such as the internet.
Why we collect your personal information We collect information concerning you for the purpose of providing legal services, to obtain credit or other references, to undertake credit management and to inform you of issues and developments that may be of interest to you. How we share your personal information We may at times be required to disclose your personal information for purposes such as:
  • A credit reference agency for the purpose of credit checking you;
  • To any business that supports our services and products, including any person that hosts/maintains our IT systems that we use;
  • A person who can require us to supply your personal information (e.g. a regulatory authority)
  • Any other person authorised by the Act or another law (e.g. a law enforcement agency)
  • Any other person authorised by you.
How we store your personal information Information concerning you will be held at our office and is stored, and disposed of, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993, the Official Information Act 1982 and the Public Records Act 2005. We will take reasonable steps to keep your personal information safe from loss, unauthorised activity, or other misuse. We keep your personal information secure through:
  • Training our staff on secure handling of information, including quarterly updates
  • Making regular backups of our data
  • Using secure systems and servers with strong privacy standards and policies to protect data from outside sources
  • Secure storage for physical information.
How you can access and change your personal information Subject to certain grounds for refusal set out in the Act, you have the right to access your readily retrievable personal information that we hold and to request a correction to you rpersoanl information. Before you exercise this right, we will need evidence to confirm that you are the individual to whom the personal information relates. In respect for correction, if we think the correction is reasonable and we are reasonably able to change the personal information, we will make the correction. If we do not make the correction, we will take reasonable steps to note on the personal information that you requested the correction. If you want to exercise either of the above rights, email us at info@lawnorth.co.nz. Your e-mail should provide evidence of who you are and set out the details of your request (e.g. the personal information, or the correction, that you are requesting). We may charge reasonable costs (guided by the Act) for providing to you copies of your personal information or correcting that information. Changes to this policy We may change this policy by uploading a revised policy on this website and updating the Client Terms of Engagement. The change will apply from the date that we upload the revised policy.