We are committed to providing outstanding advice and service to our clients. This document sets out:
Where possible, we will give you an estimate of the likely costs of your work. This will be based on the information you give us about what you need. Before we begin the work, we will give you an estimate of other costs you may have to pay (such as registration fees or Court filing fees). We will let you know if the actual fees are likely to be different from the amount we have estimated.
We do not accept liability for any loss that happens because you did not receive or read a communication we sent you.
When setting our fees we consider:
We give work to staff at the right level to make sure that you get the best value.
We will usually send you invoices every month unless we have agreed a different arrangement.
If we are holding a deposit from you on trust we will take the amount that we invoice you for out of that deposit.
We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except moneys received for payment of our invoices). If we are holding significant funds on your behalf we will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with the bank. In that case we will charge an administration fee of 7% of the interest derived.
Gallie Miles is registered as an NFFE (Non-Financial Foreign Entity) in accordance with the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). If we are to place your funds on Interest Bearing Deposit we will require further information from you to establish if you are a specified US Person. If you fail to supply this information we will be unable to place your monies on interest bearing deposit and you will earn no interest.
While providing services to you, we may have to pay other costs such as filing fees, land registration fees, barristers’ fees, courier costs and travel costs. These other costs are called “disbursements” and we pass them on to you. Depending on your project, disbursements may be the largest part of our invoice. Our invoice will show which part of your invoice total are disbursements. If disbursements are over $250.00 you may be required to put us in funds for these. We charge a separate office disbursements fee to cover the costs for printing, photocopying, and communication charges.
While we are advising you, we may collect and hold personal information about you. We will only use this information:
We keep information about you in Te Awamutu, New Zealand. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to see the information we hold. To arrange to see this information, please speak to your us.
If we receive a request for information from your auditor or accountant, you authorise us to supply the requested information and you agree to pay us our usual fee for doing so.
We currently store all files for seven years. Since October 2015 files are held electronically and stored in the cloud. We may keep your files for longer depending on the type of work we are doing for you.
We only keep the original copies of some documents. Those documents we don’t keep are electronically scanned into our system and the orginals returned to you.
Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand Law and the New Zealand Courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
If we have failed to meet your expectations, please tell us.
We take clients’ complaints seriously, and want to do what we can to put the problem right. If you are unhappy, we encourage you to talk to the person you are dealing with to see whether the problem is simply a misunderstanding. If this does not sort your problem out, contact the supervising partner or Practice Manager.
If you are still not satisfied with the way we have responded to your complaint, you can make a formal complaint to the New Zealand Law Society. Information about this process can be found on the Law Society website.
We have professional indemnity insurance. This insurance covers claims brought against us because of professional negligence. Our insurance meets or goes beyond the minimum standards set out by the New Zealand Law Society. Please ask us if you would like details of the minimum standards.
The New Zealand Law Society’s Solicitors’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund (the Fidelity Fund) gives clients of lawyers, protection against theft by a lawyer or a lawyer’s employee or agent.
For more information about what the Fidelity Fund covers, go to www.lawyers.org.nz
In order for us to comply with the requirements of the new Anti Money Laundering (AML) legislation, we will be obliged to obtain certain personal information from you. This information includes your full name, your date of birth and your address and evidence to verify this information.
Sometimes we may also ask you to pay a deposit based on our estimate of the fees and disbursements. We may choose not to begin work until we receive your deposit, even if there are deadlines to be met.
Deposits are paid into our trust account once we have completed the work. We will take fees and disbursements that we have invoiced you for from the deposit held in our trust account.
So we can give you effective advice, please tell us all relevant information about your matter at the start of our discussions. Instruct us well before deadlines to save money-you will avoid paying expensive urgency costs.
When we give you advice we will consider your particular situation and needs. No-one else may use the advice we give you, unless we agree otherwise. If you instruct us, you are responsible for paying our fee.
Please make sure you pay our invoices on time. Our invoices are due to be paid on the due date shown on the invoice. Please discuss any questions you have about an invoice with us before your payment is due.
In rare circumstances (for example, if you have not paid our invoices), we may be forced to stop acting for you even if there are deadlines to be met. We are entitled to keep your files or documents until you have paid the invoices.
We may charge you interest of 1.5% (18% per annum) each month, calculated daily, on invoices you have not paid by the due date. We may also charge you for the costs of collection and legal fees.
Our core values are important to us and are incorporated into all aspects of our business. Our core values are:
ENJOY – Respect and support each other, have fun, be happy
DO THE RIGHT THING – Be accurate, on time, honest & ethical
SOLVE PROBLEMS – Consider options, find solutions
COMMUNICATE – Listen, tell clients what’s happening, no surprises
If you feel that we have not met our core values please let us know.
New Zealand Law Society’s client care and service information
“Whatever legal services your lawyer provides, they must:
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 to the justice system.
This client information and terms of engagement outline the terms upon which we agree to carry out work for you. Your instructions to us represent acceptance of these terms. We may change our terms from time to time. We will notify you of any changes to our terms.