Terms of Engagement

Our service commitment

At Crengle Shreves & Ratner, we are committed to ensuring we meet your legal needs in each matter.  In doing so, we strive to provide you with first-class service, within agreed time frames, and at a reasonable cost. This means we will:

  • Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved;
  • Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made;
  • Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided;
  • Give you information, advice and documents that are clear, excellent and in plain English;
  • Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed;
  • Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed;
  • Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality;
  • Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or loyalties;
  • Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination; and
  • 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.  Those obligations are subject to other overriding duties, including duties to the courts and the justice system. If you have any questions, please contact us on (04) 473 6655 or the NZ Law Society on 0800 261 801 or www.lawsociety.org.nz.

Billing arrangements

To help you budget we will issue interim accounts, usually monthly, while work is in progress, with a final bill on completion. Our invoices are due for payment within 14 days, unless otherwise agreed. We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the same rate as our bankers would charge us for unsecured overdraft facilities at the relevant time. If we treat the transaction as being zero rated for GST purposes, but the Department of Inland Revenue later assesses us for GST in respect of our work on the transaction, we reserve the right to bill you for the amount of such tax.

Limitation of liability

Unless we have made express arrangements with you in writing to the contrary, in all circumstances of whatever nature and however arising (including for negligence or breach of contract), our maximum liability to you (including for interest and costs, if any) will be no more than the amount of our professional indemnity insurance cover for that matter.

Complaints

If you have any concerns or complaints, please let us know.  If you prefer not to raise these with the partner who did the work, please contact either of the other partners.  We are committed to resolving any issues as soon as possible. You can also contact the NZ Law Society’s Lawyers’ Complaints Service, at P O Box 494, Wellington 6140, Tel (0800) 261 801, Fax (04) 471 0375 or by email to complaints@lawsociety.org.nz.

Completion

When a matter is completed, we will advise you and provide a brief summary of the work undertaken if we have not already done so.  Where appropriate we will also identify any necessary future action that may be required. We will hold all files and documents for 7 years after completion, after which they will be destroyed.  We may destroy paper copies earlier, if we have first converted them to an electronic format.