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Terms of Engagement

Dermot Ross & Co - Finance and corporate law

February 2015
These terms of engagement apply except where we otherwise agree with you in writing.

Duty of care

Before we undertake any significant work on a matter, we may confirm our understanding of your instructions in an engagement letter or email.  Our duty of care is to our client named in our confirmation of instruction.  Those duties do not extend to others.   No other party may rely on our advice unless we expressly agree.  Services to entities related to or associated with you will be provided on these terms.


We will hold all information that we acquire during the course of acting for you, and which concerns your business or your instructions to us, in strict confidence.  We will not disclose confidential information which we have in relation to any other client to you.


Unless we both otherwise agree, our fees will be charged at hourly rates on the basis that they will be fair and reasonable, having regard to factors set out in rule 9.1 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduction and Client Care) Rules 2008.

We will be happy to, and ordinarily will, give estimates of likely fees for a matter.  Where an estimate is given, it is a guide only.

We do not charge for office services (such as routine photocopying); however, we do charge for actual out of pocket expenses.

Unless we both otherwise agree, we will send interim invoices, usually monthly and on completion of a matter, or on termination of our engagement.  Our invoices will include any New Zealand Goods and Services Tax where applicable.

Unless we both otherwise agree, invoices are payable within 14 days of the date of the invoice.

Although in some instances you may expect to be reimbursed by a third party for our fees and expenses, and although our invoices may at your request or with your approval be directed to a third party, nevertheless you remain responsible for payment to us if the third party fails to pay us.

Our fees are payable in full by no later than 14 days after the date of invoice, except as otherwise may be agreed between us and you.

Amounts owing to us which are not paid by the due date will, at our sole discretion, bear interest from the due date to the date of payment in full at a rate equal to 4% per annum above the rate payable by us to our bankers on debit amounts from time to time.

Conflict of interest

If a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest between your interests and those of other clients we will consult with you about the best way to resolve the matter.


You may terminate our engagement at any time except where we have relied on an instruction given by you (for example, by giving an undertaking to a third party).  We may terminate our engagement in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.  If our engagement is terminated, you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.  Upon termination of our engagement these terms continue to apply in respect of your instructions.

Document destruction

Subject to any legal requirement, we will retain the file that we create for your work on any one matter for a minimum of seven years after we finish working for you on a matter. We may hold that file electronically rather than physically. After that time we may destroy the file without contacting you.

This does not apply to documents which by agreement we hold in safe custody for you.

If you wish to retain all or part of the paper file (where we have held one), please advise us in writing before the matter is completed.

Electronic services

Unless we both agree otherwise, we may communicate with you by electronic means. We take normal precautions to ensure that those services and communications are reliable and secure, however internet based services present risks that are outside of our control. Consequently, we cannot and do not represent that those services and communications will always be reliable, complete, confidential and secure. We exclude all warranties to the extent permitted by law.

No Trust Account

We do not maintain a trust account.


These terms of engagement apply to any future instruction, whether or not we send you another copy of them. There is no need for you to sign these terms. You accept them by maintaining our engagement after receiving them. We may change these terms from time to time. In addition, they will be deemed to be changed where necessary to comply with the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct in force from time to time.

Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have exclusive jurisdiction.