Terms of Engagement – Richard Johnstone
My terms of engagement are in accordance with the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 including the basis on which my fees will be charged.
My fees will be on a time and attendance basis and otherwise strictly in accordance with rule 9.1 of the Conduct and Client Care Rules. Fees charged will be discussed and agreed with you at engagement.
Invoices will be rendered in the normal course, monthly or at significant milestones. If the potential for a dispute develops on the matter, or formal steps need to be considered, or I form the view as counsel that it would be in your best interests for an instructing lawyer to be retained, I will discuss with you the potential engagement. If an intermediate lawyer becomes involved new terms of engagement will be issued.
Professional indemnity insurance and limitation of liability
I carry professional liability insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society requirements. My liability will be limited to the amount available under that insurance policy.
Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund
The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund does not provide any cover in relation to a barrister sole, as barristers do not hold or deal with client funds.
Client Care and Service Information
Under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, I am required to provide the following information :
Client Care and Service Information
Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing, he or she 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.
The obligations lawyers owe to clients are described in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008. Those obligations are subject to other overriding duties, including duties to the courts and to the justice system.
If you have any questions, please visit www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.
If you have an issue with or complaint about my legal services, I would prefer to meet with you to discuss the nature of your concerns and the factual or technical basis of your complaint, so that we can attempt to resolve it.
If you do not wish to meet with me to discuss the complaint, or if we meet and are unable to resolve it, then I invite you to refer the complaint to an independent lawyer Peter Maciaszek of Maciaszek Brown Law [firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 366 1681]. I will be guided by any view that Mr Maciaszek takes on the matters referred.
If you do not wish to have the complaint dealt with in that fashion, or if you are not satisfied with my response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint to the New Zealand Law Society by phoning 0800 261 801 or by email to email@example.com.
Protection of electronically stored information
I take the security of personal data seriously and recognise my professional and legal obligations to protect the confidential and personal information received.
My assistant Carol Armstrong and I make frequent use of cloud-based online electronic storage, including Microsoft Office 365, Google Drive and Dropbox. Online cloud storage is never completely secure. If any information provided by you is especially sensitive or confidential, please let me or Carol know, and we can discuss security protocols.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of my terms of engagement, please do not hesitate to phone or email me.