Terms and Conditions
Terms of Engagement
Terms of Engagement
These are our standard terms of engagement. They apply for each matter where you instruct us to act for you unless varied by written agreement and your instructions will be deemed to be acceptance of these terms.
The Scope And Quality Of Work
We commit to providing you with the best services possible where the advice given will be based on our experience and professional judgement. This should not be taken as a guarantee regarding outcomes. Our duty of care is to you. Before any other person may rely on our advice we must expressly agree to this.
Managing Your File
The names and status of the person or persons who will have overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our letter of engagement. To manage your matter efficiently and cost effectively, please provide us with:
• Clear instructions, if possible in writing.
• Your expectations including your desired outcome, and any changes in these.
• All information and correspondence relevant to the matter.
• Important time constraints for completing the work.
• The name(s) of anyone else who has authority to give instructions on your behalf.
• Your current contact details.
Please do not hesitate to ask us to clarify any aspect that you may be unsure of.
The setting of fees is dependent on a number of factors and the manner in which they will be arrived at are set out in our engagement letter. Estimating fees is dependent on: the complexity, importance and urgency of a matter; the skill, specialised knowledge, responsibility and risk involved; the results achieved; and the time expended by relevant staff including their experience, reputation and ability. All court attendances are billed as per the hourly rates given in our acceptance document.
Estimates are a guide to the costs that may be incurred on a matter. They are not a quote or maximum fee. We will keep you regularly updated on the progress of your matter and will advise you in advance whether the fee estimate needs to be adjusted. Estimates will normally be for our fee plus the expenses and disbursements we will incur on your behalf, and will exclude GST.
If the engagement letter specifies a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of our services. Work which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly rate basis. We will advise you as soon as reasonably practicable if it becomes necessary for us to provide services outside the agreed scope and if requested, give you an estimate of the likely amount of the further costs.
Disbursements And Expenses
In providing services we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. GST is payable by An internal disbursement recovery fee of 10% of the total GST exclusive fee will be charged. This fee will typically include disbursements such as photocopying, faxes, couriers, national telephone toll calls and mobile telephone calls that do not exceed $10 each.
We will invoice you all third party disbursements as they are incurred. Where any of these disbursement costs exceed $150 we may ask for a payment in advance before we commence the work. Where an independent professional advisor is required to be engaged, it is expected that this fee will be paid by you prior to their engagement; or an independent arrangement be made between you and the independent professional concerned. In the event that your matter proceeds to court, we will require to charge to cover the preparation and time in court. We will advise you of this by telephone and/or in writing and will provide you with our account details so that payment can be made by direct debit.
It is our practice to bill on a monthly basis where the matter is ongoing and on completion of the matter or on termination of our engagement. Invoices are payable within 3 working days of the date of the invoice and upon completion of the matter unless alternative arrangements have been made with us. You authorise us to deduct our fees and disbursements from any judgment, settlement or other money received by us on your behalf. Although you may expect a third party to pay our invoices, or you may request us to direct our invoices to a third party, you remain responsible for the timely payment of our invoices. Payments are to be made by bank deposit only.
Delay Or Difficulty In Paying Our Invoices
If you anticipate having difficulty paying an invoice on time, please immediately contact our credit controller. We may be able to make alternative payment arrangements such as payment by instalments. You may be required to pay interest on any amount which is more than 7 days overdue. Interest will be calculated at the rate of 5% above our firm’s trading bank’s 90-day bank bill buy rate as at the close of business on the date payment became due.
If your account remains unpaid we may not continue to act on your behalf. You will be liable for all costs associated with the collection and recovery of your overdue and unpaid account. Information you have provided to us may be used to assist in collecting an overdue account.
Questions And Complaints
We maintain a procedure for handling questions or complaints by clients designed to ensure that these are dealt with promptly and fairly. Please state your concerns clearly in writing and address your letter to our Director.
We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you. You have the right to access this information and you may request us to correct this information if it is not correct. We will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:
• To the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or
• To the extent required by law.
You may terminate our retainer or significantly modify your instructions at any time. Please advise us in writing as soon as possible. Until we receive notification in writing we may continue with our original instructions that may incur further costs for you in the meantime.
There may be instances where we may be unable to act for you. These circumstances may include
Conflicts Of Interest
• Your unwillingness or inability to pay our normal fee for the relevant work.
• Lack of available time.
• Instructions falling outside our normal field of practice.
• Instructions that could require us to breach any professional obligation.
We will always try to identify any issues in advance and discuss these with you. If for any reason we are unable to continue to act for you, we will advise you in writing. If our retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
The client acknowledges that the company shall be paid for all subsequent court and/or tribunal attendances that it and its investigators are obliged to attend which are arising from the work for you. This will be charged at the hourly rate specified in the request for services whether the court and or tribunal action is initiated by the client and/or any other party.
Retention Of Files
You authorise us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that we hold in safe custody for you) 3 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.
Safe investigations holds Private Investigation, Security Consultant, Document Destruction and Repossession Agents Licenses issued by the Ministry of Justice under the provisions of the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act 1974. We have no more additional powers than that of an ordinary citizen.
Electronic Computer Forensics Work
‘The client’ as noted in the following terms and conditions is deemed to be any person acting on or behalf of, and with the authority of, any type of organisation or any