What can you expect from your lawyer?
Lawyers must follow certain standards of professional behaviour as set out in the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
A. When you instruct a lawyer, he or she must provide you with information about:
- The basis on which fees will be charged, including when and how they are to be paid.
- Information about the lawyer’s professional indemnity insurance (if any), the Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund and the process for dealing with any complaints from clients.
B. Prior to undertaking any significant work under a retainer, the lawyer must also provide to you:
- A copy of the client care and service information set out in the preface to the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers – (these are contained below).
- The name and position within the firm of the person responsible for your work.
- Any limits on the extent of the lawyer’s obligations or liability
Client Care and Service:
The Law Society client care and service information is set out below.
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 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. If you have any questions, please visit www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.
Professional Indemnity Cover and Complaints Procedure
We hold indemnity insurance that exceeds the minimum standards currently specified by the Law Society.
An outline of our complaints procedure and information on the existence and availability of the Law Society’s complaints service can be found on the page headed “Complaints Procedure”.
If you are instructing us to act for you under our Refinancing Service or our “Switchme” Service:
- You will find receive with your signing pack a document called “Client Care and Service Information” which provides information on principal aspects of our client service – Please read this document before signing the rest of the documents including the Authority and Instruction form.
- If we receive funds on your behalf to enable repayment of the existing mortgage, these will be paid in and through our trust account and will be covered by the Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund.
- The instructions you give us are limited as specified in the Client Care and Service Information document given to you.
- In view of the limited instructions, the work undertaken on these transactions is not considered to be significant and accordingly may be undertaken by any one of several solicitors or legal executives in our firm.