Personal Use Only
You must not use this website to provide services for anyone other than yourself, unless you are a lawyer or conveyancing practitioner. It is an offence, punishable by substantial fines payable on conviction, for anyone who is not a lawyer or conveyancing practitioner to provide legal services to another person. It is, however, lawful for you to use this website to do legal work for yourself.
Becoming a Client
By indicating your acceptance of these terms and conditions, you are entering into an agreement to become a client of, and to purchase legal services from Mark S H Smith of ANZ Lawyers, Barristers and Solicitors, (NZ Law Society Member Number 8235 and Law Society of New South Wales Member Number 40270), (NSW Law Practice ID: 21365), and any other lawyer who, or law firm which, Mark Smith of ANZ Lawyers appoints in the future, for the purpose of providing legal services to you.
You also agree to the services being delivered to you by ANZ Lawyers using the website owned and operated by LawOnline Services Pty Ltd (NZBN 9429041231777) in acting for you and in delivering services to you.
ANZ Lawyers, Mark Smith and LawOnline Services Pty Ltd are together referred to and called "LawOnline" in this website.
Limitation of Liability
You agree to and accept the limitation of liability which is set out in our disclaimer, which you can see at our Disclaimer page.
Retention of your Documents
LawOnline will, on completion of any work carried out for you, retain an electronic copy of all information that you provide and all interactions that you have with the LawOnline website and any papers to which you are entitled, for no more 7 years. After 7 years, all files, information and papers may be destroyed.
We will, of course, not destroy any signed document or any certificate without first checking with you whether it is in order to do so.
Information that you disclose to us will be afforded confidentiality to the fullest extent required by law and, in particular, to the fullest extent required by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2006 (NZ).
We may be required in the future to participate in an inquiry, commission or proceedings arising out of our engagement in this matter. This may, for example, involve us in producing information or documents, seeking to claim and defend your privilege, to resist inspection or disclosure of certain information or documents or in giving evidence at an inquiry. We will seek your instructions if these circumstances arise, but you agree to reimburse us for our out-of-pocket expenses, and for the time we spend at our normal hourly rates which are then current.
You may terminate our engagement at any time. We may also cease acting for you, for just cause, on giving you reasonable notice. Despite any termination, you agree to pay our fees and expenses incurred up to termination, and for any work we are required to do in relation to the matter after termination. After termination, we are entitled to retain possession of your papers and documents while there is money owing to us, unless and until security is provided for our costs.
How does LawOnline charge?
LawOnline's fees are almost all fixed fees. They are set out in the pages of this website in relation to each service.
LawOnline will act in your best interests to carry out your instructions. LawOnline reserves the right to cease to act where you cannot or will not provide instructions. LawOnline will take reasonable steps to keep you informed of the steps taken to carry out your instructions. By instructing LawOnline you accept liability to pay the account for fees that LawOnline will render for work done, together with all disbursements incurred in respect of your instructions.
Estimate of Fees
Where LawOnline carries out work for you for which there is no fee set out in this website, LawOnline will give you an estimate. The estimate will be LawOnline's "best guess" as to what the fee is likely to be. If however the work does not proceed as LawOnline had expected due to unexpected complications, or if the work proves more complicated than originally anticipated, LawOnline will charge for all additional work done. If it appears that the estimate will be exceeded, LawOnline will advise you of the reasons and obtain further instructions from you.
When will you be billed?
Almost always, you will be billed immediately prior to the delivery of a document, or other service to you, and you will be required to make payment prior to the final delivery of the document or service. For other matters, LawOnline will bill you immediately following the delivery of a service, and payment will be due immediately.
What about cash payments that you have to make?
Payments may have to be made to other people for work to be done, for example filing fees, search fees, agency fees and similar payments (called disbursements). LawOnline cannot pay these amounts for you unless LawOnline receives payment from you first.
LawOnline reserves the right to ask either for the specific amounts or for an approximate amount to cover these expenses to be paid, to ensure that LawOnline is not out-of-pocket. If LawOnline instructs any other person, it reserves the right to require payment of that person's estimated fees into LawOnline's trust account before it makes the payment.
When do you have to pay?
LawOnline's accounts are all due to be paid immediately and simultaneously with the delivery of the service or document. If LawOnline is holding money for you, LawOnline may deduct the account from that money and give you a full statement.
You agree to and accept our refund policy which you can see at our Refunds page.
All use of the LawOnline website and anything arising out of its use shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with New Zealand law and we and you each submit irrevocably to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts.
CLIENT CARE AND SERVICE INFORMATION
This part of this document contains information which the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (NZLS Rules) require us to provide to you.
INFORMATION REQUIRED BY NZLS RULES Fees - We calculate our fees in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the New Zealand Law Society and take into account several factors having regard to the circumstances of the matter and the nature of our work for you.
Payment of accounts is required at the time that the service is rendered to you, unless we have made other arrangements with you. With your consent, we may deduct fees and expenses from funds held in our trust account on your behalf.
Insurance - We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards set by the New Zealand Law Society.
Lawyers' Fidelity Fund - The legal profession also operates a Lawyers' Fidelity Fund through the New Zealand Law Society which may reimburse clients who suffer pecuniary loss due to theft or misappropriation of funds by lawyers. The maximum amount payable by the Fidelity Fund by way of compensation to an individual claimant is limited to $100,000. However, subject to certain limited exceptions as set out in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 the Fidelity Fund does not cover a client for any loss relating to money where the lawyers have been instructed to invest the funds on behalf of the client.
Complaints - It is the policy of ANZ Lawyers to investigate complaints and expressions of dissatisfaction fully and promptly.
If you have a concern or complaint relating to the work being carried out for you, or a bill that you have been sent, you should raise this in the first instance with the lawyer dealing with the matter who will endeavour to resolve the matter. If you are uncomfortable doing that or are dissatisfied with the response, you should make a formal complaint addressed to ANZ Lawyers, in writing, giving full details of the nature of your complaint.
We will then look into the matter and deal with it in accordance with our complaints procedure. Further details of our complaints procedure are available on request.
The New Zealand Law Society also maintains a complaints service and you are able to make a complaint to that service at any time. To make a complaint or for more information on this service you should contact the Law Society by phone at 0800 261 801 or refer to its website at www.lawsociety.org.nz. The Law Society's address is PO Box 5041, Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145.
Client care and service - 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 New Zealand Law Society's 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.