Standard Terms of Engagement

Current as from February 2020

These Standard Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by Presland & Co Limited for you, except to the extent that we otherwise agree with you in writing.

Under the new Anti-Money Laundering legislation, before we can commence work on your matter, we will require a copy of your current passport and a recent bank statement (dated within the last three months) with your name and address on it.  You will need to bring the originals with you at your first appointment or earlier if possible.  If you do not have a current passport, could you please contact us to discuss alternatives.

Services: The services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.

Client Instructions:

Practitioners will act in the client’s best interests to carry out the client’s instructions. Practitioners reserve the right to cease to act where the client cannot or will not provide the instructions required in addition to those specified above. We will take responsible steps to keep the client informed of the steps taken to carry out the client’s instructions.

By instructing the practitioner the client accepts liability to pay the account that we render for work done, together with all disbursements incurred in respect of such instructions.

Fees: Our fees are based upon the time and skill involved, the knowledge and responsibility required and urgency of the particular matter.  Where possible we will give the client an estimate which will be the practitioner’s “best guess” as to what the fee is likely to be. If, however the work does not proceed as the firm has expected due to unexpected complications, or the work proves more complicated than originally anticipated, we will charge for all additional work performed.

Fixed Fee: If we specify a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of our services. This fee will be plus GST and disbursements.  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.

Hourly Basis: Where our fees are calculated on an hourly rate, these rates are set out as follows:

Greg Presland (Principal)                                            $350.00 plus GST

Sue Barber (Solicitor)                                                 $300.00 plus GST

Lisa Sherwood (Legal Executive)                                $250.00 plus GST

Leigh Lawrence (Legal Executive)                              $250.00 plus GST

The differences in those rates reflect the experience and specialisation of our staff assigned to your work.  Time spent is recorded in 6-minute units.

Disbursements/Expenses/GST: In providing services we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf (eg, Court filing fees, document service charges, Land Information search and registration fees). These will be included in our invoice to you when the expense is incurred.  We may require an advance payment for some disbursement expenses.  GST is payable on our fees and charges.


Retainer: In some circumstances, such as long ongoing matters, we may request a retainer from you before we commence the work.  This retainer will cover future costs and disbursements and may be required to be topped up as required.

Invoices: We will send invoices to you either on completion of the work or interim invoices at various stages of the engagement, usually monthly.  However, all fees and disbursements for conveyancing matters are required before settlement.

Payment: Invoices are payable within 7 days of the date of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us.  We may require interest to be paid on any amount that is more than 30 days overdue.  Interest will be calculated at the rate of 5%.  If the client anticipates difficulty in the payment of any account, the client must contact us immediately on receipt of the account and discuss arrangements for payment.

Payment by Credit Card: We accept payment of our invoices by credit card; however, where payment of our invoices is made using a credit card, a surcharge of 4% will be charged.

Lien: Where work has been done by the practitioner, but the practitioner has not been paid by the client then as a general rule the practitioner has the right to retain original documentation and correspondence on the client’s file until such a time as all outstanding fees are paid. This is known as lien. This will be particularly important in circumstances where the client decides, for whatever reason, to instruct another practitioner. That other practitioner may be obliged to give an undertaking to Presland and Co Limited to pay all outstanding fees and disbursements before the client’s file is released.

Security: We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses.  You authorise us:

To debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and

To deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.

Third Parties: Although 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.

Debt Collection: For non-payment of our invoices or failure to adhere to any agreed repayment arrangement, we may place the debt in the hands of Baycorp, in the first instance.  This may affect your future credit rating.  All fees incurred by us in collecting the debt will be charged to you.  These fees include but are not limited to the following: –

A lodgement fee with our debt collection agency; and

A 25% recovery cost that is on-charged to us by our debt collection agency; and

  • Any court filing fees incurred in filing debt recovery proceedings against you.

We may request Baycorp to “Default Load” the debt by uploading and updating the debt information into the national Credit Bureau.  This will ensure other creditors are aware of the debt and this may hinder you from receiving any further credit.

Confidentiality: We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you.  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 or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

Confidential information concerning you will, as far as practicable, be made available only to those within our firm who are providing legal services for you.

We will not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.


You may terminate our retainer at any time.

We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

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.

Completion: When this matter is completed, we will advise you accordingly and provide a brief summary of work undertaken if we have not already done so.  Where appropriate, we will also identify any necessary future action that may be required.

Retention of Files and Documents: 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) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format,

Conflict of Interest: We have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest.  If one arises we will advise you of this and follow the requirements and procedures set out in the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

Duty of Care: Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person.  Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.

Trust Account: We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive on behalf of clients.  You agree that funds held can be used for the purposes of paying invoices that we render to you and including payment of all expenses incurred on your behalf.  If we are holding significant funds on your behalf we will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with the ASB Bank – In that case, we will charge an administration fee of 10% on the interest derived.

General: These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.  We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.  Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.


Set out below is the information required by the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers of the New Zealand Law Society (“Law Society”).

  • Fees: The basis on which fees will be charged is set out in our letter of engagement.  When payment of fees is to be made is set out in our Standard Terms of Engagement.  We may deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance: We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society.  We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.
  • Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund: The Law Society maintains the Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund for the purpose of providing clients of lawyers with protection against pecuniary loss arising from theft by lawyers. The maximum amount payable by the Fidelity Fund by way of compensation to an individual claimant is limited to $100,000.  Except in certain circumstances specified in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, the Fidelity Fund does not cover a client for any loss relating to money that a lawyer is instructed to invest on behalf of the client.
  • Complaints: We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. If you have a complaint about our services or charges, you may refer your complaint to the person in our firm who has overall responsibility for your work.

If you do not wish to refer your complaint to that person, or you are not satisfied with that person’s response to your complaint, you may refer your complaint directly to Greg Presland, partner.

Greg Presland may be contacted as follows:

  • by letter;
  • by email at
  • by telephoning him at (09) 818-1071

The Law Society operates the Lawyers Complaints Service and you are able to make a complaint to that service.  To do so, phone 0800 261 801 and you will be connected to the nearest Complaints Service Office, which can provide information and advice about making a complaint.

  • Persons Responsible for the Work:

The names and status of the person or persons who will have the general carriage of or overall responsibility for the services we provide for you are set out in our letter of engagement.

  • 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 or call 0800 261 801.

  • Limitations on extent of our Obligations or Liability

Any limitations on the extent of our obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability are set out in our letter of engagement.



FEE                 GST                 TOTAL


With one mortgage                            $950.00           $142.50      $1,092.50*

No mortgage                                            $900.00          $135.00      $1,035.50*


With one mortgage                             $1,200.00        $180.00   $1,380.00*

No mortgage                                           $1,150.00         $172.50   $1,322.50*


With one mortgage and one discharge

$750.00            $112.50               $862.50

Each additional discharge/ mortgage/withdrawal of caveat                                                    $100.00              $15.00              $115.00

The above fees do not include disbursements (such as search, registration and office bureau fees) and do not include any fees for a LIM or builder’s report.  As a guide LINZ charges $6.00 per document for searches and $90.00 per document for registration.

These are our fees for a standard transaction.  The fees may increase if a transaction involves work outside of the standard process and you will be notified at the time i.e. if you are a Trust, a Company or requiring Kiwisaver funds, a Housing New Zealand Subsidy Grant or Subdividing. Please refer to the author’s hourly rates in our letter of engagement.

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