The terms

  1. These terms:
  • apply to all current work and to any future work undertaken for you by us (unless we otherwise agree in writing);
  • sets out the standard terms on which we undertake work for you;
  • explain what you can expect from us and what you agree to when we work for you; and
  • includes information we are required to tell you under the New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers (“NZLS ROCCL”)
  1. Your acceptance of these terms is assumed by your continuing to engage us. The enforceability of these terms is not affected by the ending of our engagement.
  2. We reserve the right to alter these terms at any time.

Your responsibilities

  1. By engaging us, you agree to:
  • give us clear instructions, if possible in writing;
  • provide information or documentation promptly (including all information required by us in order to comply with any legislation or other law governing the provision of our services);
  • provide information which is true, accurate and not misleading;
  • tell us if you have any important time limits;
  • tell us if you change your address, telephone, email address or other contact details;
  • ask for clarification if you are not sure about anything; and
  • pay our invoices when due.

Letter of engagement

  1.  Each time you engage us, we will give you a letter of engagement which will outline what we will do for you (“the Services”), the team members who will assist you with the Services and the director with overall responsibility. If you have any concerns, please speak with the director responsible or any other director.
  2. We will provide the Services described in the engagement letter promptly and efficiently, with reasonable care and skill.

Scope of our Services

  1. We do not give:
  • investment advice. You should get that advice from a qualified financial advisor;
  • tax advice. You should get that advice from your tax advisor;
  • insurance advice. You should get that advice from your insurance broker; or
  • advice about foreign laws. We can help you to contact a lawyer in the other country.

Our fees and expenses

  1. We issue accounts for our Services at regular intervals as work progresses, and on completion of the Services or the ending of our engagement. We may also send you an account when significant expenses are to be incurred.
  2. Our fees reflect factors such as specialist knowledge, complexity, importance, the value of any property involved, skill/ responsibility, urgency, the results to be achieved, and the time spent on the matter.
  3. Unless we agree with you otherwise, our fees will be calculated based on the time we spend on the Services charged at our hourly rates, and the factors permitted by the NZLS ROCCL.
  4. We will give you an estimate of fees if you ask for one. Special fee arrangements may be available for certain work. Any estimate or special fee arrangement for an instruction will be outlined in our letter of engagement.
  5. Unless we state otherwise, our fees, estimates, and hourly rates do not include Goods and Services Tax (GST) or office expenses and disbursements, which are payable by you in addition.
  6. The expression “Disbursements” used in our invoices means money paid on your behalf and required in order to complete the Services for you. Examples of disbursements include Court filing fees, Land Information Memorandum fees, Land Information New Zealand fees, or travel and accommodation costs. You may be required to pay some of these fees in advance.
  7. The expression “Office Expenses” used in our invoices includes internal charges such as stationery, postage, tolls, photocopying. We will charge you Office Expenses incurred in providing the Services.
  8. When acting for private companies we may require personal guarantees from directors and/ or principal shareholders.
  9. If unexpected issues arise, or the matter does not proceed, any additional or urgent work will be charged on a time basis at each team member’s hourly rate.

Payment of accounts

  1. Accounts are payable on receipt of invoice. We charge interest at current credit card rates on any amount outstanding after the 20th of the month following invoice.
  2. If we hold funds on your behalf, you authorise us to deduct our fees from those funds.
  3. We reserve the right to suspend work if your account(s) are overdue.
  4. If your account is unpaid, we may pursue its recovery, and you agree we may use and disclose any personal information (as defined in the Privacy Act 2020) for that purpose, and that you will pay in addition to the amount outstanding the full costs of collection.
  5. We will retain custody of all files, documents, and funds held on your behalf until all accounts are paid.


  1. We will do our best to meet your timing requirements and will keep you informed of progress.


  1. If you ask us to do your work urgently, we will tell you whether or not this is possible or necessary.
  2. Doing work urgently may mean allocating additional team members and/ or resources to it and as a result our charges may increase.
  3. In exceptional cases, we may treat your work as urgent without advising you, if it is in your best interest. You will be charged accordingly.

Contentious business and litigation

  1. We cannot assure you of a particular outcome in litigation or on contentious matters. We will explain to you the risks and contingencies that may affect the outcome.

Conflicts of interest

  1. If a conflict of interest arises, we will consult with you and follow the requirements and procedures set out in the NZLS ROCCL.

Duty of care

  1. 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.

Third party information

  1. In advising you, we may rely on information obtained from third parties (government agencies, registers or expert witnesses etc.). We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor accept liability for any damage or loss caused by errors or omissions in information obtained from third parties.


  1. We may communicate with you and others by email, or post information on secure software portals. While we have virus detection and internet access security software, we do not accept liability for any damage or loss caused in connection with, corruption of, or interference with, an electronic communication.

Who we can accept instructions from

  1. Unless you instruct us in writing otherwise:
  • if you are a couple, we can accept instructions from either of you;
  • if you are a trust, we can accept instructions from any of your trustees;
  • if you are a partnership, we can accept instructions from any of your partners;
  • if you are a company, we can accept instructions from any of your directors or employees or any other person you have authorised to instruct us; and
  • if you are a body corporate or incorporated society, we can accept instructions from any person holding themselves out as being authorised by the officers to instruct us.

Verifying your identity

  1. We are required by law to verify your identity and, in some circumstances, the source of funds for a transaction.
  2. The Anti Money Laundering & Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“AML/CFT”) requires us to collect and check personal information and report to authorities in certain specified situations.
  3. You authorise us to collect information about you (including customer due diligence information), to obtain, exchange, hold, and use such information, and to make any other enquiries we think appropriate to:
  • confirm information provided to us about you is true;
  • undertake initial and on-going customer due diligence and monitoring in accordance with AML/CFT;
  • enforce debt and legal obligations (including recovery of money owed to us); and
  • comply with other legal obligations we may have.


  1. Client confidentiality is important to us. We do not divulge confidential information unless authorised by you, or required by law. However, trust auditors and/or professional indemnity insurance underwriters may view your file and information may be disclosed to our bank, Department of Internal Affairs and other organisations handling compliance with the AML/CFT legislation, and tax authorities when and as required.


  1. Ownership of the copyright in all documents prepared by us remains with us. They are not to be used by anybody else.

Retention of files and documents

  1. Our trust account records are stored indefinitely in an electronic form. However, we only retain electronic copies of these for seven years. Files, correspondence etc. on any particular matter are routinely destroyed after five years, and by engaging us you authorise us to do so. Deeds, formal documents, and negotiable securities are retained indefinitely in our storage.

Limitation of liability

  1. We limit our liability to you. The maximum aggregate amount that we will have to pay you is the fees charged for the services provided. We will not have to pay you more than that for anything caused by or resulting from anything we do or do not do, or delay in doing, whether or not it is contemplated or authorised by any agreement with you.
  2. The limit in clause 38 applies to the extent permitted by law, whatever you are claiming for, and however liability arises or might arise if not for this clause (whether in contract, tort (including negligence), equity, or otherwise).


  1. You may terminate our engagement at any time.
  2. We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the NZLS ROCCL.
  3. If our engagement is terminated (whether by you or us), you must pay us all fees and all disbursements and expenses incurred up to the date of termination.

Trust account

  1. We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except money received for payment on our invoices). If we are holding significant funds on your behalf, we will normally lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with a bank. In that case, we will charge an administration fee being 5% of the gross interest derived.

Professional indemnity insurance and Lawyer’s Fidelity Fund

  1. We hold professional indemnity insurance that exceeds the New Zealand Law Society’s minimum standards. If you would like further information about our insurance, please ask.
  2. The New Zealand Law Society operates a Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund to compensate clients who suffer theft of money or property entrusted to lawyers. The Fund covers losses of up to NZ $100,000 per individual claimant. It does not cover loss where you have instructed us to invest money on your behalf (subject to limited exceptions set out in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006).

New Zealand Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers

  1. The Law Society client care and service information is set out below.
  2. Whatever Services we are providing, we 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; and
  • let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.
  1. The obligations lawyers owe to clients are described in the NZLS ROCCL. Those obligations are subject to other overriding duties, including duties to the courts and to the justice system.
  2. If you have any questions, please visit the New Zealand Law Society’s website at or call 0800 261 801.

Lawyers complaint service

  1. If you have a complaint about the services you have received from our firm, please contact the director at Aspiring Law (either Janice Hughes or Mike Toepfer) who is not directly doing your work.
  2. If we have been unable to resolve a complaint or concern, you may contact:

The Lawyers Complaints Service
Phone: 0800 261 801
Website: complaints-service/concerns-form


  1. We are happy to discuss these terms with you. Please speak with the team member who is working with you.
  2. Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have exclusive jurisdiction.These terms apply to all work undertaken for our clients (‘you”), unless otherwise agreed in writing. Your acceptance of these terms is assumed by your continuing to engage us.