5. Fees / Financial
5.1 We will ensure that our fees are fair and reasonable based on the following factors:
(a) the time and labour expended by us;
(b) the skill, specialised knowledge, and responsibility required for us to perform the services properly;
(c) the importance of the matter to you and the results achieved;
(d) the urgency and circumstances in which the matter is undertaken and any time limitations imposed by you;
(e) the complexity of the matter and the difficulty or novelty of the questions involved;
(f) the degree of risk assumed by us in undertaking the services, including the amount or value of any property involved;
(g) the experience, reputation, and ability of the people performing the services;
(h) the possibility that the acceptance of this matter will preclude us from acting for other clients with conflicting interests;
(i) whether the fee is fixed or conditional;
(j) any quote or estimate that we have provided;
(k) any fee agreement between us and you; and
(l) any other relevant circumstances.
5.2 Review of rates: To ensure the fees we charge are fair and reasonable in relation to the work we provide, we reserve the right to review our rates annually and adjust these as necessary. These adjustments will be provided in writing if they occur during our term of engagement with you.
5.3 Disbursements and expenses: In providing services we may incur disbursements or make payments to third parties on your behalf. We may require an advance payment for the disbursements or expenses which we will be incurring on your behalf.
Examples of disbursements which may be incurred by us on your behalf, and depending on the work we are conducting, include property title searches, companies office fees for filing of annual returns, court filing fees, land registry fees for a discharge of mortgage or transfer of title and travel costs.
5.4 Office Expenses: In addition to disbursements, we may charge a fee of up to $90.00 to cover our out of pockets costs which are not included in our fee and which are not recorded as disbursements. These include items such as photocopying and printing, courier, postage and phone calls. The amount charged by way of Office Expenses may change from time to time and without notice.
5.5 GST: GST is payable by you on our fees and charges (unless your situation qualifies for GST being exempt or zero-rated).
5.6 Invoices: To assist you with your planning and budgeting we will issue interim invoices, either monthly or at certain stages of the matter while work is in progress, with a final invoice on completion of the matter or on termination of our engagement. We may also send you an invoice to obtain reimbursement for a significant expense incurred on your behalf.
5.7 Payment of invoices: Invoices are payable within 14 days of the date of the invoice unless alternative arrangements have been made with us.
Other options for payment: You can pay by:
(c) Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard),
(d) Bank Direct Credit to Bramwell Bate Trust Account at ASB, Hastings, account number 12-3197-0014011-02 quoting your client matter reference shown at the top of your invoice.
5.8 Making arrangements for payment: If you are anticipating having difficulty paying an invoice on time, please immediately contact either the Bramwell Bate Lawyer who sent you the invoice or one of the Directors. We reserve the right to charge interest on any invoice remaining unpaid after the due date unless prior arrangements have been made. If any account is not paid within thirty (30) days interest will be charged on the outstanding balance at the rate of 15% per annum from the date on which payment was due and you will be responsible for any debt collection cost that we incur in recovering outstanding amounts from you.
5.9 Guarantees: If you are a company or other incorporated entity we reserve the right to seek appropriate personal guarantees in respect of our fees and expenses.
5.10 Pre-payments and Payment by Deduction
(a) we may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses. You authorise and instruct us to debit against amounts pre-paid by you.
(b) we may deduct our fees, expenses or disbursements from funds held in our Trust Account on your behalf for which we have provided an invoice.
5.11 Ceasing work following non-payment: If your account remains outstanding after sixty (60) days and no appropriate arrangements have been made with our firm then no further work will be undertaken by any Lawyer of Bramwell Bate until appropriate arrangements are made to bring the account back into good standing. You will be informed that work has ceased.
5.12 Credit enquiries: By engaging us you will authorise us to carry out reasonable credit enquiries and you authorise anyone we contact to provide to us information about you that we reasonably request as part of our credit enquiries. You also authorise us to provide information on any amount owed to us which is overdue for payment, to credit agencies.
5.13 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.
5.14 Collection costs: If you do not pay our fees and disbursements as they fall due, you may be liable for our costs, expenses and charges (including legal costs on a lawyer / client basis) that are incurred by us in collection of our fees and disbursements.