Terms of engagement

Terms of engagement

See also our FAQ, Investment Terms, Client Care Rules and Complaints Policy

Client Care and AML/CFT Rules

Lowndes Jordan provides legal services in accordance with the New Zealand Law Society's client care and service rules, a copy of which accompanies these terms of engagement, and is also required to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act. Under the AML/CFT regime we may need to collect personal and transaction information about you and others before we can act, or, where the information or transaction has changed, before we can continue acting. Verification or certification of this information can take some time. Where information requested is not provided in a timely fashion, we will not be liable for any consequent delay or interruption to the transaction, including where this delays settlement. For more information, see our FAQ and AML/CFT guidance note on our website.


We generally charge at our standard hourly rates (available on request) for the time spent on a project. We may alter our standard hourly rates depending on urgency, complexity, value or other factors. All hourly rates are reviewed periodically and, accordingly, these may increase during a project.


If requested, written estimates of fees will be provided before work commences. Estimates are provided as a guideline only and final fees charged will be based on our standard hourly rates unless otherwise agreed in writing. All estimates are exclusive of goods and services tax and disbursements unless otherwise stated.


In certain circumstances quotations will be provided. Any quotation provided will be recorded in writing and clearly labelled as a quotation, not an estimate. All quotations are exclusive of goods and services tax and disbursements unless otherwise stated.


Our usual practice is to bill our clients on a monthly basis. All invoices will be the responsibility of our Client irrespective of whether there is an agreement in place for some other party to be responsible for our Client's costs such as occurs with landlords, lenders, and by agreement between our clients and third parties. Payment of our accounts is required 14 days following the date of the invoice. Expenses and disbursements paid or payable on your behalf will be itemised separately. We may require payment of these in advance.


Without prejudice to all of our recovery rights, overdue accounts will incur penalty interest at the rate of 2% per month or part month. We reserve the right to stop work on our Client's affairs where accounts are overdue. All collection costs (including our legal fees at confirmed hourly rates) will be to our Client's account. If more than one Client, each Client agrees to extend the normal solicitor's lien to cover amounts owing from any Client. In addition, in the event of default, we may deduct any amount outstanding plus penalty interest accrued, from any amount held by us on our Client's account (whether as a retainer or on deposit) and/or refer the matter to a debt collection agency, which will affect credit ratings.


For new clients, usually a retainer will be required before we commence work (and we may also require a guarantee from a corporate client's shareholders). We will hold the retainer in our trust account on interest bearing deposit (interest less commission to our Client's account) and apply it against monthly invoices when they are due. If the balance of the retainer we hold is less than the fees we anticipate, we may require it to be reinstated to cover those anticipated fees. Any surplus at the conclusion of the project will be returned to the Client.

Monies held

Other than as set out above or otherwise agreed in writing, all monies held by us will be held in accordance with our Investment Terms.


In addition to our ethical obligations of confidentiality, all information obtained is held by this firm subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act 2020 to enable us to provide legal and ancillary services to our Client. In doing so, we may from time to time provide newsletters and other material that we consider to be of interest to clients (in hardcopy or electronically). Our Client authorises us to conduct credit checks with, and obtain credit and other personal information from, credit agencies and to provide personal information to those agencies, at any time.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society.

Lawyer's Fidelity Fund

The maximum amount payable by the fidelity fund maintained by the New Zealand Law Society to cover theft of Client funds by lawyers is NZ$100,000. Except in limited circumstances, the fidelity fund does not cover any loss suffered on investments which we are instructed to make on a Client's behalf.

Limitation of liability

To the fullest extent permitted by law our total liability to you in connection with any matter (or series of related matters) on which you engage us will not exceed an amount equal to five times the value of fees paid to us (excluding our office service charge, disbursements and GST), up to a maximum of NZ$1,000,000 (including interest and costs).

This limitation applies to liability of any kind, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), equity or otherwise. We may override this limitation but only where this is specifically agreed with you in an engagement letter signed by us.

If we provide services to any persons or entities related to or associated with you or to anyone else at your request (whether or not we also advise you) on a matter (or series of related matters) on which you engage us, then our aggregate liability to you and all those persons and entities in respect of that matter (or series of related matters) will be subject to this limitation and you will ensure that those persons and entities agree to this.

We are only qualified to advise on New Zealand law. If we assist you in respect of matters governed by foreign law, we do so on the basis that we do not accept any responsibility (and will not have any liability, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), equity or otherwise) in relation to your legal position under that foreign law.

Where you engage our services for business purposes you agree that the terms of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 shall not apply.


Our firm may be subject to regular audit by an auditor approved by the New Zealand Law Society. Unless otherwise agreed, our Client consents to the disclosure of information during such audits.


We maintain a pro-active complaints policy (a copy of which is on our website at www.lojo.co.nz) and encourage Clients to raise any issues that they may have at the earliest opportunity. We value our relationships with our Clients very highly and will strive to accommodate valid Client concerns wherever possible.

Future Instructions

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, these terms, having been handed, sent or referred to our Client, will apply to all instructions received from our Client including matters currently in train and future instructions. We may revise these terms from time to time and the revised terms will apply to any instructions we receive after they have been handed, sent or referred to our Client.


We are often asked, in a marketing context, to identify our clients.Unless you let us know to the contrary, your acceptance of these terms authorises us to identify you as a client of this firm in brochures, on our website, and in other written materials prepared for the purpose of marketing this firm’s services.

Lowndes Jordan Terms of Engagement.pdf