Return to Terms of Engagement

1. Whatever legal services we provide, we will:

  • 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 and 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 Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008. 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.

2. Fees:

The basis on which fees will be charged are in accordance with the Reasonable Fee Factors as set out in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers Conduct and Client Care ) Rules 2008, and included on our Standard Terms of Engagement. When payment of fees is to be made as set out in our Standard Terms of Engagement.

We may deduct from any funds held on your behalf (or on behalf of any entity associated with you) in our trust account any expenses or disbursements paid on your behalf and any fees for which we have provided an invoice.

3. Professional Indemnity Insurance:

We hold professional indemnity insurance providing cover that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society (Law Society). We will provide you with particulars of the minimum standards upon request.

4. Lawyers Fidelity Fund:

The Law Society maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund for the purposes 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 $100,000.00. Except in certain circumstances specified in the Lawyers & 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.

5. Persons Responsible for the Work:

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

6. 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.

7. Complaints:

We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly. This procedure is set out below.

At RSM LAW, we are happy to receive complaints from clients with legitimate grievances as we see this as an opportunity to improve the level of service to our clients.

Should you, the client, be dissatisfied with any aspect of your association with RSM LAW, then you should always feel free to register such dissatisfaction in the appropriate manner as described below.

  1. The first point of contact for any registration of dissatisfaction with service at RSM LAW is the Complaints Registrar/Practice Manager. Contact details for the Complaints Registrar are:
    Direct Dial: (03) 687 9097;
    By mail to: PO Box 557, Timaru 7910;
    By Email to
  2. On receipt of your complaint the matter will be registered by the Registrar, you will be advised of a tracking number, and an initial investigation undertaken into the circumstances surrounding your complaint. After information has been gathered regarding your matter, the Complaints Registrar and two Partners of the firm will review the file (the two Partners will not include any Partner involved in your file).
  3. The Complaints Committee may or may not invite you, the client, to attend a meeting to discuss your grievances.
  4. On completion of a review of the file and discussion of your grievances with you, the Complaints Committee will prepare a report to you of their findings and recommendations for resolution.
  5. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you have the opportunity to escalate your complaint to the New Zealand Law Society through their complaints handling procedures. The Law Society can be contacted at PO Box 565, Christchurch 8140, Ph: (03) 366 9184 or the Lawyers Complaints Service on 0800 261 801.

8. Privacy Policy:

RSM LAW is committed to respecting and protecting your privacy. Any information disclosed to us about you and your affairs is confidential and privileged, and it is held in accordance with the Privacy Act, Lawyers and Conveyancers Act Rules, and the common law. This allows you to feel secure in the knowledge that you can fully disclose all information necessary to enable us to look after you interests without this information being disclosed to any third party. It is important that you are able to fully disclose all information to us as this will effect the quality of the legal advice we are able to provide you.

We cannot pass on any information about you without your consent, but that information may need to be passed on to other staff in our office including Secretaries, Word Processors and Accounts personnel. All staff are required to treat all information as confidential. Any breach of confidentiality will be treated very seriously by our office. If we hold particular sensitive information that you do not wish to be disclosed to any other member of staff, please advise your Solicitor.

It may be necessary to release information about your affairs to people outside our office as part of the work we do for you. For example, we may be required to liaise with Accountants, Court staff, other lawyers and professional advisors in relation to your affairs. However, we will only provide information to the extent that is necessary.

You are entitled to access any information that we may hold about you and you may ask us to correct information held about you if it is incorrect. At RSM LAW, we will take all care to ensure that your personal information is protected against loss, inappropriate access, unauthorised use or modification, or disclosure without your permission.

View our Privacy Policy for Internet Transactions

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