Rules of Conduct & Client Care

Download these ‘Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers’ as a PDF

Rules of Conduct & Client Care for Lawyers for the New Zealand Law Society (“Law Society”)

1.  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.

Our liability to you, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, is limited to any amount actually paid by the insurer under our Professional Indemnity Insurance policy.

2.  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 $100,000.  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.

3.  Complaints

We maintain a procedure for handling 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 to the Practice Manager by:

  • Letter: Practice Manager, BlackmanSpargo, PO Box 6206, Rotorua 3043;
  • Email: sheree@rurallaw.co.nz; or
  • Telephone: (07) 343 9706.

The Law Society also maintains a complaints service and you are able to make a complaint to that service. To do so, you should contact the New Zealand Law Society at: NZLS, PO Box 5041, Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145 (Ph: 0800 261 801, Fax: 04 473 7909).

4.  Persons Responsible for the Work

The name and status of the person 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.

5.  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 your objectives with you 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 the Law Society website – www.lawsociety.org.nz or call 0800 261 801.

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.