The terms of this agreement will apply unless a separate agreement is made in writing by Law Team.
You hereby engage us to provide, and we hereby agree to provide, the services to you on the terms of this agreement. Services means the legal services that we will provide to you as stated in this agreement.
The covering letter together with these terms (where a covering letter is provided), sets out the terms of our offer to provide legal services to you and constitutes out costs agreement and disclosure pursuant to the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) (the Uniform Law).
Acceptance of offer
The provision of a copy of this agreement to you constitutes an offer by us to provide the Services to you on the terms of this agreement.
You may accept the Costs Disclosure and Costs Agreement by:
a) signing and returning this document to us; or:
b) continuing to instruct us.
Upon acceptance you agree to pay for our services on these terms.
Scope of the Services
The scope of our services is limited to the legal services described in this agreement and specifically excludes all out-of-scope services. Out-of-scope services means any non-legal services and any legal services that do not fall wholly within the scope of the services set out in this agreement.
To perform the services successfully, we require your timely co-operation. Accordingly, you must:
a) Provide in a timely fashion all information, documents and instructions that we reasonably require to enable us to provide the services;
b) At all times tell us openly and honestly everything relevant to the services;
c) Arrange access to third parties where applicable;
d) Ensure that appropriate back-up, security and virus checking procedures are in place for any computer facilities your provide;
e) Make yourself available for consultation on request where applicable; and
f) Make decisions promptly to facilitate the performance of our services.
Information that you give us
Our work will be based on the information that you provide to us and any information that third parties provide to us on your behalf. We request that you bring to our attention any changes in information or your circumstances as it may affect our advice. You confirm, to the best of your knowledge and belief, all such information is and will be:
a) Complete, true and accurate in all material respects; and
b) Not misleading in any material respect, nor rendered misleading in any material respect by any failure to disclose any other information.
If you instruct us to act in further matters for you, our engagement will be on the same terms as this Agreement or as advised to you from time to time. We may provide additional matter specific appointment terms and letters related to those specific matters.
Our usual policy is to issue a tax invoice on a monthly basis but we may issue tax invoices on a more frequent basis depending on the nature of the work. All tax invoices are due and payable 14 days from the date of the tax invoice. You consent to us sending our tax invoices to you electronically at your usual email address or mobile phone number as specified by you.
Estimates of Fees
Where possible, we will provide you with an estimate of our fees, or a fixed price.
While the estimate is based on present information and instructions and our current understanding from you as to what services are required, our costs may exceed the estimate if further information becomes available or circumstances change which affect these matters. In this event we will provide you with a revised estimate before you will incur additional fees.
Where a fixed fee is not possible, we will provide an estimate at your request, our rates will be charged at our hourly rates which are applicable from time to time. You will be proportionately charged for work involving shorter periods less than an hour in our set interval rates.
For further information regarding hourly rates, please contact us.
Our fees do not include disbursements (being money which we pay or are liable to pay to others on your behalf), which you will be required to pay in addition to our fees if these are incurred.
Disbursements may include office expenses, internal expenses, search fees, enquiry fees, external service providers, online submission or program fees, couriers, court filing fees, and barrister's fees.
Where you instruct us to brief a third party to provide professional services and they provide a proposal or costs agreement we will provide this to you.
Some of the variables which may affect and change the costs include:
a) the number and duration of telephone calls or other communications;
b) your prompt and efficient response to requests for information or instructions;
c) whether your instructions are varied;
d) whether documents have to be revised in light of varied instructions;
e) the lawyer or other persons with whom we deal and the level of co-operation of the lawyer’s clients and other persons involved;
f) changes in the law; and
g) the complexity or uncertainty concerning legal issues affecting your matter.
Interest at the maximum rate prescribed in Rule 75 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 (“Uniform General Rules”) (being the Cash Rate Target set by the Reserve Bank of Australia plus 2%) will be charged on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 30 days after a tax invoice is given to you.
Recovery of costs
The Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) (“the Uniform Law”) provides that we cannot take action for recovery of legal costs until 30 days after a tax invoice (which complies with the Uniform Law) has been given to you.
In accordance with the Uniform Law, it is your right to:
a) negotiate a costs agreement with us;
b) negotiate the method of billing (e.g. task based or time based);
c) receive a bill and to request and receive an itemised bill within 30 days after a lump sum bill or partially itemised bill is payable;
d) seek the assistance of the designated local regulatory authority (the NSW Commissioner) in the event of a dispute about legal costs;
e) be notified as soon as is reasonably practicable of any significant change to any matter affecting costs;
f) accept or reject any offer we make for an interstate costs law to apply to your matter; and
g) notify us that you require an interstate costs law to apply to your matter.
If you request an itemised bill and the total amount of the legal costs specified in it exceeds the amount previously specified in the lump sum bill for the same matter, the additional costs may be recovered by us only if:
(i) when the lump sum bill is given, we inform you in writing that the total amount of the legal costs specified in any itemised bill may be higher than the amount specified in the lump sum bill, and
(ii) the costs are determined to be payable after a costs assessment or after a binding determination under section 292 of the Uniform Law.
Nothing in these terms affects your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
Your rights in relation to a dispute concerning costs
If you have a dispute in relation to any aspect of our legal costs you have the following avenues of redress:
a) in the first instance we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us so that any issue can be identified and we can have the opportunity of resolving the matter promptly and without it adversely impacting on our business relationship;
b) you may apply to the manager, Costs Assessment located at the Supreme Court of NSW for an assessment of our costs. This application must be made within 12 months after the bill was provided or request for payment made or after the costs were paid.
It is our policy that, when acting for new clients, we do one or more of the following:
a) approve credit;
b)ask the client to pay monies into our trust account;
c) ask the client for their credit card details.
Unless otherwise agreed with you, we may determine not to incur fees or expenses in excess of the amount that we hold in trust on your behalf or for which credit is approved.
Authorisation to transfer money from trust account
You authorise us to receive directly into our trust account any judgment or settlement amount, or money received from any source in furtherance of your work, and to pay our professional fees, internal expenses and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of Rule 42 of the Uniform General Rules. A trust statement will be forwarded to you upon completion of the matter.
We further disclose and you acknowledge that in the provision of services and in using or referring you to third party services we may receive potential benefits.
During and following the completion of our Services, you must keep your contact details up to date with our office, including email and phone or any other platform on which we communicate with you. This will allow us to communicate with you and advise you of any changes made to services, platforms or other information.
You authorise us to communicate with you relating to our work and services, during and following completion of our work. You also authorise us to include your contact details on our marketing lists, but note you can opt out at any time by notice in writing to our office.
Retention of your documents
On completion of your work, or following termination (by either party) of our services, we will retain your documents for 7 years. Your agreement to these terms constitutes your authority for us to destroy the file after those 7 years. The authority does not relate to any documents which are deposited in safe custody or on another platform which will, subject to agreement, be retained on your behalf indefinitely. We are entitled to retain your documents while there is money owing to us for our costs.
You will be liable for the cost of storing and retrieving documents in storage and our professional fees in connection with this.
Termination by us
We may cease to act for you or refuse to perform further work, including:
a) while any of our tax invoices remain unpaid;
b) if you do not within 7 days comply with any request to pay an amount in respect of disbursements or future costs;
c) if you fail to provide us with clear and timely instructions to enable us to advance your matter, for example, compromising our ability to comply with Court directions, orders or practice notes;
d) if you refuse to accept our advice;
e) if you indicate to us or we form the view that you have lost confidence in us;
f) if there are any ethical grounds which we consider require us to cease acting for you, for example a conflict of interest;
g) for any other reason outside our control which has the effect of compromising our ability to perform the work required within the required timeframe; or
h) if in our sole discretion we consider it is no longer appropriate to act for you; or
i) for just cause.
We will give you reasonable written notice of termination of our services. You will be required to pay our costs incurred up to the date of termination.
Termination by you
You may terminate our services by written notice at any time. However, if you do so you will be required to pay our costs incurred up to the date of termination (including if the matter is litigious, any cancellation fees or other fees such as hearing allocation fees for which we remain responsible).
Where applicable, GST is payable on our professional fees and expenses and will be clearly shown on our tax invoices. By accepting these terms you agree to pay us an amount equivalent to the GST imposed on these charges.
Without affecting any lien to which we are otherwise entitled at law over funds, papers and other property of yours:
a) we shall be entitled to retain by way of lien any funds, property or papers of yours, which are from time to time in our possession or control, until all costs, disbursements, interest and other moneys due to the firm have been paid; and
b) our lien will continue notwithstanding that we cease to act for you.
We will collect personal information from you in the course of providing our legal services. We may also obtain personal information from third party searches, other investigations and, sometimes, from adverse parties.
We are required to collect the full name and address of our clients by Rule 93 of the Uniform General Rules. Accurate name and address information must also be collected in order to comply with the trust account record keeping requirements of Rule 47 of the Uniform General Rules and to comply with our duty to the courts.
Your personal information will only be used for the purposes for which it is collected or in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). For example, we may use your personal information to provide advice and recommendations that take into account your personal circumstances.
If you do not provide us with the full name and address information required by law we cannot act for you. If you do not provide us with the other personal information that we request our advice may be wrong for you or misleading.
Depending on the nature of your matter the types of bodies to whom we may disclose your personal information include the courts, the other party or parties to litigation, experts and barristers, the Office of State Revenue, PEXA Limited, the Land and Property Information Division of the Department of Lands, the Registrar General and third parties involved in the completion or processing of a transaction.
Confidentiality and conflicts of interest
We undertake not to disclose or misuse your confidential information, subject only to applicable law and our professional and ethical obligations.
You acknowledge and agree that, because we owe a duty of confidentiality to all of our clients, we will not disclose to it any information that we hold in confidence for our other clients, even where such confidential information would or may be relevant to our provision of the services.
Similarly, we will not disclose to our other clients any of your confidential information, even where such disclosure would or may be relevant to our representation of those other clients.
Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing between us and you:
a) all relevant IP will be owned exclusively by, and vest exclusively in, us; and
b) you must not use or reproduce any relevant IP, or any other intellectual property rights of ours, without our prior written approval, other than for the purposes of completing the transactions that are contemplated in connection with this matter and to which the services relate.
You must not use the firm name or logo on any website or in any public statement without obtaining our prior written consent.
Sending material electronically
We are able to send, receive and store (collectively referred to as ‘transmit’) documents electronically . However, as such transmission is not secure it may be copied, recorded, read or interfered with by third parties while in transit. Unless you notify us in writing, you authorise us to transmit any document electronically, and you release us from any claim you may have as a result of any unauthorised copying, recording, reading or interference with that document, for any delay or non-delivery of any document and for any damage caused to your system or any files.
We are an independent contractor of you. Nothing in this agreement will constitute a partnership, joint venture or agency relationship between the parties. Except as may be expressly agreed otherwise in writing between the parties, no party will have the right to bind the other party without the other party’s prior written consent.
Each party must (at its own expense) promptly execute and deliver all such documents, and do all such things, as any other party may from time to time reasonably require for the purpose of giving full effect to the provisions of this agreement.
This agreement contains the entire understanding between the parties in relation to its subject matter and supersedes any previous arrangement, understanding or agreement relating to its subject matter. There are no express or implied conditions, warranties, promises, representations or obligations, written or verbal, in relation to this agreement other than those expressly stated in it or necessarily implied by statute.
The terms of this agreement are subject to any amendments and updates made on our website which can be found at www.lawteam.com.au/our-engagement-agreement.
Governing law and jurisdiction
This agreement and any disputes or claims arising out of or in connection with its subject matter or formation are governed by, and shall be construed in accordance with, the laws of New South Wales.
The parties irrevocably agree that the courts of New South Wales, Australia have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of, or in connection with, this agreement or its subject matter or formation.