Your Partner in Law | 04 939 2366 | 119 Queens Drive Lower Hutt

Our legal stuff


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Client Care and Service Information

In providing legal services as your lawyer, we will:

  • Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with any arrangements made.
  • Protect and promote your interests and act for you free from compromising influences or 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 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.

Person responsible for the work

The names and status of the person or persons 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.


Fees will be charged on the basis set out in the JAG Legal Terms of Engagement.  Please ensure you have a copy of that document or request we send one to you.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

JAG Legal holds 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.
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.  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.


We maintain a procedure for handling any 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 either Merv Gaskin or Nicola Jones.  He/she may be contacted as follows:

  • by letter;
  • by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as the case may be;
  • by telephoning him/her at (04) 9392366.

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 Law Society.  The New Zealand Law Society address is P O Box 5041, Wellington 6011 and their phone number is 4727837.


Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information

In the event that your account remains unpaid for longer than 7 days then JAG Legal, may at its sole discretion, refer the account to a collection agency.  All costs incurred in collection will be added to your outstanding account.
In the event that your outstanding account is referred to a collection agency, by acceptance of these terms, you consent to disclosure of your personal information to that collection agency.  That personal information shall include (but not be limited to) your full name, date of birth, residential address and place of work.


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.





(download a PDF here)

These Terms of Engagement (“Terms”) apply in respect of all work carried out by us for you, except to the extent that we otherwise agree with you in writing.  JAG Legal may change these Terms from time to time, and will publish the latest version on our website If you continue to engage us, then you accept the latest Terms.


The services which we are to provide for you are outlined in our engagement letter.


Fees for Legal Advice and Legal Services are charged upon the basis approved by the Law Society.

The amount of time taken to complete the services required or to research and provide advice is a significant part of determining the appropriate fee.  The present hourly rates charged by JAG Legal are:

-  Merv Gaskin Partner  Hourly rate $410.00
-  Nicola Jones Partner  Hourly rate $390.00
-  Gemma McDougall Partner  Hourly rate $390.00
-  Mike Basil-Jones Consultant  Hourly rate $350.00
-  Nicola Goss Senior Associate  Hourly rate $390.00
-  Arthur Easther Solicitor  Hourly rate $285.00
-  Legal Executives    Hourly rate $185.00 TO $240.00


These hourly rates may change from time to time. 

In addition to time the complexity of the matter, degree of urgency, the level of skill, knowledge and responsibility involved, the results achieved are also considered in establishing the appropriate fee.

For ongoing matters, you agree that, at its discretion, JAG Legal may issue invoices for progress payments during the course of the matter or render invoices monthly.  You agree that all invoices will be paid as set out in the Payment of Fees section.


You may request JAG Legal to provide an estimate of how much any particular matter undertaken for you is likely to cost.  An estimate will be provided to you where that is appropriate.  In some circumstances JAG Legal may not be able to provide an estimate due to the nature or complexity of the work.  If an estimate is provided by JAG Legal the estimate will not amount to a quote for completing the work.

The nature of legal work is such that even when a genuine estimate is provided it can become unrealistic as the matter develops.  Where an estimate is provided you will be kept up to date as to how the costs being incurred for the work align with the estimate.  All estimates provided are exclusive of Goods and Services Tax or disbursements and expenses incurred in the matter.

Disbursements and Expenses

JAG Legal will charge you disbursements incurred for your matters and charged separately by other persons or organisations at their cost to JAG Legal.

There will be a section within our invoices called “Retrievals.” Each matter will incur an “Office Expense Charge” for General office expenses which includes (but is not limited to) the costs of bank fees, postages, courier fees, digital licensing, use of internet services (such as Landonline, ConveyIT and Cloud Check) charged to JAG Legal. The Office Expense Charge included in Retrievals for this matter will be a minimum of $50.00 plus GST.

Payment of Fees

All fees are due upon the issue of an invoice by JAG Legal.  Payment is to be made to JAG Legal no later than 7 days after the invoice is issued.

JAG Legal may, at its sole discretion, require interest to be paid on any amount which is overdue.  Interest will be calculated at the rate of 1.5% per month.

In the event that funds are held for you in the JAG Legal Trust Account you authorise payment of fees, disbursements and expenses from those funds immediately upon issue of the invoice. If you decide you will not proceed with a matter at any time, including after the initial interview, you will be required to pay the appropriate fee for the work carried out up until that time.

There may be occasions when additional work is necessary or further disbursements or expenses are incurred after the expected final invoice is issued.  JAG Legal will issue a further invoice in respect of that additional work and/or the disbursements and expenses that are incurred.

For a conveyance of property transaction fees, disbursements and expenses are due to be paid prior to the completion of the settlement of the transaction.

Commission on Interest Collected

JAG Legal shall charge commission, at the rate of 5% on the Gross interest (prior to resident withholding tax), collected on your behalf.  You authorise JAG Legal to deduct that sum directly from the interest collected upon allocation of that interest to you.

Collection of Fees

If you do not pay any of our invoice(s), JAG Legal will be entitled to discontinue working for you and to take legal action against you for payment of the invoice(s) and all associated costs of collection including actual legal costs and disbursements.
JAG Legal may also choose to refer the matter to a collection agency.  All costs incurred in collection will be added to your outstanding invoice. In the event that your outstanding invoice is referred to a collection agency, by acceptance of these terms, you consent to disclosure of your personal information to that collection agency.  That personal information shall include (but not be limited to) your full name, date of birth, residential address and place of work.


We may ask you to pre-pay amounts to us, or to provide security for our fees and expenses.  You authorise us:

·         To debit against amounts pre-paid by you; and

·         To deduct from any funds held on your behalf in our trust account any fees, expenses or disbursements for which we have provided an invoice.

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.


We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or your affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you.  We will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:


·         To the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out your instructions; or 

·         To the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers: or 

·         Reporting financial details of funds held by us or income derived through our trust account to a foreign government in respect of foreign citizens or persons who are tax payers in foreign jurisdictions.

Confidential information concerning you will as far as practicable be made available only to those within our firm who are providing legal services for you.

We will of course, not disclose to you confidential information which we have in relation to any other client.


You may terminate our retainer at any time.

We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers

If our retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.

Retention of files and documents

You authorise us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that we hold in safe custody for you) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier if we have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.

Conflicts of Interest

We have procedures in place to identify and respond to conflicts of interest.  If a conflict of interest arises, we will advise you of this and follow the requirements and procedures set out in the Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

Duty of Care

Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.

Trust Account

We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except monies received for payment of our invoices).

Funds on Interest Bearing Deposit

Unless you instruct us otherwise, if we are holding funds on your behalf we will lodge those funds on interest bearing deposit with our bank provided we have received the fully completed FATCA/CRS forms from you and the administrative cost of putting the funds on interest earning deposit will not outweigh the likely value of the interest you will receive.  We are required under CRS (Common Reporting Standards) and FATCA (The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) legislation to obtain various self-certification forms from you. There is an administration fee for this compliance.


These Terms apply to any current engagement and also to any future engagement, whether or not we send you another copy of them.

We are entitled to change these Terms from time to time, in which case we will send you amended Terms.

Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.

Please advise if any of the details recorded in the Client Registration Form are not correct.

26 February 2020