TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
You can find a list of duties and responsibilities a lawyer must be held to here -
https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2008/0214/latest/whole.html . My agreement contains items like refunds - that I will take into account your case and the amount of work I have done upon receiving a refund request and refund what is appropriate in that situation, your obligations and mine, that I will work in your best interests, and that I have no conflict of interest with you, and that you will be open and honest with me, and that you will provide me with the documents I require in a timely manner.
You will also agree to disclose any medical issues or character concerns with me. If I become aware of a conflict of interest I will either withdraw from services with you, or with your written acknowledgement, I may continue, depending on the circumstances. You have the option to review my draft application before lodging. If anything is not correct or missing, I will request it from you prior to lodgement. There is also a clause on confidentiality, I will not disclose your name to anyone other than INZ, or anyone I employ from time to time, or who you give me permission to discuss your case with. Importantly, the agreement sets out how you can terminate services with me, and I with you, and that there is no guarantee of an outcome - it is illegal to promise that a visa will be approved. I also cannot undertake work with you if you have an agreement with another adviser or lawyer, and so you would sign my agreement on the basis that you do not have such an agreement in place.
The final clause deals with independent legal advice. Should you need the services of a lawyer working in a
different field, I will inform you how to get one. My fees and disbursements - how they are charged, in stages after I have completed each stage - and I will invoice you at each stage. It also sets out the work I am to do for you, your visa type, my fee, and Immigration New Zealand's application fees and levies, and that invoices that remain unpaid for 30 days or more may be result in debt recovery. If paying by credit card there will be an additional fee of 2.9% of the total fee payable by you (which are charged to my account automatically by Stripe).
Please also see the below link for further information on client care standards from the Law Society -
https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/professional-practice/client-care-and-complaints/client-care/ . Please make sue you have a read of this and of the contract before signing and feel free to ask me any questions. I will also attach a copy of my complaints procedure (which is at the very end of my agreement),. In the complaints procedure you will see how to make a complaint if you are unhappy with my work - this is found in this letter, and in my agreement. These responsibilities are from the Immigration Advisers Authority, and I can provide you with a separate copy if you request it. Please note that if you your medical/character history could affect the outcome of your visa, and it is vital you are up front and honest with me about these matters.
Insurance - I hold indemnity insurance for up to $250,000.00 in one claim. This doesn’t meet the Law Society’s
recommended level for lawyers, however it is appropriate to my type of work as I don’t deal in large sums of money. In my agreement you will find out information about the Lawyer's Fidelity Fund and how it helps to protect clients from theft by their lawyer.
Hennessy Immigration Services NZ – Internal Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint about any aspect of my services to you, please get in touch with me so we can work through it. I will explain to you my professional responsibilities again, and refer you to information on how to make a complaint to the Law Society.
Internal Complaints Procedure
Hennessy Immigration Services NZ – 4/834 Atawhai Drive, Marybank, Nelson 7010.
1.If at any time you have a complaint about any of the services that I have undertaken to provide to you in
accordance with my written agreement, you may make a complaint to:
a. Me (Rory Hennessy)
2. I will send you an acknowledgement of your complaint in writing within two (2) working days of receiving it.
3. I would be happy to meet with you at any time to discuss the nature of your complaint, so that we can attempt to resolve it fairly and promptly between ourselves. You can bring any support person you wish to such a meeting.
4. I would also be happy to arrange a mediator to attend a meeting if you wish.
5. I will formally reply to your complaint within 10 working days of meeting with you, or receiving the full details of your
6.If you are not happy with my response to your complaint, and you feel that I have demonstrated one or more of the following grounds for complaint - negligence, incompetence, incapacity, dishonest and misleading behaviour, or have breached the Law Society's standards - you may complain to the New Zealand Law Society
7. https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-public/complaining-about-a-lawyer/how-to-make-a-complaint/- this link will show you how to make a complaint. If you have a complaint about the services you have received from me please contact Rory Hennessy (me).
If we have been unable to resolve a complaint or concern you may contact: The New Zealand Law Society -
If you have any questions please let me know:
Please note that transactions made in New Zealand often incur Goods and Services Tax (GST) - you can find more information about this here - https://www.ird.govt.nz/gst - this is an extra 15% tax that I must pass on to you as my client. "My fee" means the fee I charge for my time and skills and does not include disbursements (i.e. application fees). I do not take fees in advance, and you agree not to pay me until my invoice has been sent to you. Taking fees in advance would require me to operate a trust account which I don't do. My fee is a set fee that covers all work of a standard nature involved in delivering the services described in this agreement.
If any extra work is required involving additional fees, I will advise You of the additional fees, the reasons why,
and obtain Your written approval. My rate for extra work is $165.00 per hour inclusive of GST.
Payment Terms And Conditions
You will pay My fees and the disbursements identified above on the following terms and within 3 days of being
invoiced: I will invoice You when fees and or disbursements become payable in accordance with the above terms. Any additional fees or disbursements for which I have obtained Your written approval will be payable by You as soon as I issue an invoice for them. I will invoice for my fees in the stages set out below, which are payable to me upon completion of each stage. Fees not paid within 30 days of being due may be send to a debt collection agency of My choosing. I do not take fees in advance or operate a trust account and you agree not to pay my fees or disbursements until I have invoiced you for them.
On accounts more than 30 days overdue, I reserve the right to charge sell that debt to a debt collector of
My choosing, which may result in a bad credit rating for You.
Refunds will be assessed on the basis of what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances. Where a refund is due it will be paid to You within 20 working days of termination or completion of services. Please note that I cannot guarantee an outcome for you, and my fee becomes payable upon lodgement or submission of your visa or request to INZ, or per each stage set out in my invoices. For example, if I have invoiced you, that means I have completed that section of work, and that invoice is payable. If you don't secure your desired outcome, I will consider a partial refund. If I invoice you for disbursements, it is because I have paid this out of my own funds.
Conflicts of interest
Unless You specifically agree in writing, I cannot represent You if I am aware that there is a potential or actual
conflict of interest relating to You, including the existence of any financial or non-financial benefit I will receive as
a result of the relationship with You. Should an actual conflict of interest mean that either: My objectivity or the relationship of confidence and trust between Me and You would be compromised, or I would breach Your confidentiality or that of another client I must not in any circumstances represent or continue to represent You.
If I must stop work on Your immigration matter for reasons which You could not have reasonably been aware of, I
will undertake a fair and reasonable assessment regarding whether You will be eligible for a refund of any fees
paid by You.
I will treat any personal information You give Me as confidential, and keep and maintain such information
in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993. I will not disclose Your personal information without Your prior consent, except in the following circumstances: if making a complaint to the New Zealand law society relating to another adviser or reporting an alleged offence under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007; or against a lawyer under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act, or for the administration of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 or as required by law.
Any employees or other persons engaged by Me are also required to preserve Your confidentiality.
Your personal information will be retained for a period of seven years, and will be made available to
the Immigration Advisers Authority/ New Zealand Law Society if requested.
You have the right to have access to, and have corrected, any of Your personal information held by
Me within 7 years of the completion of my work for You. f necessary for the purposes of the services outlined in this agreement, I may disclose Your personal information to [people nominated by you]. By signing this agreement You agree to the disclosure of your personal information to the above named person(s).
Changes to terms of agreement
Any changes to the terms of this agreement will be recorded by Me, either as amendment to this agreement which will be initialed by You and Me, or as a separate document which will be signed by You and Me and read in conjunction with this agreement. Alternatively, for small changes, for example, a change in visa type, or adding
a dependent child under 18, we may agree in writing via email to that change in services.
Signatures and Acknowledgements
In signing My agreement, You acknowledge that:
I have explained all significant matters in the agreement to You (see client care letter). You have read the terms set out above and below, and agree to them. If I have disclosed any actual or potential conflict of interest, including any financial or non-financial benefit I will receive as a result of My relationship with You, you acknowledge this conflict and agree for Me to act for You. I will receive as a result of My relationship with You, you acknowledge this conflict and agree for Me to act for You. You have received information relating to client care matters (see below).You have received a copy of My internal complaints procedure (see client care letter).
You acknowledge that you have disclosed to me any medical issues or character issues, and that these may
impact your visa application. You also acknowledge that I cannot guarantee an outcome to your visa application.
Your obligations to Me
You confirm that:
You will inform Me of any relevant matters regarding your immigration status and history, including medical
and character issues. You will promptly provide Me with all the information and documents I need in order to complete My services for You, and that all such documents and information will be valid, accurate, complete and truthful. You will inform Me of any relevant change in Your circumstances that could affect the outcome or delivery of the service(s) You have engaged Me to perform. You will pay invoices in a timely
manner. You will disclose to me medical issues which may impact your chances of obtaining a visa.
You will disclose to me any character issues or criminal convictions in any country, as it may impact your
chances of getting a visa.. You will not disseminate or distribute any of my intellectual property, including my agreement template and visa checklists, to others not a party to this agreement.
No guarantee of outcome
I are unable to guarantee the outcome of Your application. For section 61 requests, these decisions are based solely by the Minister of Immigration or persons delegated by them, and they are not required to give reasons for their decision. I will however, undertake to use My professional skill for Your benefit to the best of My ability at all times.
Disclosure of financial and non-financial interests
I do not accept commissions or brokerage fees for any goods or services supplied by Me, or for referrals
to suppliers of other goods or services I may make to You. I will advise You in writing as soon as practicable if this changes
Termination of agreement
You are free to terminate this agreement at any time. I will not terminate My services to You unless there is good cause for Me to do so. Good cause includes (but is not
limited to) where:
You breach any of Your obligations to Me; or You fail to pay any payment due for a period of 7 days or more; or
I am unable to carry out My services because of a change in immigration law or instructions; or there is a breakdown in our adviser-client relationship that makes my position untenable; or You have not provided me with the required documents within a reasonable amount of time or you cease communication with me; or
You have been dishonest to me, or withheld material information from me, the type of information which
would prejudice your application/request/claim.
If My services to You are terminated, whether on Your instructions or by My actions, I will confirm this to You
in writing. If I do not hear from you I will assume our contract remains open.
If for any reason I cannot continue to act as Your representative, I will take reasonable steps to ensure that
Your interests are represented if requested by you .If either You or I terminate this agreement under this clause, I will be entitled to be paid a fair and reasonable fee for the work done by Me up till then.
Independent legal advice
20.1 You have the right to seek Your own legal advice about this agreement.
20.2 If You would like to obtain Your own legal advice, please do so before You sign the agreement.
Explanatory Notes: in some cases a lawyer may have an agreement with a client who is not a visa
applicant, such as an employer, family member or sponsor of a visa applicant. In such cases the
responsible lawyer or company may have a separate agreement with the visa applicant (even if the visa
applicant is not paying the fees) or a single written agreement with both parties. The obligations of the
responsible adviser to all clients must be transparent. In such cases you may include in the written
agreement(s) a provision that allows you to disclose personal information between the clients.
FEE(S) Fees must be reasonable within the meaning of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers:
Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008. Factors that may be taken into account include time and complexity.
You can find more information about this here - https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/
public/2008/0214/latest/DLM1437811.html - if GST
(goods and services tax) is included, it will be listed in the fees section of my agreement. This is primarily
for clients who are physically located in New Zealand. You can contact the IRD for more information about
My written agreement contains:
• the likely disbursements that will be incurred (including any Immigration New Zealand fees) including
the amount, if known, or a reasonable estimate;
• where disbursements will be incurred, whether the disbursements will be paid by the client or by the
lawyer on the client’s behalf.
Disbursements are supplementary costs which may include, for example, Immigration New Zealand
application fees, costs of obtaining medical certificates, costs of obtaining police certificates, courier
costs, translation costs and interpreter costs.
I include disbursements in my agreement. These are usually application fees. I do not put a mark-up
on these and only charge what I have paid out of my own account. From time to time, Immigration
New Zealand change their application fees (for example, July 2022). If these changes occur after
having signed my agreement, we can agree in writing (via email or other written message) to the new