FAQ's


How much does legal advice cost?

We strive to keep our fees reasonable whilst maintaining a high level of professional service.  Fees will vary; however, we are happy to discuss this with you and, where possible, we can agree on a fixed fee.  You will receive a letter of engagement setting this out in more detail before work commences.  You will be advised in advance if any additional costs will are incurred.  Like you, we do not like surprises.

Can I get legal aid?                 

Legal aid is not available for all legal help.  You can apply for legal aid for some criminal, family and civil matters.  Your application will be assessed by the Legal Services Agency – see www.justice.govt.nz.  It is means-tested and depending on your level of income/assets you may have to pay some or all of the legal aid back.

Do I really need a lawyer?  Why can’t I just deal with my problem myself?

Legal matters can be complicated and have far-reaching, long term consequences if you do not get it right.  We have many years of experience and highly-qualified staff who will ensure your legal needs are dealt with correctly.  In some cases we can take the back seat and help you help yourself.

Are all your services confidential?

Absolutely.  We operate within the framework of the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.  You can read more about this in our Terms of Engagement.

Where can I park my car?

There is a client car park at the back of our Invercargill office.  Parking is not a problem in Alexandra unless it’s the Blossom Festival weekend.

How will I know which lawyer in the practice is best for me?

Each of our lawyers has strengths in different practice areas.  If you are new to our firm we will discuss your issue with you and then advise which of our staff would be best suited to handle your matter.  We do collaborate together to ensure we are giving the best advice possible but your lawyer will remain your lawyer.  We are interested in developing and maintaining long term client relationships and this will reflect in our personal service to you.

 


Anti-Money Laundering Act

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Act 2017 puts in place "Phase 2" of New Zealand's AML/CFT laws. The purpose of the law reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.

From 1 July 2018, lawyers are required to comply with its requirements. The law says that law firms and other professionals must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and to identify potentially suspicious activity. To make that assessment lawyers must obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is part of what the AML/CFT law calls “customer due diligence” (‘CDD’).

You can download our AML Client CDD form here.