Kaizen Synergy Legal Services
Thank you for seeking Legal Services from us. Included here are our Terms of Engagement. By payment of Attached Accounts by Email confirms your agreement to these Terms of Engagement.
General Counsel & Legal Director
If you have any questions, please contact me on 1300 360 360
1. TERMS AND ACCEPTANCE
This Terms of Engagement:
- constitute the disclosure that we are required to give to you under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2015 (Vic); and
- set out the terms and conditions on which we will act for you across all matters.. By continuing to instruct us after payment of the Account and receipt of these Terms of Engagement, you will be taken to have accepted these terms and conditions.
2. FEES AND OTHER CHARGES
- Costs Agreement & Quote Under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2015 (Vic), you have the right to negotiate a costs agreement with us. A costs agreement is a written agreement about the payment of legal costs. Your acceptance of the terms set out in this Terms of Engagement and our Account for services constitutes a costs agreement between us.
- Before commencing any work with you, we will provide you with a quote.
- Before commencing any work we will seek your written approval of this quote.
- Our Retainer Letter provides details of our professional fees payable by you. If professional fees are based on an hourly rate, work undertaken will be charged at 1/10th of the relevant hourly rate for each 6 minute period, or part of that period. If circumstances exist or arise that require special skill, care or responsibility, we shall seek approval from you before undertaking this work. The hourly fees and other expenses specified in the retainer letter may be changed by us from time to time and we will notify you of those changes. If you continue to instruct us after receipt of such a notification, you will be taken to have accepted those changes. Again, we shall provide you with a quote and seek your approval prior to commencing any further work.
- Disbursements In addition to our professional fees you must pay all disbursements that we incur in acting for you. These may include:
- bank charges;
- government taxes;
- title and company search fees;
- long distance and mobile phone charges;
- courier fees;
- court fees;
- document production (including photocopying and print-outs);
- facsimile receipt and transmission expenses;
- merchant fees for credit card payments;
barristers’ fees and costs of experts (where applicable). NOTE: These appear as part of our quote. We will be acting as your agent when incurring any applicable government fees, costs or charges (such as court fees, duties, etc). As your agent, we are able to pass these charges on to you free of GST.
- Our professional fees and disbursements are exclusive of GST, unless otherwise stated. In addition to the professional fees and disbursements, you must pay GST of 10% on those amounts, if applicable. Our quote and subsequent invoice will include details of GST charged.
4. ENGAGING THIRD PARTIES
- You authorise us to act for you in all matters necessary or incidental to our engagement, including:
- incurring all expenses necessary for the proper conduct of your matter and
- engaging us on your behalf, to engage the services of a barrister to provide specialist advice or services, including advocacy services.
Barrister’s fees & other professional fees
- If we intend to retain a barrister on your behalf, we will provide you with details of their method of:
- charging intervals; and
- This includes an estimate of their total charges or, if that is not reasonably practicable, a range of estimates and the major variables affecting those charges. The information about these charges will be provided to you in writing before the barrister is retained, except in urgent circumstances, when it will be given to you orally and confirmed in writing as soon as practicable afterwards.
5. RECOVERY AND PAYMENT OF COSTS – LITIGIOUS MATTERS
- If there is litigation before a court or tribunal, the issue of which party is entitled to costs and the amount of those costs is a matter in the discretion of the court or tribunal and will depend on which court or tribunal is involved and the circumstances of the case. A party has no right to costs unless and until the court or tribunal awards them. Generally, the courts award costs to the successful party. These costs are usually calculated in accordance with a scale. An order by the court for the payment of costs in your favour will not necessarily cover the whole of your legal costs. If you are successful, you might recover about 50% to 65% of the total costs and disbursements you incurred. Conversely, if you are unsuccessful, you could be liable for a similar percentage of the other party’s costs and disbursements. However, the court or tribunal may make no order as to costs or may order a party to pay costs on some different basis, which may amount to more or less than the estimate indicated above. In some jurisdictions, costs are awarded only in exceptional circumstances. As a general rule, if a matter is heard by a tribunal, the parties bear their own costs.
6. BILLING ARRANGEMENTS
Invoicing and payment Accounts for our professional fees and disbursements are rendered monthly until the matter is completed, unless we decide, at our discretion, to bill less frequently. Unless otherwise agreed, we will send our accounts to the person to whom the retainer letter is addressed or the person within the client’s organisation who is handling the matter.
- Our accounts are due and payable within 30 days after they are rendered.
Funds in advance
- We reserve the right to request funds in advance from you on account of disbursements, including barrister’s fees, and as security for our costs. These funds are held in our Trust Account on your behalf. We will fully account to you with respect to the expenditure of any such funds.
Details of unbilled legal costs
- You can obtain details of professional fees and disbursements incurred but not billed at any time upon request.
Details of unbilled legal costs
- We are authorised and directed by you to withdraw any money which we may receive on your behalf, or hold on your behalf in our trust account, in relation to your matter, in or towards the satisfaction of any claim that we may have against you for professional costs or disbursements relating to your matter.
Multiple clients and personal guarantees
- If the matter relates to work to be undertaken for 2 or more persons or entities (whether jointly or severally), each of them is jointly and severally liable to pay our fees and disbursements, regardless of whether we may, at your request or for any other reason:
- direct our accounts or statements to only one of them or to a third party, or
- obtain instructions in relation to the daily conduct of the matter from only one of them or from a third party. If we have attached a guarantee to the retainer letter then we require each of the persons named in the guarantee to execute it and return it to us.
Bill of costs and an itemised bill
- The bill of costs that we send you may be in the form of:
- a lump sum bill, which describes the legal services to which the bill relates and specifies the total amount of the legal costs; or
- an itemised bill, which specifies in detail how the legal costs are calculated. If we send you a lump sum bill, you have the right, within 30 days after receipt of that bill, to request an itemised bill.
- If you fail to pay an account, we may:
- charge interest at the rate from time to time fixed under the Penalty Interest Rates Act 1983;
- choose not to perform any further work for you until all accounts, including interest, are paid in full;
- terminate our retainer; and / or
- retain custody of your papers, documents or files until all accounts, including interest, are paid in full.
7. PROGRESS REPORTS
We will provide you with regular progress reports on all work we are currently working on from time to time. The details of this report will vary depending on the extent of the work undertaken.
8. CHANGES TO INFORMATION
You have the right to be notified of any substantial changes to costing, billing and other information, as required by the Act.
9. PRIVACY ACT
- The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) prohibits us from obtaining credit references from credit reporting agencies without the consent of the party concerned. Like most businesses, we reserve the right to obtain credit reports on our clients. If you instruct us to act for you, you consent to us obtaining a credit report in relation to you. We will not disclose the contents of that report to anyone else. This is a matter which we must now raise with all of our clients, considering the provisions of the Privacy Act. It is not directed specifically to you or to anyone else.
- In the course of providing legal and professional services to you, we will collect personal information about you. This personal information may be shared between our related entities and may also be disclosed to third parties where necessary to provide you with legal and professional services. These third parties may include:
- government departments;
- accountants; and
- other professional advisers.
It may also be necessary to disclose personal information about you as a result of a legal requirement. We may also use this information to inform you of services we provide and of legal developments. If you do not give us all of the personal information we need to provide you with legal services, we may not be able to provide some or all of those services. You are entitled to access any personal information that we hold about you. If you would like to update or access any personal information we hold about you or if you have any queries about this, please contact our:
General Counsel & Legal Director
T: 1300 360 360.
By engaging us to provide legal and professional services, you consent to the collection and disclosure of personal information on the terms outlined above, unless you inform us to the contrary.
10. DESTRUCTION OF FILES
After the conclusion of your matter, you may leave papers to which you are entitled in our possession. You authorise us to destroy all files and records relating to this matter, including papers that you have not retrieved, after 7 years from its completion, as is our normal practice. This does not apply to titles, deeds and wills.
11. QUERIES OR CONCERNS
If you have any queries or concerns about costs or the provision of our legal and professional services, please contact:
General Counsel & Legal Director
TEL: 1300 360 360
The following avenues are open to you in the event of a dispute in relation to legal costs:
- you may seek a costs review by the Taxing Master under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2015 (Vic) within 60 days after we gave you a bill or requested payment or you paid the costs (whichever first occurs).
- you may make a complaint to the you may apply to VCAT to set aside a costs agreement under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2015 (Vic); or
- Legal Services Commissioner under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2015 (Vic) within 60 days after the legal costs were payable or if an itemised bill was requested, within 30 days after the request was complied with. Please contact us if you require further information.
12. LEGAL AID
Subject to eligibility, government funded legal assistance is available in certain cases. You can obtain further information either from us or from the Victoria Legal Aid.
13. APPLICABLE LAW
The law of Victoria applies to legal costs in relation to this matter.
Either you or we may terminate this agreement at any time, subject to any legal requirements to the contrary. The terms of this agreement survive termination and you must pay us for all work done and expenses incurred up to the date of termination. Without limiting the above, if you wish to retrieve your file or request us to transfer your file to another firm of legal practitioners, we reserve the right to photocopy your file and all related documents for that purpose at your expense.