Terms & Conditions
CLIENT CHARTER & TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
We have prepared this document to let you know who we are and the basis on which we will work with you. These terms apply in respect of all work we do for you, unless we agree otherwise in writing with you.
1. Who are we?
Pip includes two companies, Pip Law Limited, an incorporated law firm, and Pip Intellectual Property Limited, a New Zealand company registered as an incorporated Patent Attorney firm with the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board. We are based in Auckland, New Zealand and specialise in intellectual property, with a particular focus on trade mark protection, branding, intellectual property strategy services, and intellectual property portfolio management. Our team include Intellectual Property Lawyers, registered Trans-Tasman (New Zealand & Australia) Patent Attorneys and Trade mark specialists, see Appendix C for details of our team.
Pip services are provided by Pip Intellectual Property Limited or Pip Law Limited.
All 'legal services' within the meaning of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (NZ) are provided solely by Pip Law Limited.
2. What will we do for you?
The services we will undertake for you will be outlined in our correspondence with you, including our engagement email, which will also include details of the team responsible for your work. We will update you on the scope of these services if you ask us to carry out further work.
3. How do we operate?
Once you engage us, we undertake, to the best of our ability, to:
- give you clear information and advice
- act in a timely, competent manner, and in accordance with your instructions
- 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
- keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed
We’ve set out in Appendix A the client care and service requirements of New Zealand lawyers under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008.
4. What about the financial stuff?
The fees we will charge are set out in our engagement email and/or other correspondence with
Where we specify a fixed fee, we will charge this for the agreed scope of our services. Work
which falls outside that scope will be charged on an hourly rate basis and taking into account the further factors set out in the New Zealand Law Society rules. We will advise you as soon as we can if it becomes necessary for us to provide services outside the agreed scope.
Where our fees are calculated purely on an hourly basis, we will let you know our hourly rates. The differences in these rates reflect the experience and specialisation of our professional staff.
Disbursements and expenses:
In providing services to you, we may incur disbursements or have to make payments to third parties on your behalf. These will be included in our invoice to you when the expense is incurred.
Unless agreed with you to the contrary in advance, where we incur disbursements, we charge a 5% fee on the total value of the disbursement (with or without GST as applicable) for exchange rate changes, bank transfer fees and other costs incurred for meeting Associate invoices. This amount will be included in our NZ$ fee currency conversion and disbursement fee.
GST: Is payable by you on our fees and charges if GST applies to the particular work being undertaken.
Invoices: We will send interim invoices to you, usually monthly and on completion of the matter, or on termination of our engagement. We may also send you an invoice when we incur a significant expense.
Payment: Invoices are payable within 30 days of receipt of the invoice, unless alternative arrangements have been made with us in advance.
Discounts: In some cases, we may offer a fees discount on the basis of prompt payment. However, if our discounted invoice becomes overdue, we may issue you with a further invoice to recover the discount.
Overdue Invoices: If our invoices are overdue, we will contact you to remind you of payment. Monthly late fees may be charged on overdue invoices at a rate of 2% of the total invoice amount per month or $30 per month, whichever the greater. Invoices which are more than 60 days overdue may be referred to our debt recovery agency who may charge you a fee equal to 25% of the unpaid invoice amount and legal and collection costs. Failure to pay our invoices could also result in us ceasing to work for you and your intellectual property rights irrevocably lapsing.
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.
5. Patent Attorneys
All Patent Attorneys at Pip are registered Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and are bound by the Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys 2018. This code is administered by the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board. The Board’s contact details are available on the Board’s website.
6. Professional indemnity insurance and our limitation of liability.
Professional indemnity insurance is a particular type of insurance that provides cover for claims against a firm for professional negligence. We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the New Zealand Law Society and the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board. (If you’d like details of the minimum standards, let us know.)
Please note: When we carry out services for you, our liability to you is limited to the lesser of the amount of our professional indemnity insurance, or 10 times the agreed fee for those services to which any claim for professional negligence relates.
7. The New Zealand Law Society Fidelity Fund.
The New Zealand Law Society maintains the Lawyers Fidelity Fund. This fund provides 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. Please note that 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 (except in specific circumstances specified in the Lawyers & Conveyancers Act 2006).
8. What to do if you have any complaints
If you have any concerns about our service, please discuss your concerns with us – a call or email will get the fastest response. We appreciate that raising concerns can be difficult to do, and invite you to confidentially contact any member of our team – all our contact details are available on our website at www.piplaw.co.nz.
If our internal complaints resolution process does not lead to a satisfactory outcome, you can contact the Lawyers Complaints Service at the New Zealand Law Society (www.lawsociety.org.nz) or the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (www.ttipattorney.gov.au) to discuss your concerns. Full details on contacting the Law Society or Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board are set out in Appendix B.
9. Keeping things Confidential
We will hold all information concerning you or your affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you in confidence. 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 (if you’d like a copy of this, let us know).
- to the extent required by law or by the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys 2018.
We will of course, not disclose to any other client any confidential information that we have in relation to you, and vice versa.
Where our work for you is on public record (e.g. can be seen online on an IP Office website), we may refer to you in our list of clients on our website and show details from the public record.
10. Terminating our relationship
You may terminate our engagement at any stage unless we have specifically agreed to a specific term for our retainer.
We may terminate our engagement in any of the circumstances set out in the New Zealand Law Society's Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
If our engagement is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.
11. What happens to files and documents after our engagement ends?
You authorise us (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for your matters (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.
12. Any 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 or the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys 2018 (if you’d like a copy of either of these, let us know).
13. Our duty of care is to you
Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person or organisation. Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.
14. The general stuff
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 the amended terms or post them on our website at www.piplaw.co.nz.
Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and New Zealand courts have non-exclusive jurisdiction.
Pip Intellectual Property Limited and Pip Law Limited were formerly Potter IP Limited and Potter IP Law Limited respectively.
If you don’t understand anything in our charter and terms or would like to discuss them with us, please don’t hesitate to ask us – we’re here to help and look forward to working with you.
Last updated as at 4 December 2023.
Client care and service requirements under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008
Whatever legal services your lawyer is providing, he or she must:
- act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and 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 how and 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.
Contacting the Law Society
If you have a complaint and are not satisfied with the way we deal with it, the New Zealand Law Society has a complaints service to which you may refer the issue. You can call the 0800 number for guidance, lodge a concern or make a formal complaint.
Matters may be directed to:
Lawyers Complaints Service, PO Box 5041, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Phone: 0800 261 801
Contacting the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board
If you have a complaint and are not satisfied with the way we deal with it, the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (TTIPAB) has a complaints service to which you may refer the issue. You can contact the Secretary to the TTIPAB to discuss the compliant.
The TTIPAB Secretary
Telephone: +61 2 6283 2345
Directors Pip Intellectual Property Limited:
- Jullion Nelson Parker (Senior Intellectual Property Lawyer)
- Jane McHenry (Senior Patent and Trade Mark Attorney)
Directors Pip Law Limited:
- Jullion Nelson Parker (Senior Intellectual Property Lawyer)
- Melissa Pearson (Senior Intellectual Property Lawyer)
- Claire Robertson (Associate)
- Bhawisha Deo (IP Specialist)
- Angela Wray (Senior Patent and Trade Mark Attorney)
- Ashlyn Rolleston (Legal Executive)
- Christine Kelly (Contracting IP Specialist)