How To Become A Client

Engaging a lawyer can be a daunting process. At Smith and Partners Lawyers, our friendly and approachable team will help take the stress out of this situation.

H
ow to request an estimate
To request an estimate for how much it will cost for us to provide you with advice on your matter, simply phone us on 09 836 0939 or email partners@smithpartners.co.nz. We will identify the area of law that is concerning you and direct you to one of our specialist lawyers.

You can also send us an enquiry online here.

Please note that in accordance with our obligations under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, we cannot provide legal advice unless you have become a client of Smith and Partners and have received our Terms & Conditions of Engagement and Info for Clients.

How to become a client
To become a client of Smith and Partners, we will require you to provide proof of identity and address information. We will also require written (or email) confirmation that you have accepted our pricing terms before we start work.

In some instances we will require a retainer to be paid before we start providing advice or acting on your matter. 

For New Zealand residents:

• One form of photo identification (Passport/Drivers Licence)
• One proof of address – i.e. a utility bill or bank statement with your name and address on it
• For some matters, including (but not limited to) family law, employment law and estate litigation matters we require a retainer to be paid prior to the appointment. You can pay at reception at the time of your appointment, or you can pay by direct credit into our account.  When estimating the cost of the work involved we will provide you with the details of the retainer required

For International residents:

• Two forms of photo identification (Passport/Drivers Licence)
• One proof of address – i.e. a utility bill or bank statement with your name and address on it
• A retainer to be paid. When estimating the cost of the work involved we will provide you with the details of the retainer required. For international clients we require payment for the work to be done prior to the work being carried out.
• A video conference meeting to confirm your identity – we are able to video conference using Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger Video Calling.

Simply email a copy (digital photos are fine) of your ID and Proof of Address to partners@smithpartners.co.nz or direct to your contact at Smith and Partners.

Why do we need this information?
The New Zealand Government has recently brought in new legislation, and more legislation is being developed that requires lawyers to undertake more formal due diligence (investigation) into the identity of our clients. This process is very similar to what is currently required by banks.

The good news for you as a client is that this more thorough fact-checking should help prevent you from being the subject of identity theft. We appreciate your cooperation.

Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT)
Under phase 2 of the AML/CFT Act, lawyers will be required to become reporting entities under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism Act 2009. This also requires us to undertake greater due diligence in regards to the identity of our clients.

Once we have received all the required info, we can set up a time for your first meeting.

What happens next?
We will not begin work for you until you have clearly stated your intention for us to proceed. If you do decide to proceed, we will discuss how the law applies, and how we can help. We will then send you a “Letter of Engagement” outlining the work you have instructed us to carry out on your behalf, naming the people responsible for carrying out the work and re-stating the costs estimated for you.

If there are unforeseen complications, we will advise you as soon as possible to confirm that you are happy for us to continue working on the issue, this work will be charged at a pre-determined hourly rate.

When you work with us, you can rest assured that you’ll receive professional legal advice that is easy to understand, ensuring that you achieve practical results