Part 1: Fees and payments

(a) Fixed rate for reviewing documents and first meeting
To review documents relevant to your situation, meet with you for up to 1 hour, and advise on your options, we charge a discounted fixed fee which is agreed with you before the meeting.

(b) Basis of billing for work after first meeting
Standard billing is based on time spent working on your file, at the agreed hourly rates.

As an alternative to standard hourly billing, we may agree to undertake work on a different basis such as a fixed fee for specified services. Any variation to standard billing will be recorded in writing.

We will provide an estimate of likely costs for work to be done, upon request.

(c) Other charges
We do not charge an administration fee. We will charge you for disbursements made on your behalf. These may include court or tribunal filing fees, the costs of printing and binding large documents, courier charges, and fees for special services such as transcription of sound files or the engagement of third-party experts.

(d) Invoicing and payment terms
We will send invoices to you at the beginning of each month, for work done in the previous month. We will also invoice you when we incur a significant expense, or when you request an invoice. We will send you a final invoice on completion of the matter, or termination of our engagement.

Payment is required within 7 days of receipt of our invoice, unless otherwise agreed. Payment may be made by direct deposit into the bank account on our invoice. We also accept payments by credit card.

If payment upon invoice is likely to cause you difficulties, please advise us in advance so that we can discuss alternative payment options such as payment by regular instalments.

(e) Unpaid invoices
If you anticipate any difficulties paying an invoice by the due date, please raise this with us as soon as possible, and before the due date of the invoice.

Unpaid invoices may be referred to a debt collection agency, and/or enforcement action may be undertaken. You will be liable for reasonable costs incurred in collecting unpaid bills, and you may also be charged interest on overdue balances.

(f) Legal aid
If you are on a low income and have few assets you may be eligible for legal aid. We are registered legal aid providers. Legal aid work is charged according to schedules set by the Ministry of Justice. If you think you may be eligible for legal aid, it is important you tell us as soon as possible.


Part 2: Our services

(g) Our expertise
We are specialists in employment law, employment dispute resolution, and aspects of education and human rights law. We ordinarily provide services in these fields only. Details of our qualifications and experience are shown on our website Matters outside our expertise may need to be referred to another lawyer. Any such referral would be made in discussion with you.

(h) Responsibility for the work done on your behalf
David Fleming is ultimately responsible for the work done on your behalf.

Legal services will be provided by David Fleming and/or by Keziah Singleton working under David’s supervision. Where appropriate, tasks may be delegated to a law clerk or legal executive working under close supervision.

(i) Authority to represent and to access information on your behalf
You authorise us to represent you, and to obtain information (including personal information where relevant) in relation to the matters you instructed us on.

(j) Retention of files and documents
You authorise us, and any instructing solicitor (without further reference to you) to destroy all files and documents for this matter (other than any documents that your instructing solicitor holds in safe custody for you) 7 years after our engagement ends, or earlier, if we, or the instructing solicitor have converted those files and documents to an electronic format.

(k) Duty of care
Our duty of care is to you and not to any other person. Before any other person may rely on our advice, we must expressly agree to this.

(l) 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 set out in the Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers.

(m) Indemnity arrangements
We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards specified by the Law Society. We will provide you with the details of the minimum standards on your request.

The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund does not provide any cover in relation to barristers as we do not hold client funds.

(n) Trust account
We do not maintain a trust account.

(o) Termination
You may terminate our retainer at any time.

We may terminate our retainer in any of the circumstances set out in the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

If our retainer is terminated you must pay us all fees due up to the date of termination and all expenses incurred up to that date.


Part 3: Your rights

(p) Standards of client care
The New Zealand Law Society has implemented standards of client care and service for your benefit. Information from the Society about this is set out in Appendix One.

(q) If you are not happy with our services
We maintain a procedure for handling any complaints by clients, designed to ensure that a complaint is dealt with promptly and fairly.

If you have a complaint, please contact us with the details. We will consider your complaint and respond to it within 14 days. If you are not satisfied with our response, we will pass on your complaint to independent counsel for review.

If you have instructed us through a solicitor, you may refer any complaints to your solicitor. The solicitor will have been given a copy of these terms of engagement.

If you are still not satisfied with our response to your complaint, or if you feel you cannot raise it with us, contact the New Zealand Law Society. You can find information about how to make a complaint through the New Zealand Law Society at

(r) Limitations on extent of our obligations or liability
Any limitations on the extent of our obligations to you or any limitation or exclusion of liability will be set out in writing.

(s) Confidentiality and disclosure
We will hold in confidence all information concerning you or my affairs that we acquire during the course of acting for you. We will not disclose any of this information to any other person except:

  1. to the extent necessary or desirable to enable us to carry out our instructions;
  2. to any instructing solicitor engaged by you; or
  3. to the extent required by law or by the Law Society’s Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.

We will not disclose to you confidential information which we hold in relation to any other client. Aside from this, any information we receive that is material to your case will be disclosed to you.

We share office premises with another barrister, Catherine Stewart, who also practices in employment law. We have procedures in place to ensure that sharing the office space does not give rise to any confidentiality issues.