Approach

Thank you for taking an interest in our firm. At Hewat Galt we take great pride in providing friendly, personalised service to all our clients, no matter how large or small they are. We are dedicated to going the extra mile for our clients; for example, we are happy to make a house call if you are unable to come into our office, and we will provide free legal advice over the phone for simple matters. As a result of this commitment to service, we are one of the busiest and most respected legal firms in Southland.

Our team of solicitors have over 90 years’ experience between them. We support their expertise by ensuring they have access to the latest technology and information, therefore, our clients can be assured that they are receiving the most comprehensive legal service and advice available.

We would welcome the chance to talk with you further about your private legal needs and commercial ambitions. We are confident that our service and expertise will far exceed your expectations.

We are committed to doing our best to ensure that your legal needs are met. We will:

  • 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.
  • Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with instructions received and arrangements made.
  • Provide you with information about the work to be done, who will do it and the way the services will be provided.
  • Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
  • Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
  • Give you clear information and advice.
  • Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed.
  • Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable and let you know how and when you will be billed.
  • Let you know how to make a complaint and deal with any complaint promptly and fairly.

The obligations lawyers owe to clients are described in the Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers. Those obligations are subject to other overriding duties, including duties to the courts and the justice system. If you have any questions, please contact us on 03 218 3137 or law@hewatgalt.co.nz or the Law Society on 0800 261 801 or lawsociety.org.nz.

The basis of our charges

Unless agreed otherwise our fees are based on the range of factors applied by the NZ Law Society, including time, expertise, importance, urgency and results achieved. Rates may change from time to time, and a full list of the rates of any lawyers working for you is available at any time. We also charge for disbursements (court fees, registrations, duties/levies etc) and travel expenses incurred on your behalf. These will be itemised separately, and we will notify you if any fees or disbursements need to be paid for in advance.

Billing arrangements

To help you budget we issue interim accounts, usually monthly, while work is in progress, with a final bill on completion. Current payment terms are set out on invoices from time to time, and unless otherwise stated are due for payment within 14 days. We may deduct from funds held on your behalf any fees, disbursements or expenses for which we have provided an invoice.

Professional indemnity insurance & fidelity fund

We hold professional indemnity insurance that meets or exceeds standards specified by the Law Society. The Lawyers’ Fidelity Fund also provides a limited form of cover up to specified maximums in certain circumstances, generally excluding investment monies.

Completion

When a matter is completed, we will advise you accordingly and provide a brief summary of the work undertaken if we have not already done so. Where appropriate we will also identify any necessary future action that may be required.

If you have any concerns or complaints that you prefer not to raise with the Lawyer who has overall responsibility for your matter, please contact the NZ Law Society’s Lawyers’ Complaints Service, at 26 Waring Taylor Street, PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145, phone 04 472 7837 or 0800 261 801, fax 04 473 7909.

We are committed to resolving any issues as soon as possible.

If you are unable to fund your own legal costs you can apply for Legal Aid. Legal aid can provide financial assistance for the following types of legal matters:

  • Criminal offenses carrying a prison sentence of six months or more.
  • Family disputes such as child support and disputes around caring for children.
  • Civil disputes that might go to court such as debt recovery and breach of contract.

You cannot receive legal aid for the following matters:

  • Divorce
  • Problems that would not go to court
  • Immigration matters (except for refugee matters)
  • Companies or groups of people (apart from occasional Waitangi Tribunal cases)
  • Reviews by Work and Income
  • Problems with schools, universities and other educational institutions
  • Disputes Tribunal cases
  • Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal cases

Legal aid is means tested, therefore, depending on your assets and income you may have to pay a proportion of your legal fees yourself, with legal aid making up the balance.

For information on legal aid see What is legal aid? or contact us and we will assist you with any questions you may have.

We understand price is an important consideration when deciding which legal firm will best represent your interests. At Hewat Galt, we make an effort to ensure our prices are reasonable for the quality of the service we provide.

Our prices vary depending on the services required, however, we will agree a fixed fee where possible. A letter of engagement will be sent to you outlining the final cost before work commences. No additional costs will be added without your consent, and we will keep you up to date on how your matter is progressing throughout the process.

To find out more about our services contact our office today.