Terms of Engagement

COPYRIGHT 

Baldwins Intellectual Property asserts copyright and all other intellectual property rights in this web site, unless otherwise stated. All trade marks which appear on this web page are the property of Baldwins Intellectual Property and are indicated by the appropriate symbol.

Baldwins Intellectual Property also reserves copyright and all other intellectual property rights in all its documents and images appearing on or linked to this web site. Users of this web site may download a single copy of these documents and images for their personal use only.

Any information appearing on or linked to by this web site in which Baldwins Intellectual Property has reserved copyright shall not be reproduced in any form, adapted or transmitted in any form by any process, including electronic form, without Baldwins Intellectual Property's express permission.

 

DISCLAIMER

All information provided by Baldwins Intellectual Property on this website is provided to the public as a source of general information on intellectual property issues. In legal matters, no publication, whether in written or electronic form, can take the place of professional advice given with full knowledge of the specific circumstances of each case, and proficiency in the laws of the relevant country. The reader should not consider the information on the website to be an invitation for an attorney/solicitor client relationship.

Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, it should not be treated as the basis for formulating business decisions without further professional advice. We emphasise that intellectual property laws vary from country to country, and between states within some countries. The information included on this website will not be relevant or accurate for all countries or states.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the author or authors and may or may not be shared by the staff and management of Baldwins Intellectual Property or Baldwins Law Limited.

Baldwins Intellectual Property does not intend links on the website to be referrals or endorsements of the linked entities. Finally, the use of the internet email for confidential or sensitive information is discouraged.

 

GENERAL TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR BALDWINS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND BALDWINS LAW LIMITED, OUR ASSOCIATED LAW FIRM

STANDARD TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR BALDWINS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Introduction

These standard terms of engagement apply except where we agree otherwise with you in writing. You do not need to sign any formal documentation to indicate your acceptance. This will be assumed from your continuing to instruct us.
The current terms are available at any time on our website http://www.baldwins.com/. If you have any questions about them, please contact the partner/director responsible for your work.

About Us

Baldwins comprises the patent attorney firm, Baldwins Intellectual Property, and the law firm Baldwins Law Limited, which provides litigation and other legal services. Further information is available on our website at http://www.baldwins.com/firm-profile/.

Confidentiality

We will keep all information we acquire about you and your business strictly confidential, except when you authorise us to disclose that information or when we are required to do so by law.

Conflicts of Interest

Ideally, all clients should be able to engage their patent attorney or lawyer of choice. However, as New Zealand has a relatively small commercial and legal market, the number of firms providing intellectual property services is limited. We may therefore act for clients operating in the same or competing markets and whose commercial interests compete with yours, provided those instructions do not involve the use of confidential information we have obtained from you.

We will not act where a legal conflict of interest arises, unless we have the consent of both parties: that is, we will not act for any other party:

  • whose instructions conflict with any of your active matters; or
  • where it would disadvantage you if information obtained from you could be of benefit to that other party and there is a risk of disclosure of that information to the other client.

Partner Responsible for Each Client

A partner or director is the client manager responsible for managing our relationship with you. The client manager may delegate aspects of your work to the most appropriate professional staff member having regard to the level of expertise and technical specialisation required.

The client manager also maintains an overview of your work and is available at any time to address any specific queries or concerns.

Our Fees and Disbursements

We will charge a fee which is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

When setting our fees we will take into account various factors including the:

  • fixed fee portion of the matter;
  • time taken and hourly rates;
  • level of skill required;
  • complexity, responsibility and specialist knowledge;
  • urgency;
  • value added;
  • result achieved;
  • possibility that acting for you may mean we cannot act for other clients; and
  • reasonable costs of running a practice, including the use of our unique precedent libraries, knowledge management systems, and other intellectual capital.

We may ask you for funds in advance to cover anticipated fees and expenses in any new matter. When we provide services to you, we may have to pay other costs such as official fees, foreign agents’ costs, barristers’ costs, the costs of expert witnesses, and court fees and costs. We will charge these on to you, and we may request payment of them in advance before beginning work for you. Where disbursements are in foreign currencies, we charge a 3% foreign currency fee service fee for exchange rate changes and bank transfer fees.

We will also charge a separate office service fee of 5% to cover our costs in respect of photocopying, printing, postage, tolls, faxes and other administrative overheads. Where our actual costs significantly exceed the percentage based fee, we reserve the right to bill these additional costs.

Any Goods and Services Tax (GST) that is applicable will be passed on to you and will also be itemised separately on our invoices. Unless indicated otherwise any fee estimates are exclusive of GST.

We will bill you either at the end of each stage of your matter or monthly, depending upon the type of work involved, unless the circumstances of a particular case dictate otherwise.

Our terms of payment are as follows, unless otherwise agreed:

Option 1 – local clients and agents
Our bills are payable within 14 days of the date of invoice.

Option 2 – overseas clients and associates
Our bills are payable within 60 days of the date of invoice.

We encourage you to direct credit payments to our bank account, the details of which are:

For our patent attorney firm:
06-0501-0071851-00 Baldwin Son & Carey
Swift code ANZBNZ22

For our law firm
06-0507-0108897-00 Baldwins Law Limited
Swift code ANZBNZ22

We may charge interest at 15% per annum on overdue invoices, and bring court proceedings for debt recovery if any invoice is overdue by more than 30 days. We may recover from you all debt collection costs, including legal costs on a solicitor/client basis, as well as overdue interest.

Although you may expect someone else to reimburse you for our fees, or you may ask us to send our invoices to someone else for payment, you remain responsible for payment to us if that party does not pay us.

We reserve the right at our sole discretion to undertake independent credit enquiries on any client at any time, and we do this routinely before accepting instructions from any new client. We also reserve the right to pass credit information to our debt collectors and to notify credit agencies of any serious default.

Trust Account

We maintain a trust account for all funds which we receive from clients (except for funds received in payment of our invoices). If we hold significant funds on your behalf we will endeavour to place these on interest bearing deposit with a bank. Where we hold funds on your behalf, you authorise us to deduct the amount you owe on an invoice from those funds.

All funds intended for our trust account should be deposited into:

Baldwins Law Limited
Account No. 06 0507 0108897 01
Swift Code: ANZBNZ22

Reliance on Our Advice

Only you may rely on our advice. If you would like any third party to be able to do so, you must first obtain our prior written agreement

Communications With You

Unless otherwise agreed, we may communicate with you and others involved in your matters by email. While we take every precaution to make sure those communications are accurate and secure, we cannot guarantee the security, confidentiality and data integrity of email communications because of the possibility for unauthorised interception, manipulation and non-delivery.

We do not accept liability for any loss arising from non-receipt of any communication, particularly email communication. If it is critical to you that we receive a particular instruction, please either request an acknowledgement of receipt, or send us the communication in two forms, for example by email and by facsimile.

Renewals

Baldwins Intellectual Property (“Baldwins”) recommends that the world’s leading annuity service provider, CPA Global Limited (“CPA”) manages its clients’ patent, trade mark and design renewals. The partners of Baldwins have a commercial relationship with CPA.

CPA is a limited liability company based in Jersey and specialising exclusively in the processing of intellectual property renewals on a global basis.

Retention and Disposal of Documents

We may keep both paper and electronic records, although some files such as renewals matters may be stored in electronic form only. You agree that we may at our discretion convert to electronic form any original document which you supply to us.

Subject to any legal requirements, we reserve the right to dispose of our paper files at any time after a matter is completed, which will generally be at the date we render our final account.

If you want to retain all or part of any paper file, you should let us know upon completion of the matter.

We may convert any paper files and documents to an electronic format, in which case we may destroy the paper files and documents on completion of the matter.

Our destruction policy does not apply to documents explicitly preserved for safekeeping. If we receive any documents from you which you require us to retain in paper form you should advise us specifically of this at the relevant time.

Termination

You may terminate our engagement at any time, subject to reasonable notice.

You will pay any costs and fees incurred up to the date of termination, and any fees or charges arising from any consequential work that we may subsequently be required to do including, but not limited to, recovery of outstanding debt.

If you terminate our engagement, we may retain all your files until all fees are paid.

We reserve the right to stop work if our interim accounts are not paid on time or a request for information or action remains unsatisfied.

We may terminate our engagement if:

  • If you do not pay our invoices by the due date;
  • you do not provide us with sufficiently prompt instructions;
  • you materially mislead or deceive us or fail to disclose relevant facts to us;
  • in non-litigation matters you adopt a course of action that we consider to be highly imprudent and would require us to breach our professional obligations;
  • there is a conflict of interest.

General

Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law, and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts.

Where you are a company, we act for you alone. We do not act for the directors or shareholders of a company unless we expressly agree to do so in writing.

Our liability to you will be subject to any limitations or exclusions that may be agreed with you.

We retain the right to vary these terms of engagement at any time.

Conclusion

If you have any questions about these terms of engagement or any other matter relating to our relationship with you, please do not hesitate to contact the partner or author responsible for your work.

We look forward to a long and productive relationship with you in the future.