Advice for Private Clients
Thank you for instructing Tony Balme Law. We are pleased to be able to act on your behalf. We are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best possible legal advice and representation.
Our contact details are:
Your Contact Details:
Please advise us immediately if your contact details change so that we can update your file. Should we need to contact you at short notice, it is important that we have your current contact details at hand.
Here at Tony Balme Law, the confidentiality of your case is paramount. Please let us know of any persons/family/whanau members that we can leave messages with and a preferred address for posting. We will not discuss your case with any person/family/whanau members without your express consent.
If you are on bail and require changes to your bail conditions then you need to contact us as soon as possible. We will prepare any necessary paperwork to file with the Court. Your bail conditions remain in place until you have signed a new bail bond at the Court.
You are entitled to view all disclosure from the New Zealand Police or the Crown (or the relevant prosecuting agency).
As the disclosure is received we will advise you, and copy that material for you, subject to whether you are prepared to reimburse us.
It will assist us if you can write out a detailed account of what happened. The sooner this is done the better.
We require the contact details of any witnesses that you intend to call at a very early stage. Please discuss this issue with us if you are unsure.
Plea Bargaining and Credit for Guilty Pleas
Often the prosecuting agency (usually the Police and/or the Crown) will be open to negotiating the charges and summary of facts. It you are pleading guilty to any or all of the charges that you face then you are entitled to credit for a guilty plea. This varies according to the circumstances.
It means that you may receive a lesser sentence than that which you would have received if you choose to defend the matter. Generally speaking, a guilty plea at the first reasonable opportunity results in a 25% reduction in sentence. Thereafter the deduction reduces with time.
What we will do for you
As your lawyers we will:
- Act competently, efficiently, and in accordance with your agreed instructions
- Give you the opportunity to discuss your goals and how we can best achieve them
- Provide you with information and advice that you can understand
- Treat you with respect, fairness and impartiality
- Keep you updated as to the work done and how your case is developing
- Treat any information about you that is received while acting for you with the utmost confidentiality.
Your Legal Costs
Our fee will also have disbursements and GST added. We may quote you a price for the whole of your representation without reference to an hourly fee. We will render interim invoices from time to time and a final invoice. Should a significant expense be incurred then we will advise you prior to that time and if agreed by you we will render an invoice for that expense.
As barristers, we are bound by Law Society Rules to have an instructing firm of solicitors. We will forward a letter of confirmation which we ask you to sign and return to us.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest can occur when the interests of one client requires their lawyer to act in a way that conflicts with the interests of another client. We can determine whether there is a conflict of interest and deal with it. If there is a conflict of interest, we will let you know about it and refer to the guidelines set out in the New Zealand Law Society Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
We will destroy any documents and files for your case (other than any documents held in safe custody) seven years after the termination of our legal services.
Termination of our services
If you are unhappy with our services, you can ask that we stop acting for you at any time and we will terminate our services in accordance with New Zealand Law Society Rules of Conduct and Client Care for Lawyers.
Professional Indemnity Insurance and Lawyers' Fidelity Fund
Tony Balme Law does hold professional indemnity insurance. We are not authorised to invest funds on behalf of clients. By not investing funds on behalf of clients we do not contribute to the Lawyer's Fidelity Fund which provides clients of lawyers with protection against pecuniary loss arising from theft by lawyers.
Tony Balme Law takes complaints about our services very seriously and has processes in place to ensure that any complaints received are dealt with promptly and fairly.
If you have a complaint about our work, please contact us to talk about your concerns, so that we can try to resolve that concern for you.
If you do not wish to meet with us, or your concern is not able to be resolved, then you can talk to an independent person: John Holmes, Barrister, Tauranga, Telephone: (07) 579 4492, who can assist to resolve your complaint.