STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENGAGEMENT
1.1 The engagement of our firm incorporates these terms and conditions unless an engagement letter / agreement between us has expressly modified one or more of these terms and conditions
2. Scope of instructions
2.1 To ensure that your case is handled speedily and cost effectively, please provide us with clear and complete instructions and all relevant facts and papers.
3. Our Fees & Expenses
3.1 Saving for any arrangements to the contrary, we will charge our fees on the engagement based on the following factors:
a. Complexity of the factual and legal issues;
b. Quantity of documents to be prepared or reviewed;
c. Time involved in conferences, obtaining instructions and verifying factual matters;
d. Value or size of the matter or transaction;
e. Urgency; and
f. Seniority of the personnel engaged.
3.2 Our fees exclude out-of-pocket expenses (whether incurred or to be incurred) such as filing fees, registration fees, travelling expenses, search fees, overtime charges for supporting staff,
photocopying and telecommunications costs which shall need to be charged separately.
3.3 At your request, we may provide an estimate of our fees as an indication of our likely charges for handling the engagement based on the information known to us at the time the estimate is given.
An estimate may be revised and is not binding upon us.
3.4 Upon accepting your engagement, we are authorized to appoint third party service providers as may be required and to pay for all their fees and we may also need to incur other expenses
incidental to the carrying out of your instructions, for example, application fees payable to government / regulatory bodies, fees payable to overseas lawyers / agents, these expenses will be added
to our invoice. However, we will consult you before engaging any barristers, overseas lawyers or experts.
4. Billing & Payment
4.1 We are entitled to render interim invoices before conclusion of your case and a final invoice when the case is completed.
4.2 Our invoices are due and payable upon presentation. You should promptly review our invoices and raise any objections regarding the amounts and items invoiced within 14 days of presentation.
4.3 We reserve the right to postpone or defer providing additional services or to discontinue our representation if invoiced amounts (whether for costs on account or for services rendered or for
disbursements) are not paid when due. If payment is not made within 14 days of the presentation of our invoice, you agree that we can charge interest at 1% above the Hong Kong dollar prime
lending rate quoted from time to time by the HongKong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd on the balance outstanding. You also agree that we can use monies held in our client account on
your behalf on any matter towards any outstanding costs billed to you on any matter.
4.4 Payment of our invoice will not be subject to any deduction or withholding on account of taxes or charges of any nature. Where a deduction or withholding is levied by law, you agree to pay such
additional amount so as to ensure our receipt of the full invoicing amount.
5. Data privacy
5.1 All personal information collected under the above procedures will only be used for our diligence purposes, for advising you, and for sending you details of other services we may offer including
legal updates, seminar invitations and other material. Your personal information will be kept confidential. We shall seek your permission before using your personal information for any other
5.2 You may request access to and, if necessary, correction of your personal information collected by us. Requests for access should be sent to our principal at 1304 Sunlight Tower, 248 Queen’s
6.1 We are subject to a duty to hold in strict confidence all your information acquired by us in connection with the engagement, unless disclosure is authorized by you and required by law. You agree
that we may disclose your confidential information to (a) our professional indemnity insurers or our professional advisors; or (b) a third party where we are required by legal or professional
regulations or a court order to do so.
6.2 As we owe the same duty to our other clients, we cannot disclose to you, or use for your benefit, any confidential information we currently have, or may obtain, in relation to our other clients.
6.3 You agree that we are authorized to disclose that you are our client and that we have acted for you on any particular matter under the engagement.
7. Conflict of Interest
7.1 If either you or we become aware of a possible conflict of interest, it should be raised immediately. In such a situation, you agree it will be up to us, having due regard to legal constraints,
applicable professional rules and your and our other clients’ interests to decide whether we should continue to act for one only, or for neither. If we decide that we should not continue to act for
you, we shall be entitled to terminate the engagement by giving notice to you.
7.2 We act for diverse clients, some of which operate in the same industry or sector. Some clients we represent may have, or develop, commercial or legal interests adverse to other clients. You agree
that we may act for current or future clients who do, or may in the future operate in the same industry or sector as you, or who may have or develop commercial or legal interests adverse to yours
provided that we do not use any of your confidential information for the benefit of another client.
7.3 You agree that we may act for different clients to institute legal proceedings against the same defendant(s) provided that there is no conflict of interest in our doing so. In such a situation, we will
not pass on any information given by or obtained from one client to another client even though such information may be of benefit to the other client. Enforcement actions against the same
properties of the common defendant(s) will be taken according to the order of the time when instructions for such enforcement actions are received from the relevant clients.
8. Ceasing to Act
8.1 We may need to cease to act in certain circumstances, such as (a) if circumstances develop and a conflict of interest arises; (b) if you do not settle our invoices within 30 days, or (c) if costs on
account are not paid when requested.
8.2 Our ceasing to act will not affect any accrued rights or liabilities of either party, nor the coming into force or the continuance in force of any provision of the engagement which is expressly or by
implication intended to come into or continue in force on or after such cessation.
8.3 The terms contained herein as well as the engagement letter, if any, will continue to be binding on each of us notwithstanding the cessation.
9. Ownership & Storage of Papers, Documents & Materials
9.1 Unless otherwise agreed / instructed, we will offer to return to you all original documents, files and other materials delivered to us by you and samples or other materials obtained by us for the
engagement at the end of the retainer and upon payment of all outstanding bills.
9.2 Our working files and papers, all correspondence with you and other parties generated by us on your behalf and other materials generated by us incidental to the engagement will remain our
property and unless otherwise agreed, we shall own the copyright in any materials prepared by us on your behalf.
9.3 All other documents, papers and correspondence, files and other materials will be sent for storage for such period permitted by the Law Society of Hong Kong (usually 7 years), but thereafter we
may destroy all such documents, paper and correspondence, files and other materials without further notice to you.
10.1 You will ensure that all materials and information provided to us by you or any member of your group or by your staff, agents or advisors will be accurate, complete and not misleading and that
we can rely on such materials and information without independent verification.
10.2 You will indemnify us and our employees against any losses, claims, liabilities and damages incurred or asserted as a result of us properly carrying out our obligations under the engagement.
11. Limitation of Liability
11.1 Unless otherwise expressly stated in the engagement letter, to the extent permitted by law, in all instances for non-contentious business matters, the total of our aggregate liability to you for loss
or damage (including indirect and consequential loss or damage) caused by, or resulting from, or in relation to, the engagement, including whether arising from breach of contract, negligence, or
any other tort, in equity or otherwise, and whether we were advised of the possibility of such loss or damage, is limited to (a) three times of the fees (excluding disbursements) paid to us by you
for the portion of the engagement giving rise to the liability; or (b) the minimum level of cover from time to time required and applicable by the Solicitors (Professional Indemnity) Rules,
whichever is the higher. Any claims relating to a matter arising from the same act or omission or one series of related acts or omissions will be regarded as one claim.
11.2 You acknowledge and agree that in relation to the engagement, our relationship is solely with you. To give effect to the liability cap in paragraph 11.1 (the “Cap”), you will procure that no
company in the Group to which you belong, brings or enforces any claim against us in respect of any liability subject to the Cap to the extent that the relevant claim or enforcement of claim
(when taken with other sum claims and enforcements and other amounts subject to the Cap which are or have been paid or payable) would cause the Cap to be exceeded. You will indemnify us
to the extent that our liability to members of the Group, both while they are members of the Group and thereafter (in respect of liabilities expressed to be subject to the Cap), in total exceeds the
Cap. This indemnity shall extend to legal and other costs and expenses, internal and external, incurred by us in respect of claims or enforcement that would cause the Cap to be exceeded.
11.3 You agree that if you make any claim against us for loss or damage in connection with the engagement, and that loss or damage is contributed to by your own actions, then liability for your loss
or damage will be apportioned as is appropriate having regard to the respective responsibility for the loss or damage, and the amount you may recover from us will be reduced by the extent of
your contribution in that loss or damage.
11.4 We are qualified to advise on Hong Kong law and we do not accept any liability in respect of any matters not relating to Hong Kong law.
12.1 You may not assign the benefit or burden of these Standard Terms and Conditions of Engagement or the engagement letter (if any) without our prior written consent.
13. Law and jurisdiction
13.1 The engagement, incorporating these terms and conditions, is subject to and is to be construed in accordance with Hong Kong law, and you agree to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of
the Hong Kong Courts.