Terms & Conditions of Engagement
- If you engage us, Tembusu Law LLC, to advice, represent and act for you, you will need to execute a Warrant to Act in favour of us with respect to representing you generally in Singapore in connection with your matter and no further warrant to act will be necessary for compliance with Order 64 Rule 7 of the Rules of Court.
- We charge upfront agreed and fixed fees for all matters unless otherwise stated. For your reference, our hourly rates for our Associates and Directors are generally start from $350.00 to $450.00 per hour and $550.00 to $650.00 per hour respectively – we refer to these rates in anticipating / estimating, calculating and/or arriving at the agreed / fixed fees. We are mindful of the need to keep your costs under control and will endeavour to do so by ensuring that all work is done at the appropriate levels of seniority with the requisite degree of supervision. For example, we will arrange for lawyers and staff officers to attend to administrative hearings and routine matters to facilitate efficient use of our resources and to manage your costs and expenses. We will also work and/or collaborate with external domain experts and specialists (e.g. instructed legal counsel and consultants) if this is necessary to obtain the best outcome for your matter.
- After discussing and agreeing on the scope of work and the amount or range of fees, we will charge our fees based on the discussed and agreed scope of work on the understanding / instruction that our assistance, support and work / involvement required will remain clear-cut as discussed and the case and issues are not complex / not complicated and provided the circumstances of the case and your instructions do not materially change. We will provide a supplementary fee estimate accordingly should this become necessary (such as if you require a particular lawyer(s) or lawyer(s) of a particular seniority to assist and/or attend) and/or if the circumstances of this case and/or your instruction materially change. Rates may be further adjusted depending on any material change (increase / decrease) in the actual scope and complexity of work.
- In order to save resources, time and cost for your benefit and help keep our fees within your indicated budget, we will reasonably streamline our work processes for greater productivity and we will principally communicate with you through electronic channels i.e. telephone calls, video calls, email, Instant Messaging platforms (e.g. WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram, WeChat, Line, Facebook Messenger or Zoom) wherever possible and reasonably practicable unless it is otherwise deemed necessary by us. Should you specifically request and/or require for face-to-face meetings with our lawyers in person despite the aforesaid principal electronic forms of communication being available, please note that a reasonable uplift from our agreed / fixed rates may apply. We will also send all correspondence to you in softcopy format only via email and / or electronic communications channels unless otherwise expressly requested by you in writing.
- Where Instant Messaging platforms (e.g. WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram, WeChat, Line, Facebook Messenger) are used, we will primarily use them to informally coordinate information and you should continue to use email for formal communications as and when necessary / appropriate. We aim to respond to all Instant Messaging platform messages in a timely manner and as soon as is practicable; we will not be able to respond immediately to all messages because we will ordinarily be involved in handling other matters / cases concurrently with yours.
- We will be contactable during our standard business hours from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, via telephone and email. Please be assured that whilst our lawyers may be reached after business hours and on Public Holidays, a reasonable uplift from our standard hourly rates will apply if we are required to attend to your queries and requests during such periods and/or via Instant Messaging Information on our professional fees
B. OTHER TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
- Our legal fees are generally based on the actual time spent in connection with this matter by the lawyer(s) having conduct of your matter, including the time spent in meetings with you, including any telephone conversations, emails to or from you, letters and others; preparing, reviewing and working on matter, preparing papers including correspondence; making and receiving telephone calls and others on your behalf; preparing for and attending court on your behalf (if applicable); travelling and waiting (if required); and the overall management of these matters.
- Where a discount has been requested and granted, you will understand that we will ensure that our resources and time are appropriately and fairly expended and optimised in a cost-efficient manner in keeping with the reduced budget you have allocated for our team. (e.g. we will prioritise the use of telephone calls, voice calls and/or video call meetings in lieu of face-to-face meetings, and we will primarily correspond via instant messages and emails).
- Please note that our cost excludes disbursements and GST or fees payable to service providers engaged on your behalf or other third parties, which will be paid by you. These disbursements typically include postage charges, telephone charges, photocopying charges, report fees and the legal searches relating to this matter. Upon request, a list of disbursements will be given.
- There may be circumstances that are not foreseen at the time of engagement that may expand the scope of our services, and which may lead to higher costs than originally estimated. If so, we may revise any fee estimate provided earlier. If you do not agree with our revised fee estimate, you can instruct us to cease all further work, whereupon we will only bill you for all work actually carried out by us up to the time that your instructions are received.
- As your matter progresses, we reserve the right to ask for further progress payments from you of a quantum commensurate with the anticipated professional fees and disbursements at that stage of the mailer. If such a further payment is requested, remittance of that payment will be a condition of our continuing to act for you or any party on whose behalf you have agreed to bear our professional fees.
- Please note that these sums are progress payments and the total amount of professional fees and disbursements payable to us may exceed or fall below the total amount of progress payments remitted to us.
- We will hold all payments remitted to us in our account for your benefit. We can set off the monies standing to any credit you have in our account and any interest accrued thereon against legal fees and disbursements due to us.
- We will not, however, effect any set-off against our legal fees and disbursements unless we have rendered a bill to you or other written note of costs and notified you in writing to your last known address of our intention to effect the set-off and carry out the set off within two (2) days of our bill or note to you.
- For the purpose of exercising such set-off, we will have the right to uplift any of your monies placed on with us, whether at or prior to the time of maturity of the payments and regardless of any penalty which may be imposed for early withdrawal.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON COSTS FOR TRIAL (IF APPLICABLE)
- If any matter proceeds to trial, such trial preparation work, if any, will be billed separately (e.g. calculated based on hourly rates). We are unable to provide an estimate of fees until instructions are taken from you for this.
FEES OF EXPERTS OR THIRD PARTIES (IF APPLICABLE)
- If we instruct experts, translators or other third parties on your behalf and with your approval, you will be responsible for paying their fees directly to them upon presentation of their invoices.
ELECTRONIC CHANNELS, FORMS AND TOOLS FOR DOCUMENTS
- Information, documents and/or materials relevant and necessary to be shared between solicitor and client will be provided, circulated and/or shared via electronic channels in softcopy wherever possible and reasonably practicable unless it is otherwise deemed or rendered necessary by us. Should you specifically request and/or require for hard copies of the said information, documents and/or materials, please note that disbursements will be charged and a reasonable uplift from our agreed / fixed rates will apply.
- Documents requiring your endorsement will be signed / endorsed electronically (e.g. DocuSign, Adobe) wherever possible and reasonably practicable signed electronically unless it is otherwise deemed or rendered necessary by law or our firm.
- In confirming your instruction for us to act for you, you confirm that you have given your consent to our use of cloud storage / services / facilities to store and/or manage your documents (e.g. Dropbox). If such documents contain your personal data, you confirm that you have given your consent to such personal data being transferred to a country or territory outside Singapore for storage and/or management purposes. Please separately and expressly inform us in writing if you do not agree to the foregoing.
CEASING TO ACT FOR YOU
- Your timely and appropriate provision of funds and instruction to us (as and when required by us as your Counsel) is a key condition of our continuing to act for you or any party on whose behalf you have agreed to bear our professional fees.
- We can terminate our engagement to act for you on the grounds set out in Rule 42 of the Law Society’s Professional Conduct Rules and this includes where you have been in breach of our agreement on payment of fees set out in this agreement. Please note that in the event our solicitors’ fees and/or further progress payments are not paid or provided on demand within seven (7) days, you fully understand that we will be entitled to discharge ourselves without further notice / reference and upon such discharge will have a lien over all documents and monies held on your behalf until payment of our solicitors’ fees / costs.
- At the time of any termination, we can exercise a lien (a right of possession) over all documents and monies held on your account until full payment is received. If you decide to appoint new law practice, we will, as required by the Law Society’s Rules, release all documents to them only upon receipt of an undertaking from your new lawyers to protect our right over your documents handed over to them for outstanding legal costs.
- Similarly, we reserve the right to terminate our engagement to act for you in the event that you and/or your authorised representative(s) remain uncontactable and/or other fail to remain in regular contact with our offices (and particularly and/or otherwise fail to adequately provide instructions required by us as your Counsel) in spite of our efforts to obtain / facilitate the same.
PAYMENT OF FEES
- We require clients to pay sums of money before or at the commencement of the matter and thereafter from time to time on account of anticipated professional fees and disbursements. Generally, and unless otherwise agreed, you must make payment of our fees before we commence work on your matter.
- For all transfers of monies to our firm, you may either forward us a cheque or have the funds remitted via telegraphic transfer in Singapore Dollars to our bank account, the details of which may be obtained upon your request. When making payment or transfer of funds to us, please quote your name in your instructions to your bankers to assist us in tracing your remittance, and also send us confirmation (e.g. copy, screenshot, photo of the remittance / transfer receipt) if possible.
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