Terms and conditions of engagement

In keeping with best practice client relationship standards and our own internal quality control procedures in respect of all work handled by us for our clients, on engaging our services we will formally record the terms of business as they relate to our mandate with you. These are laid out hereunder.

 

FEES

Our fees are based on the amount of time spent on each matter, irrespective of any estimate given which estimate may vary considerably particularly if there are multiple attendances, changes, additions or alterations. This rate, multiplied by the number of units spent on the matter, is the initial basis for determining our fee. A ‘unit’ is the basic measure for any charge and one unit is equivalent to six minutes, or ten units per hour. A basic charge for any attendance – even less than six minutes - is one unit. Each unit, including but not limited to meetings, telephone attendances, e-mails, perusing files and drafting documents will be recorded.

In order to reach a fair fee for the work we do, we take into account factors such as the complexity and magnitude of the matter or the difficulty of the work or the questions raised. Our rates differ from practitioner to practitioner and are based on the Law Society tariff, and are higher in the event that you ask us to handle urgent, complex or important matters.

In January each year we review and adjust our general schedule of charge out rates to take into account changing economic conditions. We will inform you of any adjustment prior to implementation.
As a service provider, VAT (at 15%) is payable on our fees and we will issue an appropriate tax invoice to you, as required by law.

All work in respect of any matter will always be directly handled or supervised by a partner. The supervising partner may delegate responsibility for the work to other partners, attorneys or consultants, but will retain direct client contact. If you have any queries concerning the work being carried out on your behalf, please refer those queries to the relevant partner in charge.

On certain commercial transactions, like business sales, significant long term contracts, leases and conveyancing or Notarial work, percentages are set out in our legal practitioner’s tariff as required charges. Where these apply, they will always be advised and discussed in advance and agreed where there is any scope for variation from the tariff.

DISBURSEMENTS

You will also be debited separately with the cost of long distance telephone charges, special postage rates, material telefax and photocopier charges as well as delivery or courier charges. Direct out-of-pocket expenses will be borne by you directly. We will not incur these expenses without your prior approval.

INVOICING

An invoice will be sent to you periodically setting out the fees charged and the disbursements incurred on your behalf. We kindly request payment upon receipt of our account and within not more than 14 days.

DEPOSITS

All clients will be asked for an initial or a series of deposits. Any deposit received from you will be held in our trust account and applied, either to your final statement or to any current statements where direct payment is not made.

INDEMNITY FOR LITIGANTS

Any instruction by you to us to litigate must be taken under serious advisement. Litigation is not only expensive, but physically and emotionally draining. In the case of litigation of any sort, no work will be performed without payment in advance for each stage thereof. You accept that in the event of you failing to pay as required, we shall immediately cease to represent you, most likely to your detriment. In addition, you will be required not only to pay our fees but also any and all disbursements or costs whatsoever or howsoever in respect of this matter, including but not limited to messenger of courts fees which may or may not be recouped by you. You indemnify us unreservedly in this regard. You understand that no guarantees can be given or should be inferred in any way with regards the recovering of any funds or the success of any transaction undertaken, and you assume all risk in this regard.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Other than disclosure, where required, of any KYC information, the nature of our mandate to any authority or any other party will kept completely confidential and the strict rules of client confidentiality and privilege apply and will be vigorously maintained.

 

DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

Our work and/or advices are rendered in good faith and any liability flowing from the rendering of such an opinion/s and/or work done whatsoever is limited to the quantum of any fee actually charged. No further liability will be accepted in this regard whatsoever or howsoever arising on the part of Matizanadzo & Warhurst. We always advise that you consult accounting or taxation experts for any transaction that may have potential accounting or taxation consequences. Any transactions undertaken by you will no doubt contain an element of risk which you shall bear.

 

SUSPENSION OF SERVICES

In the unlikely event that the required deposit or any of our statements are not settled timeously, we reserve the right to suspend or withdraw our services retain any files and/or to charge interest at two percent per month, calculated on the daily balance and capitalized monthly, on any overdue accounts. Attorney and client costs and collection commission for any recovery proceedings will also be payable.

 

GOVERNING LAW, DOMICILIUM AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Zimbabwean law through the Magistrates Court held at Harare will apply to the contract between us. We will require a local address for you, which you agree, will be your domicilium address in the contract between us. Please note any document/s or work done by us for you is not to be reproduced without our express written consent, and therefore remains our Intellectual Property.