These general terms and conditions (General Terms) are in addition to any special terms that are set out in a letter of engagement (Special Terms). If there is any conflict between these General Terms and the Special Terms, the Special Terms shall prevail.
The hourly rate set out in our letter of engagement applies to work done during our office hours of 9am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays. If we are required (from the nature of your instructions) to work outside office hours, it will be billable at 3 times this hourly rate. Our rates are exclusive of GST.
Our invoices will be rendered in Singapore dollars and will be payable in Singapore dollars. If our invoices are not paid in full within 30 days of presentation, we reserve the right to charge interest on the amount remaining unpaid at the rate of 1% per month from the date of presentation until the date of payment. We also reserve the right, after our final invoice is sent, to issue a further invoice for any disbursements incurred by us which were omitted from that invoice. Prompt payment of our interim invoices is a condition of our continuing to act for you.
Please note that we are prohibited by Singapore law from charging fees on a contingency basis for litigation matters.
Our fees exclude disbursements, i.e. out-of-pocket expenses which we incur on your behalf. These expenses include postage charges, telephone charges, photocopying charges, court fees and the costs of airfare and/or hotel accommodation for any travel outside. A classified list of disbursements will be provided in each invoice, and an itemised list of disbursements can be provided upon request.
If it is agreed that we should instruct outside professionals such as counsel, foreign lawyers, accountants, valuers, computer forensics or other experts or agents on your behalf, you will be responsible for payment of their fees. Counsel’s fees will be included in our invoices to you. In the case of other professionals or agents it is likely to be preferable for the contract with them to be entered into directly by you, although we would normally make the necessary arrangements and deal with the professional or agent on your behalf. You will be responsible for paying their fees directly to them upon presentation of their invoices. If, however, you prefer us to enter into any necessary contracts with professionals or agents we will ask for payment on account to be made.
Document Preservation For Litigation Matters
You must not deliberately destroy documents (including electronic documents) relevant to the issues in any litigation matter that are in your possession, custody or power. Documents that are “relevant” to the issues in the matter include documents that do not support or adversely affect your case, or are confidential or informal. A party “deliberately” destroys relevant documents if he intends to put these documents out of reach of the other party in pending or anticipated litigation. If a party is found to have deliberately destroyed relevant documents, the Court may strike out that party’s claim (if he is the Plaintiff) or defence (if he is the Defendant), even if a fair trial is not thereafter possible. It may therefore be necessary for you to suspend any corporate document destruction programme immediately.
You must ensure that every individual in your organization who may be affected by your discovery obligations in the matter is made aware of the need to preserve such documents.
We are entitled to terminate our engagement on the grounds set out in Rule 42 of the Legal Profession (Profession Conduct) Rules 1998. You are entitled to terminate our engagement at any time and on any grounds. Where, however, our professional costs and disbursements have not been paid in full at the time of termination, we are entitled to exercise a lien over all documents and monies held on your account until full payment is received. In the event you decide to appoint new solicitors, we will release all documents to them upon such satisfactory arrangement as may be reached, including the receipt of an undertaking from your new solicitors to protect our lien as to costs over the documents handed over to them.
Provision of legal service
Our primary role is as legal adviser and it is not part of our function to give advice on the merits of entering into any commercial arrangements or investments or venture.
Nothing we write or say should be construed as an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity nor will we communicate any such invitation or inducement on your behalf.
Any correspondence from us to your latest address shall be good and sufficient notice for all intents and purposes.
Where you are a company, instructions from any of your directors or officers in any form, verbal, oral, written or otherwise shall be deemed sufficient and proper instructions for you to act or not to act as the case may be.
Our liability to you arising from any claim, whether in tort or in contract shall be limited to the amount of any mandatory insurance coverage administered under the Law Society of Singapore and any additional insurance coverage that we may voluntarily take up.
If it is agreed that we should use imaging, document data-basing or other support technology in relation to a matter, this will be the subject of separate charges which have been agreed to by you.
We know you appreciate that using services provided over the Internet, including the sending of emails, may not be secure and may have privacy issues, but nonetheless you have agreed that we may use such services. Unless we are informed otherwise, we:
shall write to you at the given address; and
shall copy such correspondence to other parties whom you have included in the copy list of any email sent to us.
We will retain copyright in all documents we draft, but we grant you a licence to use the documents for your purposes.
Confidentiality and Disclosure to Third Party Authorities
We shall keep you affairs and the information you give us strictly confidential.
However, for matters relating to money laundering and tax fraud, the authorities such as the police or tax authorities shall have the authority to inspect client information and take copies of documents. In addition, in specific circumstances these laws compel us to report information to the authorities even in the absence of a request. It is possible that, at any time, we may be requested by these authorities to provide them with access to documents held by the firm, or to attend interviews with them in connection with the work we have done for you. In the unlikely event that such a situation arises, we shall comply with the request only to the extent that we are bound by law to do so and, insofar as it is practicable, shall notify you of the request or the sharing of information. As part of our service to you, we will do our best to protect your interests in those circumstances.
For the purposes of marketing or publicising or selling our services we may wish to disclose that we have advised you, in which event we may identify you by your name and indicate the general nature of such advice and any details which have properly entered the public domain.
We reserve the right to disclose any information to our professional indemnity insurers or advisers.
Commercial communications by emails
We constantly attempt to improve our service, and monitor developments in the law and practice. Periodically we may send you information about this, including brochures and press releases and invitations to seminars or talks, if we believe that they may be of interest to you. You agree that we may send you such information.
Our correspondence with you and other documents received from or created for you in the course of this matter, including copies, remain our property. We will, of course, at your request, provide copies of any relevant papers, provided that all bills on the matter have been paid and that, if the copying requested is extensive, you pay the cost of providing copies (including both professional time and document production charges).
At the end of the matter we shall ask you which, if any, of the papers you have supplied to us should be returned to you. It is impossible for us to store indefinitely all of the papers generated on all of the matters with which we deal, and so we shall have the right to destroy the files and papers relating to this matter at any time after three years from the date of our final invoice.
Our clients and conflicts
We have a wide range of clients. Many of those clients look to us for representation and advice on a wide range of topics. Although we hope it never happens, it is possible that an adverse relationship may develop in the future between you and one of our other clients.
If we are not representing you in the matter in which you and our other client have adverse interest, and provided that the matter is not substantially related to a matter on which we are engaged by you, then, in those circumstances, you agree that we may represent the other client.
If you are in any way dissatisfied with our services, please contact in the first instance the partner with whom you normally deal.
You agree and consent to us collecting and using your personal data (ie name, contact numbers, mailing address, emails, identity numbers) for the purposes of providing you with information on our events, legal services and legal updates or any marketing, advertising and promotional information that we believe may be of interest to you.
The terms of this engagement are not intended to and do not confer any right on a third party under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act, Cap 53B of Singapore.
This engagement is governed by and is to be interpreted in accordance with the laws of Singapore.