Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008

Fees of other lawyers


A lawyer who, acting in a professional capacity, instructs another lawyer, must pay the other lawyer’s account promptly and in full unless agreement to the contrary is reached, or the fee is promptly disputed through proper professional channels. This rule applies to the accounts of barristers sole and foreign lawyers.


Where the instructing lawyer and the lawyer undertaking the work have agreed that the instructing lawyer’s client is to be solely responsible for paying the lawyer’s account then (unless agreed otherwise) the instructing lawyer must use all reasonable endeavours to ensure the client pays the account. The instructing lawyer must promptly inform the instructed lawyer if it appears that the client will be unable or unwilling to pay the account.


A lawyer with a practising certificate as a barrister and solicitor may sue for and recover from the party chargeable any fees paid or payable by the lawyer to a barrister sole for work done or to be done on the instructions of the lawyer in relation to a client’s affairs, if those fees are shown as a disbursement in a bill of costs rendered by the lawyer to the party chargeable.15

15 This rule is necessary because a barrister sole is not entitled to sue for his or her fees: Atkinson v Pengelly [1995] 3 NZLR 104.