Like all lawyers, our work for you is set out in our 'terms of engagement'


The following terms apply to our relationship with you and set out the limited basis on which we agree to act for you if you purchase a legal consultation using the Spilt Milk Law website. However, these terms are subject to any other agreement we might make - if we agree to work together on a different basis, then that agreement will take precedence over those terms.

  1. These terms of engagement are made between you and Spilt Milk Law Limited, an incorporated law firm. Tyrone-Jay Barugh is the director of Spilt Milk Law Limited and is the lawyer responsible for the legal services to be provided to you, but he is not a party to these terms. In these terms, "we" and "us" refers solely to Spilt Milk Law Limited.

  2. The services offered on the Spilt Milk Law website are provided under a 'limited retainer'. The scope of legal work to be performed for you is much more limited than if you instruct a lawyer under a normal retainer. We will provide competent and pragmatic advice within the agreed time budget, but cannot guarantee that this amount of time will be sufficient to provide comprehensive advice on your particular legal issue. If your legal issue is too risky or complex for us to provide comprehensive advice, we may provide interim advice and suggest a plan to get the comprehensive advice required (such as by referring you to specialist lawyers). We may also refuse to accept your instructions under this fixed-fee limited retainer.

  3. We will comply with our professional duties as lawyers, including our obligations under the Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers

  4. You may terminate our relationship at any time, but remain liable for any fixed fees incurred to that point and we may process a charge against your credit card for those fees. We may terminate our relationship in accordance with the Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers.

  5. Any advice given by us is for your benefit only. You may share that advice freely, but we will only have obligations and liability to you in respect of that advice.

  6. Once we have provided the services you selected via the Spilt Milk Law website, we will cease to act as your lawyer. Some of our professional obligations will continue (such as a lawyer’s duties of confidentiality), but we will no longer be responsible for providing legal advice or representation.

  7. Ordinarily we will not pay any disbursements on your behalf under our limited retainer. However, if we agree to pay disbursements on your instructions then you must pay us for these and you authorise us to charge your credit card in respect of the same.

  8. Subject to capacity and the grounds for refusing work under the Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers, we may agree to perform legal work for you beyond the scope of our limited retainer (on the basis of our standard terms of engagement, which we will provide to you). For hourly fee work, we will ordinarily invoice you on a fortnightly basis - with payment due within seven days of our invoice. Our usual rate is $240 plus GST if any. For other fee arrangements, we will agree payment terms with you before beginning work. 

  9. We do not operate a trust account, which means we cannot hold money or other valuable property on your behalf.

  10. We are unable to convey real estate or act as a formation agent in respect of a company or other legal entity. We will ordinarily refuse to provide criminal law advice or to act for you in court or tribunal proceedings.

  11. We do not currently maintain professional indemnity insurance.

  12. We are not a legal aid provider at present, and cannot accept an engagement under that scheme.

  13. We are not able to offer advice about the law in any jurisdiction other than New Zealand.

  14. Our practice is operated remotely (including outside of New Zealand). Lawyer availability during New Zealand business hours is not guaranteed.


  1. As a consumer it is crucial that you have the ability to raise concerns about lawyers’ conduct and work. It is important to note that making a complaint about us does not have a financial cost to you - we will not bill you for time involved in hearing and considering your concerns.

  2. In the first instance, we would be grateful if you would raise your complaint directly with us. However, if you would prefer to discuss the details of your concern with someone external to Spilt Milk Law we have an arrangement with another lawyer in Wellington who has agreed to receive complaints about us, and to assist us to reach an amicable resolution. We have a collegial relationship with this lawyer, but expect that they will consider complaints with balance and objectivity.

  3. While we hope to resolve any complaint amicably with you, as a consumer of legal services, you always have the option to complain directly to the Complaints Service operated by the New Zealand Law Society, even if you have previously complained to us directly. Further information is available on the Law Society website.