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Amendments To Lawyers And Conveyancers Bill

For immediate release 26 July 2004

Institute Of Chartered Accountants Welcomes Amendments To Lawyers And Conveyancers Bill

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand has welcomed just announced amendments to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Bill, describing them as a “breakthrough” when compared with the draft Bill first put before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

One change will mean that lawyers employed by non-lawyers can continue to hold practising certificates so long as they are not held out to their employers’ clients in their capacity as lawyers. Another ensures that Chartered Accountants can continue to assist in buying and selling businesses.

“The changes recommended by the Select Committee should ensure that current business practices can continue,” Institute Chief Executive Garry Muriwai said today.

Prior to going to the Select Committee the Bill had contained provisions that may have given lawyers an even greater monopoly than they currently enjoy in tax, insolvency and in work related to selling any business. Mr Muriwai said many Chartered Accountants had been worried about the ways in which the Bill would have affected their right to advise their clients.

“These problematic provisions have now been fixed by the Select Committee so that people can get their advice from a provider of their own choice.”

Mr Muriwai thanked Committee Chair Tim Barnett and the other the members of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee for the efforts they had put into getting a real understanding of how the two professions worked and interacted.

“We congratulate the Justice Select Committee, which has done a great job sorting out a number of key problems in the Bill.”

….. ends

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