Auckld Law Society members vote for incorporation
Auckland District Law Society members vote for incorporation
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Following unprecedented in a postal ballot, the members of Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) have voted to incorporate their society. The vote was 1911 for incorporation and 598 against.
“This puts the possibility of a One Society plan for a single, united law society structure back on track with our tangible assets and intellectual property now secure,” says Keith Berman, President of ADLS.
If members had not voted to incorporate, under the provisions of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act, the district law society’s assets would automatically have been folded into the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) on February 1, 2009 – six months from the recent implementation of that act on August 1.
The Auckland society’s assets include the $12 million Chancery Chambers building, and intellectual property vested in legal products such as Legal Forms, the Barristers & Solicitors Directory, Legal Practice Manual, a seminar paper subscription scheme, the Law Society Store, the Law Firms Trust Accounting Bureau and the ADLS Library & Research Centre which offers lawyers the most sophisticated legal research and document delivery service in New Zealand.
“We can now look forward to engaging with the New Zealand Law Society in meaningful dialogue to achieve the original vision for unified national law profession with NZLS undertaking its mandatory ‘regulatory’responsibilities in Wellington and Auckland overseeing the profession’s ‘representative’ functions on a national basis,” said Mr Berman.
Representative functions include such activities as marketing, promotions, communications, product development and member benefits. Last year ADLS derived income of $5.5 million from its business activities.
NZLS is charged under the act with being responsible for ‘regulatory’ functions which include administration of the legal profession, handling complaints about costs and the conduct of lawyers, the issuing of practising certificates, and representing the profession in submissions to Parliament and before select committees on matters of law affecting the profession and public.
“ADLS is now well placed to provide representative services nationally through a distinct but co-operative corporate structure,” said Mr Berman.