Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Bill will enhance legal services market

Bill will enhance legal services market

The Lawyers and Conveyancers Bill, which reforms the structure of the legal profession and creates the new occupation of licensed conveyancer, had its first reading in Parliament today.

Justice Minister Phil Goff said the Bill would meet the public's need for an accountable legal profession that offered greater choice without eroding necessary consumer protections.

"Complaints against lawyers and conveyancers will still be heard in the first instance by Professional Standards Committees but appeals will now be possible to an independent Legal Complaints Review Officer with the power to refer, overturn or substitute decisions," Mr Goff said.

"The position was created in response to strong concerns about the perceived lack of independence and sometimes inadequate response to complaints under the old system.

"A Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal will also be established to determine any charges against practitioners and applications for restoration of practising certificates."

Mr Goff said the reforms were generally supported by the New Zealand Law Society, which favoured a more responsive structure to suit the changed nature of the legal services market.

"Contingency fee arrangements will now be permitted in many cases. Apart from Family Court, criminal and immigration cases, a lawyer and client will be able to agree on a fee being conditional on the success of the case.

"Safeguards will prevent excessive charging but clients otherwise unable to fund litigation will now be able to use this option to take their case to court.

"Only lawyers with practising certificates will be able to provide key services such as advocacy before a court or tribunal; giving legal advice in areas statutorily reserved for lawyers, and giving legal advice for reward in relation to court or tribunal proceedings.

"Other services such as the drafting of wills and giving general advice will not be reserved. This may produce benefits such as innovation and lower prices but it also poses possible risks for consumers when obtaining services from unregulated providers.

"I maintain an open mind as to the extent to which such services should be able to be provided by people other than qualified lawyers, and will carefully consider arguments presented to the Select Committee," Mr Goff said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels