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


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news