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


Smith challenges Law Society

Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Smith challenges Law Society

United Future MP Murray Smith says claims by the executive director of the Law Society, in regard to the disposition of 2/3rds of the legal profession’s fidelity fund, that "the profession contributed the money and the profession will decide" are deliberately misleading.

Mr Smith, himself a lawyer, said “What he really means by that comment is that "the profession (i.e. individual practitioners) contributed the money and the profession (i.e. the Law Society as its elected representatives) will decide", and it is this 'we will decide what is going to happen to your money' attitude that is making a lot of lawyers angry.

“If Mr Ritchie was genuine in his comments, then the Law Society would happily agree to my proposed amendment to the Lawyers’ and Conveyancers’ Bill which states that the 2/3rds balance be distributed "in accordance with a referendum to be held among all persons who are current contributors to the fund as at the date of the referendum".

Mr Smith said Mr Ritchie is also disingenuous in suggesting that there might be very little money left to distribute, claiming that on average there are $1.5m in claims a year met.

The Law Society had told the Select Committee, he said, that there were currently only $100,000 or so of claims outstanding and the figure of a $9m surplus in the fund was the best estimate at this time.

Furthermore, Mr Smith said, if Mr Ritchie was right, then there would be no money left to pass to the new fidelity fund either and lawyers would be immediately having to top up that fund with an extraordinary levy.

“That is even more reason not to have 2/3rds of the fund go into the Law Society's own hands.”

Mr Smith said that current responses to his questionnaire, widely distributed among lawyers, showed that 88% of lawyers agreed with the United Future amendment and 84% did not want the money to go to the Law Society. More responses were flooding in by the day.


© 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