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Bill To Allow Law Firms To Become Companies

Law firms will be able to practice as companies if National MP Simon Power's members bill gets through the Parliamentary process.

"Lawyers are currently restricted under the Law Practitioners Act to operate either as sole practitioners or in law firms as a partnership. This is inconsistent with the way other professions such as accountants can practice and limits the way lawyers can do business.

"I have discussed the draft bill with law firms, large and small, and received a very positive response. This is something they have wanted to change for some time.

"Directors of legal companies will be required to hold a current practicing certificate and will be subject to professional conduct requirements under the Law Practitioners Act including making contributions to the Solicitors Fidelity Guarantee Fund. It is intended that clients will be protected under the fund to the same extent as clients of any other solicitor.

"The bill will give lawyers greater flexibility in structure and ownership while maintaining the professional standards that have always applied to the legal profession," Mr Power said.

The Law Practitioners (Corporatisation) Amendment Bill has been put into the members bill ballot where it will wait to be drawn before being debated by Parliament.

Ends

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


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