Trends and statistics

7 March 2019
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Snapshot of the profession 2019

Over 14,000 lawyers now hold practising certificates issued by the New Zealand Law Society. They range in age from 22 to over 90. While there is obviously a lot more than the numbers, the information which the Law Society collects in its regulatory role can provide some useful details on ... More about Snapshot of the profession 2019.

27 April 2018
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Adult sentencing outcomes in 2017

Statistics New Zealand has released criminal conviction and sentencing statistics for the 2017 calendar year from data provided by the Ministry of Justice. The data for adults shows some noticeable variations when analysed by sentencing court.The information for a centre covers both District Court and High Court (where applicable).Just under ... More about Adult sentencing outcomes in 2017.

27 April 2018
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New Zealand perceived least corrupt

New Zealand has been ranked as perceived to be the least corrupt nation in the world in the Transparency International Corruptions Perception Index for 2017.The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to a range of researchers and businesspeople.The index uses a ... More about New Zealand perceived least corrupt.

2 March 2018
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Snapshot of the profession 2018

After publishing statistics and information on the New Zealand legal profession in LawTalk throughout 2017, we have decided to revert to bringing them all together into an annual snapshot. Our snapshots – from 2011 to 2016, and now for 2018 – bring together information obtained from a number of sources, ... More about Snapshot of the profession 2018.

9 October 2017
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Spotlight on areas of practice

Information collected by the New Zealand Law Society shows that half of all New Zealand-based lawyers do some company and commercial work. While not mandatory, lawyers are invited to give details of the areas in which they practise by estimating the proportion of time spent in each of 23 fields ... More about Spotlight on areas of practice.

9 October 2017
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Value of New Zealand legal services

Total income from the sale of legal services in New Zealand rose strongly by 8.2% in the year to 30 September 2016, Statistics New Zealand provisional data shows.Legal services income is now well over $3 billion annually, at $3.3 billion. Estimated expenditure in the latest available year was $2.2 billion, ... More about Value of New Zealand legal services.

6 October 2017
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Court filing issues survey results

The New Zealand Law Society recently surveyed lawyers to ascertain whether, within the previous six months, they had experienced any:Delays in the processing of documents lodged with the courts for filing, and/orRejection of documents lodged with the courts for filing.The survey was published in LawPoints and received 127 responses over ... More about Court filing issues survey results.

3 August 2017
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Spotlight on Lawyer Locations

The practising year ends on 30 June, and the requirement to renew practising certificates by then prompts a number of lawyers to decide on retirement. On 3 July 2017, 13,001 lawyers held practising certificates of whom 12,353 were based in New Zealand. This was well down on the 13,552 practising ... More about Spotlight on Lawyer Locations.

30 May 2017
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How healthy are New Zealand lawyers?

The stresses and strains of being a lawyer have been well documented. International research suggests that people working in the legal industry experience higher rates of depression, anxiety and stress compared to other industries. The New Zealand Law Society has developed Practising Well – a set of tools and support ... More about How healthy are New Zealand lawyers?.

23 May 2017
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Spotlight on Law Firms

New Zealand has over 1,900 privately-owned organisations from which practising lawyers provide legal services. Over half of these have just one practising lawyer. At 1 February 2017 a total of 8,139 lawyers worked in law firms – 64% of all New Zealand-based lawyers. In the information below, law firms with ... More about Spotlight on Law Firms.

15 May 2017
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Spotlight on Barristers

At 1 February 2017...Barristers make up 11% of New Zealand-based lawyers (1337 barristers out of 12,642) but the proportion of lawyers who are barristers has been falling over the last few years.Barristers as proportion of New Zealand practising certificatesYearBarristers% all Lawyers19902674.5%19955858.4%200093711.3%2005126812.6%2010153613.7%2015137211.0%2016135610.6%2017133710.6%Over half of New Zealand’s barristers are based in Auckland, ... More about Spotlight on Barristers.

15 May 2017
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Spotlight on New Zealand in-house lawyers

At 1 February 2017...In-house lawyers make up 22% of the New Zealand-based legal profession (2780 in-house lawyers out of 12,645), and continue to hold an increasing proportion of all practising certificates.In-house lawyers as proportion of New Zealand practising certificatesYear% all lawyers199512.2%200017.0%200518.7%201019.3%201521.2%201621.3%201722.0%In-house lawyers work in several distinct areas of business. The ... More about Spotlight on New Zealand in-house lawyers.

5 October 2016
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89% of legal aid applications granted

Information released by Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges shows that about 89% of applications for legal aid in the year to 30 June 2016 resulted in legal aid being granted.Responding to written parliamentary questions from Green Party MP David Clendon, Mr Bridges' data showed that legal aid applications related to ... More about 89% of legal aid applications granted.

15 September 2016
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Parole granted to 23% of offenders

The Parole Board says 23.3% of offenders who participated in hearings were granted parole in the year to 30 June 2016.In its Annual Report for the year to 30 June 2016, the Board says it saw 4,986 offenders serving long term sentences (over two years' imprisonment) and conducted 8,074 hearings. ... More about Parole granted to 23% of offenders.

2 July 2016
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First Steps: The experiences and retention of New Zealand's junior lawyers

Law graduate Josh Pemberton has prepared a report on his research into the experiences of lawyers in New Zealand within the first five years of their admission.The report First Steps: The Experiences and Retention of New Zealand's Junior Lawyers, summarises and analyses research which included 40 hour-long interviews and a ... More about First Steps: The experiences and retention of New Zealand's junior lawyers.

9 June 2016
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Some QC facts and figures

The 2016 round of Queen's Counsel appointments saw 12 new QCs - which was the third equal highest number of people appointed at any one time.Since the appointment of 10 King's Counsel on 7 June 1907, 294 members of the legal profession have been appointed Queen's Counsel.Possibly the only honour ... More about Some QC facts and figures.

26 May 2016
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Permanent name suppression orders in High and District Courts 2011 to 2015

Justice Minister Amy Adams says there has been a significant drop in the number of defendants gaining permanent name suppression since 2011.The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 changed how name suppression is granted, and Ms Adams' figures show the numbers of defendants receiving permanent name suppression over the past five years ... More about Permanent name suppression orders in High and District Courts 2011 to 2015.

26 May 2016
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AML CFT exemptions granted

Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges says 60 exemptions under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 have been granted up to May 2016.Responding to a written parliamentary question from Green Party MP Julie Genter, Mr Bridges has said there have been 15 full and 45 partial exemptions."Companies ... More about AML CFT exemptions granted.

4 May 2016
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Snapshot of the Profession 2016

New Zealand Law Society information on practising certificates on issue at 1 February 2016 has been summarised to provide a Snapshot of New Zealand's legal profession. This exercise has been carried out each year since 2011.Click here for the 2016 Snapshot.Click here for the 2015 Snapshot.Click here for the 2014 ... More about Snapshot of the Profession 2016.

24 November 2015
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Legal aid funding 2008 to 2015

Total funding approved for legal aid has increased by 16% in the eight years between 2008 and 2015, while the total number of applications for legal aid has decreased by 11%. However, the picture changes when the period from 2010 to 2015 is considered.Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges has released ... More about Legal aid funding 2008 to 2015.

23 October 2014
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Majority of lawyers aged under 44

Information prepared by Statistics New Zealand for the New Zealand Law Society shows that over 55% of New Zealand lawyers are aged 44 or under. However, the pattern differs markedly when the gender of lawyers is considered. The customised data from the 2013 Census indicates that while 43% of male ... More about Majority of lawyers aged under 44.

23 October 2014
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Cigarette smoking by lawyers

By Geoff Adlam Customised Statistics New Zealand data prepared for the New Zealand Law Society shows that far fewer lawyers are likely to be smokers than all employed New Zealanders – and the proportion of smokers among members of the judiciary is even lower. Just 5% of lawyers described themselves ... More about Cigarette smoking by lawyers.

21 August 2014
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Some Judicial Streets

The contribution made by members of the judiciary has been recognised by a number of New Zealand local authorities by naming streets after judges. The following list does not purport to be complete but is provided for interest. Streets are only included if it has been confirmed that they were ... More about Some Judicial Streets.

11 December 2013
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Global law firm pricing trends

By Richard Burcher On my decision to exit full-time legal practice and relocate to London to pursue full-time pricing consultancy work, I must have appeared to many at the time to have been barking mad. The first year here has been a roller coaster. Aside from invitations to speak at ... More about Global law firm pricing trends.

11 December 2013
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First names of New Zealand lawyers

by Geoff Adlam New Zealand’s 11,805 practising lawyers share 2,316 different first names. Analysis shows that the “top 10” of male and female first names is dominated by what might be called “traditional English” names: John, Sarah, David and Nicola lead the lists. The table below looks at given first ... More about First names of New Zealand lawyers.

19 March 2012
By Rachael Breckon

Legal process outsourcing

Innovation and technology could be the key to not being left behind in an increasingly global legal advice market. Legal process outsourcing (LPO) is rapidly growing internationally. India is currently leading the game followed by the Philippines, with providers emerging in China and Sri Lanka. It is now a fixed ... More about Legal process outsourcing.

22 February 2012
By NZLS

Trends in 2011 MRC law firm performance comparison

During 2011 the Management Research Centre (MRC) of the University of Waikato carried out its 15th biennial comparison of law firm performance. The Law Society provides assistance by publicising the comparison and encouraging firms to participate. The 2011 comparison obtained information from 87 practices. While participating firms’ individual results are ... More about Trends in 2011 MRC law firm performance comparison.

25 January 2011
By NZLS

Lawyers In Practice Statistics: Tax

Information obtained from holders of current practising certificates shows that at mid-January 2011, 235 practitioners spent over 50% of their time working in tax law. This was 3.7% of all lawyers who indicated an area of practice where they spent over half of their time. Tax law is the eighth-most ... More about Lawyers In Practice Statistics: Tax.

22 December 2010
By NZLS

Civil legal aid in 2009/10

Civil legal aid payments made up just 3.0% of all applications for legal aid in the year to 30 June 2010, according to the Legal Services Agency’s annual report for 2009/10 (tabled on 20 December 2010). Overall total gross payments to private lawyers through the Legal Aid Scheme totalled $157.230 ... More about Civil legal aid in 2009/10.

21 December 2010
By NZLS

Criminal Legal Aid in 2009/10

Criminal legal aid payments made up just under half of all gross payments made in the year to 30 June 2010, according to the Legal Services Agency’s annual report for the year (tabled on 20 December 2010). Overall total gross payments to private lawyers through the Legal Aid Scheme totalled ... More about Criminal Legal Aid in 2009/10.

21 December 2010
By NZLS

Family Legal Aid in 2009/10

Information from the Legal Services Agency’s annual report for the year to 30 June 2010 (tabled on 20 December 2010) shows that payments relating to Family legal aid had the biggest proportionate increase of any category. Overall total gross payments to private lawyers through the Legal Aid Scheme totalled $157.230 ... More about Family Legal Aid in 2009/10.

22 November 2010
By NZLS

Crown Solicitor Contact Details

Auckland: SJE Moore Phone 09 336 7500; Fax 09 336 7629; Email simon.moore@meredithconnell.co.nz Meredith Connell & Co, PO Box 2213, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140. Christchurch: BM Stanaway Phone 03 366 0264; Fax 03 366 7474; Email bms@raydon.co.nz Raymond Donnelly & Co, PO Box 533, Christchurch 8140. Dunedin: RP Bates Phone ... More about Crown Solicitor Contact Details.

18 November 2010
By NZLS

Legal services fees Sep 2010

Legal Services fees show small rise in September 2010 quarter Information from Statistics New Zealand’s Producers Price Index shows that fees for legal services (personal and corporate) rose by 0.7% in the three months ended 30 September 2010. Fees for legal services rose by 2.3% in the year ended 30 ... More about Legal services fees Sep 2010.

17 November 2010
By NZLS

Women in the Judiciary

The New Zealand Census of Women’s Participation 2010 compiled by the Human Rights Commission shows that at 12 July 2010 women made up 26% of the judiciary. “Figures from the Ministry of Justice show an increase of representation of women on the bench of just 0.3% since the last census ... More about Women in the Judiciary.

17 November 2010
By NZLS

Major areas of legal practice

More New Zealand lawyers spend over half their time working in the fields of company and commercial law than any other area of practice. Information collected by the New Zealand Law Society shows that on 10 November 2010, 9.8% of 11,308 practice certificate holders worked for over 50% of their ... More about Major areas of legal practice.

17 November 2010
By NZLS

Women in Partnerships

South Island law firm Anderson Lloyd had the highest proportion of women partners in law firms with over 10 partners in August 2010, according to the Human Rights Commission. The Commission’s sixth annual report, New Zealand Census of Women’s Participation 2010, notes “glacial progress” in the number of women who ... More about Women in Partnerships.

17 November 2010
By NZLS

Practising certificates Aug 2010

Almost 11,000 hold Practising Certificates The number of lawyers holding practising certificates in New Zealand has grown by 32% in the last decade. Figures collected by the NZLS Registry show that at 3 August 2010 there were 10,945 active practising certificates. In the year ended 30 November 2000, 8,287 practising ... More about Practising certificates Aug 2010.

10 November 2010
By Sam Bassett

GST and barristers from 1-10-10

Barristers accounting for GST on the payments basis should carefully monitor and record fees received and expenses over the transition period to ensure GST is accounted for at the correct rate. Most will be registered on a payments basis for GST. As such they will be required to include certain ... More about GST and barristers from 1-10-10.