New Zealand Law Society - Independent Review Report received by Law Society Board

Independent Review Report received by Law Society Board

The Board of the New Zealand Law Society Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa has received the report from the Independent Review Panel.

The Independent Review (the Review) was commissioned by the Law Society in 2021 because over time it had been clear that the complaints process, in particular, was no longer fit-for-purpose and was not serving the public or the profession well. This had been highlighted in 2018 with reports of sexual harassment within law practices.

We wanted to understand the extent of the issues and opportunity to shift to a more modern regulatory environment given the changes that have taken place in New Zealand and internationally since the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act was introduced in 2006. Alongside this we needed to ensure that the legal profession has a strong representative voice that was responsive to the needs of the profession and the public.

The Review was also tasked with looking at what would be needed to improve consumer focus and ensure fair competition for legal services, enable innovation in the profession and to strengthen commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the diverse multicultural society in which we live.

The Review was led by an Independent Panel that included Professor Ron Paterson (Chair), Jane Meares and Professor Jacinta Ruru. Throughout the Review there has been a strong focus on engagement to understand the views of the legal profession and other stakeholders including consumer groups. 

Law Society President Frazer Barton says “The Board would like to thank the Independent Review Panel for its work over the past year. The Report is the culmination of the past year of engagement, research and analysis and reflects the Review Panel’s conclusions."

The Law Society Board anticipates publicly releasing the report late next week.  

Join a livestream to hear the recommendations direct from the Independent Legal Review Panel members. 

Speakers will include the Independent Review Panel Chair Ron Paterson, and Panel Members Jane Meares and Jacinta Ruru, as well as Steering Committee Chair Whaimutu Dewes.

Law Society President Frazer Barton will also be joining the livestream.

Tuesday 28 March: 5pm - 6pm 

Monday 3 April: 1pm - 2pm

To make the most of the available time, please submit your questions in advance by emailing:

Please log on five minutes before the start time, as the sessions will start promptly on the hour.

Link to access the livestream

This is a free session, and registration is not required. One hour of CPD credit is available.

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