New Zealand Solicitors - Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006
New Zealand solicitors are governed by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. This legislation contains comprehensive rules and regulations including regulatory functions carried out by The New Zealand Law Society. This includes control and regulation to uphold the fundamental obligations of lawyers who provide regulated services. In addition to promoting law reform the New Zealand Law Society also monitors and enforces the provisions of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 which applies to all New Zealand solicitors and barristers.
Barristers & Solicitors
All lawyers are initially admitted to the legal profession as both New Zealand barristers and New Zealand solicitors however; thereafter a lawyer can chose to have a practising certificate in either a dual function or solely as a barrister which thereby creates an independent bar as a separate group within the profession regulated by the New Zealand Bar Association.
Lawyers Complaints Service
Complaints about New Zealand solicitors and barristers are dealt with by the Lawyers Complaints Service which can deal with matters relating to current or former lawyers, incorporated law firms and their employees. A complaint may be lodged about the standard of service, conduct of lawyers, most legal charges or failure to comply with an order of the standards committee or Legal Complaints Review Officer. When the Lawyers Complaints Service receives a formal complaint about the conduct of a New Zealand solicitor or barrister it is sent to the Standards Committee which enquires into the complaint, requests that the parties attempt negotiation, reconciliation, resolution or mediation. The Standards Committee has a range of remedies however in serious matters it refers the complaint to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal which has the power to strike off solicitors. If the matter is not dealt with to the satisfaction of the person making the complaint it can be reviewed by the Legal Complaints Review Officer at the Ministry of Justice.