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Law Reform Committee

The Law Reform Committee oversees all of the Law Society’s law reform work. The LRC reviews all bills before Parliament, as well as government and Law Commission law reform proposals. Committee members draft the Law Society’s submissions on bills and discussion papers, with assistance from NZLS specialist committees and the Family Law and Property Law Sections.

About us

The Law Society is an important participant in New Zealand law reform, and has a reputation for making a careful and impartial contribution to law reform, the administration of justice and the rule of law.

The Law Reform Committee supports the Law Society in fulfilling its statutory function under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, to assist and promote law reform “for the purpose of upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice in New Zealand”.

The LRC coordinates and oversees all Law Society submissions, based on input from Law Society specialist committees and sections, as well as interested members and branch committees.

Our people

The LRC comprises members with a passion for law reform:

  • Katherine Anderson
  • Jo Appleyard
  • David Cochrane
  • Matthew Harris
  • Alastair Logan
  • Janna McGuigan
  • Kristina Muller
  • Jonathan Orpin-Dowell
  • Edward Scorgie
  • Jane Standage
  • Tim Stephens
  • Rebecca Thomson
  • Jack Wass
  • Esther Watt
  • Nick Whittington

The convenors of the Law Society specialist committees and chairs of the Property Law and Family Law Sections also sit on the LRC.

The LRC convenor is Liesle Theron. Liesle is an experienced commercial litigator with particular expertise in public law, competition and regulatory law, company and securities law, insolvency, and contract and tort law.

NZLS contact: Vicky Stanbridge, Law Reform Manager
DX SP20202 or PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145
04 463 2912

Recent work

The past 18 months have been exceptionally busy for Law Society law reform. The LRC made submissions on significant reform proposals, including:

  • Canterbury Property Boundaries and Related Matters Bill;
  • Statutes Amendment Bill – Enduring Powers of Attorney amendments;
  • Resource Legislation Amendment Bill;
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Bill;
  • Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill;
  • Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill;
  • Incorporated Societies exposure draft Bill;
  • Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill;
  • Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill;
  • Food Safety Law Reform Bill;
  • New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill;
  • Electoral Amendment Bill;
  • Search & Surveillance Act 2012 review;
  • Trust law review – exposure draft Trusts Bill;
  • AML/CFT Phase 2 – exposure draft Bill;
  • Maritime Transport Amendment Bill;
  • Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill;
  • Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Bill, Member's Bill; and
  • Employment Relations (Allowing Higher Earners to Contract Out of Personal Grievance Provisions) Amendment Bill.

Get involved

Appointments are made to this committee biennially. If you have a passion for law reform, experience and enthusiasm, and the time and energy to commit, then get involved.

Membership of this committee allows you to play a key role in the reform of law and is an excellent basis for professional development as well as collegiality and networking.

Additionally, substantive contribution to Law Society law reform may count towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Applications for the 2017 appointment round have closed. The next appointment round will be in mid-2019.

Last updated on the 25th January 2019